Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bye Blue Angels


SF is freaking out over the possible loss of Fleet Week due to sequester cuts. This shot was taken last year at quite some distance from the plane; let me take this opportunity to tell you once again how much I love my camera.

The Kochs are back in the news today...

Koch Brothers aim to be better liars as they continue to pillage the states: Koch World reboots
"Top Koch operative Kevin Gentry emailed associates after the election about 'a growing belief that one of the Obama campaign’s competitive advantages was their analytical approach to almost all of their messaging' while others in Koch World have hinted at a more decentralized and below-the-radar strategy. 'They’re trying to figure out a way to benefit their causes' without becoming straw men at the same time, said a source familiar with their thinking. They’ve blessed the formation of a new secret money nonprofit group, the Association for American Innovation, POLITICO has learned.

Koch World already rules Kansas: Bill Would Require Teachers To Misinform Students About Climate Change
Last week, the Kansas House Education Committee introduced a bill that mandates teachers question the scientific basis of global warming, becoming the latest state to take up one of American Legislative Exchange Council’s “model bills” aiming to misrepresent climate change in schools. Kansas would join Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Oklahoma as the fifth state to cast climate change as a “controversial” topic. But climate change is only controversial in political and polluter circles, not the scientific community. 97 percent of climate scientists actively publishing in the field agree climate change is human-caused.

Newt: Poking with a stick. And laughing all the way to the bank.

Question for Newt: Where is that $2.50 gas?: Record growth in US oil production doesn't lower the price of gas
"The price increases have been a rude reminder that even though the United States’ reliance on imported oil is less than it has been in nearly two decades, prices at service stations are still tied to global prices and subject to global market trends, as well as to regional refinery constraints."

Benen Rules: Reality 1, Boehner 0
"Democrats have unveiled a sequester alternative, and Republicans have not; Democrats have said they're open to compromise, and Republican have said they aren't. The probably of avoiding next week's mess is quickly approaching zero. With this in mind, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has a 900-word op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the subject, devoted almost entirely to a desperate attempt to avoid blame. In the larger context, it's only mildly annoying that Boehner invests more energy in pointing fingers than working on a solution, but it's far worse that the Speaker peddles blatant falsehoods, lacking enough respect for the public and the political world to be honest with them."

From the "Sacrifice is for Other People" Department: Lawmakers protect home turf from sequester
"In some lawmakers’ minds, there’s no stopping the sequester. So they’re making a plea to the Obama administration: Just don’t cut in my backyard. With the automatic budget cuts set to strike all aspects of the federal government March 1, members of the House and Senate are beseeching administration officials — both in private and during public hearings — to spare key programs and employment hubs back home."

No real safety net: The Nation: Ten Things You Should Know About #TheRealTANF
"With TANF authorization expiring at the end of March and needing to be renewed (and hopefully improved)—and over 46 million people still living below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four—here are ten things you should know about the program." There is no such thing as "welfare" anymore.

The House is too small. Really:
"Although lawmakers regularly increased the size of the House each decade following the census, they stopped after 1911, leaving it frozen at 435 members for more than a century, even as the U.S. population has more than tripled....Though they were a little vague on the details, the framers of the Constitution expected the House would change in size after each census, which it did for the first 13 decades. But after the 1920 census, rural lawmakers, who feared losing power to the country's growing urban population, successfully stalled reapportionment."

Today in the Perpetual Campaign: NRA Targets Democratic Senators Up in 2014 With Local Newspaper Ads
"On Thursday, full-page ads are scheduled to run in local newspapers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia. They will be supplemented by digital advertising in these states and 10 others, including Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota. Additionally, the group has scheduled full-page ads to run Feb. 25 in regional editions of USA Today, reaching parts of 15 states."

Oregon Governor Kitzhaber: We need a federal energy policy. Hear, hear: "One of the largest concerns that I have about coal exports out of the West Coast, in addition to all the environmental implications, is the lack of any larger federal energy policy that speaks to what this means. What does it mean for the United States to become a major energy exporting nation? What does in means in terms of domestic pricing? What does it mean in terms of energy security?" Kitzhaber said (his remarks were recorded by the National Wildlife Federation). "Without an energy policy it's almost impossible to make these large policy decisions and really understand their long term implications."

It's the media, stupid, Part Infinity. As I mentioned yesterday: Great Media Coverage for “Forward on Climate” and Keystone XL Protest has the roundup. HuffPo has an aerial picture of the SF protest - photogs, check out the light and shadow happening there and feel my pain.

Off to another day in limbo...