Tag Archives: gas prices

RFK Jr.’s Weekly News

Here’s this week’s “Unearthed” news report from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Brendan DeMelle (courtesy Huffington Post):

“UNEARTHED”

NEWS OF THE WEEK THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA FORGOT TO REPORT

Home Foreclosures Could Affect Voting Rolls

The mortgage foreclosure crisis may pose a problem in the November election as voters still registered at their former addresses could lose the opportunity to vote or be forced to cast provisional ballots which might not get counted. The problem could impact election results in battleground states, particularly Ohio, where several cities were hit hard by foreclosures and Republican operatives jump on any opportunity to challenge voter eligibility in heavily Democratic urban areas. In 2004, the Ohio Republican Party challenged the registration of more than 31,000 Democratic voters statewide after letters it mailed out in a targeted disenfranchisement effort came back as undeliverable. Ohio’s requirement that voters show ID at the polls along with a new state law requiring counties to mail their own notices to all registered voters set the stage for another round of pre-election challenges by Ohio Republicans. Other battleground states where foreclosures could impact voter eligibility include Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Colorado, New Jersey and Georgia.

 
Pentagon Seeks to Transport Deadly Chemical Weapons On U.S. Highways

A proposed Pentagon plan to ship deadly chemical weapons to military sites in four states in order to accelerate their destruction would expose neighboring communities to potentially catastrophic risks. In order to meet a Congressional deadline requiring the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile by 2017, the Pentagon wants to ship munitions to military destruction sites in Utah, Oregon, Alabama and Arkansas. The weapons shipments, which would include lethal nerve agents and mustard gas, could travel up to 1,200 miles on U.S. highways in some instances if the plan is approved. Lawmakers from the affected states object to the plan, citing the potential risk of terrorist attack and traffic accidents among other concerns. Congress would have to repeal laws forbidding the transport of the weapons in order for the proposal to proceed. The Pentagon previously confirmed that it would miss the 2012 deadline agreed upon at the 1993 international Chemical Weapons Convention.

 
Georgia Judge Blocks Coal Plant Due to Global Warming Concerns

In an unprecedented ruling, a Georgia Superior Court judge stopped the construction of a coal-fired power plant due to the enormous emissions of carbon dioxide the plant would generate without a system to capture the global warming pollution. Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore relied on the pivotal April 2007 Supreme Court decision confirming that carbon dioxide – the main driver of global warming – is a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Judge Moore ruled that “[t]here is no dispute that the proposed power plant would be a ‘major emitting facility’ as defined by the [Clean Air] Act,” which therefore mandates that the plant incorporate the “best available control technology” to limit CO2 emissions. “There was no effort to identify, evaluate or apply available technologies that would control CO2 emissions and the permit contains no CO2 emission limits,” Moore wrote in her June 30 ruling, overturning a lower court’s decision to issue an air-pollution permit to Dynegy’s Longleaf power plant near Columbus, Georgia. The Sierra Club and Friends of the Chattahoochee brought the suit against Dynegy, arguing that the proposed plant would emit 9 million tons of CO2 annually – the equivalent of emissions from 1.3 million cars – far more than a typical coal-fired plant which emits an average of 3.7 million tons annually, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Dynegy plans to appeal the ruling.

 
Japan Automakers Control 34.7 Percent of U.S. Market, Detroit Falters

Consumer demand for more fuel-efficient cars and hybrids due to record high gas prices is causing a predictable problem for Detroit’s Big Three automakers. The market share of GM, Ford and Chrysler dropped to 45.8 percent of the total U.S. market as consumers continue to shun Detroit’s bloated selection of gas-guzzlers and the companies scramble to overhaul their selections to finally focus on efficiency. Conversely, Japanese automakers are struggling with U.S. inventory shortages of popular fuel-sipping models like the Toyota Prius and hybrid Camry. The three major Japanese automakers increased their U.S. market share to 34.7 percent, led by Honda which overtook Chrysler to gain third place in U.S. market sales. A J.D. Power survey found that 72 percent of Americans are interested in buying a hybrid. While Detroit’s gas-guzzling SUVs sit on dealer lots, Toyota reports that customers face a six-month waiting list in some areas for the popular Prius and similar shortages of other efficient models.

 
Justice Department Seeks to Use Racial Profiling Rather Than Evidence to Launch Terror Probes

The Justice Department proposes to let the FBI use racial profiling rather than hard evidence to launch investigations into U.S. citizens suspected of terrorist activities. The plan would enable FBI agents to investigate Americans based on a review of public records including racial and ethnic background, military training and travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity, regardless of whether any hard evidence on targeted individuals exists. The plan would shatter America’s long-standing legal doctrine of the presumption of innocence, and enable the FBI to operate “by assuming that everyone’s a suspect, and then you weed out the innocent,” said Caroline Fredrickson of the American Civil Liberties Union. The changes – which do not require congressional approval – would allow FBI agents to ask Arab- and Muslim-Americans open-ended questions about their activities or investigate them if their work or travel backgrounds match trends that analysts deem suspect.

President Bush has condemned racial profiling as “wrong in America” and openly criticized an airline in 2001 for refusing to let an Arab-American Secret Service agent board a commercial flight, stating “If he was treated that way because of his ethnicity, that will make me madder than heck.”

 
Serious Methodological Flaw Discovered in Wildlife Extinction Rates – Likely 100 Times Faster

Methods used to predict wildlife extinction rates dramatically underestimate the bleak outlook for endangered species, which may become extinct 100 times faster than previously thought, according to a study in the journal Nature. Scientists say the error means the threat to global biodiversity is much more serious than previously believed. Current methods used to predict when wildlife species will die out dramatically underestimate the speed at which extinctions could come by failing to account for the proportion of males to females in a wild population, and failing to account for the variation of reproductive success between individuals in the wild.

“The older models could be severely overestimating the time to extinction. Some species could go extinct 100 times sooner than we expect,” one author of the study said. An estimated 16,000 species worldwide currently face extinction, a figure sure to rise when conservation groups account for these methodological flaws in upcoming analyses.

 
Greenpeace Activists Held By Japanese Without Bail For Exposing Illegal Whale Meat Transfers

Two Japanese Greenpeace activists face theft and trespass charges for exposing corruption in the Japanese whaling fleet, and will likely be held without bail until their trial. The two activists tracked a package sent by crewmembers of the Nisshin Maru whaling “research” ship that was marked “cardboard” and shipped to a private address. Greenpeace intercepted the package – one of dozens of similar packages offloaded from the ship – and found it actually contained thousands of dollars worth of prime whale meat cuts. While Japan claims its annual Southern Ocean whaling expeditions are conducted strictly for research purposes, Greenpeace claims much of the meat is embezzled by the ship’s crew and finds its way onto Japan’s black market. The group turned the intercepted package over to Tokyo authorities as evidence and provided additional documentation from Greenpeace’s four-month investigation into corruption in the Japanese whaling industry. Instead of investigating the crew or bureaucrats in charge of the program, Tokyo police raided Greenpeace Japan’s office, seizing computers, documents and cell phones, and arrested the two activists. The pair were held for three weeks without charge before learning they are accused of theft and trespass, and face likely convictions under Japan’s strict laws.

 
EPA Whistleblower Reveals Cheney Deleted Half of CDC Testimony on Global Warming Health Impacts

A former EPA administrative staffer claims the Vice President’s office ordered the deletion of every mention of the health impacts of global warming from draft testimony on climate change by the director of the Centers for Disease Control. Former EPA associate deputy administrator Jason Burnett – who resigned last month citing the Bush administration’s inadequate response to global warming – told the Environment and Public Works Committee that Cheney’s office and the White House Council on Environmental Quality instructed him to “work with CDC to remove from the testimony any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change.” The cuts amounted to six pages out of the 14 pages submitted by the CDC director for White House review, and included a table of the likely public health impacts of global warming.

 
U.S. Exports to Iran Grew Tenfold Under Bush Administration


U.S. exports to Iran increased tenfold under President Bush, who labeled the country part of an “Axis of Evil” yet oversaw the escalated trading of weapons and consumer products worth $546 million to Iran since 2001. The U.S. exported at least $148,000 in weapons and military gear to Iran during Bush’s time in office, including rifles and aircraft carrier accessories. An Associated Press review found that the Bush Treasury Department denied only 178 out of at least 4,523 license applications by companies seeking to export goods to Iran during Bush’s presidency. Cigarettes accounted for $158 million of the exports to Iran, more than any other product. Senator John McCain responded to the news of rising U.S. cigarette exports to Iran by joking crudely, “maybe that’s a way of killing ‘em.”

 
Guantanamo Interrogations Based on Faulty Chinese Communist Techniques
Military trainers at Guantanamo taught interrogation techniques for possible use on detainees based on a document copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of methods used by Chinese Communist interrogators on American prisoners during the Korean War. Despite the original study’s conclusion that many of the confessions obtained through use of the “coercive management techniques” were false, the Pentagon based its training on Communist methods that the United States long labeled as torture. The title of the original study from which the interrogation methods used in the recent past by the CIA and the military was “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War.” President Bush repeatedly argued that the use of the communist techniques by military and CIA interrogators helped provide critical intelligence and prevented new terrorist attacks.

 

Send tips about other stories the mainstream media forgot to report: unearthednews@gmail.com

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Kennedy Offers Solutions to Oil Crisis on “Larry King Live”

KENNEDY OFFERS SOLUTIONS TO OIL CRISIS ON “LARRY KING LIVE”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live last night to weigh in on the nation’s oil crisis. (Note to CNN producers: booking RFK Jr. on the same show with John Stossel and Chevron’s David O’Reilly was a stroke of genius!).

It was a downright combustible debate. Kennedy certainly held his own and seemed to be the only panelist offering any real common sense solutions to the only question on the minds of many Americans this summer: how the hell do we get these gas prices down NOW?

If you missed the broadcast, here’s a partial transcript. (Full transcript is available here)

RFK JR. TO LARRY KING: “OUR CONGRESS IS BRAIN DEAD”

CNN “Larry King Live” Transcript

Aired June 30, 2008 – 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, crisis. Gas today reaches historic highs. Out of control prices have a death grip on millions, putting the squeeze on consumers, threatening the American way of life, forcing decisions no one should have to make. Eating or filling the tank? We’ll take tough questions to the head of an oil super giant and demand answers as struggle and sacrifice consume the country. Pain and panic at the pump, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. The national average for a gallon of gas is $4.09, with consumers in 33 states paying that or more. Gas prices have risen almost 3 percent in the last month, almost 38 percent higher than a year ago. Oil prices passed a record $143 a barrel for a time today. We’ll go live to gas stations all across the country tonight.

…Joining us now, David O’Reilly, chairman and CEO of Chevron. He’s here in Los Angeles. And in New York, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., senior attorney, National Resource Defense Counsel.

Robert, what do you make overall of what David O’Reilly has stated so far?

ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR. ATTORNEY: Well if the solution to this issue which he suggested is really on the demand side. It’s not about drilling offshore, which even the president has said the White House energy advisory administration has said that’s not even going to touch our problems. We won’t get the first oil from offshore until 2020 and we’ll have an insignificant impact on prices in this country. We don’t even know whether it’s going to be sold in this country.

First of all, even if we drilled every bit of oil on all of our public lands in Alaska, it’s less than 3 percent of proven global reserves. We’re using less than 25 percent of proven oil reserves in our country in our oil. So we can’t drill our way out of the problem.

The issue is a demand issue. We need to change demand and we do that by changing to other sources of to wind, to solar, to geothermal, to tidal and conservation.

The fastest way for us to solve our energy problems in this country is immediate conservation. If we improve fuel economy standards in our automobiles by one mile per gallon, we generate twice the oil that’s in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. If we raise fuel economy standards by 7.6 miles per gallon, we can yield more oil than we are currently importing from the Persian Gulf. We are borrowing.

KING: Hold it right there, Robert. David?

O’REILLY: Well, I agree, that first of all efficiency is the very first thing we ought to be working on. And there are new cafe standards in place that will obligate the automobile manufacturers to be more efficient and in fact you can see a shift already towards more efficient cars.

KING: Is he right?

O’REILLY: Well I disagree on the point of oil exploration. We’ve gone from 9 million barrels a day of production in this country to 5 million over the last 20 years. We are more and more dependent on that imported oil. We are going to have to use some oil in our transportation system during the next 20 or 30 years while some of this transition is taking place. It would be much better for us to develop it here at home rather than be dependant on imports that are coming extremely strained because of the demand in the rest of the world.

KING: Robert?

KENNEDY: Well, let me say this. I’m involved with a company called Better Place, which made a proposal a couple years ago to Israel to get Israel completely off of gasoline cars within three years. And Israel is going to do that. Within three years, they will be off of gasoline automobiles.

We can do that in this country, too, using shifting to electricity and electricity gives us a lot more versatility, it allows us to harness wind. We have — the Midwest this is the Saudi Arabia of wind. We have enough harnessable wind energy in North Dakota, Kansas and Texas combined to supply all the electrical needs of our country, even if every American were driving an electric car.

We have the “Scientific American” just published a report that shows in 19 percent of the most barren desert lands in the desert southwest, we have enough solar energy to provide all the electrical needs of our country. KING: David?

KENNEDY: What we need now is a national policy that say, OK, let’s go out and get those electrons and get them into the marketplace, let’s have a premarket economy.

KING: Wouldn’t that put you out of business, David?

O’REILLY: It won’t. I’m confident it won’t. But I encourage all these alternatives.

I think there’s room for all of them. I’m very concerned because the reality is today that these alternatives are a very small percentage. And just like it takes a long time to drill an offshore well, it takes a long time to find and develop and put in the sort of equipment that Mr. Kennedy is talking about.

What bothers me about this is everyone portrays it as an either/or debate. It’s not and either/or debate. It’s an and. We need alternative and we need efficiency and we need conventional oil and gas.

KING: We’ve got a call from Eureka, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi Larry, thanks for taking my call. And for Bobby Jr., I think your uncle, JFK was a good president and your father was a good guy. My question is to the oil guy. How much money does his oil company make off these ridiculous gas prices and I also blame the Congress for not doing anything.

KING: What does Chevron make?

O’REILLY: Well as I mentioned earlier in the first quarter, we made $5 billion, which is 7 percent of sales and exactly the median for all of the industry.

KING: Twenty years ago, 7 percent?

O’REILLY: Yes, about 7 percent of sales.

KING: So the percentage doesn’t change?

O’REILLY: The percentage has been about the same. You’ve got to keep in mind that as the revenues are going up, the costs are also going up. So it’s not as if this is all going to the bottom line.

KING: Do you agree, Bobby, that is there some misconceptions over this? That a lot of this perception is wrong, that what seems like billions is really not billions?

KENNEDY: Well I really think that they talk windfall profit tax, whether it’s good thing or it’s a bad thing, it’s not a long-term energy policy. What we need is really a long-term — and drilling off the coast is not a long-term energy policy. What we need is an energy policy. Today, Larry, we are borrowing a billion dollars a day mainly from countries that don’t like us to import oil from countries that don’t like us.

When I was a little boy, our country owned half the wealth on the face of the earth. We are now transferring that wealth at a historic rate to other countries, again, mainly nations that don’t like us. We have solutions.

Unfortunately, we have a Congress that’s really brain dead. I’ll tell you something that the Congress did today. First of all, they killed the investment tax credits for solar and wind which are absolutely vital to the growth of this burgeoning industry.

Second of all, today, Congress and the White House declared a moratorium, a two year moratorium on any solar plants being built on federal lands while they study supposedly the environmental impact. This is an administration that is opening up –

KING: I have to get a break, Robert. You want to comment, quickly?

O’REILLY: Well first of all, I think if we are concerned about the billions of dollars going overseas, couldn’t we shut some off by developing more of our oil here? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? I think this idea –

KENNEDY: Can I answer that?

O’REILLY: Certainly.

KING: Do it quickly, I’ve got to get a break.

KENNEDY: It’s 2 percent of the oil, it’s 2 percent of global reserves. It’s going to do nothing. If we develop those 2 percent of global reserves, all the Saudis have to do is drop their production 2 percent. We don’t even know that oil is coming here. Are you going to guarantee if you get those oil leases that they’re going to come to the United States?

O’REILLY: These oil leases are in the United States.

KENNEDY: I know they’re here. But you’re not going to sell the oil here. You don’t have to sell the oil here.

O’REILLY: That’s the most ridiculous.

KENNEDY: I know it’s going to benefit you, but I don’t see how it will benefit the people of the United States.

O’REILLY: It is going to benefit the people of the United States and it’s far better to produce it here at home, where we don’t have to go overseas, we don’t have to send that money out of the country. It’s a far better value.

KING: We have to get a break, guys. Can either of the presidential candidates do anything about the price of oil? Supporters of each make the case next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

“OUR ADDICTION TO OIL IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST DRAG ON AMERICAN CAPITALISM” – RFK JR.

…KING: We’re back. Remaining, David O’Reilly and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Joining us now in New York is John Stossel, the co-anchor of ABC’s “20-20,” and in Jacksonhole, Wyoming, Governor Bryan Schweitzer, Democrat of Montana. He’s in Wyoming for the Western Governor’s Conference. I understand, Governor Schweitzer, you think the solution to the energy crisis is coal?

GOV. BRIAN SCHWEITZER (D), MONTANA: That’s one of them. We need to produce American energy designed by American engineers and built by American workers. This is an energy source that could be exported all over the world. We can use coal. We have nearly an infinite supply of coal. But coal has a problem with carbon dioxide. We need to sequester the carbon dioxide. We have win power. We have solar power. We do have oil. We have oil shale.

We need multiple platforms in this country. But it doesn’t make sense to me to continue to drill in the third world and send 400 billion dollars a year to these dictators who would like to destroy our way of life. In America, we can produce our own energy system. We can produce the cars that run on electricity. And then those cars can be exported all over the world. We’ll produce electricity with wind and solar. Those cars will have batteries, so whenever the wind is blowing, whenever the sun is shining, they will store that energy. And the first 50 or 60 miles will be on electricity. After that, they’ll run on oil or some kind of gasoline.

Point is, we could eliminate all of our import needs. This is not like splitting the atom in the Manhattan Project. We already have this technology. We have an infinite capacity of producing energy. What we have is lack of leadership in Washington D.C.

KING: John Stossel, what do you make of this whole oil debate?

JOHN STOSSEL, ABC’S “20-20″: I think a lot of it is silly. I think we have an energy policy in America and the world and it’s called the free market. When oil is above 100 dollars a barrel, coal, as he’s saying, becomes viable. We don’t need Washington to do it. It’s a fatal conceit to say the politicians can lead this. Higher prices will lead to alternatives.

KING: How do I put coal in my gas tank?

STOSSEL: You won’t have to. They’ll refine it and make it into oil.

KING: They’ll do that?

STOSSEL: Yes. Governor Schweitzer can tell you all about that.

KING: You’re not troubled then by five dollars a gallon?

STOSSEL: Of course I’m troubled. It seems a little excessive when it costs twice that in some countries. I think these oil companies are heroes. Think what it takes to bring this stuff to us, across an ocean, refine it into three types of gasoline, put it in trucks that cost 100,000 dollars each, ship that to gasoline stations that have to have this expensive equipment so we don’t blow ourselves up pumping our own gas. It still costs less per ounce than the bottled water they sell at some of these gas stations.

KING: David, makes you feel good?

O’REILLY: That’s nice to hear someone on our side.

KING: Robert, would you elaborate a little what you said a little earlier about offshore drilling and going over seas with it?

KENNEDY: One of the points Mr. O’Reilly made and Mr. Stossel has made a lot is that it’s safe for us to drill offshore. Chevron is the biggest producer of oil in Cook Inlet in Alaska and it dumps billions and billions of gallons of highly toxic production waste every year into Cook Inlet. It has contaminated the salmon stocks. It has contaminated the beluga whales. We have the technology to reinject those wastes, but they’re not doing it. Now, they’re saying we should open up Florida and we should open up California and the offshore places there, and we’re going to do it right.

The other point I would make is what John Stossel is saying, a free market would be good. We don’t have a free market in the energy industry. Everybody knows that. We give a trillion a year in subsidies, direct and indirect subsidies, to oil, and somewhere near a trillion dollars to coal. We also — nuclear energy is also highly subsidized. If we had a real free market that does what a market is supposed to do, which is to reward good behavior and punish bad behavior and inefficiency, wind, solar, geothermal and tidal would easily triumph in the marketplace. You would see them immediately taking over the marketplace. The biggest impediment is these huge subsidies we’re pouring into incumbents.

KING: Governor, is he right?

SCHWEITZER: He’s partially right. Frankly, we had a one plank energy project in this country, and it’s been about oil. There was a little problem back in 1948, when we started importing more than we were exporting. It got to be a bigger problem and we complained when we got to 50 percent of oil. Then we complained at 55. Now, we’re at 65 percent of our oil that is imported.

Look, you can not trust the multi-national oil companies just to do business with dictators around the oil. If Chevron would like to drill some oil, come to Montana. You don’t have a single well in Montana and yet, we have one of the largest new discoveries in the continental United States. We could have as many as 15 billion barrels in a single formation and yet Chevron has not built a well in Montana.

STOSSEL: If they could find it in Montana, they would go to Montana.

SCHWEITZER: The independents are drilling it, not be multi- nationals.

KING: Got to get a break. Want to save money on energy, we’ll show you some alternatives, I hope, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: An e-mail for David O’Reilly from Bruce in Montana; “do you ever foresee the day when Chevron will make more profits by selling alternative fuel that is better for the global economy or will fossil fuel always be number one for money?”

O’REILLY: I think fossil fuel will be the predominant energy source for the next generation or so. If you wind back to — my grandkids were born in the first decade of this century. By the time they’re my age and beyond, I think the energy system will be quite different and maybe it will be.

KING: John Stossel, is Robert Kennedy right, this is not a free market if they’re subsidized?

STOSSEL: Yes. It’s wrong that there are all these subsidies. We should have a free market. But even without the subsidies, these alternatives are just not going to make much of a dent for a long time. They just are much too expensive. It’s interesting that Mr. Kennedy says he wants wind power, but he objects to a wind farm off his family’s compound on Cape Cod.

KING: Robert, can you quickly answer that? I got to talk to the head of AAA.

KENNEDY: On that issue, on Cape Wind, I have no objection to Cape Wind. I support that wind farm. I just think they should move it away from the fishing grounds, because it’s going to put out of business every fishermen on the Cape.

On the answer that wind and solar and the renewables can’t compete, that’s completely wrong. Look at the nations that have de- carbonized their economy. In 1970, Iceland was the poorest country in Europe. It was 100 percent dependent on imported coal and oil. They said, we’re not going to do this anymore. It switched. Today, it’s the fourth richest country in the world.

Our addiction to oil is the single biggest drag on American capitalism. As soon as we can get off of it, and we can get off of it very quickly, much quicker than these people are saying, our economy is going to explode.

Transcript courtesy of CNN.com.

 

 

 

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More Bush Administration Arrogance

ALL THE NEWS THAT’S UNFIT TO PRINT, EPISODE 3

Hot off the presses…the latest edition of RFK Jr’s “Unearthed” column, for the week ending May 9, 2008.

Here Kennedy covers a vast array of subjects – everything from the Siegleman case to Cheney and Ashcroft’s refusal to testify about U.S. torture tactics; from the head of the EPA being fired for political purposes to depleted uranium being dumped in Idaho; from hundreds of dead ducks turning up in Canada to right-wing talk radio’s domination of the U.S. airwaves; from the oil crisis to American contractors quite literally making out like bandits in Iraq — all with one common thread, the central underlying theme which ties these stories together:

More unprecedented ARROGANCE from the Bush Administration!

In a mad dash to cover their tracks while scooping up all the spoils they can possibly grab before we kick them out of the White House next January, the Bushies seem to be wholly unconcerned with how things look or smell at this point. (A new poll shows that Bush is now the most unpopular president in history, but ask him if he cares.) Yes, they’re openly farting in our faces, and we’re supposed to love it.

Laughing all the way to the bank, these criminals now feel certain that they will never face prosecution or impeachment, so hey – why not take all they can get? After all, we’ve given them a pass, carte blanche’ and a blank check for the past seven years, turning a blind eye to their crimes against humanity. (And that’s not to mention those High Crimes and Misdemeanors.)

So put on your seat belts and gas masks, America. The ride is only going to get rougher and smellier as Bush’s clock runs out.

Did you ever feel like the proverbial frog in a pot of boiling water as the heat is slowly being turned up hotter and hotter? Well, you know what happens then, don’t you?

We must take a stand. We must stop them before they kill again (looks like you’re next, Iran). We must fight back. We must prosecute. We must stop taking “I don’t recall” for an answer. Because if we don’t, we could all wind up as dead as those Canadian ducks RFK Jr. writes about.

It may be too late to impeach (as our Democratic brethren continue to insist) now, but it’s never too late to try them for war crimes at the Hague.

Oh…and there’s no statute of limitations on murder, either.

UNEARTHED:

NEWS OF THE WEEK THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA FORGOT TO REPORT

by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Brendan De Melle

The Huffington Post

EPA Official Ousted For Offending Dow Chemical

At the request of Dow Chemical, the Bush administration forced out one of its own hand-picked EPA regulators on May 1st because she naively attempted to do her job by enforcing the law against Dow. EPA officials told Mary Gade, the federal agency’s top Midwest regulator to step down from her post or be fired by June 1. Bush appointed Gade in 2006, but Gade ran afoul of the White House when she pressured Dow Chemical to clean up dioxin pollution extending 50 miles downstream from the company’s Michigan headquarters. Dow asked EPA headquarters to intervene. In response EPA chief Stephen Johnson’s top deputies repeatedly grilled Gade about the case. When she refused to lay off Dow, they stripped her of her authority and told her to quit or be fired. “There is no question this is about Dow,” Gade said. “I stand behind what I did and what my staff did. I’m proud of what we did.”

Gade was formerly a loyal George W. Bush supporter and adviser. In 2000, she praised then-governor and candidate Bush for his “fresh approach” and “strong leadership.” But her loyalty couldn’t shield her from an administration bent on insulating its chemical industry cronies from public health laws.
Bush’s Misleading Claims About the Arctic Refuge Denied by Federal Officials

President Bush last week repeated his claim that if only Congress had approved his 2002 plan to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge it “would likely mean lower gas prices” today. However, oil industry experts and Bush’s own Energy Department officials say that Bush is greatly exaggerating the theoretical impact that opening the refuge would’ve had on current gas prices. They explained that it takes over a decade to find and develop a new oil field. Furthermore, the oil available in ANWR — even under the most optimistic projections — could supply less than 2% of U.S. demand, an amount that would have a negligible impact on prices at the pump.
Green Construction Could Drastically Slash North American Energy Dependence

Employing existing and emerging green construction practices could cut North America’s deadly fossil fuel dependence faster and more cost-effectively than any other measure, according to a new study by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a panel erected by the United States, Canada and Mexico. Green construction has immediate paybacks, including “reduced energy costs and water costs as well the indoor health environment and increased productivity of the inhabitants of those buildings,” according to John Westeinde, an advisor on the report. The report found that North America’s buildings release more than 2,200 megatons of CO2, or about 35 percent of the continent’s total. If the construction industry rapidly adopted current and emerging green technologies, that number could be cut by 1,700 megatons by 2030, the report found.
Hundreds of Ducks Die at Canadian Oil Sands Mine

Hundreds of ducks made a fatal landing recently in a tailings pond filled with a witch’s brew of oil and toxic sludge at a northern Alberta tar sands mine. Regulators are investigating why Syncrude Canada — the country’s largest tar sands producer — failed to deploy a system designed to scare off waterfowl. Alberta’s tar sands development has been heavily criticized for huge carbon dioxide emissions, destruction of the boreal forest, and the potential for tailing ponds to contaminate local rivers and waterways.

 
Feds Acknowledge Error On Attempts to Muzzle Siegelman

Former Alabama Governor Don Siegleman, who was falsely imprisoned by Alabama cronies of Karl Rove, and is now released on appeal, was recently placed on a “special offender” list to restrict his right to travel. Siegelman was notified by federal probation officers of the new restriction shortly after he traveled to Washington to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, and appeared on 60 Minutes, the Tavis Smiley Show, and Dan Abrams’ Verdict.

The federal “special offender” designation applies to “Individuals identified or associated with traditional or non-traditional organized crime such as the Mafia, outlaw motorcycle gangs, Asian gangs, prison gangs, etc., persons identified as potential terrorists, kidnappers, members of a supremacy group, major bookmakers, major drug or weapon traffickers, pornographers, sex offenders, armed bank robbers, offenders of high notoriety, or cases similar nature.”

“This basically means I can’t travel out of Birmingham or Montgomery without a lot of red tape, and long delays. For example to travel in some places requires at least 30 days advance approval,” Siegelman said.

But on May 2, federal court officials acknowledged that they erred in classifying Siegelman as a special offender.

“They made an honest mistake,” Redmond said, acknowledging that the restrictions were illegal. “They were giving him conditions for a special offender under probation. He’s not. He’s pretrial.”
Cheney refuses to cooperate with Congressional Torture Investigation, claiming Congress has no authority over vice-president

The lawyer for U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney said Cheney would refuse to allow David Addington, the vice president’s chief of staff, to testify about his involvement in the approval of interrogation tactics used at Guantanamo Bay. The privilege asserted by Cheney’s office recalls his attempt last year to evade rules for disclosing classified documents by claiming that the vice president’s office is a hybrid branch of government that is neither executive nor legislative.
Ashcroft and Yoo Refuse to Testify About Torture

In another imaginative legal claim with dubious constitutionality, two other witnesses sought by Congressman John Conyers, former U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft and former U.S. justice department lawyer John Yoo, claim that their involvement in civil lawsuits related to harsh torture allows them to avoid appearing before Congress. “I am aware of no basis for the remarkable claim that pending civil litigation somehow immunizes an individual from testifying before Congress,” Conyers wrote.
Karl Rove Resists Congressional Request to Testify on His Siegelman Mischief

“The House Judiciary Committee threatened last Thursday to subpoena former White House adviser Karl Rove if he does not agree by May 12 to testify about former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman’s corruption case.

“In a letter to Rove’s attorney, committee Democrats called it ‘completely unacceptable’ that the Republican political strategist has rejected the panel’s request for sworn testimony even as he discusses the matter publicly through the media and op-eds and magazine interviews with tame reporters at GQ, and appearances with the administration’s media poodles on Fox News.

On April 7, MSNBC anchor Dan Abrams reported that Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, said Rove would agree to testify if Congress issues a subpoena to him as part of an investigation into the Siegelman case.

Ten days later, committee members invited Rove to appear, citing among other things Rove’s interview with GQ magazine. In that interview, Rove hurled insults at CBS News for airing a 60 Minutes segment on the Siegelman case, called his chief accuser a “lunatic” — but didn’t specifically deny any of the accusations.

In an April 29 letter back to the committee, Luskin changed his position[PDF], arguing that Rove would only appear under the following conditions: “Mr. Rove is prepared to make himself available for an interview on this specific issue with Committee staff. Mr. Rove would speak candidly and truthfully about this matter, but the interview would not be transcribed nor would Mr. Rove be under oath.”

 
Hate-filled Right Wing Radio

Racial slurs abound these days on right wing radio, particularly among the right’s leading shock jocks Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage and Lou Dobbs. During his May 5 appearance on FOX News, Rush Limbaugh referred to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), who is Hispanic, as a “shoe shine guy.

A 2007 study of talk radio conducted by the Project for Excellence in Journalism found that in the second quarter of 2007, when right wing radio resorted to spreading fear and hatred in order to defeat immigration reform. Immigration was the #1 topic – representing 16% of all airtime on right wing radio – led by Limbaugh, Hannity, and Savage. Neal Boortz chipped in too, urging listeners to help defeat “this illegal alien amnesty bill” and “yank out the welcome mat.” Speaking of undocumented immigrants he said, “Give ‘em all a little nuclear waste and let ‘em take it on down there to Mexico. Tell ‘em…it’ll heat tortillas.” Michael Savage encouraged his listeners to “burn a Mexican flag” and to “tell them to go back to where they came from.”

Bigotry and Hatred is Good Business

Propped up by the conservative bias among corporate media barons who control the airwaves, right-wing radio now claims 91 percent of U.S. radio airspace. Salon.com reported that “Talk like Savage’s, or Limbaugh’s or O’Reilly’s, has become routine, even systematic, and certainly a big business. According to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, the top five radio station owners that control the 45 most powerful, 50,000-watt or more radio stations broadcast 310 hours of nationally syndicated right-wing talk. But they broadcast only a total of five hours of countervailing talk.” Meanwhile the public popularity of progressive talk is growing.
Thanks to Right-Wing Corporate Owners Right-Wing Hate Talk Dominates Airwaves

While progressive talk is making inroads on commercial stations, right-wing talk reigns supreme on America’s airwaves. Some key findings:

– In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming was conservative, and only 9 percent was progressive.

– Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk–10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.

– 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive.
Bush Is the Least Popular President in History

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll indicates that 71 percent of the American public disapprove of President Bush’s job performance, making him the most unpopular president in modern American history, even less popular than Richard Nixon just prior to his resignation.

“Bush’s approval rating, which stands at 28 percent in our new poll, remains better than the all-time lows set by Harry Truman and Richard Nixon [22 percent and 24 percent, respectively], but even those two presidents never got a disapproval rating in the 70s,” Keating Holland, CNN’s polling director said. “The previous all-time record in CNN or Gallup polling was set by Truman, 67 percent disapproval in January 1952.”

A January poll – conducted on the five-year anniversary of Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” moment on board the USS Abraham Lincoln – found the percentage of Americans who think the U.S. is making progress in Iraq stood at 50 percent. That number has since dropped to 39 percent.

 
Radioactive waste being shipped from Kuwait for Disposal in Idaho

6,700 tons of sand contaminated with depleted uranium and lead is currently being shipped by rail from Longview, Washington to a hazardous waste disposal site in Idaho. The radioactive sand – which was shipped from Camp Doha, a U.S. Army Base in Kuwait – was contaminated with uranium after military vehicles and munitions caught fire during the first Persian Gulf War in 1991. The contaminated sand is destined for burial at American Ecology’s dumping grounds in the Owyhee Desert 70 miles southeast of Boise. The Kuwaiti government wanted no part of the waste which it considered a danger to the Kuwaiti people. Kuwait’s Ministry of Defense contracted Texas-based MKM Engineers Inc. to package and transport the waste back to the United States. MKM then subcontracted with American Ecology to dispose the military waste at its Idaho facility.
Whistleblowers Say Private U.S. Contractors Looted, Stole and Ran a Prostitution Ring

In an investigative report largely ignored by the mainstream media, Mother Jones reports the shocking testimony of three whistleblowers who recently appeared before the Senate’s Democratic Policy Committee (DPC). The whistleblowers told the committee that U.S. private contractors routinely looted Iraqi palaces and ministries, stole military equipment, fenced supplies destined for U.S. troops, and even operated a prostitution ring that may have contributed to the death of fellow contractor.

Barry Halley, a former project manager for Worldwide Network Services, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that was working on subcontract for DynCorp, testified that his site manager in Iraq, who he said was employed by a “major defense contractor,” moonlighted as the leader of a prostitution ring serving American contractors in Iraq. The sex business sideline indirectly caused the death of a colleague. “A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was traveling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission,” he told the committee. “I believe that my co-worker could have survived if he had been riding in an armored car. At the time, the armored car that he would otherwise have been riding in was being used by a manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad.”

Frank Cassaday, a former contract employee of disgraced Cheney-connected firm KBR told the committee about an ice-stealing operation the company ran “cheating the troops out of ice at the same time that [the foreman in charge was] trading the ice for DVDs, CDs, food, and other items at the Iraqi shops across the street.”

Cassaday also detailed how he was jailed in his tent for two days by KBR security and later transferred to a laundry job because he had reported to KBR superiors that his colleagues were stealing equipment from the U.S. military, including refrigerators, artillery round detonators, two rocket launchers, and about 800 rounds of small arms ammunition.

Another KBR whistleblower, Linda Warren, testifying about her time in Baghdad in 2004, said she was shocked by the number of contractors involved in criminal activity. “KBR employees who were contracted to perform construction duties inside palaces and municipal buildings were looting,” she said. “Not only were they looting, but they had a system in place to get contraband out of the country so it could be sold on eBay. They stole artwork, rugs, crystal, and even melted down gold to make spurs for cowboy boots.” Like Cassaday, KBR superiors punished Warren for speaking up, taking her vehicle away, monitoring her movements, cutting off her access to phones and the Internet, and ultimately transferring her out of Baghdad.
Iraqi Interpreters Who Helped U.S. Are Being Tossed Under the Bus By Bush Administration

The Bush administration is ignoring the plight of Iraqi interpreters who have risked their lives to provide essential help to U.S. soldiers. Interpreters have been kidnapped, tortured and assassinated by insurgents punishing them for working with the U.S. The Bush administration promised them refugee status to bring them here to safety, but has not delivered, leaving them at lethal risk.
Rockefellers Call on Exxon Mobil to Spend More on Oil Alternatives

Descendants of company founder John D. Rockefeller want Exxon Mobil to spend more money on alternative fuels and bar the CEO from also serving as chairman. Sixteen Rockefeller family members are urging fellow shareholders to support four resolutions on the environment and corporate governance at the company’s May 28 annual meeting.
More Record Profits for Oil Barons

Astounding profits in the oil industry are becoming as routine as the anguished looks of motorists filling up their gas tanks, the AP reports.

ExxonMobil, Shell and BP netted almost $13 million an hour combined in the first quarter amid the steepest increase in oil prices since 2000.

Exxon’s revenue climbed 34 percent to $116.9 billion, but Exxon’s 17 percent profit increase lagged behind the gains of 25 percent and 63 percent by Shell and BP. Chevron put yet another exclamation point on the oil patch’s long run of prosperity Friday with a first-quarter profit of $5.17 billion. That was up 10 percent from net income of $4.72 billion last year.

It was the second-highest quarterly profit in the company’s 129-year history and marked the most money that it has ever made during the January-March period. That puts the No. 2 U.S. oil company on track for its fifth straight year of record earnings.

BP posted a 63 percent surge in first-quarter net profit to $7.6 billion, while Shell reported a 25 percent rise, to a record $9.08 billion. ConocoPhillips reported a 16 percent rise in net income to $4.14 billion. Like BP and Shell, the third biggest U.S. producer far outpaced industry expectations.

Republicans Block Federal Aid to Wind and Solar

Tom Friedman of the New York Times reports:

Few Americans know it, but for almost a year now, Congress has been bickering over whether and how to renew the investment tax credit to stimulate investment in solar energy and the production tax credit to encourage investment in wind energy. The bickering has been so poisonous that when Congress passed the 2007 energy bill last December, it failed to extend any stimulus for wind and solar energy production. Oil and gas kept all their credits, but those for wind and solar have been left to expire this December. I am not making this up. At a time when we should be throwing everything into clean power innovation, we are squabbling over pennies.

These credits are critical because they ensure that if oil prices slip back down again — which often happens — investments in wind and solar would still be profitable. That’s how you launch a new energy technology and help it achieve scale, so it can compete without subsidies.

The Democrats wanted the wind and solar credits to be paid for by taking away tax credits from the oil industry. President Bush said he would veto that. Neither side would back down, and Mr. Bush — showing not one iota of leadership — refused to get all the adults together in a room and work out a compromise. Stalemate. Meanwhile, Germany has a 20-year solar incentive program; Japan 12 years. Ours, at best, run two years.

“It’s a disaster,” says Michael Polsky, founder of Invenergy, one of the biggest wind-power developers in America. “Wind is a very capital-intensive industry, and financial institutions are not ready to take ‘Congressional risk.’ They say if you don’t get the [production tax credit] we will not lend you the money to buy more turbines and build projects.”

If the wind and solar credits expire, said Rhone Resch, the president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, the impact in just 2009 would be more than 100,000 jobs either lost or not created in these industries, and $20 billion worth of investments that won’t be made.

While all the presidential candidates were railing about lost manufacturing jobs in Ohio, no one noticed that America’s premier solar company, First Solar, from Toledo, Ohio, was opening its newest factory in the former East Germany — 540 high-paying engineering jobs — because Germany has created a booming solar market and America has not.

 

Send tips about other stories the mainstream media forgot to report: unearthednews@gmail.com

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JFK On Presidential Leadership

John F. Kennedy on the campaign trail, 1960

“Vote for Kennedy!”: Flashback to 1960, the last time a sitting (or in this case, standing) U.S. Senator won the presidency in a general election.

A FEW WORDS FROM JFK ON PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP

This election year, we all must have a heart-to-heart with ourselves and ask, “what qualities do I want in a president? What truly constitutes leadership?”

We’d like to draw your attention to a speech President John F. Kennedy gave in 1962 which is rarely noted or quoted. Sadly, this address seems to have been somewhat lost to history, but reading his words again should strike a deep resonant chord in all of us today.

This speech hits home now when we look at our plunging economy, the national debt, the death of American industry, the downfall of labor unions, our failing education system, corporate profit-taking, the war, escalating tensions around the globe, the pillage of our natural environment, the election, and perhaps most importantly – the powers properly granted to the president under the Constitution of the United States to fix these problems. What is within his or her power, and what is not?

After eight years of George W. Bush, it’s a hot question in 2008.

WHEN IS AGGRESSIVE USE OF PRESIDENTIAL POWER A GOOD THING?

Let’s look at just one historical example.

President Kennedy made these remarks during a speech to the United Auto Workers Union in Atlantic City in May, 1962. Addressing the issue of how much influence the President should have over the nation’s economy (or perhaps put more bluntly, whether he should bow and do the bidding of his corporate puppetmasters), Kennedy vigorously defended his recent actions which had forced the steel industry to eliminate a price increase.

“I speak,” he said, “as President of the United States with a single voice to both management and labor . . . I believe it is the business of the President of the United States to concern himself with the general welfare and the public interest . . . I believe that what is good for the United States—for the people as a whole—is going to be good for every American company and for every American union.”

Unjustified wage and price demands, said the President, are equally “contrary to the national interest.” His Administration “has not undertaken and will not undertake” to fix prices or wages or to intervene in every little old labor dispute. Instead, it depends on labor and management to reach settlements within “guidelines” suggested by the Administration.

This aggressive policy had been the subject of “a good deal of discussion, acrimony, and controversy on wages and prices and profits,” Kennedy acknowleged, but he added this justification: 

“Now I know there are some people who say that this isn’t the business of the President of the United States, who believe that the President of the United States should be an honorary chairman of a great fraternal organization and confine himself to ceremonial functions. But that is not what the Constitution says. And I did not run for President of the United States to fulfill that Office in that way.”

OK, stop. Go back and read that paragraph again, because it’s terribly important. What did he just say?

He just stated that he did not run for the Presidency for the honor of being corporate America’s puppet. Or the Military’s puppet. Or anybody’s puppet,for that matter. He said that he was well aware of the immense powers granted to the president under the U.S. Constitution, and that he fully intended to make use of those powers when necessary.

Those are dangerous words when spoken by a president.

For those who still seek an answer to the neverending question – “why was President Kennedy killed?” – it could be argued that he had to be “replaced” becasue he interpreted the Constitution literally. JFK thought that “goddamn piece of paper” (as future presidents would refer to this now-arcane historical document) actually meant what it said.

Kennedy continued:

“Harry Truman once said there are 14 or 15 million Americans who have the resources to have representatives in Washington to protect their interests, and that the interests of the great mass of other people, the hundred and fifty or sixty million, is the responsibility of the President of the United States. And I propose to fulfill it!

And there are those who say, “Stay out of this area–it would be all right if we are in a national emergency or in a war.”

What do they think we are in? And what period of history do they believe this country has reached? What do they believe is occurring all over the world?

Merely because vast armies do not march against each other, does anyone think that our danger is less immediate, or the struggle is less ferocious?

As long as the United States is the great and chief guardian of freedom, all the way in a great half circle from the Brandenburg Gate to Viet-Nam, as long as we fulfill our functions at a time of climax in the struggle for freedom, then I believe it is the business of the President of the United States to concern himself with the general welfare and the public interest. And if the people feel that it is not, then they should secure the services of a new President of the United States.”

 – JFK to the United Auto Workers Union, May 8, 1962

THE PRESIDENT IS NOT AN “HONORARY CHAIRMAN OF A GREAT FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION”

My point exactly. After eight long years of a president who could care less about the general welfare and the public interest, it is now up to the people to secure the services of a new President of the United States. And we’re going to do it this November.

But who among the current crop of candidates posesses the kind of leadership qualities JFK not only talked about, but exhibited during each of the thousand days?

To my mind at least, true presidential leadership requires the kind of courage and compassion exhibited by JFK in the example below. Please take a few moments to watch excerpts from his UAW speech and other remarks on the economy in this video montage entitled “Mankind Is Our Business.”

CLASH OF THE TITANS

At the time, Kennedy was roasted for his aggressive use of presidential power in the showdown with Big Steel  – by the business community, by academia, the press, members of Congress, and even his predecessor Dwight Eisenhower.

In the May 18, 1962 issue of Time magazine, Ike strongly criticized the President for “the strenuous efforts of the Administration to increase greatly the power of the executive branch of the Government. It has long been my judgment that the real threat to liberty in this Republic will be primarily found in a steady erosion of self-reliant citizenship and in excessive power concentration.”

To back up his charge that Kennedy is asking for too many powers, Ike cited Kennedy’s requests for authority to modify income taxes when he decides it is necessary, to finance emergency public works by diversion of funds, to “regiment all agriculture,” to “take over a whole host of state and local responsibilities, notably including the proposal for a Department of Urban Affairs,” and “to dilute the independence of the Federal Reserve Board by presidential appointment of its chairman.” Added Ike: “The objectives under lying many such proposals are not in themselves controversial. I do not agree, however, that in every instance more presidential power is needed to achieve them.”

Ironically, while it was President Eisenhower who had cautioned against undue influence by the Military-Industrial-Complex two years before, the truth of the matter is that during his presidency Eisenhower sought out the Titans, respected their advice, and treated them as they thought they deserved to be treated — in other words, as representatives of the most influential body in the nation.

By contrast, Kennedy kept his distance. Prior to his election he had had little contact with industrial circles, and once he was in the White House he saw even less of them. Businessmen were generally excluded from the Kennedys’ private parties. Not only did he “snub” them (in the words of Ralph Cordiner, President of General Electric), he also attacked them. Kennedy did not consult the business world before making his appointments. The men he placed at the head of the federal regulatory agencies were entirely new. Since the end of the war, the businessmen had become accustomed to considering these bodies as adjuncts of their own professional associations. They were more indignant than surprised. They attempted to intervene, but in vain.

If the Titans thought that John F. Kennedy was going to be their puppet, they had another thing coming.

“Honorary chairman of a great fraternal organization” who should “confine himself to ceremonial functions?” Not this president. 

Kennedy had just let let them know: This president had a mind of his own – and if you don’t like it, perhaps you boys should go get yourselves another president

HAIL TO THE CHIEF

Even nearly 45 years after his passing, I still look to President Kennedy’s words and deeds for strength and inspiration – I think many of us do – and every election year since then, we have searched for a political candidate who embodies that same spirit. Someone who understands and achieves that perfect balance between exercising presidential power and the public interest, while avoiding the temptation to become drunk on their own power and take the country into a dictatorship.

It’s always a difficult balancing act for any president, but the example of JFK’s administration showed us all that a president can use his power forcefully and effectively when the need arises – but that such use is only acceptable and reasonable if this flexing of executive muscle is done to benefit the national interest. (And, more often than not, to force corporations or industries into doing the right thing – what they should have done in the first place – for their fellow citizens.)

“The American people will find it hard, as I do, to accept a situation in which a tiny handful of steel executives whose pursuit of private power and profit exceeds their sense of public responsibility can show such utter contempt for the interests of 185 million Americans.”

– President John F. Kennedy, April 11, 1962

In my own personal dictionary, you look up “presidential leadership,” and there’s Jack Kennedy’s picture.

President John F. Kennedy, fall 1962

When the people said, “we want action, not talk“, Kennedy delivered.

THE PRESIDENT HAS THE POWER 

So the next time you suffer sticker shock at the gas pump, and you wonder aloud, “who can fix this?” – remember that the president has the power. All a president needs is a plan and most importantly, the courage to stand up to The Men Who Rule The World because he knows the Constitution and the people will back him up.

Next time you feel obliged to curse the oil companies for sticking it to millions of people while they enjoy record profits, remember who our president is now.

Next time you bitch about the modern day industrial robber barons of Wall Street who are stealing us blind and wonder why Congress does nothing to stop it, remember President Kennedy.

Remember that he went to bat for all Americans and fought the Titans just to shave what amounted to a rather paltry price increase in steel down to a reasonable amount. Remember that he won that battle, too.

Remember that if our current president, or any future president, should have the political will and the courage, they can also fight the Titans and curb these out-of-control oil industry profits, bring an energy revolution to the table, get us off of foreign oil and out of debt to dictators quicker than you can say, “all in a day’s work!”

Remember that when you choose a presidential candidate this year.

`Nuff said!

 

Copyright RFKin2008.com.

 

For further reading on JFK’s showdown with U.S. Steel, we highly recommend:

“John F. Kennedy and the Titans” by Laura Knight-Jadczyk at http://laura-knight-jadczyk.blogspot.com/2006/11/john-f-kennedy-and-titans.html

“A Diversity of Dilemmas”, Time Magazine, May 18, 1962 article at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,896150,00.html

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