Someone Needs to File An Amended Report

The Dallas Morning News has uncovered the West Fertilizer Company’s report to the EPA and local officials.

The company checked “No” for the risk of fire or explosion.  It claimed the worse case scenario was a release of ammonia gas lasting ten minutes that would cause no deaths or injuries.

 

The Bizarre Link Between Oil and Abortion

North Dakota just passed the most draconian abortion ban in the country — six weeks.

And North Dakota is also the most booming state in the country because of the oil being extracted there.

So what’s the connection?  North Dakota’s state government currently has a $2 billion surplus thanks to oil revenues, so they’re happy to throw away money to defend their clearly unconstitutional abortion ban.

Another reason to hate the oil companies!

GOP Way Out in Right Field with Wrong Policies

A new Pew Survey released today shows that on some issues, support for the Dem position and opposition to the GOP position is very, very lop-sided.  You don’t usually see numbers like these.

For example, 76% want to deal with the deficit by both raising taxes and cutting spending.  Only 19% agree with the GOP policy of no tax increases.

On President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour, 71% agree, with only 26% opposed.

On passing major gun control legislation, 67% agree and 29% oppose.

On toughening emission standards for power plants, 62% agree and 28% oppose.

These numbers aren’t just terrible for the GOP, they’re not healthy for our two-party system.

 

 

 

 

 

A Word for Robins

From “Will Climate Get Some Respect Now?,” Nicholas Kristof, NYT:

“I was schooled in the far-reaching changes underway several years ago by Eskimos in Alaska, who told me of their amazement at seeing changes in their Arctic village — from melting permafrost to robins (for which their Inupiat language has no word), and even a (shivering) porcupine.  If we can’t see that something extraordinary is going on in the world around us, we’re in trouble.”

Talk About a Perfect Storm!

“Forecasters said Sandy was a rare, hybrid ‘super storm’ created by an Arctic jet stream wrapping itself around a tropical storm.

“The combination of those two storms would have been bad enough, but meteorologists said there was a third storm at play – a system coming down from Canada that would effectively trap the hurricane-nor’easter combo and hold it in place, amplifying the inland flooding effects.

“Moreover, the storm was coming ashore at high tide, which was pulled even higher by a full moon.”

From “Sandy strengthens as it nears East Cost; Wall Street shut,” Daniel Trotta and Tom Hals, Reuters

 

The Worse Political Advice, Ever

David Brooks argues (“The Elevator Speech,” NYT) that Obama has to “define America’s most pressing challenge” on Thursday, and says he has “three clear options.”

The first option is global warming:

“But if this is really where Obama’s passion lies, he should go for it.

“He should vow to double down on green energy and green technology.  He could revive cap-and-trade legislation that would creat incentives for clean innovation.  He could propose a tax reform package that would substitute gasoline and energy consumption taxes for a piece of our current income taxes.  He could say that his No. 1 international priority will be to get a global warming treaty ratified by all the major nations.”

He could say all these things and then proceed to replicate George McGovern’s 1972 defeat.  Hell, Obama probably wouldn’t even carry Massachusetts.  Mitt could safely spend the rest of the campaign on his boat in New Hampshire while Ryan is off bow- and- arrow hunting.

So here is Brooks’ door number two, broken capitalism:

“Obama could go before the convention and say that there has been a giant failure at the heart of modern capitalism.  Even in good times,the wealth that modern capitalism generates is not being shared equitably.  Workers are not seeing the benefits of their own productivity gains.

“Obama could offer policies broad enough to address this monumental problem.  He could vow to strengthen unions.  He could vow to use federal funds to pay for 500,000 more teachers and two million more infrastructure jobs.  He could cap the mortgage interest deduction, cap social security benefits, raise taxes on the rich, raise taxes on capital gains and embrace other measures to redistribute money from those who are prospering tho those who are not.  He could crack down on out-sourcing and regulate trade.  He could throw himself behind a new industrial policy to create manufacturing jobs.

This agenda wouldn’t appeal to moderates, or people like me, but it’s huge, it’s serious and it would highlight a real problem.”  Emphasis added.

So Brooks is supposedly giving Obama sincere advice for a speech that’s intended to attract moderates and admitting that his advice would repel moderates.  This speech would feed the socialist, anti-capitalist GOP smear.  Again, he’d lose, maybe not as big as with the global warming speech, but he’d lose.

Brooks’ third option is to embrace Simpson Bowles.  That’s the least suicidal of the three, but you can’t offer honest, real numbers when the other side is committed to lying, imaginary numbers.

Brooks concludes, “If Obama can’t tells us the big policy thing he wants to do, he doesn’t deserve a second term.”

If Obama were to listen to Brooks, deserving or not, he wouldn’t get a second term.  And I can state unequivocally that David Brooks no longer deserves a NYT op-ed column.

 

Obama Zings Mitt on Seamus

“President Obama dinged Mitt Romney at a campaign stop in Iowa today for the oft-told story about the old Romney family dog, Seamus, and his journey strapped to the roof of a car….

“In his speech, Obama criticized Romney for his opposition to wind energy in which the governor previously said that ‘you can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.’

“‘I don’t know if he’s actually tried that,” Obama said jokingly. ‘I know he’s had other things on his car.'”

Another Obama Failure — No Rain Dances in the Rose Garden

I know the GOP thinks everything is President Obama’s fault, but this is a bit much, even for them.  From John Boehner’s web site:

“The president continues to blame anyone and everyone for the drought but himself.”

Um, John, black people don’t do rain dances, that’s Native Americans.

Or maybe this isn’t a failure by John of Orange to keep his minorities straight, maybe this is one of those God-is-punishing-us rants because Obama supports gay marriage.

John, you’re spending too long on the tanning bed, it’s frying your brain.

 

Another Tea Party Weirdo

Ted Cruz, who won yesterday’s runoff to be Texas’ GOP Senate nominee, isn’t just a Tea Party guy, he’s also a weirdo.  Maybe that’s redundant.  Anyway, he’s one of those crazies who sees the U. N. under every bed, ready to take our freedom.  From “For God, Texas And Golf,” Gail Collins, NYT:

“Texas Republicans have just nominated a Senate candidate who is promising to protect America’s golf courses from the United Nations.

“In a blog posting early this year, Cruz vowed that as senator he would fight against ‘a dangerous United Nations plan’ on environmental sustainability that he said was aimed at abolishing ‘gold courses, grazing pastures and paved roads.’

“[T[he thing Cruz was talking about is actually a vague, non-binding resolution that’s more than 20 years old.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the next senator from the great state of Texas, Ted Cruz, the putz who will protect your putts.