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Bold Roundup: Nov 7-11

In light of the State Department’s decision to delay decision on the KXL, we expect a lot of celebrating this weekend. Make sure you thank a veteran today for all they have done for our country. Here’s your Roundup: 

Big Businesses Love More Regulation: We are always hearing about the hundreds of pages of regulations that businesses have to comply with which makes their job more difficult and costs more money. For small businesses that have to comply with all these regulations, that’s true–they can’t hire dozens of lawyers to sort through it all. But for big institutions, these hundreds of pages are what allow them to make lots of money. Of course, businesses would rather have no regulations. But that’s not going to happen, so the key to financial success is to lobby to make the regulations as complicated and as lengthy as possible so they can find more loopholes to run through. Read here

Misguided: Cutting the deficit will likely become a bigger and bigger issue as the deadlines for proposals to balance the budget get nearer and the “triggered cuts”  that will happen if a deal isn’t made in Congress. The cuts needed are $1.2 trillion. These austerity measures come at a time when unemployment is over 9%, and it is important to keep in mind that American consumer spending makes up 70% of the economy. Taking away important programs that help the average spender will only take money out of their pockets and hurt the economy. Read here 

Obama’s Foreign Policy Successes: The first GOP debate solely focused on foreign policy will be held tomorrow, and we are interested to see what the candidates state as their policy goals. Although they will probably criticize Obama, they won’t have many valid criticisms to make. Not only was Osama bin Laden killed but DADT was repealed and our troops are coming home. Sounds like a solid record to us. Read here

 

Thursday, November 10th

Although the crucial step has been taken to get a bill to protect Nebraskans out of committee, there is still a way to go to get it passed into law. Governor Heineman needs to get behind the bill in order to make that happen. Here’s your Roundup:

Senator Avery’s Local View: We heard testimony yesterday on Senator Avery and Senator Haar’s bills. Both have been doing what they can to fight for Nebraskans. Avery particularly wants to protect landowners from being “invaded.” His experience touring the Sandhills region really shows how much he has come to care about this issue and make a good decision for his state–we only wish every senator would have gone up there. Read here  

Cry a River: Last night testimony from TransCanada’s VP, Robert Jones, claimed any legislation by Nebraska now would be unfair. Ironic, because we think bullying landowners, starting construction before a permit is issued, and misleading lawmakers to prevent laws from happening earlier (among a whole slew of other issues) is unfair. There should be no sympathy for TransCanada, and lawmakers need to do what is right for Nebraskans. Read here 

What if TransCanada Loses?: Most of the arguments for the KXL go back to oil to feed our need for cheap fuel. The pipeline will supposedly start a chain reaction where lower gas prices put more money into consumers’ pockets, enabling them to spend more on other goods and essentially jump-start the economy. But in reality, a denial of the project will not change pricing on gas, because any product that would be produced will simply be going into the world market. Politico discusses what/who else would be affected if the project is not approved, and that denial really wouldn’t have the dire effects pipeline proponents claim. Read here 

An Uncommon Sight: Angels have appeared in Mexico. Cities that are particularly violent are seeing more and more of these young people dressed as angels, protesting the tragedies that continue. They write signs and appear directly at crime scenes and in front of police stations to protest for peace, often bringing tears to onlookers. This is yet another example of young people fighting for what’s right, something we see all around the world. Read here 

The Big Story: Remember when Greece was the elephant in the room of debt and panic? Well, those days are over. Italy’s solvency is now in question, as it has been forced over and over again to increase the rates it pays on its bonds in order to attract investors to help it pay off its massive debt. Unfortunately, Italy’s economy is about six times larger than Greece’s. Not so easy to bail this one out. Read here 

It’s Over: Rick Perry struggled to remember his plan to ax the EPA during last night’s GOP debate. There’s really not much else to say. Watch here

 

Wednesday, November 9th

We’d like to remind you to continue to pressure your lawmakers to stand in opposition to the pipeline. But even more important, tell them that Nebraskans deserve respect, and Sen. McCoy’s treatment of citizens testifying at hearings yesterday was disgraceful. As if that already doesn’t have you feeling down, it appears that the ice cream of the future, Dipping Dots, may not be around to see it. Here’s your Roundup:

Election 2011: Do yesterdays results indicate a return to more sane, less radical public sentiment? It appears so. Rational thinkers turned up at the voting booths in Mississippi, as the controversial “Personhood” bill failed to pass in the deeply conservative state. Voters were quick to vote down another radical Republican law, this time it was an attempt to squash union rights in Ohio. In Maine, people turned out to restore same day voter registration. Meanwhile, Kentucky residents re-elected their Democratic Governor. Read a reviw of major elections here

Cain Train Derailed:  Herman Cain has flat out denied allegations of sexual harassment, even after two women have come forth publicly. This denial comes on the confirmation that the National Restaurant Association paid one of the accusers a settlement. Cain even went so far as to blame the “Democratic Machine” as causing the uproar. No, Mr. Cain, you got yourself into this mess and this is one situation you can’t sing yourself out of. Read here

Bye, Bye Joe Pa:

Sadly Cain’s scandal is not the only one headlining the news. The disturbing molestation case involving the abuse of young boys by former Penn State Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky has rocked a not so Happy Valley. The case has brought down officials within the University as information has come to light showing their attempt to conceal Sandusky’s crimes. And now the scandal has taken another large toll, Joe Paterno will be forced into retirement after more than 6 decades at the helm of the Nittany Lions football team. You can bet tensions and emotions will run high as the Huskers prepare to take on Penn State this weekend. Read here 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 8th

Special Session hearings continue today, starting at 10am and 1pm. We need as many people as possible to testify, but if you can’t be there you can watch online. Here’s your Roundup:

Rerouting to be Weighed by State Dept?: “The U.S. State Department is weighing whether to seek a rerouting of TransCanada Corp.’s planned $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline away from the Sandhills region of Nebraska, a department official said.” If so, that would be helpful, but it does not detract from the fact that Nebraska still needs to pass its own oil pipeline siting laws which should also apply to the KXL. State lawmakers should not see this as an excuse to dodge their duty of protecting Nebraska’s land and water. Read here 

Canadian Government Officials at Odds with TransCanada: While Canadian Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver, said he expects the Obama administration to approve the KXL project, he also said a delay in the project wouldn’t necessarily kill it. This is clearly not in line with TransCanada’s threats (and what they all testified to yesterday). Oliver also mentioned a call he received from China about the delay in the project, and says he talked with “Chinese officials who he says are ‘quite eager’ to import oil from Canada.”  Read here 

Promises Made…and Remade: Ever wonder what happens when a financial corporation like Citigroup violates a federal law? Well, if we were to take a guess by making the comparison that corporations are people, and when people violate a federal law, they go to prison…we would conclude that the corporation would suffer the same consequence. Wrong. They go have a chat with the Securities and Exchange Commission, pay a settlement for defrauding their customers, promise not to break a federal law again, go home, then likely wind back up in front of the S.E.C. for the same or a similar violation. Read here 

Occupiers Defeat Wall Street: An online poll released Sunday showed Americans favor the Occupy Movement twice as much as they favor Wall Street. Thirty-Five percent of respondents had a favorable view of Occupy, while 25% were unsure. Only 16% supported Wall Street or corporations. The Occupier’s message also has a favorable audience, with 74% of those surveyed believe Americans who are not wealthy have too little influence on politics, while also saying Wall Street and large corporations (80%) have too much influence.  Read here  

Zygote Personhood Bill: Mississippi will vote on the Personhood Bill today, which essentially kills all right to choice, and would even make some forms of birth control illegal. The term “person” includes every human being from the moment of fertilization and would make any “death” of the fertilized egg would be considered a form of murder. But this isn’t just an issue in Mississippi. Some House and Senate Republicans have already endorsed three bills that would take this law to the national level. Read here

 

Monday, November 7th

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline cause a stir around the US, from Nebraska college campuses to the White House. Get up to speed in today’s Roundup:

A Strong Voice: Ten thousand protesters converged on the White House to tell President Obama to reject the KXL pipeline. The protest saw the attendance of some of Hollywood’s finest, well known activists, and premier scientist, all of them in firm opposition to the ill-conceived idea that is TransCanada’s tarsands pipeline. Nebraskans were there, sporting “I Stand With Randy” shirts and calling for Obama to uphold his campaign promises. Former employees of the original Keystone pipeline even joined the masses; they know the lies that TransCanada has fed America. Highlights from the protest here.  

Completely Debunked: There should be no question now, TransCanada and its allies have flat out lied about their jobs claims. Consider a piece in the Washington Post, a newspaper that had previously cited many of these claims, publishing an article acknowledging the many holes in TransCanada’s figures. In fact when it comes to Nebraska, the direct benefit in jobs creation is estimated to be between 100 and 250 jobs. These numbers were calculated by the Cornell Institute of Labor, and unlike TransCanada’s sources, CIL is completely transparent in its explanations of the calculations. Washington Post here. Fact Check here.  

Close to Home: With the eyes of the media on the KXL and the fight in Nebraska, our college campuses have been paying attention. At UNL the student body government executives are struggling with an anti-KXL student. Students know the vested interest the University has in agriculture in the state, and they feel a duty to speak out as the flagship institution of Nebraska’s university system. The Daily Nebraskan has been frustrated with ASUN’s struggle about how to move forward. We appreciate that students are having important debates on this serious, weighty issue that. Read here 

Shameful Disregard: The final audit of the privatization of Nebraska’s child welfare services has been released, and the report is discouraging. It shows the Governor to have been irresponsible in setting up strict guidelines and goals from the onslaught, setting the transition up for failure. Once in the hands of the Department of Health and Human Services the process continued to get worse. Privatization was touted as a way to decrease the number of children on welfare and increase federal review scores. It has done none of this and even made the problems worse. What’s more shameful is DHHS attempts to alter and hinder the auditors attempt at seeking information during their investigation. Read here

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