White House turns blind eye on Democrats who oppose climate rules

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-05-2014-05-2008

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Obama arrives for the commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New YorkBy Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats in Republican-leaning states have a simple strategy for dealing with President Barack Obama's upcoming power plant restrictions before the mid-term elections: Fight them, with the White House's blessing. The new rules, popular with the Democratic Party's base, are one of Obama's highest domestic priorities for his second term. But they are complicating the lives of Democrats in coal and oil-rich states such as West Virginia, Louisiana and Alaska, where candidates are piling on the president and the Environmental Protection Agency for proposing restrictions that could cost jobs locally. So, the White House is turning a blind eye to attacks from within the party, despite the importance of the regulations to Obama's agenda and post-presidential legacy.

Sunday Talk: Mad Libs V

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-05-2014-05-2008

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Ever since
Choose
l33t hacker
trained spy
double-agent
whistleblower
Putin’s stooge
#patriot
#traitor
Edward Snowden absconded with thousands of
Choose
highly classified
very incriminating
mildly interesting
barely legal
totally meaningless
TL;DR
documents from the NSA last year, I have been
Choose
unable to eat and/or sleep
wondering what all the fuss is about
getting my porn offline
his #1 fan/in love with him
clapping louder *CLAP* *CLAP*
ensconced in tinfoil
encrypting my communications
reccing every “Snowden Rox” diary
reccing every “Snowden Sux” diary
avoiding all the “Rox/Sux” diaries
.

With each new revelation published by Snowden’s
Choose
collaborators
confidantes
co-conspirators
comrades
, I’ve grown more
Choose
paranoid
skeptical
alarmed
unhinged
suspicious
depressed
concerned
confident
confused
cynical
pumped
ambivalent
excited
about the US government’s activities—especially those pertaining to
Choose
the 1st Amendment
the 2nd Amendment
the 4th Amendment
the 5th Amendment
my precious bodily fluids
Benghazi
.

#
Choose
ThanksObama
ReadyForHillary
StandWithRand
SerenityNow
FalseFlag
Bqhatevwr
tcot

If it wasn’t for
Choose
brave journalists
principled individuals
heroes
useful idiots
concern trolls
attention whores
like Glenn Greenwald et al., and their willingness—if not eagerness—to
Choose
speak truth to power
make Obama look bad
defend the Constitution
divulge state secrets
put America at risk
, we’d all be
Choose
better off
worse off
.

The freedoms they’re
Choose
fighting for
exercising
exploiting
undermining
are what makes America the most exceptional country on God’s green earth—ever!

Their
Choose
supporters
detractors
tend to forget this; or maybe they just don’t understand how
Choose
good
bad
they have it here.

In Soviet Russia,
Choose
adventure chooses you
.

Home care workers’ union rights at stake in Supreme Court case

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-05-2014-05-2008

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The Supreme Court as of 2010

It’s Supreme Court decision season, and one case to watch for is Harris v. Quinn, in which the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is seeking essentially to overturn union rights for home care workers. The question, as is so often the case, is whether the Supreme Court will uphold the status quo or overturn years of precedent and undermine unions and worker organizing. Labor scholar John Logan sums up the key questions:

First, are home care aides correctly defined as public employees for the purposes of collective bargaining? […]

Second, can the union require non-members to pay “agency fees” to cover representation costs? […]

Third, is bargaining on behalf of home care aides inherently different? National Right to Work claims that bargaining on behalf of home care aides should be considered petitioning of government. […]

Finally, if the court were to side with NRTW’s extremist position and rule against the right to charge non-members agency fees, does that ruling apply only to home care aides or also to every public-sector worker in the country?

Unions and collective have improved working and living conditions for home care workers in many states, and in so doing have improved the level of service they’re able to offer. Home care workers only unionize after a vote, and those who do not want to support the union’s political activities can opt out of paying union dues, instead paying an agency or fair share fee that covers only the cost of representing them in the workplace. Whether this can continue, as courts have previously affirmed, is what the Supreme Court is now considering.

House Republicans defeat effort to punish wage theft

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-05-2014-05-2008

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Rep. Keith Ellison

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

The federal government shouldn’t give its business to companies that violate labor laws to steal their workers’ wages. If this statement seems like common sense to you, congratulations: you’re not a House Republican. A Democratic amendment that would have prevented businesses with a documented record of wage theft from getting taxpayer money through government contracts was defeated in a party line vote Thursday.

In a joint statement, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chairmen of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said House Republicans voted “to continue wage theft.”

“The federal government could lead the way by disqualifying contractors who practice wage theft, but House Republicans voted tonight against an amendment to do exactly that,” Ellison and Grijalva said. “The failure of this amendment illustrates who Republicans defend … Unfortunately, working families have been left out of the Republican political strategy.”

Pretty much, though occasionally Republicans do include working families in their political strategy as scapegoats or targets. But think about it: Republicans literally voted to keep sending federal dollars to companies that have broken the law. Because it’s a law that protects workers, so to Republicans, it shouldn’t count.

GOP Weekly Address: Obama ‘Has Set Out To Kill Coal’

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-05-2014-05-2008

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Delivering the GOP Weekly radio and internet address, Sen. Mike Enzi says, “The Administration has set out to kill coal and its 800,000 jobs.”



Obama Connects Public Health to Curbing Geenhouse Gases

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-05-2014-05-2008

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In his weekly radio and Internet address released,  President Barack Obama says curbing greenhouse gases is essential to protect the health and wellbeing of children.



Spotlight on Green News & Views: EPA power-plant emissions rules, recycling with earthworms

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-05-2014-05-2008

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Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don’t attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Wednesday Spotlight can be seen here. So far, more than 18,000 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.

President Obama to Use Exec Authority to Reduce Carbon from Coal-Fired Electric Plants by 20%—by TomP: “This is good news and it will create a firestorm of criticism from the Koch Brothers and their wholly-owned political party, among others, including some Democrats. It’s a courageous move and will help begin reductions of carbon. It also may impact the rest of the world with respect to what they do. President Obama will use his executive authority to cut carbon emissions from the nation’s coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent, according to people familiar with his plans, and will force industry to pay for the pollution it creates through cap-and-trade programs across the country. Mr. Obama will unveil his plans in a new regulation, written by the Environmental Protection Agency, at the White House on Monday. It would be the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change and could become one of the defining elements of Mr. Obama’s legacy.

green dots

Is it time we start saying the E word?—by Pakalolo: “It is pretty good odds that a mass extinction is going on right now as you read this. This ticking time bomb proves that we are like insects, which live just a few days and will never experience changes in a season much less years. You and I will never know from experience the history of this planet. Much of that history is as abstract to us as the dimensions of the universe. Our planet is a complex, dynamic system that we probably will never fully comprehend. The Earth system, like the human body, comprises diverse components that interact in complex ways. The Earth’s atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere is a single connected system. […] An article from New Scientist reports on a study by Chris Thomas at the University of Leeds, UK, and colleagues, evaluating the impact on species of mild, moderate and severe levels of predicted climate change. Mr. Thomas is quoted as saying: ‘The absolutely best case scenario – which in my opinion is unrealistic—with the minimum expected climate change and all of the species moving completely into new areas which become suitable for them, means we end up with an estimate of nine per cent facing extinction.’ This best case scenario means that 1 million species would go extinct assuming there are 10 million species in existence.”

green dots

The Daily Bucket – botanizing by boat in San Juan Islands National Monument—by OceanDiver: “May 20 & 22, 2014. Salish Sea. Pacific Northwest. Last week over two long days I accompanied a crew of BLM researchers to nine of the 70 or so small islands in San Juan Islands National Monument, which came into being a year ago thanks to President Obama and the Antiquities Act. About half the Monument acreage is several large sites on Lopez and San Juan Islands, with the rest being these islands, ranging from 1 to 200 acres. State and local groups actively help manage these lands, such as the Washington State Parks system, Washington Trails Association, Keepers of the Patos Light, and many more, mostly volunteer. I tagged along to assist the botanist surveying and documenting vegetation, and I was happy to help, since I’d never stepped on any of these tiny non-ferry-served outlying islands before. I was surprised and amazed by the difference between them, and between them and the populated main islands of the county. One beautiful surprise was how many of the smallest islands, not much more than rocky bluffs, are graced by Garry oaks (Quercus garryana), rare on my home island.”

You can find more rescued green diaries below the sustainable orange squiggle.

This week in the War on Workers: America needs ‘imminent disturbance’

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-05-2014-05-2008

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The North Carolina legislature recently banned anything that might create an “imminent disturbance” in the legislative building. In other words, the legislature, faced with months of Moral Mondays protests, is cracking down, giving itself a rule under which to silence protesters.

Threatening protesters with arrest for peaceful demonstration is a hot Republican trend of the last few years, with bills proposed in Tennessee and Georgia targeting union picketing specifically.

But, as the video above points out, many of the moments that moved America forward relied on imminent disturbance. Not that North Carolina Republicans would necessarily see it that way.

Continue reading below the fold for more of the week’s labor and education news.

Saturday nutpick-a-palooza: ‘false flag’ in Santa Barbara!

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-05-2014-05-2008

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Today’s source material is even crazier than usual:

Screen cap from conspiracy site: Santa Barbara Shooter Psy Op the First “Men’s Rights” False Flag

In a tizzy of media fury, the latest supposed mass gunman/internet weirdo serial killer has emerged with a new angle: “Men’s rights” and “misogyny.”  However, the latest installment also follows the classic pattern of the recent psy ops of Cho at Virginia Tech, Anders Breivik, Jared Loughner, James Holmes and Adam Lanza.  It is in this pattern that we see the evident fraud manifest and this pattern, I will argue, is the key to identifying when these events, from Manson to Columbine, from Cho to Rodgers, are real or staged.

It was all faked. Just like Sandy Hook. Because, you know, the Obama goons in black helicopters want to take away their external metallic penis sticks, locked and loaded with armor-piercing freedom kisses. Got it? The natives applaud in rapt approval, below the fold.

This week in the war on voting: NAACP challenges AL voter ‘voucher’, ranked choice voting

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-05-2014-05-2008

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This week in the war on voting is a joint project of Joan McCarter and Meteor Blades

Ohio Christian Alliance push for photo voter ID law. If Ohio state legislators don’t pass a voter ID law, the conservative group says, it will seek to pass one by means of a state initiative in 2015.

The process would involve circulating petitions and collecting more than 100,000 signatures before the end of the year. The legislature would then have about four months to act before backers circulate more petitions and gather another 275,000-plus signatures to place the issue on the November ballot.

“With 29 days of open voting still available, there continues to exist an opportunity for those who intend to commit voter fraud to take advantage of Ohio’s open-ended election season,” said Chris Long, president of the Ohio Christian Alliance. “The post-election reports detail a story that voter fraud is a growing problem in Ohio. The only way to address this challenge to Ohio’s election system is to adopt a photo ID requirement.”

In fact, the post-election reports show voter fraud is scarcely a problem at all in Ohio. Moreover, Secretary of State Jon Husted says photo ID wouldn’t solve the problem if there was one.

Project Vote reports on 2014 voter legislation. As part of its ongoing series, Project Vote last week released its Election Legislation 2014: Threats and Opportunities. Written by Communications Manager Erin Ferns Lee, the white paper provides state-by-state blurbs about new voting laws—the good and the bad—in a table format, taking note of which have passed, failed or remain pending. It also includes maps showing partisan control of legislatures and the governor’s offices.

Here’s a quiz to see if you can pick the gerrymandered redistricting plan.

You’ll find more on the war on voting below the fold.