Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Warning: Danger Ahead If Proceed To Susan Rice Sec. of State Nomination

English: This map shows the extent of the oil ...
English: This map shows the extent of the oil sands in Alberta, Canada. The three oil sand deposits are known as the Athabasca Oil Sands, the Cold Lake Oil Sands, and the Peace River Oil Sands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Keystone XL demonstration, White House,8-23-20...
Keystone XL demonstration, White House,8-23-2011 Photo Credit: Josh Lopez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Denny:  Sadly, Susan Rice is not winning friends on either side of the political aisle the past week.  The GOP has tried to hang the ambassador killing in Libya on her though it isn't sticking because she had nothing to do with it. 

Now progressives are unhappy with her.  Why? Because of her strong ties to the $7 billion XL Pipeline project to deliver filthy oil tar sands clear across America to the Texas oil refineries.  That mega-project tunnels under a precious underground aquifer - the only fresh water source for up to half of the entire country.  

Turns out Amb. Rice owns a huge amount of stock in TransCanada Corp. - up to $600,000.  She also has millions of dollars of stock in other energy companies that invest in oil tar sands like Royal Dutch Shell and Suncor.

Then there are the investments in the Canadian banks that provide loans for these energy company projects.  Think someone has a vested interest in making her Sec. of State?

Why is this a big deal?  Well, for one thing, it's about ethics.  If she was ethical she would have sold off those stocks before attempting to be nominated for the Secretary of State position and stirring up all this controversy.  

Keeping those stocks sure looks like an unwise bungling politician at best that disqualifies her as competent for the State position.  At worst she looks like a greedy manipulator. 

Why does she look greedy and manipulative?  Here's how it looks:  TransCanada and the other energy companies gave her those stocks in exchange for getting the billion dollar XL Pipeline the green light.

What would she have to do with getting the final OK?

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It's the Secretary of State that makes the decision.  If this is true that she has promised the energy companies she will give them carte blanche access to the United States to finish building the controversial pipeline, then it speaks to unmitigated political corruption.  

To make it worse it looks like President Obama is in on the corruption deal.  Hello, this century's version of the old Teapot Dome Scandal.  This could lead to impeachment and be very easy for the Republicans to drive that situation into reality.  While the Republicans have been desperately seeking the Libyan angle to impeach President Obama they have ignored the obvious this situation presents: a  political scandal of huge proportions that would not sit well with the public.

U.N. Amb. Susan Rice is said by all who interact with her to possess the personality of a goat.  That translates as not possessing the temperament to be placed in the slot of the nation's highest profile diplomat.  Rice has not won many real friends willing to go to bat for her possible nomination.  Read that as she has cultivated more enemies than allies in the political and diplomatic world.

Her personality does not suit the international diplomatic arena.  When on a damage control tour with GOP Senators to attempt to help her nomination succeed all she did was manage to stir up the GOP to louder and angrier levels.  She would be better placed as an international trade negotiator because of her stubbornness and prickly attitude where those negative attributes would serve her better - and get her out of the public eye.

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President Obama needs to pay attention to more than diverting the XL Pipeline project in order to protect some endangered beetle.  How about the endangered humans who could end up with contaminated fresh drinking water?  Considering it is the largest and cleanest source in America, why risk it?  Oil and gas energy companies are notorious for walking away from disasters they create.  

Once this pipeline is in the ground it's just a ticking time bomb for deterioration, then what?  Who is going to deal with that mess when it happens?  The decades old 30,000 deteriorating oil wells out in the Gulf of Mexico off my state of Louisiana right now speak to more national disasters waiting to happen.  Do Congress and this president really want to kick the can down the road to make it another generation's problem? 

As to placing a woman in the Sec. of State position the President could always consider retiring Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine.  She may be a Republican but is also known as a person of integrity and ethics. I know we all would love it if Sec. Hillary Clinton would stay on for another four years but it's clear she's tired from all the traveling.  

Women in America have enjoyed viewing a few quality women in high places and the Sec. of State position is no exception.  But if the nomination must go to a man I'd cheer former Senator Tom Daschle.  He would be stellar as he is a great study, quick on his feet when handling the press and tough situations and commands excellent diplomatic skills and speech.  He's a natural for the position above all the others in consideration.

Second terms for presidents are often where they go off track, trying too hard to appoint all their "pals of the president" to an important position.  President Obama would do well to consider his self-preservation to avoid impeachment, and, therefore, move past Susan Rice for consideration.  

He might want to think long and hard about his presidential legacy.  Will it be sound?  Will it be free of contentious personalities he appointed painting a dark cloud over his accomplishments?  The choice is his to make. 

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