Loss. It's a terrible thing and we're all called upon to handle it from time to time. It can be the loss of a family member, a pet, a business or a house -- but count on it along with death and taxes, you'll find yourself facing it one day. That day is here for the Republican party.
To better explain it, there is something known as the Kübler-Ross model, commonly referred to as the "five stages of grief",which is a widely respected hypothesis introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book, "On Death and Dying." It's shorthand reference is DABDA-- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
The GOP is going through DABDA right now. And I'm going to show you what leads me to believe it's only a matter of time before the patient realizes that, as Judy Holliday sang in the musical, The Bells are Ringing, "The Party's Over."
DENIAL: After Obama was reelected, the GOP had lost seats in the House, didn't win back the senate as they predicted, they claimed the near landslide popular vote wasn't a mandate and the 332 to 206 loss in the electoral college was really a nail-biter.
ANGER - The GOP announces that they will delay or repeal all of Obama's programs. They'll hold the country hostage and take them over the sequester cliff just to show they mean business.
BARGAINING: They''ll give in on an immigration bill that has no chance of passing in the House to look like they're doing something. The old "flim-flam-flummox." At the same time, they'll protect their filibuster option by giving in on a few presidential nominees assuring that their ability to use the filibuster power will still be available in the future.
DEPRESSION: The polls.They show that there isn't currently a candidate from the GOP who can get within five percentage points of Hillary Clinton should she elect to run. And those current Republican frontrunners are all stumbling over themselves to make them even more distant from the mainstream. One by one, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush -- they're all losing steam. And without steam, you lose your hot air, and that's what's kept the party afloat for so long.
ACCEPTANCE: They are dead. The coroner's report is in. They died of public apathy after overstepping their rights and trouncing personal liberties. The last rights have been administered, the flowers have been ordered, and all that's left to be done is pick out the coffin for them to be buried in.
It's that time again, time to talk about about fracking (scroll). A reminder:
Fracking — “hydraulic fracturing,” technically speaking — involves drilling a pipe horizontally into an underground oil- or natural gas-bearing formation and pumping a slurry into the formation at high pressure to liberate the hydrocarbons trapped within.
Frackers worry that if local residents and authorities were better informed, they’d be able to more effectively push back. They continue to use secrecy by way of withholding of information as their weapon of choice. Ignorance is their friend, but it shouldn't be ours. Please educate yourselves about the repercussions of this toxic practice.
New Mexico did. Mora County, a poor, conservative ranching region of "energy-rich" New Mexico, became the first county in the nation to pass an ordinance banning fracking due the effect it has on water quantity and quality.
New Mexicans can feel the earth's temperature rising as we speak as they do their best to ignore the thought of flames pouring out of their faucets.
One resident, Roger Alcon, has "lived off the land for five generations" and would like to continue doing just that.
"I don't want to destroy our water," Alcon said. "You can't drink oil."
In embracing the ban, landowners turned their back on potentially lucrative royalty payments from drilling on their property and joined in a groundswell of civic opposition to fracking that is rolling west from Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania in the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation. [...]
Among the leading concerns of opponents is the absence of any federal law requiring companies to fully identify the chemicals in their fracking fluids. Such formulas are considered by the industry to be a trade secret. Community-based anti-fracking campaigns — citing public health issues — call for complete disclosure of injection fluids.
Many of us have heard about the "trade secret" aspect of this story before, but are you aware of the assumptions by Big Gas and Oil about us, that we're too stupid to know what they're up to? Especially those annoying old people. And simpleminded country bumpkins. And those icky foreigners who come to our country but don't speak our language:
Sandra Alcon said her neighbors don't care about mineral rights or oil money. They are angry about the way energy companies' "land men" treated them. Residents here are seen as easy marks for hustlers offering little compensation for oil and water rights, she said.
"They know we have a lot of elderly and rural people; some don't speak English," she said. "They don't know that some of us went to college and some of us have the Internet.
"I may look stupid, but I'm not. I know what they are doing."
No, actually, the frackers are the ones who look stupid, stubborn, greedy, and incapable of seeing past their wallets. Keep up the good work, New Mexico. You know exactly what they're doing and what to do in return.
To understand these letters better, please read my post, "Now we know why the GOP insists that there’s no climate change".
And with that, here are today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
We can be the greatest of greatest generations or those who fiddled while Rome burned. Adults today are the only ones who can avert what one scientist tells us is a catastrophe "equivalent to an asteroid striking the Earth." Those before us didn't know; for those after us it will be too late. We have a sobering responsibility, yet governments don't seem able to help. Good people, it is up to us.
We need to consume much less and more wisely, think differently about our transportation choices and support family planning everywhere.
Corporations won't change if consumers don't. Force their hand with your pocketbook. Talk to others and risk people saying you're obsessed.
Quite simply, all life on Earth is in our hands, and time is running out.
Once again, we are warned by scientists and yet this supremely important issue is glossed over. Where is a united, coordinated effort to make a change from our destructive practices? We are distracted always by self-interest.
Lately I have noticed the evening news reports often have stories on "extreme weather." It has become a normal news staple. Yet when we break for commercials, fossil-fuel companies advertise their products. Can we please open our eyes?
Fracking — "hydraulic fracturing," technically speaking — involves drilling a pipe horizontally into an underground oil- or natural gas-bearing formation and pumping a slurry into the formation at high pressure to liberate the hydrocarbons trapped within.
The very first sentence of his piece is a very important one: "As a public policy, denial requires one prerequisite to take root: lack of information." Lack of information. That's a powerful weapon used by the likes of Fox News [sic], one that I wrote about here.
But the more we know, the more armed we are to speak, respond, and act intelligently about all kinds of things, and in this case, threats to our environment. Republicans, and of course their powerful, influential Big Oil, Big Business supporters, don't want Americans to know much about anything that can be regulated, especially oil drilling and fracking.
In fact, directly relating to this very topic, we now know why the GOP insists that there’s no climate change:
Some economists suggest that the milder winter allowed employers to hire workers sooner, making recent spring unemployment numbers look soft. And that, of course, has the potential to influence elections.
And so they like to keep pertinent information under wraps to avoid more regulation that would not only keep our air and water clean, it might lose them votes.
Fracking has a lot of friends these days. There's the oil and natural gas industry, which spends more than $4 million a year lobbying in Sacramento. And there's Halliburton Co., which pioneered the technique in the 1940s and remains a huge player in the field. The company's former CEO, ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, got Congress in 2005 to exempt fracking from regulation under the Clean Drinking Water Act, and it employs one of the best-connected lobbying firms in the state. [...]
[There is] evidence that the huge volumes of chemical-laden water used in fracking can contaminate local water tables and streams and bring unexpectedly high levels of radioactivity to the surface. Residents near fracking sites have reported that chemicals have rendered their water unusable and that gas has migrated into their mains, a phenomenon memorably depicted in the documentary "Gasland" when the water flow from a household tap is made to burst into flame.
California state Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) introduced a bill (that failed) that would have done nothing to actually regulate fracking. It would have required drillers to let local property owners and water authorities know in advance that they were planning to frack, and that before they did that, and after they did that, groundwater would be tested. That way they could accurately determine any resulting damage.
"No one seems to know where the wells were and there's no testing and no one knows what chemicals are being used," Pavley observes. "It had been a self-regulated thing."
Oh, right. Self-regulation. If you'd like a sample of how well that works in principle, consider that Wall Street was largely "self-regulated" before it created the crash of 2008.
Of course, what the frackers really cared about was this: If local residents and authorities were better informed, they'd be able to more effectively push back, and they wanted none of that.
The biggest sticking point involves trade secrets — that is, the exact formulation of the fluids injected into the ground during fracking. The industry wants to withhold these secrets even from regulators.
Secrecy, aka withholding of information, continues to be the weapon of choice. Ignorance is their friend.
The Political Carnival T-Shirt
Modeled by @suzannegypsy
Lt. Col Barry Wingard is the lawyer for Gitmo detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. For their ongoing story + related topics, please click on the link below:
Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
The Political Carnival is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Photographs on The Political Carnival site (please read):
Photographs from other sources sometimes appear on TPC for humorous or illustrative purposes. As it is not our intention to use these images in any inappropriate manner or to infringe upon any rights held by others, anyone holding legal rights in the use of these images who wishes to have them taken down please contact us immediately requesting such removal, with which we will comply promptly.