Aug 19, 2003

"Your Money or Your Lights." anatomy of a coverup to keep us from noticing the holdup.

Sources: Sabotage Cannot Be Ruled Out in Blackout Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Although government and energy-industry officials have continued to state that Thursday's massive power blackout was not an act of terrorism, they are unable to rule out the possibility that a computer hacker plunged 50 million people into darkness, a source told Fox News Monday. There were also reports that Al Qaeda had claimed responsibility for the outage, although U.S. officials said Monday that those claims should be taken with "a giant grain of salt."
Anything to distract attention from the real culprits. "There were also reports.....", "A source in the midst....." and even as the headlines and links proclaim it a result of a terrorist hack they report but bury the only hard source: "US Officials".
OR IF YOU WON'T BUY TERRORISM how about our great progress in readiness?--- With a positive spin about the success of the Homeland Security department response:
Ridge: Blackout Was 'Initial Test' for Homeland Security System
"The systems that were put in place, the means by which we communicate and share information that we have set up in our respective organizations to help one another if we need one another, were clearly tested that night," Ridge said, "Let's just call it an initial test of our relationship, and I think it worked pretty well." see SouthKnoxBubba on Ridge

For that one must travel into the web or the NYT op-ed
"In the search for the source of Thursday's blackout, the underlying cause has been all but ignored: deregulation. In principle, deregulation of the power industry was supposed to use the discipline of free markets to generate just the right amount of electricity at the right price. But electric power, it turns out, is not like ordinary commodities.... In the old days of regulation, a utility like Con Ed would be required to regularly submit a resource plan to a state's public service commission.... Under deregulation, however, nobody plays that crucial planning role. Much of the Southeast, by contrast, has retained traditional regulation - and cheap, reliable electricity.
When the blackout hit on Thursday, many of us first thought of terrorists. What hit us may be equally dangerous. We are hostage to a delusional view of economics that allowed much of the Northeast to go dark without an enemy lifting a finger."
But if you check out only one piece amid the oceans of verbiage (and pulped trees), don't miss Gregg Palast's piece, which reminds us, among other things, of that great legacy left us by George I, the first growth of our present dynastic shrubbery -- the deregulation of electricity and of the ability of utility companies to contribute to political campaigns. Enter Enron ("Their motto," writes Palast, "your money or your lights.") and George II. Check out why we've joined Brazil (Rio's electricity company was seized by Texas deregulators with the expectable results) and now privatizing Iraq into "the Dark Ages."
Take a look at political contributions by the top 12 Energy Industry Companies:
1 Southern Co $1,915,422 -- 32% Dem 68% Republican
2 National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn $1,348,629 46%Dem 54%Rep
3 Exelon Corp $1,284,645 34%Dem 66%Rep
4 Dominion Resources $1,249,035 33%Dem 67%Rep
5 TXU Corp $1,088,628 24%Dem 76%Rep
6 FirstEnergy Corp $1,044,807 29%Dem 70%Rep Another $350,000 came from FirstEnergy Corp.
7 Florida Power & Light $841,792 11%Dem 89%Rep
8 Entergy Corp $799,077 42%Dem 58%Rep
9 Duke Energy $708,015 27% Dem 73%Rep
10 Edison Electric Institute $594,766 30%Dem 70%Rep
11 Progress Energy $592,199 38%Dem 62%Rep
12 Reliant Resources $476,012 27%Dem 73%Rep

Just to save you the time this totals to 12 Million Dollars and (with the exception of the Rural Electric Cooperative at 8% more to Republicans) 16% to a whopping 78% advantage to Republicans. Source is Open Secrets
For more specifics about FirstEnergy go here and to MahablogVeiled for Allah has more enlightening details on this subject from serious research.
____ Paul Krugman has a clear and concise column on the effects of deregulation:
In the Road to Ruin...... a local event turned into an epic blackout because the transmission network has been neglected. That is, the power industry hasn't spent enough on the control systems and safeguards that are supposed to prevent such things. And the cause of that neglect is faith-based deregulation.

The media would have you believe that it is too early to lay blame for this at the feet of Republican deregulation and FirstEnergy. They hope you will reserve judgment until something else comes along to distract your attention from the truth. Just as ENRON has faded from public consciousness in the fog of IRAQ and more recent events the blackout of 2003 under complete Republican control of the government will fade in time. Remember the Republican promise of cheaper energy prices with deregulation? How stupid did they think we were? Energy companies resulting from de-regulation have decimated the economy of California leaving billions in deficits in the wake of their private irresponsibility. Now the Republicans seek to profit from their treachery by replacing a Democrat with a Republican as Governor. They will attemp to turn their massive failure to their advantage by taking more of our money to assist the "poor" energy companies in fullfilling their failed responsibility to provide uninterrupted power. Meanwhile the energy companies are pouring millions into their campaign coffers and more millions into the wallets of their rich Republican shareholders. If you do not know we are engaged in a class war you are sleeping. Visit Maru the crankpot for the additional poop. This post details Dennis Kucinich view of the Blackout and is must reading.
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