Friday, July 23, 2010

When in doubt, quit.

There's been a well worn pattern for legislation over the past few years. Democrats attempt to address a pressing issue. Republicans, seeing that the successful addressing of said issue could make Democrats popular, throw all their weight into opposing it and filibustering it. In the mad dash to get 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, Democrats water the bill down to the point where all neutral observers are angered and disappointed. Bill that addresses tragically little of the original idea they meant to fix eventually passes to overblown fanfare. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Anyone want to guess how that pattern worked out for climate change legislation and energy policy? Surprise!!!! They just ended up quitting.
Light it on fire, and let its carbon pollution soar into the sky unrestricted: climate change legislation is dead.

At a press conference this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the Democrats' top climate and energy negotiator, acknowledged officially, and with obvious disappointment, that they lack the votes to pass legislation limiting carbon pollution, and that forthcoming energy legislation will be extremely narrow, in a bid to overcome a GOP filibuster.
In the meantime, Reid said, the Senate will proceed imminently with a much smaller bill that will tackle four goals:

It will deal with BP and oil spill liability, invest in the manufacturing of natural gas vehicles, create a jobs program -- formerly called Cash for Caulkers, now called Home Star -- aimed at increasing home efficiency, and put money back in the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Well done! Round of applause. I'm sure this problem will fix itself. Mother Earth will look at this inaction and no longer wait for the government to fix things. She'll decide to pull herself up by her own bootstraps and become self-reliant. Plus, who needs a new energy policy? We're fine right now depending on the most volatile region in the world to supply us with underground dinosaur blood.

Is their a comic addendum that sounds tin eared in its naivete?
"President Obama called me before this meeting and said, point blank, he is committed to working in these next days at a more intensive help bring together the ability to find 60 votes for that comprehensive legislation," Kerry said.
Yeah, I'm sure Republicans will be real eager to jump on board with that one. I mean sure, they wanted no part of this bill now, but a week or two from now, closer to the elections, is when they'll all stop making political hay out of this, get serious, start believing science and scientists, and get serious about governing.

Hmm, I wonder if there's a recent scientific report with charts that comically underlines the depth of failure and inaction by our elected betters?
According to NASA, 2010 is on course to be the planet’s hottest year since records started in 1880. The current top 10, in descending order, are: 2005, 2007, 2009, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2004, 2001 and 2008.

Hot is the new normal.

Hah! It's funny because we'll all be dead of heat stroke soon. Bang up job, Senate!

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