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.
Wednesday, April 25th
BY: Jesus Lopez
Legislature Acknowledges Climate Change, Sort Of: Despite the usual yak about how human activity is having no impact on the climate, Lincoln Sen. Ken Haar took a bold stance on the Climate Assessment and Response Committee bill insisting that the group’s responsibilities be expanded to include looking at how climate change will affect ag, water management, wildlife and recreation as opposed to focusing strictly on drought, it’s original purpose. With a few provisions, the bill advanced unanimously, one of these being language in the bill describing climate change as “cyclical.” Let’s hope this committee will be looking at the risks of building a certain major pipeline through the state. Read the Lincoln Journal Star’s coverage of the legislative session here.
Hooray for Being Gay: A fourth grade teacher’s pupil’s persuasive essay on marriage equality is going viral. The student writes [sic], ” … you can’t stop two adults from getting married because there grown and it doesn’t matter if it creeps you out just get over it. And you should be happy for them because it’s a big momment in their life.” A high five or perhaps a low one to this elementary school kid. Check it out here. Meanwhile, a Nevada lawmaker has taken the state’s debate of a marriage equality bill to come out before the legislature. Luckily, the cameras were live for this momentous event, so you can relive the excellence here. Oh, and did you hear the Boy Scouts of America is kinda relaxing it’s policy toward homosexuals? Boy, does it ever finally feel like the 21st Century lately.
Bush to Diane Sawyer: “I love to paint”: Ever what George W. Bush is up to these days? Well, okay: pretend you do for a moment. ABC News’ Diane Sawyer had a few moments with the former president Wednesday during which he disclosed that he’s making art. And he’s already got the vague, distracted ramble of artists down. Describing his painting of his feet in a bathtub (which he of course did in the bathtub), Bush notes that, ” … that’s not that easy to paint, water hitting water just so, you know, the perspective … It’s a beauty, isn’t it?” Sure is a great change from organizing two highly unsuccessful wars and bringing down the American economy, huh? Oh, and this gem: “People are surprised. Of course, some people are surprised I can even read.” Once you can control your nearly-asphyxiating intense laughter, check out the interview here.
Tuesday, April 23rd
BY: Jesus Lopez
Amid Social and Economic Adversity, East Texas Community Takes on KXL:
There is in Manchester 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 oil when it’s built. But residents are determined to work that “when” down to an “if,” to which they respond 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 and 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 neighborhood’s efforts here
EPA Calls State Department Review of KXL “Insufficient”:
First of all, a hearty congratulations to our friends at InsideClimate News for their recent Pulitzer Prize award. Great work. They reported yesterday on the Environmental Protection Agency’s scathing review of the State Department’s latest Environmental Impact Statement on the KXL. The EPA criticized the State Dept. back in 2010 for its earlier review, and their comments on this report echo many of the criticisms pipeline fighters have expressed. “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 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 connections that what investigators familiar with the investigation are calling ire toward American foreign policy, according to the Washington Post. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told his questioners that wars in Iraq and Afghanistan played a 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 at large. 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