The Center for American Progress (CAP), BP, and the Obama administration are connected in ways the media ignores. Is it a coincidence that CAP president John Podesta's brother Tony, just happens to be a powerful lobbyist for BP?
Let's look at it together and see if we can make sense out of it.
Who determines Obama's policy?
If you want to see where President Barack Obama’s response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster is heading, try following the urgings of the Center for American Progress.
On May 4, for instance, the CAP’s energy and environment expert, Daniel Weiss, called on the president to name an independent commission to look at the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. On May 22, he did just that.
On May 21, CAP president, John Podesta, privately implored White House officials to name someone to be the public point person for the spill response. A week later, the White House announced that Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen would hold daily briefings on the spill ...
On May 26, Weiss said the White House needed to demand that BP immediately set up an escrow account with billions of dollars ...
About That $20 Billion ... Sure enough, Obama demanded BP set up the escrow account.
While John Podesta sets the White House agenda on BP, his brother Tony Podesta is a powerful lobbyist for BP. Coincidence?
Tony and John Podesta cofounded the Podesta Group, a K Street lobbying firm. Now BP is a client ... according to the firm’s latest lobbying filings.
Tony and John have worked on the same team before. Last year, Wal-Mart came out big for a federal law mandating that employers insure their employees ... Center for American Progress was a partner. And Tony Podesta ... was doing Wal-Mart’s health-care lobbying.
Lobbyist Tony Podesta and his lobbyist wife, Heather Podesta, separately visited the White House eight times in Obama's first six months, according to the White House data dump. On 17 occasions, Obama's White House welcomed Tony's brother John, who co-founded the Podesta Group lobbying firm with Tony.
The Podestas are precisely the sort of wealthy, well-connected, revolving door, corporate lobbyists whom candidate Obama assailed for having "turned government into a game only they can play."
Tony's brother John is one of Obama's closest advisers, having served as director of Obama's transition team. John runs the Center for American Progress, an advocacy group intimately tied to the White House. Obama could defend these 17 John Podesta visits by pointing out he is no longer a registered lobbyist, but CAP's work with corporations has dovetailed with his brother's lobbying.
The Podestas also represent the most Obama-friendly corporations. NBC Universal, which includes the pro-Obama MSNBC, is a Podesta Group client. NBC is owned by General Electric, whose Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt sits on Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board and enjoys a weekly call with White House official Austan Goolsbee.
Hmmm ... MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski just admitted she's been "working with the White House" on oil spill talking points. Another coincidence?
[P]ay attention to the growing huddle behind the curtain in our nation’s capital. There’s a long list of well paid lobbyists that have been hired by the various parties involved in the Gulf oil spill fiasco. They are quietly going about the business of shaping their carefully crafted opinions with lawmakers so that when the oil settles the corporations involved can control what comes next.
Lobbyists are suddenly in great demand. BP has been reported as hiring Tony Podesta’s firm. His brother, John Podesta was the Clinton White House’s Chief of Staff. Then there’s Hilary Rosen, the former Washington editor-at-large for the Huffington Post and now part of the Brunswick Group, and Jim Turner, former House Democrat from Texas, who’s now with Arnold and Porter, and Ken Duberstein, the White House Chief of Staff under Reagan. That’s not even the entire list for just BP.
BP lobbyists planned at least 53 fundraising parties for lawmakers and candidates since 2008, including eleven this calendar year, according to an analysis of Party Time congressional fundraising data and federal lobbying data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Nine out of 11 fundraisers we have on file for this year are those hosted either by Tony Podesta or other lobbyists for his firm, the Podesta Group, who represent the company, now under enormous scrutiny as oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill continues to foul the Louisiana coast and beyond. As the Washington Times reported earlier this week, the well connected Podesta is the source of “tens of thousands” of dollars for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee–which has been pushing a for a petition to hold BP “accountable” while accusing Republicans of making excuses for “bad environmental actors.”
While most of the Podesta-related events are for Democrats, at least one is for a Republican, Rep. John Thune, R-S.D.
Podesta and his wife Heather aren’t just any lobbyists. Tony’s brother John — who now heads the liberal think tank Center for American Progress — led Obama’s transition team and has been dubbed the “shadow president” because of his close ties to the White House. Tony and Heather Podesta each have visited the White House seven times, according to public visitor logs.
With the Obama Administration claiming that America is “addicted to foreign oil,” Tony and Heather Podesta are like spies in the Democratic camp, dishing cap-and-trade battle plans to companies such as BP, Marathon Oil, and Sunoco.
The couple lobbies on behalf of a range of green businesses, too. For instance, the Securing America’s Future Energy Alliance paid Tony’s firm $10,000 a month for its help in “reducing America’s dependence on oil.” He also helped a solar energy power plant to get approval from the government to build their plant.
On the flipside, Tony “monitors” cap-and-trade legislation for oil company Sunoco. Heather “monitors” cap-and-trade for Marathon Oil and Southern Company.
Who's the big money man behind all these groups? Why none other than billionaire George Soros.
Thanks in part to funding from benefactors such as billionaire George Soros, the Center for American Progress has become in just five years an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals, including many that are shaping the agenda of the new Obama administration.
CAP's president and founder, John Podesta, 59, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, is one of three people running the transition team for president-elect Barack Obama, 47. A squadron of CAP experts is working with them.
Some of the group's recommendations already have been adopted by the president-elect.
CAP also is advocating the creation of a ``National Energy Council'' headed by an official with the stature of the national security adviser and who would be charged with ``transforming the energy base'' of the U.S. In addition, CAP urges the creation of a White House ``office of social entrepreneurship'' to spur new ideas for addressing social problems.
Podesta likes to say, ``we're not a think tank, we're an action tank,'' said Dan Weiss, an environmental activist who joined CAP last year.
Using the BP oil spill as an excuse, Obama enacted a six-month moratorium on new offshore drilling. In the meantime, while American oil companies are forbidden to drill (putting thousands out of work), the U.S. Export-Import Bank is giving Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, $2 billion for a risky deep water drilling experiment at 2,777 meters (BP's Deepwater Horizon was only at 1,500 meters deep).
Why would the U.S. Export-Import Bank loan $2 billion to Petrobras, a state-owned company who profited $15 billion in 2009 alone? Could it be related to the fact that Petrobras is George Soros single largest holding?
More interesting tid-bits:
- John Podesta not only runs the Center for American Progress (as well as served as chairman of Obama’s transition team), he also happens to be a board member of the radical Apollo Alliance.
- The Apollo Alliance wrote Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill.
- GE owns the smart grid meter technology.
- While Center for American Progress is agitating for cap n' trade, the Apollo Alliance is working on writing Obama's cap n' trade bill.
- A ‘major part’ of Democrats’ cap-trade bill was also ‘essentially written by BP’ too.
It's quite a twisted web of deceit. Isn't it?
We have John Podesta allegedly working against BP, while his brother Tony is allegedly defending BP.
The Democrats are now using the oil spill as an excuse to push through their cap n' trade scheme, which just happens to be written by BP and the Apollo Alliance.
Coincidently, Tony Podesta also represents NBC (who is working with the White House on talking points). NBC of course, is owned by GE, the company who owns the smart grid technology that CAP, Apollo, and Obama plan to mandate on all of us (good news for GE).
Then there's billionaire George Soros, who not only funds both CAP and the Apollo Alliance, but who also coincidentally bought an $811 million stake in the Brazilian state-owned Petrobras, right before the U.S. Export-Import Bank announced it would loan them $2 billion for deep water oil exploration off the shores of Brazil.
Coincidently again, Obama places a 6 month moratorium on new offshore drilling in American waters, effectively placing Petrobras competition on the sidelines. Boy, talk about Soros making the ideal investment.
Nope, nothing to see here. Move on. I'm sure there's more important things to talk about, like Obama going golfing or something.
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