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A little over a month ago, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, said that George Bush's ozone standards were "not legally defensible."
The standards chosen by the George W. Bush administration to protect people from smog probably wouldn't hold up in court, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says in a new letter to a key congressional ally, giving the best indication yet that the agency is planning to set stricter pollution limits this summer.

Yes, that's exactly what was supposed to happen, but now won't. Speaking of the Bush-era regulations, Jackson explained:

[I]t would have been illegal to set the standard outside the range that a board of expert scientists said was necessary to protect human health. It also would have led to more costs for cities and states, which wouldn't have known which standard to shoot for, she said.

"The legal defensibility of the 2008 decision posed major challenges for the federal government given the strength of the scientific record at that time," as well as the letter of the Clean Air Act and the recommendations of scientific advisers. "I decided that reconsideration was the appropriate path based on concerns that the 2008 standards were not legally defensible," she added.

These, of course, are the very same standards President Obama has decided to let remain in place by pulling draft regulations that would have created stricter rules on ozone pollution—rules which his own EPA chief thinks are necessary to comply with the law. I suppose the silver lining here is that if Jackson is right, the current set of rules could be overturned by lawsuit. Some day.

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Comment Preferences

  •  before. republicans cheered when obama (4+ / 0-)

    backed down

    now they seem disappointed there is no fight.

    http://www.foxnews.com/...

  •  Fair to say yet that Obama is turning into a (8+ / 0-)

    disaster, or perhaps he already is.  

    Honestly, why would Democrats not support a primary challenge at this stage?  

    I am so sorry I supported him over Hillary last time.

    •  Yes, because if there's one thing a Clinton (4+ / 0-)

      NEVER EVER does is adopt right-wing framing or compromise with Republicans.

      Seriously, remember.

      •  Clinton... (6+ / 0-)

        Picked his fights...and even if he eventually did give in on something...he didn't start negotiations by adopting the Republican position out of the gate. And he won as many as he lost. Obama just seems to believe caving to the right wing framing on every issue will engender him some kind of good will with Republicans and with the public...

        It ain't working...he has energized the fanatics on the right, is losing indies that this strategy was supposed to appeal too, and now his base is deserting him.

        My problem with him when he ran was his inexperience dealing with this type of political atmosphere...my worries have been justified...

        Ironically, the area of policy where inexperience is usually cited as a disqualifying factor for President is foreign policy...and there he is doing very well IMO.

    •  At what point is it called Bush 3, not Obama 1? (8+ / 0-)

      Iraq?
      Afghanistan?
      Gitmo?
      This?
      Bush Tax Cuts?
      Deficit not Jobs?
      Social Security?
      Bankers?
      War Powers Act?

      To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

      by joesig on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:21:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe this is some bizarre test? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, Jackson L Haveck

      At a certain point, a primary challenge might actually happen. But given the extraordinary weakness of the national progressive Democratic bench, a primary challenge will really be no more than the canary in the coal mine.

      And the danger for progressives going forward is that we'll get blamed for causing the collapse in Obama's fortunes that such a primary challenge will be evidence of.

      "[S]ince Obama keeps talking nonsense about economics, at what point do we stop giving him credit for actually knowing better? Maybe at some point we have to accept that he believes what he’s saying." --Paul Krugman

      by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:21:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's already a disaster. (5+ / 0-)

      a disaster for the economy, for the environment, for the rule of law (continued illegal detentions, torture etc etc), for the Democratic Party and now for the environment too. Is there any issue-ANY ISSUE-that this President will not cave on??

      Let the fucking Republicans have the White House. a Romney or Huntsman wouldn't be any worse than this guy is. I'll throw my vote away on the Greens at this point rather than vote for the clown.

      •  Unfortunately this is false. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jan4insight, Jackson L Haveck, 714day
        Let the fucking Republicans have the White House. a Romney or Huntsman wouldn't be any worse than this guy is.

        A Romney or a Huntsman wouldn't have gotten rid of DADT, would reinstate the Mexico City Rule, would appoint more Alitos and Roberts to the Court, would have let GM and Chrysler die, etc. etc.

        Obama has been a disastrous President.

        The Republicans will be even worse.

        That's the shape of our politics today.

        "[S]ince Obama keeps talking nonsense about economics, at what point do we stop giving him credit for actually knowing better? Maybe at some point we have to accept that he believes what he’s saying." --Paul Krugman

        by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:31:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The answer (0+ / 0-)

          is to get more Democrats in office, everywhere, all the time, right down to dogcatcher.

          Because if anything, this is a symptom of party disunity and lack of long-term strategy.

          •  Most Democrats are Just Like Obama (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alexander G Rubio

            You elect more of them, you get the combination of lip service paid to the environment, militarism, and fiscal conservatism, plus mild support for the rights of gays and lesbians, women, and racial minorities, that we've come to expect from this administration.

            Now, this is unquestionably a better policy package than you get from the GOP. If the issue is whether it's better better to elect Democrats or Republicans, the answer is clearly Democrats.

            But merely electing Democrats, however many we elect, won't address our most pressing economic and environmental problems. Nor will it fundamentally alter the often toxic role that this country plays in the world.

            "[S]ince Obama keeps talking nonsense about economics, at what point do we stop giving him credit for actually knowing better? Maybe at some point we have to accept that he believes what he’s saying." --Paul Krugman

            by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:46:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  both it won't be Romney and certainly not Huntsman (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenSooner
    •  nonsense. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight

      You want jobs?
      The front pagers demand jobs.
      Americans DEMAND jobs.
      The economy is in the crapper.
      Business says all the EPA rules hinder them from doing business and created jobs.
      Diarists on here write JOBS JOBS JOBS where are the JOBS we wants JOBS now!
      Kossaks agree.

      Enviro diaries barely get recc'd or read.
      They fall off the list quickly.
      Hardly any comments or action taken.
      Meta diaries and JOBS NOW diaries get recc'd in a heartbeat.
      Oh and He sux diaries and comments like yours.

      Amazing how he listens to progressives now.
      But now progressives are suddenly all  environmentalists who care about the planet earth and are willing to sacrifice jobs for that.
      Or something.

      For the record, as a member of Green peace and about five other E groups I am strongly opposed to this, the tar sands pipeline, factory farming etc.
      And will not defend this decision one bit.

      It's you guys who need to figure out what you give a damn about.
      Why not rec other Green diaries instead of just using this horrific decision to slash and trash  him some more.
      And don't jump into the save the E fray when the guy you despise does something else that you despise.

      "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Mom ♥ 12.25.2007 ------- A true sportsman is a hunter lost in the woods and out of ammo. ~Robert Brault

      by Christin on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:32:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kos says wanting primary = "idiot fringe" (nt) (0+ / 0-)

      Understatement of the week: "The White House doesn't create jobs." -- Jay Carney

      by just some lurker guy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:24:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A bad decision but, (0+ / 0-)

    handing the Republicans a "job-killing regulation" talking point wouldn't be smart either.  Particularly given Obama's flacid attempts at job creation.

    Reporting from Tea Bagger occupied America

    by DrJohnB on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:18:38 AM PDT

  •  Yesterday it was illegal, today ... (14+ / 0-)

    ... it's the most progressive policy since LBJ!

    Torture.

    War.

    The Environment.

    Executive Power.

    You name it.

    "[S]ince Obama keeps talking nonsense about economics, at what point do we stop giving him credit for actually knowing better? Maybe at some point we have to accept that he believes what he’s saying." --Paul Krugman

    by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:19:12 AM PDT

    •  Good thing you voted for the Green Party. (0+ / 0-)

      At least you walk your talk, right?

      "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Mom ♥ 12.25.2007 ------- A true sportsman is a hunter lost in the woods and out of ammo. ~Robert Brault

      by Christin on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:33:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Attacking environmentalists won't win votes (14+ / 0-)

        Obama's negatives are over 50% in national polls. Maybe his most ardent supporters should consider trying to win people over.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:36:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i don't need lectures from you. (0+ / 0-)

          as an "ardent" environmentalist - one who actually  works with the movement.
          donates heavily. volunteers.
          and does not scream MORE CONSTRUCTION more JOBS JOBS JOBS more pollution for jobs!
            i am very upset.
          and am not here just to bash Obama like the same names are.

          i don't see most of these people giving a rat's ass about E diaries or issues.
          most of them will use any excuse to trash  a man they already despise.
          this is personal to me - so like i said, spare me.

          plus - i was not insulting Green.
          i thought he voted green which i would do if we had a parliament but we do not so I never will.

          "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Mom ♥ 12.25.2007 ------- A true sportsman is a hunter lost in the woods and out of ammo. ~Robert Brault

          by Christin on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:05:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That would be a good idea (0+ / 0-)

          but I don't see it happening.  I only see the bashing getting worse.

        •  Aha - maybe not, but how about attacking (0+ / 0-)

          environmentalists, medical marijuana patients, social security, whistleblowers, anti-DADT activists AND progressives? That might help him bring back the teabag voters that helped him get elected.

          /snark

          “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

          by 420 forever on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:48:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, no I didn't. (9+ / 0-)

        First, I can't vote Green in Oklahoma because the two major parties have installed the worst ballot access laws in the country (and that's saying a lot given how undemocratic our ballot access laws are).

        Secondly, my presidential vote is purely symbolic anyway, since I vote in Oklahoma.

        Third, in fact, I voted for Obama. And, as I always say, I'd do so again. He was clearly the lesser evil.  And he'll be so again in 2012, when I imagine I'll, once again, hold my nose and vote for him.

        Nice hippie punching, though, Christin! Shame that it won't win you any elections. Hope it makes you feel better!

        "[S]ince Obama keeps talking nonsense about economics, at what point do we stop giving him credit for actually knowing better? Maybe at some point we have to accept that he believes what he’s saying." --Paul Krugman

        by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:43:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SwedishJewfish

          nonsense.  
          with this  asinine HIppie punching crap
          the only place i hear that stupid creepy outdated expression is on here. it's ugly and violent and despicable.
          which is why i seep saying i feel like i'm in a senior's retirement village. hippie.
          christ. who even says that anymore.

          no one is punching you, so spare me the faint.
          i thought it was you that voted green, i mixed you up with someone else.
          it was a compliment - as it you walk your talk.
           which is rare in life.
          and is rare on here.
          sorry about the oklahoma thing.

          "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Mom ♥ 12.25.2007 ------- A true sportsman is a hunter lost in the woods and out of ammo. ~Robert Brault

          by Christin on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:02:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well then sue their ass. (6+ / 0-)

    Sue the administration if we have to and FORCE them to follow the law.

    Why does this remind me of the Bush era?

    Every election either the democrats lose or the republicans lose. But in every election there is always the same winner. And he drives a Mercedes.

    by Methinks They Lie on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:20:00 AM PDT

  •  We're just Obama voters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, 420 forever, host

    Imagine how demoralizing it feels workin' for the guy.

  •  This is where it should be fought (0+ / 0-)
    I suppose the silver lining here is that if Jackson is right, the current set of rules could be overturned by lawsuit

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:20:57 AM PDT

  •  on the same day the WH said this (12+ / 0-)

    "Cleaner Air and A Stronger Economy--A Record of Success"

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

    WH does this?

    We are ruled by idiots.

    " So according to the Obama-can-do-no-wrong crowd, looking incompetent scheduling a speech is all part of some brilliant plan. Got it!" kos

    by Muggsy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:21:17 AM PDT

  •  fatal airor. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, marshstars, esquimaux, badger
  •  Buying rightwing talking points. (7+ / 0-)

    I cannot believe that a Democratic president has so completely bought into right wing economic narratives. Environmental regulations are job killers? How can any mildly progressive completely ignore the external costs that have always been predominantly borne by the working classes? The current regulations are scientifically or legally defensible and we have a Democratic president blocking implementation of defensible regulations using long debunked conservative myths.

    How is the base supposed to not get deflated when these are the arguments and actions we see from this administration? His line of reasoning fits perfectly with Bachmann and Perry's plans to completely shutter the EPA.

    For better or worse, no one ever gets what they deserve.

    by Jawis on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:22:17 AM PDT

  •  There will be new regs in 2013. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, jan4insight

    Not by lawsuit, not by a new bill, but according to the current schedule.  The decision today was about whether to implement a stop-gap until then.

    This is much ado about nothing.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:22:54 AM PDT

    •  That's 2 years from now... (5+ / 0-)

      and the current regs are legally and scientifically indefensible. That's  at least 2 more years (do the regs go into effect in 2013 or just reviewed then?) of unnecessary respiratory illnesses among working people and their children. If it was nothing, then they wouldn't have proposed the stop-gap to begin with.

      For better or worse, no one ever gets what they deserve.

      by Jawis on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:28:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The study is happening right now. (0+ / 0-)

        There is an ongoing scientific review process within the EPA, which will determine what the regulations will be in 2013.

        While the adoption of the 75 ppm standard was legally indefensible, keeping them is perfectly legal, now that they've been adopted.  There is no legal problem with the decision to not "jump the line" and issue a new set of regs ahead of schedule.

        Your claim about "working people and their children" is much better at tugging on heart strings than on making much sense.  Adopting new standards now isn't the same thing as reducing ozone levels now.  With the economy the way it is, little would have happened over the next two years in terms of actually bringing down ozone levels, regardless of whether there were new regs adopted sooner.  For instance, a county that was listed as out of compliance might agree to implement some kind of policy - say, public transit spending - intended to reduce ozone levels, but with funding where it is, that spending would have been pushed off into the future anyway.

        Environmental regulations like this (based on reducing attainment goals) are like deficit reduction or interest rates - it's best to push hard during booms, and ease off during downturns.  You get much less bang for your buck during recessions, while imposing costs at the worst time.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:45:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your logic is flawed. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jackson L Haveck, deben

          "Adopting new standards now isn't the same thing as reducing ozone levels now."

          That much is obvious. There is obvious lag in the system. But, delaying reduction in limits for two is the same thing as delaying ozone level reductions for two years.

          For better or worse, no one ever gets what they deserve.

          by Jawis on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:58:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My logic is flawless; your knowledge is not. (0+ / 0-)
            delaying reduction in limits for two is the same thing as delaying ozone level reductions for two years.

            This is false, for the reason I explained above: reductions from regulations like of this sort don't happen at the same speed in different circumstances.  Not all environmental regulations are the same.  This one isn't a restriction on emissions, which would kick in right away.  The way that the area ozone level rules work is by compelling governments to redirect investment.  That means that adopting the new standard sooner, during a period when there is very little investment, doesn't get you very much.

            For instance, say a state responds to being out of compliance by adopting a rule that new power plants, or old power plants being overhauled, need to utilize certain equipment or procedures to reduce NOx (that's one of the precursors of ozone).  If a weak economy means that the power companies aren't going to invest in new plants or in major overhauls, adopting that rule later rather than sooner won't make any difference.  Regardless of when that rule is adopted, the companies are going to build new plants and overhaul old ones when there is the money and demand to do so.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:09:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Think this through. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              deben

              Do you honestly think the economy will be fundamentally different in 2013? Your specific example shows your error. Power companies aren't going to wait for the economy to turn around to build new power plants. Electricity demand is still increasing and old power plants are still get older and more costly to maintain. New plants have continued to be proposed and built throughout the recession. Yes, at some marginal level the rate of pollution reductions will be higher in better economies, but I don't think it's a nearly a large enough swing to erase the benefits from two years increased regulation, especially since I don't see the economy fundamentally improving in two years.

              For better or worse, no one ever gets what they deserve.

              by Jawis on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:43:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You've never had any contact with the power ind. (0+ / 0-)

                I assure you, power companies build more plants in booms than in recessions.

                This isn't an understanding I arrived at by using my non-expert knowledge to reason to: my wife is an environmental consultant, involved in air quality regulation for the power industry.  I am telling  you - not as hypothesis that makes sense to me, but as a fact that I have learned - that the power industry's investment follows the economy like everyone else's.

                Yes, plants are built in recessions: far fewer plants.

                And the point about the economy is irrelevant: the regulations go into effect in 2013, period, end of story.  What happens after that will be exactly the same regardless of whether this interim regulation is issued.

                Finally, there are two considerations to be taken into account here: environmental quality and jobs.  Noting that there would be some environmental benefit (even if considerably reduced) doesn't answer the question of whether that benefit is worth the number of jobs the regulation would cost, in this economy.

                There is a tradeoff, and it's much better to make that tradeoff after the economy has had a couple of years to improve.  The job losses will be less harmful, and the environmental benefit will be greater as well.

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:08:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your wife is "involved in" air quality regulation? (0+ / 0-)

                  On which side?  Who pays her contracts?

                  Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

                  by deben on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:57:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  She gets more work from more regulations. (0+ / 0-)

                    Power companies hire her company to make sure they're in compliance with the law.  The stricter the law, and the more it changes, the more work she gets.

                    So, your cheap little ad hom actually works against you: if I was making an argument I didn't believe because it was in my financial interest, I'd be trying to get as much regulation as possible.

                    I think your insinuation is sleazy, inappropriate, and a complete dodge of the issues.

                    Art is the handmaid of human good.

                    by joe from Lowell on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:27:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Whatever (0+ / 0-)

                      and exactly as I thought.

                      Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

                      by deben on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:49:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You have no argument, and it shows. (0+ / 0-)

                        You flatter yourself to describe what you did as thinking.

                        Art is the handmaid of human good.

                        by joe from Lowell on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:51:30 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  In other words, she's paid by power companies (0+ / 0-)

                          What a surprise.

                          Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

                          by deben on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:59:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  She gets more money from more regulation! (0+ / 0-)

                            She gets paid by power companies WHEN THEY HAVE TO MEET REGULATORY STANDARDS.  The tougher the regulations, the more work she gets.

                            Your cheap little ad hom doesn't even make sense.  Adopting a new set of regulations now, and then another one in two years, would mean she gets paid more.

                            I don't expect you to be able to follow me this time, either.

                            Art is the handmaid of human good.

                            by joe from Lowell on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 02:28:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So, as a matter of disinterest, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Muggsy

                            you're here arguing against implementing clean air rules now, so that your wife, who is paid by power companies for environmental consulting, will be paid less money by them?  Sure.

                            "Flawless" logic indeed.  Here's where you lost your credibility:

                            my wife is an environmental consultant, involved in air quality regulation for the power industry.

                            "Involved in..."  Weasel wording.

                            Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

                            by deben on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 02:55:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, but as it confirms a particular (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell, ferg

      narrative, it's terribly significant -- just like speech scheduling.

      I took classes in administrative and environmental law from Cass Sunstein.  He cares very deeply about these issues, but he does not give a shit about how the left or the right would react, and literally zero of the arguments on offer would get him to change his mind -- the marginal benefits of the extra 8 or so ppb reductions over two years might or might not override uncertaintly, but we have here instead arguments that uncertainty should be completely dismissed.  A better argument would be that we should lower the standard to 70 ppb with the expectation that it would go further, but maybe the scientific review isn't even on the side of further reductions?  And some of course want to shut down smog entirely.  

      To sum up, arguing that a non-political decision should be approached like a political one isn't helpful.  It's also a bit hard to square with the far-reaching consequences of the Cross-State pollution rule, which doesn't matter because it (a) isn't new, and (b) doesn't fit the narrative.  Where were the posts praising Obama on that one?    

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:35:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lordy, joe, 'much ado about nothing" (0+ / 0-)

      since most of this should have been instituted (and indeed seminal forays were started) during the Carter presidency, it seems your perspective is out of touch with the realities.

  •  Petition for review? (0+ / 0-)

    If so, one wonders why (if?) that wasn't done in the first place?

    The DC Circuit is unlikely to be a friendly venue.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:24:04 AM PDT

  •  Why didn't Obama get something in return? (9+ / 0-)

    I mean jesus. He at least could have got something from these guys.

  •  Aaaaand in other news... (6+ / 0-)

    President Obama knows that everything that is wrong is in fact the fault of the professional left, who don't understand his brilliant 99th Dimensional Chess game, in which the rules change depending on both the time of day and day of the week...

    http: detroitmechworks.blip.tv My little wiseass review show.

    by detroitmechworks on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:24:36 AM PDT

  •  elections have consequences. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    "I don't want to live on this planet anymore" -Prof. Farnsworth "I prefer to be a total bitch about my science"--me

    by terrypinder on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:24:46 AM PDT

  •  a lawsuit would take longer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    than the regulations the administration plans to write when it finishes the ongoing scientific review.

    What did Lisa Jackson say about today's decision?  

    Ms. Jackson said in a statement, “This administration has put in place some of the most important standards and safeguards for clean air in U.S. history: the most significant reduction of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide air pollution across state borders; a long-overdue proposal to finally cut mercury pollution from power plants; and the first-ever carbon pollution standards for cars and trucks.”

    So, nothing.  She doesn't like it, she can resign.

    This would be now two posts without addressing the actual stated reasons Cass Sunstein offered up. (PDF)  Note especially point three which details all of the regulations that the adminsitration has already done to limit ozone -- the cross-state rule finalized "recently" would save between 13,000 and 34,000 lives annually and save $100 billion.  

    Or, you know, freak out because it suits a narrative.

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:26:02 AM PDT

    •  How do other rules... (0+ / 0-)

      effect the damages caused by this one? Statistics about the good environmental decisions made by the administration don't make this a good decision, especially when he uses discredited right wing talking points for reasoning. If the rule isn't environmentally necessary or useful, then make that point. But, don't fucking give me bullshit about job killing environmental regulations. That just makes passing needed environmental regulations in the future that much harder.

      For better or worse, no one ever gets what they deserve.

      by Jawis on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:31:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you read the letter? (0+ / 0-)

        Sunstein cited executive orders, not "talking points."  

        Some environmental regulations cost jobs, some don't.  Some incentivize new ones, some don't.  The only "bullshit" is to make broad generalizations instead of examining them on a case by case basis.  

        What those statistics do tell you is that the adminsitration is clearly willing and able to act agressively on air pollution, and ozone in particular, when it feels it's warranted (contrary to the "Obama's a republican" crap).  When, however, the proposal is to put in place a stop gap rule that would reduce smog by around 10ppb and wouldn't be implented or enforced until after the current scientific review is completed, it falls in a different category.  

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:39:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I've read the letter. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          badger, mightymouse, 714day

          It's written by the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under the direction of the president. It's not some independent review of the situation. The current limits are scientifically and legally indefensible. His main point seemed to be that the science is changing and there will be another review in 2 years. That doesn't change the fact that the current limits were wrong on the best available science 3 years ago.

          For better or worse, no one ever gets what they deserve.

          by Jawis on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:52:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you still haven't shown any actual interest (0+ / 0-)

            in the reasons cited in the letter, and treating the head of an office within OMB as part of the political shop is a category mistake.

            At what point did anyone disagree the regs aren't scientifically justified?  That fact alone doesn't dictate the answer of what to do about it for the next two years.  

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:02:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The reasons are weak. (0+ / 0-)

              Every one of the reasons given existed since they started looking to update the regulations. Why did they choose now to back down?

              I understand they are going to review and update them in 2013. He flatly asserts in the letter that this will lead to too much regulatory uncertainty.

              He also disingenuously states "We urge you to reconsider whether to issue a final rule in late 2011, based on evidence that is no longer the most current". Is there any reason to think the latest evidence will be in favor of a higher limit? No. Continuing with the final rule would most likely lessen or eliminate the changes that need to be made in 2013.

              His third point is a just puff paragraph pointing out good environmental steps the administration has taken and is completely irrelevant to the argument at hand. He doesn't even try to link it to his reasons for not issuing a final rule this year.

              For better or worse, no one ever gets what they deserve.

              by Jawis on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:37:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  About those lawsuits.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Jackson L Haveck, 714day
    I suppose the silver lining here is that if Jackson is right, the current set of rules could be overturned by lawsuit. Some day.

    Have you taken a look at the federal courts recently...and at what a fine job this Administration is doing getting judges confirmed?

    "[S]ince Obama keeps talking nonsense about economics, at what point do we stop giving him credit for actually knowing better? Maybe at some point we have to accept that he believes what he’s saying." --Paul Krugman

    by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:28:28 AM PDT

  •  why would anyone be upset? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    len chaitin, 420 forever

    We can assume that the President will take certain positions. When he does it's always more of the same.

    At this point I'm more upset with the rest of the elected Democrats, who apparently don't care enough to do or say anything about it.

    "Things are never so bad they can't get worse" - Dallasdoc

    by Shahryar on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:29:42 AM PDT

  •  It's time we stop apologizing and making (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, len chaitin, cdembrey

    excuses for this President.  He's a disaster, and, except for Supreme Court appointments (which Obama probably wouldn't have the stomach to get through the Democratically controlled Senate anyway), I'm not sure if it matters if he is re-elected.

    •  Sorry, like this decision or not, it matters - (0+ / 0-)

      Big Time.

      And I will say this: We most likely wouldn't be having these discussions now if enough Dems had voted last Nov. to keep Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

      For the record - I don't like this decision either.

    •  stop making excuses (0+ / 0-)

      Obama is certainly a disaster and it does not matter if he is not reelected.  He simply does whatever the repos and beltway media tells him to do. He would not put through a supreme court justice that would give the majority to the more progressive justices because the repos would not allow it (the dems did not amend filibuster rules) and Obama would not want to aggravate the repos and beltway elite.

      Obama ran the most fraudulent campaign I have ever heard of or witnessed with his "hope and change"mantra.
      As he does whatever the repos want him to do, he will not change the makeup of the supreme court and we are the victims of his fraud, there is no reason to support him and every reason to not support him because the normal course of human affairs does not call for rewarding someone who defrauds you.

  •  Stick a fork in me. I'm done (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, esquimaux

    I can no longer support the president.
    I called and told the white house that my family is going to sit out the election this year in protest.

    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative. John Stuart Mill

    by thylacine on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:38:38 AM PDT

    •  Obama's bait and switch didn't surprise me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cdembrey

      as much as it has many (there was no real evidence he was a progressive, let alone a liberal and his cabinet appointments confirmed my suspicions that there never would be.
      Even so, sitting it out in '12 to let a Perry type in the door surely is not the way to go.

  •  Talk "poison" and "murder" not "pollution" and "e (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    nvironment"

    We need to get personal and frightening; because this is genuinely scary.  

    But it's not enough to be right, you also have to be convincing.

    The terms "environment" and even "health" are too vague; they can mean anything.  "Poison" is pretty evocative and scary; it gets attention.

    "Murderer"  is a hell of a lot better than "polluter", too.

    Recommended Reading for Radicals
    Get out the vote: how to increase voter turnout, by Donald P. Green, Alan S. Gerber
    Rick Perry and His Eggheads: Inside the Brainiest Political Operation in America, A Sneak Preview from The Victory Lab, by Sasha Issenberg

    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. by Robert Cialdini. This is the single most valuable book I have read on how to persuade and how to avoid being persuaded.  Many of the most valuable keys to building effective messages are in this book.  See also:

    Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, by Noah J. Goldstein; Steve J. Martin; Robert B. Cialdini and subscribe to the free Inside Influence Report.

    Working Psychology.  The site of another great influence researcher, Kelton Rhoads.  Worth visiting if only for the free and detailed online "Introduction to Social Influence."

    Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for Progressives, by George Lakoff.  Lakoff specializes in debate framing for progressives.  The most important lesson you can pick up from this book is that the winning frame wins the debate.  Republicans know this: that’s why they have their own language specialist, Frank Luntz , turn “oil drilling” into “energy exploration”.  Lakoff is just as good, turning “higher taxes” into “paying your dues”  examples abound. See also: Cognitive Policy Wonks and The Progressive Strategy Handbook Project .

    Frank Luntz: everything he’s written.  He's a conservative message master, and you have to know the enemy.  Remember what Patton said:  Rommel! You magnificent bastard! I READ YOUR BOOK!

    Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, by Tavris and Aronson Key takeaway: Never attack a movement's members, always attack its leaders.

    Cognitive dissonance (the academic theory, not the common usage) suggests that attacking the supporters may actually increase their level of commitment.

    It works like this: Say someone has two contradictory  ideas: "I smoke" and "Smoking is bad for me".  This causes discomfort, which must be resolved.  Unfortunately, it is usually resolved in an ego- protecting way, so you wind up with something like: "Smoking isn't bad for me" instead of "I'm stupid to be smoking and should quit".

    If we make fun of a Tea Party  supporters, they hold the following ideas": I like my candidate's ideas" and "All these people say the ideas are crazy".  Well, no matter what the evidence for the lunacy, that's likely to resolve into "the ideas are right" instead of "I made a mistake".  This is particularly true if they see criticisms as hostile.

    On the other hand, if a supporter holds the following ideas "I like this candidate" and "this candidate just said that s/he is going to screw me personally ", the supporter is more likely to question the candidate.

    The Social Animal, by Elliot Aronson.  The introduction to social psychology, necessary for any real understanding of how groups of people (e.g. voters) act under different circumstances.  Essential for any real understanding of the human nature that propels politics.


    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by TheGrandWazoo on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:39:11 AM PDT

  •  Obama is going after the Rick Perry voters. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffejoe, len chaitin, 714day
  •  Top the diariest: What is your deal? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge

    You've made two Front Page articles on this same topic both (essentially) deriding Obama's decision, without even bothering to mention the rationale behind it: that drafting new legislation now will place a burden of $20-$90 Billion on local and state governments, a burden that isn't justified since the matter will be up for revision in just another year and a half?

    I don't want to accuse you of having an agenda, but how in the heck do you think it's good for the community to see Front Page articles sniping at our President without at least giving reliable reportage of why he's making these kinds of decisions?  That kind of thing has at least as much to do with the constant infighting on our site as anything else.

    Just look at the first three comments to see the kind of "dialogue" FP articles like this sow.

    I believe in the long-term arc of hope.

    by therehastobeaway on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:40:28 AM PDT

  •  Yes, they probably COULD have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    been overturned by a lawsuit.

    From an article last year when EPA announced they were toughening the regs:

    The Obama administration last year had indicated it planned to scrap the Bush smog limits, when it asked a federal judge to stay a lawsuit challenging the March 2008 standards brought by 11 states and environmental groups.
     [bolding added.]

    So, Obama got the suit dropped, and now he scraps the proposed new rules.

    Reminds me of Rushmore--"With friends like this, who needs friends?"

    •  so now it gets unstayed. (0+ / 0-)

      stayed is not dropped.  it goes forward, and by the time the science review is finished in two years, it gets actually dropped because it would be mooted.  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:49:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's your response? (0+ / 0-)

        OK, well--

        1.)  The suit was dropped, at least temporarily.

        but more importantly:

        2.)  You seriously see no problem with his asking a federal judge to stay a suit [see, right word this time] because his administration is going to scrap the old limits and propose tougher new regs, and then when they do get proposed he says "Never mind, JK" and pulls them?

        •  If the suit is still pending (0+ / 0-)

          just inactive, it's inaccurate to say it was dropped.  it's a technical point -- it doesn't much matter because the complaint could always just be refiled and served.

          as to point two, who knows what they thought at the time.  if they legitimately just changed their mind, possibly because it took too long to finalize the new regs, then, no, i don't see a "problem," and if there is one, the remedy is to unstay the suit in any case.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:07:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly! (0+ / 0-)
            it's a technical point

            which I'll concede, and if the real point of my comment doesn't bother you--I guess I don't know what to say to that.  Maybe your expectations of this man were lower than mine.

            •  mine were higher, (0+ / 0-)

              just haven't been lowered by a fairly minor administrative decision or a two year old court filing.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:21:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Lisa Jackson should resign in disgust (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, host

    She really cared about this rule.

    She is getting screwed today.

  •  I don't like it, Obamaphile that I am, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    I will say one thing - the ultimate solution is to

    Get. More. Democrats. In. Office.

    everywhere, at every level, all the time.

  •  Great to kick our captain when he is down, should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    really help get the Repelicans the house, senate and white house in 2012 and then everyone here can write about how they miss Obama. he has had shitty cards from jump street, why is this so hard to grasp?

    •  Exactly. The answer is GOTV for Dems (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      singe

      all the time, everywhere, for every office right down to dogcatcher. The answer is to vote, vote, vote - not snipe at individual Dems.

      I don't like this decision, either. But I don't think we'd be having these discussions if Pelosi was still Speaker, and Dems had the House.

    •  It's one thing to get knocked down... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anagram, coffejoe, mightymouse, host

      But when you just lie down it's a different story. Why fight for him when he apparently isn't even really to fight for himself...?

      •  you fight for your fighter even when he is getting (0+ / 0-)

        his ass kicked. and you hope he gets up off the mat and starts throwing punches when he sees an opening. you don't walk away from his corner and spend all your time bad mouthing him. do you really think he wants to cut emissions stuff? of course he doesn't but this economy is taking away all his weapons. things will turn in our favor but it won't be today or tomorrow.

    •  Our captain.... (0+ / 0-)

      I think that accurately sums up the view of some here. That this is a sporting event and we are on a team. Who cares about values, principles, objectives or the actual Democratic party platform. Defend the captain at all costs! Even when the Captain is running the ball in the opposite direction 10 yards while going forward 1.

      "You have to understand Neo, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it." Morpheus - The Matrix

      by pot on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:58:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  “In free governments... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      714day

      ...the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns.” —Benjamin Franklin

      He’s not our Captain, we’re his.

      And as far as I understand it, this site is a forum in which to discuss Democratic politics and policy. It is not a mouthpiece for the party. It is not a fansite. It’s not our job to cheerlead.

      Having a discussion about what policies should be implemented and how best to implement them is extremely valuable. That discussion will naturally involve critiques of both the substance and process of the policies that are being implemented. So, my recommendation is, don’t get frustrated when that happens.

      Finally, it’s just not productive to blame the circumstances. Was Lincoln blessed with wonderful circumstances at the beginning of his Presidency? Did FDR walk into office with a stellar hand? The defining characteristic of great leaders is that they rise to the occasion and transform conditions despite difficult circumstances. When one continuously blames failure on “the hand they were dealt,” it’s a pretty sure sign they will never achieve success.

      I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions. —Dorothy Day

      by bignoise on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:20:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  recc'd for sense and Benjamin Franklin. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bignoise

        Just finishing my reread of the Isaacson autobiography. The book reminded me how radically democratic he was. So many of our rights come from his wise mind, like a citizen need not be a property owner to vote.
        God knows, he'd be pitching the battle for the people differently than our "reps", wouldn't he.

      •  show me the rule book entry on cheer leading. n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  there isn't one. that was my point. (0+ / 0-)

          nothing against you or anyone cheerleading if you want to, but that's not the purpose of the site. discussion may include criticism. if it does, my recommendation is to reply on the merits, not pretend that it has no place here.

          I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions. —Dorothy Day

          by bignoise on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:02:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  fact is along with all the purposes you value and (0+ / 0-)

            which i also value there are others both explicit and implicit. i do not believe i was pretending when i advanced the idea that turning against obama might not look to have been real smart in the rear view mirror of history.

             this site serves a very important purpose for folks who want to share their hopes, their disappointments, their highs and lows, their defense of politicians and policies as well as their attacks on same as they trudge through the nightmare that the american democratic process has devolved into. check in to a thread the night of an election such as the recall votes in wisconsin or the special election to fill this or that congressional seat and you will witness lots of emotions being shared by large crowds of involved liberals and progressives. its a big intertube and there is room for a wide range of needs and agendas at this one near as i can tell.  

  •  can we all just sit here and agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    len chaitin, hannahlk

    Hope for this president is DEAD.

    Like it or not, this country would probably be better off with a republican president and a democratic congress to put a check on his nonsense.  

  •  "overturned by lawsuit." Which court are you (0+ / 0-)

    thinking about, pray tell? Our very own SCOTUS, which is where this would end up?

    Hey, "business interests" with short-term profit maximization and corporate immunity from liability and all the rest have absolutely no incentive to do anything but externalize every fucking cost they can. It's a self-accelerating set of processes: more money = more power to "write the laws to suit themselves," and our "post-national corporate persons" are headed by people who can retire to little enclaves of Perfectness, protected by little security armies and the little consiglieri who swim along like remoras and wrasses, ready to eat the leavings from those Perfect Meals and clean the teeth and lesions of the Sharks of Industry...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:56:13 AM PDT

  •  An odd decision (0+ / 0-)

    On most everything else, Obama has been solid on environment.  Then this one thing is blocked.

    How The Doctor does redistricting: 'I'm going to need a SWAT team ready to mobilize, street-level maps covering all of Florida, a pot of coffee, twelve jammie dodgers and a fez.'

    by KingofSpades on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:18:10 AM PDT

  •  Unreal (0+ / 0-)

    There are many comments in here from people who know more about this than I do which accurately lay out the "why" behind this decision. I am a staunch environmentalist and take any and all legislation which sets that issue back very seriously.

    But in reading the comments from Joe from Lowell and others, it's apparent that this is no big deal. All the President did was stall a stop-gap (which would have accomplished little and would have cost the states tons of cash they don't have) until the review was complete and some certainty - scientific and legal - could be put into the standards.

    So I guess it comes down to whether you trust the President or don't - clearly many here don't.

    So I wonder how they square that with THIS:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/...

    The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standard is now official, and it's aggressive. Today, President Obama announced that the CAFE standard would increase from a target of 35.5 mpg in 2016 to 54.5 mpg by 2025.

    which is a HUGE freaking deal. 54.5? Are you kidding me? That would put us around or at the top of the pack in this crucial regard, and is many MPGs above anything I've heard floated by anyone.

    And best of all, the President did this with the consultation and agreement of the very industry - auto - it will most affect. Clearly the US auto industry has decided to lead the world for a change.

    •  In what progressive universe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      714day, host

      is it "no big deal" when a Democratic president caves to pressure from industry lobbyists and their friends in Congress?

      Yes we know the reasons for this decision:

      Industry talking points.

      Which apparently you've bought into, if you think this would have bankrupted states who would have had up to 22 years to come into full compliance with the new rules.

      •  In that case (0+ / 0-)

        the up-to 22 years, I mean, then why is halting the stop-gap regulations until the report is complete in 2013 a bad thing?

        •  Because 2013 is not 2011. (0+ / 0-)

          The regulations would take effect NOW, as far as running the clock on compliance (which is UP TO 22 years for states with the dirtiest air/highest costs for compliance).

          Plans to comply would start now, rather than in 2013.

          If, as you claim, you are an environmentalist and you don't like delay on these things, then that would count as a negative.

          •  I see your point (0+ / 0-)

            And yes, I certainly am - and have the solar panels, the vegetarian lifestyle and the led lights, etc.

            I don't like a lot of things, but would maintain that the CAFE standards are an unbelievably good change. That alone, taking action in turning Detroit enviro-friendlier and putting these tough standards in place, allows me to give the President the benefit of the doubt on this one.

            My guess is, after reading some of the comments, that if the EPA had pushed for the tougher regulations now, they would have just wound up in court, with no action regarding compliance in the next couple of years anyway, whereas the new regulations, based on science and a new report would provide a stronger basis to demand improvements.

  •  Alot of Bush's actions were not legally defensible (0+ / 0-)

    but noone of those have brought about legal challenge from Obama & Co.

  •  And as a bonus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    host

    He has completely demoralized the staff at EPA. A lot of people put a lot of work into this, working nights and weekends to meet deadlines that then got pushed back again and again. His statement that "I will continue to stand with the hardworking men and women at the EPA as they strive every day to hold polluters accountable and protect our families from harmful pollution" is nothing but empty words.

  •  Republican-lite (0+ / 0-)

    Just dropped the White House an email congratulating President Obama on his successful pursuit of his goal of becoming a mediocre Republican president.

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