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From this Tuesday morning's Washington Journal on C-SPAN, apparently Bloody Bill Kristol is tired of Republicans having to deal with Ron Paul for his stance in opposition to some of our military interventions and would just be happy if he left the party all together instead of the current crop of GOP candidates having to worry about "being nice to him" during the debates.
This obviously didn't sit too well with one of his supporters who called in directly after the comments were made. Leave it to the neo-con Kristol to attack Paul for one of the few things I agree with him on.
For most of its history America has had a two party political system. It now appears we also have a two realities system, illustrated by our perceptions and trust of Fox News versus other major media. Democrats and Independents tend to trust versions[...]
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The series of anti-SOPA activism going on today has already claimed an early victory. Marco Rubio, the Florida Senator and Tea Party favorite, dropped his support after being a co-sponsor of the bill. Now other Senators are starting to announce their[...]
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This afternoon, the Obama administration rejected an application from transmission company TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport carbon-rich oil from Canada?s tar sands, through America?s heartland, to refineries in Texas.That doesn?t mean the pipeline won?t be built. It just won?t be built on the timeline set by Republicans. Far from embracing the coalition opposing the pipeline, President Barack Obama has indicated that the permit is primarily a State Department affair and that he is most concerned about the potential threats to ?the health and safety of the American people,? as he said in his November statement. His most forceful statements about Keystone came in response to Republicans? legislative efforts to bully his administration into a decision. He has had little to say about the climate-change implications of the pipeline project. Republicans in Congress forced this decision with a deadline-setting rider to the payroll tax extension, and the administration had about a month left before, by law, it would have had to decide on the permit one way or another; until Republicans forced his hand, Obama had merely delayed the project. With that rider, Republicans have scared up a talking point line-of-attack they can ride through the election season: at the behest of lefty environmentalists, President Obama rejected (or?candidate?s choice!?threw out, killed, squashed) just the sort of job-creating project that could wash away the country?s economic woes. They?re trying out their lines already though they?re leaving out the inconvenient fact that Keystone would create as few as 500 jobs?not the tens of thousands the company was promising. Now they can also skip over the fact that today?s announcement leaves Keystone XL?s prospects in more or less the same position as in November, when the administration said it wanted to consider alternate routes for the pipeline?paths that would skirt sensitive environmental areas like Nebraska?s Ogallala aquifer. The State Department?s decision leaves room for TransCanada to reapply for a permit for an alternative route, and The Washington Post reported that a new route proposal could come within the next two weeks. If the company has to start the permit process from scratch, though, it will mean longer delays that could lead TransCanada to scratch the project altogether. In the past few days, the D.C. press corps had been hearing rumors that President Obama would announce the fate of Keystone XL during the State of the Union address. But the president has rarely spoken about the issue in public, and although he could still mention the project in his speech, it would have been out of step with his approach so far to elevate the issue?s profile by using his address to Congress to break this particular bit of news. The fight against Keystone XL grew from the failure of climate change legislation. Back in September of 2010, after Congress abandoned its efforts to pass a cap-and-trade bill, leaders in the climate movement were rethinking their strategy, and three of them?Bill McKibben, the writer and founder of climate group 350.org, Becky Tarbotton of the Rainforest Action Network, and Greenpeace?s Phil Radford?called for a wave of mass direct action on climate issues. Their goal was to start building a movement, outside of Washington, that would push for climate solutions. The protests against Keystone XL, which began in the summer of 2011, were the first actions to come in from this new push. For the climate movement, the problem with the pipeline is not just that it passes through sensitive lands, but that it carries tar sands oil, which contains more carbon than conventional oil does. Stopping the pipeline may not stop the development of Canada?s oil sands altogether. But it will make profit harder to come by and could shorten the life of the blooming oil industry in the province of Alberta. The climate campaigners and environmental groups that have been fighting Keystone are celebrating the administration?s announcement as a victory: McKibben called it ?a rare bummer of a day for big oil,? and Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council said in a statement that ?the pipeline was rejected for all the right reasons.? And they should be celebrating. Less than a year ago, the Keystone XL permit was going through a relatively routine approval process at the State Department; now the administration has said that the pipeline, as originally conceived, at least, is a bad idea. The anti-Keystone campaigners have goals beyond shutting down this one project, though. They want to build momentum and strength for the larger fight against climate change and the business interests that want to keep dumping carbon into the atmosphere. Building a movement requires victories along the way. This is one.
JANUARY 28, 2012 10AM ANDREWS LIBRARY 105 N Morgan Avenue Andrews Andrews Andrews Outside Potato Bed Ferry BROWNS FERRY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 7292 Browns Ferry Road Browns Ferry Browns Ferry Choppee CARVERS BAY LIBRARY 13048 Choppee Road Hemingway Carvers Bay Folly Grove Pleasant Hill GEORGETOWN LIBRARY 405 Cleland Street Georgetown Black River Georgetown 1 Dreamkeepers Georgetown 3 Georgetown 4 Georgetown 5 Kensington Penny Royal Spring Gully Winyah Bay WACCAMAW LIBRARY 24 Commerce Drive Pawleys Island Murrells Inlet 1 Murrells Inlet 2 Murrells Inlet 3 Murrells Inlet 4 Pawleys Island 1 Pawleys Island 2 Pawleys Island 3 Pawleys Island 4 Pawleys Island 5 PLANTERSVILLE COMMUNITY CENTER 1458 Exodus Drive Plantersville Myersville Pee Dee Plantersville SANTEE COMMUNITY CENTER 1484 Mt. Zion Road Santee Bethel Lambert Town Sampit Santee
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After Republicans in Congress put a deadline on the President's decision to defer a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, the Obama Administration responded:
Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State?s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline?s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department?s report, I agree.
This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I?m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration?s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil. Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down. In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security ?including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico ? even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas. And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment.
Republicans, as you'll see from the clip above, are predictably anxious to make this decision about jobs, because suddenly they're very interested in job creation after spending their first year of the 112th Congress waging war on women, the social safety net, and the poor. Mitt Romney stepped right up with a predictable condemnation.
Via Talking Points Memo:
President Obama?s decision to reject the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is as shocking as it is revealing. It shows a President who once again has put politics ahead of sound policy. If Americans want to understand why unemployment in the United States has been stuck above 8 percent for the longest stretch since the Great Depression, decisions like this one are the place to begin. By declaring that the Keystone pipeline is not in the ?national interest,? the President demonstrates a lack of seriousness about bringing down unemployment, restoring economic growth, and achieving energy independence. He seems to have confused the national interest with his own interest in pleasing the environmentalists in his political base.
Of course, it should be noted that Speaker Boehner has some key investments in the Keystone XL pipeline, and the talking points used by Republicans around it are largely lies, especially when it comes to oil prices and jobs.
Ezra Klein reminds that the battle is far from over:
Now, this doesn?t mean the pipeline is dead and buried. TransCanada will reportedly be allowed to reapply for permits once it comes up with an alternative pipeline route that doesn?t run through Nebraska?s Sandhills. This will delay the project further, because the company probably will have to grind through the permitting process all over again, but it?s possible that the company could eventually win approval. (TransCanada?s share price plunged when rumors of the rejection first emerged, but the stock now seems to be slowly recovering.)
Republicans who rail against so-called “government health care” typically exclude the Veterans Health Care Administration from the list of “big government” programs they would want to eliminate or repeal. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and now Rick Perry have all pledged to expand government involvement in health care through the VA, recognizing that the fully integrated veterans? health care structure of doctors and hospitals actually provides veterans with benefits that are the envy of the rest of the health care system ? including private payers and providers. CNN points to this flyer from Rick Perry highlighting his support for government health care for voters in South Carolina:
I’m not usually one to police the behavior of celebrities, but Mark Wahlberg’s recent statements about September 11 are really egregious and deserve a thorough fisking. He told Men’s Journal: “If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn?t have went down like it did. There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, ?OK, we?re going to land somewhere safely, don?t worry.”
First, who knew Mark Wahlberg knew how to fly commercial aircraft?
Second, for the love of all that is holy, do you know nothing about what went down on September 11? When people get out of their seats and start murdering members of the crew, it wouldn’t have been particularly surprising if people were shocked enough not to react until it was too late. And as it turns out, they weren’t. The passengers on United 93, including a judo expert and a rugby player (who may not be as fit as Mr. Wahlberg, but are not incapable people), fought back against the men who hijacked their flight. As it turns out, people with weapons who are determined to die are decent at thwarting the people fighting back against them who want to live. The hijacker at the controls of the plane dipped and rolled to thwart the passengers’ efforts. And he crashed it before they could get to the cockpit.
This is just profoundly disrespectful to everyone who died on planes on September 11, whether they fought back or not. It shows no understanding of their ordeal, or their courage. And it mistakes action movie theatrics, where the fights are scripted and all the participants share an interest in making a great scene rather than finding themselves at deadly odds, for the struggle to live.
Newsweek made this week waves once again, this time for the lead story titled, “Why are Obama’s critics so dumb?” Today, on Fox and Friends, host Gretchen Carlson asked her “fair and balanced” panel to discuss whether her outrage over the headline is justified. While most made the point that the headline is predominantly a sales-pitch, the “liberal” guest, TV talk show host Jerry Springer, opted to note the irony.
“It is a little disingenuous,” he said. “Here we are at Fox, complaining that Newsweek may be a little partisan.” Noting that magazines and other media outlets often take — or sell — opinions, Springer pointed out that Carlson’s outrage might be misplaced considering that “you guys, every single day, bash President Obama”:
SPRINGER: If the point of this discussion is to be upset with a magazine that — even if it took the position that they’re pro-Obama — again, everybody in the media is doing things like that. We’re here on Fox News. Every single day, in fairness, you guys, every single day, bash President Obama.
CARLSON: I’m going to take you to task on that because on this panel right here, we have a fair and balanced panel right here. And I’m the independent.
SPRINGER: But, what’s the rest of the show? The rest of the show, every single morning, you guys are slamming Obama. You know you are. I’m not saying you don’t have a right to. But every single conversation is something bad about Obama.
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Carlson’s “independence” must be seconds old. After all, Fox and Friends has never missed an opportunity to blast Obama, be it over the Iraq War, recess appointments, terrorism, income inequality, Christmas, or for generally existing.
The fair and balanced Carlson herself has unloaded on Obama, claiming he is putting “politics ahead of jobs for the American People,” or that he is “grinching 15 cents out of your pocket,” or that he is “working overtime now to raise taxes.” She’s even offered advice to GOP candidates on exactly how to campaign against the president. But Carlson insisted to Springer, “you obviously don’t watch our show.” “Quite frankly, we present both sides of the story and leave it up to our viewers to decide where they fall,” she said. (HT: TVNewser)