Saturday, March 02, 2013

It's Saturday!

And you know what that means!

It's a report, not outright approval. Energy independence is not Obama's thing:

A new U.S. State Department report is the latest evidence that the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada should be approved, supporters say.

The draft report, issued Friday, finds there would be no significant environmental impact to most resources along the proposed route from western Canada to refineries in Texas. The report also said other options to get the oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries are worse for climate change.

The pipeline plan has become a flashpoint in the U.S. debate over climate change. Republicans and business and labour groups have urged the Obama administration to approve the project as a source of jobs and a step toward North American energy independence. Environmental groups have been pressuring the president to reject the pipeline, saying it would carry "dirty oil" that contributes to global warming. They also worry about a spill.

The top Republican in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, said the new report "again makes clear there is no reason for this critical pipeline to be blocked one more day." After four years of what he called "needless delays," Boehner said it is time for President Barack Obama "to stand up for middle-class jobs and energy security and approve the Keystone pipeline."

So when will it be completed? 2016?

Moving on...

Stuttering man-child still blames others for cuts that barely scratch the surface of the US' insurmountable debt:

The economic effects of the spending cuts may take time to kick in, but political blowback has already begun and is hitting Obama as well as congressional Republicans.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Friday showed neither Republicans on one side nor Obama and his fellow Democrats escaping blame.

Obama's approval rating dropped to 47 percent in a Gallup poll on Friday, down from 51 percent in the previous three-day period measured.

While most polls show voters blame Republicans primarily for the fiscal mess, Obama could see himself associated with the worst effects of sequestration like the looming furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

He signed an order on Friday night that started putting the cuts into effect.

In his weekly radio address, Obama appealed for Republicans to work with Democrats on a deal, saying Americans were weary of seeing Washington "careen from one manufactured crisis to another."

But he offered no new ideas to resolve the recurring fiscal fights, and there was no immediate sign of any negotiations.

"There's a caucus of common sense (in Congress)," Obama said in his address. "And I'm going to keep reaching out to them to fix this for good."

At the heart of Washington's persistent fiscal showdowns is disagreement over how to slash the budget deficit and the $16 trillion national debt, bloated over the years by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and government stimulus for the ailing economy.

The Democratic president wants to close the fiscal gap with spending cuts and tax hikes - what he calls a "balanced approach." But Republicans do not want to concede again on taxes after doing so in negotiations over the "fiscal cliff" at the New Year.

As Obama and his aides have done for weeks, the president in offered a litany of hardships he said would flow from the forced spending cuts.

"Beginning this week, businesses that work with the military will have to lay folks off. Communities near military bases will take a serious blow. Hundreds of thousands of Americans who serve their country - Border Patrol agents, FBI agents, civilians who work for the Defense Department - will see their wages cut and their hours reduced," he said.

(Sidebar: why is he cutting defense and national security as opposed to his own salary and golfing? Isn't that called leadership? And what of the failed Obamacare that is raising everyone's premiums? Oops.)

A few points: Obama doesn't work with people. He comes up with something unworkable, demands that others make it happen and leaves them holding the bag when the smoke clears. If the Republicans work with him, voters will make them pay come the next election. If they don't, Obama declares to the adoring press that he tried but the "mean, old" Republicans aren't letting him have his way. He lathers it on with nightmarish scenarios of hardships HE helped cause. He doesn't have to cut defense or force people onto food stamps but he does. He can own this mess.

This is the transparent government Americans wanted in 2012:

We know from CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson the stonewalling she’s faced while trying to gain access to documents and photos surrounding the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Investigators in Congress haven’t had much luck getting information, either. Fox News’ Chad Pergram is tweeting details this afternoon about the information that was provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee, with a source telling him that hundreds of pages were fully redacted.

What is housework? Physical activity. What burns calories? Physical activity. Stupid women should shut up and let the smarter ones do the talking.

And now, a UN I can tolerate:

The world’s leaders spent an hour barking, sniffing one another, and chasing their own tails in what was far from a normal United Nations meeting.

Dachshund UN, a miniature version of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights where the world’s leaders are replaced by dogs, made its North American debut in Toronto on Thursday night.

Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave theatre was host to 36 dachshunds that filled in for United Nations representatives from France, Germany, the United States and other nations.

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