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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 39,405

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Some Democratic Lawmakers Are Open to Removing Lobbyists as Superdelegates

MAYBE Democrats shouldn't have corporate lobbyists as superdelegates?

Whoever came up with having them in the first place is so far in the pocket of corporations that they don't even think about what the rest of us would think of it.

DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS HAVE declared that they will work to get money out of politics, but only a few are interested in getting rid of a Democratic Party system that allows corporate lobbyists to select the party’s presidential nominee, potentially thwarting the will of voters.

Democratic National Committee rules allow for 712 so-called superdelegates to vote at the nominating convention, alongside the 4,053 pledged delegates who are selected directly by primary voters and caucusgoers.

Most of the 712 superdelegates, who are not bound to the decisions of voters, are elected Democratic politicians. But a significant number are individuals in the private sector. As we reported previously, several superdelegates are former politicians and party insiders who now work as lobbyists for banks, oil companies, foreign governments, and payday lenders, among other special interests.


Ted Cruz thinks Bush torture memo is US law:

To set up an interview with a former Abu Ghraib interrogator who wrote a confessional book, Amy Goodman on Democracy Now played clips of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz answering whether waterboarding is torture.

Trump, as usual said he would do much worse.

Ted Cruz' answer surprised me, not in that he approved of torture, but that he used the Bush era torture memo definition of torture as if it were the law of the land.

SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, under the definition of torture, no, it’s not. Under the law, torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing—losing organs and systems. So, under the definition of torture, it is not. It is enhanced interrogation, it is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.


From John Dean's article on the torture memo:

The memo defines torture so narrowly that only activities resulting in "death, organ failure or the permanent impairment of a significant body function" qualify.


The Army's own Interrogation Manual has a pretty simple rule of thumb for figuring out if something is torture:

If your contemplated actions were perpetrated by the enemy against US Prisoners of War, you would believe such actions violate international or US law.


You would think the son of a pastor might be familiar with the concept of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

What if Saudi is rushing to sell oil before it's worthless?

Possible explanations for Saudis high production that's driving down prices haven't quite made sense.

If they were doing it to help US foreign policy squeeze oil rich countries like Russia and Venezuela that aren't following our orders, that is a pretty big hit to take for the team, given that they have a finite amount of oil.

Putting tar sands and shale oil out of business also doesn't quite make sense for the same reason.

Slowing demand would be a good reason to cut or at least not ramp up production until demand increases.

But what if they realize they are selling whale oil for lanterns when everyone is about to switch to kerosene? Or more on point, they are selling gaslights when everyone else is about to buy their first lightbulb?

Then slowly doling out your product to maximize profits would make no sense. You would want to get whatever you could for it before it's worthless.

That makes more sense than other explanations, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving, medieval, terrorist-supporting royal family.

Here’s a simpler hypothesis: Maybe the
Saudis aren’t cutting production in the face of low prices because huge portions of their oil reserves might eventually become worthless. That’s what James Rowe, an environmental studies professor at the University of Victoria, thinks.

If that happens, today’s oil prices won’t look low — not when there’s an overabundance of an asset that can’t be sold. But oil prices are the lowest they’ve been in 12 years, you say. How could they ever be considered high?

This explanation relies on two related ideas: a carbon bubble and stranded assets. The carbon bubble refers to the fact that energy companies around the world are sitting on five times more fossil fuels than can be burned, the research nonprofit Carbon Tracker estimates. Those assets, worth about $2 trillion, are referred to as “stranded assets.”

So what does that mean for an oil company that controls a state? It might as well sell as much oil as possible while still can.

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