April 22, 2013 archive

Earth Day 2013: Bidder #70

Cross posted by The Stars Hollow Gazette

Today is Earth Day and the fight to protect our environment continues with a focus on global climate change, stopping fracking and the KeystoneXL pipeline that will carry the dirtiest oil on earth across the US. One of the heroes of the fight against the oil industries’ zeal to drill for oil on public lands, is environmental activist Tim DeChristopher has been released from custody after serving 21 months in federal prison.

DeChristopher was arrested after an attempt to buy more than 22,000 acres of land in a 2008 oil and gas lease auction. His act of civil disobedience (done while he was still enrolled at the University of Utah) led to charges of making false statements and violating the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act. He was sentenced to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The auction was later negated and leases revoked after the Obama administration found that the land should have never even gone up for sale.

His trial lasted for over two years and his lawyers weren’t allowed to use a defense that his actions were a lesser evil than allowing for oil and gas development and environmental harm. [..]

A documentary about his trial, “Bidder 70,” will be screened around the country on Monday in celebration of Earth Day. DeChristopher will make his first public appearance at a screening and Q-and-A in Salt Lake City, which will be streamed over the Internet at 9 p.m. EDT on April 22.

Tim was interviewed today by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now

In a Democracy Now! exclusive on Earth Day, climate change activist Tim DeChristopher joins us for his first interview since being released from federal custody after serving 21 months in detention. DeChristopher was convicted of interfering with a 2008 public auction when he disrupted the Bush administration’s last-minute move to sell off oil and gas exploitation rights in Utah. He posed as a bidder and won drilling lease rights to 22,000 acres of land in an attempt to save the property from oil and gas extraction. The auction itself was later overturned and declared illegal, a fact that DeChristopher’s defense attorneys were prevented from telling the jury. His case is the subject of the documentary, “Bidder 70,” which will screen all over the country today to mark his release and Earth Day. The founder of the climate justice group Peaceful Uprising, Tim DeChristopher joins us to discuss his ordeal, his newfound freedom, and his plans to continue his activism in the climate justice movement.

Transcript can be read here.

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Our regular featured content-

These featured articles-

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Write more and often.  This is an miglior sito per acquistare viagra generico 200 mg a Parma Open Thread.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

On This Day In History April 22

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning click here Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=levitra-10-mgs “On This Day in History” here.

April 22 is the 112th day of the year (113th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 253 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1978, The Blues Brothers make their world premiere on Saturday Night Live.

It was Marshall Checker, of the legendary Checker brothers, who first discovered them in the gritty blues clubs of Chicago’s South Side in 1969 and handed them their big break nine years later with an introduction to music-industry heavyweight and host of television’s Rock Concert, Don Kirshner. Actually, none of that is true, but it’s the story that Saturday Night Live’s Paul Shaffer told on April 22, 1978 as he announced the worldwide television debut of that night’s musical guest, the Blues Brothers-the not-quite-real, not-quite-fake musical creation of SNL cast members Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.

Origins

The genesis of the Blues Brothers was a January 17, 1976, Saturday Night Live sketch. In it, “Howard Shore and his All-Bee Band” play the Slim Harpo song “I’m a King Bee”, with Belushi singing and Aykroyd playing harmonica, dressed in the bee costumes they wore for the “Killer Bees” sketch.

Following tapings of SNL, it was popular among cast members and the weekly hosts to attend Aykroyd’s Holland Tunnel Blues bar, which he had rented not long after joining the cast. Dan and John filled a jukebox with songs from many different artists such as Sam and Dave and punk band The Viletones. John bought an amplifier and they kept some musical instruments there for anyone who wanted to jam. It was here that Dan and Ron Gwynne wrote and developed the original story which Dan turned into the initial story draft of the Blues Brothers movie, better known as the “tome” because it contained so many pages.

It was also at the bar that Aykroyd introduced Belushi to the blues. An interest soon became a fascination and it was not long before the two began singing with local blues bands. Jokingly, SNL band leader Howard Shore suggested they call themselves “The Blues Brothers.” In an April 1988 interview in the Chicago Sun-Times, Aykroyd said the Blues Brothers act borrowed from Sam & Dave and others: “Well, obviously the duo thing and the dancing, but the hats came from John Lee Hooker. The suits came from the concept that when you were a jazz player in the 40’s, 50’s 60’s, to look straight, you had to wear a suit.”

The band was also modeled in part on Aykroyd’s experience with the Downchild Blues Band, one of the first professional blues bands in Canada, with whom Aykroyd continues to play on occasion. Aykroyd first encountered the band in the early 1970s, at or around the time of his attendance at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and where his initial interest in the blues developed through attending and occasionally performing at Ottawa’s Le Hibou Coffee House.

Cartnoon

Late Night Karaoke

Keystone XL Comments Close Today

Offer Ends Soon, Act Now: Keystone Pipeline Public Comment Period Closes On Monday

By Ryan Koronowski, Think Progress from Climate Progress

Apr 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

The viagra generico pagamento online a Milano last day that the State Department will accept public comments on what should be done about the Keystone pipeline proposal is Monday, April 22nd. This will end a 45 day period that started with the placement of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register. That draft statement becomes final on June 21st, and then in a matter of months, the State Department will issue a National Interest Determination. At that point, it would be difficult to reverse a decision, so the time for the public to tell the Administration how burning tar sands oil will impact the climate is now.The last day that the State Department will accept public comments on what should be done about the Keystone pipeline proposal is Monday, April 22nd. This will end a 45 day period that started with the placement of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register. That draft statement becomes final on June 21st, and then in a matter of months, the State Department will issue a National Interest Determination. At that point, it would be difficult to reverse a decision, so the time for the public to tell the Administration how burning tar sands oil will impact the climate is now.

The Think Progess article has some links to sources and suggested subjects, there has also been a #NOKXL Blogathon at Daily Kos.  To me there are 5 primary reasons to oppose Keystone XL-

  • Mayflower, Arkansas
  • The refined oil is destined for export profit, not “energy independence”.
  • Only 35 permanent jobs will be created.
  • There is no demand for more oil.

And the number one reason to oppose Keystone XL-

  • In order to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (mass extinction level), scientists say we can emit only 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but the fossil fuel industry has roughly 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide just in their reserves, over five times too much.

I trust most of our readership has already taken action, but if not today is your last chance.

Zombie Attack





So it’s time for the two Pete Peterson bought and paid for deficit clowns to make the rounds and peddle their discredited austerity theories about the non-existent “deficit crisis”.

Discredited?  Thoroughly!  As if the factual wrongness of Reinhart and Rogoff (equally bought and paid for by that very same Pete Peterson who has so far invested $500 Million in his vendetta against Social Security) and the earlier discrediting of Alesina and Ardagna, there is now empirical (that means proven reality as opposed to faith based fantasy for my sado-austerity perverted readers) evidence from none less than Goldman Sachs economist Alec Phillips via Bill McBride at Calculated Risk

The federal deficit continues to shrink. Through the first six months of the fiscal year, revenues have come in higher than expected, while spending has come in lower than expected. As a result we are lowering our deficit forecast for the current and next two fiscal years.

Earlier this year we lowered our FY2013 deficit forecast from $900bn (5.6% of GDP) to $850bn (5.3%). In light of recent trends, we are lowering it again to $775bn (4.8%). Spending in the fiscal year to date is lower than a year ago and the nominal growth rate is lower than it has been in decades. Revenues have also exceeded expectations, with a 12% gain fiscal year to date. What is more notable is that the strength in revenues preceded the payroll tax hike at the start of the year, and the spending decline does not seem to reflect sequestration, which has just started to take effect.

We expect the improvement to continue for the next few years. Although we had already expected additional cyclical improvement and residual fiscal policy tightening to reduce the deficit further in 2014 and 2015, we have reduced our estimates a bit further, to $600bn (3.5% of GDP) and $475bn (2.7%).

What kind of snake oil are these B-S artists peddling?

Simpson-Bowles Prod Congress Again to Anti-Deficit Fervor

By Richard Rubin, Bloomberg News

Apr 19, 2013 10:33 AM ET

The updated plan, released today in Washington, includes $740 billion in increased revenue over the next decade that Republicans have deemed unacceptable and a higher eligibility age for Medicare that President Barack Obama has rejected.



Their plan would reduce debt as a share of GDP below 70 percent by 2023, compared with 73 percent by that year in Obama’s budget released this month and 55 percent in House Republicans’ budget.

Over the past few days, a study by Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff that warned of the dangers of government debt has been criticized for errors.

“What it doesn’t change is the common sense and my own personal experience in both the public and private sector that when any organization has too much debt, that that is an enormous risk factor,” Bowles said today.

See?  They know what they’re talking bullshit and they do it anyway.  To continue.

(T)he Medicare eligibility age of 65 would be gradually raised to 67.



Bowles and Simpson would cut $585 billion from health-care spending, including expanded means-testing of Medicare benefits. They would also cut $265 billion from other programs, such as agricultural subsidies and higher education.

Their plan adopts the chained consumer price index, a typically slower measure of inflation for benefits and tax brackets that Obama included in his budget.

And why?

Part of the plan is a rewrite of the U.S. tax code that would lower tax rates, remove breaks and impose lighter levies on multinational companies’ overseas income.

There you go.

The next potential point for action is the need for an increase in the debt limit, which will occur in the next several months.

Bowles said Congress has “one last good chance” to get a deal done between now and Aug. 1.

Instead of a so-called grand bargain, U.S. lawmakers have imposed about $2.7 trillion in deficit reduction through a series of deadline-driven agreements. That total doesn’t include the sequestration cuts.

“That’s not nothing,” Bowles said. “That’s a good step in the right direction. It doesn’t get us to the promised land.”

Bill Moyers: The United States of Inequality

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Income inequality is growing in the United States. Occupy Wall Street brought the income gap between the 99% and the 1% into the light and changed the conversation. Bill Moyers explores what happened in Silicon Valley where the homeless problem has grown 20% in the last two years and tent cities are common place among the million dollar mansions. Poverty shows no sign of abating despite the market thriving.

“A petty, narcissistic, pridefully ignorant politics has come to dominate and paralyze our government,” says Bill, “while millions of people keep falling through the gaping hole that has turned us into the United States of Inequality.”

Our growing income inequality causes 43% of the projected Social Security shortfall

by Gaius Publius, Americablog

Upward redistribution of income – what we’ve been calling the “looting of the economy” by the billionaire CEO class – is responsible for at least 43% of the projected Social Security shortfall for the next 75 years.

Let that sink in. This is yet another way that the looters want the victims to pay for their victimhood and hold the looters lossless. The CEO class has worked for three decades to create an economy where working people have a far less share of the economic growth than they used to have. One of the results of that inequity was an unexpected shortfall in the income collected by Social Security.

Think about it – everyone could see that the big demographic shift, the baby-boom generation, would show up on schedule. They could see that in the 1950s. But who knew 30 years ago (1983, if you’re not subtracting quickly), when the last Social Security adjustment occurred, that Reagan, Clinton, Bush and Obama would create a bipartisan consensus around handing all the fruits of productivity to the “rich and famous” set that you’re not a part of? That was not part of the calculation in those golden Reagan Days, and the Social Security Trust Fund has suffered ever since.

City Report Shows a Growing Number Are Near Poverty

by Sam Roberts

The rise in New York City’s poverty rate as a result of the recession has apparently eased, but not before pushing nearly half of the city’s population into the ranks of the poor or near-poor in 2011, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg administration.

That year, according to the city’s measure, about 46 percent of New Yorkers were making less than 150 percent of the poverty threshold, a benchmark used to describe people who are not officially poor but who still struggle to get by. That represents a rise of almost two percentage points since 2009, when the nation’s recession officially ended. [..]

Though more New Yorkers were working in 2011 than the year before, larger shares of children and working adults were classified as poor in 2011, and the proportions of Asians, noncitizens and Queens residents – overlapping groups – each rose by more than four percentage points since 2008.

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Our regular featured content-

These weekly features-

These featured articles-

This special feature-

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Write more and often.  This is an Open Thread.

The Stars Hollow Gazette