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Obama inc. enforces greenhouse gas emissions, exempts GE!





Voodoocat
Could this administration at least make an attempt not to be so blatant when handing out political favors? EPA started enforcing new greenhouse gas emission regulations this year:

Quote:
Threatened with lawsuits from environmental groups, the Obama administration has agreed to issue another round of greenhouse gas limits for both power plants and refineries -- this time through a provision of the Clean Air Act that allows U.S. EPA to require pollution controls at both new and existing facilities.


http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2010/12/23/1

Quote:
The Environmental Protection Agency this week starts regulating greenhouse gases from power plants and other big polluters for the first time.


http://www.npr.org/2011/01/03/132612887/epa-to-enforce-new-emission-rules-on-power-plants

But wait! Apparently large donations to Obama and Democrats will buy an exemption:

Quote:

According to a declaration by air chief Gina McCarthy, officials reviewed EPA policies and decided it was appropriate to "grandfather" projects such as the Avenal Power Center, a proposed 600-megawatt power plant in the San Joaquin Valley, so they are exempted from rules such as new air quality standards for smog-forming nitrogen dioxide (NO2).


http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/02/obama-issues-global-warming-rules-january-gives-ge-exemption-febr#ixzz1CuoHR6MX

"What large donations?" you ask. Check out this site:
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000125

Is this type of special dispensation that Obama was talking about when he promised us "Change we can believe in?".

I, for one, prefer to do without his change.
deanhills
Now that does sound like corruption to me. What would the reason be to give them an exemption. Why have the legislation in place when not everyone is going to have to follow it?
handfleisch
Usually, right wingers would call this kind of decision "pro-business". Are you anti-big business now, Doocat? I don't think so. Are you advocating stronger enforcement of environmental laws? I doubt it. Does anybody have any proof that this was an example of corruption? No, they don't. Are you really against decisions on behalf of corporations, do you want to ban corporations from donating to campaigns? I don't think so. You're just letting a rag like the Washington Examiner, which is making a fool out of their readers, do your thinking for you.

What's hilarious is that the only places you find this fake news is either right wing sources or "treehugger.com". I doubt you're a treehugger, right?

Understand where I am coming from: I am suspicious of mega-corporations like GE and I think their effect on our society is harmful in many ways. I think they should not even be allowed to donate to politicians and we should take all the money out of campaigns. I support more environmental regulations and less exemptions. But this is a decision to "grandfather" one of GE's projects that is already underway because apparently the project would be disrupted if it had change in the middle to conform with the new environmental regulations. That just sounds like a moderate/conservative decision on behalf of a US business while simultaneously enforcing necessary environmental regulations. What exactly is your problem with that?
jmi256
deanhills wrote:
Now that does sound like corruption to me. What would the reason be to give them an exemption. Why have the legislation in place when not everyone is going to have to follow it?


Good questions, but we saw the same thing play out with Obamacare. Obama and the Democrats create these types of messes that are detrimental to businesses and consumers, but then turn around and offer exemptions to their donors and contributors. It does seem pretty corrupt, but that has come to be expected of Obama and the Democrats. I don’t think it surprises anyone.

The reason Obama’s donors have asked for the exemptions is that they know the legislation will kill jobs and hurt businesses. If not, why are the exemptions needed? But instead of acknowledging that and working on a solution, the Democrats prefer to kickback favors to their donors. I wonder if the left is happy with their “Change.” Some of them are starting to see through Obama and the Democrats and realize how corrupt and hypocritical they are, but many have simply had so much of the kool-aid that they seem unable to think critically about the issues.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Now that does sound like corruption to me. What would the reason be to give them an exemption. Why have the legislation in place when not everyone is going to have to follow it?


Good questions, but we saw the same thing play out with Obamacare. Obama and the Democrats create these types of messes that are detrimental to businesses and consumers, but then turn around and offer exemptions to their donors and contributors. It does seem pretty corrupt, but that has come to be expected of Obama and the Democrats. I don’t think it surprises anyone.

The reason Obama’s donors have asked for the exemptions is that they know the legislation will kill jobs and hurt businesses. If not, why are the exemptions needed? But instead of acknowledging that and working on a solution, the Democrats prefer to kickback favors to their donors. I wonder if the left is happy with their “Change.” Some of them are starting to see through Obama and the Democrats and realize how corrupt and hypocritical they are, but many have simply had so much of the kool-aid that they seem unable to think critically about the issues.

Jmi, my post to VDcat applies to you. Could you answer those logical questions about your stance on this issue?
ocalhoun
Voodoocat wrote:

"What large donations?" you ask. Check out this site:
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000125

Lots of donations to both parties...
An interesting spike in donations to the democrats in '08...
But no donations directly to Obama.
(That said, donations to the democrats in general in '08 might be enough to earn a favor or two.)


Handfleisch, if you'd like a consistent stance on the issue:

(for both sides)
--> Get corporate (and special interest) money out of the government (drastic & fundamental campaign finance reform).
--> Get lobbying out of the government.
--> Lock down the 'revolving doors'.

We've replaced "one man, one vote" with "one dollar, one vote." And it's ruining this country.
It's problem #1 with the government today, because it needs to be solved before any other problems can be successfully addressed.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:

Lots of donations to both parties...
An interesting spike in donations to the democrats in '08...
But no donations directly to Obama.
(That said, donations to the democrats in general in '08 might be enough to earn a favor or two.)


Handfleisch, if you'd like a consistent stance on the issue:

(for both sides)
--> Get corporate (and special interest) money out of the government (drastic & fundamental campaign finance reform).
--> Get lobbying out of the government.
--> Lock down the 'revolving doors'.

We've replaced "one man, one vote" with "one dollar, one vote." And it's ruining this country.
It's problem #1 with the government today, because it needs to be solved before any other problems can be successfully addressed.


I totally agree. Campaign finance reform is the giant gorilla in the room no one will talk about. If the Tea Party were a real protest movement and not a corporate/reactionary front, it would make campaign reform the #1 priority. Money in politics is the reason why progress is so slow when it comes at all. Both parties are beholden to the money. "We the people" via our representatives are not really in charge; "They the Corporations/Mega-Wealthy" are. Some Democrats have tried to have some campaign finance reform but they are usually shot down; remember that all those elected got in with the monied system, so why would they want to give future opponents an advantage by changing the system? Essentially most Dems pretend to not like it, and some actually do try to change it; the Repubs are pretty blatant in representing the corporate interests and wealthy, so they don't do much of anything about it and block any reforms. In the 1970's we had some campaign finance reform but then Reagan reversed them.
jmi256
Huh? Obama paying back donors with huge political favors is somehow everyone but Obama’s fault? Seems to be the typical Lefty sentiment toward Obama: can do no harm, and all the harm he does do is someone else’s fault. It would be funny if his gross mismanagement and epic failures didn’t fall on the backs of taxpayers who are struggling just to stay afloat. His “Stimulus Bill” is a flop, Obamacare is a disaster, etc. But all the while he’s making sure that his donors don’t have to suffer due to his actions like the rest of Americans. Here’s another example of Obama providing a political kickback to his donor. As expected, poor results. Her staff even asked to be reassigned to Iraq and Afghanistan to get away from the mismanagement of Obama’s donor.

Quote:
Big Obama donor quits envoy job amid criticism
WASHINGTON – As a supporter of presidential candidate Barack Obama, Cynthia Stroum was a superstar whose financial backing of the campaign landed her a plum diplomatic posting in Europe.

As America's ambassador to Luxembourg, the wealthy Seattle-based businesswoman was a disaster.

According to an internal State Department report released Thursday, less than a week after she quit, Stroum's management of the U.S. Embassy in the tiny country was abysmal. The report says her tenure of about one year was fraught with personality conflicts, verbal abuse and questionable expenditures on travel, wine and liquor.

Stroum's case illustrates the pitfalls that presidents can face when they appoint non-career diplomats to ambassadorships as a reward for their political support.

The Luxembourg embassy "has underperformed for the entirety of the current ambassador's tenure," said the report, which was prepared last fall before she resigned abruptly. "At present, due to internal problems, it plays no significant role in policy advocacy or reporting, though developments in Luxembourg are certainly of interest to Washington clients and other U.S. missions in the NATO and EU communities."

Stroum resigned effective Jan. 31, just days before the scathing report from the State Department's inspector general was made public. A message left with a person who answered the phone at her Seattle home said she was unavailable for comment. The call was not returned.

In a farewell message published in the Luxembourg press, Stroum said she was leaving the job because she wanted to return to private life. "The reality is that I now need to focus on my family and personal business," she said.

At the State Department, her departure was not announced. Spokesman Mark Toner gave no hint of problems when asked about the situation. "We are grateful for her service to the United States and wish her all the best in her new endeavors," he said.

But the report paints a picture of a corrosive atmosphere at the small embassy, with the ambassador running roughshod over staff, threatening to read their e-mails, largely concerned about job-related perks and involved in improper purchases.

The situation was so bad that the inspector general recommended that the State Department dispatch medical personnel to Luxembourg to test the stress levels of embassy employees. It said at least four staffers quit or sought transfers to Iraq and Afghanistan during her tenure, unusual steps for diplomats assigned to a modern, Western European capital.

"The bulk of the mission's internal problems are linked to her leadership deficiencies, the most damaging of which is an abusive management style," the report said. "She has followed a pattern of public criticism of colleagues, including (deputies), who have not performed to her satisfaction."

"Those who have questioned or challenged some of the ambassador's actions state that they have paid a heavy price in the form of verbal abuse and been threatened with dismissal," it said.

The report said the State Department was aware of the situation and that a perceived lack of action in dealing with it could be harmful. "It is unfortunate that an impression is being created among officers and local employees at this mission that this kind of behavior may be routinely tolerated by Department of State leadership, particularly for non-career ambassadors."

Stroum began her short diplomatic career in 2009 when Obama nominated her to the cushy position of U.S. ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a tiny nation of 500,000 people about the size of Rhode Island and surrounded by France, Belgium and Germany.

Aside from her business experience as an investor, entertainment producer and philanthropist active in numerous charities, Stroum's major qualification for the post appeared to be her generous contributions to Democratic politicians and causes, particularly Obama's campaign.

Financial reports say Stroum donated the maximum personal amount to Obama's campaign. She also donated $2,300 to the failed presidential campaign of former Sen. John Edwards.

As a fundraiser, the records show she was responsible for ginning up at least $500,000 for Obama, putting her near the top of the campaign's money generators.

The inspector general said it had learned in interviews with embassy staffers that Stroum, shortly after her arrival in Luxembourg, discussed with them "the importance she attaches to the perquisites of" being an ambassador. As such, she was particularly concerned about the state of the ambassador's residence, which was being renovated, it said.

Because of the renovation, Stroum sought temporary housing. An embassy official spent six weeks searching for an appropriate property and, using contacts in Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and France along with two officials from the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, screened 200 properties and visited 30 to 40.

They found only four that met the ambassador's requirements and she rejected all of them, according to the report, before an acceptable residence finally was found.

Apart from those difficulties and management problems, the report identified several improprieties while Stroum was in charge in Luxembourg. Among them:

• Stroum spent $2,400 to fly with an aide to a Swiss "professional school" whose graduates have gone on to work for Buckingham Palace and similar places to interview candidates to replace a retired property caretaker and a fired chef. The purpose of the trip was listed as "management meetings." Although no one from the school was hired, such recruitment is allowed only if there are no qualified local employees. In addition, they did not get proper authorization for the trip.

• The embassy purchased $3,400 in wine and liquor a day before the 2010 budget year ended in an effort spend as much of its annual entertainment funds as possible. The booze did not arrive until the next fiscal year and State Department rules say embassies are not allowed "to use excess year-end funds" to buy items unless they are used in that year.

• Stroum was reimbursed for the purchase of a new bed because she "preferred a queen bed to the king-size bed already provided." The embassy twice asked Washington to reimburse the amount but was denied because it was a personal choice. Despite the refusals, the No. 2 at the embassy signed off on a voucher "reimbursing the ambassador for the cost of the mattress out of program funds." The report said the voucher needs to be repaid.

Source = http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110204/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_donor_ambassador
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
But this is a decision to "grandfather" one of GE's projects that is already underway because apparently the project would be disrupted if it had change in the middle to conform with the new environmental regulations. That just sounds like a moderate/conservative decision on behalf of a US business while simultaneously enforcing necessary environmental regulations. What exactly is your problem with that?
For once I agree with you Handfleisch. I read up on the "grandfather" bit afterwards, and it may not be as ominous as it sounds. GE has its fingers in so many businesses, I doubt it has anything directly to do with GE. I can imagine that there may be other such businesses that may be exempted as well.
mugundhan
Usually, right wingers would call this kind of decision "pro-business". Are you anti-big business now, Doocat? I don't think so. Are you advocating stronger enforcement of environmental laws? I doubt it. Does anybody have any proof that this was an example of corruption? No, they don't. Are you really against decisions on behalf of corporations, do you want to ban corporations from donating to campaigns? I don't think so. You're just letting a rag like the Washington Examiner, which is making a fool out of their readers, do your thinking for you.

What's hilarious is that the only places you find this fake news is either right wing sources or "treehugger.com". I doubt you're a treehugger, right?

Understand where I am coming from: I am suspicious of mega-corporations like GE and I think their effect on our society is harmful in many ways. I think they should not even be allowed to donate to politicians and we should take all the money out of campaigns. I support more environmental regulations and less exemptions. But this is a decision to "grandfather" one of GE's projects that is already underway because apparently the project would be disrupted if it had change in the middle to conform with the new environmental regulations. That just sounds like a moderate/conservative decision on behalf of a US business while simultaneously enforcing necessary environmental regulations. What exactly is your problem with that?


rerally good to the earth
deanhills
mugundhan wrote:
Understand where I am coming from: I am suspicious of mega-corporations like GE and I think their effect on our society is harmful in many ways. I think they should not even be allowed to donate to politicians and we should take all the money out of campaigns. I support more environmental regulations and less exemptions. But this is a decision to "grandfather" one of GE's projects that is already underway because apparently the project would be disrupted if it had change in the middle to conform with the new environmental regulations. That just sounds like a moderate/conservative decision on behalf of a US business while simultaneously enforcing necessary environmental regulations. What exactly is your problem with that?
I like what you are saying mugundhan. I'm suspicious of mega-corporations too. Especially when it is difficult for their customers to reach anyone in management positions. That is usually the test for me of an organization that has grown too big to serve its customers. Most of the Banks are in that category. And the phone companies.
Voodoocat
Quote:
Are you anti-big business now, Doocat?


Absolutely not! I just find is rather ironic that an administration that has pilloried big business hands out exemptions to big business. Greenhouse exemptions are only one example. How about the health care exemptions? Forty percent of healthcare exemptions have gone to unions. Who has overwhelming supported Obama? Unions. Talk about buying votes!

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/01/unions-make-40-percent-employees-exempted-obamacare

Not only did the Obama administration give GE a greenhouse exemption, but Obama named GE's CEO to head his outside panel of economic advisors Shocked

Hmmm, the leader of Obama's outside economic advisors gets a waiver for his power plant from the very administration that hired him for economic advise!!!!! Can anyone say "conflict of interest?".

Now that's change I can NOT believe in Sad
handfleisch
Voodoocat wrote:
Quote:
Are you anti-big business now, Doocat?


Absolutely not! I just find is rather ironic that an administration that has pilloried big business hands out exemptions to big business. Greenhouse exemptions are only one example. How about the health care exemptions? Forty percent of healthcare exemptions have gone to unions. Who has overwhelming supported Obama? Unions. Talk about buying votes!

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/01/unions-make-40-percent-employees-exempted-obamacare

Not only did the Obama administration give GE a greenhouse exemption, but Obama named GE's CEO to head his outside panel of economic advisors :shock:

Hmmm, the leader of Obama's outside economic advisors gets a waiver for his power plant from the very administration that hired him for economic advise!!!!! Can anyone say "conflict of interest?".

Now that's change I can NOT believe in :(


Vood, you're falling into that same trap over and over again. Rags like the Wash.Exam are just going to fool you into saying and thinking stupid things. Don't let them!

One second the President "has pilloried big business", next second he's beholden to big business (Goldman Sach people in its ranks). Ever wonder how it can be both at the same time? Don't believe the lies, Vood. Read my post again -- this was a moderate, conservative decision on a case-by-case basis to exempt some business from the new environmental laws and/or health care law while implementing the new laws generally.

Again, what specifically is your problem with that? Try answering for yourself for once, not with what some propaganda tells you.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

One second the President "has pilloried big business", next second he's beholden to big business (Goldman Sach people in its ranks). Ever wonder how it can be both at the same time?

It's called lying and hypocrisy.
Saying one thing, and doing something different.

If you care to do any investigating at all, you'll find that it is extremely common with politicians.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

One second the President "has pilloried big business", next second he's beholden to big business (Goldman Sach people in its ranks). Ever wonder how it can be both at the same time?

It's called lying and hypocrisy.
Saying one thing, and doing something different.

If you care to do any investigating at all, you'll find that it is extremely common with politicians.


Oh, gee, really? Politicians lie? Damn, how startlingly perceptive. By the way, italics might make you feel smart but they don't make you actually smart.

Concerning the specifics of this discussion -- are you referring to the Obama administration or its critics? Because the president's record has been generally middle-of-the-road and pro-business in words and action. So I suppose you mean that Obama's critics have been lying hypocrites, by taking advantage of his pro-business policies while criticizing him as anti-business. Or saying they are against the Stimulus Package and then going back to their districts and boasting about the Stimulus money they have for constituents. Or being against Health Care Reform (that they supported when Romney proposed it) while fighting to preserve their own tax-sponsored health care insurance. In that case you're right, the president's critics have been lying hypocrites.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
So I suppose you mean that Obama's critics have been lying hypocrites, by taking advantage of his pro-business policies while criticizing him as anti-business.
So do you see the bailing out of the big bank corporations to the tune of billions into the trillions as middle-of-the-road? And caring for ALL business? It would be interesting to learn what the criteria had been for deciding which BIG bank corporations to bail out, and more importantly, which NOT. And why there was no follow through to ensure that those big bank corporations that had been bailed out continue to keep small businesses alive with loans. After all, weren't those billions invested in the big bank corporations to bail out the economy?
handfleisch wrote:
In that case you're right, the president's critics have been lying hypocrites.
I won't use the strong language that you do with regard to hypocrites, but the President has not been as transparent in his business dealings as he had promised to be during his election campaign.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

Oh, gee, really? Politicians lie? Damn, how startlingly perceptive. By the way, italics might make you feel smart but they don't make you actually smart.

The italics are not there to make me feel smart, what gave you that idea?
The italics are there to convey emphasis.
Quote:

Concerning the specifics of this discussion -- are you referring to the Obama administration or its critics?

Both.
The most depressing thing about politics is how some people convince themselves that their party is the only one that does not lie.
Quote:
Because the president's record has been generally middle-of-the-road and pro-business in words and action. So I suppose you mean that Obama's critics have been lying hypocrites, by taking advantage of his pro-business policies while criticizing him as anti-business. Or saying they are against the Stimulus Package and then going back to their districts and boasting about the Stimulus money they have for constituents. Or being against Health Care Reform (that they supported when Romney proposed it) while fighting to preserve their own tax-sponsored health care insurance. In that case you're right, the president's critics have been lying hypocrites.

Yep, we've established that one side is full of lying hypocrites.
Now, let's look at the other side.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Yep, we've established that one side is full of lying hypocrites.
Now, let's look at the other side.
I guess that can only truly happen when the one side that seems to be identifying its not so good scenarios by continuously pointing to the the alleged lying hypocrites of the other side of the previous presidency, can let go of the past. If they can do that, maybe they would be able to get a much clearer picture of the other side?

ocalhoun wrote:
The italics are not there to make me feel smart, what gave you that idea?
The italics are there to convey emphasis.
By way of an added explanation, italics are a more subtle and reserved way of conveying emphases than large and bolded fonts. Italics are also less hurtful to the eye.
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