Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Smack-Dab in the Middle

We're at this moment smack-dab in the middle of an exciting and active day in practical politics in the U.S. What's happening is that the Republican-everything government is trying to ram a budget through before Congress, the press, or the American people have time to discuss and digest it. One sneaky thing they attempted was to tack on a special-interest giveaway allowing the oil companies to drill in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.

Well, thanks to a hastily-mobilized grassroots firestorm, they didn't get away with the sneaking part. Debate on the amendment commenced at 10: 15 this morning, and the vote is set for 10:00 or so tonight, and everybody who pays attention now knows what's going on.

This is another example of the radical Republican leadership being completely out of touch with the will of the people. 80% of Americans favor environmental protections--subtract 10% for a worst-case number if you're feeling argumentative--and 90% of Americans don't want drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! Fudge that number however you wish, the will of the people on this particular matter is clear as the water in an arctic mountain stream. And whatever the exact number is, it has to include an awful lot of hunters, NRA members, Red-Staters, and Republican voters, too. This isn't just some partisan issue.

It might be different if the drilling could make a difference in our dependence on foreign oil (not that our leadership cares a fig for energy conservation, but whatever). But it wouldn't make so much as a dent. The only reason to do it is to allow the corporate greedheads yet another opportunity to make easy profit at the expense of the national interest.

Stay tuned for the results; should be an interesting evening.

The Quotidian Meander

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