For those of you who read the Roundup on your Blackberry, welcome back. We missed you. Here’s your Roundup:
Doesn’t Seem Right: New research is out that should only increase public support of raising taxes on millionaires. A new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service shows that 94,500 millionaires paid a smaller share of their income in taxes than 10 million households with moderate incomes. The report also debunks conservative talking points that raising taxes on millionaires penalizes small businesses and that raising taxes on investment income discourages savings and risk-taking. Read here
A Likely Pair: Tea Party organizations and Goldman Sachs executives would probably never agree that they have a lot in common. Despite being bedfellows in the call for less government regulation, they both fervently detest the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Tea Party groups have launched a coordinated campaign trying to delegitimize the protest, and Goldman Sachs has banned its employees from entering Zucotti park for any reason. Both entities seem to be worried. That is probably a wonderful sign for the Occupy movement. Read here
Lost in the Flood: After meeting with a group of state senators, TransCanada agreed to...basically proceed as planned. The corporation said it would not move the route of the proposed KXL. The most telling quote from Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada president of oil and energy pipelines, was, “We understand that the best solution from your perspective is to move the route. We don't believe that is an option for us." As we have always known, they do not care about our concerns and are making decisions solely to benefit their bottom line. After the meeting Speaker Mike Flood said after that they were no closer to a special session. Was he in a different meeting? Did he not hear what Pourbaix was saying? Continue to write and call Flood telling him to support the special session. Read here
9-9-9: Speak it out and its German for no-no-no. That’s not quite as ridiculous as Michelle Bachmann stating the devil was in the details when the numbers were flipped over, but no-no-no is exactly the position Americans should consider in regards to Herman Cain’s economic plan. Unless of course you’re rich, then you may be ok with it. Middle class families could end up paying double in taxes, while the rich receive a significant decrease. Simplicity may be appealing when the U.S. tax code seems too complex to be efficient. But simplicity at the expense of struggling Americans is not the route to take. Read here
Check out the latest Jurascals cartoon about the pipeline.
Wednesday, October 13th
The most ancient whale jawbone found yet was discovered in Antarctica, and the Blackberry service outage has spread to the U.S. We don't know if the two are connected. Here’s your Roundup:
Scare Tactics and Lies: TransCanada officials unsurprisingly did not change their minds about the route of the pipeline over the course of a four hour meeting with Nebraska legislators yesterday. They once again tried using scare tactics to ensure the route of the KXL doesn’t get changed,which would inconvenience the foreign company. A company spokesman threatened that any further delay in the plan would raise gas prices for Americans by forcing the oil to go to other countries. Other than the fact that this is another flat out lie from the company that naturally only cares about its bottom line, it makes absolutely no sense that it would be faster to propose another project, get the approval for it, and build it in a lesser amount of time than it would take to comply with additional routing and safety regulations required by states along the KXL’s path. The scare tactic statement is simply reflecting what is already true: the oil is not intended for us. Read here
If You Say It Enough It Might Become True: With the current state of the economy and the creative plans to get us out of it, ranging from Cain’s 999 plan to Obama’s recently-failed American Jobs Act, it’s easy to get caught up in the contradicting public discourse about the economy. Luckily, Public Policy Professor Robert Reich has concisely illustrated the seven simple truths of the economy that have been masked by decades of misinformation. Read here
A Step to a Greener World: Australia cleared its biggest hurdle to adopting a carbon emissions trading program today as the lower house of Parliament voted to pass it. Prime Minister Julia Gillard argued that Australia, one of the world’s largest polluters per capita, could no longer ignore its global responsibilities. The European Union has already put an emissions trading scheme in place. While the tax on carbon would affect the 500 largest polluters in the country, it would also allocate billions to compensate businesses and consumers. Read here
...And Another Step Back: There hasn’t been much press in the U.S. covering yet another oil spill. This time, it happened off the coast of New Zealand when a ship carrying fuel oil ran aground and started to break apart. The spill has already been compared to the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf. The legendary beauty of New Zealand’s coast is already being devastated by spilled oil. Mother Jone’s Julia Whitty has compiled voices that won’t be heard on the news, but which explain the real life consequences of oil spills. Read here
For an ongoing slew of laughs and near-disbelief, check out Think Progress’ live blog of last night’s GOP Debate. Read here
Tuesday, October 11th
Bad news for NBA fans--the first two weeks of the season are cancelled. For those in or near Atkinson tonight, do not miss “Pipe Dreams,”and for those in Norfolk, make sure to join pipeline fighters in peaceful protest outside Speaker Flood’s office at 1:30pm today. Here’s your Roundup:
Finding Art Within the Fight: That’s certainly what “Pipe Dreams,” the new Leslie Iwerks documentary, does. The film was an emotional ride for those in attendance for the screening at the Ross Theatre last night. “Pipe Dreams” wonderfully addresses all the major factors playing into the Keystone XL pipeline but focuses on Nebraska landowners and the fragile ecosystem of the Sandhills. This documentary should be required viewing for everyone, especially our Governor and state senators. The film shows tonight at West Holt High in Atkinson, otherwise you will likely have to wait two weeks until it is available for purchase. Check out the trailer here.
Heineman Syndrome: The Solyndra case was bad news for Obama, and Republicans are rallying against him because of it. However the GOP is silent when it comes to the Cardno Entrix/State Department scandal (a scandal Bold picked up months before the New York Times). Yet, this is something we should expect from the Republican leaders who’ve been in the pocket of Big Oil for years. We do not expect this from our President. Mr. Obama has stayed silent on the KXL pipeline. Through the DC protest and this scandal, we’ve heard nothing from the President. That’s not right. The pressure of Nebraskans got Governor Heineman to speak out against KXL. At this time, it our duty to make sure the Governor accepts his role of protecting the aquifer and calling a special session and to keep the pressure on Obama, letting him know we hold him accountable as well. Read here
Double Talk Mittens: Democrat or Republican, conservative or progressive, there seems to be something for everyone with presidential-wannabe Mitt Romney. Unless you value consistency in a politician. So really, there’s not much to like about Ole Mitt at all. Think you understand the former governor? Take the quiz here.
Failing Promises: Egyptian leaders have failed to guarantee freedoms to all as Egyptian Christians face persecution from both the military and radical Muslim groups. After 25 Coptic Christians were killed in protests, the Egyptian leaders seem poised to blame the deaths on the protesters themselves, not acknowledging the attacks Christian continue to sustain throughout the country. Read here
In case you missed it, listen to News Hour or read the transcript here, featuring Nebraska landowners and our own Jane Kleeb.
Watch a wonderful short film on the community that has formed in New York as Occupy Wall Street continues to push on here.
Monday, October 10th
The final State Department hearing was Friday in DC. From this point forward we have a lot to do in a short amount of time to stop the pipeline. Tar Sands Action has issued a new call to action for November 6th. Activists are going to encircle the White House. Here’s your Roundup:
Show Us the Money: WaPo points out something that is seriously lacking from the Republican Primary debates: a clear plan on the economy. Instead of coming up with something specific to back up their attacks on President Obama’s performance, every candidate has simply gone by their party’s mantra: cut taxes, decrease regulations, cut government spending, and promoting free trade. It’s a little frightening but not all that surprising that there is only rhetoric behind their platforms, not real plans. Read here
On Second Thought: Hermain Cain, however, thinks he does have a real plan to save Americans’ pocketbooks: increase taxes on the poor, lower taxes on the rich...and tax food. Somehow Cain thinks this plan will actually increase the amount of money poor people will take home. Maybe it is better for peace of mind when the Republican candidate pool remains vague. Read here
News Fit to Print: The New York Times is finally covering the despicable bias the State Department given TransCanada in the permit review process. The State Department assigned its environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL to contractor Cardno-Entrix, which had previously worked on projects with TransCanada. The Houston-based firm was picked from a list of possibilities given to State by TransCanada. Observers said they were surprised the department was not concerned about the appearance of bias. Quite honestly, with the process going as it has, we are sad to say that we are not all that surprised. Read here
We Were Promised Jet-packs: Remember the “good ol’ days” of innovation and creativity that gave us the lightbulb, cars, TV, penicillin, and much more? A lot of recent authors have been arguing that these days are gone and lament the loss of innovation in society. It’s easy to get swept up in this “doldrum” mindset. But Kevin Drum gives us a different way to look at the reason why we have failed to master teleportation or why none of us have our own personal jet-packs. Read here
Check out this cute cartoon about the pipeline fight.
Take action: tomorrow some pipeline activists will be gather in Norfolk as Speaker Flood and other state senators meet with TransCanada. Feel free to join in at 1:30pm, and make sure you park in the public lot at 3rd and Madison Ave.