Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’
A recent editorial in the New Orleans Times-Picayune celebrated House Passage of an amendment to the transportation bill which mandated 80% of Clean Water Act fines levied against British Petroleum for their catastraphuk be earmarked to the Gulf States who suffered the damages. The editorial called this first step important. It noted how this was the House of Representatives making a public commitment to the Gulf Coast and never shall it be torn asunder.
I would love to be so optimistic.
I really would, but I can’t. History just won’t allow it.
Back in April of 2010, very soon after the Deepwater Horizon exploded, we were greeted with congressional slogans and promises by so many members giving impassioned speeches from the floor or telling any media outlet they could find just how they would take immediate action to ensure something like this oil spill would never happen again.
We’ll make drilling safer! We’ll make it clean! As your elected Congress, we will not rest until we fix the problems that led to this horrible, ongoing disaster…
And what laws were passed?
Essentially, none…in fact, what happened was quite the opposite as new laws were voted on which would accelerate the rate of drilling and open up newer, more sensitive areas to oil exploration all the while listing the same safety precautions that failed in the Gulf as their rock-solid protection against any future spills. So, with that recent history, you’ll have to pardon my lack of enthusiasm when it comes to passage of this amendment, because I just ain’t buying it this time. I want it to, but I have my doubts it’ll happen like they say, uh-uh, too easy. Congress is way too distracted with their endless pursuit of politically winning nothing at the expense of the other party.
But wait a minute, to be fair, it did pass and that’s something…right right?
Right, even though the amendment doesn’t actually authorize any payments, it only requires that the money be placed into a special fund. It is the RESTORE act, yet to be passed, which will do the dirty work of allocating these funds to the states. That’s when the politics will really come into play I fear – How much money does each state get? What can the money be used for, and how much? What do the states, and then the counties and then the towns have to do to get this money? And when do they get it?
Republicans will probably want to earmark as much money as possible for commercial development purposes at the expense of the overall environment, while the Democrats will be focused more on actual coastal restoration, and that’s when this whole thing will get so complicated, and so politicized and overwrought we get delays, name-calling and other assorted grandstanding bullshit on various news channels, so much so the whole process will take so much longer than it needs to, playing games with time the Gulf Coast is running out of.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the amendment itself was attached to a bullshit transportation bill which would not give enough money to maintain highways and roads, wind up cutting funds to public transportation all while it opens environmentally sensitive areas for more oil drilling, not to mention the bill also authorizes the Keystone XL pipeline, which the President has already come out against…
In other words, this bill is terrible and shouldn’t pass. This isn’t a first step, this is a political ploy and a dodge by the House of Representatives.
Can’t you just hear it?
Gosh golly gee, Louisiana, we wanted to give you guys all that money, but the Democrats and that damned White House…well, they said no way and voted us down…but we tried.
Right, though another way of putting this would be how hopefully, the Democrats refuse the GOP’s blackmail tactics, the same shit they’ve been running for the past year with the whole government shutdown, deficit reduction and ceiling, super committee give us everything we want or you get nothing…well, until the payroll tax extension blew up in their face.
Even the author of the amendment, Steve Scalise, isn’t making a whole lot of sense:
“Now that the House is on record supporting the dedication of these fines to the Gulf Coast states and to fully restoring the ecosystems and communities of the region, we will continue pressing forward with our colleagues in the Senate to pass the entire RESTORE Act into law.”
Again…so what if the House is on record? Who’ll call them onto the carpet if they change their minds, or water the amendment down, make it 60% or maybe 55% because you know, we have a deficit and those are federal funds…and Louisiana? You’re America’s sewer anyway so you’re used to getting screwed…oh, and on those same lines, I would appreciate if Mr. Scalise could explain to me just why the hell I’m supposed to suddenly believe the GOP House is committed to restoring ecosystems?
These are the same guys who are pushing forward the wholesale destruction of mountains in Appalachia, not to mention the poisoning of our nation’s water supplies through natural gas fracking. The destruction of ecosystems is kind of a GOP trademark. The Democrats aren’t innocent either, but at least they pretend to care and pass half-measures. Hell, the House GOP wasted how much time bringing back incandescent light bulbs?
And at what point does Eric Cantor finally find himself a microphone and demand spending cuts to offset this money because even though the cash’ll be coming from BP, it would normally go to the Federal treasury so in not doing so this time around, isn’t that really additional Federal spending, albeit indirectly? So we better cut Medicare, Social Security and oh, why not food stamps this time if you want your money. Why wouldn’t he try it? This is the same high-strung yuppie villain who initially demanded offsets for disaster funding going to tornado victims in his own state, and he’s in the House GOP leadership.
You really think he cares about states he doesn’t live in?
So yeah, the editorial board at the Times-Picayune calls this amendment an important step forward, and I want to believe it but I have to disagree. I think right now, I can’t consider this more than wishful thinking…because if there’s one thing we know to watch out for when it comes to the first steps of politicians, it’s to dodge immediately left so you don’t get run over when they take their two steps back.
Read the articles:
Have a nice day.
Mitt Romney, the presidential candidate one pundit described as the candidate who most looks like the guy who laid you off during the recession had this to say in New Hampshire today:
“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”
Granted, the line was taken out of context as he was discussing how people dissatisfied with the service they are getting should be able to take their business elsewhere…but seriously, this is politics so you can take your “out of context” and put it in the same fucking coal bin as your “it’s not a lie, it’s spin…” argument.
All of them…this charade…Republican and Democrats where these tools march around stages, smile insincerely and tell you whatever you want to hear, whatever they think we need to hear to make us feel better, more positive, as completely in the dark as possible…
Well, I like being able to fire people too…
And I’d like to fire the entire mainstream news media for participating in this bullshit charade, then heading off to the bar to pat each other on the back for the service they’ve done for nobody.
And speaking of bullshit disservice…
How about Chefs Emeril Lagasse and John Besh, doing their part to feed the BP Public Relations Machine…
There’s some firing to do…
But more on that for tomorrow…
Have a nice day.
…it would seem perfectly reasonable, if most any national-level politicians were to show up at any labor event, nationwide…the only appropriate response would range from politely asking them to leave to forcibly throwing them out…
If Republican, they actively attempt to stamp out unions that built the middle class, and if Democrats, their expression of support only rises to a level of occasional, mutual self-interest. After all, who else remembers the stark difference between Campaign Obama’s strong, unreserved support of unions and President Obama’s utter disregard as governors in Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere launched their attacks on collective bargaining.
So Happy Labor Day everybody.
Everybody except the politicians who use, or lie to the unions…and Herb Johnson.
Yeah, screw Herb Johnson too.
Have a nice day.
Since the rule of law is dead:
GOP cuts funding to the SEC because of “budget deficits,” despite the fact money for the SEC does not come from the budget, but from regulatory charges paid by the brokerage firms the SEC investigates, thus saving the same companies/banks that fucked us into a recession millions while also making it more financially difficult for the SEC to prosecute all the companies that did all the fucking.
Oh, and that recession – nobody in jail, banks made billions.
Oh, and that British Petroleum oil spill – nobody in jail or charged.
Oh, and that Foreclosure Fraud – nobody in jail or charged.
Oh, and the Medical Lobby/hospitals/administrators/insurance companies/big pharma – how many people have died because they couldn’t afford not to? – nobody goes to jail and nobody charged.
Okay then, so does this mean when Republicans and not a few Democrats, including Obama, cut back on the safety net because of the deficit, one debt ceiling and/or budget at a time, while in the same moment, they give ridiculous tax cuts to the wealthy which go a long way towards helping create that deficit…does this mean then, that when I decide to go to the exclusive parts of town or to the Financial District to get my money back, that just like the banks, the oil companies, the insurance and medical industry, that I won’t go to jail or be charged either for theft and/or fraud?
Interesting, then the rule of law must only be kind-of dead, inasmuch as the bottom 99% is ruled by the laws of the top 1%, the same 1% who only calls it class war when the bottom 99 fights back against their greedy, entitled ways…
Have a nice day.
I don’t celebrate July 4th.
I want to, and hope I will be able to again someday…but not yet…
I have this opinion, that if our founding fathers were walking the days, out and about, they would be appalled at what they see: simply put, the unnecessary suffering of so many, to benefit the simple greed of the few, a government run amok, a modern day oligarchy.
And then, when people want to reign in said government run amok, they only seem to want to do so to benefit those who are ruining what this country once tried to stand for, instead of doing so to help the people. Freedom, independence, community, benevolence and care…these are the things once practiced here. Take a look at those who shout the loudest, who refuse to listen…chances are, they care more about a corporation and their money, than they do an individual and their dreams…and that hurts us all.
Are we a community, a country, living and breathing as an organic body?
Or are we walking out armed by bullshit law, propaganda, and lobbyists…in the name of God, Greed and Goliath?
My views on independence day aren’t everybody’s independence day…no worries. But for some of us, when we read a certain Declaration of Independence or Thomas Paine, or when we read Thoreau and the Bill of Rights, we believe in what these writings have to teach us…and not only when we are watching a Nike advertisement or a political commercial for whatever the fuck Bobby Jindal, David Vitter, British Petroleum and Ken Feinberg have decided are the latest facts…
It’s the Fourth of July, independence day, so we think as we like…and the more I think, the more I’m free, and the more I’m willing to pay for these freedoms so many politicians are so quick to leave behind…the American community, and our brothers live under a bridge, our sisters live in a woman’s shelter and our kids are all trying to get grants, to get an education, to join those who might bring down those who would slight them, slight us, and while proclaiming trite slogans under corporate banners, slight the idea of America…
All at the expense of those who want to really believe.
I once saw Ani Difranco at the House of Blues in New Orleans, just as I saw her at the Congress Theater in Chicago, the Warfield in San Francisco, the Eagles Club in Milwaukee and the Paramount in Seattle…she speaks truth, unfettered and has for twenty years…so enjoy, there simply ain’t no one else like her…a part time resident of New Orleans, a part time resident of Buffalo…and a full time resident of the United States, no matter what some politicians, if they really listened to what she had to say, might want you to think…
So, I don’t believe much in heroes, an overused term and when asked who my heroes might be, I usually feign ignorance…but in honor of Independence Day, I’ll admit it…here’s one:
“Can’t sit on my porch and smoke a jay
and remember how peaceful life can be
but all night long are a bunch of pushers
selling drugs right there on my TV
drugs that whether or not i buy
are gonna end up in my water supply
along with who knows what else, who knows when,
just gotta take a deep breath and drink it in
around here there’s one thing people know
it’s that government ain’t there for you, it’s all for show
and I’m trying to tell them it don’t have to be so
but I can understand that their confidence is low
cos round here the people’re so high they can’t see
over the tops of the tall pine trees
down to the mouth of the Mississippi
oh, blood ignited in a blighted sky
oh, blood on the water like we all could die
blood in the reeds glistening in the sun
blood on our hands, each and everyone,
here in the calm before the wars
when the earth shrugs us off like dinosaurs
here in the sunset days of yore
the first signs washing ashore
goddess, come and lift us here in deepest Louisiana
in the gut, where hunches come from
a message goes out loud as it can
you’d have thought we’d have come more far somehow
since the changing of the guard and all
i mean dude could be FDR right now
and instead he’s just shifting his weight
the disappointment is a knockout blow
filmed in torturous slow-mo
oh “hope”, please come where i can see
don’t let the poison get the best of me
well, truth is for telling, truth is foretold
truth is for those with the guts to behold
we got vampires down here in Louisiana
we need voodoo dolls, we need talisman
we need wooden crosses set alight
we need harbingers riding thru the night
we need fountain pens, we need whale harpoons
to overthrow the oil tycoons
cos there’s no fish in the water, no birds in the sky
no life in the soil, no end to the lie
no time like the present and it’s passing us by
but it’s never too late, never too late to try
cuz if we all had to change, we all just would
and we would move closer and that would be good
and we would buy local and we would buy less
and we would realize that wasn’t our happiness
no, that wasn’t our happiness…”
Have a nice day and be well…