When law preempts politics

Thursday morning, Nebraska Unicameral Speaker Mike Flood issued a letter to his colleagues and the Governor expressing his view that he is not in favor of a holding a special session on pipeline siting.

His view was based upon a legal memorandum from his legal counsel, as well as his own legal analysis (Flood is an attorney).

We have uploaded the legal memorandum for you to review here. It is a basic memo which cites case law, regulations, statutes and the proposed Nebraska Act. If you are not comfortable with legal-eze, this document is not for you.

But guess what? What this whole thing is about, is LAW.

See, we have ourselves a country based on the rule of law. Now those who are camping out at Wall Street or who dance on the Governor’s desk or who believe drums are the way to express yourselves often do not understand that. They think if they yell louder than the person next to them, they get extra votes and stuff. Or if their foam finger is bigger than the other person’s foam finger, they get to have their rules.

Well marchies, it don’t work like that.

The gist of the memo, as Flood has put it, is that if a siting law had been in place, say, five years ago, the anti-pipers or the move-the-pipers might be in a better legal position. The antis often like to point to the Montana siting law to say that Nebraska could do the same thing. But Montana’s has been in place for some time — and frankly may not be Constitutional. Until that law is challenged in some way, it will stay on the books. But even if Nebraska mimics that one, it may still not work.

Flood and his legal counsel’s point is that the proposed Nebraska law may violate the Commerce clause, and possibly preempt federal law. To boil it down, if the issue is commerce between states, your state law cannot unduly burden that commerce. Particularly when other reviews have looked at issues like “safety”, and your new law just looks like NIMBY (that’s Not In My Back Yard..). And then there is the question of whether a Nebraska law would actually try to override Federal law, which you cannot do.

So state Senator Dubas has responded, well hey, we will write a NEW law then! And Jane Kleeb has yelled (with hands on hips), well, the legislators better act, or we will act for them!
(For more fun with Senator Dubas and her TransCanada money, see Joe Jordan’s report today.)

Yeah. Uh huh.

Well here is the deal: This pipeline review has been going on for over three years (maybe five?), and the Boldies just decided — through their radical enviro buddies — that the protesting the pipeline would be a grand way to try to stop the Canadian Tar Sands oil. And now they are complaining that their 11th hour bill should get more time and attention. Well, you know what? It does not work that way.

There are laws that have to be followed. And establishing those laws have methods that must be followed.

So hey, one of the ways to (legally) stop the pipe is for the Democrat Secretary of State, former first lady via Arkansas and Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton to say “no”. That is one of the rules to be followed. And we are pretty sure that she takes direction from the Democrat President of the United States, Barack Obama. So there are two people they can look at, and then blame for their woes.

And Speaker Flood is not the end-all-be-all either. He just has to have a legal review and personally depend on that review and share it with others. He has done that. We are sure that there are others who think differently on the siting issue. We saw that the Congressional Research Service thought that the states could regulate siting. Though the review we saw done by them (whether they were even lawyers or not) did not address half the legal issues Flood and his lawyers did.

But we do not doubt that Jane or state Senator Ken Harr, board member of the local Sierra Club, would like the legislature to slam through some bill, and damn the consequences. Because THEY DO NOT WANT THE PIPELINE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM. Why? Because they want to stop the Canadian Tar Sands oil.

That’s it. That’s their goal.

And no matter how much NIMBY they have stirred up — even though the State Department’s own study, as well as the Sandhills’ preeminent groundwater expert say the route is safe — they will never OK the pipe, no matter where it is.

Moving the route is not their plan. Stopping the pipeline, and thus the oil, is their plan. And their response to legal memos and calm discussion is beanie babies, foam fingers and trick-or-treaters.

Tough to argue with those, eh?

54 comments

  1. Vernon J says:

    Thanks for following up on your twitter post yesterday.

    Also thanks for providing the entire legal memo & not just a paraphrase.

    Could you go work for some of the national news websites, even the local news websites. I won’t say any names, BUT all of them could use someone with forethought of details.

  2. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Feedbackers on other sites are coming out of the woodwork charging that Mike Flood is on the take with Transcanada. Unbelieveable. They obviously don’t know the Speaker and they don’t know legislative and judicial process either. Just instant knee-jerking because they didn’t get what they wanted. Jane needs to instruct her followers that claiming an elected official took a bribe is not going to move them any closer to being seen as credible players in the political arena. And when Jane says all Senator Flood wants to do is play golf and not work she must be thinking of her favorite President.

  3. Rick says:

    To paraphrase she has been open about this, really? As a lifelong Ne resident this is the thing about our politicians I guess I don’t expect here but it all fits, as my friend says “Nebraska, where it is O.K. to break the law a little bit”. The enviroment is conducive to this conduct. I just wonder if this was not made public.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Leave it to an attorney to make a fart into a protracted series of wimpdom. Why do you think Congress doesn’t accomplish anything except to fight and talk about World Series players chewing on television that would harm the children? Never mind those YouTubian shots of weenies, because the World Series is a bastion of corruption.

    Flood was looking for any easy way out as a “leader” so he wouldn’t have to address a tough issue so he ran to his law books. Seems to me, the Tea Partiers are correct in their attempts to remind lawmakers and “leaders” that people count. And? Sometimes the law has a flaw. Make it about Jane if you wish, but there seem to be a few more than just her one.

    If we as a state are a system of laws, then somebody needs to tell a judge in Gage County because he just makes it up based upon his own prejudice and ease as do others I’m sure.

  5. Fat lady says:

    It’s over for Jane and the Flea Party. The speaker just put a fork in her and her plans. Prepare for Boldies to make desperate attempts to save face on this one. I’m thinking Houla Hoops, Frisbees and Sit Ins…am I right Jane?

  6. Excerpts from Congressional Letter to State Department says:

    “We find it inappropriate that a contractor with financial ties to TransCanada, which publicly promotes itself by indentifying TransCanada as a “major client,” was selected to conduct what is intended to be an objective government review,…”

  7. Brian T. Osborn says:

    The “law” doesn’t really matter in Nebraska. I filed a complaint with the Nebraska Attorney General’s office over violations committed by the NDP’s hierarchy, and got told that they don’t “investigate not-for-profit organizations.” The problem is, the NDP is NOT a “not-for-profit organization.”
    I believe the real reason Mr. Bruning didn’t want to investigate my complaint was that the NEGOP is guilty of the same kinds of infractions that I was complaining about, and he sure didn’t want to open up THAT can of worms.

  8. HypocriteWatch says:

    Julie Schmit-Albin “needs to instruct her followers that claiming an elected official took a bribe is not going to move them any closer to being seen as credible players in the political arena.”

  9. Nebraska Tea Partier says:

    Just because Jane says something doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact, I would go as far as to say that if Jane says anything, it’s almost for sure not true.
    Good reporting on this one, SS – I’m with you on all of this! The US Constitution and our laws were not meant to be circumvented by environmentalist wack-jobs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Amen Brian @ 12:41PM. It’s how they roll which is why both parties are full of the same kind of games that most voters keep rejecting judging by their majority failure to show up to vote election day. Good for you to even try complain. I filed a complaint with the Insurance Commission about a licensed producer (agent) in this state and got back a reply that I didn’t have a complaint. Huh? Actually I did, they just didn’t want to bother themselves with addressing the issue I laid on their doorstep. But? From what I hear the NEOC is ripe with hunting down business people to accuse them of discrimination no matter how insane.

    I agree. The “law” in Nebraska is whatever way the wind blows.

  11. Kortezzi says:

    Pipeline’s gonna get built, Jane. Right where TransCanada wants it. Say UNCLE.

    By the way, you’re missing out on a chance to run Occupy Hastings! Great resume builder for ya.

  12. Keystone: It's SO not about the Law; it's about both the GOP and the Democrats says:

    being beholden to their corporate/union masters who have purchased the entire current Congress plus past Members of Congress and their money-seeking staffs who now populate the White House, the State Department etc. And so on. The result: an endless cycle of corruption and greed.

    The Grand Canyon-like revolving door between all levels of (state & federal) Government & Academia & Lobbyist/Lawyers pretty much guarantees that the wishes of We the People are crushed.

    Ralph Nader got it right years ago when he became just as disillusioned with the Democrats as he was with the GOP. In 2000, writer Steven Robert Allen chronicled Nader’s troubling epiphany:

    “The two parties are fossils,” says Nader. “Years ago, they were rooted in communities. They canvassed neighborhoods. They had grassroots appeal. But no more.” Referring to Democrats and Republicans as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Nader says that the parties have basically become a single entity, distinguished only by different corporate sponsors. Though citizen groups and individual thinkers have generated a huge mass of articulate ideas and solutions to the problems this country faces, no one in power is giving them the attention they deserve. The truth is, says Nader, that our government has been torn away from the people by the rising influence of big business over the past 20 years.”

    One bright, shining light: the Internet and citizen journalists.

  13. To Kortezzi says:

    Do the Kleeb’s actually live in Hastings? Jane is always in Omaha, Lincoln or DC and Jane’s errr I mean Scott’s company is busy doing Energy Audits in Omaha. Speaking of energy audits, why was that national reporter here asking about energy audit companies doing business in Omaha.

  14. MacDaddy says:

    I’m sure that Bold Nebraska’s lawyers will disagree with Speaker Flood. BTW, who’s paying for those lawyers? Mr. Holland must really believe in the cause to pony up for them. Or is somebody else paying?

  15. Oh Mander says:

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for Sec. Clinton and the Sate Department to make a decision on Keystone anytime soon. Their decision to hire a consulting firm that lists Transcanada as a major client to perform the env. assessment has been exposed. If they want to save face, they’ll have to claim that it was an oversight and contract a new firm with no financial ties to Transcanada to perform a second, unbiased assessment. This Admin cannot afford a scandal this close to the election, so I expect to see further delays while they sort through this mess.

    And if we do in fact see further delays out of the State Dept., all of this Special Session talk won’t matter. The Unicam will be able to address the issue in a regular session, which will be very interesting, because then our suddenly silent representatives will have nowhere to hide.

  16. Ivy Marie Harper says:

    If the Keystone Pipeline political odyssey was a visual, it would be the classic green-painted, white worded-“Directions” sign that trumpets “Keystone” in big letters with large arrows pointing – obviously at laughable cross-purposes – in both directions. Turn East & West or Left & Right to get to the Pipeline.

    Welcome to the Way Washington Works.

    For decades now, the GOP & the Democrats, in D.C., have benefited mightily from the Status Quo. In truth, they’ve got each other’s backs in Washington knowing that each will win half the time. Ask a gambler how they like the odds of 50-50.

    What a strong Third Party brings to the country’s political table is the end of two-party tyranny.

    Suddenly, elections, legislation, earmarks (you name it) are reduced to: perhaps we’ll get our way every third time. Now, add a fourth or fifth viable coalition and it’s easy to see why the two parties are actually BFF’s. Boehner & Biden sitting on a tree…lined Congressional Country Club. Are you ready for some golfing!

    Until we form a More Perfect Union of challengers – a potential Green Tea Party perhaps – the Political/Corporate/College clique will continue to bully the rest of us (what’s left of the working and middle class) all in the name of their bogus, farcical Left/Right philosophical anthems.

    States have simply followed suit and now do – on a micro level – what their GOP/Dem Big Brother/Big Batallions do on the macro level.

    As the Stormin’ Mormon himself might say, “It’s really not that hard to figure this out.”

  17. RWP says:

    The problem is, Oh Mander, that the people who could make it a scandal — Darrell Issa, Chuck Grassley and Fox News — won’t, because none of them has any problem with the pipeline, and they have plenty of scandals already to work on. The MSM won’t, because they’re busy helping with the Obama re-election campaign. A few environmentalists will whine, but where are they going to go? Jon Huntsman?

    With oil prices continuing high, a documented record of Obama beating up on oil companies, and preexisting scandals associated with their green agenda, I can’t see Hillary delaying the pipeline. Plus I don’t think she wants to. Very few people outside the environmentalist fringe and Bold Nebraska have any problem with the pipeline, whereas $4 + gasoline next summer will affect everyone. It may not be entirely fair, but connecting the dots between dawdling on drilling permits, dawdling on the pipeline, and expensive gas is trivial and easily slotted into a 30 second TV spot.

    But hey, here’s a fearless prediction. Pipeline approved by November 30, 2010. If I’m wrong, y’all can say rude insulting things about me. 🙂

  18. Harper, Ivy says:

    How the White House and Congress secures a lock on the Status Quo is not just illustrated via the pathetic path of the pipeline but it is reflected in a representative list of Senator Ben Nelson’s latest FEC Quarterly Report*:

    * Please examine this group closely and you’ll be reminded of the lyrics: “Everybody look to the Left; Everybody look to the Right…”

    1) Keystone America PAC: $5,000

    2) Loran Schmit: $2,000

    3) SEIU PAC: $5,000

    4) New Millennium PAC: $10,000

    5) King & Spaulding Non-Partisan Com. for Good Gov’t: $5,000

    6) U.S. Chamber of Commerce: $5,000

    7) Machinists Union PAC: $10,000

    8) Federation of American Hospitals: $10,000

    9) Glacier PAC (Montana): $10,000

    10) Title Industry PAC: $8,500
    11) Comcast PAC: $10,000
    12) NEA Fund: $10,000
    13) Metlife PAC: $8,000
    14) Pfizer PAC: $8,750

    Finally, the Good Senator received $4,000 dollars from Bridgepoint Education, Inc. PAC, the uber-controversial “for-profit” predatory “education” company that caters to America’s military men and women and others seeking a college degree independently or through the G.I. Bill. Bridgepoint’s defaults rate are horrible yet they receive lavish federal U.S. taxpayer subsidies to the point where the company has been accused repeatedly of luring potential students just to reap massive profits; they’ve earned the nickname: ‘Bridgepoint: where you don’t get a degree but you do get debt.’

    Senator Nelson didn’t appear to receive a single significant contribution from a student; oh, that’s right, they’re drowning in debt because of companies like Bridgepoint, not to mention good ol’ Nelnet.

    What a world we live in…when mostly arch-conservative, GOP-dominated “Education” companies deliberately seek to profit on the backs of the courageous men and women who chose to protect America and often lost limbs in the process.

    The Senator’s alliance with such a company is disgusting and I’m personally asking Senator Ben Nelson to return the contribution in time for the FEC 2011 End-of-Year Report and instead, give $4,000 to a working-class Nebraskan who wants to attend college on the G.I. Bill.

    P.S. I’ve got some names if you need them since – from the looks of your 229-page FEC Report – the great majority of your contributions come from well-heeled lawyers/lobbyists/corporate titans.

  19. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Nebraska Tea Partier wrote, “The US Constitution and our laws were not meant to be circumvented by environmentalist wack-jobs.”
    Not quite.
    The US Constitution and our laws were not meant to be circumvented by ANYONE. That includes anti-environmental wack-jobs as well.

  20. Brian T. Osborn says:

    I heard something earlier today about Florida’s requirement for welfare recipients to submit to drug testing. That’s a wonderful idea. We should require it here in Nebraska as well. Only we need to apply it fairly, including such welfare recipients as those farmers and ranchers that get “subsidies” and corporate officers that receive “economic incentives.” After all, if it keeps poor people off the drugs, maybe it would help keep the rich folks off of them too!

  21. Gov. Heineman favors diverting the Keystone XL pipeline to a less aquifer invasive route, but doesn’t want responsibility for the lawsuits that might generate. It behooves him to let the Legislature take the rap. He appears to be heading to Scheel’s for the kind of catcher’s cup that Sen. Nelson is so accustomed to wearing, one that protects his jewels from the dangers of fence straddling.
    If Nebraska’s voters really are concerned about this pipeline, and want to stop it, or divert it, and are frustrated by their representatives’ inaction, perhaps they should just start up a petition and get the requisite number of signatures on it so that it will become law WITHOUT the fence sitters’ approval.
    If, on the other hand, they are more concerned about who will get Simon Cowell’s nod on the X-Factor, they can just abstain from signing any petitions that might be circulated.

  22. Ida Horowicz says:

    @ To all of Nebraska’s state and Congressional politicians – This line is for you:

    “And it directs regulators to determine whether mandatory inspections of aging pipelines in densely populated areas should be expanded to include lines in rural areas. It would be paid for by industry fees.”

    Start working NOW with the regulators so that “lines in rural areas” are, indeed, included.

    Just think, if Senator Ken Harr, other Nebraska Democratic state senators, and anti-pipeline-route GOP/Dem pols had started seriously addressing the Keystone Pipeline two years ago then TransCanada could not use the excuse that changing the route will push things back two years.

    The whole point of being a politician is to have some vision and figure out how to direct one’s attention and resources BEFORE the die is cast. Ergo, spending money and time on a trip from Lincoln to visit the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. – which cost a jaw-dropping $35,000 dollars a year – to admire their bamboo flooring and then spend Earth Day 2010 out at NU’s East Campus talking about how Lincoln PUBLIC schools should emulate an exclusive PRIVATE school pretty much looks ludicrous now in light of the Pipeline timeline. Windmills AND Pipelines needed attention.

    Why didn’t a single state Senator get the ball rolling on the Pipeline when the Unicameral met in 2009 or 2010?

  23. Just Sayin says:

    Street Sweeper: You write as if all our laws are sacred, are infallible. They are not. They are an ever so human, evolving attempt to help society be orderly if not peaceful and harmonious.

    Remember when “separate” was “equal?”

    Remember when African-Americans were three-fourths of a man?

    Even recently, the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation was a person. And you’re suggesting that people–including legislators, department heads and judges are not lobbied or influenced?

    The Canadian Pipeline folks must be some kind of lobbyists, that’s all I can say. Reminds me of the saying: Diplomats are people who tell someone to go to hell in such a way that he looks forward to the trip.

    Keystone: We can compromise your water security!
    Nebraskans: Wow! Thank you!

    Keystone: We’ll make sure you live on the edge with a constant pipe-line leak threat!
    Nebraskans: Amazing! Great entertainment!

    Keystone: Really get a big show when the spill comes, which it will!
    Nebraskans: We’ll check out the cleaning crews! They’ll be dazzling, no doubt!

    I guess we deserve the pipeline if we elect leaders like Flood and are so quick to attack members of Bold Nebraska. Because we Nebraskans aren’t really bold. We’re naive tools of big corporate interests. We let Monsanto control our land and now Keystone XL our water.

  24. JS,
    Did you miss the part where I noted that the Montana law has yet to be challenged?
    Did you miss the point that Flood makes that any “law” passed may be eventually found unconstitutional?

    And you clearly have ignored the expert scientist on the Sandhills and the Aquifer who will tell you otherwise about the water.

    But thanks for reading…
    -SS

  25. Got me my sources... says:

    and guess what, the tar sands winds suddenly have shifted dramatically to the Left lately down at Foggy Bottom.

    Unions & Corporate pressure aside, the Administration understands that the President has alienated far too many once-reliable voters with his Middle East efforts (see the loss of former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s 100-year-Democratic-held House seat.); he has disappointed countless Americans who wanted Wall Street looters to be prosecuted; unemployment is still high and he has presided over a fragile economy for nearly three years. So, the last thing he wants to do is let down environmentalists.

    Until the Cardno-Entrix, TransCanada conflict surfaced, POTUS was certain that Enviros would grin and bear it having nowhere to go but him (come on, they’re not going to vote for Romney, Cain, or Perry.)

    But in a surprising turnaround, the President is now concerned about the political consequences of angering yet another traditional block of devoted supporters. He’s worried about the simmering possibility of genuine left-leaning, widespread political upheaval. In America.

    The McKibben-organized early November anti-Pipeline ring around the White House is gonna be huge.

    So, Oh Mander @ 3:02, what you wrote is precisely right.

  26. Nikolai Noskov says:

    A foreign company with eminent domain rights is a sticking point for me. What would happen if instead Russia not Canada builds a pipeline without any state siting law precedence. Does that mean I will get a call from the lead singer of the iconic Russian band Gorky Park telling me it is easement time? Street Sweeper I DEMAND an answer!!!!

  27. Macdaddy says:

    Nikolai, in Kelo v New London, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that anybody can come take your land if the government says it’s OK. You can thank the liberal members of the court for that little erosion of our rights. It’s the law of the land now.

  28. Nikolai,
    Yeah. THAT is the part that has me the most upset … that a foreign corporation can TAKE AWAY your right to do with your own land as YOU choose. It bothers me that a foreign company can tell YOU what THEY are going to do with what belongs to YOU, whether you like it or not.
    I understand the argument that we need the jobs. I understand the argument that we need the oil. I understand the scientific arguments that the geological structure of the aquifer would probably preclude the doomsayers’ gloomy predictions.
    What I don’t understand, is how people that are so firm in their convictions that they have the freedoms to pray when, where and how they choose; say whatever they want; to assemble when, where and with whomever they desire; keep and bear arms; etc., etc. … can just roll over onto their backs and allow a foreign entity the power to use and abuse them as they please.
    As I read through the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, know as the Bill of Rights, I felt that several of them spoke directly to this issue, and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why any Nebraskan, or American citizen for that matter, would be so eager to allow FOREIGNERS the power to violate them.
    It is my belief that our government representatives, at all levels, have sold our rights to their corporate owners. The influx of millions of dollars into the campaign coffers of these political piggies has blinded them from seeing what it is that they have done. Rather than representing the welfare of the citizens of our fair state, they have prostituted themselves to their corporate johns.

  29. New post will be up sometime between 11am and 1pm Friday.
    At that time we will also make our predictions about Saturday’s game.
    Meaning, will Bo take any of Dirk’s questions after it. Or how many words he will use to answer.
    There may or may not be wagering…
    -SS

  30. RWP says:

    As I read through the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, know as the Bill of Rights, I felt that several of them spoke directly to this issue, and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why any Nebraskan, or American citizen for that matter, would be so eager to allow FOREIGNERS the power to violate them.

    Well, let me give you two reasons. The first is that under treaties we have signed, it is often illegal for us to treat foreign corporations differently than domestic ones. Remember NAFTA and the WTO?

    As Macdaddy pointed out, it would be illegal for a state to use eminent domain on behalf of a private entity, US or foreign, if it were not for Kelo. Too bad about all those liberal Supreme Court justices. Keystone XL is what you get in return for federally guaranteeing your right to an abortion. What, you can’t have an abortion anyway?

    The second is, in the limited circumstances where the US can discriminate against foreign owned entities, it is often to the detriment of the US. For example, it is expensive to ship anything between two US ports, because almost all large vessels in our waters are foreign owned and registered, and yet it must be done by US owned vessels. protectionism costs money.

  31. C says:

    Brian T. Osborn: Beautifully articulated.

    RWP: Your response to Osborn is narrow and doesn’t address the unbelievable scenario of a foreign CORPORATION telling us what to do.

  32. TexasAnnie says:

    An idea that Nebraskans are not accustomed to circumventing “law” is laughable! The Unicameral often writes laws which circumvent other laws, the Constitution of the State of Nebraska, federal law and most importantly: ETHICS.

  33. TexasAnnie says:

    Just Sayin: I get it. Street Sweeper must have taken your comment personally…

    Brian: I very often agree with you and agree again with your comment to Nikolai. In addition to the problem of ‘property rights’ is the unanswered question of HOW MUCH the pipeline is going to cost American taxpayers. Subsidies, tax rebates and outright capital infusion??? You don’t have to look too hard to find examples of the purchase of “jobs” by the Nebraska Legislature. We have a little bit of that going on here, too (our governor has his slush fund and you’ll undoubtedly learn more about that as he keeps to the presidential campaign trail). But there’s no place like Nebraska for buying jobs at taxpayer expense!!! Y’all remember the “jobs” and “revenue” promised by former State Senator Loran Schmidt via that corn-based petroleum industry he spearheaded?

  34. Macdaddy says:

    Uh, C, a corporation is an entity. It matters not if it’s foreign or domestic. In any event, Transcanada could simply set up a company in the US (if they haven’t already) and then its US subsidiary could be the entity that uses eminent domain to take your land, thanks to liberals Bader, Stevens, Breyer, Souter, and the switch-hitter Kennedy.

    BTO, the only way that government can sell your rights is if they have the power to take them and the power to take them is part and parcel of the progressive, liberal agenda. The federal government spends almost $4 trillion a year and takes in over $2 trillion a year in taxes. Name a single corporation that takes in $2 trillion a year. Heck, name a sector of the economy that does. In many ways, all this anti-corporate drum-banging is completely misguided and misdirected. Corporations don’t control government. With $4 trillion to spend, government easily controls corporations. How’s that Hope and Change working out for ya’?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Ida- just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I suspect you would prefer everybody being equals, regardless of effort, and that we all live in mud huts and hug trees.

  36. Lizzie says:

    TransCanada has had US subsidiaries for years; Omaha is their US Headquarters, predating Keystone. They are not a “foreign” corporation by definition.

    Obama does not have automatic approval/veto of the KXL. He only gets it if Clinton cannot get a consensus among the gov’t agencies involved. And “sources” do you really think Obama wants to PO the Unions? There are waaaaaaaay more union voters than greenies.

  37. RWP says:

    I think it’s amusing that in comments to a thread titled ‘When Law Preempts Politics’, I get accused of posting a ‘narrow’ analysis because I point out that differentially treating foreign corporations would breach all sorts of US legal and treaty obligations, to say nothing of being protectionist.

    Read the title again, folks. And this time think about it.

    Yeah, I know y’all would rather emote about nasty furriners coming in to contaminate our precious bodily fluids, but try reason for a change. Just once. It’ll make you happy.

    TA, we parse sentences or phrases, not words. Back to grade school for you.

  38. Ned Reirson says:

    One thing that gets left out of this…

    The robo-callers have been busy on both sides the past few weeks, urging people to contact their gub-ment officials and let them know what they think. The Boldies are automatically assuming that anyone who calls and says they want a special session are on their side and are against the pipeline altogether. Not true. Many of the people who say they are FOR the special session actually say they are FOR the pipeline as well, just not in favor of the route (though they’re not really sure why…they’ve just been harassed by high-pitched “It’s all about the water, stupid!” screaming…and maybe some war drums too).

    Oh, and people…it’s an “aqua-FER” not an “aqua-FIER”…just sayin’…

  39. MacDaddy, I’m one of those oddball Liberals that is none too happy with that SCOTUS decision. And, I’m not particularly fond of the government, at ANY level, robbing me, or any other American citizen of their rights, whether Constitutionally guaranteed or God given. But, “Corporations don’t control government.” ????!!!!! Have I got a bridge for you in Brooklyn!

    RWP, ditto what I replied to McDad. Your analysis was correct, but that doesn’t mean it makes me happy. WTF does abortion have to do with this conversation? Might as well bring in prying our guns from our cold, dead hands and prayer in school at this point.
    By the way, I don’t favor the Jones Act either. I don’t have anything against “furriners” per se, just when they want to come here and try take our land and such. You’ve gotta remember, you and I are possibly the only two posters here that have ever worked in another country as a “furriner.”

  40. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Texas Annie: Loran Schmit’s 1971 legislation created the funding and marketing mechanism for an ethanol industry in Nebraska; the first in the nation which then spread. The total funding for the incentive in Nebraska was $300 million, more than half of which was paid by a direct check-off from corn farmers; leaving a net cost of $150 million for the industry over the past 40 years. The Nebraska ethanol industry went from one ethanol plant to a total of 24 plants in the state today. There are more than 1,300 direct jobs created by the Nebraska ethanol industry and more than 4,000 indirect jobs. The price of corn has gone from $1.67 per bushel to $6.50 per bushel, adding more than seven billion dollars to the annual value of Nebraska’s corn crop. The federal VEETECH subsidy of 45 cents per gallon was paid directly to the oil companies, not the ethanol industry. If it was a Nebraska ethanol job that brought your husband to Nebraska and you have since fled to retirement in Texas, I would say you made out pretty well.

  41. RWP says:

    Abortion is tied to eminent domain because it has dominated SCOTUS politics for 30 years. The bloc that votes liberal was selected and confirmed to uphold the federal guarantee of abortion rights. The bloc that votes conservative, ditto to oppose it. When you bought Casey, Kelo was thrown in as a free bonus. Abortion is to the recent Supreme Court what slavery was to SCOTUS pre-civil-war.

    They’re really not taking your land, they’re usually just buying an easement from you. I don’t much like easements, but the county has one on the front of my property, for a road, and I don’t have much say in the matter.

    Actually, it’s interesting, most of my working life I’ve been working as a furriner. I worked one lousy summer job in ireland Otherwise, until I got my US citizenship, I was always a furriner, in the US and in Germany. I will say this for America; unlike Germany, I’ve was never treated badly here for being a foreign citizen.

  42. RWP says:

    I see, by the way, that the Obama administration is being quite helpful to foreign countries, having given another $500 million of free jobs money to a company that plans to set up its production line in Finland.

    Of course, the company is backed by Al Gore.

  43. Where is the new post? says:

    No new post yet today…something is wrong…We should all go and purchase items on Street Sweeper’s amazon link untill his return

  44. Lizzie says:

    Hey RWP – thanks for the chuckle this morning over at LJS. I was going to comment, but after reading yours, its all been said. Fairy dust, indeed. Those BNE freaks are losing traction – this latest pumpkin carving trick is just plain embarrassing, not to mention very exploitive of the children involved. Of course, they would never feel the embarrassment – but I notice people stayed away from this latest stunt in droves. Yet the LJS deems it news.

    Does anybody else feel that the LJS has another agenda here – I mean other than promoting stupidity?

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