April 5, 2013
Stephen Colbert hilariously explains the real danger of the Keystone XL pipeline. WATCH:
While Colbert makes a great point with satire, the dangers of diluted bitumen are real. A 2012 article in the New York Times laid out the dangers of a tar-sands pipeline spill:
After the dilbit gushed into the river, it began separating into its constituent parts. The heavy bitumen sank to the river bottom, leaving a mess that is still being cleaned up. Meanwhile, the chemical additives evaporated, creating a foul smell that lingered for days. People reported headaches, dizziness and nausea. No one could say with certainty what they should do. Federal officials at the scene didn’t know until weeks later that the pipeline was carrying dilbit, because federal law doesn’t require pipeline operators to reveal that information.
The 2010 spill could have been worse if it had reached Lake Michigan, as authorities originally feared it might. Lake Michigan supplies drinking water to more than 12 million people. Fortunately, the damage was restricted to a tributary creek and about 36 miles of the Kalamazoo, used primarily for recreation, not drinking water.
The bottom line Keystone XL is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. This isn't your grandpa's oil being pumped in, but something much much worse, and it's up to us to stop it. Add your name to to tell President Obama no on KXL.
April 3, 2013
Bernie Sanders once again says exactly what we all were thinking about Keystone XL. WATCH:
Do you agree? Why do you oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline? Let us know in the comments.
March 6, 2013
In a world of Sequester turned Snowquester, Republicans are outraged that the Obama administration would cancel all White House tours indefinitely (beginning March 9th). Former NYC Mayor called the closing "absurd." Yet for the majority of American families there are greater problems to be addressed than White House tours temporarily ending. What we find to truly be absurd is that it's March 6th--5 days after the sequester-- and Congress still hasn't remedied cuts.
Here’s 7 cuts under sequester that make Democrats outraged:
· Head Start will be cut by $406 million, kicking 70,000 children out of the program.
· Special education is cut by $840 million.
· $9.9 billion (yes Billion!) will be cut from Medicare
3. Health Care
· National Institutes of Health is cut by $1.6 billion.
· Eliminates care for more than 373,000 ‘seriously mentally ill’ people, according to the White House.
· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cut by $323 million.
· Global health programs are cut by $433 million.
i. Millenium Challenge Corp $46 million cut.
ii. USAID $291 million cut.
· Up to 424,000 HIV Tests would cut—thousands of people with HIV would lose access to life-saving medications.
4. Natural disaster relief
· FEMA’s Disaster Relief budget is cut by $375 million.
· Funding for the government’s emergency response system will be significantly slashed.
5. Energy, Scientific research, and Environmental protection
· NASA cut by $970 million.
· The National Science Foundation gets cut by $388 million.
· Energy Department’s program for securing our nukes is cut by $650 million.
· Nuclear Regulatory Commission is cut by $55 million.
6. American Programs for the Poor
· Public Housing support is cut by $1.94 billion.
· More than 100,000 formerly homeless people would lose their current housing as a result of sequestration.
· 125,000 low-income families would be at risk of losing their housing cause of rental assistance cuts.
7. Over 700,000 jobs lost under sequestration - harmful budget cuts could hit everyone from teachers to medical researchers.
(More Sequester content and figures from the Washington Post)
So while the GOP Congressman are introducing legislation to prevent the President from playing golf—yes, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) did indeed bring such an absurd amendment to Congress—Democrats are looking for solutions. Tonight the President has invited about a dozen Republican Senators to dinner in an effort to reach a bipartisan agreement.
Democracy for America continues to strongly call for no cuts on Medicare. We would love to see the President strike a deal but only a deal we can proud of where education, health care, and American jobs and housing for families can be protected.
Budget and Taxes
Economy and Jobs
January 14, 2013
In a moment of honesty, Virginia State Sen. Richard Saslaw claimed that the environmental effects of currently debated legislation should not be considered because he’s “not going to be here”. The state of Virginia is currently debating whether or not to lift a ban on uranium mining passed over 30 years ago.
Numerous environmental groups have come out against lifting the ban arguing that repealing the ban would impact Virginians “both directly, by increased environmental and occupational exposure to uranium and other toxic substances through the air, soil, or groundwater and accidents resulting from mining operations, and indirectly through stress and other heath effects related to community changes, including potential loss of recreation sites, declining property values, changes to the local economy, and the perceived stigma uranium mining.”
But State Sen. Saslaw doesn’t see these effects affecting him at all. As a politician, Saslaw’s job should be to work to the benefit of his constituents, not himself. He might not be here in 100 years, but his grandchildren will. Why would Saslaw not concern himself with the environmental effects of something so toxic as Uranium.
In addition to his interesting views on the environment, it seems Saslaw is the leader of the Democrats in the Virginia State Senate. Representing one of the most progressive districts in Virginia covering the city of Alexandria, Saslaw must assume the views of his district and hold himself apart from the Coal and Energy Commission.
January 9, 2013
No wonder Congress is less popular than Nickelback, lice and root canals. The 112th Do-nothing Congress ended without the vote on Hurricane Sandy relief that Speaker Boehner had promised Governors Cuomo of New York and Christie of New Jersey.
After being criticized by numerous members of his own party, the speaker was successful in bringing to vote a small aid package to the states in the newly inaugurated 113th Congress. However, the Speaker was unsuccessful at winning the vote with is caucus in line. In the end 67 Republicans voted against the Speaker, and the plan to give only 15%, or 9.7 billion of the requested 60 billion to the still recovering Mid-Atlantic region.
Republicans have taken relief seekers hostage, denying them aid until members “find the funds” by slashing government aid to other hurting Americans. Republicans have taken hostage the over 40,000 New Yorkers, and New Jerseyans, living without a home; unable to gain the flood insurance money they deserve to start anew. Don’t let the Tea Party Republican Congress hold disaster victims hostage. Tell Congress: Pass Sandy Relief Now.
Even Sean Hannity criticized these Republicans saying on his TV show that “The victims of Hurricane Sandy are being exploiting by greedy, out of touch Washington lawmakers” and for once, we agree.
Of these 67 members, ThinkProgress has discovered that 37 had previously promoted, endorsed, or asked for relief funds for natural disasters in their districts. The worst offender is Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi. Not even a year ago, Palazzo requested funds for disaster relief (and specifically the EXACT same fund that Congress was asked to vote on for Sandy victims) for Hurricane Katrina victims. He said “Tell our national leaders- don’t send more inspectors- we know what’s damaged and how to fix it. Send us money so we can put families back together and do our part to rebuild our community.” So Palazzo is willing to add money to a fund for his own constituents for a storm that occurred six years ago, but is not willing to add money to a fund for New Yorkers for a storm that they still have yet to recover from? Republican Reasoning at its finest. Click here to see the full list of Republicans and their previous positions on disaster relief.
In 2005, Congress acted quickly to aid those hurt and homeless because of Katrina. Now, Congress has acted only in part, now over 70 days after the storm created transportation disasters and rapid homelessness increases throughout the Eastern Coast. Tell Congress that we won’t tolerate their partisan objections to relief money: Pass Sandy Relief (in its entirety) Now.
Budget and Taxes
Economy and Jobs
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