Regardless of your position on repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell this year, imagine how you'd feel if you were promised repeatedly that the discriminatory law would be repealed, then you were specifically promised in the State of the Union that it would be done this year. Then, when a reporter goes to the White House spokesman and asks, repeatedly, over the period of a few weeks, would you support the law's repeal this year, the spokesman chokes up.
In many ways, it's very much the public option all over again. Strong initial support for a position popular in the polls, then when the detail work begins, the White House backs off and starts to send mixed signals. It's a strange and rather inexplicable pattern, one that we've all been trying to get our heads around. But whatever the justification, it's a poor way to manage relations with any Democratic constituency months before a crucial midterm election.
Georgia's Democratic Attorney General Thurbert Baker refused to comply with a request from Republican Governor Sonny Perdue to join with other (all Republican) Attorneys General in their lawsuit against the Federal Government over the recently-enacted[...]
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From the March 30th edition of The Daily Show:
Jason Jones, Wyatt Cenac and John Oliver discuss faux lesbian bondage-themed strip clubs while sitting on top of each other.
I don't think you needed to be Nostradamus to figure this out. Insurance regulations are the soft spot where industry lobbyists know how to navigate much better than anyone looking out for consumers, and insurers are launching their attack on reform in[...]
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While a few eco-advocacy groups, like the Pew Environment Group, commended the Obama administration for its oil-drilling decision announced today, the majority, even those that have previously given the President high marks on the environment, are steamed.
Marilyn Heiman, director of the Pew Environment Group’s U.S. Arctic program, said:
We thank President Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar for protecting Bristol Bay, one of the planet’s richest marine ecosystems. ... Bristol Bay must be permanently protected for future generations as the home of the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon run and part of a region providing more than 40 percent of our nation’s seafood. With fish stocks declining around the globe, we cannot afford to put Bristol Bay’s vibrant fisheries at risk. ...
President Obama should be commended for proceeding carefully on new Arctic leasing until better spill response capabilities are in place and we know how to protect this sensitive region. ... Thorough science and planning must come before drilling in any marine waters. There should be no new lease sales in the Arctic Ocean until thorough research determines how such development will affect the traditional way of life of Alaska Natives and iconic species like the endangered bowhead whale.
Jackie Savitz, senior campaign manager at Oceana, wrote:
Very funny, Mr. President, but tomorrow is April Fool’s, not today. We can’t imagine that you’d go back on your promise to keep the moratorium on offshore drilling. ...
Oceana disagrees. We can not afford an ‘all of the above’ approach. Expanded offshore drilling will compete with the development of offshore wind for resources like investments, installation ships, technology and maritime expertise, making both oil and wind more expensive and slower to market. ...
Sadly, we are told this is not an April Fool, so we need your help. Let’s remind Obama to keep his promise.Take action now and let him know that offshore drilling is not the way to energy security.
Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said:
If we want to boost our domestic oil supply, we should focus on enhanced oil recovery from existing fields, a process that can supply more than 10 times the amount of oil that could be produced by drilling in our oceans over the same period.
Turning back the clock and returning to more offshore drilling, meanwhile, will do little to relieve America’s oil addiction.
According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, drilling in America’s previously closed ocean areas "would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production...before 2030." Even then, "because oil prices are determined on the international market ...any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant."
Offshore drilling would yield little cost or supply benefit, and yet it would pose serious long-term danger to our beaches and marine life. It also threatens commercial fishing, ocean-related tourism, and recreation industries that contributed more than $128 billion to the nation’s economy in 2004 and supported more than 2 million jobs.
In a prepared statement, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, said:
We're very disappointed to see important areas like the Arctic coast and the Mid and South Atlantic stay open to oil drilling.
What we need is bold, decisive steps towards clean energy, like the new clean cars regulations announced this week--not more dirty, expensive offshore drilling.
The oil industry already has access to drilling on millions of acres of America's public lands and water. We don't need to hand over our last protected pristine coastal areas just so oil companies can break more profit records. ...
President Obama has taken important steps to combat global warming pollution and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Our nation's increasing investment in clean energy and efficiency measures make drilling in sensitive coastal areas even more unnecessary.
There's no reason to drill our coasts. We can achieve real energy independence and economic vitality by investing in clean energy like wind and solar and efficiency. This kind of power creates good, lasting American jobs and positions our nation to become a global leader in the new clean energy economy.
The new executive director of Greenpeace, Phil Radford, said:
"Is this President Obama’s clean energy plan or Palin’s drill baby drill campaign? While China and Germany are winning the clean energy race, this act furthers America’s addiction to oil. Expanding offshore drilling in areas that have been protected for decades threatens our oceans and the coastal communities that depend on them with devastating oil spills, more pollution and climate change."
On the web site of the District of Columbia Office of Environment America, Director Anne Aurilio stated:
Environment America is outraged that this administration will substantially increase offshore oil drilling. There is no need to threaten our beaches, wildlife and tourism with oil spills and pollution when we have much better solutions -- putting cleaner cars on the road today that will dramatically cut oil consumption; shifting to plug-in cars powered by the wind and the sun that use little to no oil and investing more in public transportation.
While China and Germany are winning the clean energy race, this act furthers America’s addiction to oil. Expanding offshore drilling in areas that have been protected for decades threatens our oceans and the coastal communities that depend on them with devastating oil spills, more pollution and climate change. ...
"Drilling for oil and gas is still a dirty and dangerous business. Opening much of the Atlantic coast to drilling will threaten the last remaining Northern right whales, endangered sea turtles and vibrant tourism economies from Delaware to Florida.
This may seem elliptical, but bear with me...In a blog post earlier this week, Arianna Huffington[...]
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Tomorrow night, Thursday April 1st at 9 PM EST I'll be on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd, a[...]
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As Hotline, the Washington Post and others are reporting, Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will not step down and will instead serve out her term through 2012. Citing "President Obama's victory on health care legislation" and not her thumping at the hands of Rick Perry in the Texas GOP gubernatorial primary, Hutchison has reversed course on her pledge last fall to resign. If that broken vow to leave the Senate sounds familiar, it should. Kay Bailey Hutchison is just one the many Republican revolutionaries of 1994 who ignored their promise on term limits.
On Wednesday, Hutchison portrayed her political opportunism as the defense of political principle:
"It is clear to me that the stakes in our nation's capitol have never been higher," said Hutchison at a press conference announcing her decision. "President Obama's victory on health care legislation has emboldened those who want an even bigger and more intrusive federal government."
Of course, the three-term Senator long ago broke her two-term pledge.
Hutchison is just one of the GOP class of 1994 who is in breach of their Contract with America. In the summer of 2005, Hutchison announced she would run for a third Senate term rather than challenge Republican incumbent Rick Perry in the race for Governor. But on election night in 1994, Hutchison made a commitment to term limits:
"I've always said that I would serve no more than two full terms. This may be my last term, or I could run for one more. But no more after that. I firmly believe in term limitations and I plan to adhere to that."
As it turns out, not so much.
According to USA Today, Senator Hutchison in 2006 said "she still supports term limits but would not bind herself unless senators from other states also left after two terms."
To cap a career of term limit hypocrisy, Hutchison last year joined Jim Demint (R-SC), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) in sponsoring a constitutional amendment which would restrict United States Senators to two, six-year terms. Defending the fraud perpetrated by Hutchison and the likes of Zach Wamp (R-TN), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and so many other Republican stalwarts, Demint also lauded their betrayal as principled:
"I want to be clear: demanding that reformers adopt self-imposed term limits is a recipe for self-defeat on this issue. We lost the battle for term limits after the 1994 Republican Contract with America because we forced our best advocates for reform to go home, while the big-spending career politicians waited them out. We must have term limits for all or term limits will never succeed. Only when we apply the same rules to all will we be able to enact vital bipartisan reforms."
Sadly for Demint, his "best advocates" didn't go home. Just ask Kay Bailey Hutchison.
(This piece also appears at Perrspectives.)
Lincoln led the fight against the public option. She's led the fight against regulating greenhouse gasses. She's led the fight against unions. She calls groups like the League of Conservation Voters "extremists".
There's no reason for Lincoln to be in our party. She's a sure loser in November anyway, having alienated virtually everyone in her state.
The national party may stick with her out of misguided loyalty, but Bill Halter aims to rescue the Democrats from themselves, and we can help offset the big corporate backing Lincoln is getting.
Let's get to 1,800 total contributors by the end of the day! Heck, let's make it 1,850!
Welcome to part three of this series. I am writing about the process of bankruptcy from the inside for a couple of reasons. First, it is so mind numbing and overwhelming that I have to do something. Since I write, well, that is what I do to get things[...]
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