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This evening's music features soul singer Eddie Floyd. Enjoy!
Eddie Floyd - Knock On Wood
“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
-- Joe Biden
News and Opinion
Tens of thousands march in London against coalition's austerity measures
Tens of thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday afternoon in protest at austerity measures introduced by the coalition government. The demonstrators gathered before the Houses of Parliament, where they were addressed by speakers, including comedians Russell Brand and Mark Steel.
An estimated 50,000 people marched from the BBC's New Broadcasting House in central London to Westminster.
"The people of this building [the House of Commons] generally speaking do not represent us, they represent their friends in big business. It's time for us to take back our power," said Brand. ...
People's Assembly spokesman Clare Solomon said: "It is essential for the welfare of millions of people that we stop austerity and halt this coalition government dead in its tracks before it does lasting damage to people's lives and our public services."
Chris Hedges: The Ghoulish Face of Empire
The black-clad fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, sweeping a collapsing army and terrified Iraqis before them as they advance toward Baghdad, reflect back to us the ghoulish face of American empire. They are the specters of the hundreds of thousands of people we murdered in our deluded quest to remake the Middle East. They are ghosts from the innumerable roadsides and villages where U.S. soldiers and Marines, jolted by explosions of improvised explosive devices, responded with indiscriminate fire. They are the risen remains of the dismembered Iraqis left behind by blasts of Hellfire and cruise missiles, howitzers, grenade launchers and drone strikes. They are the avengers of the gruesome torture and the sexual debasement that often came with being detained by American troops. They are the final answer to the collective humiliation of an occupied country, the logical outcome of Shock and Awe, the Frankenstein monster stitched together from the body parts we left scattered on the ground. They are what we get for the $4 trillion we wasted on the Iraq War. ...
There is no fight left in us. The war is over. We destroyed Iraq as a unified country. It will never be put back together. We are reduced—in what must be an act of divine justice decreed by the gods, whom we have discovered to our dismay are Islamic—to pleading with Iran for military assistance to shield the corrupt and despised U.S. protectorate led by Nouri al-Maliki. We are not, as we thought when we entered Iraq, the omnipotent superpower able in a swift and brutal stroke to bend a people to our will. We are something else. Fools and murderers. Blinded by hubris. Faded relics of the Cold War. And now, in the final act of the play, we are crawling away. Our empire is dying.
And where are the voices of sanity? Why are the cheerleaders of slaughter, who have been wrong about Iraq since before the invasion, still urging us toward ruin? Why are those who destabilized Iraq and the region in the worst strategic blunder in American history still given a hearing? Why do we listen to simpletons and morons?
They bang their fists. They yell. They throw tantrums. They demand that the world conform to their childish vision. It is as if they have learned nothing from the 11 years of useless slaughter. As if they can dominate that which they never had the power to dominate.
Obama: 'We Gave Iraq a Chance'
As violence continues to explode across Iraq and 300 "military advisers" are set to deploy, President Obama has said, "We gave Iraq the chance to have an inclusive democracy."
Iraqis Are Not ‘Abstractions’
When I saw the Washington Post’s banner headline, “U.S. sees risk in Iraq airstrikes,” I thought, “doesn’t that say it all.” The Post apparently didn’t deem it newsworthy to publish a story headlined: “Iraqis see risk in U.S. airstrikes.” Then, in an accompanying article, authors Gregg Jaffe and Kevin Maurer observed nonchalantly that “Iraq and the Iraqi people remain something of an abstraction,” a point that drove me to distraction.
Further putting me in a bad mood, the story’s first paragraph about the latest bloody debacle in Iraq declared: “The sudden collapse of Iraqi forces in the face of lightly armed insurgents has catalyzed an emotional debate within the U.S. military about a war that, just a few years ago, seemed on the brink of going down in history as a success.” ...
The mainstream U.S. media still shies away from pointing fingers at war criminals Bush/Cheney et al, whose “decent interval” for getting out of office without a “defeat” on their record was purchased with much blood, both American and Iraqi.
The hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed or wounded during the politically motivated “surge” and in the carnage both before and afterwards can remain, for folks like the neocons at the Post, “something of an abstraction.” And the media can avoid mention of the 1,000 U.S. troops killed in 2007 protecting what often amounted to sectarian Shia militias ethnically cleansing Baghdad of much of its Sunni population — as well as defending the Bush/Cheney legacy.
Yet, for the Post’s Jaffe and Maurer, U.S. troops – unlike Iraqis – are no “abstraction.” And so the writers indulge in the selective grieving over the cost of war. They quote a U.S. Army officer to whom they grant “anonymity so he could discuss his feelings” about the war: “My sadness is not for the Iraqis, but for the wasted effort so many of us gave and bought at so high a price.”
American lives, apparently, are the ones that matter.
Isis captures more Iraqi towns and border crossings
Jihadist fighters in Iraq seized three border crossings into Syria and Jordan and four nearby towns over the weekend, giving the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) control over much of the country's western frontier and directly threatening the country's main power supply.
Isis can now add large swaths of the Iraqi border to a 300km stretch of land it already controls along the Euphrates river, from Mosul in the north to Saddam Hussein's home town, Tikrit, which now gives the group a launching pad for potential attacks on strategic sites, including the lifeblood of Iraq's electricity generation, the Haditha dam. The gains also bring the crisis in Iraq to the doorstep of Jordan, a key ally of the United States. ...
The latest Isis offensive in western Anbar province has seen the group take four towns in recent days. Iraqi officials said the militants took over the Turaibil crossing with Jordan and the Walid crossing with Syria after government forces there pulled out. Al-Qaim, a restive town on the Syrian border, fell a day earlier.
The capture of the crossings follows the fall on Friday and Saturday of the towns of Rawah, Anah and Rutba. They are all in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province, where the militants have since January controlled the city of Falluja and parts of the provincial capital, Ramadi.
Iraq: the Great Unraveling
The Sunni of Iraq found the balance of power in the region turning in their favour after the revolt of the Sunni in Syria from 2011. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey were prepared to give financial and military aid to the Syrian rebels and this reignited the rebellion in Iraq. Isis, as its name implies, straddles the border and has created a sort of proto-Caliphate that reaches from the Tigris River to the outskirts of Aleppo.
Washington and Tehran are horrified by this new development but are finding it difficult to cooperate to stop it. Since the US supports the Syrian opposition and the Syrian opposition is dominated by Isis and al-Qa’ida groups, the Iranians wonder if the US might not be complicit in the Isis blitzkrieg that destabilised Maliki and his Shia-dominated pro-Iranian government.
In reality, the differences between the US and Iran in Iraq, Syria and over Iran’s nuclear programme cross-infect each other so negotiations on all three topics are bound to be inter-related. But cooperation with Iran remains politically toxic in the US. ... Probably, in the long term the US and Iran could work out some semi-secret accommodation on Iraq. The problem is that a high degree of cooperation is needed immediately because the barbarians, in the shape of Isis, are at the gates of Baghdad.
Cooperation is needed to see Maliki depart as Prime Minister when the Iraqi parliament meets and the installation of a new and effective Iraqi government. Khamenei is suggesting this would be a pro-Iranian prime minister being replaced by a pro-American one and this should therefore be resisted by Iran.
Obama: Isis could pose a 'medium and long-term threat' to the US
The Islamic extremists who have seized swathes of Iraq could destabilise the entire region and threaten the United States, President Barack Obama has warned.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) could spread conflict to neighbouring states and pose a “medium and long-term threat” to the US, Obama said in an interview aired on Sunday.
"We're going to have to be vigilant generally,” Obama said. “Right now the problem with Isis is the fact that they're destabilising the country. That could spill over into some of our allies like Jordan."
John Kerry meets Iraq's Maliki to press for 'inclusive government'
John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has held talks with Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, as the west stepped up its calls for an "inclusive government" in the face of a rebel onslaught by Islamist militants and disaffected Sunnis.
The two men met for almost two hours on Monday, and afterwards Kerry said the meeting went well.
The US has criticised Maliki for fuelling the insurgency in northern Iraq by alienating the Sunni minority. While it has not said publicly that Maliki should make way for a less divisive figure, Iraqi officials say such a message has been delivered behind the scenes. ...
Britain's foreign secretary, William Hague, echoed Kerry on the need to secure an inclusive government in Iraq as he admitted concerns that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) was gaining ground in Iraq.
Syria hands over remaining chemical weapons for destruction
Syria on Monday handed over the remaining 100 tonnes of toxic material it had declared to the global chemical weapons watchdog, but the country cannot be declared free of the weapons of mass destruction, the organisation's chief said.
The chemicals, roughly 8 percent of a total 1,300 tonnes reported to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), had been held at a storage site which the government of President Bashar al-Assad previously said was inaccessible due to fighting with rebels.
The security situation in the area has now improved and the containers of chemicals were taken by truck to the Syrian port of Latakia and loaded onto a ship to be destroyed at sea on a specially equipped U.S. vessel, said OPCW chief Ahmet Uzumcu.
"A major landmark in this mission has been reached today. The last of the remaining chemicals identified for removal from Syria were loaded this afternoon aboard the Danish ship Ark Futura," Uzumcu told a news conference in The Hague.
Israeli Air Strikes Pound Multiple Syrian Army Sites
Israeli officials were quick to blame Syria’s military for an attack in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, when an attack on a car killed a 15-year-old Israeli. The Israeli Air Force is now launching multiple air strikes across Syria. ...
Israel’s air strikes don’t appear to be border-specific, but are hitting military targets across the region, including the nation’s military headquarters. Though the casualties are not yet clear, strikes that significantly degrade the Syrian military could inadvertently aid not only the US-backed rebels but also ISIS, the largest rebel faction, which has taken over much of the country’s east.
Presbyterian Church USA votes to divest from companies supplying Israel
In a landmark and highly charged measure that already has been fraying Jewish-Presbyterian ties, the legislative body of the nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination narrowly voted Friday to shed investments in three American corporations linked to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
By a 310-303 margin, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on the measure after about three hours of tense but restrained debate on either side of a dinner break.
The denomination has only a small fraction of its market capitalization, about $21 million, in assets in the three companies, so the measure is largely symbolic.
US Marines Secure Chevron's Profits
The growing number of U.S. Marines in northern Australia is enhancing the security of the nation's burgeoning gas industry, which extends across the remote and sparsely populated northern coast, a senior American general said on Wednesday.
Maj. Gen. Richard L. Simcock, Hawaii-based deputy commander of U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific, was commenting after an executive of U.S. energy giant Chevron Corp. told a conference of concerns that gas rigs off the Australian northwest coast and tankers shipping liquid natural gas through Southeast Asian waters could be vulnerable to attack.
"We are very much aware that they could be considered strategic targets," said Chevron Australia Pty. Ltd managing director Roy Krzywosinski, referring to gas platforms and shipping routes.
Krzywosinski told the U.S. Studies Center conference on the U.S.-Australian defense alliance that his company was "in very significant and close engagement" with Australian authorities on how to protect tens of billions of dollars in energy assets and product.
Simcock said that the growing Marine presence in the northern city of Darwin as part of the U.S. military pivot toward Asia was ensuring the Australian energy industry's security.
Ukraine ceasefire under pressure as fighting flares again
Fighting has flared between Ukrainian and pro-Moscow separatist forces, both sides reported, further straining a unilateral ceasefire declared by Ukraine as Russian president Vladimir Putin pressed Kiev to talk to the rebels.
Putin and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko both stressed the need to bring peace to Ukraine's rebellious east as they attended separate ceremonies on Sunday marking the anniversary of Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union.
The seven-day ceasefire came under pressure almost as soon at it began on Friday night, with the government accusing the separatists of attacking its military bases and posts on the Russian border. The violence continued for a second night into Sunday.
"Unfortunately, what we are seeing ... tells us that the fighting is still going on and last night we saw some active use of artillery from the Ukrainian side," Putin said after laying flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow. ...
Ukraine's state border service reported further rebel attacks on its posts in Luhansk region on Sunday, while a separatist spokesman said Ukrainian forces were firing mortars at a village near the Russian frontier.
In Donetsk region, which like Luhansk has declared itself a "people's republic", rebels reported a morning shootout with Ukrainian troops in Siversk, north of the city of Donetsk.
Ukraine rebels: We will honor the cease-fire
Insurgents in eastern Ukraine promised Monday to honor a cease-fire declared by the Ukrainian president and engage in more talks to help resolve the conflict that has left hundreds dead in eastern Ukraine.
The announcement came on the first day of talks between a former Ukrainian president, the Russian ambassador, European officials and the eastern separatists who have declared independence.
Alexander Borodai, one of the rebel leaders who took part in Monday's talks in Donetsk, said they would respect the one-week cease-fire declared by Poroshenko that lasts through 0700 GMT (2 a.m. EDT) Friday.
Rebels also promised to release observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe whom they have held hostage.
The insurgents had previously demanded the Ukrainian military withdraw its troops from the east as a condition for talks, so Borodai's statements represented a softening of their stance and raised expectations that the cease-fire could hold.
New leaks show Germany's collusion with NSA
This week German news magazine Der Spiegel published the largest single set of files leaked by whistleblower and former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The roughly 50 documents show the depth of the German intelligence agencies' collusion with the NSA.
They suggest that the German Intelligence Agency (BND), the country's foreign spy agency, and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the German domestic spy agency, worked more closely with the NSA than they have admitted - and more than many observers thought. ...
Among its "success stories," the documents praise how the German government was able to weaken the public's protection from surveillance. "The German government has changed its interpretation of the G10 law, which protects German citizens' communications, to allow the BND to be more flexible with the sharing of protected information with foreign partners." Germany's G10 law regulates in what circumstances its intelligence agencies are allowed to break Article 10 of the German constitution, which guarantees the privacy of letters and telecommunications.
Congress wants NSA reform after all. Obama and the Senate need to pass it
If you got angry last month when the National Security Agency, the White House and Eric Cantor's spy-friendly House of Representatives took a once-promising surveillance reform bill and turned it into a shit sandwich, I've got some good news for you: so, apparently, did many members of Congress.
Late Thursday night, in a surprising rebuke to the NSA's lawyers and the White House – after they co-opted and secretly re-wrote the USA Freedom Act and got it passed – an overwhelming majority of the House of Representatives voted to strip the agency of its powersto search Americans' emails without a warrant, to prohibit the NSA or CIA from pressuring tech companies to install so-called "back doors" in their commercial hardware and software, and to bar NSA from sabotaging common encryption standards set by the government. ...
But the House's support of these new fixes, by a count of 293 to 123 and a huge bipartisan majority in the House, just put the pressure back on for the rest of the summer of 2014: the Senate can join the House in passing these defense budget amendments, or more likely, will now be pressured to plug in real privacy protections to America's new snooping legislation before it comes up for a vote. This all puts the White House in an even more awkward position. Does President Obama threaten a veto of the defense bill to stop this? (The White House could always, you know, ban the bulk collection of your data right this second.)
Sixteen news oganizations file motion to release video evidence of forcible cell extractions, force-feedings of Guantanamo prisoner
A group of news organizations on Friday filed a motion (pdf) in a federal court seeking the right of the public to see videotape evidence of force-feedings of a Guantanamo detainee in order to be able to "exercise democratic oversight of its Government."
The 16 news organizations, which include the McClatchy Company, First Look Media, the Guardian US, Reuters and the Washington Post, seek to intervene in the case of Abu Wa'el Dhiab, a 42-year-old Syrian man who has been held at the offshore prison for over ten years without charge, and was cleared for release in 2009. With no other recourse, he has turned to a hunger strike.
In the case in which the news outlets seek to intervene, Dhiab is seeking a stop to his forcible cell extractions and "torturous" force-feedings.
The government was ordered last month to release to Dhiab's lawyers video of his force-feedings, but the evidence is classified as "Secret" by the government and as such the public has been prevented from viewing it. Yet "the public has a qualified right under both the First Amendment and the common law to inspect and copy this evidence," the news outlets state.
Dhiab's lawyers with the charity Reprieve who have seen the video evidence described it as "extraordinarily disturbing."
"Journalism in Egypt is a Crime": Global Outcry After 3 Al Jazeera Reporters Sentenced to 7-10 Years
Al-Jazeera journalists jailed for seven years in Egypt
Egypt's judiciary has dealt a shocking blow to the principle of free speech after three journalists for Al-Jazeera English were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in jail on charges of aiding terrorists and endangering national security.
The former BBC correspondent Peter Greste, from Australia, the ex-CNN journalist Mohamed Fahmy, and local producer Baher Mohamed were jailed for seven, seven and 10 years respectively. Four students and activists indicted in the case were sentenced to seven years.
The judge also handed 10-year sentences to the British journalists Sue Turton and Dominic Kane and the Dutch journalist Rena Netjes, who were not in Egypt but were tried in absentia.
The courtroom packed with journalists, diplomats and relatives erupted at the verdict which came despite what independent observers said was a complete lack of evidence. ...
The verdict came a day after the US secretary of state, John Kerry, signalled that ties between America and Egypt were inching closer to normality.
After a 90-minute meeting with Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the former general who was elected president last month, Kerry told reporters that a delivery of attack helicopters – delayed by the US last year, in protest against Egyptian human rights abuses – would go ahead.
"The Apaches will come, and they'll come very, very soon," Kerry said.
Why the Tea Party & European Right Are Winning Elections
WORONCZUK: So why do you think that the right-wing parties in Europe and the U.S. have been so successful in channeling the legitimate rage of its citizens against their governments?
HUDSON: You've almost said it in the question. They've been successful because they are the only people talking about this problem. Amazingly enough, where is the left at all this? In Europe, the socialist parties and the labor parties have moved to the right wing of the political spectrum. It was a socialist party in Greece that supported austerity and the privatization selloffs. It was the Labour Party in England that out-Thatcherized Margaret Thatcher in privatizing the transportation system. And it's the Democrats here who took control of the bailout over the Republican opposition. It was the Democrats and the Obama administration that has been blocking bankruptcy reform and blocking debt write-downs over the Republican Congress saying, hey, this--the bailout and your pro-Wall Street is all you. So the left-wing, who's essentially moved so far to the right that the traditional right-wing parties, like the tea parties that are controlled essentially by the rich to steer them against government, essentially the right-wing parties have made a left-wing move around the Democratic Party in the United States.
So it's very much like The Hound of the Baskervilles: why didn't the dog bark? Where is the left in coming forth with the same kind of proposals that it had at the beginning of the 20th century--progressive taxation, taxation against economic rent, government spending taking the lead in infrastructure? Why has the left in America come to support privatization, free trade, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and essentially the giveaway to Wall Street? This is--somehow it's been muted and it's been de-toothed. And it's the absence of a left-wing party here, a left-wing alternative to the Obama administration and to Clinton that has enabled the Tea Party to somehow gather the labor vote, the anti-Washington vote, the anti-bank vote, the anti-bailout vote that normally would have gone to the left politics or the way it used to be.
‘School Deserts’ Hit Chicago’s Black Neighborhoods
Chicago’s Black students are sitting in a front-row seat for the devastating policy of privatizing our schools.
Black students and Black educators have shouldered the weight of nearly 20 years of school closings, as many of our neighborhoods turn into “school deserts,” with no traditional neighborhood schools left.
Between 2001 and last year, 42,000 Chicago students were victims of school closings and “turnarounds,” where the entire staff of a school is fired. Eighty-eight percent of students affected were Black. And last year, when Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 50 schools, almost the same number of students again were affected—this time not over a decade span, but in a single year.
Three out of four of these schools were in poor neighborhoods and intensely segregated, their student bodies at least 90 percent Black and with at least 75 percent qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch. ...
When their old school closes, students are sent to a school that may be several miles away. Families struggle to navigate new transportation routes. ... A University of Chicago study followed students hit by Chicago’s 2001-2006 elementary school closings. It found that their test scores suffered the year before the closing, when students, parents, and school staff were dealing with the jarring announcement of what was about to happen.
After the move, the average student managed to catch back up in a year or two, but only to where scores would have been if the school hadn’t closed in the first place.
Albuquerque activists hold 'people's trial' of police chief over brutality
Activists in Albuquerque have held a march and a “people's trial” of the city's police chief, to protest dozens of fatal police shootings.
Hundreds rallied in the New Mexico city on Saturday, some carrying fake tombstones, to denounce what they called a culture of police brutality and official complicity.
It was the latest event in a vocal campaign demanding reform of a police department which has recorded 40 shootings, 26 of them fatal, since 2010.
Reforms are expected to be announced in coming weeks, following a Department of Justice report in April which detailed a pattern of excessive, unreasonable use of deadly force against residents.
The Evening Greens
Hat tip agathena:
Commodification of Nature
Taken for granted in the climate change discussion is the assumption that nature or the environment is something that can or should be commodified, yet the structure of capitalism is such that it seeks to commodify everything, including human life (labor) and the environment (land and natural resources). The commodification of nature and the environment, inherent in the capitalist system, is problematic in its own right. Within this economic system, land, as well as labor, are seen as a commodity – something that can be purchased – and an essential part of industry. Yet what does it mean to say that something like “labor” and “land” are commodities? Karl Polanyi, the great economist, anthropologist, philosopher and sociologist, argued that both are not created as something to be sold. Labor is essentially human activity, a necessary part of life. Land, synonymous with nature, is not produced by man and in fact, encompasses man as a part of itself. When we sell the right to harm the natural environment, we are effectively selling something that is not ours.
Yet many seek to solve the climate change crisis through market mechanisms and through the buying and selling of rights to pollute or degrade the natural environment through things like carbon taxing and trading. This is effectively selling the rights to pollute something that is not ours to sell. ... When polluters are fined for actions that have an adverse effect on the environment, the wrongness of the action remains intact. When carbon permits are offered (pollution permits), it is as if the action of pollution is now permissible, and the wrongness of the act is absolved. ...
In 1991, then chief economist of the World Bank, Lawrence Summers, sent a memorandum to colleagues at the World Bank, arguing that the World Bank should encourage exporting “dirty” industries to the less-developed countries. The argument was that 1) economically speaking, illnesses associated with pollution from the “dirty” industries would cost less in countries with lower wages, 2) that the less-developed countries are “underpolluted” and so the initial increase in pollution would be cheaper and 3) that the less-developed countries have a lower life expectancy and so illnesses caused by pollution – such as cancer – are not as much of a concern since many don’t materialize until later in life (purportedly when they would already be dead). What Summers essentially argued is that environmental health – clean air, water, and so on – is worth more in the rich countries and for rich people than it is for those in the poor and less-developed countries. Thus, in capitalist, economic terms, the lives and the quality of life of the global poor are worth less than those of the global rich. ...
Costs are externalized onto the global poor and onto the natural world, and in the capitalist system, this is seen as not only helpful, but also natural and logical. And yet, the reality is that the push to commodify human life, as well as the environment, is not just irrational, it is hugely harmful to the very conditions necessary to sustain life on this planet.
U.S. Supreme Court cuts back climate change regulation
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued a mixed ruling on a challenge to part of President Barack Obama’s greenhouse gas regulations by exempting a small proportion of facilities from a federal air pollution program while allowing most major pollution sources, including power plants and refineries, to be included. ...
On a 7-2 vote, the justices rejected the industry-backed argument that pollution sources cannot be regulated for greenhouse gases under the "prevention of serious deterioration" or PSD program. The program requires any new or modified major polluting facility to obtain a permit before any new construction is done if it emits "any air pollutant."
But industry could claim a partial win because the court said on a separate 5-4 vote that some facilities the government had wanted to regulate will be exempted. ...
The Supreme Court decision does not affect the Obama administration’s ability to set air pollution standards for greenhouse gases under a separate provision of the Clean Air Act.
House Spending Bill Contains Huge Giveaways To Dirty Energy
The House Appropriations Committee is currently debating a spending bill that would set America back decades when it comes to energy policy and environmental protection. The 2015 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill will designate money to everything from nuclear waste cleanup to renewable energy investments, and the Appropriations Committee has made sure that neither of those particular items get the funding they need.
The bill, if passed by the full House, will cut $113 million from renewable energy projects, dropping the yearly total to $1.8 billion. This comes only a year after the Treasury Department was forced to cut renewable energy grants by more than 8% following last year’s sequester cuts. And while the current incarnation of the spending bill provides $150 million for nuclear waste disposal at the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site, it also presses the Obama administration to approve the project immediately. ...
In order to combat what committee chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) calls the attempt to “legislate through regulation,” one rider would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce provisions of the Clean Water Act, allowing the dirty energy industry to get away with even more environmental destruction. ...
A second rider, which Chairman Rogers fought valiantly to add to the spending bill, would prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from implementing new rules on the disposal of waste products from mountain top removal mining. According to The Hill, Rogers contends that the Corps of Engineer’s rules “would shut down coal mines throughout the country.”
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin' Is On Hiatus
A Little Night Music
Eddie Floyd - 634-5789
Eddie Floyd and Duffy - Bring It On Home To Me
Eddie Floyd - Good Love, Bad Love
Eddie Floyd - Big Bird
Eddie Floyd - On A Saturday Night
Eddie Floyd - Raise Your Hand
Eddie Floyd - Girl I Love You
Eddie Floyd - Woodman
Eddie Floyd - Get It Together
Eddie Floyd - Too Much Is Too Little for Me
Eddie Floyd - Prove It To Me
Eddie Floyd - Set my soul on fire
Eddie Floyd - Make Up Your Mind
Eddie Floyd - Got To Make A Comeback
Eddie Floyd - Things Get Better
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