U.S. Army Corps of Engineers grants final permit allowing completion of Dakota Access pipeline. Of course, their reversal is so abrupt (occurring not even two months after declaring they needed to do more environmental impact study) that they probably didn't cross their t's and dot their i's, which will matter to a federal judge even if it doesn't matter to President Trump. Expect more media coverage of Mr. Trump's apparent investments in Phillips 66, one of the corporations behind Dakota Access.
Senate confirms Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary. Three things about that: one, I'm pleased that we could make Mike Pence come out and break a 50-50 tie in the Senate; two, I'm also pleased the Trump Administration had to delay Jeff Sessions's confirmation vote because they needed his vote in the Senate to get DeVos through, and three, she still has to follow the law as Education Secretary, and we have tools to make her do that.
Organization conceived as a "progressive answer to ALEC" sees hope for positive change at the state level in the coming years. You won't be surprised by much of what you read here -- the State Innovation Exchange (or SiX) gets "more requests and more enthusiasm" from folks in red states than in blue ones, the left has failed to organize for the long-term like the right did in the early 1970s (and for bad reasons, too!), and a lot of state legislators work part-time for little money, and are thus susceptible to organizations like ALEC (and SiX, we hope!).
Politico says Republicans are worrying about Donald Trump's budget blowing a hole in the budget. Oh, horsedoodle -- of course fiscal "hawks" will eventually back Mr. Trump's budget, because deficits only matter when a Democrat's President. And remember what I said last month: "liberal" media reports on Republican "fissures" are all feints, designed to keep you from doing your job as a citizen, which is to communicate your will to your Representatives.
Bush Mobb attorney/"torture memo" author John "the Ballcrusher" Yoo shares his "grave concerns about Mr. Trump’s uses of presidential power." But of course we shouldn't be so impressed that someone with a law degree sees trouble with Rudy Giuliani's utterance that Mr. Trump wanted a "Muslim ban." And let's not indulge in all that "miss Bush yet?" silliness, too -- if not for people like John Yoo, Mr. Trump wouldn't be getting away with what he's getting away with today.
Finally, we learn that the solar-energy sector now provides twice as many jobs in America as the coal sector. The oil industry still employs more folks than solar, but the gas industry doesn't, not quite. Still, you just know coal corporations will use this statistic to argue that the solar power industry just isn't that "efficient." And then they'll have the cojones to say environmental regulations kill jobs! Venal CEOs kill jobs more efficiently than any regulation ever could.
Posted by: Denny | 2017.07.17 at 09:39 AM