Saturday, July 26, 2014

Self Determination & Environmentalism bring out-of-state quackery & sleaze to Colorado: Environmental Policy Alliance





Photo courtesy of Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences,
CU Boulder, Quote courtesy of Nebraska Farm Bureau News,
February, 2010


Colorado:
courtesy http://www.smilingglobe.com/
Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes, CO

The Land of the Rockies...known for 14,000 ft. mountains, pine and aspen forests, high plains and high desert...once pristine.


Colorado now fracked:
2013 Gas/Fracking wells (red) and Oil wells (Green) in Colorado

The Land that the Oil and Gas industry is destroying - dirty air, toxic soil (as well as mudslides, earthquakes...) and polluted water...


A marketing photo from FrackingJobs.co



Colorado has been drilled and fracked to the point that cities and towns are finally saying "ENOUGH!"  Voters in Broomfield, Longmont, Fort Collins, Boulder, and Lafayette all brought fracking bans, within their city limits, to a vote and the measures won in four cities - Lafayette, Boulder, Longmont and Broomfield passed full bans; Ft Collins passed a five year ban on fracking, even after being threatened with a lawsuit by Governor John Hickenlooper (a governor who collected lots of campaign cash from the Oil and Gas industry in 2010 and now, again, in 2014) that pushed the city council to pass a resolution urging voters to reject the ban.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Assn. (COGA) isn't taking the civic action lightly.  They have  "The Hick" (Governor Hickenlooper), the Governor's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (Governor "Hick", a geologist, originally, turned bar and brewery development king, appointed oil and gas cronies to the subject commission in an apparent repayment for energy industry campaign cash as well as put his face on the industry promos - commercials and ads), as well as many members of the State House in their pockets and they will not let them just hang around the Capitol bickering about magazine sizes for guns.  No, the Oil and Gas boys are pulling every last string, calling in every last marker and squeezing every last drop they can from their state government to assure the revolt doesn't last.

How dare the People believe they have a right to self-determination!  Especially when big bucks for oil and gas companies are at stake (and Governor Hick needs new oily greenbacks for his re-election campaign...but I digress).


Now the oily governor and his COGA friends plan to go after Ft. Collins.

Even with all their manipulations and machinations, those gas and oil giants are taking no chances - they have brought the big guns in from Washington for a media blitz....

Enter Environmental Policy Alliance - the brain[demon]child of Berman & Co. and their father, the bastard Prince of Darkness, Dr. Evil (as declared by CBS' "60 Minutes"), Richard (or as I call him, The Dick) Berman, CEO...

His first "Hit Piece" was placed on YouTube last month....





His latest hit this month on all Colorado TV channels...





The Environmental Policy Alliance launched the 60-second spot this month as a way to counter what it says are are false claims from "radical activists" about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, an issue that has dominated Colorado's political landscape for almost two years.

But in hyper-educated Colorado — which ranks second in the nation per capita for the number of people with college degrees — will the ad backfire?

No, said Anastasia Swearingen, senior research analyst at the Environmental Policy Alliance.

"We're trying to bring attention to the fact that everyone from the Environmental Protection Agency to officials in the Obama administration to state regulators have all said fracking is safe," she said.

But political consultant Eric Sondermann called the ad a "very, very risky strategy" at this point.

"Ultimately, this is a battle for which side comes across more reasonable and middle-groundish, and I'm not sure this moves the ball forward for the people who sponsored the ad."


So who is Richard Berman and his Berman & Co. (also known by their various entities to include Center for Consumer Freedom, Center for Union Facts, American Beverage Institute, Center for Media and Democracy, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Pro Musica Hebraica, OLO, Big Green Radicals, Environmental Policy Alliance, and others)?

Rachel Maddow reported on Rick Berman in 2009:




Next, let's look at Berman's website.  Not the main marketing, corporate website, but the second site, Berman Facts at https://www.bermanfacts.com/. - A website, like so many other corporate whoremonger's PR websites, established to counter and spin all the negative press over the past decade, specifically the work of Center for Media and Democracy's Sourcewatch.  "Berman Facts" claims that all that negative press about Berman & Co. is nothing more than  "misinformation" put out by dishonest people with an ax to grind - of course everyone is lying...it can't be that Berman & Co. does anything manipulative and outright unethical.

Berman and Company (BAC) is a Washington, D.C. communications firm that manages several free-market non-profits and a trade association and provides traditional advertising and public relation services to outside clients. The Center for Consumer (CCF), The Employment Policies Institute (EPI), The Center for Union Facts (CUF), the Enterprise Freedom Action Committee (EFAC) and The American Beverage Institute (ABI) are all non-profit organizations managed by BAC. These organizations have been mainstays in Washington for decades. EPI and ABI were both founded over 20 years ago and CCF has existed for close to 15 years. CUF and EFAC, the youngest of the Berman-managed non-profits, have been around since 2006 and 2007.

These organizations were founded to combat a tidal wave of anti-business, anti-free market Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) that advocate for a battery of laws, restrictions and regulations that attack personal freedom and entrepreneurialism.


Our detractors often erroneously refer to the organizations we manage as “shadowy front groups” on left-wing funded websites like Sourcewatch.com, a label that is occasionally repeated by those in the media too lazy or malicious to report anything other than what they find during a cursory Google search. These same reporters often refer to Rick Berman as a “tobacco lobbyist,” despite Rick not having worked on any tobacco-related policies in almost 15 years. And when he did, it was to defend smoking sections in restaurants on behalf of restaurant owners. Rick isn’t even a lobbyist.

It is misinformation like this that has become so pervasive online—and even in the so-called mainstream press—that we felt compelled to put the facts about BAC in one place where researchers and reporters would have easy access to the truth. Please take a look around BermanFacts.com. If you have questions about Rick or Berman and Company beyond what is presented here, please contact us at 202-463-7100.

Methinks they doth protest too much...

Let's see what that evil and "pervasive" "misinformation" is all about, shall we?

Center for Media and Democracy


The Environmental Policy Alliance is a front group operated by the PR firm Berman & Co. Berman & Co. operates a network of dozens of front groups, attack-dog web sites, and alleged think tanks that work to counteract minimum wage campaigns, keep wages low for restaurant workers, and to block legislation on food safety, secondhand cigarette smoke, drunk driving, and more.
The Environmental Policy Alliance describes itself as "devoted to uncovering the funding and hidden agendas behind environmental activist groups and exploring the intersection between activists and government agencies." It is a project of the Center for Organizational Research and Education and consists of four sub-front groups, including Big Green Radicals, EPA Facts, Green Decoys, and LEED Exposed.[1 Environmental Policy Alliance, "Home Page," corporate website, accessed February 20, 2014]
According to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Environmental Policy Alliance "attacks environmental advocacy groups and fights against environmental regulation by the government."[2 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Berman Exposed, BermanExposed.org, accessed June 12, 2014]
The organization shares a mailing address with notorious lobbyist and front-group operator Richard Berman and his firm. Research analyst Anastasia Swearingen, who has published materials on behalf of the Environmental Policy Alliance and its projects, has previously worked for other Berman-associated organizations Center for Consumer Freedom and the American Beverage Institute and is a Berman & Co. employee.[3 Anastasia Swearingen, Mis-LEED-ing green buildings, USA Today, March 12, 2014]

And concerning Big Green Radicals created just for Colorado Fracking... (more like We-Don't -Give-a-Damn-About-Anything-But-Love-Oily-Money-So-We-Are-Going-To-Spread-Industry-Lies-For-Quick-Cash[dot]CON)...
In May 2014, Big Green Radicals launched a PR campaign against various Colorado groups seeking to block fracking in the state, calling it "ground zero" in the fracking debate. BGR sought to define the groups -- including the Colorado branches of Food & Water Watch, Water Defense, and Sierra Club, as well as Americans Against Fracking and Artists Against Fracking -- as astroturf organizations, groups that claim to be grassroots but are really primarily created by special interests.[5 Environmental Policy Alliance, Big Green Radicals Colorado page, BigGreenRadicals.com, accessed June 12, 2014]
Big Green Radicals further asserted that these "extreme groups, mostly based far from Colorado in San Francisco, New York, or Washington D.C., are spending millions and spreading their anti-science message to scare voters into approving ballot measures in November to send the oil and gas industry (and the jobs and affordable energy it provides) packing from the Centennial State."[5 Environmental Policy Alliance, Big Green Radicals Colorado page, BigGreenRadicals.com, accessed June 12, 2014]
In addition to its attack on these anti-fracking groups, BGR rebuked Colorado Congressman Jared Polis as the "poster boy" for the anti-fracking movement.[5 Environmental Policy Alliance, Big Green Radicals Colorado page, BigGreenRadicals.com, accessed June 12, 2014]

We, the People, of Colorado should feel honored!  We have Berman & Co. pouring money into our economy in order to help bilk us out of our state!  Aren't we special?

Bad enough that we have corporate media bending over for the COGA; a governor owned by COGA; an Oil and Gas Conservation Commission that only cares about conserving COGA instead of the environment that COGA goes all out on destroying; and a State House that rolls over whenever COGA barks...

Now we have Berman & Co. filling the remaining space to create a 24/7 pro-industry propaganda rattle and hum.

So it goes, proving once again, the religion of America is not Christianity as the nutjobs in Congress and on RW airwaves would try to have us believe...The religion of America is Consumption and his Big Bro, Destruction - And one of the major "Profits" [sic], Rick "the Dick" Berman.

Ending with the Rock's (aka, Rock Cosmos - old man, significant other and all around life partner to the Cosmic Surfer) favorite admonition:

Money is GOD!  
Let's drill from the Arctic to the tropics, all around the planet; obliterate mountains, valleys, deserts, grasslands, oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams; cut down the last tree to build the last McMansion to sell to the last billionaire so we can make the last payment on the last SUV to come off the last assembly line....
Party's over - no need to turn off the lights, they will go out on their own.
It was a hell of a ride, wasn't it?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Federal Judge in Denver overturns Colorado's Gay Marriage Ban!



As reported by ThinkProgress in the last hour,  U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore has declared Colorado's constitutional ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional.

The latest is just another step towards legal marriage for same sex couples in Colorado.

As reported here on July 10, 2014, and here on June 27, 2014, John Suthers, Colorado's Attorney General, has been firmly entrenched on the wrong side of history.

Colorado AG John Suthers

On June 27, 2014, Boulder County's Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall began issuing Marriage Licenses to same-sex couples immediately upon the decision issued by the Federal 10th Circuit Court striking down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage thereby opening the door towards full civil rights for all citizens under the US Constitution.  Since that date, Denver, Adams and Pueblo counties joined Boulder in issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

The US 10th Circuit Court, immediately, issued a "stay" on their June 27th decision in order to hold the matter until it could be reviewed by the US Supreme Court (a SCOTUS with 5 fully entrenched radically right wing male justices in the majority).

AG Suthers has been attempting to force the clerk and recorders offices in Boulder, Adams, Denver and Pueblo Counties to cease and desist their practice of issuing same-sex licenses in state courts.  The AG's office holds the position that the 2006 Amendment to the Colorado Constitution banning Same-Sex Marriage is still in effect and the clerk and recorders are in violation of the ban.  On July 18, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court ordered  Adams and Denver counties to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples but did not address either Boulder or Pueblo Counties in its ruling.


On July 23, 2014, the US District Court heard a suit brought by same-sex couples challenging the Colorado Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage.   Justice Raymond P. Moore's ruling, today, states that the Colorado ban is unconstitutional.

The Justice issuing today's decision has issued a stay on that decision until August 25, 2014, stating the stay is to allow time for the defendants in the case (Colorado's Governor John Hickenlooper, AG John Suthers, and Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Pam Anderson) "... to seek a stay of the injunction from a higher court."


Stay tuned....

And keep the popcorn warm...

Colorado may be brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century just yet (and Civil Rights might just be taken out of the hands of the state and actually allowed to be, as intended, for everyone)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Snowden: NSA Spies Share 'Sexually Compromising' Photos (and we are surprised that contractors who spy for profit are pigs?)

Snowden: NSA Spies Share 'Sexually Compromising' Photos



Friday, July 11, 2014

When Independence for one means slaughter, displacement and destruction for another

An eye on Palestine



There is a growing sentiment towards the plight of Palestinians. Yes, there are extremists and idiots on both sides; yes there is a lot of negative influence over the region exacerbating the strife and feeding the anger (the US included as well as US based evangelicals who want a war to lead to building of the 3rd Temple that would "result" in the "2nd coming") - but history (not just the cherry-picked "facts" promoted by one side over another; by ally over "enemy"; by victor over defeated) has a way of coming to the foreground if we allow it.

The problems in the middle east are not just because a few people shoot rockets at each other. They have been brewed from a simmering pot of anger, fear, pain and suffering on all sides.

Understanding history can prevent future stupidity if we only pay attention.

Sadly, most of us have the memory and curiosity of a gnat...

Some history of the region through the suffering of Palestinians.......al Nakba:



Pro Publica: U.S. Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Defense of Alleged Killers of Palestinian Teen

U.S. Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Defense of Alleged Killers of Palestinian Teen



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