Dozens Arrested at White House in Civil Disobedience Against Keystone XL Pipeline
In the United States, nearly 50 people were arrested Wednesday in front of the White House calling on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The pipeline would deliver tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Texas. But critics who have joined a mounting campaign of civil disobedience say it will bring climate disaster. On Tuesday, a group of protesters, including leading scientists, activists and celebrities, sat down and refused to move. Some zip-tied themselves to a fence. Those arrested included environmentalist Bill McKibben, actress Daryl Hannah, NASA climate scientist James Hansen, lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and civil rights leader Julian Bond. The protest was a landmark for the Sierra Club environmental group after its board endorsed an act of civil disobedience for the first time in its 120-year history. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune was among those arrested.
Michael Brune: “And so we know that we can’t win on climate change if we continue to dither, if we continue to talk about it but not do anything. And so, the Sierra Club is engaging in civil disobedience for the first time, because we have a moral catastrophe on our hands, and we need to do everything that we can to compel stronger, bolder action.”
TABACCO: Thank God for the Sierra Club! At least these folks are alive, vital and angry as hell – wish I had been there! Still think Obama is a “good guy” and will improve in his 2nd term?
Treasury Pick Jack Lew Questioned on Citigroup Bonus, Cayman Islands Investment
President Obama’s pick for treasury secretary faced questions over his Wall Street past at a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday. Jack Lew defended the bonus of nearly a million dollars he received while working at Citigroup just a few months after the bank got a taxpayer bailout worth billions. He was also questioned about his investment of tens of thousands of dollars in a Citigroup fund listed at a building in the Cayman Islands that Obama himself has referred to as “the largest tax scam in the world.” While at Citigroup, Jack Lew oversaw a unit that reportedly profited off the housing crisis by investing in a hedge fund which bet in favor of the collapse. Among those to question Jack Lew was Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.
Orrin Hatch: “You have stated that you support the Volcker Rule, yet you were the chief operating officer over two units that engaged in the sort of activities the Volcker Rule is meant to prevent. Therefore, if you were to be confirmed, it could lead to an awkward situation in which your role as chair of the FSOC (Financial Stability Oversight Council) — as chair of the FSOC, you would effectively be saying to financial firms, ‘Do as I say, not as I did.’”
Jack Lew: “I was not in the business of making investment decisions. I was certainly aware of things that were going on. I was working in a financial institution. I learned a great deal about the financial products, but I wasn’t designing them and I wasn’t opining on them.”
Lew served as Obama’s chief of staff before being nominated for the post of treasury secretary.
TABACCO: Pay no attentions to those Hypocrites known as Republicans – they have done and will do worse! However in this case, they are still Hypocrites – but they are also correct! How often does that happen! Obama should be ashamed – but he isn’t! I am particularly upset with our 1st Black President because he has forced me to line up with the ENEMY: The GOP!
Senate Panel Delays Vote on Brennan Nomination, Demands More Info on Drone Strikes
The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced it is delaying a vote on whether to confirm John Brennan as CIA director as it waits for more information on the drone program he has orchestrated. On Wednesday, Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein reiterated a demand to see all nine classified Justice Department memos on the supposed legal basis for targeted killings of U.S. citizens. Two memos were released to the committee last week.
TABACCO: Republicans are doing a FILLIBUSTER! Shame on the GOP! But once again, SHAME ON OUR PRESIDENT, who is an embarrassment to me personally because I too am Black. Whenever somebody does something horrific, the first thought that crosses my mind is, “I hope he isn’t Black!” When the President commits an Obamanation, I already know he’s Black and I’m already ashamed! I live in shame these days!
Desmond Tutu Blasts Idea of Special Court to Review Targeting of U.S. Citizens, Not Others
U.S. lawmakers have also floated the idea of creating a special court to review strikes on U.S. citizens. South African Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu weighed in on that plan in a letter to The New York Times. He wrote: “Do the United States and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours? That President Obama can sign off on a decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny than if the target is an American? Would your Supreme Court really want to tell humankind that we, like the slave Dred Scott in the 19th century, are not as human as you are? I cannot believe it.”
TABACCO: This is NOT a damned Republican speaking; this is Desmond Tutu! Some Black folks might not want to believe Tabacco, but you have no recourse when Desmond Tutu talks about Obama the same way that Tabacco talks about Obama. Hurrah for Tutu, and Boo to Obama!
If you are Black and still believe Obama is “the 2nd coming”, please refute Desmond Tutu’s remarks. Do not begin or end any ‘Obama Apology’ with anything like “Well, Republicans have done it too!” That won’t wash and you know it!
You cannot offer the judge as a Defense, “Well my neighbor beats his wife too!” The 1st Black President was supposed to be better than George W. Bush, not a replica!
New York: 9 Arrested Blocking Gate of Drone Operations Base
In New York, nine people were arrested Wednesday after blocking the gate of a base where drones are operated remotely. The protesters held signs condemning the killings of children and other civilians as they stood in front of the entrance to Hancock Field Air National Guard Base near Syracuse.
TABACCO: Kudos to these PROTESTERS as with the Sierra Club!
U.S., EU to Start Talks on Massive Free-Trade Deal
The European Union and United States have confirmed plans to begin negotiating what could be the largest-ever free-trade deal of its kind. President Obama noted the potential agreement in his State of the Union speech Tuesday. Lori Wallach of the group Public Citizen criticized the plan, writing, “These talks are aimed at eliminating a list of what multinational corporations call ‘trade irritants,’ but the rest of us know as strong food safety, environmental and health safeguards,” she wrote.
TABACCO: If you are noting a “Trend” here by Tabacco of Criticizing our 1st Black President, then perhaps you should note a “Trend” by our 1st Black President of committing ABOMINABLE ACTS! Tabacco is NOT the Criminal here; I am just the Messenger!
Undocumented Protesters, Allies Disrupt Senate Hearing on Immigration Reform
At least 11 undocumented immigrants and their allies were arrested Wednesday after interrupting a Senate hearing on immigration reform. The protesters from around the country were calling for immediate action to end the Obama administration’s unprecedented deportations. They rose to their feet and interrupted remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Man: “That’s the problem. You are destroying our communities! Stop the deportations!”
Chanting: “Stop the deportations! Stop the deportations!
Woman: “Stop! No deportations!”
TABACCO: Yes, Deportations are Ridiculous, Wasteful & Disruptive! Obama does it for show! However, “Undocumented Protesters” have NO STANDING in the USA because they are “BREAKING & ENTERING” – Breaking our Laws, Entering our country illegally. Hispanics have created a “QUOTA” of Illegals because of the Landbridge to Mexico and South America. If that were Africa, instead of South America, on our southern border, we all know both Democrats and Republicans would have built a 30-foot steel fence with barbed wire on top, and every motor vehicle entering or leaving Mexico would be thoroughly searched!
I recognize the practicalities (11-million Illegals already here) and the impossibilities (Deportations are Ineffective).
But the only Practical Solution: Penalizing US Employers, who hire Illegals, will never be tried nationally (as it is being tried in Arizona) because those Guilty Corporations would elect Republicans to run things.
Yes, I blame Obama for the Deportations, but not for the Refusal to Penalize Employers, who hire Illegals. That would only lead to Republican control of all forms of government in America.
Paralympic Champion Oscar Pistorius Charged with Murdering Girlfriend
Today’s global day of activism against violence against women and girls dawned with the news Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murdering his girlfriend. Model Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed at the athlete’s home early this morning. A police spokeswoman said neighbors heard shouting, and police had previously been called to the home for domestic issues. Pistorius became a global phenomenon as the first double amputee to run in the Olympics. Every day around the world, three women are murdered by their intimate partners.
TABACCO: Finally a story that I cannot use to BLAME OBAMA! The Blame here belongs exclusively to Oscar Pistorius, the NRA and the Republican Party! CNN and Fox News would call this “BALANCED REPORTING”!
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.