#KXL, the roll call, and how our democracy works

I think it’s important for everyone to keep sharing articles like the one linked below about the president’s veto of KXL because it’s that big of a deal.

President Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill by  | February 24, 2015 4:05 pm, EcoWatch



It’s Math

The science is clear. It never was and certainly is no longer an issue for any further discussion or debate.

Even we laypeople can understand the math.

Bill McKibben explains it in a way that a fourth grader can understand


What Does This Have to Do With Democracy?


Who stands for environmental protection and who supports the fossil fuel industry can be easily understood by examining first who we vote for and then how our elected representatives then vote on issues like Keystone XL.

The good news is that voting records are public, so it’s easy to tell if you just look.

How the votes in the Senate and the House on KXL went can be found at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1

The Senate

9 Democrats in the Senate – sadly, including my Senator, Bob Casey of PA – voted in favor of Senate Bill 1: The Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.

Every Republican Senator voted in favor except Rubio. He didn’t cast a vote, nor did Reid.

(BTW, wouldn’t it be great if missing a vote meant that our elected officials had like 10 or 20-grand deducted immediately from their pay? )

The House

In the House, the vote went pretty much as one would expect.

Justin Amash from Michigan was the lone Republican to vote Nay.

29 Democrats voted in favor. Here they are in alphabetic order first by state and then by name.

AL Yea Terri Sewell Democrat
CA Yea Jim Costa Democrat
FL Yea Gwen Graham Democrat
FL Yea Patrick Murphy Democrat
GA Yea David Scott Democrat
GA Yea Sanford Bishop Jr. Democrat
IA Yea David Loebsack Democrat
IL Yea Cheri Bustos Democrat
IL Yea Daniel Lipinski Democrat
LA Yea Cedric Richmond Democrat
MN Yea Collin Peterson Democrat
MN Yea Richard Nolan Democrat
MN Yea Timothy Walz Democrat
NE Yea Brad Ashford Democrat
NJ Yea Albio Sires Democrat
NJ Yea Donald Norcross Democrat
NY Yea Sean Maloney Democrat
OR Yea Kurt Schrader Democrat
PA Yea Michael “Mike” Doyle Jr. Democrat
PA Yea Robert Brady Democrat
SC Yea James “Jim” Clyburn Democrat
TN Yea Jim Cooper Democrat
TX Yea Al Green Democrat
TX Yea Filemon Vela Democrat
TX Yea Gene Green Democrat
TX Yea Henry Cuellar Democrat
TX Yea Marc Veasey Democrat
TX Yea Ruben Hinojosa Democrat
TX Yea Sheila Jackson Lee Democrat

Now you know who is on the side of the people and the environment, and who is not.

How Democracy Works

If you’re unhappy about these votes and you’re not calling your elected leaders in Congress, then you’re not fully exercising your right – and your voice – as a citizen.

I’ve made my calls today to the DC offices of my two Senators, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey. I’ve also called Republican Rep. Tim Murphy’s office. I’ve made sure to be civil and made sure they had my name and address as proof that I was a constituent.

I said I was calling to express my unhappiness with their Yea votes. The people who answered the phones are all very nice, very courteous, and not at all threatening or challenging. I’ll even give kudos to the young man, Chris, who answered Rep Murphy’s DC office number. He asked me to elaborate on why I was opposed to KXL. I was happy to oblige and, yes, I kept it civil and even under 5 minutes! :-)

This how I believe democracy works.

You need to speak up. You need to call your elected officials on a regular basis. They work for you and I; at least they’re supposed to be working for us. We are their bosses.

Silence is Surrender

It’s just my view, but if you stay silent on this or any other issue about which you feel even a little something for, then you really have very little right to complain. How are the people in DC and our state capitols supposed to know what we’re thinking if we don’t tell them?

Even more to this point, if you don’t vote, you honestly have really no right to complain at all in my book.

If you’re not going to participate in the democracy, then you shouldn’t act surprised or express frustration about what’s happening in our government.

After all, they only got there because someone took the time to vote for them.

Want to know how bad Canadian tar sand production is? Watch the video below. Maybe that will get you motivated to call DC.


Uploaded on Apr 27, 2011

Environmental devastation of the land, water, and air – the largest industrial energy project in the world is extracting crude oil from bitumen found beneath the pristine boreal forest of Alberta, Canada. Effecting a land mass equivalent in size to Florida or England, Both industry and government are putting money before the health and security of its people and the environment.

Posted in politics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Tell the Supreme Court Justices That You Support Marriage Equality

Sign onto ‘The People’s Brief’ that will be submitted to the High Court. Stand on the right side of history – love can’t wait!

Source: peoplesbrief.org

One person can make a difference. Collectively, we can and we must ensure dignity and equality for every American. That is what is meant to be an American. Please sign on.

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

Posted in politics | Leave a comment

Obama Derangement Syndrome

The extraordinary fear of Obama’s ordinary presidency.

Source: www.vox.com

"But then, that’s why Obama Derangement Syndrome is different than Bush Derangement Syndrome: it’s not really about Obama’s presidency. It’s about Obama himself. It’s about his blackness, his father’s foreignness, his strange name, his radical pastor. Obama’s presidency is in many ways ordinary, but the feelings it evokes are not."

- Updated by Ezra Klein on February 23, 2015, 9:10 a.m. ET

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

Posted in politics | Leave a comment

White-collar workers: You’re in trouble, too.

The Economic Policy Institute recently published this sobering piece, Even the Most Educated Workers Have Declining Wages

Here’s the part all of you fellow white-collar workers – and especially those of you who dismiss or deride the concerns about minimum and living wages – need to read and understand:

“The workers with the credential that should be in high demand—four-year college graduates—have not done that well, especially in the last year. In fact, among education categories, the greatest real wage losses between 2013 and 2014 were among those with a college or advanced degree.”

The questions that my fellow college educated white-collar workers better start asking themselves are:

Why is this happening if we’re in a recovery?

What does this portend for earnings and living standards for current and future college grads?

Can their jobs be outsourced, too? (The answer to that question is, “Yes!”)

What’s it going to take before we all band together across social, political party, and ideological lines to insist on legislation that forces the people running corporations to share more of the wealth they garner from *our* labor with us?

And, finally…….

Can we stop and then reverse the trend of declining wages for EVERYONE any other way than through legislative fiat?

We didn’t get into this mess BECAUSE of government regulation and interference. The income and wealth inequality problems of today are present and worsening precisely because we have been on a 30 year trend of LESS REGULATION of business. (here, here, herehere, here, and on and on and on)

My plea to all my fellow college grads and white-collar workers is, “Use your intellect, please.”

Are you simply going to stand by and allow yourselves and your progeny to be trapped in the current race to the bottom in wages and living standards simply because you refuse to ask – nay, demand – that our government exercise more control over the distribution of wealth coming from our labor but being hoarded by the precious few running private enterprises?

How does that make any sense, and how could things possibly get worse than where they seem to be going?


#wages #jobs #middleclass #economics

Posted in economy, jobs | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

World’s Biggest PR Firm Quits American Oil Lobby » EcoWatch

Edelman spun off an advertising subsidiary so that it could show a commitment to not aiding the denial of climate change science. American Petroleum Institute’s (API)

Source: ecowatch.com

Finally, a PR firm taking steps to no longer be part of the lies and propaganda coming from fossil fuel companies.

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

Posted in climate change, politics | Tagged , | Leave a comment