Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"The Ties That Bind..."

You know, for an Administration that campaigned on "Transparency," there sure seems to be a whole lot of opaqueness when it comes to Obama and those who pushed him to prominence.

Take, for example, Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. He has some mighty interesting Connections, as this article highlights, The Ties That Bind. Remember Rahm Emanuel's Rent-Free D.C. Apartment? The owner: A BP Adviser. Oh, oops - this could get a bit messy:
In case you were tempted to buy the faux Washington outrage at BP and its gulf oil spill in recent days, here's a story that reveals a little-known corporate political connection and the quiet way the inner political circles intersect, protect and care for one another in the nation's capital. And Chicago.

We already knew that BP and its folks were significant contributors to the record $750-million war chest of Barack Obama's 2007-08 campaign.

Now, we learn the details of a connection of Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayoral wannabe, current Obama chief of staff, ex-representative, ex-Clinton money man and ex-Windy City political machine go-fer.

Though plenty of Obama supporters want to gloss over that little connection with BP and the flow of money, it doesn't mean the rest of us aren't still living in the Reality-based community.

(Photo from Left Coast Liberal)

Back to Rahm, seen above with buddy, Blago:
Shortly after Obama's happy inaugural, eyebrows rose slightly upon word that, as a House member, Emanuel had lived the last five years rent-free in a D.C. apartment of Democratic colleague Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and her husband, Stanley Greenberg.

For an ordinary American, that would likely raise some obvious tax liability questions. But like Emanuel, the guy overseeing the Internal Revenue Service now is another Obama insider, Tim Geithner, who had his own outstanding tax problems but skated through confirmation anyway by the Democratic-controlled Congress.

Remember this was all before the letters BP stood for Huge Mess. Even before the Obama administration gave BP a safety award.

Now follow these standard Washington links if you can:

Greenberg's consulting firm was a prime architect of BP's recent rebranding drive as a green petroleum company, down to green signs and the slogan "Beyond Petroleum."

Greenberg's company is also closely tied to a sister Democratic outfit -- GCS, named for the last initials of Greenberg, James Carville, another Clinton advisor, and Bob Shrum, John Kerry's 2004 campaign manager.

According to published reports, GCS received hundreds of thousands of dollars in political polling contracts in recent years from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Probably just a crazy coincidence. But you'll never guess who was the chairman of that Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dispensing those huge polling contracts to his kindly rent-free landlord.

Surely, just a CRAZY coincidence.

Hmm - you don't suppose this is why the Obama Administration gave BP a Safety Award for the very oil rig platform that blew up, do you? Or why they failed to perform the monthly safety inspections required by the Minerals Management Service policy?

Or that the plans for the drill rig were not subjected to environmental review (thanks, Ken Salazar)? What makes that one particularly mind boggling are the claims by the Federal Government that LA cannot get emergency permits to build barriers to protect their shores because the Feds don't know what the environmental impact of the barriers would be yet. Um, here's a hint - when you see dolphins washing up covered in oil, or pelicans unable to take off because they are coated in oil, there is ALREADY an environmental impact. Jeezum crow. (After a month - a full month of LA's drive for sand berms - BP is making its first payment of $60 million to put up these sandbag barriers. One can only guess what a difference it could have made had the Feds not dragged their feet on this.)

Or why BP was a finalist for the Pollution Prevention Award? Well, the latter at least sounds like Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for something he MIGHT accomplish someday.

You just can't make this stuff up, people. Well, you could, but no one would believe it. Yes, each and every one of those is true.

Now, I'm not saying that Rahm's being in bed with a BP oil adviser, or at least living in his apartment for free, is definitively why BP has gotten all of these breaks, exemptions, and lack of oversight. What do you say?


Mary Ellen said...

I believe it wasn't "just" Rham who was the reason for the breaks that BP got from this administration. Rham was the connection, however. I have no doubt that Rham was given his job in this administration because he brought all that money from BP to Obama's war chest during the election. Rham is doing exactly the same thing he did when he worked for the Daley machine in Chicago....he brought in the favors (money) and that gave him power.

Obama cares about one thing...power, and he doesn't care who gets hurt in the interim. He gets to have the title, the parties and travel which are paid for by American taxpayers, the adoration, the cheering crowds and that's all that matters to him. Other than himself, he could give a rats ass about this county. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case for most of our politicians. It's no longer about the will of the people, it's about how much power and money they can gain for themselves.

My husband used to work for Amoco and was there when BP bought them out. He said many times when he worked there that BP had the worst safety record compared to all the other oil companies combined. He left shortly after BP took over because they no longer cared about research and development, they only wanted somebody to pull them out of their messes when they screwed up.

In the research building next to my husband's, there was a sudden cluster of brain cancer that was deadly. I can't remember how many people died, but they finally shut the building down. To this day they claim that they have no idea what caused the sudden rash of deadly brain cancer and they are finally tearing the building down...this is after many years of the situation. I will bet that they know darned well what caused it but will never admit it....something is buried in that story...the truth. I couldn't have been happier than when my husband finally left that place and worked for another company. I never felt he was safe working for them.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, ME -

I agree - I don't think it is just Rahm, either, but the connections between the two are too numerous to just be coincidence. I am not one bit surprised that Obama picked him for his Chief of Staff. I imagine Rahm was doing a whole lot to get Obama on the ticket in the first place - that whole Chicago machine thing. (I admit - a bit of shorthand there, but I know you can fill in from a to z without even trying.)

You are spot on - Obama cares abt no one else but himself. He thinks he is royalty, and should be treated as such. He has no qualms spending our hard earned tax dollars to pay for his parties, while people lose their houses and jobs. He is such a Narcissist. How anyone was ever taken in by him is beyond me.

An old friend of mine used to work for Amoco until they were bought out by BP, too. He was a chemist for Amoco, had worked there for YEARS, and really enjoyed his work. He didn't stay there long after, either.

That is HORRIFYING abt that building, Mary Ellen. Thank heavens your husband didn't work there, but my heart goes out to all those who did, and paid the price for it. Shocking tale, for sure, and I wonder why it hasn't been in the press. (I know, I know, what am I thinking?) No doubt, they are burying the truth in the rubble.

You know, there is a massive difference between people choosing dangerous jobs, like on "The Deadliest Catch," and people thinking they are working in safety. Wow. Mind blowing story, ME.

SFIndie said...

I think Rahm is just one piece of the whole lousy puzzle, with money and power as the "ties that bind".

When Obama decides whose ass to kick first - in between parties and vacations and award ceremonies - he won't have far to reach. His own first, Rahm's second.

I can't even watch the pictures of those poor dolphins and pelicans and turtles and all the other ocean life covered in oil, slowly suffocating. And who knows what's happening deep beneath the surface. I'd like to toss Obama, Emanuel, all their cronies, and all of BP in the midst of that oil and see how they manage.

I was watching Hannity last night (yeah, I know, Hannity) and he had on 3 people who had tried to get BP to listen to them about capping the leak and cleaning up the oil. These people's plans were amazing! One was a 21-year-old genius, she was a professor of nanotechnology, and had come up with a brilliant way to cap the leak. Another guy has been in the oil industry for years and had successfully stopped huge leaks from oil rigs in Iran (or Iraq, can't remember). The third you've probably heard of or seen, there's a YouTube video. He shows how using hay can remove the oil from the water almost instantly! He also had some kind of pad that did the same thing. Just amazing, all three of them. And turns out they couldn't get anyone to pay attention to them. So, who again are these "experts" that Obama is meeting with?

I'm beyond horrified. I'm heartbroken. The lives and livelihoods ruined. The death toll on ocean life. The destruction of the ecosystem. And we have a pathetic little man in the White House who pretends to "go off" because that's what Spike Lee told him to do. If I hear one more person describe Obama as being calm, cool, collected, never angry or petulant, always in control.... I'll jump in the freakin' oil myself. He's not calm, cool, and collected. He's detached, disconnected, and completely lacking in empathy.

I don't know how we got here, but I can only hope that come November the Dems lose control of the House and Senate.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

SF, I completely understand - I am heartbroken, too. It is so disturbing, especially since there are people coming up with good ideas to deal with this spill. I was surprised it took them so long to start using the hair mats to soak up the oil. Hell, even I knew abt them, and I am not a scientist, or in the oil biz, just a concerned citizen.

For the Gov. to not pay attention to people who have workable solutions is just criminal. Criminal.

Last night, AB Stoddard talked abt how we never see Obama get angry - I like her, and she is generally very reasoned, but even she continues to perpetuate this ridiculous meme of "Obama, the even keeled one." It is absurd. We have SEEN him get angry, but it isn't abt stuff like this - it's abt anything that intrudes on what HE wants to do (eat my waffle! Not take questions!). Pathetic. Just pathetic.

Yep - the whole pack of 'em have some 'splaining to do...