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Member since: Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:01 PM
Number of posts: 10,459

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Obama administration limits on soot pollution upheld by appeals court

The Obama administration on Friday scored its third major legal victory on air pollution in less than month when a federal appeals court rejected an industry challenge to its latest health standards for fine particulate matter, or soot.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was within its discretion in 2012 when it tightened limits on lung-damaging soot.

The National Assn. of Manufacturers filed a legal challenge to the regulations last year, saying the agency had overreached and would crush businesses' plans for growth.

The 11-page decision rejected industry complaints and found that the EPA had acted reasonably and within its bounds when it adopted stricter nationwide standards for fine particulate matter. The tiny, chemical-laden particles and liquid droplets are emitted by power plants, diesel trucks, refineries and factories. They lodge deep in the lungs when inhaled and are linked to heart and lung disease, respiratory illnesses and premature deaths.



Score one for climate change

Why the FCC Is Ditching Net Neutrality

Late last month, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it would propose new rules allowing companies like Netflix or Google to pay internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon or Comcast for faster data lanes to deliver video and other content to their customers. In other words, the FCC was proposing to replace net neutrality—the egalitarian internet that we all know—with a pay-to-play platform designed to favor the biggest and richest players.

The backlash online was so huge, swift, and predictable that one might wonder what the hell the FCC bureaucrats were thinking. Could a handful of powerful companies really matter more to the commission than pretty much everybody else who uses the internet? The charts below show how a few wealthy special interests wield huge sway within the FCC, particularly with regard to the net neutrality debate. But first, a quick refresher on what net neutrality means:



Why is the FCC ditching net neutrality ??

Defend Net Neutrality

10 Times When You’re Better Off Saying Nothing at All

You know the saying that sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all?

You’ve probably read before about the key phrases that greatest leaders say every day.

But great leaders are also wise when it comes to the opposite strategy: Sometimes, the smartest thing to say is nothing at all.

I’m not referring here simply to the advice your mother might have given you about keeping your mouth shut if you don’t have anything nice to say. Instead, think of the big moments when people come close to achieving goals, accomplishing great things, or even just developing good relationships and encouraging people to like them more. Sometimes, a simple slip of the tongue can set them back and destroy all they’ve worked for.



This is especially true on blogs

As Earth Warms, West Nile Spreads

The day that everything changed was a broiling Thursday in July—95 degrees, the kind of dry heat that Sacramento Valley residents are used to. If you have to work outside, you do it before noon, swathed in long sleeves and pants to keep the sun at bay and the mosquitoes from eating you alive.

On this day, however, my grandmother, an active and spritely woman even at 80, never made it outside to the garden. She mentioned at breakfast that she wasn’t feeling well, and my grandfather suggested that she take a nap in the sunroom. When he finally woke her up at 4 p.m., she still felt ill and feverish. The nearest emergency room is more than an hour’s drive from their 20-acre farm in rural northern California, but they decided to make the trip. The doctors performed a CAT scan, gave my grandmother some Tylenol, and sent her home.

When my grandparents finally got back at around 11 p.m., my grandfather tried to convince my grandmother to eat something; she said that she could manage a piece of toast. A few days later he found the toast, one bite taken out of it, abandoned in the microwave.

Although it may be possible to disregard the slow changes happening within our climate, it’s less easy to ignore the effects of a disease ravaging a family.

While getting ready for bed, my grandmother went into the bathroom and stood in the dark for 10 minutes. “I asked her what she was doing, and she said she was washing her teeth,” my grandfather recalls. He coaxed her out, and they climbed into bed.



Another climate change symptom

John Mica, fake joint roll into pot hearing

Call it a joint committee hearing.

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) brought a rolled marijuana cigarette to a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing Friday.

Mica was quick to add that it was not a real joint — simply a visual prop to illustrate the potential consequences of the new Washington, D.C., marijuana decriminalization law.

“I have this joint here,” Mica started, before adding: “Don’t get too excited. … This is not a real one, it’s a mock one.”



Like the fake politician that he is , bring a fake joint

Cliven Bundy armed standoff reportedly sparks FBI investigation

The FBI is investigating last month’s standoff between supporters of anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy and employees of the Bureau of Land Management, according to a report from the Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS.

The investigation is reportedly related to the April standoff between Bundy and a heavily armed ad-hoc militia and agents from the Bureau of Land Management. Bundy, who owes more than $1 million in grazing fees and penalties after using government land to feed his cattle, refuses to accept the authority of the federal government. He and his approximately 400 supporters stopped BLM officials from taking Bundy’s cattle in response to his delinquency.

The FBI would neither confirm nor comment on the reports of an investigation.

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie and Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombard both confirmed to KLAS that they were interviewed by FBI agents, as well as members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.




Koch brothers’ lobbyist linked to green energy foe

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A lobbyist says he did a personal favor to aid the formation of a new group opposing a Kansas green-energy requirement for utilities, fueling criticism that a recent postcard campaign against the rule on behalf of seniors was actually orchestrated by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers’ main political organization and the powerful Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

State Director Jeff Glendening said Wednesday that Americans for Prosperity, the anti-tax, small-government group backed by Charles and David Koch, had nothing to do with postcards sent out opposing the standards. But on Thursday, Glendening told The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1l77FGR ) he forgot to mention that he helped link attorney W. Robert Alderson with Virginia Crossland-Macha, the founder of the Kansas Senior Consumer Alliance which sent the postcards.

Glendening said he was not acting in his official capacity as AFP’s state leader.

“There’s no formal connection between AFP and this group. There really isn’t, other than yes, we agreed on the RPS (energy standards) issue. I don’t know what other issues they’re going to take up,” Glendening said. “I’ve known Virginia for years and she simply asked about forming a group and I connected the two and that was it.”



Koch Brothers == Anti-American

Obama calls climate change ‘fact’, announces new energy intiatives

Climate change is a “fact” and requires immediate action, President Obama said Friday at a Walmart store in California, where he announced a series of sustainable energy initiatives.

“Two years ago I ordered $2 billion in energy upgrades to federal buildings. Today I’m ordering an additional $2 billion in upgrades over the next three years. And these upgrades will create tens of thousands of construction jobs and save taxpayers billions of dollars,” Obama said.

Obama also announced that more than 300 organizations have agreed to expand solar energy, moves that he said will be good for the economy in the long run.

The president also proved he’s personally committed to sustainable energy. The White House announced on Friday that the first family’s residence has been equipped with American-made solar panels – part of an energy retrofit aimed at improving the building’s overall energy efficiency.

Other measures to reduce the first family’s carbon footprint include the installation of variable-speed fans and updated building controls at their home.



So Keystone is a Dead Deal . right Mr. President

Ex-Treasury Sec. Geithner expresses regret over 2008 finance crisis in new memoir

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says he regrets not pushing for stronger financial safeguards ahead of the devastating 2008 crisis, according to reported excerpts of his new book.

“Before the crisis, I didn’t push for the Fed in Washington to strengthen the safeguards for banks, nor did I push for legislation in Congress to extend the safeguards to nonbanks,” he writes in Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises.

Excerpts published online in the New York Times Magazine reveal his behind-the-scenes view of the Wall Street meltdown that rocked the global economy. The book will be published Sunday.

Geithner, 52, said that he disagreed with Larry Summers, President Barack Obama’s chief economic adviser, and other members of the administration who were pushing Obama for the nationalization of some embattled banks like Citigroup.



Regret is not a big enough word to describe the financial devastation that has happened
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