EPA SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD: Voting 229 for and 191 against, the House on Nov. 18 passed a Republican bill (HR 1422) to reshape the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board to make it more industry-friendly.
The board provides independent evaluations of the scientific analyses upon which the EPA bases its regulations. Its 52 members are chosen by the EPA administrator and serve without pay.
This bill would diminish academic representation on the board while expanding corporate membership; permit experts with financial ties to EPA-regulated industries to serve if they disclose their conflicts of interest; give state, local and tribal governments a guaranteed number of seats on the board; and require the board to gather more public comments, among other provisions.
A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it is expected to die.
YES: PEARCE (Republican, oil millionaire); NO: LUJAN GRISHAM, LUJÃN (Democrats)
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: Voting 195 for and 225 against, the House on Nov. 18 refused to amend HR 1422 (above) in a way that would to deny membership on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board to representatives of companies or trade associations having a financial interest in decisions that result from the board’s recommendations.
A yes vote was to adopt the Democratic motion.
YES: LUJAN GRISHAM, LUJÃN (Democrats) NO: PEARCE (Republican, oil millionaire)
Thoughts from a self-professed conservative. So many good thoughts. Follow the link to read it all. [hat tip and xo to Merri Rudd]
Voter turnout was awful. It was more awful for the Democrats but the GOP won 52 percent of 35 percent of the vote: in other words their mandate is 17 percent of the registered electorate (and 13 percent of those eligible to vote). …
Every major Democratic ballot initiative was successful, including every minimum wage increase, even in the red states. AND every personhood amendment failed.
Half of the Republican Congressional delegation now comes from the former Confederacy. There are no more white Democrats from the South. All of the Dixiecrats are now GOP. …
The GOP will spend its time on: Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings.
He closes his essay saying: “It is almost too late for Republicans to participate in shaping the next wave of our economic and political transformation. The opportunities we inherited coming out of the Reagan Era are blinking out of existence one by one while we chase so-called “issues” so stupid, so blindingly disconnected from our emerging needs that our grandchildren will look back on our performance in much the same way that we see the failures of the generation that fought desegregation. Something, some force, some gathering of sane, rational, authentically concerned human beings generally at peace with reality must emerge in the next four to six years from the right, or our opportunity will be lost for a long generation. Needless to say, Greg Abbott and Jodi Ernst are not that force. ‘Winning’ this election did not help that force emerge.”
I wouldn’t bet on “some gathering of sane, rational, authentically concerned human beings generally at peace with reality must emerge … from the right.”
Why Democrats need rich people, too – The Washington Post by Dana Milbank
Yet there’s a limit to how far Warren, and the Democrats, can go with their little-guy theme, for one simple reason: They can’t afford it.
More than ever in America, elections are purchased, not won. And that money comes from corporate and wealthy interests. Run against corporations and you lose that money — and the election. …
In addition, the wealthy are finding more ways to exploit the 2010 Citizens United ruling and other campaign-finance decisions that give super PACs and unregulated “dark money” even more influence — further diluting the power of low-dollar contributions. …
This leaves Warren well-qualified to ask what she calls a “fundamental question”: “Who does the government work for?”
The answer is easy: The people who bought it.
The incoming head of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma — a state where coal is not a big industry — has called climate change a “hoax” and a conspiracy to “shut down this machine called America.”
“God’s still up there,” Inhofe said on a radio program in 2012. “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is, to me, outrageous.”
Inhofe’s view is theologically questionable and scientifically absurd, but there you have it: The senator with the most power to affect U.S. environmental policy does not believe climate change is conceivable, let alone real.
The problem for Republicans who want to stall climate action is that Obama can carry out his agenda without them.
It’s possible that Inhofe isn’t the IDIOT he appears to be. If that’s true, he is an immoral bastard. Pick one.
Even as Republicans give the Oil Industry the Keystone pipeline, the GOP will also make sure the Oil Industry pays nothing for cleanup costs.
Every time the GOP shows its contempt for the rest of us, shine a light and pass it on.
LIABILITY FOR OIL SPILLS: By a vote of 192 for and 224 against, the House on Nov. 14 refused to require the Keystone XL Pipeline to pay into the Treasury Department’s Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
Sponsored by Democrats, this motion to HR 5682 (above) sought to blunt an Internal Revenue Service ruling under which crude extracted from tar sands is exempted from mandatory support of the oil-spill fund.
The ruling spares TransCanada Corp., the Keystone owner, from having to pay 8 cents per barrel into the fund to help cover the cost of cleaning up any spills.
Congress established the fund in response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez grounding, which spilled hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude into Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
A yes vote was to require the Keystone XL Pipeline to contribute to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
YES: LUJAN GRISHAM, LUJÃN NO: PEARCE
Note New Mexico’s own estimable – make that execrable – Steve Pearce, oil millionaire voted FOR Keystone and AGAINST funding for cleanups.
Now that the Oil Industry no longer considers Keystone economical to build, I assume the GOP will support funding to build it at taxpayer expense. Why not? We’ll have to pay to clean up, we might as well pay to make the mess in the first place.
Kiss the Gila River good-bye, my friends. The Profiteers never give up. The Profiteers never have enough. The Profiteers will take everything and sell you the waste before they move on.
A few ranchers will kill all the wolves again and raise their beef on our public land with the last of our wild water. If any water remains unpoisoned by fracking, it will be bottled and sold to slaves.
It’s going to be a very profitable End-of-Days. Invest now. Put aside food, water, and guns, because the Profiteers are shaping the World to their liking.
Opposition to the Affordable Care Act is often ironic | Albuquerque Journal News by Winthrop Quigley
I have long found it amusing that so many people describe the Affordable Care Act as socialism. It is a law that is designed to secure 40 million new customers for the for-profit insurance industry so that the bills of many thousands of for-profit health care providers can be paid.
A single-payer system whereby tax dollars cover every citizen’s medical costs is a government takeover of health care. Obamacare is no such thing.
Here’s a hypothetical for you: First, the Supreme Court issues a ruling that installs a conservative president. Then, he appoints two conservative Supreme Court justices who then join with three of their colleagues to make mincemeat of the greatest achievement of a progressive president elected by a clear majority. If such a thing happened in any other country, would we still call it a democratic republic?