Category Archives: Environment

What’s In A Name?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

Once again, conservatives have shown they are better at branding then liberals.

The Squad, the group of six progressive Congress people, Jamaal Bowman of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, all voted against the Biden infrastructure bill because it didn’t include the climate change and social services upgrades that have been tossed over into another bill. Okay, it was a procedural move, made only because they knew the bill as amended would pass with or without their votes.

But I want to talk about the name they’ve given themselves. In particular because the eight Republicans (I’ll give them the real party name since they were good guys on this vote) who voted for the bill, Don Bacon of Nebraska, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Andrew Garbarino of New York, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, John Katko of New York, Tom Reed of New York, Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey and Fred Upton of Michigan, are calling themselves the Problem Solvers Caucus. Yes, I know there are  moderate Democratic members of this caucus, making it somewhat bipartisan, but it’s the Republicans in the caucus that are getting the press while the Democrats are being seen as merely going along with their party’s president.

Let’s face facts. The Squad is what a bunch of urban hipsters would call themselves, a quasi super hero team name that implies something but I couldn’t tell you what. “Hey let’s get The Squad together and go out to that new Indian Mexican fusion spot over on Tenth Avenue”.  The Problem Solvers Caucus tells you exactly what they are about. Are they really about problem solving? In the world of politics no title ever truly gives a clear picture as to what the group is about. Except CREEP, the Committee to Re-elect The President, the one that was intricately woven into the Watergate saga. Yeah they were a bunch of CREEPs.

It comes down to perception. The Squad voted against a bill that will give millions of people jobs. The Problem Solvers Caucus voted for giving all those people new jobs, i.e, they solved a problem. Now come later this month when the bill with all the climate change and social services stuff in it comes up for a vote and they vote against it their name might be mud, but for the moment (and in politics it’s all about the moment), it’s the Problem Solvers who solved a problem and the Squad who said we’re not even interested in getting some pork projects for our own home districts, but I’ll have a double whip, no foam half-caf Vente mocha to go. The only thing they gave their districts was the finger. At least that’s how it’s perceived.

And the Repugnicant Party will make sure all the campaign ads, even the ones for the 200 odd members of the House riding the magic Faux News bandwagon who voted against the bill, will tout how they are the party of the Problem Solvers. Those who oppose them, you know those Urban (nee Black), Greedy (nee Jewish), Intellectuals (nee anyone smarter than you), they don’t really have their constituents concerns at heart. It’s nothing but a dog whistle to this week’s flavor of the moment voting bloc, white women with no college education.

Good luck winning re-election or retaining the House running against that.

More after you clickety clickety clack the link below

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How Much Is That Senator In The Window?

Senators Sinema and Manchin

The Twitter Machine blew up last night with news from Axios that House Boat Owning Senator Joe Manchin threw another bomb into the Biden Legacy:

Manchin is having a moment. He also dropped this:

The Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) is key to fighting that little problem of climate change, and given there are parts of the bill that take into consideration the transitional issues that regions that rely on fossil fuel face, one wonders why he might feel this way. Oh…of course.

Not to pick on Old King Joe, because he’s not exactly the only poster child for why we need to get money out of politics. Manic Pixie Dream Senator Krysten Sinema does indeed support the CEPP, but on health care, she’s quite awful. See her mysterious opposition to the reconciliation bill’s prescription drug plan.

I wonder why she’s so against it? Oh…of course.

To be fair to Senator Felt-Cute-Thumbs-Downed-$15-Minimum-Wage, there is a handful of Democratic Congresspeoples who are also against lowering prescription drugs. And also receive big donations from pharmaceutical companies.

I would say how blatant this all is, as if they think we’re all stupid. But, it is working. They get called “common-sense thinkers” and the “adults in the room.” They rarely pay any sort of price for this sort of open cow-towing to donors. This is despite most Americans being against the influence of money in politics.

So, not doing anything about it, we’re in a world where the actual common-sense set of solutions for extremely pressing issues is in danger of not happening due to the money and power of a select few. It’s destroying the legacy of a man, Joe Biden, who seems to see the giant problems we all face in the future and is driven to try to fix them. Problems that likely will lead to great suffering if not properly addressed. If anyone thinks this is over-the-top hyperbole, ask the ghosts of people who drowned in their New York City basement apartments thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Ida last month.

The last word goes to the Minneapolis Royal.

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Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Oligarchy Definition

OK class, use it in a sentence.

It’s been a bad week for oligarchs.

From the 48 hour birth, life, and death of the European Super League in soccer to the pullback of Russian troops from the border with Ukraine, the fat cats have been taking a bit of a pounding, most of it at the hands of the so called little guys.

If you still can’t quite understand the entire Super League fiasco don’t worry. I follow European soccer pretty closely and I am hard pressed to come up with a rational for the absurd circus the Dirty Dozen have put us through. The no longer failing New York Times has a good play by play of how this all came to be.

Suffice it to say, twelve of the fourteen richest teams in Europe decided they wanted to create their own league to play in, one that they would have total control of and which ultimately would have destroyed the delicate pyramid that feeds and nurtures the other hundreds of teams in dozens of national leagues. Fans, the people who actually pay to go to or watch games on TV, revolted. It was quickly established that even the most ardent of fans would abandon lifelong allegiance to one of the twelve in favor of continued allegiance to their national leagues. Television networks, the ones who would be paying the largest portion of the tab for the Super League, started muttering “what if they have a league and no one watches”.

And just like that, poof, it’s gone.

The birth and demise of the Super League is being laid squarely at the feet of the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United as well as being the guys who sign Tom Brady’s checks, Stan Kroenke owner of Arsenal, the LA Rams, the Denver Nuggets, and the Colorado Avalanche, and John Henry, owner of Liverpool FC as well as the Bahstin Red Sox. The line being put out is it’s all American hubris, coming in and thinking they can make this into the NFL. They’re taking the fall, but this whole plan stinks of Russian and Arab oligarchic slight of hand.

That’s how oligarchs work. They quietly pull all the strings so that if something goes wrong they can walk away with clean hands. That’s what’s happening in this case, Americans are taking the fall while the Russian oligarch owner of Chelsea FC and the Emirati prince owner of Manchester City get to say “I know nothing!“.

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Quote Of The Day: Lady Bird Johnson Edition

It’s Earth Day. President Biden is hosting a climate change summit today. That made me think of the environmental First Lady, Claudia Taylor Johnson, better known as Lady Bird. Bird is perhaps our most underrated First Lady, she did a lot of good things but the Other LBJ’s aides insisted on “ladying-up” her efforts:

In her East Wing policy shop, Lady Bird began to build a portfolio of environmental policies, working with Interior Secretary Stewart Udall. She brought Jane Jacobs to the White House, and conferred with other urban planners and environmental thinkers. But forswearing potentially polarizing talk of urban renewal and land stewardship, Lady Bird spoke of “beautification,” though she had mixed feelings about the word. “I’ll never forgive Lyndon’s boys for turning my environmental agenda into a beautification project,” she said. “But I went ahead and talked about wildflowers so as not to scare anybody, because I knew if the people came to love wildflowers they’d have to eventually care about the land that grew ’em.”

Whatever works, Bird, whatever works.

The last word goes to Tom Petty: