Turns out climate change isn’t the only scientific information FOX News can’t wrap its confused tentacles around—the “news” channel also happens to be baffled by the moon. Well, we can’t explain that, but here’s your Roundup:
TransCanada Terry: Lee Terry’s effort to “turn up the heat” on the Senate to pass his bill, which would speed up the decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline, turned ice cold. It must have been doubly hard to take Terry seriously when he was regurgitating TransCanada’s lies to an empty crowd following the House passage of his reckless “let’s hurry up and put Nebraskans in danger” bill. Only a few of his fellow Republicans came to join him and together they outnumbered the press that showed up. Read here.
Who Cares about the Good Life?: Unlike Terry, Jeff Fortenberry showed his support for Nebraskans when he stood out as the lone Repulican on his committee to vote against Terry’s bill, and only one of three Republicans in the entire House to vote against it. Randy’s representative, Adrian Smith, voted alongside TransCanada Terry to show us that two of our congressmen care more about foreign oil than Nebraskans and our resources. Read here.
Floppity-Flippity: Terry’s former support of term limits is brought up again by his Republican opposition who is here to remind us yet again that seven terms later, Lee Terry promised he would only serve three. Read here.
Hey, Leave Those Kids Alone: As the debt-ceiling drama continues, bringing with it threats to cut funding for students and the schools they attend, the Save Our Schools March and Conference will hopefully serve as a reminder to Congress that they are debating about more than numbers in our nation’s capital. Thousands of people who recognize that our public schools have more issues than budgetary problems have planned to make statements across the country about education in America, but the main event will happen in DC. Educator Jose Vilson tells why he is Marching for Education Justice. Read here.
Inequality Grows: A new study by the Pew Research Center reveals that the wealth gap between white families and African American and Hispanic families has grown twice as large as it was before the recession. In a nation that asserts its freedoms and equality, we hope that lawmakers will keep this in mind as they work for the people in the upcoming months. Read here.
…to be continued…: John Boehner made the mistake of counting his chickens before they hatched in the House vote to raise the debt limit. Last night, Republicans shocked the House when they moved to routine matters and put Boehner’s bill on the back-burner. Boehner’s all-day efforts to “strong-arm” his rank and file ended in failure Thursday night when the House went into recess—pushing off the vote for another day. Too bad there aren’t many days left. Read here.
A Furry Solution: A new political party has shown up that might be able to bring peace upon the debt-ceiling drama, if they cared to. After yet another delay, the Coalition for Adorable Tailed Videos Independent Party (CATVIP) might be our only hope. Read here.
Thurs, July 28th
Yesterday, Speaker Boehner told his fellow Republicans to “get your a** in line” behind his plan, warning them that their only alternative was the Reid plan or default. In a closed door meeting, the House plans to vote on Boehner’s revised plan today, but it will be DOA if it reaches the Senate. Here’s your Roundup:
Clinton on Tour: While the public has been caught up in Washington’s reckless debt ceiling fight, one politician outside the beltway has been finding success advancing American interests. Because of her recent talks with Pakistan, Greece, India and China, Sec. of State Hilary Clinton has been called a triumph for the Obama administration and “has revealed that many of its policies over the past two years are now bearing significant fruit,” writes David Rothkopf of Foreign Policy. Read here.
Confident Quarterback: Brett Lindstrom, Rep. Lee Terry’s GOP challenger in the second district, knows he won’t be getting a lot of support from the Republican establishment. However, he is confident he can beat Terry by raising $100,000 (Terry raised $1.9 million in 2010) simply because the incumbent representative has been “part of the problem” by increasing spending, flopping on Social Security, and not being a leader. Read here.
Bad Timing: New reports show economic growth is decelerating, meaning that the debt ceiling/deficit fight could not have come at a worse time. Job growth has been slow in May and June, and a report due Friday will likely show the same for July. Both the Boehner and Reid debt plans are now pushing for more than $20 billion in immediate cuts, and coupled with the coming expiration of $160 billion in payroll tax cuts and $60 billion in expanded unemployment insurance, the economy could soon lose up to $250 billion in federal support. Read here.
Planes, Trains, Automobiles: America transportation infrastructure is in need of serious repair. A new report finds decaying roads, bridges and railroads are costing the U.S. $129 billion a year, and Congress is dysfunctional and deeply divided on funding for surface transportation and long-term aviation funding. Meanwhile, competitors like Brazil, China, and India are already pulling ahead of the United States. “If investments in surface transportation infrastructure are not made soon, these costs are expected to grow exponentially,” stated the report, adding that infrastructure failure already is dramatically affecting travel and commerce. Read here.
Not surprisingly, the House passed Rep. Terry’s “Rush the Pipeline” bill. If you haven’t yet, consider attending or hosting a Stand with Randy event. Let’s show Terry that we stand with landowners, not with TransCanada.
Wed, July 27th
The debt talks continue (and by continue we mean they stay the same), but Speaker Boehner has found that his touted plan really doesn’t appeal to anyone. Here’s your Roundup:
No Tea For You: Think the nation is held hostage by the irrationality of some radical tea partiers? Imagine how John Boehner feels. After news broke that the Speakers plan cuts only $850 billion, (150 short of his $1 trillion goal), more Republicans started to jump off the train. About 40-50 members of the House GOP are not willing or are on the fence about the vote, making it dangerous for Boehner to bring to the floor. It is a pathetic move to bring forth a bill that not only has no chance of passing the Senate but also can’t unite a growing group of fringe Republicans. Read here.
Not Welcome On Wall Street: If House GOP leaders can’t find support within their own party, then surely they can turn to the fat cats of finance to support them, right? Well, not exactly. Wall Street is coming out against the Boehner’s short-term plan, and it appears that even if this deal were to pass, the U.S. would still lose its AAA credit rating. As much as the Speaker likes to claim broad support for the bill, the contrary is certainly true. The business elite and tea party leaders are unlikely to come to a compromise, especially when dealing with the details of the Boehner plan. Read here.
A Little Better News: If you’re looking for some more favorable news, then find comfort that your security against terrorism seems to be even more stable. U.S. officials say Al-Qaeda is on the brink of collapse and struggling to piece together leadership after the death of Osama bin Laden. The Obama Administration has continued to fund clandestine CIA campaigns in hopes of squashing out the remaining factions of the terrorist group. This news will not garner the same amount of attention as the debt ceiling impasse, but it deserves attention as it may turn out to be a very important triumph for our nation. Read here.
Even Better News: At Bold, we are all about improving the quality of food by making it healthier, more sustainable, basically just all around more awesome. We’re glad we’re not the only ones. Awesome Food is a new group dedicated to doing whatever it takes to make our food better. There is no set criteria to Awesome Foods’ game plan. Anyone can submit a plan, and if chosen, Awesome Food will give them $1,000 to accomplish their goals. This will happen every month. Do you have an idea? Learn more here.
Tues, July 26th
It seems like Gaga can’t get enough of Nebraska. After spending the last week near Springfield shooting a music video for her song “You and I” (which is about her Nebraskan ex), Lady Gaga was spotted around Omaha eating sweet corn, hanging out at a bar in Ralston, and wearing a Husker tee. Here’s your Roundup:
(Green) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: An innovative solar panel company will open its doors in Beatrice next year, bringing up to 100 jobs to the area. Two UNL students, one a scientist and the other an entrepreneur, teamed up to start Rare Earth Solar last August, and will buy a 274,000-sq. foot building that has been vacant since a turf care company consolidated and eliminated more than 300 jobs. At a time when so many companies are closing their doors in Nebraska, we are glad to see that innovation and research at our state’s fantastic universities are bringing jobs back. Read here.
Terry’s Challenge: There’s a few Republicans that just aren’t happy with Lee Terry. Next spring, he will face challenger Brett Lindstrom for the GOP nomination, and another Republican says he is close to jumping in the race. UNO math professor Jack Heidel said he is inclined to challenge Terry because he “had the opportunity to address (the deficit) and has not done it” in his seven terms in Congress. Terry had some trouble against a newbie tea party candidate last election cycle, so this should be interesting. Read here.
Bad to Worse: A recent review of job vacancy postings on sites like Craigslist, Monster.com and CareerBuilder revealed that many employers would only consider applicants who were currently employed or recently laid off. In fact, the practice of discriminating against the unemployed in jobs ads is common enough that it has been outlawed in New Jersey, while Michigan and New York are considering similar laws. For the 14 million unemployed, many of whom have been out of work for more than 9 months, this is terrible, terrible news. Read here.
Oh, Great: An analysis of the the Boehner budget plan could produce the “greatest increase in poverty and harship produced by any law in modern U.S. history, says The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The author says that securing $1.5 trillion in cuts from entitlements alone in the next ten years can only be done by slashing current Social Security benefits, cutting Medicare and repealing the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions, or “eviscerate the safety net for low-income children, parents, senior citizens, and people with disabilities”. Read here.
Mon, July 25th
We’ve had 18 “Stand With Randy” events registered for August 5-7th. If you want to find one close to you, check out our new site StandWithRandy.org. Here’s your Roundup:
A New Option: Thomas Friedman predicts that Americans Elect will do to presidential elections, “What Amazon.com did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what drugstore.com did to pharmacies.” Americans Elect wants to act as a third party, something in the middle of what they see as the two far sides of American government. There is one rule: the eventual nominee must pick a running mate outside of his/her party. The nominating process will be completely online. Whether or not the Americans Elect model works is still unknown. We recommend keeping an eye on them, in case they really are gamechangers. Read here
Flippity Floppity: Oh, Lee Terry, you are always good for a nice flip on the issues. After reiterating his support for the Army Corps of Engineers and their response to the flood, Terry backtracked three weeks later to say he supported an investigation of the Corps. Whether or not you agree with the Corps’ actions, everyone can agree that at this time the political discourse should be about helping those affected by the flood. Terry again is showing a lack of care for the well-being of Nebraska and its residents. A notorious pipeline lover, Terry is now putting his time and energy into something just as unhelpful. Investigations are sure to come once the flood subsides, but now, attention should remain on its victims. Read here.
Come a’ Courting: Both parties’ candidates are seeking the important Latino vote for 2012. Obama took an hour from talking about the debt ceiling yesterday to meet with Latino voters. Obama cannot point to a list of ways his policies have legitimately helped Latinos like he can with others groups, such as LGBTQs. (So far, no candidate can brag about their Latino-friendly credentials.) But the president seems content to use the history of Democratic friendliness towards Latinos as his main talking point, focusing his message on what the Republicans would do in office. Read here.
Crying All the Way to Default: Both John Boehner and Harry Reid have drafted their own backup plans for the debt ceiling after talks fell through once again this weekend. The Reid plan has what the conservatives want: more cuts from the budget, the ceiling is raised, and no new taxes. His plan also leaves out any cuts to the programs that are important to the Democrats. Once again, fringe conservatives get what they wanted by whining and refusing to come to the table to work out an answer to this problem, and they have done so for weeks. It appears it has worked for them, as Reid’s plan includes very few progressive priorities compared to conservative ones. How the Tea Partiers in Congess react to this is left to be seen. No word on if they’ll continue their game of economic brinksmanship. Read here.