Obama is in Toledo, Ohio today meeting with plant workers at Chrysler, John Edwards has been indicted, and Romney says America is “inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy.” Wow. Here’s your Roundup:

Bold roundup

Boeing Begs for More: The people at Boeing must have a set of stones the size of their planes. Despite not paying any corporate taxes for the last three years, Boeing feels the corporate tax rate is too high.  Considering that they’re already not paying anything in and that their main customer is the United States government, we can only wonder what else they want from Congress. Did somebody forget to send them a Christmas card or something?  And where do they think the government gets the money to pay them in the first place?  Read here.

Religious Groups Say “No” to Pipeline: The Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, as well as 50 other religious groups, wrote a letter to Secretary Clinton asking her to stop the Keystone XL pipeline project. The letter cites the “devastating” environmental impact the pipeline would have on the Boreal Forest of Canada, the air quality around the refineries in Texas and the water in the Ogallala Aquifer. “As a people of faith, we are in awe of Earth’s goodness and its ability to provide life for all of God’s creation.  As such we need to ensure that proper steps are taken to secure this ability for future generations to come.”  Agreed.  Read Here.

Please sir, may I have some health care?: If Governor Chris Christie isn’t one of the four horseman of the apocalypse, he’s at least one of their groomsman.  He wants to lower the maximum income to eligible for Medicaid from $25,000 per year to less than $6,000.  This amounts to, among other things, turning your back on sick, impoverished children and saying, “Tough”.  It’s like some horrible villain out of a Dickens novel.  Not to mention that it’s hard to see how this proposal would do anything but force any poor people who want medical coverage for themselves or their family to avoid any job at all costs.  This insanely callous proposal demonstrates either the insensitivity or ignorance you would expect from a guy who doesn’t think twice about dropping a few grand of taxpayer money on a helicopter ride. Read here.

Big Oil Curriculum in Public Schools: For the energy industry, the ability to control the message is everything. The NY Times reports that the industry is spending big money on education in communities with coal, natural gas and oil exploration projects, hoping to counter criticism from environmental groups by touting its contributions to the local economy.  After a 4th grade lesson plan funded by the American Coal Foundation was criticized for bias, environmentalists and public education groups said the cozy relationship between industry groups and public schools is becoming a serious problem in American education. Read Here.

Taking Credit: Moody’s Investor Service warned that it might downgrade the U.S. credit rating unless Congress raised the debt ceiling in the coming weeks.  Both political parties used Moody’s statement to reinforce their positions. Republicans demanded more spending cuts, and Democrats said Republicans are risking a financial crisis in pursuit of an ideological agenda. Citing the statement, Treasury Secretary Geithner urged skeptical Republican House freshmen to support raising it, but one Republican in the room said, “We didn’t create this mess.”  Read Here.

Reminder: The deadline for commenting on the State Department’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) is June 6. Appendix E of this ridiculous document casually mentions that the pipeline will run within 1 mile of 1,194 wells in Nebraska.  Tell Sec. Clinton this is completely unacceptable, and demand that she protect our land and drinking water. Comment on the study tinyurl.com/dearclinton, and sign our petition boldnebraska.org/june6.


Thurs, June 2

It looks like Mitt Romney will jump in the presidential race about 12:30 EDT in New Hampshire today. To celebrate, the DNC has released a video titled “Same Candidate, Different Positions. Again.” Mitt will then start his media tour, beginning, of course, with the Sean Hannity show. Here’s your Roundup:

Reagan Worship, GOP Denial: During an unproductive meeting with House Republicans today to discuss the debt ceiling and budget, President Obama turned to discussion to taxes, noting that tax rates today are lower than under Reagan. This was met with a lot of “eye-rolling” from Republicans, who continue to say the U.S. has “a spending problem, not a revenue problem.” But the truth is that revenue has plunged largely because of the recession and tax cuts. Read More Here

Clinton, Bloomberg and World Bank Unite Against Climate Change: While Congress does nothing to address climate change here at home, mayors from 40 of the world’s largest cities signed an agreement with the World Bank to help provide technical and financial assistance to minimize the effects of climate change. The agreement will set a standard for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions across the globe, and will make it easier for investors to finance green energy projects. Read More Here

House Republicans Block Obesity, Public Health Measures: House Republicans are taking a stand for their special interest buddies by pushing back against the Obama administration’s plans for combating childhood and adult obesity. The Washington Post put it best: “They don’t want the government to require school meals that are more nutritional but also more expensive, they don’t want the government to prod food companies to restrain marketing to children, and they don’t want the FDA to regulate any substance based on anything but ‘hard science.’”  Read More Here

Congressmen Demand More Time on Pipeline: On Tuesday, 34 members of Congress wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing concern about the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) released last month. The letter demands the State Dept. provide at least 120 days for public review as well as hearings in every state and urged them to hold off granting a permit until a range of issues are addressed. They write, …we are concerned that once again the Department of State has failed to appropriately address issues that were ignored or inadequately analyzed in the first environmental review.” The draft EIS released by the State Department earlier this year was given the EPA’s lowest possible rating, and the new SDEIS seems to be just as inadequate. Plus, the 12 spills since May 2010 along the original Keystone route should make the State Dept. think twice before approving another pipeline. Read More Here

Palin Circus Continues: Palin keeps her contract with Fox, eats at a tourist pizza joint with Trump, and narrowly misses a tornado in Massachusetts. The media parade continues. Read More Here.

Reminder: The deadline for commenting on the State Department’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) is June 6. Tell Sec. Clinton it doesn’t do enough to protect our land and water. Comment on the study: tinyurl.com/dearclinton and sign our petition: boldnebraska.org/june6

Wed, June 1

Yesterday, Obama selected John Bryson as Commerce Secretary, the Republicans vowed to block it, and Sara Palin ate dinner with Donald Trump. Today in Lincoln at the Cornhusker Marriott, at 11:00,Transcanada will hold an “expert” panel of big oil lackeys on the safety of the pipeline.  Stop by and ask some tough questions.  Here’s your roundup:

Thomas, Recuse Thyself:  Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is under pressure from Rep. Anthony Weiner, among others, to recuse himself in the likelihood that the Affordable Care act should reach the highest court in the land.  Thomas naturally feels that large sums of money pouring into his household as payment for fighting the legislation does not necessarily translate into a conflict of interest.  Really Thomas?  We know you never speak during oral arguments but you do actually sit on the court and vote, don’t you?  I mean it’s not like money and significant others ever make people misbehave.   Read here.

Civil liberties, for some:  Rep. Rand Paul recently stonewalled the Patriot Act renewal in an unsuccessful attempt to add amendments that would help protect citizens first amendment rights.  While this was certainly admirable, he’s now reassuring his base that he was only doing it for certain types of people and speech.  He told Sean Hannity that people who attend radical speeches should be, get this,  jailed!  Read here. 

Bachmann still inflicting herself on innocent Iowans:  Though still not officially running for president, Rep. Michele Bachmann tells IPTV that she has a calling from God to run for president.  She also stakes out the controversial position of being pro-curing cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and just anti-disease in general.  We can’t wait to see that executive order.  Why hasn’t Obama thought of that?  Of course this means she supports the government curing diseases just not people.  Read here. 

Vocab lesson: John Cook writes about the difference between skepticism and malignant, head-in-the-sand, “denial ain’t a river in a Egypt” type denial when it comes to climate change. Read here.

Reminder: The deadline for commenting on the State Dept.’s Supplemental- Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is June 6. Tell Sec. Clinton it doesn’t do enough to protect our land and water. Comment on the EIS: tinyurl.com/dearclinton and sign our petition: boldnebraska.org/june6

Tues, May 31

This evening, House Republicans will vote down a plan to raise the debt ceiling. The vote will be largely symbolic, mainly so those freshman Tea Partiers can get their votes on the record before a real deal (aka serious vote for adults) is made later this summer.
Here’s your Roundup.

GOP Update, Bachmann and Palin BFF: Today, while Tim Pawlenty is drinking coffee and eating Blue Bunny ice cream in Iowa, and Rick Santorum is visiting a gun store in New Hampshire, Michele Bachmann is on Good Morning America talking about her possible 2012 presidential run. Bachmann thinks there is room for both her and Sarah Palin in the GOP field, and she doesn’t consider Palin a competitor, even though many see Bachmann having a tough time trying to escape Palin’s shadow. Because both are prone to ridiculous gaffes, let’s hope, for comedy’s sake, they both run. Watch the video here

Free Medical School?: A NY Times op-ed suggests free medical school for students could be the answer to controlling rising health care costs. Today, almost all medical school graduates leave school an average of $155,000 in debt, pushing them to enter into high paying specialty fields where incentives exist to give expensive treatments. Yet tens of thousands more primary care doctors will be needed in the next decades to treat our aging population. Read Here

Leaky Pipeline: Just reported by the press this morning, a broken part of the Keystone pipeline in Kansas caused an oil spill, prompting TransCanada to shutdown the network for repairs. The company said less than 10 barrels were spilled, but this accident marks the 12th spill on the Keystone network in the last year alone. Earlier this month, a similar accident in North Dakota sent 500 barrels of oil spewing from a small leak. With this kind of record, why would Nebraskans believe the pipeline is going to be safe, why again are we trusting this foreign company? Read Here

House Dems United Against Afghanistan: Last week, all but eight House Democrats endorsed demands that Obama come up with plans this summer to accelerate the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. This shift within the party will be hard for Obama to ignore as the 2012 election approaches. Read Here

Reminder:  The deadline for commenting on the State Dept.’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is June 6. Tell Sec. Clinton it doesn’t do enough to protect our land and water and to deny the permit to TransCanada.  Comment on the EIS: tinyurl.com/dearclinton and sign our petition: boldnebraska.org/june6


Mon, May 30

Obama is visiting Joplin, Republican GOP candidates are trolling around Iowa, and Sara Palin is riding a motorcycle on some vague Northeastern tour. Happy Memorial Day. Here’s your roundup:

Global Cooling?: Newt Gingrich takes yet another step back towards the ice age in his stance on climate change, recalling the 1970’s when proponents of “science” were sounding the alarm on “global cooling” and clamoring for giant furnaces to heat the planet. Gingrich says he doesn’t dispute the National Academy of Sciences, just that global warming is “a topic that is more than science.” Well fair enough Newt, seeing as anything global is bound to be, by definition bigger than anything on the planet.  But the point of this incoherency is lost on us I’m afraid. Read here.

A modest proposal: In response to budget cuts, Michigan Superintendent Nathan Bootz has written a letter to the governor asking that his schools be turned into prisons. Bootz pointed out the state spends about $7,000  year per student but over $30,000 a year per prisoner. Bootz’s proposal highlights the insanity that lies in draconian Republican budget cuts across the country. Why are we slashing funding for some of the only positive services the government provides to society? As Bootz pointed out, better funding for his schools will help keep kids out of prison. Read here.

Gov. Scott ejects dissenters: One way to lay claim to popular support is the Orwellian measure of excluding those who disagree, and then pretending they don’t even exist. This seems to be the tact that Governor Rick Scott took at a public signing of incredibly unpopular budget cuts. He ordered any Democrats to be removed from the premises. We award you points for sheer audacity Mr. Scott. You don’t even pretend the care about the first amendment, or representing the people you supposedly represent. Read here.

Surprise-Ryan plan doesn’t go over with Democrats: Rep. Ryan recently tried to sell Rep. Mike Ross, Chairman for the Blue Dog Coalition on his budget plan but apparently didn’t make it too far. Ross took the radical position, that “deficit spending must be stopped, but it should be done in a way that is fair to all.” Read here.

Reminder: The deadline for commenting on the State Dept.’s Supplemental- Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is June 6. Tell Sec. Clinton it doesn’t do enough to protect our land and water. Comment on the EIS: tinyurl.com/dearclinton and sign our petition: boldnebraska.org/june6