Our Common Good
thepeoplesrecord:


Hannah and landowner Eleanor Fairchild were standing in front of heavy equipment in an attempt to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline on Fairchild’s farm in Winnsboro, a town about 100 miles east of Dallas. They were arrested for criminal trespassing and taken to the Wood County Jail, Bassis said. Hannah also faces a charge of resisting arrest, according to jail records.

Let’s repeat that: Eleanor Fairchild, 78, was arrested for standing on her own property.

thepeoplesrecord:

Hannah and landowner Eleanor Fairchild were standing in front of heavy equipment in an attempt to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline on Fairchild’s farm in Winnsboro, a town about 100 miles east of Dallas. They were arrested for criminal trespassing and taken to the Wood County Jail, Bassis said. Hannah also faces a charge of resisting arrest, according to jail records.

Let’s repeat that: Eleanor Fairchild, 78, was arrested for standing on her own property.

questionall:

I really hate corporations, greed, and profit motive.

Romney Considers Oil Lobbyist For Chief Of Staff (by TheYoungTurks)

motherjones:

If the oil and gas industry doesn’t get its way this November, it won’t be for lack of trying. 

motherjones:

If the oil and gas industry doesn’t get its way this November, it won’t be for lack of trying

Sea levels have been rising in Louisiana and they’re threatening to washout a highway that’s a supply route for – wait for it – oil and gas:

Highway 1, unprotected by levees, connects critical oil and gas resources in booming Port Fourchon to the rest of the nation…

Local residents and business leaders are demanding that the federal government help pay to rebuild and elevate the remaining section of Highway 1, adding two miles to span the levees. Federal officials have provided scientific and technical expertise but will not contribute funding unless the state pledges to complete the road.

Louisiana says it doesn’t have the money.

So there’s the second problem.  Officials in a state with an aggressive tax-cutting governor – Bobby Jindal can boast of having pushed through the largest tax cuts in the state’s history – one who consistently inveighs against government spending, are “demanding” the Feds send money.

You may remember Gov. Jindal, a Republican, created a bit of a stir a few years back.  Tagged to respond to President Obama’s first State of the Union address, in 2009, Jindal argued that the Feds shouldn’t be spending money on the monitoring of volcanoes by the U.S. Geological Survey.  Instead, Jindal zinged, “what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.”

The tactic here is to inveigh against spending cuts against anything that sounds silly to people — though of course monitoring volcanoes actually sounds like something you’d want your government to do – until you actually need federal help.  Then demand it.

But what if isn’t there?  Virtually all of the federal budget cuts legislated in the last year or so – and there’s been about $2 trillion of them – have come from what’s called the discretionary side of the budget, the non-entitlement part that’s appropriated each year to fund the agencies and yes, to provide “grants-in-aid” to states.  This part of the budget is far less insulated from attack than the entitlements, like Social Security and Medicare, which are much more tangible to people (though there are some “low-information” types who have called for “keeping the government out of my Medicare”). 

In fact, grants to states and cities are a third of the non-defense, discretionary budget.  And if, in your frenzy to cut something — anything! — you slash away at them, while simultaneously insisting on no new revenues … then, yes … you can demand all you want, but the money won’t be there.

And then, of course, there’s the grand irony here.  According to the Associated Press, “Louisiana has lost about 2,100 square miles of coast and loses about 25 square miles a year. Experts warn that much of south Louisiana and Mississippi are at risk of being lost for good.” Additionally, “32 scientists – including many working on the state’s coastal restoration efforts – told Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal that there’s a direct link between the rising sea levels eroding the state’s coastline and greenhouse gases produced by the state’s industries.”

truth-has-a-liberal-bias:

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is a liar.

truth-has-a-liberal-bias:

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is a liar.

truth-has-a-liberal-bias:

From Care2.com:

Republican Sen. Rand Paul is single-handedly blocking legislation that would strengthen safety rules of oil and gas pipelines, despite the fact that the bill has industry support simply because he hates government.

In fact, Sen. Paul’s hatred of government runs so deep that his opposition to the bill didn’t change even after a gasline rupture shook three counties in his home state, Kentucky.

It was after a deadly gas pipeline explosion in a San Francisco suburb last year, and on the heels of other recent explosions and oil pipeline spills, that Congress and the oil and gas industry agreed an overhaul of federal safety regulations was in order.

The bill Sen. Paul opposes would authorize more federal safety inspectors, and pipeline companies would have to confirm that their records on how much pressure their pipelines can tolerate was accurate. The bill would also allow federal regulators to order that automatic shutoff valves be installed on new pipelines to halt leaks sooner. The provisions would expand pipeline inspections to rural areas and would all be paid for by industry fees.

Ideology may serve Sen. Paul well on the campaign trail, but it is doing zero good for his constituents or the rest of America. So far all the Tea Party has proven is its ability to get nothing done but obstruct bills that have the rare bipartisan support.



dcdecoder:

Or to put it another way: Follow the (charitable donation) money

As a quick followup to Decoder/Pantless Progressive’s prior writing on donations to supercomittee members, this from the Sunlight Foundation:

Following donations to members of Congress isn’t always enough - keeping tabs on their charities is important as well. 

In addition, their blog includes this curious entry:

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., also received plenty of accolades during the first half of the year. When he was honored by the Bryce Harlow Foundation, a nonprofit promoting ethics in lobbying, in April, Chevron, Marathon Oil, Shell, the American Petroleum Institute, were among the companies and organizations being generous.

Nothing wrong with promoting ethics in lobbying, but color Decoder somewhat surprised an ethics in lobbying award comes with such heavy corporate sponsorship.

While the award and Kyl’s participation on the supercommittee come far apart from one another, Sunshine points out in the next sentence that

[t]ax breaks for oil companies are a potential target for the committee, Democrats have said.

GOP town halls become lobbyist theater (by ThinkProgress6)

The oil lobby hired a group of lobbyists to create a front group in Iowa called the Iowa Energy Forum. The Iowa Energy Forum has planted industry-friendly questions in GOP town halls to Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Hermain Cain, and other candidates

quickhits:

ExxonMobil CEO Says Oil Price Should Be $60 To $70 A Barrel (Forbes)

Glenn Beck paused in the middle of a rant about the economy & climate for an important, if rather unexpected, aside. “I want to thank Charles Koch for this information.”

Top staff members for key House and Senate Republicans met in a closed-door session Tuesday with energy industry interests to work on strategy to handcuff the Obama administration’s climate change agenda.