DEMOCRATS BLOCK KEYSTONE PIPELINE

Democrats Block Keystone Bill, Landrieu’s Plea Rejected

(TOM PENNINGTON/Getty Images)

November 18, 2014 The Senate narrowly rejected legislation on Tuesday that would have authorized construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, dealing a bitter blow to politically imperiled Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu less than a month before her Dec. 6 runoff election.

The vote was 59-41 on the legislation, which easily passed the House last week.

The fate of the heavily lobbied bill, which required 60 votes to pass, was uncertain until final votes were counted. And ultimately, despite the senator’s assurances to the contrary, Landrieu was not able to garner the votes needed for passage.

Going into the vote, Landrieu knew she had 59 Senators supporting her motion, but it was never clear where she’d get number 60. Democratic Majority Whip Dick Durbin was seen as one of Landrieu’s last options, but he voted no on the bill.

The bill has become intertwined with the political struggles of the Louisiana Democrat as she faces an uphill battle in her bid for reelection against GOP challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.

 Senate Democratic leaders, after long preventing votes on Keystone, last week agreed to a floor showdown at the behest of Landrieu, a co-sponsor of the pro-Keystone legislation, who is seeking to show that she can deliver on pro-oil policies in a state where the petroleum industry is a big part of the economy.
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But Capitol Hill Republicans, while unanimously backing the pipeline, have sought to prevent Landrieu from gaining political traction from the unexpected lame-duck Keystone fight. The latest House Keystone bill that passed last week was sponsored by Landrieu’s foe Cassidy.

Landrieu insisted she could secure 60 votes needed to pass the legislation with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate as late as Tuesday morning. But despite the willingness of Senate leadership to allow a vote on the bill, Landrieu was not able to persuade enough Democrats to side with her in a vote to approve the pipeline.

The White House did not issue a formal veto threat on the project, but the president hinted in the days leading up to the vote that he would veto the legislation.

White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday: “It certainly is a piece of legislation that the president doesn’t support.”

Legislation green-lighting the oil sands project is certain to come to Obama’s desk next year, however, when Republicans take the reins in the Senate. Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to move swiftly to authorize the pipeline.

TransCanada Corp.’s project would carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil each day from oil sands projects in Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Gulf Coast. It would also carry oil from the booming Bakken formation in North Dakota.

Keystone is a big priority for Republicans and industry groups that have lobbied aggressively in favor of the pipeline. But it’s a political headache for Obama, and for Democrats in general, who are divided over the project.

Many labor unions back Keystone, but environmentalists–another pillar of Obama’s political base–bitterly oppose it and have mounted an aggressive campaign in recent years that has included numerous protests.

The Obama administration has spent six years weighing the project, and the president has repeatedly said in recent days that he wants to let the review play out. The president has also made critical comments about the project on his recent trip to Asia, buoying environmentalists.

“I have to constantly push back against this idea that somehow the Keystone pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States, or is somehow lowering gas prices,” he told reporters in Myanmar four days ago.

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Obama has also said that he will not approve Keystone unless he’s certain that building the project would not significantly increase carbon emissions.

Republicans, who have said the project is an economic win that will boost U.S. energy security, used the debate to increase political pressure on the White House over Keystone.

“I say to President Obama, time is up, and the excuses have run out. It is time for you, Mr. President, to make a decision,” said Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican who is part of the GOP leadership team, during the floor debate Tuesday. Republican Sen. John Thune, who is also in leadership, noted that the pipeline has bipartisan support in Congress, and he said the Keystone opponents are “members of the far-left wing of the Democratic party.”

Environmentalists and Democrats against the project argue that Keystone will worsen global warming by serving as a catalyst for rapid expansion of carbon-intensive oil sands production in Canada.

“To protect the planet from catastrophic global warming, we need to leave four-fifths of the identified conventional fossil-fuel reserves in the ground,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, ahead of the vote. “But building the Keystone pipeline would open the faucet to rapid exploitation of a massive new unconventional reserve–that is, the tar sands–making it much less likely for human civilization to succeed in meeting that carbon budget that is so important to our future economic and environmental world.”

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But a major State Department environmental analysis published in January generally rebutted claims that the pipeline is a linchpin for growing oil-sands production.

It concluded that construction of Keystone–one of several new oil-sands pipelines that companies are proposing–is unlikely to affect the rate of oil-sands expansion. That’s because growing use of railways to move oil can pick up the slack, even though moving oil by rail is more expensive.

However, State’s analysis also predicts that if no new pipelines are built to handle expanded oil-sands production, oil prices remaining in the $65-$75 per barrel range could curtail production, but the study calls this unlikely. Oil prices have been falling for months, and West Texas Intermediate crude oil is currently trading at around $75 per barrel.

The Energy Department’s statistical arm this month estimated that oil will average $78 per barrel in 2015, which is well below its previous forecast.

Democratic Party Serves up Tricks no Treats for Halloween

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It Halloween and the Democratic Party is serving up a horror show.  Fully aware that they tethered to Obama they have given up offering treats and have gone straight to mind-numbing tricks.

1. CBS, NBC, and ABC are ignoring one of the most important elections in American History because any news just makes it worse for the party of their choice.      The nation’s Big Three TV networks that breathlessly reported the 2006 anti-Bush election which gave Democrats control of Capitol Hill have practically ignored this year’s anti-Obama midterms that are expected to return full control of the Hill to the GOP.

A new and exhaustive Media Research Center analysis compared the last seven weeks of CBS, NBC and ABC news coverage with the same period in 2006 and found a 6-1 disparity between the Democratic election wave and the current election. The story count: 159-25.

The worst offender is ABC’s newly-renamed “World News Tonight.” The show hasn’t aired a single story. By comparison in 2006, ABC’s “World News” aired 36 stories on the midterms, including a weekly feature that then-anchor Charlie Gibson promised would look at the “critical races.”

2. Voting machines are voting for Democrats when the voter chooses a Republican.     This election cycle we have heard of numerous instances where Republican candidates and staff enter the polls only to find their votes switched to the Democrat opponent. Now there’s proof of a massive conspiracy so large that the founding fathers are rolling over in their graves.

From Watchdog.org:

Cook County Board of Elections Deputy Communications Director Jim Scalzitti, told the Illinois Watchdog that, “It was a calibration error of the touch-screen on the machine.”

Now, Watchdog.org is reporting similar evidence of electronic voter fraud in the State of Maryland, where Diebold voting machines are switching Republican votes to Democrat votes:

“When I first selected my candidate on the electronic machine, it would not put the ‘x’ on the candidate I chose — a Republican — but it would put the ‘x’ on the Democrat candidate above it,” Donna Hamilton said.  “This happened multiple times with multiple selections. Every time my choice flipped from Republican to Democrat. Sometimes it required four or five tries to get the ‘x’ to stay on my real selection,” the Frederick, Md., resident said last week.

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Queen Anne County Sheriff Gary Hofmann said he encountered the problem, too, personally.

“This is happening here as well. It occurred on two candidates on my machine. I am glad I checked. Many voters have reported this here as well,” Hofmann, a Republican, wrote in an email Sunday evening.Even though election officials in both highly Democrat Party controlled states have claimed the “calibration error” excuse, a software developer and expert on touch screens used by U.S. intelligence agencies told reporters that the explanation was bogus. “It’s a software issue, and it’s incredibly suspicious that a bug like that could slip through accidentally. It defies belief,” said Tony Heller.   “This is being used by the public for voting. Public trust is essential,” he said. “It’s completely unacceptable that an official waved it off as a calibration issue. It’s something that can be easily verified and should be.”

3. Mary Landrieu tells us that we are sexist and racist for opposing democrats.

Embattled Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu has picked out her excuse if she loses her seat to her Republican challenger: “Conservative” voters in her state don’t much care for women and African-Americans.

When asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd why President Obama struggles in her state, Ms. Landrieu first said his energy policies run counter to Louisiana’s “pro-production” mindset, citing an angry response to Mr. Obama’s moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

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After that, the self-described “centrist” suggested racism was at play.

“I’ll be very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.” After that attack on her constituents, the incumbent also suggested that sexism might be at play in her faltering poll numbers, despite the fact that she’s won three consecutive terms in the Senate.    “It’s not always been a good place for women to present ourselves. It’s more of a conservative place,” Ms. Landrieu said.

The comments earned quick condemnation from her top Republican challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy, who told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, “We’re going through the political process to have a change — how our Constitution prescribes how you do it — and we’re called racist.”

4.  New York Democratic Party sends a threat by mail to to Democrats:  “Vote or we will expose you.”     The New York Post Reports:  

Democrats are telling voters that they had better head to the polls — or else.  The New York State Democratic Committee is bullying people into voting next week with intimidating letters warning that it can easily find out which slackers fail to cast a ballot next Tuesday.

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“Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is public record,” the letter says.

“We will be reviewing voting records . . . to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014.”

It ends with a line better suited to a mob movie than a major political party: “If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not.”

5.  Charley Rangel “Republicans believe slavery isn’t over” and “the Democratic Party is doing God’s work.”  charlie-rangel-3

Veteran Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) had some harsh words for the Republican Party during a Thursday campaign rally for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

As he has done repeatedly before, Rangel compared some members of the GOP to confederates from the Civil War era. But at the Thursday evening event, he added that they “believe that slavery isn’t over.”

“We have to win. We have to be able to send a national message with Andrew Cuomo. And the thing is: Everything we believe in — everything we believe in — they hate. They don’t disagree — they hate! They think if you didn’t come from Europe 30 years ago, you didn’t even make it. Some of them believe that slavery isn’t over and they and think they won the Civil War!” Rangel shouted.

In contrast, Rangel said the Democratic Party is doing “God’s work” on issues important to the American people.

The Democratic Party is clearly an empty soul with no concern for our nation and will stop at nothing to stay in power.   Vote them out.