tagged w/ Playing politics
By Joe Romm
The President loves fossil fuels, at least when they are extracted here — or, rather, anywhere in North America. On Friday the UK Guardian reported, “White House officials … gave strong indications the President is inclined to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.”
On Saturday, Obama gave a big wet kiss to oil and gas in his weekly radio address:
"Let’s keep moving forward on an all-of-the-above energy strategy. A strategy where we produce more oil and gas here at home, but also more biofuels and fuel-efficient vehicles; more solar power and wind power. A strategy where we put more people to work building cars, homes and businesses that waste less energy. We can do this. We’re Americans. And when we commit ourselves to something, there’s no telling how far we’ll go."
Now it is true that Obama was touting his proposed “Energy Security Trust to fund research into new technologies that will help us” finally “shift our cars and trucks off of oil for good.”
But I’ll bet you didn’t know this included research into vehicles that run on fossil fuels with higher life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions:
We can support scientists who are designing new engines that are more energy efficient; developing cheaper batteries that go farther on a single charge; and devising new ways to fuel our cars and trucks with new sources of clean energy – like advanced biofuels and natural gas – so drivers can one day go coast-to-coast without using a drop of oil.
Yes, in the Energy Security Trust, natural gas vehicles count as replacing oil with “new sources of clean energy.” Not.
As the National Journal reported last year:
“The president has proposed we switch trucks to natural gas, and I’m here to tell you today that every truck we switch to natural gas damages the atmosphere,” Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said at the IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates annual conference here. Krupp said the little data available about how much methane — a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide — escapes during the production of shale natural gas compels him to refuse to support a shift toward more natural-gas vehicles.
More at the link
I actually thought the trade off would be working to limit emissions from existing coal plants, but that may not come to pass either... so I suppose deferring to the Nixonian NEPA rule which may in the end just prolong the projects and not stop them really isn't even a tradeoff. And when it comes to addressing this crisis tradeoffs are not an option. This is one good reason why those who see the urgency of this should be supporting the Progressive budget because it is the only one calling for a carbon tax. At least the Progressive Caucus is not afraid to stand up for what is right and necessary instead of always using the Tea Party as an excuse to back off when we should be in their faces. This is about our abilty to feed ourselves at this point, not about always campaigning for the next election.
http://stopthecap.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Hurricane-Sandy.jpgBy Joe Romm
The President loves fossil fuels, at least when they are extracted here... more
The National Rifle Association broke its silence on last week's shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 26 children and staff dead. We're taking a closer look at this interesting story from the Current community. Check it out and add your two cents:
Raw: Anti-gun Protests Interrupt NRA Event
Submitted by letsliveinpeace
During the NRA's first conference since the Newtown tragedy, CEO Wayne LaPierre was interrupted by two protesters. While speaking, a man stood up with a sign reading "NRA killing our kids" in front of LaPierre's podium.
He was escorted out while screaming, "we should not arm teachers ... we've got to stop the violence ... we've got to stop the killing in our schools, stop the killing in our streets, the NRA is killing our children."
LaPierre said Friday that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
"Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or from a minute away?"
LaPierre blamed video games, movies and music videos for exposing children to a violent culture. He announced that former Rep. Asa Hutchison, R-Ark., will lead an NRA program that will develop a model security plan for schools that relies on armed volunteers.
The National Rifle Association broke its silence on last week's shooting... more
5 months ago
President Obama delivers remarks at an interfaith prayer vigil for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. December 16, 2012.
Please respect the families and the children with your comments, if you have negative comments please take them somewhere else. Thanks
http://news.yahoo.com/photos/President Obama delivers remarks at an interfaith prayer vigil for the victims of the... more
In the wake of today's shootings, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler says we need to wage "war" on the gun lobby
New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler called for a “war” on the National Rifle Association in light of the mass shooting in Connecticut today in an interview with Salon, saying the gun lobby group is the “enabler of mass murderers.”
Nadler, a rare fierce advocate of gun control on Capitol Hill, said the shooting should be a wake-up call to our “crazy attitude to guns” and the power of the gun lobby. He noted that other modern industrialized countries like the U.K., Sweden and Germany witness fewer than 50 gun homicides every year, compared to the roughly 10,000 people killed here. The difference, he said, is that they have “rational gun control regimes,” while we can barely even discuss gun control thanks to the power of the gun lobby.
“Al-Qaida killed 3,000 people in the World Trade Center in 2001. The United States went to war because of that. Because of the NRA, we’ve lost 10,000 people last year unnecessarily. It’s time we went to war,” he said. “And you have to say the National Rifle Association is the enabler of mass murderers. And we’ve got to stomp on them instead of kowtowing to them.”
Nadler said he was cautiously hopeful about President Obama’s statement this afternoon that, “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”
“I presume he meant that he will take a leadership role in supporting reasonable gun control measures. I hope that’s the case,” Nadler said. “I can’t think of any other meaning … Either it’s empty rhetoric, or it means he’s going to support strong gun control legislation.”
Nadler, who put out a statement today saying “NOW” is the time to talk about gun control, said Americans should demand that their member of Congress “declare themselves” on these issues. He mentioned modest gun control reforms, such as a ban on assault weapons like the one used in the shooting today; a ban on high-capacity magazines that hold dozens of rounds; and microstamping bullets to help police identify homicide suspects.
Most members are scared to get on board, he acknowledged. “The usual suspects introduce the usual legislation. They get a number of co-sponsors and most people stay away from it because of the politics,” he sighed.
“It only takes political courage because the NRA makes people toe the line against the majority view of the country. It’s time the majority stood up and said enough already. And the majority should have a motive because any of us could be a victim tomorrow,” he said. Indeed, Americans strongly support a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and slightly favor stricter gun laws.
“I would hope that these more frequent mass murders would change that politics,” he added. “This is so heartbreaking, and so terrible that this kind of thing happens. And happens routinely now. I think the next time it happens it isn’t even going to be as a big a headline as it used to be. It’s becoming routine.”
http://www.salon.com/2012/12/14/the_nra_is_the_enabler_of_mass_murderers/In the wake of today's shootings, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler says we need to... more
By Ted Glick
“Part of the challenge over these past three years has been that people's number-one priority is finding a job and paying the mortgage and dealing with high gas prices. In that environment, it's been easy for the other side to pour millions of dollars into a campaign to debunk climate-change science. I suspect that over the next six months, this is going to be a debate that will become part of the campaign, and I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we're going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way.”
-Barack Obama, in “Ready for the Fight: Rolling Stone Interview with Barack Obama,” April 25, 2012
From April 22-26 there were a series of activities on the climate crisis in Washington, D.C. organized primarily by religiously-based groups. One took place on April 23rd in an auditorium of the Old Executive Office Building, right next to the White House. Several Obama administration officials, including Heather Zichal, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, spoke to and answered questions from about 100 people from a variety of groups and parts of the country.
One question, asked several times, was if President Obama was going to be speaking out on the climate crisis in coming months. He has not been doing so, by and large, ever since the December, 2009 international climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Zichal’s response to this question was unclear. Either she did not know about the Rolling Stone interview, about to come out two days later, or what Obama said in that interview is somewhat provisional, not to be relied on. Hopefully, recent polls that have shown broad support for action on global warming—in the mid- to high-60’s percent range--will help to move Obama and others running for office to reflect that broad support in what they say between now and November 6.
It is clear, however, that if the climate emergency is going to be a major campaign issue, and if, after the election, we are going to get the kind of federal action urgently needed on it, we can’t depend upon Democrat/Republican interactions and messaging. We need to take action so that this and other important issues are visible, out there, difficult to sweep under the rug.
It is good news that a growing number of religious denominations and leaders are doing just that. Among the activities over the past week in D.C. were these:
an event at the National Cathedral on Earth Day, April 22, honoring Wendell Berry organized by the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care (NRCCC);
the meeting next to the White House on April 23rd organized by two Christian evangelical student-based groups, Renewal and Restoring Eden. and supported by many other organizations;
a day-long conference also on April 23 organized by NRCCC on the Scientific, Religious and Cultural Implications of Global Warming, which included presentations by 24 religious, government, scientific, military, medical and cultural leaders;
a day-long series of activities on April 24th organized by Interfaith Moral Action on Climate (IMAC), a newly-formed collaborative initiative endorsed by 45 groups and scores of religious and other leaders. Highlights were:
an inspiring program at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial early in the morning featuring Bill McKibben, Ibrahim Ramey, Luci Murphy and Sarah James;
a very diverse multi-faith service at the NY Avenue Presbyterian Church with leaders from Christian (Evangelical, Protestant, Catholic), Islamic, Jewish, Baha’I, Hindu and Native American faith traditions;
a religious procession/march down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill led by Native American women from the Onondaga and Mohawk Nations; and,
the public announcement and distribution to every Senator and House member of an “ethical report card” grading the response of Congress to the climate emergency. The overall grade given by IMAC to Congress was an “F.”;
a Global Day of Prayer for Creation Care event organized by the Evangelical Environmental Network on April 26, the highlight of which was a 3 ½-hour program of music, videos, presentations and prayers by a range of evangelical leaders from the US, Latin America and Africa.
I can’t remember ever participating in so many actions on an issue organized by religiously-based groups over such an extended period of time. It is a very hopeful sign that among people of faith, many different faiths, there is a clear stirring into action on this huge moral issue, this threat to human civilization and the ecological systems that have allowed for its development over the last 10,000 years.
The climate crisis is a deeply moral and ethical issue. To quote from the Call to Action issued by Interfaith Moral Action on Climate: “It is morally wrong to unjustifiably cause human suffering and death. Human-induced climate change is correlated with storms, floods, droughts, crop failures, diseases, and water and food shortages, as well as associated breakdowns in political, economic, social and ecological systems. . . The greatest impacts are falling on low-income people, communities of color, Indigenous peoples and others who have contributed little to climate change. . . To disrupt the climate that is the cornerstone of all life and to squander the extraordinary abundance of life, diversity and beauty of the planet is a moral failure of the first order.”
More at the linkBy Ted Glick
“Part of the challenge over these past three years has been that... more
Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Care Bear-in-Chief made an ill-advised move to put the hammer - or more like a feather - down on SCOTUS. The hyperbole begins. Charges of "playing politics" fly from the mouths of some of the most partisan politicos the world has ever seen. It's just another shite-storm in Rancorstan.Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Care Bear-in-Chief made an ill-advised move to put the hammer -... more
Republican lawmakers in Congress introduced legislation on Wednesday that would require the Obama administration to issue a construction permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days unless the president decided the project was not in the national interest.
Sponsored by Senator Richard G. Lugar, Republican of Indiana, the legislation is a sharp rejoinder to the State Department’s recent decision to delay a verdict on approval of the $7 billion project for at least a year while it considers alternative routes that bypass environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska.
That announcement enraged supporters of the pipeline, who have accused Mr. Obama of seeking to placate his supporters until after next year’s presidential election in lieu of signing off on a project that will create jobs.
“Building the TransCanada Keystone pipeline now is a dramatic opportunity to change that energy and national security equation,” Mr. Lugar said in a statement. “President Obama has the opportunity of creating 20,000 new jobs now. Incredibly, he has delayed a decision until after the 2012 election apparently in fear of offending a part of his political base and even risking the ire of construction unions who support the pipeline.”
Dozens of Republican senators and leaders of the party are backing the legislation, which seems unlikely to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate unless Mr. Lugar can muster bipartisan support for the bill.
The State Department put off the Keystone XL decision because of mounting pressure from lawmakers in Nebraska and from environmental groups that pleaded with the Obama administration not to allow the pipeline to traverse the delicate Sand Hills region of the state.
Soon afterward, the pipeline company, TransCanada, agreed to route the pipeline around the Sand Hills area. But the State Department has said it must nonetheless initiate a fresh environmental review process for any new route, a process that could take 12 to 18 months.
Opponents of Keystone XL condemned the Republican bill, pointing out that the State Department’s inspector general had opened an inquiry into the federal government’s handling of the environmental review of the pipeline proposal, which has been faulted by critics as lax.
“I will vigorously oppose any efforts by Republicans in Congress to legislate a rubber-stamp approval for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline,” Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, said in a statement. “At a time when the State Department inspector general is conducting a special inquiry into possible conflicts of interest related to the State Department’s handling of this project, it is completely inappropriate to try to short-circuit the thorough environmental review process federal law requires.”
House Republicans with the Energy and Commerce Committee have said they will discuss the Keystone XL delay at a hearing on the project on Friday.Republican lawmakers in Congress introduced legislation on Wednesday that would... more
(CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama blasted Congress for not passing a financial rescue package Monday, while Sen. John McCain's campaign accused Obama and Democrats of putting "politics ahead of country."
The House of Representatives rejected a $700 billion plan to bail out the financial system, putting a roadblock in front of the largest government intervention in the market since the Great Depression.
The bill failed by a vote of 205 to 228, with 140 Democrats and 65 Republicans voting in favor and 95 Democrats joining 133 Republicans against.
"This is a moment of national crisis, and today's inaction in Congress as well as the angry and hyper-partisan statement released by the McCain campaign are exactly why the American people are disgusted with Washington," the Obama-Biden campaign said in a statement released shortly after the vote.
The statement went on to say that every American "should be outraged that an era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and Washington has led us to this point."
read more at link(CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama blasted Congress for not passing a financial rescue package... more