Friday, January 13, 2017

Senator Gardner - Democratic decency requires NO VOTE on Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

Since Colorado’s own Senator Gardner is on the Committee of Foreign Relations and is hearing Rex Tillerson’s nomination I decided to send his staff this open letter that I hope they’ll pass along.  I've sent it to our Durango Telegraph as 'letter to the editor' and I want to share it over here.  It might help some gather their own thoughts for sending messages to their own senators.  It's all we have right now, so everyone that cares needs to make an effort. http://civilrights.org/action_center/resources/calling-congress.html 
{Sorry about that early posting screw up}    It's been noted that mine is not the most diplomatic of opening paragraphs.  So be it.  It's not like Republicans have been anything but ruthlessly hostile to anyone on the other side of their world outlook divide.  Maybe, it's time they stop being so absolutist and progressive types stop being so accommodating !

Honorable Senator Gardner and staff,

Please take the time to think about the many objections to Rex Tillerson becoming our country’s Secretary of State. 

You’ll note right away that I can be categorized (and discarded) as a “tree hugger” type.  Indeed, I have hugged a few in my day.  I know too well how my kind is easily vilified and dismissed by Republicans.  Still I would beg you to consider the reality that we very much depend on a healthy climate and biosphere for everything we have and love.  

No matter what your personal religion tells you about your God, the basic inescapable reality is that we were born of this Earth and shall die back into it.  It is a beautiful reality, once you grow to appreciate evolution and understand what a fantastical pageant you are part of.

But, I digress.  What I really want to beg of you and your staff to consider is all the reasons Rex Tillerson, great oil-businessman though he may be, he should never be allowed to become USA’s Secretary of State.  A position demanding respect for our Constitution and a much broader understanding than a dedicated oil man(42+years), someone who knows nothing but drilling for profits is capable of acquiring.  No insult, fundamental reality.  Secretary of State requires immensely broad and deep understanding of governmental matters and a different sphere of relevant matter than a pure cold blooded businessman like Rex can acquire.

No matter now many big shot deals he may have closed, he’s unfit for the State Department!  Why can’t America at least get an experienced individual?  As for ‘outsider’ that just means he doesn’t know what’s going on.  That may work in the movies, but this is real life and there’s no going back.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Threat of Trump’s Corporate Cabinet. A review by Common Dreams

Here's a reprint of Tuesday's article by Robert Weissman at Common Dreams offering a quick review of Trump's Cabinet nominations and why they are so frightening.  And why we must stand up to oppose their plan to bulldoze America's government into something only a greed blinded oligarch living within their locked-gate enclaves could love.
There's so much I'd like to write about and so little time, either for me or for this country I love.  Thus, I'm forced take advantage of Common Dreams generous Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.  Hopefully someone will find something useful or inspiring in it. 
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Published on
by 

The Existential Threat of Trump’s Corporate Cabinet

The corporate interests who the President-elect properly alleged in the campaign buy politicians will now themselves be directly in charge of the government
We’re facing the prospect of a government literally of the Exxons, by the Goldman Sachses and for the Kochs.

President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet and top nominees draw more deeply from an extremist faction of the corporate class than any in memory, and likely in history. We are witnessing the wholesale corporate takeover of the American government.

Nothing more plainly shows Trump’s complete cynicism and dishonesty than his absolute betrayal of the core claim of his campaign – to rid Washington of corruption, cronyism and insider dealing. The corporate interests who he properly alleged in the campaign buy politicians will now themselves be directly in charge of the government.

With this cabinet, it is a virtual certainty that this administration will be the most corrupt and scandal prone in American history.

Unstoppable Together, but we still need YOU!

Organizing is going on like never before, but these organizations require informed and involved citizens to step up and join the effort.  Lots of them, if we are to get the muscle behind them to do us any good.  Can you help?


Published on Jan 10, 2017
Through collective action we have greater power, and with greater power comes greater justice. Join the #UnitedResistance to Trump's hateful agenda. 
Learn more and take action www.unstoppabletogether.org.

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Their website is still fairly barebones, but they are only a day old, Common Dreams has an article 
Published on 
by

Groups Nationwide Create Campaign of 'United Resistance' to Trump

From Advancement Project to Free Press, progressive organizations vow to stand up, speak out—and litigate
Progressive organizations across the U.S. are joining together in the latest showing of widespread resistance to President-elect Donald Trump's right-wing agenda, from climate policies to civil rights.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Amoral Republicans Reject Abiding by Ethical Standards in Nomination Process.

I was surprised to find an informative political article at TeenVogue by Lily Herman about the Republican disregard for ethical standards when it comes ramming their agenda and Trump's upcoming Cabinet nominations through Congress.  After a little reading around I discovered it wasn't a one off.  It was a welcome whiff of optimism to think that a young people's magazine like that is taking politics seriously.  Lets hope she helps inform some future activists.

This is followed by a related PBS News Hour special report on Trump nominees attempt to skirt ethics: "Some Trump nominees missing crucial ethics paperwork as confirmation hearings begin" and "Ethics agency has ‘great concern’ about confirmations before reviews are cleared."  If this concerns you please contact your Senator now - the hearing are happening and they need to hear from us.

Republicans Unwilling to Reschedule Trump's Cabinet Confirmation Hearings
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said 
Democrats asking for delays should "grow up." 
{I agree Democrats should grow up and finally stand up to the Republican bullies and absolutists!}

Lily Herman  |  JAN 9, 2017


In an unprecedented move, Republicans in Congress are starting the confirmation process for President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet-level members before several key government offices finish the necessary background and ethics checks for all the nominees. Now, Democrats are asking for delays since they are concerned that any relevant information that might be uncovered won’t be known BEFORE the formal nomination hearings (which are set to begin this week) take place.

Demand that Washington DC Hears YOU! - Representatives phone list

Demand that Washington DC Hears YOU!
Representatives’ phone and address list  http://www.house.gov/representatives/

For the phone list of US Senators

Demand that Washington DC Hears YOU! - Senator's phone and address list

For the phone list of US Representatives
link to http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Senators of the 115th Congress

Sort by: Name   State   Party   

Class II
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4944

Baldwin, Tammy - (D - WI)
Class I
717 Hart Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5653

Barrasso, John - (R - WY)
Class I
307 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6441

Class III
261 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5852

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Deny, dupe and delay – the underhand tactics of ExxonMobil - Greenpeace.org Report

So little time and there's something else I need to get finished, I'll keep it short.  If you're looking at this you must be on the same page anyways.  Below the fold you'll find information about Exxon's grand deception, and assorted dirty tricks including the "Oregon Petition" aimed at defeating the Kyoto Accord, what was supposed to be society's first baby steps in getting a handle on humanity's Greenhouse Gas crisis.  Well that is until the greed blinded oligarchs stepped in with their various dirty tricks and PR campaigns, take a look.
__________________________________________________________________________ Deny, dupe and delay – the underhand tactics of ExxonMobil
Greenpeace.org Report

http://www.greenpeace.org/brasil/PageFiles/5244/exxonvaldez_deny_ev-1.pdf
also see: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/files/pdfs/migrated/MultimediaFiles/Live/FullReport/4096.pdf

From the Valdez oil spill to the international negotiations on climate change, ExxonMobil has been practising the tactics of deny, dupe and delay.

15 years after the spill that devastated a pristine wilderness area and damaged the lives of many of its inhabitants, ExxonMobil is still dragging the plaintiffs through the courts in an effort to avoid paying out the punitive damages award, first passed by a Federal jury in September 1994.

Punitive damages of $5 billion were awarded to 34,000 fishermen and other Alaskans harmed by the oil spill. It was then the largest punitive damage award in history, equal to one year's worth of ExxonMobil profits at the time.

ExxonMobil’s first appeal to the Supreme Court in 1997 was thrown out, but in 2001, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the $5 billion judgement was excessive and sent the case back to the U.S. District Court in Anchorage. The judge here was ordered to reduce the amount, which he did, to $4billion.

Changing legislation to win