Saturday, January 21, 2012


IL Sixth District Congressman Peter Roskam issued a statement blasting President Obama for denying TransCanada's application for expansion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In so doing, Roskam scored high on the hyperbole meter, linking the the denial to calamitous events ranging from killing creation of 20,000 new jobs, preventing the marginalizing of hostile foreign powers, and even, get this, dividing the country.

It's easy to make such inflammatory charges when the Congressman leaves out the shameful politics that House Chief Deputy Majority Whip Roskam himself helped engineer that sparked the denial. The President, heeding State Department concerns regarding the environmental impact of such a potentially hazardous undertaking, was strongly on record that he would need till 2013 to make a reasoned decision. Roskam helped infuse the recently passed Payroll Tax Cut Extension Bill with a senseless provision that the President MUST make a decision on XL within 60 days. Forcing an unacceptable ultimatum on the President was sure to bring about the application denial which could instantly be turned into the aforementioned statement. As Congressman Roskam demonstrates repeatedly, that may seem like good politics, but it is terrible governance.

And those 20,000 lost jobs? The State Department states the number is likely just 2,500 to 6,000. Even more ominous, Bold Nebraska, an anti pipeline advocacy group, worries that a spill could actually cause net job losses in Nebraska's delicate agricultural sector. Maybe Congressman Roskam missed hearing about all those lost jobs from the Gulf Oil Spill.

Come on Congressman, fossil fuel development is so 19th century. Stop carrying the Koch Brothers water, I mean oil, and help turn this fossil fuel addicted country green

Thursday, January 19, 2012

DOMA will still be DOMA

DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) is in for a change if Newt Gingrich becomes President. His first legislative proposal will be to have it amended. Instead of defining marriage as that between one man and one woman, under President Gingrich, marriage will be defined as one man, his wife and his mistress. The acronym will remain the same. Hence force, DOMA will stand for Defense of Mistresses Act.

Also published in the Chicago Sun Times, January 20, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Though saddened, I am not at all shocked by revelations that US soldiers recorded themselves urinating on alleged Taliban corpses in Afghanistan. American war promoters from Defense Secretary Panetta, to Secretary of State Clinton to Senator McCain are "shocked, shocked" that such a horrible event could have occurred. What they're really shocked about is that such common, inhuman behavior that occurs all the time in our criminal occupations of Middle East countries, was recorded, and that the video got out; just like the Bush Administration war promoters were shocked that the torture they condoned in Iraq was photographed and that those photos got out.

We train our brave, young soldiers to fear and hate the folks they are sent to occupy and when the occupied fight back and inflict casualties on them, the rules of war and the Geneva Conventions become the real casualties of our mis-guided and futile attempts to acquire empire in the land of endless oil.

The video is actually quite appropriate in that it is a metaphor for what we are doing all the time to all the hapless citizens of the unfortunate countries the bullies in Washington choose to invade. It also serves as a metaphor for what our leaders are doing to the impressionable youth who are sent to fight these mindless wars.

Bring them all home


All the Tobowites can get up from their one knee now that the New England Patriots defeated Tim Tebow's Denver Broncos 45-10 Saturday. Tebow was sacked five times and had no TD passes among his mediocre 9 for 26 passing and 136 yards. Tom Brady passed for 6 touchdowns on 26 for 34 attempts, gaining 363 yards.

I don't know Brady's religious affiliation; he may even be an atheist. But I suspect, to paraphrase Napoleon, that "God is on the side of the strongest passing arm".

Also published in the NY Times, January 22, 2012