Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

T. Boone Pickens flees from Q&A at Dem. Conv. about his "energy plan"

( – promoted by DocHoc)

Plutonium Page has posted to Daily Kos a diary which helps to expose some important background information about T. Boone Pickens and his “plan” that supposedly will liberate us from foreign oil.

T. Boone Pickens’ Fancy Sales Pitch

Devilstower and I just went to a talk here at the DNC featuring T. Boone Pickens. Everyone was under the impression that the event would involve an actual discussion (as in, a Q & A session, like nearly all of the other Big Tent special topic sessions). We had a really energetic live blog thread going, where all of you were submitting questions.

Sorry, guys. Apparently, the whole thing was just a sales pitch.  T. Boone hightailed it out of there before anyone could even raise their hand.

I’ll post some excerpts below, but really, go to the original, where you can also read the comments, which are just as illuminating.

Maybe he was afraid we’d ask questions like:

   

In 2004, you helped pay for the Swift Boat ads, along with fellow billionaire Harold Simmons, who’s funding the Ayres attack ads this cycle. If you’re willing to tolerate, and even encourage, that level of dishonesty in political discourse, why should we trust you on any subject?

   (From Devilstower)

I wanted to ask him:


   Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma is well known for saying that global warming is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” and is one of the most outspoken climate change science deniers around, as well as being joined at the hip with the oil companies.

   In your presentation today, you specifically said that you “believe global warming is real”.

   

However, you have heavily funded James Inhofe’s campaign.  How do you reconcile your support for Inhofe with your promotion of renewable energy programs?

From an energy expert acquaintance via email:

   

Can you please explain why people should take your plan seriously when, for example, you do not include any energy efficiency measures within it?

For a real and honest debate on the topic of energy policy, see the liveblogging thread.

On which Devilstower summed up the Pickens Plan with this update:

Update [2008-8-27 15:7:47 by Devilstower]: And T. Boone heads for the door without taking a single question. Which makes the whole presentation worth about as much as day old spit.

Update:

This comment on the Daily Kos thread explains the real motivation behind Pickens’ Plan — and it ain’t altruism, folks.

 Again, Here Is Picken’s Profit Play

I’m involved in this industry.  His play is rather transparent.  He is cornering the retail CNG (compressed natural Gas) and LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) fueling stations through his entity Clean Energy Fuels Corp.  He’s pretty much already accomplished this in Texas by purchasing all of the CNG/LNG stations there form the state utility company.  He is also working to do it in Oklahoma and California right now.  These three states plus Utah are the big prize because they have the fueling station infrastructure already in place.  

This is how he hopes to make it big.  It’s extremely simple.  The fueling stations are supplied by CNG that gets the fuel wholesale for about $.50/gallon.  In fact, if you go to a CNG station now in Oklahoma, you can get CNG for something just above that, or about $.85/gallon.  Boone wants to get into these stations and raise the price to the public to about $2.50/gallon and he wants to do this prior to the everybody converting to CNG – That way no public outcry b/c no one realizes that he has increased prices and public thinks they are getting great deal b/c CNG still a lot cheaper than gas.

Of course this only works if people convert to CNG.  That’s why Pickens is spending tens of millions of dollars(personally and through his subsidiary Clean Energy Finance) to promote and incentivize the conversions.  If all this works (the conversions happen and he corners the retail CNG market in just the 4 states mentioned above), Pickens would quickly become the wealthiest person in the world and would be profiting hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

That’s the deal.  

by JCPOK on Wed Aug 27, 2008 at 03:11:56 PM CDT

Online guide to the 2008 Democratic Convention

( – promoted by peacearena)

This was posted under a slightly different title at my own blog, Peace Arena .  

I’ve been scouting out the best online news resources for following the Democratic Party convention in Denver, other than the well-known, corporate news operations (that I generally avoid anyway), which I think we can all find on our own. Below is what I’ve found so far, and I’ll add to the list as I come across others.

Note: If you only care about the Oklahoma angle, jump down here.

The official convention site is worth a look for speaker schedules, logistics, last minute updates and the like.

This is the first convention where bloggers are more than an afterthought, so check out the official list of bloggers credentialed by the Party. These independent (that is, not Party funded; all are fiercely partisan Democrats) bloggers will be “embedded” with their state delegations, so as  to bring all the surprise and spontaneity of the convention to life for their readers back home. (Seriously, it’s a good thing, and probably demonstrating much more integrity than that other embedding project the government tried with the media a few years back.)

The Big Tent –   there is literally something called “The Big Tent” (subtle enough for you, Dems?) serving as bloggers central for the convention; this site is not for news reporting apparently (bloggers do have their own outlets, after all), but for coordinating use of the facility.  Still interesting for those of us into the meta stuff. This not run by the Party, but by a group of bloggers and sponsors like Digg and Google.

Just to keep everyone confused with information overload, some of the credentialed state blogs (including Oklahoma’s), along with some non-credentialed ones, decided to aggregate their convention reports on yet another site, Roots Wire.

DemConWatch is an independent blog run by grassroots Democrats that has a pretty thorough background and coverage of the event — including live cams! And check out the DNC history links in the sidebar

Colorado sites that will probably have major resources dedicated to the convention.

A number of netroots/Democratic/progressive sites have dedicated sections for convention news, and have folks on the ground there.

Plus, some really good news: Democracy Now! will expand to two hours live broadcast on radio and tv for the next two weeks, covering both conventions. Unless you live at or near UCO, you’ll have to pick the show up after the fact on the web, but it’s worth it.  Their in-depth interviews are unequaled.

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow the Twitter Search tag #dnc08 that Twitterers in Denver at using to flag their tweets. Or, the Denver Post has a dedicated Twitter account for convention related updates, The DNC – a warning though: this is high-volume so you may just want to visit the page once or twice a day, rather than follow and hve your timeline completely swamped.

Okies in Denver

Last but not least, there’s the Oklahoma credentialed blog team, Calvin and Tim from DemoOkie Forum. Yes, Oklahoma’s credentialed blog is a forum, but I think it was an apppropriate selection, since it is the major site for the grassroots of the state Democratic Party. Anyway, thanks to Howard Dean, they will be right there in the Pepsi Center and INVESCO Field with the Oklahoma Delegation.

I’m very happy to see that the boys, once selected, actually realized they would need a real blog to pull this off, rather than trying to stretch that Snitz 2000 forum, which is already distorted way beyond its intended purpose (bless ’em, they do keep things hopping over there, it’s just clumsy and ugly as shit, and about as state-of-the-art as Windows 98, and I obsess about those things). I’m hoping they’ll like the new format so much that they will come home and do a complete overhaul of their site once Barack has moved in at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with Michelle and the girls.

Tim posted about their plans for Denver:

If you want Gavel to Gavel, watch the news. It will be better than we can do. However, since we are embedded with the Oklahoma Delegation, we will be with them all day. You will get to meet them and see what really happens at these conventions. Delegates usually start with a breakfast at 7:30 am and continue until late night. I know when I went to Boston I was exhausted when I came back. You’ll go with them to receptions, caucuses and just hanging around.

We’ve brought digital cameras, digital videos and digital audio recorders. We plan on making a few of the attendees YouTube stars. Dr. Earl Mitchell from Stillwater has been drafted again as a special correspondent. We also will be sharing photos taken by the delegates themselves.

Hopefully we will fulfill Howard Deans vision of bringing the other parts of the convention home. We look forward to the opportunity.

If you want a down and dirty compilation of news out of Denver, check the sidebar of DenverOkie.com, there’s a list of the latest news headline from all the state bloggers, as well as the RootsWire feed. For any normal person, that will be more than enough! (I of course, am not normal and will be trying to go to every site for every last pixel of information.)

Tim and Calvin say they are making their photos and reports available to Oklahoma media. I hope they mean new/digital as well as old/dead-tree media, or I’ll really have to give them a netroots/open-source whup-ass tutorial, if they don’t get one in Denver first (which I suspect they might).

This list is by no means definitive! It’s just a starting point. If you have other links to offer, please post in comments.

'Oklahomans Taken For A Ride' film screening on Sat. 8/2 in OKC

Don Grissom film, Oklahomans Taken for a Ride, to be screened Saturday, August 2, in OKC

The film Oklahomans Taken for a Ride will be shown 1 p.m. Saturday, August 2, 2008 at the Belle Isle Library in Oklahoma City . The film highlights the importance of protecting Oklahoma ‘s rail infrastructure and putting it to better use.  The event is being sponsored by the Coalition to Save Union Station Railyard.

This film explores the extent to which Oklahoma City ‘s transportation future is threatened by plans of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to rip out the 12-track Oklahoma City Union Station railyard as a part of the I-40 Crosstown relocation.  The film details ODOT rerouting plans while also detailing efforts to fight the destruction of the railyard.  The video also shows how the facility could be reused as an Oklahoma multi-modal transportation hub.

The filmmaker, Don Grissom, is a graduate of Norman High School .  He worked in film and video production in Washington , D.C. for 28 years, recently returning to Norman in 2007 to continue his documentary career.  He has been involved in the production of One World Quest (Muheim Motion Pictures), Benny Andrews Route 66 Tour (Ogden Museum of Southern Art), Intel Wars (CNN Documentary), Extreme Makeover (ABC), Drugs (Frontline, Resolute Films), and many other films.

A discussion will follow the 24-minute film.

The film is free and the public is invited.

Belle Isle Library is located at 5501 N. Villa in Oklahoma City (on NW Expressway).

OK Dems call for Inhofe to return donations from indicted Stevens

( – promoted by peacearena)

The Democratic Party of Oklahoma has called for Senator Jim Inhofe to return “tainted” money he received from Sen. Ted Stevens, who was indicted today corruption charges. The Oklahoma politician is running for re-election this year, and got $10,000 from Stevens political PAC for his campaign.

The campaign of Andrew Rice, Inhofe’s Democratic chanllenger, posted in a blog, “Today, the differences between Andrew Rice and his opponent, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, became even clearer.”

Senator Elizabeth Dole donated her money from Stevens to charity earlier today. A similar call has been made to Oregon Senator Gordon Smith.  

ODP Press Release: http://www.andrewforoklahoma.c…

Inhofe Should Return Money He Received From Indicted Senator

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 29, 2008) Oklahoma’s U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe should return $12,000 in campaign contributions that he has received from indicted fellow U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Dr. Ivan Holmes said today.

Sen. Stevens was charged today with seven counts of making false statements, according to a 28-page federal grand jury indictment, regarding payments of more than $250,000 in goods and services he allegedly received from an oil company.  The items include home improvements, autos and household items.

“This is a classic example of why Americans have lost faith in Washington,” Holmes said.  “Senator Stevens has been very generous to his good friend Jim Inhofe, whom we know is also close to big oil companies.   Now we know that the money may be tainted and I believe our Senator needs to come clean,” Holmes said.

The Northern Lights Political Action Committee was formed by Stevens to raise money and help his fellow Republican colleagues stay elected.   The Stevens PAC contributed the maximum of $10,000 to Inhofe’s 2008 re-election committee, according to Federal Election Commission reports.  He contributed another $2000 to Inhofe for his 2002 campaign.   (2/11/02 – $2000; 6/22/05-$1000; 6/14/07-$4000; 4/15/08-$5000)

“Even though Senator Stevens’ legal problems have been known for more than a year, Senator Inhofe still agreed to take his contributions,” Holmes said.  “If he wants Oklahomans to believe he is not part of the problem in Washington, Inhofe should return the contributions he received from his indicted friend,” Holmes added.

According to the indictments Stevens knowingly and intentionally sought to conceal and cover up his receipt of things of value by filing financial disclosure forms that contained false statements and omissions concerning Stevens’ receipt of these things of value.

“Oklahomans are tired of the cozy relationship between Senators and lobbyists in Washington and the Stevens case is “the last straw,” Holmes said.

Senator No

( – promoted by DocHoc)

by Steven D, originally published at Booman Tribune and reprinted here with permission.

It’s a sad fact, but Senator Dodd was unable to stop a very bad FISA bill, that even Bruce Fein, a former Reagan official at the Department of Justice claims is a gross violation of our civil liberties.  Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid wouldn’t let him.  Yet one man, one Senator, has been able to stop dozens of bills simply by saying “no” to Harry Reid.  Who is this all powerful Senator?  Why a Republican, of course:

. . . Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has a large framed picture next to his desk that serves as a constant reminder of his political ideology. Inside the black frame and matting is a single word, in large white letters: “No.”

Coburn has become best known as the lawmaker who says no — no to increased funding for unsolved civil rights crimes, no to creation of a national registry for victims of the disease ALS, no to more money for child pornography prosecutions. […]

Most of the bills, including a child pornography law that passed the House 409 to 0 in November, are so noncontroversial that they would normally sail through on voice votes, with no roll call taken. […]

Since January 2007, Coburn has used his senatorial “hold” to block more than 80 pieces of legislation, which means Reid knows that Coburn will object to unanimous consent on those bills.

Coburn is also the Senator who put a hold on extending additional protections to government whistleblowers, a bill that had already passed the House 331 to 84.  The same bill that would likely pass the Senate with a veto proof majority if it were allowed to come to a vote.

Does anyone wonder anymore why Congress has such a poor approval rating?  When Republicans held the majority they passed whatever the hell they wanted (or whatever Bush told them to pass) and Democrats were powerless, or at least they claimed they were.  Remember the Terry Schiavo legislation?  That passed even though a majority in the country opposed it because the Democrats in the Senate caved. Yet, now, when Republican Senators up for re-election are running scared and willing to back many Democratic proposals, Reid lets one yahoo nutcase like Tom Coburn put the kabosh on any and all legislation regardless of how beneficial it might be.  Need you be reminded of just how loonie Coburn is, take a peek at this:

(cont.)

At a Republican meeting this spring, Coburn warned: “The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power … That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That’s a gay agenda.” […]

“I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life,” he told the Associated Press in July. Last week, he told the Hugo [Okla.] Daily News: “We need someone who will speak morally on the issues and not run from the criticism of the national press … We need to have moral clarity about our leaders. I have a 100 percent pro-life record. I don’t apologize for saying we need to protect the unborn. Do you realize that if all those children had not been aborted, we wouldn’t have any trouble with Medicare and Social Security today? That’s another 41 million people.” […]

In 1999, after the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, Coburn opposed President Clinton’s proposal for making adults liable if they allow their children to buy guns and harm others. “If I wanted to buy a bazooka to use in a very restricted way, to do something, I ought to be able to do that,” said Coburn.

Yet this moron is allowed the privilege by Harry Reid to hold up any damn thing he wants, no matter how popular it is with his own Republican colleagues.  This ideologue and criminal, who illegally sterilized one of his Native American female patients without her consent and filed a fraudulent Medicaid insurance claim, is more powerful than Harry Reid.  You have to ask yourself — why?  Why does Reid allow this buffoon to run rings around him, and delay and deter desperately needed legislation?

Whatever happens in the Presidential election this Fall, Democrats are likely to retain their control over the House and Senate. And if there is one thing we’ve learned it is that our current Democratic Leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have been a disaster for the Democratic Party.  They were not only dead wrong on FISA, but they have been ineffective across the board in promoting the Democratic Party’s stated agenda, from ending the Iraq occupation to increasing funding for the SCHIP program, which provides health insurance to uninsured children.  Reid allowed the Senate to pass the Lieberman-Kyl amendment which all but grants the Bush administration permission to attack Iran at its discretion.

Time after time Harry Reid has proven himself to be a gutless coward when it comes to standing up for  progressive policies which have the support of the majority of Americans.  When push comes to shove, he’s permitted President Bush to get whatever he wanted on the important issues of the day.  And now he has allowed one idiot Senator from Oklahoma to run rings around him in blocking the passage of needed bipartisan legislation.  It’s time for Democrats to just say no to Harry Reid’s continued tenure as Senate Majority Leader.  If he can’t out think and outfight Tom Coburn, he doesn’t deserve to lead the Senate.

Inhofe! On the airwaves! On the ballot! Out of periods!

Today, Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe posted on his website and on his Twitter feed that his new commercials are “On the Airwaves!” in a short post in which six of the eight sentences ended with an exclamation point!

Shortly after filing paperwork for reelection, Senator Inhofe announced a brand new TV ad, highlighting his record of accomplishment and positive leadership for Oklahoma in the Senate! The ad begins tomorrow, and will help to officially kick off the Senator’s 2008 campaign!

Supporters throughout the state have made it possible for Team Inhofe to begin spreading our positive message so soon. Our grassroots team is already getting the word out by going door-to-door, making phone calls, and stuffing mail. And our grassroots donors have made thousands of small contributions which are adding up to make a big difference!

We’re on the ballot, we’re on TV, we’re on the ground, and we’re ready to keep working to win! Let’s keep the momentum going — onward to victory!

Check the ad out here!

Even the link to the video on the front page of the campaign website exhibited the inexplicable excitement about this political development in our long-suffering state:

Click here to watch!


cross posted at peacearena.org