Monday, December 15, 2008

Dr. Chu

Dolores May, commenting on Obama's appointment of Dr. Chu to Sec. of Energy(HuffPo):

Progressives should be aware that Dr. Chu's energy research is entirely funded by British Petroleum, through a controversial $500 million dollar contract with UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley Labs (as well as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). The emphasis at the BP-created initiative is mainly on biofuels. The deal has come under heavy criticism for potentially ensuring that a major oil company will be setting much of the agenda for energy research in the coming century (not to mention setting the agenda for the public universities involved). Not an entirely evil enterprise, perhaps, but hardly free of distortion by economic interests. And Dr. Chu was a major force creating the deal. So not to rain on anyone's parade, but just to add a little perspective. This appointment is very much in the mold of other Obama appointments: Super-smart, super-qualified guy - but no progressive.

Meet the new Energy Czar, same as the old Energy czar. Chu also supports nuclear energy. That said, Chu's scientific credentials appear impressive, and Contingencies does not automatically dismiss the potential viability of nuclear power. (Emo-crats usually do, however--except when Chairman BO assures them it's ok). Obama also has selected former Clintonite EPA boss Carol Browner (Miss Browner's the actual E-Czar--Czarina?) for an eco-bureaucrat position, along with Nancy Sutley, an assistant to Browner: all Clintonites. Hope and Change.

The nerdier DailyKOS sorts approve of Chu for the most part, believing that a real "geek" has taken over the reins of Energy. Chu, however, like most high-powered laboratory scientists, has ties to oil corporations such as BP, as did his predecessors in Bush admin. (BP has in fact greatly profited from the Iraqi war--). The implication seems to be that a pro-nuclear Asian scientist with ties to Big Oil is to be preferred to the pro-nuclear American scientist with ties to Big Oil.

One Counterpuncher, Karl Grossman doesn't seem overly thrilled with the appointment of Dr. Chu: “He’s really big on efficiency and renewables,” says Michael Mariotte, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, of Chu. But he is “looking at nuclear as well. He and President-elect Obama are not anti-nuclear, and not perhaps as versed on it as they should be.” Mariotte has a major concern that “they will accede to demands to fund nuclear power made by Congress”—awash in contributions from the nuclear power industry and with many members loyal to the national nuclear laboratories in their districts.""

One of the Dept. of Energy's founding members, Admiral Rickover--hardly some tofu-munching, birkenstock'd Greenpeacer--ultimately took a stance against nuclear power, and suggested banning nuclear reactors.


Cockburn on Politix, Chicago-style. When he keeps his VI Lenin fetish under control, Alex Cockburn actually can scribble a bit. Blogging Blago:

""""Top storyline has been the impact of Blagojevich’s indictment on Obama. At the very moment the president-elect proclaims an era of uplift and constitutional propriety, the slimy tentacles of old-style Chicago corruption snake towards his ankles. The chortles of outgoing President George Bush Jr., himself harassed by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in the Scooter Libby affair, must be rich and prolonged.

Blagojevich did Obama the enormous favor of denouncing him on the government’s tapes. “F--- him,” bellowed the governor during a call with top aides and Patti, covertly recorded by the FBI on November 10th, “For nothing? F--- him.” The governor was peeved that Obama’s representatives weren’t offering him any material incentives to nominate Obama’s political associate and Chicago powerhouse, Valerie Jarrett, for the senate seat vacated by Obama. The president elect can thank his stars for the expletive, but potential embarrassments still loom.....""

We suspect Kid Obama's closer--much closer--to this than most of the Emo-crats realize. So BO goes with Emanuel--and thus ratted out his one-time ally Blago. Blago then puts BO's Senatorial position on the block. F--- him, indeed. Alas, facts, historical facts interfere with that gleaming Progressive futurity.

Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history: the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means, and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch, form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even the ideas on religion, of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case.

Engels, Speech at the Grave of Karl Marx

Darwin. Marx. Darwin and/or Marx.

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