A Dirty Pledge

Originally posted on The MarkUp.

On Thursday, House Republicans issued their roadmap for the midterm elections and the next legislative session. It's called the "Pledge to America," but on energy issues, it sounds more like a pledge that makes powerful promises to the oil and gas industry.

The document says, "We will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose attempts to impose a national 'cap and trade' energy tax."

That's it. That's all the platform says about America's failed energy policy and the crisis of global warming.

I could understand if the GOP was pushing for a different energy and climate policy than this administration. I could understand if they wanted to try a new mechanism for reducing carbon emissions -- despite the fact that cap and trade is a market-based model first signed into law by a Republican president and GOP majority vote. I could understand if they wanted to try other ways to reduce our dependence on oil or to make the U.S. more energy efficient.

But I cannot understand the complete failure to address one of the biggest environmental, public health and national security risks of our time. I know some Tea Party and GOP candidates deny the existence of climate change, but that doesn't make the problem go away. We should have learned that from previous generations of deniers who wanted us to do nothing about leaded gasoline, or about smog or about acid rain. We didn't make progress until we ignored the deniers and got to work.

How is burying your head in the sand a visionary pledge to Americans?

I shouldn't be surprised by this failure of leadership. After all, this party platform was literally written by a former lobbyist for the oil and gas industry. Author Brain Wild was a Hill staffer and assistant legislative director for Vice President Cheney. Then, he went to work for a lobby shop that had a $1.3 million contract with Exxon Mobil, $800,000 from Anadarko Petroleum, $740,000 from AIG and $625,000 from Pfizer.

As Sam Stein reports, those associations may win favor in GOP circles, but you can't escape the conflicts of interest they raise.

We've tried this before. We spent the past decade letting the polluters call the shots, and it didn't end up too well: the BP oil spill.

If someone drives a car off the road, you don't give them the keys again.

Still, there is something a little desperate about the way GOP leaders are trumpeting their supposed agenda. These people are likely to be replaced by more extreme Tea Party favorites and so they're trying to echo the Tea Party agenda to stave off their own demise.

Come November, my guess is that Representative Boehner and his colleagues will be so tied up with the civil war within the Republican Party; they won't have much time for doling out giveaways to the fossil fuel industry.

 

 

A Dirty Pledge

Originally posted on The MarkUp.

On Thursday, House Republicans issued their roadmap for the midterm elections and the next legislative session. It's called the "Pledge to America," but on energy issues, it sounds more like a pledge that makes powerful promises to the oil and gas industry.

The document says, "We will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose attempts to impose a national 'cap and trade' energy tax."

That's it. That's all the platform says about America's failed energy policy and the crisis of global warming.

I could understand if the GOP was pushing for a different energy and climate policy than this administration. I could understand if they wanted to try a new mechanism for reducing carbon emissions -- despite the fact that cap and trade is a market-based model first signed into law by a Republican president and GOP majority vote. I could understand if they wanted to try other ways to reduce our dependence on oil or to make the U.S. more energy efficient.

But I cannot understand the complete failure to address one of the biggest environmental, public health and national security risks of our time. I know some Tea Party and GOP candidates deny the existence of climate change, but that doesn't make the problem go away. We should have learned that from previous generations of deniers who wanted us to do nothing about leaded gasoline, or about smog or about acid rain. We didn't make progress until we ignored the deniers and got to work.

How is burying your head in the sand a visionary pledge to Americans?

I shouldn't be surprised by this failure of leadership. After all, this party platform was literally written by a former lobbyist for the oil and gas industry. Author Brain Wild was a Hill staffer and assistant legislative director for Vice President Cheney. Then, he went to work for a lobby shop that had a $1.3 million contract with Exxon Mobil, $800,000 from Anadarko Petroleum, $740,000 from AIG and $625,000 from Pfizer.

As Sam Stein reports, those associations may win favor in GOP circles, but you can't escape the conflicts of interest they raise.

We've tried this before. We spent the past decade letting the polluters call the shots, and it didn't end up too well: the BP oil spill.

If someone drives a car off the road, you don't give them the keys again.

Still, there is something a little desperate about the way GOP leaders are trumpeting their supposed agenda. These people are likely to be replaced by more extreme Tea Party favorites and so they're trying to echo the Tea Party agenda to stave off their own demise.

Come November, my guess is that Representative Boehner and his colleagues will be so tied up with the civil war within the Republican Party; they won't have much time for doling out giveaways to the fossil fuel industry.

 

 

An Independent Pledge to America

 

 America is an idea, not just a country. Bush Republicans nearly destroyed this idea - installing within the beacon of democracy, the still-burning fires of corruption that nearly destroyed a global economy and our country.

For behind every strong country, lay strong principles. Here are those principles, for which we, as Independents, stand.

 

1.  Low cost healthcare and services for all. Unexpected medical expense is the cause of nearly 64% of all middle class bankruptcy.  The corrupt healthcare system installed by Republican Richard Nixon, under which the modern HMO has been built - has made our country into a place where one out of ever six dollars spent, are on healthcare. We spend more per capita than any other country in the world. And we will be denied coverage for nearly every reason under the sun - the focus of Nixon's alliance with Kaiser and the creation of HMO is not to provide care but rather limit it.  We will embrace the change represented by President Obama, his breathtaking landslide victory in 2008,  his success at reform - and continue the work until there is a public option for everyone - and not just the future congressmen, senators, military, and federal employees whose salaries and premium we now subsidize. In this, we acknowledge the failure of the modern republican party to stop this reform - their complete loss of words to explain why they were unable to fight the tide of change and we recognize the strength of our enemy: the modern lobbyist - who met our president and commander in chief, at 'Waterloo' and came back in utter defeat. 72% of America, just as Britain - who decided to create their National Health Service as a way of saying thank you to the returning veterans of World War II - supported our President. We will continue the fight through the Senate, electing not by party affiliation - the laughably broken Republican Party, and the corrupted Democratic party - but rather by the candidate, and his or her individual goal to provide reform in the full cloth.

 

2. We will support Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) reauthorization, and recognize the ties that bind its current position in a locked battle between house and senate.  We acknowledge that economic recovery comes from small business. 

 

3. We pledge that you will not get your old job back. It has gone away for good. No one can get it back for you.  We will pledge not to give you a free job.  If you were looking for that, try going to Craigslist or the Classifieds instead.  Take any job, not just the one you think you deserve.  We pledge to remember that this is the 21st century. And that the world has changed.  America is a place where the Tesla Motor Car will be built. They're hiring now. Go see if you can pick up a job there.  The big Bush Republican SUV company is bankrupt.

 

4. We pledge that Unions will change their position in America. They will no longer be some kind of artificial prop to keep companies in non competitive market pricing and to push up worker's wages artificially. Instead, unions will transform into organizations that simply control the board of  directors of the major companies. The company direction can turn to chase other global competitors, but it will respond with the voice of the worker as well as the big Bush Republican CEO - who's still driving his S.U.V. and playing soldier in it.

 

5. We pledge that we truly don't care if you're gay. If you want to get married, fine. Get married.  You have the right to have marital squabbles.  Even if you're in love with someone who happens to be the same sex as you.  We draw the line at bestiality, even though there are alot of Bush Republicans who are claiming their dog and cat as a tax deduction. It's the 21st century, and it's time to grow up. And let's face it - aren't families really about raising healthy children? If you want to start a family, it's your choice. Period.  And may  God's love be with  you. Trust me, you'll need it.

 

 6. We pledge that we will never use smileys in any piece of legislation or in any pledge. Except, this pledge. ;-) And that we will follow the pioneer, Alan Grayson - who actually proposed a simple fix to Medicare that was only four pages long - removing the age limit and allowing a cash buy-in to medicare. Thus delivering pledge number one.  His bill is not dead. Read it. And read any others you might find. 65,000 page legislation comes about because of lobbyists, not people like Alan or you and me. And we support government that embraces the fact that you're not reading this on a piece of paper at your desk. No tree was harmed in the writing of this pledge.

 

7. We pledge that any and all republicans like Lisa Murkowski, who think they are 'Conservative' by calling for Government to give money to big oil corporations, like BP - can find themselves out of a job.  And yes, folks, that means, if you're going to a TEA party - we'll come along. We all agree that the train is off course, and running off the tracks - once it gets back on track, we'll decide how to steer it. But we don't buy into the concept that you can be conservative, and like the Republican party just 18 months ago - make the biggest, most expensive administration in the history of America - and give away tons of money to corporations. Conservative means NOT spending money. In short, we pledge to remember the BROKEN CONTRACT WITH AMERICA that the same lamers who came up with their PLEDGE TO AMERICA think we  don't remember.  We pledge to read the fine print on anyone claiming to be a conservative or have a conservative agenda. Or for that matter, a liberal or even progressive agenda. You earn your stripes with us by delivering on your promise. And yes, we pledge that for each candidate we're going to burn, we'll hyperlink their name. No. It doesn't matter what party you belong to.  Just whether or not you're the real deal. No reference to a gubernatorial race in Georgia, expressed or implied.

 

8. We pledge to turn off our TV. Oh wait. Never mind. It's already turned off.   So, for anyone else out there who really believes that the trillion dollars that are being spent to keep us from talking about healthcare this election cycle - are really buying TV ads, we pledge to track down each and every one of your special purpose entity transaction dollars and blow the lid off your cover before it's too late. In our country, no one is going to buy an election.  Please see "TEA PARTY" for more on this subject.  And sorry, we're not paying attention to yellow journalism. If you can't support it with full background research that we can easily navigate - we'll go to someone who does. Like Kos.

 

9. We also pledge that as we write this, we're really just burning some time before we have to go to work. And we'll stop it here, and get back to work. And build this country.  The recession is really over, just like the economists said it was. You really don't have an excuse to get to work. So quit reading this pledge, and get back to work.  But before we go, we're also going to pledge that it only takes about 15 minutes to do your homework - if you use the net. So please, please, please, ignore the bullshit this election cycle and vote for someone you think will really do what you want them to do.

 

10. Since we're still here while the coffee's brewing -and because this is more fun than working at my lame @$$#! job , but not enough so that I can lose it (get that WoW game away from me), we pledge that we'll be here, when it's done.  We pledge this is America.  And America was here before the Bush Republicans, and we're here now. America gave Obama a Landslide Victory - that fake polls can't reproduce here in the silly season. And People like us, and President Obama,  have cleaned up a really big mess - and yes, folks, it's been a little over a year and a half - to clean up EIGHT YEARS of Bush republican corruption.  So we've gotten off to a good start.  And we don't have to drink the TEA or the kool-aid.  We pledge that we'll have a long memory like an Elephant.  And we'll be kickin' ass in the fall.

 

And finally, we pledge to bring the boys back home. But that one doesn't have a number to it. Because, as Independents,  we play to win. If you want to join us, you're going to have to be just a bit sharper than a failed hollywood entertainer on some AM radio band.

And as we close this historic pledge, we're not going to ask God to Bless America. Because - we are independents, and when you ask us how we're doing, we don't say we're blessed. We don't speak for God.  We're not really sure that we're all that blessed. As far as we know, the Antichrist will be waiting for us when we get to work on time.  But we are going to ask God, the infinite creator - to give us the strength for the memory and power of our leadership to make us back into a beacon of democracy.  Thomas Jefferson. George Washington. Abraham Lincoln. FDR. Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton.  And President Barack Obama.

 

 Close enough for government work?

 

 

 

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