Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cap & trade or cap & tax? Lobbyists behind scare tactics?

While most Americans support a cap on carbon pollution there’s now a flood of “talking points” and sound-bites circulating about the supposed short-comings and dangers of any new plan. The real threat of cap-and-trade is that it doesn’t favor the ultra-rich energy barons and corporations such as ExxonMobil. Changing to new and cleaner energy sources changes where the money goes - more of it stays in the U.S., in smaller, newer companies; it creates jobs that we desperately need to recover from the fiasco of letting the financial giants “self-regulate.”

Meanwhile, without incentives to change, we'll continue our reckless dependence on energy coming from overseas, from countries that seem to want to dominate us. Even if you ignore environmental impacts, our national security and our leadership role in the world depend on changing to more reliable energy supplies - the system of campaign donations controlling congressional decisions has to change.
It looks like green jobs are real. Recently, two solar energy companies — Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. and Wacker Chemie AG — announced billion-dollar investment plans to build plants near Clarksville and Chattanooga.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN)

Follow the money:
don't let D.C. insiders off the hook!

In fact, a cap and trade system simply uses pure capitalism to reward efficient, innovative businesses while it effectively penalizes out-moded industries. Used world-wide it plays to American strengths, conveying tremendous economic advantage to industries and countries ready to innovate, and results in domestic job growth. Only somebody making lots of money off the existing rules could possibly deny the benefits of a global cap and trade system.

Many members of Congress benefit from huge campaign donations from energy companies. They’d be happy if we’d all stop paying such close attention to how energy policy intertwines with national security. They smile and want you to “trust” them. No matter if the business is banking or big oil, well-funded special interests don’t want to give up the loopholes they’ve lobbied for over the years.

Sound-bites and talking points don't insure anything but the status quo.

Obama hasn't fixed the lobbying system yet. Urge the President to push for reform of lobbying tactics. Don't let the fact that he's got high personal standards and goals to reform ethics inside the beltway blind you to what still happens in and around the Capitol building (and at the golf course...) Trusting is fine, my friends, but don't forget to verify.

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Susan Boyle v. Shaheen Jafargholi With Simon Cowell's Help


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Susan Boyle, who wowed the World with her performance on Britains' Got Talent over a week ago, is now the target of some news outlets who want to diminish her fame to make room for someone else.

In this case, the media outlet CNN is doing the work of advancing the name of Shaheen Jafargholi, a 12-year-old "Welsh boy" as he's described by CNN.com. I checked his performance on YouTube and this video sums up what I saw:

YouTube, MySpace, Metacafe, Blip.tv, Sclipo and Howcast

Now, unlike Susan Boyle, Simon Cowell, one of the judges on Britain's Got Talent (and who recently announced he may leave American Idol) seemed prejudiced toward Jafargholi (photo below), even to the point of ordering a change to a song that better fits his voice.

Jafargholi starts by singing "Valerie" (which has been performed by Amy Winehouse), but then Cowell stops the effort saying "You've got this really wrong," and so Jafargholi sings "Who's Loving You", written by Smokey Robinson and peformed by Michael Jackson when he was but a kid with the Jackson Five!

I have a massive problem with that action by Cowell because it creates an uneven playing field for Susan Boyle. No one helped Ms. Boyle at all - not that she needed it -- so why help someone else?

Am I the only one who has a problem with this?

I feel sorry for Susan Boyle because, look, talented Shaheen is but he's 12 and has a life ahead of him. Susan Boyle is 48, extremely talented, and just getting noticed when it should have happened 10 years ago.

I can't help but wonder if all of this was staged. It seems too perfect an arrangement and logical in it's development.

It makes sense that Cowell would be the one to engineer a great outcome (if he did) for a young teen with talent, and why Cowell would make a scoffing expression toward Boyle -- the kid is "cute" and marketable; Boyle is far outside the "box" Cowell's used to and thus threatening to the standard rules of the entertainment game.

Get over it Simon, Boyle's better.