Author Archive | susie

They do not believe in democracy

Devon Energy Building in Oklahoma City in sepia

They believe in greed, and getting their own way:

The letter to the Environmental Protection Agency from Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma carried a blunt accusation: Federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state.

But Mr. Pruitt left out one critical point. The three-page letter was written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of Oklahoma’s biggest oil and gas companies, and was delivered to him by Devon’s chief of lobbying.

“Outstanding!” William F. Whitsitt, who at the time directed government relations at the company, said in a note to Mr. Pruitt’s office. The attorney general’s staff had taken Devon’s draft, copied it onto state government stationery with only a few word changes, and sent it to Washington with the attorney general’s signature. “The timing of the letter is great, given our meeting this Friday with both E.P.A. and the White House.”

Mr. Whitsitt then added, “Please pass along Devon’s thanks to Attorney General Pruitt.”

The email exchange from October 2011, obtained through an open-records request, offers a hint of the unprecedented, secretive alliance that Mr. Pruitt and other Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

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Paul Ryan: Giving children free lunch at school gives them an ’empty soul’

They're coming for it.

Continuing his holy war against government assistance, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan declared during a conservative PAC speech that giving children free meals deprives them of something vital – their souls. Ryan was speaking before the Conservative Political Action Conference when he made his uneducated opinion on social welfare programs, specifically referring to free school… Continue Reading →

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Chuck Schumer to GOP: If you repeal Obamacare, you’re on your own

Schumer, Cuomo Call On Feds to Close Terror Gap

Greg Sargent, who blogs for the Post and who, by the way, is a really good reporter, talks to Chuck Schumer about Obamacare repeal:

The emerging GOP plan to repeal Obamacare on a delayed schedule — and then maybe kinda sorta replace it later — has raised a big question: Will Democrats help Republicans pass a replacement that is far less generous and comprehensive than the health law is, allowing Republicans an escape from the political fallout from repeal?

In an interview with me, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer answered this question with a resounding No. Under no circumstances, he vowed, would Democrats throw Republicans such a political lifeline.

“We’re not going to do a replacement,” Schumer said of the Senate Democratic caucus. “If they repeal without a replacement, they will own it. Democrats will not then step up to the plate and come up with a half-baked solution that we will partially own. It’s all theirs.”

[…] Asked directly if Democrats would refuse to support anything that falls significantly short of the ACA in terms of expanding social welfare, Schumer said: “The odds, after they repeal without any replacement, of us sitting at the table to do something that will chop one arm off instead of two is very small.”

Good. Dems are going to the mattresses. Let’s see if they stick to their guns this time. Because this will be a real disaster, no matter what.

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Phase One, in which Doris gets her oats

Via ripleys.com

Via ripleys.com

I’ve been done work for a week now (I have an NDA, can’t talk about work stuff so don’t ask), and I’m working on healing my brain. Literally! My neurological system is pretty much in shambles after a year of working 12-hour days and constantly scanning my surroundings for election-related news.

Part of that is, I haven’t once watched the news since the election. I don’t have the stomach just yet for that nonsense. I do watch short video clips, but that’s it. (After working on the mayoral race, I didn’t watch the news or read a paper for six months.) I’ve been reading a lot of books — six since I stopped working.

My original post-election plan was to start a site of women-focused political news but as you probably noticed, our government suddenly took a different turn. My partner (to be named later) and I are instead starting a much larger site that will focus on deciphering the news instead of reporting it — an umbrella in the shit storm, as it were.

These are dangerous times, and we have a lot of work to do, including the hard work of organizing to save Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid. But more importantly, we have to put Trump’s actions (and that of the media who covers him) into historic and political context for the voters. The fog of lies is the first step in creating an authoritarian government, and we’re not going down without a fight.

So sometime in January, we plan to announce a Kickstarter campaign for the new site. In exchange for two years’ funding, we promise no ads, no click bait headlines, and no stories meant to drive traffic. But you will get our undivided attention on this administration, and that’s worth a lot.

Chasing traffic is a fools’ errand; advertising revenues are in the toilet for all but the largest sites. I’d rather concentrate on drawing the map you’ll need to navigate the next four years.

Stay tuned!

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A letter to the media

iraq-baghdad-night-bombing-2003-thin

For 16 years, bloggers warned journos about “truthiness.” Citing AEI, Cato, Hoover, Peterson as if they were neutral sources of facts. And so the earth was plowed to prepare us for the age of Trump. Media mainstreamed falsehoods as fact, tainting the body politic.

Every time we attacked, cajoled, begged for reality-based journalism, the response was “Both sides do it.” Or: “I must be doing my job if both sides are mad at me.” Don’t flatter yourself, guys. We were angry about the damage done by your lies.

How hard can it be to run an op-ed that notes, “The author is a long-time member of a Koch-funded think tank that denies climate change”?
Why would you send readers out into the political wilderness without a guide? You took their trust and abused it. Now we have Trump.

Your media institutions betrayed the public trust. They can’t even tell what’s true anymore, and you built that. All you had to do was to identify the specific political affiliations and agendas of the people you quoted as authorities. You didn’t even do that. Many reporters clearly swallow propaganda. Almost any story on Social Security will include Peterson “facts” you could spot if you tried.

But you didn’t. Too much work, easier to be a stenographer to the powers that be. Instead of afflicting the comfortable, you afflict the oppressed with your indifference to the facts. C students in charge! Thanks for bringing us the McDonald administration.

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