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Friday, November 6, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Obama Refuses TransCanada Request to Suspend Keystone XL Pipeline Approval

TransCanada claims they need more time to work with American officials but the real reason is to avoid a losing battle with President Obama…
keystone13 Republicans, and even Canada’s former prime minister, have spent five years railing on President Barack Obama for taking “way too long” to grant a foreign corporation, TransCanada, permission to construct a tar sand pipeline over 1,179 miles of American soil. Early in 2015, Republicans even attempted to subvert the President’s Executive Branch and State Department authority by passing legislation granting TransCanada permission to build its Keystone XL pipeline because it was so necessary to America’s existence that construction could not wait one more day; the U.S. Constitution be damned.
Now, however, TransCanada are “requesting” an indefinite and last minute “time out” on building Keystone XL and it begs the question; why now and why is it not vital to America’s survival any longer? Particularly after five years’ worth of mendacity and propaganda from Canadians and Republicans alike that unless the President approves the construction permit today, millions of prospective American jobs will be lost, the price of gas will exceed the $20 a gallon mark, and America will fail and fall into the sea.
The foreign corporation that, along with Republicans, has been behind the gargantuan push to construct the ridiculously dangerous Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S Gulf Coast has just begged the U.S. State Department to suspend its review of the environmentally disastrous project. That’s right, after convincing Republicans to attempt an unconstitutional legislative maneuver to seize Executive Branch authority for big oil profits, TransCanada wants America to suspend the permitting process. One wonders why no Republicans are screaming bloody murder.
The foreign corporation, TransCanada, offered up a bovine excrement excuse for the suspension request and claimed that after seven years and a monumental crusade, “a suspension would be appropriate while we work with Nebraska authorities for approval of its preferred route through the state.” Of all the reasons TransCanada could have proffered for asking for a suspension of a project they have pushed mercilessly, claiming they need more time to “work with” any American officials for their “preferred route” across America is sheer nonsense and a seriously dirty filthy lie.
It is more likely that the real overriding reason is to avoid the Obama Administration’s “widely expected” rejection of the permit to build Keystone XL; regardless of who wants it. It is also likely that an underlying factor is that the current historically low oil prices have “undercut the financial logic” of TransCanada taking the project forward. The Koch brothers or oil acolytes in the Republican movement have not weighed in on the announcement and it seems curious that after securing over a million or so acres of tar sands in and around Alberta, the impatient Koch brothers are not outraged the company now wants to put the project on hold.
TransCanada is not the only combatant in this war on the environment and the climate. The Koch brothers and Republicans cannot countenance losing another battle with President Obama or the environmental movement for that matter, and the oil industry can avoid “the pre-election rejection by President Obama that many are predicting,” and hope that by putting the project in limbo they can avoid losing outright; particularly after a costly and multi-year campaign just to procure a permit to build the pipeline. Maybe they even believe that in a year or so all the nasty environmental activists and land owners opposed to the project will have vanished, or that the EPA and preponderance of climate scientists will have an epiphany that developing tar sands will not meangame over for the Earth’s climate.”
Whatever their true motivation, TransCanada knows for certain now that the Keystone pipeline fails the, frankly weak, climate test President Obama has laid out and is an economic disaster for ranchers and farmers across the Midwest. It is also going to be “devastating for the land and people of Northern Alberta,” and absolutely worthless to the American people; except of course for the 35 people who get a job, the Koch brothers, and the foreign export market.
If the pipeline is, as Republicans have claimed for five straight years, a job creating bonanza like America has never seen, necessary to provide Americans with cheap gas, or a critical part of a robust economic recovery; why are they not declaring war on Canada for asking America to suspend the permit approval process? This request for a suspension is all the proof any American needed that Republicans, Canada’s former prime minister, TransCanada, and particularly former-speaker of the house Boehner have been lying through their teeth all along about the benefits of building the pipeline. What has been missing since TransCanada announced they want a respite from trying to push a nasty project their citizens will not allow in Canada, is outrage from Republicans or their masters the Koch brothers who stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually without the pipeline. One would expect Republicans and the Koch brothers to be screaming foul from every television in America that TransCanada is destroying a million prospective jobs, thwarting 45-cents a gallon gasoline, and sending the economy into a deep dark depression; all because their precious Canadian corporation is delaying its plan to despoil America’s Heartland as well as the entire Earth’s climate.
Although the President could have summarily rejected TransCanada’s permit application long before now, he waited for all the facts to come in that indeed, the pipeline fails his climate test. This is something TransCanada is well aware of by now. They also likely are aware that based on his climate agenda and particularly his recent ban on drilling in the Arctic, it is more likely than not the President will reject Keystone XL “once and for all.” These are just delaying tactics on the part of a foreign corporation in league with the Koch brothers, Boehner, and every oil-dependent Republican in Congress. They are all counting on the next administration to toe the fossil fuel line, obey the Koch brothers, and do big oil’s bidding because it has finally dawned on them that this President puts the people’s welfare and the Earth’s climate first.
Over the past two years, in particular, President Obama has made the environment and the climate a primary concern of his Administration and he actually made it “clear that Keystone XL can’t be in our national interest.” It is not a massive job creator and according to the Environmental Protection agency it will “significantly increase carbon pollution and exacerbate global climate change immeasurably.”
The foreign corporation TransCanada, Republicans, and the Koch brothers are resorting to what environmentalists are rightly calling “a desperate delay tactic to prevent President Obama from following through on his pledge.” It is glaringly apparent that the axis of mendacity, the Kochs, Republicans, and TransCanada, are terrified of this President and now likely comprehend that challenging his resolve or expecting him to concede to big oil is a very stupid move. They are hoping the next president is going to do what President Obama has already demonstrated he will never do; choose oil industry profits over the health, safety, and welfare of current and future generations of human beings the world over. As if to punctuate that point, the White House has announced that despite TransCanada’s request, the President will not “yield to big oil” to delay his decision on Keystone XL, and that he will make the final decision before he leaves office.

Iran Begins Dismantling Nuclear Program, To Be Completed Soon – Obama Does What The Shrub Couldn’t

Iran Begins Dismantling Nuclear Program, To Be Completed Soon – Obama Does What Bush Couldn’t
This is a BIG WIN for President Obama. This has got to be a huge hit in the gut for Republicans, who claimed Iran would never fulfill their end of the bargain. Here’s the reason the deal is going through so fast…

Big wins for democracy

President Obama votes for himself in 2012, via Wikimedia CommonsBig wins for democracy in Seattle, Maine and Ohio ballot initiatives
Losing on HERO stings, but these wins are our silver lining.

Colorado Votes To Fire Education Board Wingnuts Who Tried To Mess With History Books

Here’s a history lesson three Colorado Board of Education members learned the hard way: Don’t try to change public school history books to...

These Voters Just Guaranteed Their Fellow Workers The Right To A Paid Sick Day

Thanks To Virginia Reforms, These People Are Voting For The First Time In Decades

Chomsky explains why progressives need to focus more on movements than candidates

Noam Chomsky appears on 'The Empire Files' on Oct. 25, 2015. [YouTube]
The closing minutes of Telesur host Abby Martin’s interview with Noam Chomsky provided a blueprint for progressives to follow ...

New Bill Would Keep Fossil Fuel Reserves On Public Lands In The Ground

Senate Defeats A Bill That Would Have Removed Millions Of Miles Of Streams From Federal Protection

Unlike Rubio, Bernie Sanders Refuses To Rip Off Taxpayers By Not Showing Up For Work

sanders rubio
During an interview on MSNBC, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) demonstrated his honesty and integrity by explaining why he won’t rip off taxpayers by blowing off his work in the Senate in order to run for president.
Transcript via MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports:
MITCHELL: Let me ask you a final question about a Republican, Rubio. He has said that he hates being in the Senate; he has missed 42 percent of his votes since declaring his candidacy. You have missed, by our count, only 4 percent of your votes. What is it about being in the Senate — and you’re in the minority, he’s in the majority — what is it you find fulfilling and why do you keep showing up for work?

SANDERS: Well, that’s kind of what I’m paid to do. My job is what I’m paid to do right now is to represent the people of the State of Vermont in the United States Senate. That’s what I do. I will miss votes but I’m trying to miss as few as I possibly can. I am extraordinarily proud to represent my great state in the Senate. We’re working very hard on a number of issues. And while it is difficult and very time-consuming to be a full-time candidate and to be a full-time senator, that is at the moment what I’m trying to do.
Compare the honest answer of Senator Sanders with the excuses offered up by  Rubio (R-FL) for his missed votes, “A lot of these votes don’t mean anything. They’re not going to pass, and even if they did, the President would veto them.”
Bernie Sanders has better polling numbers, raises more money, and is the more legitimate candidate for president than Rubio, and he still manages to make 96% of the votes in the Senate.
As Sarah Jones wrote in her comparison of the voting records of Sanders and Rubio, “Senator Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialist, is leading the pack of those who run for President and still manage to vote. Cruz is next. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not currently in office; she left in 2012 in what many saw as preparation for running for President. Let’s just repeat that – the “Socialist” is the one showing up to work, while Republicans pretend that everyone who isn’t a Republican refuses to work.”
Senator Sanders is demonstrating that he is a public servant who is willing to place the work that the taxpayers elected him to do ahead of his presidential campaign. Rubio is the exact opposite. Rubio is acting in bad faith by placing his personal political ambitions ahead of his oath of office.
Only one of these candidates has demonstrated the kind of honesty and integrity that is worthy of the support of voters, and it isn’t Rubio. Senator Bernie Sanders gave Rubio a lesson in public service, but it is a safe bet that his example will fall on deaf ears.

Teabagger questions Senate’s existence ...

Sasse (R-NE) said he’s been quietly watching his colleagues work during his first year as a senator, and nearly one year after his election — he wonders whether the U.S. Senate should even exist.

The Joke


Genius Proposal Would Replace Hated IRS With Beloved Private Debt Collectors

too bad so sad america
In July, before rewarding themselves with more vacations days than you'll get over the next decade, the United States Senate actually addressed a real issue facing the nation. The esteemed legislative body passed a transportation bill in...

Religio-wingnut rhetoric has become so absurd it’s hard to believe it’s real

When Cruz implies that if elected, he will kill Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, that’s news.

New York Republican threatened to punch cop in the face at polling station

“As our officer passed by Fudoli said, ‘There’s a man I’d love to punch in the face,'” the Lancaster Police Benevolent Association said in a statement online. “Our officer is currently in the process of filing charges."

Voter suppression expert Kris Kobach speaks to white nationalist publishing group

Kris Kobach, via Wikimedia CommonsVoter suppression expert Kris Kobach speaks to white nationalist publishing group
Kobach is one of our nation’s leading experts in keeping people of color from voting.

Wingnut Media Rally Around House Committee Chairman's Groundless Attacks On NOAA

The difference between a man and an asshole ...

 ... care to hazard a guess as to which is which

Obama Mocks Thin Skinned Republicans For Throwing A Tantrum Over CNBC Debate

While speaking at a DNC fundraiser, President Obama went to town and mocked the Republican candidates for throwing a fit over the questions that were asked at the CNBC debate.
The Hill reported on President Obama mocking the Republican candidates:
“They say, ‘when I talk to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, he’s going to straighten out,'” he said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York City. “And then it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators.”
“If you can’t handle those guys, I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you,” Obama added.
President Obama was correct. The Republican candidates all talk tough on the debate stage, but they have been whining non-stop over a few difficult and silly questions from some CNBC debate moderators. If Republicans can’t handle John Harwood, how can the country trust them to deal with world leaders and daily crisis?
The secret is out. The Republican candidates are weak. They can’t take any heat at all. When Rubio was asked about the fact that he is ripping off taxpayers by getting paid for a job that he isn’t showing up for, he attacked the media. When Cruz was asked if the budget deal represented a rejection of his leadership style, he attacked the media. When a Republican pretender candidate gets asked a serious question that they don’t want to answer, their go-to move is to attack the “liberal media.”
Republicans love to talk tough, but their pretnder candidates aren’t tough people. If the Republican cabal were fit to lead, their candidate would spend less time complaining about debates, and more time coming up with concrete policies for the future of the country. The problem is that the set of policies that the Republican cabal continues to run on have been rejected by voters for decades.
Stuck with ideas that most voters hate, and candidates who mostly unfit to be president, the Republican cabal has to dream up fake enemies like the media to make themselves look tough.
President Obama knows that Republicans are weak. It is why he has been able to beat them on every issue since he became president. Nobody understands the empty bluster of the Republican cabal quite like Obama. The President is calling out the empty suits on the Republican side, and he is having a field day while working hard to set the stage for another Democratic victory.

Kelly Strips Cruz Of His Dignity Over Stupid Debate Demands, And It’s Fantastic

It’s difficult as a liberal blogger to take Megyn Kelly’s side on anything.

The Republican Cabal Is Digging Its Own Grave ...

Top Ten Demands – Republican Cabal Pretender Campaigns

 The dozen Republican pretender campaigns that met in Washington D.C. to discuss how the remaining debates should be handled have come up with a list of demands. Here are the “top ten,” as agreed on by the various campaign representatives:
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  1. No questions about which country a candidate would bomb next.
  2. Debates should be taped, not live (for editing purposes and campaign approval).
  3. Each debate winner should be allowed to skip the following debate.
  4. Candidates should have the option to phone a friend, ask the audience or skip to the next question.
  5. Each candidate gets two “potty” breaks.
  6. There should be no questions on evolution, climate change, income inequality or who was the smartest “Brady Bunch” kid.
  7. Candidates will be allowed to ask questions of the moderators.
  8. Crib sheets will be permitted.
  9. Candidates will be allowed to “take the fifth.”
  10. Only one network, Fox News, will be allowed to moderate future debates.
Whether the TV networks will agree to all or any of the campaigns’ demands remains to be seen. As one media insider observed, “Without the ability to ask ‘gotcha’ questions, what fun would that be for the viewing public? Got to keep it unpredictable and lively if you want ratings!”

Our Pain


Rubio Picks Anti-Gay Birther To Chair Alabama Campaign

Rubio’s pretender campaign announced last week that its operation in Alabama would be chaired by state Rep. Will Ainsworth and former state Republican cabal chairman Bill Armistead, according to AL.com. The choice of Armistead and Ainsworth is slightly surprising from a candidate who... MORE

Cruz Proves He's A Gun Amateur Posing As A Hunter

Be sure to notice all the people behind him with that barrel aimed their way.

Jeb can’t even fix this ...

"When I first heard it leaked last week, the first thing I did was see if he had bought the domain name, since Jeb has a history of not buying domain names," Jimmy Flanagan said. "So I was surprised, but not shocked."

Carson Now Weirdly Ranting About ‘Submarine’ Targeting Him

Is He Okay? Ben Carson Now Weirdly Ranting About ‘Submarine’ Targeting Him (AUDIO)Carson’s campaign act gets weirder and weirder — this time, with a rant about a submarine.

Is Carson Just Profiteering In Wingnut Politics?

Carson Allies Batten The Hatches After He's Called Out For 'Bald-Faced Lies'

Carson’s camp is still playing defense a week after the candidate asserted during a Republican pretender 'debate' that he “didn’t have any involvement” with a supplement company.