Archive for regulations

Elizabeth Warren Does What Hillary Clinton Could Never Do

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YellenWarrenw212h202Do you want to know why there's a draft Elizabeth Warren movement growing by leaps and bounds? The answer is found by simply watching the Massachusetts senator calmly, quietly, and succinctly destroy Fed Chairman Janet Yellen.

You don't have to know anything about banking and finance to understand Senator Warren spelling out precisely that the Federal Reserve Board is still not doing its job. They're kowtowing to the huge money institutions and allowing "too big to fail" to continue.

What's below is priceless. Smart as Hillary Clinton is,  she could never do this:

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Exxon-Mobil CEO Suing His Own Company To Stop Fracking -- At Least In His Neighborhood

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fracking

Whatever happened to "what's good for the goose is good for the gander?" For that answer you really shouldn't be asking ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. His company is invading the US with natural gas fracking operations -- the more the merrier. So how is it that he's just became the highest-profile anti-fracking activist in the world? He's now party to a lawsuit to stop fracking -- at least in his own neighborhood.

The CEO who made $46 million in salary last year is concerned that the fracking operation that's taking place in his multi-million dollar housing neighborhood - he has 86 acres so it's a large neighborhood - will lower the value of his home. And why would fracking bother Tyrannosaurus Rex? Well, the noise, the pollution and the traffic to name a few.

According to Credo Action:

Even though he is the CEO of one of the largest fracking companies in the world, Tillerson is suing to block a fracking development near his Texas horse ranch because it would create a "noise nuisance and traffic hazards."

Didn't he care when this was happening in other people's backyards?  Evidently not.  So this is only a case of me, me, me.  He only cares when it affects him.

So it might be with some great surprise that T-Rex Tillerson has joined a massive anti-fracking lawsuit -- essentially suing his own company. To tell you what's at stake here, enjoy this clip from Chris Hayes and anti-fracking documentary filmmaker Josh Fox:

The outcome of this and many similar lawsuits might not stop fracking from taking place -- but when you've got a deep-pocketed CEO like Tillerson and his bevy of high priced lawyers biting the same hand that feeds him, you realize there may be some good to come out of this -- in a trickle down sense. Maybe for once, trickle down policy will actually work for the good of the masses, not just the rich.

Here's hoping Exxon-Mobil takes it in the gas hole. And no lubricant will be necessary -- they've already dipped their probes in oil. I don't mean to be crude -- yes, a pun.

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SCOTUS To Hear GOP Plea To Allow Chemical Poisoning

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Coal Ash Spillcoal ash spill's destructive aftermath

By now we've all heard of the coal ash contaminants that have been wreaking havoc in North Carolina. If all goes as it appears, even GOP Governor McCrory might be going to jail when the dust settles. Carcinogenic-contaminated dust.

Over in nearby West Virginia, we've all heard about the multiple chemical spills by Freedom Industries, polluting the water in that state.

And these are just two of the more recent cases. There have been other chemical waste issues all across the country. And these aren't really accidents in the normal scheme of things. It's not like someone forgot to shut the door. It's worse than that. It's not the absence of adequate regulations. It's intentional.

Why?

Because the state governments have been under GOP anti-regulation delusion. They think that regulating chemical waste and storage is interference and that it affects the businesses' bottom lines. Forget what it does to the workers and the innocents who live in those areas. Just so long as it doesn't interfere with the cost of doing business, the GOP is all for it. Damn the people -- full profits ahead.

Turning their back on the safety of their state-wide constituents, the Republicans are setting course for harming or potentially killing all of us. They want to do away with safety regulations and restrictions over clean air and gas house emissions. Can't you just hear those Neanderthal Republicans? "Regulations... Baaad!!!"

HUFFPO:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industry groups and Republican-led states are heading an attack at the Supreme Court against the Obama administration's sole means of trying to limit power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

The court is hearing arguments Monday about a small but important piece of the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to cut the emissions — a requirement that companies expanding industrial facilities or building new ones that would increase overall pollution must also evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release.

The importance of this case is astronomical -- almost literally. The Republican Party is determined to poison us with deregulation. If they can't stop people from voting, or better yet, voting against them, they seem to be taking another attack,-- just plain kill us. What they overlook in their ignorance is that they're killing themselves at the very same time. See what having no customers does to your bottom line.

air pollution

The air belongs to all of us equally -- and if you're going to pollute my air, you better be prepared for the consequences. As global warming and the greenhouse gases' various other effects are felt, we can't sit by and wait until it too late. Hopefully the SCOTUS will rule that way as well.

The Government has used eminent domain to confiscate property and condemn areas -- for the greater good.  The most common uses of property taken by eminent domain are for government buildings and other facilities, public utilities, highways, and railroads; however, it may also be taken for reasons of public safety. Isn't that what we're talking about here?

Maybe we should start looking at those companies who don't comply with the EPA regulations, which pollute and condemn our health and safety with the same "for the better good" doctrine. Confiscate them and sell them off at public auction, not to be reopened until they meet safety standards.

Monday's case, for which the court has expanded argument time to 90 minutes from the usual 60, stems from the high court's 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA, which said the agency has the authority under the Clean Air Act to limit emissions of greenhouse gases from vehicles.

Two years later, with Obama in office, the EPA concluded that the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases endangered human health and welfare. The administration used that finding to extend its regulatory reach beyond automobiles and develop national standards for large stationary sources.

Hopefully the mentally- and scientifically-corrupted and deficient Republican position will be defeated once and for all by the Supreme Court. It's wishful thinking that the GOP won't continue to attempt to retry and re-litigate this for years to come. But maybe they'll succumb to the dangers they have wrought upon all of us before any more innocents become afflicted or victims of global warming and chemical spills.

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"Why Save Lives? That Costs Money," Maine Gov. LePage

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HuffPo:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) appears set to oppose a bill increasing access to a lifesaving anti-overdose medication because of concerns rejected by public health experts that it could encourage more drug abuse, according to the bill's chief sponsor.

Fatal heroin overdoses in Maine quadrupled from 2011 to 2012. Naloxone is a drug that can reverse overdoses from heroin and other opioids like morphine. State Rep. Sara Gideon (D) is sponsoring legislation that would place the drug [naloxone], which is sold under the trade name Narcan, in the hands of police, firefighters, at-risk users and their families.

With statistics like those above, why wouldn't any caring public servant not want to provide all possible life-saving options to all first responders? Do they send firemen to fires without water? Do they send cops out on the street without guns? So why this stand by the governor, and why now?

Part of the problem is this man is insane. He's no stranger to controversy. For a quick refresher course on his antics, he's the man who  had some words for Democratic State Senator Troy Jackson, whom he battled over the state's budget.

"Senator Jackson claims to be for the people but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline," LePage told Portland station WMTW.

So now who's shoving something where it doesn't belong without lube? Here's LePage's twisted logic: he believes increasing the availability of Narcan will lead the drug user or drug abuser to have this feeling of invincibility. Therefore, why save their lives? Why should we keep alive someone who's a drug user?

Heroine overdosers

Ask Janis Joplin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, River Phoenix, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cory Haim, Lenny Bruce, Billie Holiday, Heath Ledger, Jimi Hendrix, Chris Farley, Curt Cobain, Whitney Houston, or tragically so many more. Maybe the cost of carrying the drug on first responders is a concern. But think of the value these drug overdosers' lives would have had for all of us if they had lived. You can't put a price on a life, but this GOP ultra-conservative believes he can. And he's not alone. Maybe they need to look at this:

In 2010, police and firefighters in Quincy, Mass., started carrying Naloxone as part of their standard equipment -- a scenario similar to that envisioned in Gideon's bill. Since then, Naloxone has been credited with reversing 188 overdoses in Quincy alone, and the head of the Boston suburb's police narcotics unit has become a Naloxone evangelist.

People of Maine, you deserve better. Whatever your reasons for putting your life into this wachadoo's hands, he has certainly not earned your trust. Make sure your state representative knows that the cost of saving lives is nothing compared to what a living person can contribute to you and the rest of society.

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Biggest Stinker In Congress

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stinker

HuffPo:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The company that owns the facility that leaked 10,000 gallons of chemicals into the water supply of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians last month was a no-show at a congressional hearing on the spill Monday.

Freedom Industries, which owns the storage facility that leaked chemicals into the Elk River, did not have any representatives at a hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held in the state capital Monday morning. The company's president, Gary Southern, had been invited to testify.

I think we all know what's wrong with Freedom Industries, they were left to their own devices and not properly regulated. They ignored common sense and even a single ounce of prevention thus allowing a massive chemical spill. This accident just happened to poison and sicken hundreds of thousands in West Virginia. This didn't go unnoticed by our Congress. Au contraire. Our Congress is "Johnny on the spot."

They invited  the company's president Gary Southern, the man who should have some answers to this ongoing crisis to come in for a chat. They didn't subpoena him. They didn't demand his presence to answer questions. They didn't invoke sworn testimony. They invited him for tea.

"He chose not to be here today to answer for what his company has done to the people of West Virginia. And I find that extremely telling," said Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). "Freedom Industries' decision not to testify today compounds its gross misconduct, and is an absolute affront to every person impacted by its spill."

That's appalling. Did they really think he'd show up if he didn't have to? And how truthful would his answers have been if he wasn't sworn in before testifying?

So what is Congress really trying to do with this phony outrage? It's been a month since the toxic spill. If they wanted to really get down to the bottom of this, they'd have chosen to demand his presence and before a month had gone by. How many more people are going to be sickened by this ineffectively soft action by Congress?

It's a trick question. The real answer is all of us, not just those in West Virginia. We're paying the salaries of these jerks to hold meaningful investigations and they've let us down, again. So if you want their names, click HERE.

But get this -- who chairs this committee? Who's the man (yes, man because Republicans chair all committees in the House and they're all men) who should be most adamant about getting to the bottom of this West Virginia catastrophe? The chairman himself, Nick J. Rahall II (R-West Virginia). And all he could do is issue an invitation to appear? Does it sound like either the Chairman or the Republicans who are against the EPA all together or chemical storage regulations on any level really want to get to the bottom of this? That answer is a big, fat 'no'. They're too busy protecting the dirty coal industry.

Time to use common sense -- something Congress is woefully devoid of. Issue subpoenas and demand the appearance of the parties responsible for this mass poisoning. If this were a wounding of hundreds of thousands by gunfire, you would have seen an congressional subpoenas flying from Congress so fast it would make the NRA demand limits on clip/subpoena capacity. And it would be from something more than some low-ranking committee.

Killing people by poison is no less of a death than by by shooting. So it's time to take some action and demand some answers. Don't pussy-foot around with genteel party invites. Dirty coal and government support don't belong in the same cesspool.

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Third Marlboro Man Icon Dies A Smoking Related Death

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MarlboroManw392h244

As a boy growing up and through my early adulthood, there were billboards galore that expounded the manliness of smoking. During later years, TV advertisements for cigarettes ultimately were banned, but the iconic images and slogans related to the smoking industry stayed with me. There was the Lucky Strike anagram on the bottom of each pack: LSMFT (Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco). And in trying to reach a female demographic, there was Virginia Slims campaign, "You've Come a Long Way, Baby."

When it came to cigarette slogans, the airwaves were filled with ads for Winston Cigarettes: "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should;" Camel Cigarettes:  "I'd walk a mile for a Camel;" or L&M: "Just what the doctor ordered."

But none of them were as iconic or enticing to men AND women as the lure of becoming or being or being made love to by the Marlboro Man. He was macho personified. Their commercials, their billboards, their slogan appealed to all: "Come to where the flavor is. Come to Marlboro country." It was the benchmark by which smoking itself was measured.

Over the years there have been a number of "cowboys" chosen to be the iconic face of this brand. During the 1970's it was Eric Lawson. He appeared in print and TV ads as “The Malboro Man.” In case you are too young or can't put his name to his face, here's one of his memorable commercials:

Eric Lawson, died yesterday from respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), at the age of 72. In case you weren't aware, that's a most common smoking related cause of death, often reported as lung cancer. You might say his passing from smoking, which his wife claims he did heavily until his death, was coincidental.

I call it ironic. Especially when you factor in that two other Marlboro Men, Wayne McLaren, who appeared in Marlboro print ads, died of lung cancer in 1992, and David McLean, who appeared in print and television spots, died of lung cancer in 1995.

Make no mistake about it. cigarettes kill. Yet to draw an analogy from the NRA who claim guns don't kill, people do, we might be able to make the same argument that cigarettes don't kill, people do. But that's wrong. And even if you buy that, doesn't it make you wonder why cigarettes are so heavily regulated while guns aren't?

Come on. It does make you think, doesn't it?

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F-Word Beer: Cure For The New Years Hangover

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Exit 6 Pub

C'mon, if you didn't have one too many on New Years Eve, chances are you had a bit to imbibe yesterday on New Years Day with the Rose Parade. Maybe you wanted to sober up with a stop at Starbucks and grab a fresh Frappacino. But, maybe in your slightly inebriated state you missed your destination by a block and instead stopped at  Exit 6 Pub and Brewery, in Cottleville, Missouri. Luckily for you, when you muttered the word Frappacino, the attendant poured you a fresh one from the tap. Yikes, it was beer and not coffee. You looked around and realized you were in an unfamiliar small independent bar and not the standard, uniform confines of the huge Starbucks chain. Gone was the Starbucks green circle with the queen mermaid in it (or whoever she is). No one asked if you wanted a Vente or Grande. They just brought you a glass -- not a paper cup. Damn, you were taken. You were fooled. It's as if you had just crossed over the line and found yourself in a modern day episode of the TWILIGHT ZONE.

Starbucks frappacino

Well, as silly as this sounds, check out the attached video. It seems everyone's favorite coffee shop, the Mega huge Starbucks, took umbridge and issued a cease and desist letter to the owners of Exit 6 Pub and Brewery. This single location bar's response to the demand letter is nothing short of hysterical -- snarkiness to the "nth" degree. The entire correspondence can be found here, courtesy of HuffPo. The back and forth between both Starbucks' lawyers and Exit 6 Pub's proprietor is priceless.

From now on, Frappacino Beer at Exit 6 Pub will be henceforth be known as 'F-word beer' to avoid any confusion. And so there's no hard feelings and in a show of good faith, Exit 6 Pub returned the entire $6 profit made from the mistake. Now if that teaser has you wanting to know more, check out the hysterical news coverage of this brew-haha (intentionally misspelled)  below:

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