“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Shovel Ready, Job Creating Energy Oroject Must Wait Until After Obama’s Relelection Quest

U.S. (Obama Re-election Campaign)  Delays Pipeline Decision.


WASHINGTON—The Obama administration said Thursday it would seek to reroute a portion of a proposed Canada-U.S. oil pipeline, postponing until after the 2012 election a decision on an issue that has divided the Democratic Party's environmental and union supporters.

While the Keystone XL pipeline could still be built in 2013 or later, environmentalists called the delay a clear victory. Industry and labor groups, which argue the pipeline would create thousands of jobs and allow the U.S. to increase its imports of oil from a friendly neighbor, issued swift denunciations.

The decision highlighted President Barack Obama's difficult choices on environmental issues as he heads into an election where he has little margin for error. Republicans and the oil industry say his policies are hindering economic growth, while enthusiasm for the president among environmentalists waned after he put off tighter curbs on smog-forming emissions.

Mr. Obama said a delay was needed to ensure environmental concerns were adequately addressed. "Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood," he said in a statement.

The decision could reshape the North American energy industry, given the project's importance for Canadian oil producers looking to the U.S. market and for refiners that have spent billions of dollars to handle the influx of heavy Alberta crude, one of the world's most promising sources of fuel. Canadian officials and oil-industry executives have recently hinted they would go elsewhere to sell their oil.

Terry O'Sullivan, general president of the Laborers' International Union of North America, said the move would "inflict a potentially fatal delay to a project that is not just a pipeline, but is a lifeline for thousands of desperate working men and women. The administration chose to support environmentalists over jobs—job-killers win, American workers lose."

"This is clearly about politics and keeping a radical constituency opposed to any and all oil and gas development in the president's camp for 2012," said Jack Gerard, director of the American Petroleum Institute.

A State Department official, Kerri-Ann Jones, said, "This is not a political decision." The White House didn't tell the department how to decide, she said.

Environmental groups praised the delay and called on the administration to reject the pipeline outright. "It doesn't make sense for America to be building infrastructure for dirty oil for the next five decades," said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, a director with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

TransCanada Corp., the company which has applied for a permit to build the pipeline, said it believed the project would ultimately be approved. "If Keystone XL dies, Americans will still wake up the next morning and continue to import 10 million barrels of oil from repressive nations, without the benefit of thousands of jobs and long-term energy security," said Chief Executive Russ Girling.

The move is something of an about-face for the administration, which had said it would make a decision on the 1,700-mile pipeline by the end of the year. Just as it seemed headed toward green-lighting the project, a firestorm of protest emerged, with environmental groups and concerned citizens protesting at rallies and public hearings. On Sunday, thousands of protesters formed a human chain around the White House. The outcry surprised the White House, which hadn't expected the pipeline to become such a flashpoint, administration officials said.

On Thursday, State said it would seek an alternative route for a small portion of the pipeline that runs through an environmentally sensitive part of Nebraska known as the Sand Hills. That will require a new environmental review that will take until at least the first quarter of 2013, the department said.

Department officials said the decision was influenced by recent public hearings in Nebraska, where ranchers, farmers and others pleaded with the administration to avoid the Sand Hills area, which sits atop an aquifer supplying fresh water to Nebraska and other states.

The State Department had previously considered alternative routes to bypass the Sand Hills but concluded they were either economically or environmentally impractical. Ms. Jones said the new analysis would look only at alternative routes that bypass the Sand Hills but remain within Nebraska.

Canadian government spokesman Andrew MacDougall said the country was disappointed with the U.S. decision to delay approval but "we remain hopeful the project will be decided on its merits and eventually approved."


  1. My best to all vets on this our day!

  2. Armistice Day 1918

    “…even after hearing that the armistice was due to start at 11:00, intense warfare continued right until the last minute…

    …10,944 casualties of which 2,738 men died on the last day of the war.”

  3. That's exactly right, Allen. The German commander on the field signed the papers at 5:10 AM, but the Euros had an Eleven fetish.

  4. Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force 2008 - 1942

    I always thought it was a shame the Japanese did not honor their veteran Kamikaze pilots.

    Blue Oyster Cult: Veteran of the Psychic Wars

  5. jenny wrote:

    "the US president is at the podium and being booed, but then he reaches back and pulls out a huge machine gun and fires a rapid blast into the ceiling and then says to the stunned silent audience “Right, that’s what I thought”"

    Good to see your sense of humor returning!

  6. T,

    Re: honor

    Seldom do we see the honor in our opposition at the hour of battle. And, to be sure, some have been without honor.

    It is reported reliably that Confederate officers and soldiers openly wept as fourteen successive Federal brigades were gunned down wave after wave by Longstreet's Corp at Marye's Heights (6,000-8,000). The wounded were left overnight to the tender mercy of the bitter cold, and by dawn their agonizing cries gave way to frozen silence. When Burnside finally decided after two days to seek of R.E. Lee a truce to tend the pitifully few surviving wounded, Lee graciously consented.

  7. Obama should keep the wreath, and honor the vets by allowing the pipeline to be built, creating jobs for veterans and reducing US dependence on ME oil and the unbelievable statistic that there have been two million US military serve in the Islamic wars.

  8. It is hard to make this stuff up, but Drudge has an advertisement for Rush Limgaugh’s tea. The ad shows Rush, a noted draft dodger, dressed at General George Washington with the marines rasing the flag at Iwo Jima in the background. Too funny!

    Anyway to the real Vets at the EB, I admire and feel a special fraternity to those who did their duty and served in the US military.

  9. A group of armed men have stoned and shot dead a woman and her daughter in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, security officials have told the BBC.

    The officials blamed the Taliban, who they said had accused the women of "moral deviation and adultery".

  10. Bet those ladies had some "nice" piece of property, that is now appropriated, by the "Judges".

    As occurred in Salem Mass., back in the day of religious radicalism run amok, there.

  11. Failure to report sex crimes, or as it is known here at the Elephant Bar

    Misprison of Felony

    Really is a serious thing.


    Failure to protect the community, by not reporting knowledge of a sex crime, is a "Real Deal".

    A really serious deal.

  12. What are a few dozen victimized kids, compared to the Great Legacy of the Nittany Lions, and our God,

  13. As Joe Paterno has discovered, first hand.

  14. ...and the several more dozens of family members.

  15. Cast a Giant Shadow

    An American Army officer is recruited by the yet to exist Israel to help them form an army. He is disturbed by this sudden appeal to his jewish roots. Each of Israel's Arab neighbors has vowed to invade the poorly prepared country as soon as partition is granted. He is made commander of the Israeli forces just before the war begins.

    Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Yul Bryner and Frank Sinatra

    Full Movie, Free

  16. Islamic regimes across the globe, stalwart allies of the US:

    WASHINGTON — The United States has plans to provide thousands of advanced "bunker-busting" bombs to the United Arab Emirates as part of efforts to contain Iran, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

    The advanced munitions are designed to demolish bunkers, tunnels and other thickly reinforced targets, making them well-suited for a potential strike on Iran's underground nuclear facilities, according to the newspaper.

    The proposed package to the UAE -- said to include up to 4,900 joint direct attack munitions, or JDAMs, and other weapons -- is to be formally presented to Congress "in the coming days," the Journal said.

  17. That movie, doug, along with Paul Newman in "Exodus", both great pieces of movie propaganda.

  18. I am clueless as how anyone could know of a young person being sexually assaulted or abused and not intervene and protect the victim. It is inconcievable to me. All involved should be charged with the felonies in which they were complicit.

  19. Paterno at the End: Far From the Coach We Thought We Knew

    What were the young scholars really saying Wednesday night when they massed at Penn State and threw cans at police officers?

    Were they reacting petulantly to the removal of Joe Paterno as football coach — maybe the overriding symbol of why they chose Penn State?

    By extension, they seemed to be saying that child abuse isn’t all that serious, what’s the big deal? Or maybe it was a warm night and they felt like being outdoors and throwing things.

    Whatever they were thinking, there was one person who could have sobered them up, and that was the man people wanted to believe in, a man named Joe Paterno.

    Good grief, he still doesn’t get it. That was the reaction to seeing him at home Wednesday after his dismissal, after 46 seasons as head coach. In front of his house, he did the cranky-old-man bit he has been doing for many years, telling the young scholars to go back to their rooms and study. But he did it without demonstrating a scintilla of gravitas about the horrendous events at Penn State in recent days, or, in fact, the last couple of decades.

    The Jerry Sandusky scandal went public in March 2011 when The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., reported an investigation. But nobody wanted to know. The trustees let it fester and Paterno achieved a record 409th victory, and suddenly a mob of scholars is overturning a media van out of some inchoate sense of victimization rather than reading the prosecutor’s presentation about the case. The trustees let journalism do the dirty work.

    The man people lovingly referred to as JoePa — father of all things Pennsylvanian — probably could have quieted the mob down by saying something like: “Hey, horrible things have happened here, children’s lives have apparently been scarred, and while I am not making any legal statement here, I can say that mistakes have been made, including by me, and the board has done what it needed to do by getting rid of me and the president. So please don’t make things worse by protesting. If you love your school, go back to the dorms and don’t make things worse.”

    In other words, don’t cry for me, Happy Valley.

    Unfortunately, the more it adds up, hour by hour, in this gruesome week, it appears that Joe Paterno has not been much in evidence for many years. In 2004, when the president, Graham B. Spanier, tried to get him to resign, Paterno hunkered down and resisted. Which raises the question about when the president and the icon had their Happy Valley standoff, did either think that the other knew about the alleged, vicious preying on young boys by Sandusky, a longtime insider? If so, great way to keep a job.

  20. What delivery vehicles do the United Arab Emirates possess?

  21. The United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAEAF) is the air force of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Its predecessor was established in 1968, when the Emirates were still under British rule. Since then, it has undergone a continual reorganization and expansion in terms of both capability and numbers of aircraft. Currently, the UAEAF has around 4,000 personnel and operates approximately 368 fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

  22. Sandusky's wife tried to call one of the victims days before he was to testify.
    ...the family did not let that conversation occur.

  23. 2007 marked the culmination of the largest procurement programmes ever undertaken by the UAE Air Force, with the final deliveries of the 80 F-16E/F Block 60 "Desert Falcons" and approximately 60 upgraded Mirage 2000-9, giving the air force a considerable multirole capability.[3] These two investments represented a total expenditure of around $10 billion, with additional money spent on infrastructure and logistics.[2] A $6.4 billion contract with Lockheed Martin for the supply and support of the 80 F-16s was signed in March 2000, while a $3.4 billion deal for the purchase of 30 new Mirage 2000-9 and retrofitting of the 33 older UAE Mirage 2000s was signed earlier in 1998.[4] Missiles were also purchased: 160 AGM-88 HARMs, 1,000 or more AGM-65 Mavericks, about 500 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, 270 AIM-9 Sidewinders and 52 AGM-84 Harpoons.[4]

    After a competition between the BAE Hawk, T-50 Golden Eagle and Alenia Aermacchi M-346, the UAEAF announced the acquisition of 48 trainer and light attack aircraft, with the first deliveries to take place in 2012.[5] The other training types that are thought to be near replacement are the 30 Pilatus PC-7s and five Aermacchi MB-339s serving with the Air Academy at Al Ain.[6]

  24. Often overlooked in this Keystone Pipeline deal is the fact that it will "Raise" the price of gasoline, and diesel in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, S. Dakota, N. Dakota, Missouri, and Nebraska.

    If you'll notice, those "dotted lines" extend from Cushing, Ok, all the way down to the Gulf Coast (and, that big, blue, wide-open, salt-water highway to "Global Market Prices.")

  25. For instance Louisiana Light Sweet - delivered at St. James, La, is selling for $115.00/bbl, Today

    Being able to deliver "On the Coast" raises the Oil's value by about $17.00/bbl.

  26. F-16s, for the most part, doug.

    Just like the Saudis, Pakistani and Turks.

    General P told the whirled that the air force of the UAE could take out the Iranians, without outside assistance.

    U.S. Centcom commander Gen. David Petraeus said last week that the United Arab Emirates, a key U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf, has the capability to overpower Iran's Air Force.

    "The Emirati Air Force itself could take out the entire Iranian Air Force, I believe, given that it's got ... somewhere around 70 Block 60 F-16 fighters, which are better than the U.S. F-16 fighters," Petraeus said during remarks at a recent conference put on in Bahrain by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

  27. Chevrolet Volt catches fire weeks after crash, prompting closer look at safety

    Following a fire in a Chevrolet Volt several weeks after a crash test, government officials are weighing the need for new safety rules that could require first responders to drain electric vehicles’ batteries after a crash.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today it had investigated a fire that occurred this spring, after the Volt extended-range electric vehicle underwent a 20 mile-per-hour, side-impact test for its five-star crash safety rating. The crash punctured the Volt’s lithium-ion battery, and after more than three weeks of sitting outside, the vehicle and several cars around it caught fire. No one was hurt.

    General Motors believes the fire occurred because NHTSA did not drain the energy from the Volt’s battery following the crash, which is a safety step the automaker recommends, GM spokesman Rob Peterson said. NHTSA had not been told of the safety protocol, Peterson said.

    Still, none of the other Volts the agency crash tested caught fire, even though they still had charged batteries, according to a NHTSA official who declined to be identified because of ongoing discussions with automakers.

    “We don’t want to make it sounds like this one incident could be the general case,” the official said. “We don’t see the risk of electric vehicles as being any greater than that for a gasoline vehicle.”

    This is the only crashed Volt ever to catch fire, GM spokesman Greg Martin said.

    NHTSA plans more testing of the Volt's battery.

    The fire’s cause – the battery puncture -- led to questions about whether other automakers require batteries to be discharged of their energy following major crashes, the NHTSA official said. In addition, regulators are exploring protocols for who would do that – firefighters who respond first, for instance – and how quickly should they do it.

    NHTSA is now reviewing the responses it has received from automakers and waiting for additional information from some carmakers as well. The official said it is too early to tell if the agency will issue a rule on discharging batteries

    Contact Chrissie Thompson: 313-222-8784 or


    This has to be one of the funniest articles yet written about Volts.

    An easy solution to this one could be automatic battery drains hooked to three axis accelerometers fastened to each battery casing, or one accelerometer linked to a controller that would drain all the batteries, but that would require it's own power since it's purpose is to disable the Volt's power reservoir. So add a few more D-Cells to the package. Toss 'em on the trailer carrying the radiator, pumps, reservoir, and auxilliary power pack that will ultimately be driving the battery cooling system.

    For some unrelated reason I'm reminded of the old gasoline transports that used to trundle around the city dragging a length of chain to shed static electricity. I enjoyed watching Old Sparky rolling by, but often wondered what might happen if the chain wore out and broke off. Life was simpler then.

  28. desert rat said... That movie, doug, along with Paul Newman in "Exodus", both great pieces of movie propaganda.

    Funny how Exodus the Movie neglected to show events in the town of Dair Yassin, April 9, 1948 where the Jewish "militant" groups Irgun and Lehi (the Stern Gang) cleansed 107 Arab men, women, and children from a village of 600.

    But the Haganah was not yet willing to cut off all ties to Irgun, because they had manpower and rifles. In April Haganah even conducted joint operations with Irgun along the coast while the British accelerated their complete withdrawal from Palestine.

    I now expect to be called a Nazi lesbian bitch by WiO, but these are basic facts as incontrovertible as the King David Hotel bombing by the same assholes.

  29. Allen: It is reported reliably that Confederate officers and soldiers openly wept as fourteen successive Federal brigades were gunned down wave after wave by Longstreet's Corp at Marye's Heights

    For every Fredricksburg there was a Malvern Hill, attacked head-on by Lee, who was chewed to pieces by Union artillery to the tune of 5,650 Confederate casualties and not an inch of ground. General Hill said afterward, "It wasn't war, it was murder."

  30. Tom Osborne and Nebraska Cornhusker fans have long known Paterno to be a two-faced, self absorbed, backstabbing asshole.

  31. RAT: "The Emirati Air Force itself could take out the entire Iranian Air Force, I believe, given that it's got ... somewhere around 70 Block 60 F-16 fighters, which are better than the U.S. F-16 fighters

    That's a pretty good scam, selling Arabs billions of dollars worth of planes they aren't even qualified to wash.
    Luke Skywalker: "Fifteen thousand? We could almost buy our own ship for that."

    Han Solo: "Sure, kid, but who's gonna fly it? You?"