Read today’s news from around the state and country. Each day in the Roundup we cover politics, always with a side of bold humor. We think politics should be fun, informative and encourage us all to take action.
Tuesday, April 23:
Amid Social and Economic Adversity, East Texas Community Takes on KXL: There is in Manchester, TX, a skewed but not completely untrue reflection of modern America — a poor, drug ridden, predominantly-minority suburb of Houston surrounded on one side by a Goodyear rubber plant on one side and on the other a bevy of oil refineries set to soak up the lion’s share of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s tarsands trash when it’s built. But residents are determined to work that “when” down to an “if,” to which they have responded “never.” After having lying on the social and economic margins for years, residents of Manchester are standing up and refusing to be the world’s waste basket. They’re starting with the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project that would only worsen residents’ health and quality of life prospects. Read Yes! magazine writer Kristin Moe’s profile of the neighborhoods efforts here.
EPA to State Department: “No, ‘They’ll Just Develop It Anyway’ Isn’t an Acceptable Reason to Build KXL'”: First of all, a hearty congratulations to our friends at InsideClimate News for their recent Pulitzer Prize award. Great work, guys. Second of all, a pat on the back, too, to the Environmental Protection Agency for finally getting around to their job description and joining Keystone XL Pipeline critics in highlighting what has been a certainly botched review from the State Department. “Perhaps the most glaring error,” the EPA report said, “is the State Department’s assertion that the tar sands will be developed at the same rate regardless of whether Keystone XL is built … This assumption is flawed and unsupported, is directly contradicted by nearly all sectors including the oil industry itself, and it violates the State Department’s NEPA obligations.” Read more of InsideClimate News’s coverage here and wish them a hearty congratulations while you’re there.
U.S. Military Intervention Abroad a Possible Motive in Boston Bombings: The Tsarnaev brothers may have gotten the wrong idea on their visit to Dagestan or from Islamic connections, but both seem like somewhat looser explanations that what officials familiar with the investigation are calling ire toward American foreign policy, according to the Washington Post. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told his questioners that anger over wars in Iraq and Afghanistan played a big role in his bombing the Boston Marathon on April 15. The revelation serves as a bitter reminder for how much work there remains to be done to foster a lasting peace for the world. Perhaps we can start by forgiving this damaged 19 year old boy. To those who insist that he does not deserve forgiveness, I counter that forgiveness is not something one gives in exchange for something else, it’s not a transaction. “Desert” does not have a place in pardons, which could then no longer be called forgiveness. Read the Huffington Post’s piece on the new insight here.