Allow me to be politically incorrect

The Republican Party and its Presidential candidate have a mission to strip away political correctness. In his phone messages, Ben Carson would say it is the biggest problem we have in America. Really?

With the freedom afforded me of removing the air cover of political correctness, let me ask a few direct questions.

– Why is it the candidate who says don’t believe the non-partisan fact checkers is the one who has lied more than any other candidate since the measurements began?

– Why is it the candidate who says if he loses it will only be due to voter fraud and a rigged system represents a party whose state leaderships had four Voter ID laws ruled unconstitutional just this month and as well as several gerrymandering cases on the past year?

– Why is it the man who calls his opponent “crooked” has been involved in multiple thousands of lawsuits when he has stiffed contractors, employees and investors, tried to evict people from their homes or made alleged misrepresentations as he did with Trump University?

– Why have we had eight Congressional committees on Benghazi and not one on invading Iraq to find WMDs? The just completed  UK study on the Iraq invasion  found fault with Tony Blair and George W. Bush.

– Why does Trump talk about “extreme, extreme vetting” when it is being reported by the AP that his campaign manager and now Chair, Paul Manafort, may have helped Russia buy influence in the 2012 election through masked funding of a lobbyist and by NBC News that he had involvement with several nefarious pro-Russian investors and people in the Ukraine?

– Why does Trump talk about taking Iraq’s oil when that would be a crime and make us out to be a pariah? Or, waterboarding, which the CIA says was ineffective and won’t do again after the Bush administration hung them out to dry?

-Why are members of Congress who are funded by the fossil fuel industry wanting to see the in-progress results of New York State’s Attorney General investigation into ExxonMobil for their alleged misrepresentation to shareholders and investors about the impact of climate change on its business?

– Why is it the GOP members of a Congress and 19 states have tried to strangle Obamacare through over 50 repeal votes, defunding the risk corridors for insurers to help with initial adverse selection, not expanding Medicaid in 19 states and naysaying it to constituents? It is working pretty well, but needs improvements in particular the risk corridor payments to insurers like Aetna and BCBS.

-Why did former Speaker John Boehner say jobs were mission one in January, 2015, then not pass any jobs bills that year, with the exception of the Keystone Pipeline bill which accounted for 40,000 temporary jobs?

-Why is it reported that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie help settle a back taxes case against a Donald Trump casino for only $5 million when Trump owed $30 million for several years, as reported by the New York Times and others? Now, tell us which system is rigged?

I could go on, but these are questions worth asking. And, hearing the answers.

A few quotes paint ExxonMobil into a corner

The movie “Merchants of Doubt,” took a satirical and accurate look at the lengths the fossil fuel industry have gone to promote climate change denial. Last fall, the New York State Attorney General began an investigation of ExxonMobil regarding their purposeful misleading of shareholders and investors on the impact of climate change on their business. Lying to the public and customers is one thing, but lying to investors is a fraudulent crime.

In the recent issue of the Sierra Club magazine, the case against ExxonMobil is very compelling and follows some excellent investigative reporting by the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimate News, a Pulitzer Prize winning new site. And, one more state Attorney General has added his state’s weight to the investigation.

Apparently, ExxonMobil was very prolific in investigating the impact of burning fossil fuels on the environment dating back to the 1970s. Yet, they shelved that work in the late 1990s, as it did not fit in with their  climate change denial charade, per the Sierra article called “Big Oil in the Hot Seat.” A few quotes from ExxonMobil internal meetings and external statements paint the picture as quoted from the Sierra article. Note Exxon is referenced below as it predates the merger of the two oil giants.

In a 1982 memo circulated to Exxon executives – “Exxon’s environmental affairs manager reported that addressing the greenhouse effect ‘would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion’ and that without the reductions ‘there are some potential catastrophic events that must be considered.’

At a 1991 conference, an ice researcher with Exxon’s Canadian division told a group of engineers “Greenhouse gases are increasing ‘due to the burning of fossil fuels. Nobody disputes that fact ‘

Yet, during a 1999 Exxon shareholders meeting, then CEO Lee Raymond “waved away climate science as ‘sheer speculation.’

It should be noted that ExxonMobil has been a leading funder of groups who are polarizing the debate over climate science.  Per Greenpeace USA, the company has contributed over $30 million to such groups between 1998 and 2014. These are the groups that were portrayed in the movie “Merchants of Doubt.”

It is ironic that this is how the tobacco industry was exposed after eight CEOs lied to a Congressional Committee in the 1990s that tobacco was not addictive, when internal memos dating back to the 1960s said it was. Pun-intended, the smoking gun was there in the files all the time. It should not be lost on anyone that the same PR people handled both the tobacco and fossil fuel industry’s disinformation campaigns.

This is serious stuff for ExxonMobil. If they misled shareholders, this is fraud. But, it is not just the investors who are harmed. Climate change is real and is man-influenced. We must now move to address these issues as we are behind the curve on this. Please consider the stances on climate change of each candidate. It is that crucial, as we can no longer tolerate denial and we cannot unwind progress in the move toward renewable energy. We cannot afford a President who does not recognize climate change for the danger it represents today and for our children.