The national advocacy organization for responsible gun ownership, Mom's Demand Action, along with their Texas chapters are calling state Senators today urging them to vote no on two bills to liberalize the presence of guns at educational institutions -- HB 972 "Campus Carry" and HB 1009 the "Protection of Texas Children Act". Such bills are knee jerk reaction to the national dialogue about guns in America, and are more about Texas Republicans digging their spurs into the ground to defend the state's reputation as the last frontier for true conservatism than they are about protecting students.
First, House Bill 972 referred to as "Campus Carry" is a misnomer. It implies that under current law campuses can not chose to allow licensed concealed handgun owners to carry their weapons on campus, which is not true. Currently each institution of higher education can vote to allow guns to be carried on campus, but this legislation, which is on today's intent calendar in the Texas Senate, would reverse that policy forcing campus' to vote to opt out each year.
Similar legislation has failed in past sessions, but as guns become the new rage for the right and Republicans in Texas run out of taxes and social programs to cut, the measure for true conservatism seems to be how ubiquitous one can make guns in society. This is a litmus test by design and not by demand...
Click the jump for the latest twist in this story...
Today Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) are expected to unveil a bipartisan bill to expand background checks for gun purchases to commercial settings such as gun shows and online auction sites, but it would not make them universal for all private sales. Sen. Toomy said, "I don't consider criminal background checks to be gun control. It's just common sense...If you pass ... you get to buy a gun. It's the people who fail that we don't want having guns." Texas Senator Ted Cruz is threatening to filibuster, requiring 60 votes to take up the measure instead of a simple majority. Right now Democrats have 55 votes but are expected to easily gather enough Republicans to end a filibuster. Senator John McCain said Cruz would wrong to try and prevent the Senate from taking up the bill and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said the party and its leadership should not be positioning itself to filibuster an idea supported by 90% of voters and called the move "boneheaded".
Cruz, using one of his favorite tactics, fear, claims the Obama Administration is trying to, "pass laws that would take away the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens." But, the 2nd Amendment doesn't exempt someone from participating in a background check, and as far as the text is concerned there's still the inconvenient truth that it contains the words, "well regulated".
Cruz told Laura Ingraham that this fight was ultimately about not allowing the Obama Administration to infringe on the 2nd Amendment and that background checks could be a slippery slope towards a national gun registry and eventually "confiscation". Cruz says there will be political consequences in 2014 for his Democratic colleagues in red states that could result in Republicans regaining the Senate. Texas Gun Sense board members John Woods says over 50 Texans are killed by firearms every week and now with strong public support Congress should act to save lives. The group is disappointed that the bill does not require universal background checks and is skeptical of gun-industry supported amendments, but says it is a good start and with it, "we can significantly reduce the number and frequency of such tragedies."
(An important issue. - promoted by Karl-Thomas Musselman)
By Renato Ramírez
Chairman of the Board and CEO, IBC-Zapata
James C. Harrington
Director, Texas Civil Rights Project
The U.S. Senate will soon vote on a law that would gravely undermine Americans' privacy and give expanded, unbridled surveillance over people's e-mails to more than 22 government agencies.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chair of the Judiciary Committee, has capitulated to law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Justice Department, and is sponsoring a bill, authorizing widespread warrantless access to Americans' e-mails, as well as Google Docs files, Twitter direct messages, and so on, without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.
Leahy's bill would only require the federal agencies to issue a subpoena, not obtain a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause. It also would permit state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans' correspondence stored on systems not offered "to the public," including university networks.
Even in situations which still would require a search warrant, the proposed law would excuse law enforcement officers from obtaining a warrant (and being challenged later in court) if they claim an "emergency" situation.
Not only that, but a provider would have to notify law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell its customers they've been the target of a warrant, order, or subpoena. The agency then could order the provider to delay notification of customers, whose accounts have been accessed, from three days to "ten business days" or even postpone notification up to 360 days.
Agencies that would receive civil subpoena authority for electronic communications include the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the NLRB, OSHA, SEC, and the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission. There is no good legal reason why agencies like these need blanket access to people's personal information with a mere subpoena, rather than a warrant.
One might expect better of Leahy, given his liberal credentials; but he has been quite disappointing. In fact, he had a hand in making the Patriot Act bill less protective of civil liberties. Nor has the Administration been helpful in this regard, quite to the contrary. Expectations of "law and order" types might not be as high in terms of protecting civil liberties, but they should not be as unsatisfactory as they are with proponents of constitutional freedoms.
The revelations about how the FBI perused former CIA director David Petraeus' e-mail without a warrant should alarm us all, who have less power and prestige than he did.
If the Fourth Amendment is to have any meaning, it is that police must obtain a search warrant, backed by probable cause, before reading Americans' e-mails or other communications. If we are to preserve our constitutional protection from warrantless searches, unreviewed by the courts, we need to let our U.S. Senators from Texas hear from us immediately and resoundingly.
We cannot allow the government to undermine our rights, bit by bit, even in the name of national security, which too often is the mantra it so casually uses. As Ben Franklin said, those who give up freedom in the name of security deserve neither.
This abridgement of our fundamental rights affects us all -- conservative, liberals, and libertarians alike. Our allegiance to the Constitution must be non-partisan. Write or call your Senators -- now.
Public Policy Polling (PPP) has just released the results of a new poll of the Texas Senate runoff between Ted Cruz and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. The poll finds Ted Cruz leading 49-44 with much more enthusiasm among his supporters.
Cruz's lead expands to a whooping 59-36 margin over Dewhurst among voters who describe themselves as 'very excited' about voting in the election. The lower turnout is, the better Cruz's chances will be. Dewhurst leads 51-43 with 'somewhat excited' voters and 50-36 with those who say they are 'not that excited.' The big question is whether those less enthused folks will actually bother to turn out or not.
If Cruz wins he can thank the Tea Party. He has a 71-26 advantage with that group and they are expected to make up 40% of the voters in the runoff. Dewhurst has a large lead with the 50% of voters who do not identify with the Tea Party but its still not enough to close the over whelming enthusiasm gap. Also notable is Cruz's 78-19 lead among hispanics, they represented 8% of those polled.
Just days ago the Dewhurst campaign released its own poll showing the Lt. Governor beating Cruz by 8 points. PPP initially gave Dewhurst the advantage in the runoff because of his primary performance (he beat Cruz 45-34) and also because Tom Leppert's (3rd highest vote getter) supporters suggested they would support the Dew over Cruz 77-13.
The overall tone of the race and momentum is swinging in Cruz's favor but as runoffs and low turnout elections go, enthusiasm is generally the best indicator.
This past Friday was Burnt Orange Report's first attempt at a Google Hangout. Four of our staff got together on Google+ to talk about the TDP convention, TDP Chair Gilberto Hinojosa, the Republican and Democratic run-offs for US Senate, Democratic run-offs in CD-23 and CD-33, and Hurta's recent post on Perry's appointees fleeing before the next Legislative session.
If you didn't hang with us live, you can catch up on all of the fun in the video below:
The idea came up as we considered starting a podcast to wrap up current events around the state and review stories we published earlier in the week. There are several cool features 'hangouts' have over traditional podcasts. For one we don't need a producer or expensive recording equipment. We also get to add a visual dynamic which I'm sure we'll take more advantage of in the future, we don't have to all be in the same room at the same time. They are automatically recorded to our YouTube channel for later viewing.
Most importantly, we can broadcast it live allowing anyone to join the discussion. We really had a great time taking questions from the Twitterverse. I have a feeling we will be tightening these things up in the future as we work to reach this new format's full potential.
Google Hangouts are a great way to interact with all of our politico friends and followers out there so stay tuned for more chances to hangout with the BOR crew!
My Apologies To The Honorable Eric Holder United States Attorney General
Dear Eric Holder, it is with my deepest regrets that you're honorable position as the United States Attorney General, has been attacked by the most depraved souls elevated from the depths of hades to lead the great state of Texas, sense her annexation into the union, in the year 1845.
Senator John Cornyn has just transmitted another email that jeopardizes national security with classified information, who as a member of the United States Senate has sworn to keep secret, is in violation of that oath with the intent to regain monetary pecuniary status of inside trading partners, defrocked from their lofty positions as lords of Wall Street.
Senator Cornyn last letter is demanding your resignation and impeachment for moot allegations, which you had no control over; inherited by you from a Republican GOP takeover in the years of 2000 to April 2009, which corrupted the whole global economic system. The illegal dismissal of honorable Federal Judges by George Bush, who would not co-operate with a scheme of deregulation for easy access to large sums of money by the hands of greedy politicians. The remaining bias appointees, produced legislation that is contrary to our State and Federal constitution and deprives the citizens of the state their own pursuit of economic prosperity by hard work, ingenuity, and innovation.
The level of panic of those demanding your resignation will only increase, as investors that once had privy to lucrative inside market information, pressure and lose faith in the actors in this vicious cycle of corruption that has been going on for the last twenty-five years.
Texas GOP Inside Trading: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/...
Very few people know, the 2008 financial collapse root cause was from inside trading by those of public trust, who benefited by creating a false belief of "Global Terror" or those in congress that signed off on legislation that created the mega-trillion dollar white elephant "Top Secret America." The majority of this costly legislation passed in the name of National Security Justified by the 911 Patriot act is an unnecessary expense and burden on the American people with global consequences.
Certainly, there are many other factors associated with the financial meltdown that peeked in fall 2008 such as the housing collapse, 741 billion dollar U.S. personal credit card debt, and market deregulation: however, the main causal factor was the blank check authorization for Private Security Firms prior to April 2009. In fact, economist will tell you what saved the market and banks after the market collapsed, was the investment in Private Firms and Domestic Surveillance for fear of rebellion by the citizens of the United States!
Trillions of dollars invested in Domestic Surveillance to watch Billions of Invisible People; raped by their own representatives is a ridiculous notion which manifested into reality as "Top Secret America" by those of Public Trust that hold leadership positions in Congress and the Senate.
Compounding the problems are the un-godly crimes against the citizens of Texas and the United States of America, who have boldly step forward and reported these crimes to the proper authorities, also corrupted by a culture of dishonestly and in fact have retaliated against those that speak out. I am just one of those citizens that have pressed your office for justice, while hindsight tells me that just maybe doing the right thing was wrong.
On June 13, 2012 I made my way to the Honorable District Attorney Rene M. Pena, 1327 Third Street Floresville, Texas without any legal consul and pressed for criminal charges to be brought upon the State of Texas. My request was met with laughter, I am not trained in law; however, the context of my allegations shows just one more victimize citizen of Texas, with crimes similar to those of Nazi Germany in the late 1930's. Make no mistake about it, my allegations are not an exaggeration and bring shame upon the state of Texas, to allow such treatment of peaceful citizens including women, children, and the elderly.
Let it be known, that I have filed criminal charges against the state of Texas that implicate people in the highest offices of State and Federal Government which includes, State Sponsored Terroristic Threats, Stalking, Retaliation, and the use of ungodly Non-lethal Weapons of the mind, that If not for God Almighty, I would have not sustained my sanity to protect those that I love.
Again, I am just one of many citizens that have pressed your office for justice, while hindsight tells me that doing the right thing was wrong; however, now it is the case, my life as well as others, and those we love have been put into jeopardy as we all live in fear.
Lastly, If you pursue these criminal charges, the attacks by people such as Senator John Cornyn, threatened by those who have had a long history of monetary advantage over the stock market, will only increase the attacks on your integrity by Texas leadership and the Republican GOP. We beg that you stay on to the last moment of your term and pursue every criminal charge, if the whole Texas legislative branch is indicted and brought before a justice demanding bail or confinement until their scheduled court date, then so be it - God have mercy on all our souls.
The Economy Restored Several Times Destroyed by Tea Party Right Wing Mob Opinion
David Dewhurst enters the US Texas Senate campaign last month with "Tell Obama To Stop Waging War Against Texas." How can these Texas politicians be so misinformed? I say, David Dewhurst, stop giving Obama credit for my hard work!
Suffering the web for hours to find a Tea Party Sympathizer, I found an interesting article that tells the tale of Tea Party big lie, "The second response is purely political-and Orwellian. It is to repeat ad nauseum the Big Lie that this is the Tea Party downgrade, attributable lock, stock, and barrel to the failure of the Tea Party caucus in Congress to even countenance taxes as a part of any debt ceiling deal."
The author claims the credit rating was based on bad math calculations by the Obama Administration; however, memories are short and I wrote a valid justified complaint to the Office of the Inspector General April 2009 with concerns that the Tea Party is a Right Wing Extremist Group with one objective, to remove the first black president of the United States of America. In fact, I was specific with my concerns again last summer when our infrastructure fell apart with the BP Oil Spill, the main attraction based on discriminatory acts of hatred and narcissism in a post as follows:
In April 2009, Rick Perry succeeded from the Union founding an organized rebellion (paid for by the state) by posting the 'Stop' web page instructing all Texas employees to group together [Those that did not co-operate faced termination from their job] and rebel against the Constitution of the United States as members of the "Tea Party" rebellion, targeting not just the new presidential administration but the Honorable Barack Obama personally.
Rick Perry and his cronies, wealthy corporate owners and investors have just declared "War on the EPA" a statement just mentioned verbally in the state of Texas by a private citizens is enough to be harassed, arrested, and/or jailed by Law Enforcement for an unknown length of time waiting for Terrorist Threat charges to be collaborated by Texas District Attorneys.
It is unimaginable the Governor of Texas would publicly "Declare War" against regulating authorities that would of prevented the Gulf disaster. Employee Whistle Blower Postings At These Operations Have The Maranda Act Printed On The Top Of The Federal Document. This is why oil clean-up workers would not talk to the press and the root cause to all the oil fires because the employees cannot say anything about safety "You Have The Right To Remain Silent, Anything You Say Can And Will Be Use Against You In A Court Of Law."
The Gulf Disaster investigation shows hard evidence, a repeat of special interest favors that also caused the Texas BP refinery explosion in 2005 as Perry justifies his words by stating "Obama has declared War on Texas." The 911 Patriot Act is clearly unconstitutional if the rule of law is not applied universally to those that Govern (Rick Perry) and those that are governed too.
The state of Texas has no record of any virtuous acts other than those good deeds provided by private citizens and organizations in and out of the State of Texas. Over the last eight years, government agencies such as the EPA, Transportation Department, and Office of Civil Rights have tried every form of diplomacy to protect property and lives and seldom pursue violations by court of law against the state of Texas.
Some good local examples are Kelly AFB which is an active EPA Toxic Super Fund, our farm burn 3 times in a five year period due to faulty oil well heads (fire from the lack of routine safety maintenance and inspections example BP), and the mass exodus of disabled students from the university of Texas because of hostile policies that segregate the disabled population from all other campus community members.
Most Texans believe that Perry's coalition is made of the few wealthy and corrupt State investors that have no regard for their fellow man or loss of human life. Countless examples of Perry's special interest policies such as the recent big pharmaceutical mortality spike of 88,000 deaths [Merck Vioxx], Vaccine legislation support by special interest cash linked to autism, drug legislation doughnut hole that deprives elderly for necessary medicines, antiquated DEA laws that aid the illegal drug trade, and finance terrorism.
In addition, burning fuel farms and oil well heads where cash buys safety certificates, academic payoffs justifying cheaper unsafe manufacturing processes, a "No Child Left Behind Law" that has filled Texas prisons with those very children the law intended to protect ad infinitum. Texas Governor Rick Perry defended his action by sarcastically apologizing for his anti-ethical behavior, to him justified his actions.
Ethics: Ethics (also known as moral philosophy) is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality-that is, concepts such as good and bad, noble and ignoble, right and wrong, justice, and virtue.
Anti-ethics: categories of good and evil do not apply
But why should Right Wing Extremist have a concern that does not concern themselves? The united States Constitution does not imply or express that fellow citizens should have a concern of the welfare of others as Rick Perry recently justified his "Anti-ethical practices" which is a true indicator that he and his coalition do not understand the term or value of 'ethics' or the destruction caused by unethical practices guarded against by the United States Constitution:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America"
• in Order to form a more perfect Union: "to improve the general well-being of the country (McGire)"
• establish Justice: "Justice is the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, fairness, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics (wiki)."
• insure domestic Tranquility: "One of the main goals of the Convention, then, was to ensure the federal government had powers to squash rebellion and to smooth tensions between states (US Constitution)."
• provide for the common defense: "The primary responsibility of the government of the United States of America; to ensure the nation is protected from threats both inside and outside the country, such as terrorism, war, subterfuge, etc. (Answers)"
• promote the general Welfare: All peoples of the United States rich, poor, health, sick, young, or old
Yes, empirical facts point to the struggle to get America back on its feet was defeated by Mob Tea Party Right Wing Extremist that is "political-and Orwellian" that abused the 911 patriot Act at the state level with Rick Perry's Executive Order Declaring himself God, creating a police state that created a strong market in the first quarter by inside trading of Domestic Surveillance, Security Private Firms, and Manufactures of such devices; the symptoms that were not felt until the "Orwellian Lie" news break that the 911 Patriot Act had been breach with security devices that now are used by the news media to get the inside scope to victims of the disaster that the 911 Patriot act was supposed to "Keep Us Safer."
Texans have been screaming at the top of their lungs disputing the notion that the wealthy few create jobs, and can be clearly demonstrated to be false by the failed Rick Perry Tax Plan with a warning from the Texas Comptroller's Office detailing in 2006 a projected FYI budget in 2010 a 23,000,000,000 deficit, which is perfect math.
As predicted by the Obama administration and It is a fact, the quick fix is to Repeal the Bush Tax Relief Plan to the wealthy few who built their wealth on the backs on ordinary middle class citizens.
Compounding the problem of the debt is that we are at war declared by George Bush on Iraq as Osama bin Laden, a CIA operative, followed detailed plans that were given him, so our intelligence could devise a plan to counter such attacks.
Unfortunately, Osama was successful with the attack on New York by duping our intelligence agency. He should of been arrested for his first terrorist bombing during the Clinton Administration which would of made the attack on New York impossible and avoided the deaths of 4,000 American citizens.
My family is a victim of one his first high tech bombings in Riyadh Saudi Arabia November 13, 1993, and still wonder with the prudence and tip toeing done around the Osama bin Laden clan while it was a known fact, he attacked the United States and continued to do so before the twin towers were destroyed killing near 4000 people. [Conspiracy or stupidity? Your choice]
The attack on New York mortally spike is small in comparison to the millions of deaths by deregulation of Big Pharmaceutical, conflicts of Interest with political leaders, and manufacturing of products that still kill thousands daily such as asbestos.
Let's us not forget the mass shooting on U.S. Campuses that were in fact Orwellian Big Brother protection of the wealthy few, that could of been avoided if George Bush did not obstruct justice and cull professionals from the justice department.
It does not amaze me that Texas seemed to dance with impunity as if they had a copy of the hit list of professional District Attorneys that seemed to contradict Republican ideologies or wrote the list themselves blessed by Senator Cornyn.
The best indicator of economic health is the quality of care a State or Country provides for those that cannot care for themselves, and the evidence was there long before the election of Barack Obama, as seen as the abuses in Texas Protective Institutions of beatings, rape, and murder.
Graduates of these same institutions were shipped over state lines to slave farms as so called employers pocketed their social security checks while they lived in scalar. Not long after the investigation, Governor Rick Perry transfers a multimillion dollar budget from disabled care to Digital Ally for an x-ray machine that can penetrate metal to catch the human trafficking of slaves which are illegal Hispanics crossing the borders, while U.S. citizens were deported from the state of Texas over state lines in open public to slave farms in Missouri.
Amazingly, all this could be turned around in a matter of months if the Tea Party, or let's be fair, the Right Wing co-operated and supported the executive branch in a time of crisis. The Obama Administration saved the U.S. from destruction on several repeated occasions, only to be defamed by Right Wing Mob hatred!
I understand that you do not understand the value of ethics, but how about a little patriotism instead of conspiring with Right Wing Extremist such as the John Birch Society or banning together in the name of God as political day of prayer which is the "political-and Orwellian Big Lie" to 30,000 innocent people that was preplanned, premeditated, and orchestrated by the Republican party by instructing Perry to do so!
Consider a little empathy even if you have to fake compassion, now that doomsday is not just knocking on the foreclosed houses of the middle class, but making the wealthy few jump ship to off shore accounts, while the sting of consequences of Tea Party Hatred is now in your own living rooms as the result of your Mob Forced Intrusion on Congressional Legislators!
Now David Dewhurst Is Crying "Tell Obama To Stop Waging War On Texas." Don't blame Obama, give me and other Texans full credit for taking the time to report the legislatures illegal activity to the Justice Department including the EPA! That's right, I did it Dewhurst, so sue me!
If Right Wing Extremism is not addressed by the Justice Department now, history will repeat as it did on November 13, 1963 by the detonation of a dirty bomb that even shook the foundation of resident Texas Republican conspirators living in San Antonio - you know who you are.
Texas Right Wing Extremist Plan To Assassinate The President 1963 Set Off Nuclear Dirty Bomb:
"The second response is purely political-and Orwellian. It is to repeat ad nauseum the Big Lie that this is the Tea Party downgrade, attributable lock, stock, and barrel to the failure of the Tea Party caucus in Congress to even countenance taxes as a part of any debt ceiling deal."
"The Tea Party doesn't consider raising taxes to be a constructive part of any effort to address the problem because its members believe that spending is the problem, not the way the spending is financed. They believe that the government is too big, it spends too much, it spends badly, and that raising taxes just extends, but only for a little while, the life of Destructive Leviathan-whom they would rather starve than feed."
Oddly, there is still time for the Right Wing Mob that defeated every progressive step to restore America, to join the rest of us and support the actions of the Obama administration, even if you do not favor him, because it is no longer an ethical concern beyond your understanding. The doomsday riders are now at your front doors as a hazard to yourselves and family, no longer just a patriotic concern for the future of a collapsing United States economy!
by Texas Threatened My Family And Now Texas Pays The Price. You have yet to pay the price and I still have a full deck of cards to play and nothing to lose! Pay Up of Shut Up David Dewhurst! And stop giving Obama credit for my hard work!
Texas College Democrats Applaud Senate Vote to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Austin, TX - Texas College Democrats President Ryan Lofton Payne released the below statement today, following a vote in the U.S. Senate to move forward on critical legislation that would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The legislation would allow Americans to serve in the military regardless of their sexual orientation.
"The Senate did the right thing today for our country and our military by voting to move forward with legislation that would repeal the outdated and discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. President Obama pledged to overturn this policy when he campaigned for office, and today, US Senators cast critical votes to move toward achieving this goal. The repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' which is supported overwhelmingly by the American people, will ensure that brave men and women who wish to serve in the military can do so regardless of their sexual orientation. It is the right thing to do, will be a boost to our national security, and would be a major victory for equal rights in America."
Other members of the Texas College Democrats board had this to say:
"The repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is a victory for all Americans who believe no soldier, or anyone for that matter, should have to hide who they are."
-Vice President Garrett Hall
"Our military exists to protect our nation and all its citizens. It's only fair that our armed forces reflect the American spirit of unity, equality, and tolerance."
-Secretary Oscar Boleman
"This is great news! It's about time! This is a historic step towards an inevitable full breadth of equality in all facets of life for gays in America."
-Development Director Dallen Terrell
"Finally! The repeal of DADT was long overdue."
-Programs Director Dancey Glover
"By ending this unjust law, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer be discharged for being true to themselves and living lives of integrity. This is a triumph not only for civil rights but also for national defense."
-Communications Director Alexander Clark
"The repeal of DADT marks a turn in LGBT relations. Just a half decade ago, the Senate was voting whether to discriminate against the LGBT community in our Constitution and now at the end of the decade we see our military become truly open to all Americans."
-Political Affairs Director David de la Fuente
"The repeal of DADT, which has cost this nation hundreds of millions of dollars stands as a true victory for fiscal conservatism within our federal government and further allows our nation to stand as champions for our brave, selfless men and women in uniform."
-Membership Director Kendall Scudder
"This courageous action by the Senate allows so many to continue to serve their nation. DADT repeal continues our nation's tradition of expanding equality for all."
-President Emeritus Andy Jones
The fight for civil rights, a struggle that continues, will no longer include this one. While we celebrate, there is still much to do.
Just when you thought the U.S. Senate couldn't do any less for clean energy and the environment than it's (not) done so far, we now face the real possibility of what would amount to a "stop-work order" on the 40-year-old, wildly successful (e.g., studies finding benefits outweighing costs at a 40:1 ratio), Clean Air Act.
That's right: believe it or not, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is moving ahead with a sequel to Sen. Lisa Murkowski's nefarious attempt, earlier this summer, to gut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s power to protect the public health from dangerous pollutants, including harmful greenhouse gases. Just as bad, Rockefeller's proposal would keep America addicted to oil and other old, polluting energy technologies, while delaying or derailing our switch to a clean, prosperous energy economy.
Essentially, what Rockefeller is proposing would tell the EPA – at least for two years, although we know that justice delayed is often justice denied! - that it has to be asleep at the switch, that it must not hold polluters accountable, that it must look the other way whole Big Oil and Big Coal trash the environment. Is that the lesson the Senate learned from the Gulf of Mexico disaster? Really?
Fortunately, not everyone is so clueless as the U.S. Senate appears to be right now. For instance, in yesterday's Politico, two energy investors – one Democrat, one Republican – explained what's at stake in clear, compelling language.
We are not experts in vote counting or horse trading. But we do know how investors and markets will respond if Congress ultimately fails to put a market-based price on carbon. The response from capital will be brutal: Money will flow to places like China, Europe and India — and U.S. jobs will go with it.
The path to creating more U.S. jobs is simple: Pass legislation that eliminates uncertainty and levels the playing field, and investors will fund projects that create good jobs here at home. Rules bring certainty, certainty spurs investment, and investment creates jobs.
Take it from investors: Removing the uncertainty, and taking a more thoughtful approach to energy policy by putting a market price on carbon, can bring home new investments and jobs — and ensure that America leads the clean energy economy.
Instead, it now looks like the Senate not only won't be moving us forwards, but instead will be trying to move us significantly – and disastrously - backwards. What's truly stunning about this possibility is that, right now, the science of climate change is clearer and more disturbing than ever. Heat waves are getting worse, the ice caps are shrinking faster than ever, and scientists are telling us that the world is setting new temperature records almost every month, every year, and every decade. In addition, the results of our insatiable thirst for fossil fuels were demonstrated starkly and tragically, both in a West Virginia coal mine as well as in the Gulf of Mexico, on TV screens all across America in recent months. As if all this isn't bad enough, we also could run out of water.
The American people know this situation can't go on. In fact, recent polls show large majorities supporting an energy bill that would "[l]imit pollution, invest in domestic energy sources and encourage companies to use and develop clean energy...by charging energy companies for carbon pollution in electricity or fuels like gas." In other words, this is a case where good policy – limiting greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing our national security, safeguarding public health, jumpstarting a clean energy revolution – and good politics – strong poll results for doing just that - appear to align. Yet, the U.S. Senate appears ready to ignore both good policy and good politics, and actually move to make matters worse by gutting the EPA and letting polluters like BP off the hook.
Don’t let them do it. Call your Senators right now and tell them "hell no" to the "Let Polluters Pollute with Impunity Act." Also, while you’re at it, call the White House and tell President Obama that, if such a measure reaches his desk, he will veto it – no ifs, ands, or buts.
Take action today for a cleaner, stronger, and more sustainable future. Join NRDC Action Fund on Facebook and Twitter and stay up-to-date on the latest environmental issues and actions you can take to help protect our planet.