Home > Uncategorized > Obama Deal Outdoes Christie in Slashing Clean Energy Funding

Obama Deal Outdoes Christie in Slashing Clean Energy Funding

[Update: 8/3/11 – Wow! Check out this photo. Obama signing bill into law all alone – a picture really speaks volumes. Compare that to several other bill signing ceremony pictures – See: The Shame Sets In ]

Obama all alone - the shame setting in

Obama all alone – the shame setting in

A little commented on aspect of the Obama so called hostage deal relates to deep cuts in clean energy funding.

Clean energy is allegedly a very high priority of the Administration in terms of infrastructure, energy policy, job creation, technological innovation, and global warming.

Nonetheless, Obama threw clean energy under the bus, along with the New Deal framework and War On Poverty Social Safety Net programs. And for nothing in return.

Are we on track for the kind of change you support?

Are we on track for the kind of change you support? (photo: Wolfe)

According to a summary of the deal by VP Biden’s former economic advisor:

$1 trillion in cuts in discretionary spending over 10 years

What does that mean? It refers to the non-entitlements in the budget: defense and non-defense programs where dollar amounts are appropriated every year. On the non-defense side, it’s transportation, education and training, child care, housing assistance, health research, energy.

From a jobs perspective, a lot of infrastructure and investment in stuff like clean energy comes out of this part of the budget.

And that doesn’t describe additional likely discretionary spending cuts to EPA.

This just may have outdone our good Governor Christie, who we have blasted for similar reckless cuts.

But this so called extorted hostage “deal” (NY Times editorial: “nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists“) isn’t even Obama’s worst so far.

Obama’s far more substantial dirty deal – and killing the New Deal is a pretty huge dirty deal to surpass – was in Copenhagen.

Don’t forget that Obama derailed any possibility of government based collective global climate action – dooming the planet to tipping point warming. See:

Obama’s Copenhagen Speech: The Collapse of a Deal?

This “deal” is just further addition to the mountain of evidence that the political system is broken and can not be reformed from within or via electoral processes.

As I wrote in the original post launching this blog:

As political scientist Sheldon Wolin wrote in Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (excellent review here), our democratic institutions have been hijacked by corporate interests and our Republic transformed to a global empire.

And there is little indication that the Obama “change” is anything more than rhetoric. According to a Wolin interview in Chris Hedges’s new book Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (Hedges interview here). Hedges wrote:

“The basic systems are going to stay in place; they are too powerful to be challenged.” Wolin to me when I asked him about the Obama administration. “This is shown by the financial bailout. It does not bother with the structure at all. I don’t think Obama can take on the kid of military establishment we have developed. This is not to say that I do not admire him. I think he is well meaning, but he inherits a system of constraints that make it very difficult to take on these major power configurations. I do not think he has the appetite for it in any ideological sense. The corporate structure is not going to be challenged. There has not been a word from him that would suggest an attempt to rethink the American imperium.”

The only way out is old fashioned movement politics, fueled by direct action and civil disobedience.

Mario Savio – Speech in Sproul Plaza (Berkeley, December 2, 1964)  (watch it)

And that, that brings me to the second mode of civil disobedience. There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.