Who owns the wind? We do, Wyoming says, and it’s taxing those who use it

Los Angeles Times, By William Yardley, August 14

Not long after it became clear that the robust winds that blow down from the Rocky Mountains and across the sea of sagebrush here could produce plenty of profit in a world that wants more renewable energy, some of the more expansive minds in the Wyoming Legislature began entertaining a lofty question:

Who owns all of that wind?

They concluded, quickly and conveniently, that Wyoming did.

Then, with great efficiency for a conservative state not traditionally tilted toward burdening the energy industry, they did something no other state has done, before or since: They taxed it.
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Robert Reich Acts Surprised



Hundreds of Bernie supporters of drowned him out today with boos as he tried to make the case for voting for Hillary Clinton in order to defeat Donald J. Trump.

I understand many of you are angry with Bernie (and even with me) for suggesting that not supporting Hillary increases the odds of a Trump victory. Several of you have said you won’t choose “the lesser of two evils.” But as Bernie said today, “This is a real world we live in. Trump is a bully and a demagogue. Trump has made bigotry and hatred the cornerstone of his campaign.”

Let’s first defeat Trump, then let’s continue to build the movement — with an eye on 2020.

But Robert Reich is part of the problem. He used his quasi-economist status to insist that Bernie’s proposals made sense, while nearly everyone else in the field said otherwise. He insisted the processes were rigged, that Bernie was going to win anyway. He set his followers up for this disappointment, as recently as last week.

This crowd’s behavior isn’t new. This is what happened at all the caucuses. It happened in state delegate conventions. It happened when trying to fire campaigners leaking data to the opponent.

They aren’t there to listen, compromise, or build coalitions. They’ve democratically lost and have gotten way more influence on the platform and the convention than their votes warranted. Yet they want more.

They yelled at a black man talking about his dead dad. They yelled at a latina speaking in Spanish, most of them not knowing what she was saying. They booed Michelle Obama.

Bluntly, there is no pleasing them. Bernie has tried repeatedly over the past couple days to tell his crowd thanks for the votes, continue to push change, but ease up on Clinton and vote for her against Trump.

So they boo’d him and started talking about Jill Stein.

These were never Democrats. They got our microphones and airtime but they were never with the party, and they don’t respect its history or its current battles.

They can’t be made happy. We just have to wait for them to fade away.

The reason they’ve failed as a whole is because of this basic “coming at it the wrong way”. You can’t beat the GOP with moral purism. You have to convince the middle you’re reasonable and effective.

The Democrats aren’t a monolithic party. They’re a collection of a hundred caucuses, many of which also mega-team up for important bills in Congress. There’s a mountain of internal compromise before the GOP is even considered.

So in not working with America’s largest progressive coalition, they’re showing how they would also try to beat the GOP. With angry speeches and sit-ins and the insistence all their line items be addressed.

That’s not how you get things accomplished here. You gotta find the common ground, the win win, the compromise. The president won’t just govern the lefties, but the shotgun rack rednecks from my home town, the Christians that go to church 3 times a week, the average joe and jane that just want their paychecks to clear.

That’s been one of the biggest frustrations among Democrats. We should have been pivoting to the general in March. Super Tuesday was a landslide and the eventual outcome became pretty clear. Nate Silver continued his winning streak by calling all but 2 states within a couple percentage points. It was over then.

But instead Hillary’s assaulted from the right and the far left, both using the same playbook and headlines. Lefties post Brietbart and literal Russian state media to attack her.

Now it’s come to light that Russian hackers broke into the DNC networks, and have released everything damning in it they could find. I haven’t seen a single one of the cries of “collusion” or “corruption” prove out when you look at the emails in context. Yah they were mad at Bernie, especially after he called for the sitting chair of the DNC to be primaried. Yah they LOL’d at him sometimes, because they had those same Nate SIlver numbers we all did, and knew he wasn’t sitting as pretty as he claimed.

They should have been more professional in their correspondence. But have you hung around soldiers or doctors or EMTs? There’s some dark humor. Stuff you don’t want families to hear. But you gotta, because the work is so serious, and if you don’t lighten things up now and then and cajole with each other you’ll burn out.

Certainly none of it rises to the level of international espionage by an oppositional world actor to interfere with American elections. The fact the diehard Bernie crowd hand-waves this because they had some scraps of DNC members being catty just boggles me. This is Watergates times Bay of Pigs but they don’t care. There are emerging links between Trump and the Russian kleptocracy. They don’t care. Holocaust survivors are figuratively peeing themselves in public over Trump’s vitriol and popularity. They don’t care.

These aren’t Democrats who appreciate the work that went into suffrage, end of child labor, the civil rights era, minimum wage, reproductive rights… they’re curmudgeons with a “both parties are the same” mantra who won’t entertain any other worldview.

So let them chant. Let them embarrass themselves in the history books – the mostly white male crowd that boo’d every supporter of the soon-to-be first female president. It’s on tape. Their grandkids can go back and see the blind hatred in their eyes and hear their voices gone hoarse from attacking the progressive party. Imagine who they’ll be compared to.

Previously: Robert Reich is the Bill Nye of Economics

[ed note: Don’t bother leaving anti-establishment “both parties are the same” “crooked hillary” comments, I’ll be purging those useless rants.]

How the anti-Trump movement was finally killed last night

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Politics Blog, By Jim Galloway, July 15

Cleveland – The movement to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination for president sighed its last breath shortly after 10 p.m. this evening, as an alliance of GOP stalwarts and Trump supporters outlasted the last remnants of resistance in a 14-hour, marathon session of the convention rules committee.

In a series of three votes, the committee that sets the rules for next week’s four-day convention here eliminated the pestering argument, made primarily among social conservatives hostile to the unorthodox winner of this year’s primaries, that delegates were free to follow their consciences and ignore their pledges to support the candidates who won their states’ primaries and caucuses.

Victory wasn’t what anti-Trump forces were shooting for, but they also failed to win the quarter of the votes on the 112-member panel that would have allowed them to carry their battle to the convention floor on Monday.

9th Circuit: It’s a federal crime to visit a website after being told not to visit it

Washington Post, By Orin Kerr, July 12

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has handed down a very important decision on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Facebook v. Vachani, which I flagged just last week. For those of us worried about broad readings of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the decision is quite troubling. Its reasoning appears to be very broad. If I’m reading it correctly, it says that if you tell people not to visit your website, and they do it anyway knowing you disapprove, they’re committing a federal crime of accessing your computer without authorization.

I think this decision is wrong, and that it has big implications going forward. Here’s a rundown of the case and why it matters. I’ll conclude with a thought about a possible way to read the case more narrowly, as well as why I’m not convinced that narrow reading is correct.

Obama Admin Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits in Gulf of Mexico and Mainstream Media Has Ignored It

DeSmog, By Steve Horn, June 28

On June 24, the independent news website TruthOut broke a doozy of a story: the Obama Administration has secretly approved over 1,500 instances of offshore hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the Gulf of Mexico, including during the Deepwater Horizon offshore spill disaster.

Albeit released on a Friday, a day where many mainstream media reporters head out of the office early and venture to late-afternoon and early-evening Happy Hour specials at the bars, the TruthOut story has received deafening silence by the corporate-owned media apparatus.

Google News, Factiva and LexisNexis searches reveal that not a single mainstream media outlet has covered the story.

TruthOut got its hands on the story via documents provided by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). CBD explained in a press release that they “obtained the information following an agreement that settled a lawsuit challenging the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s failure to disclose documents regarding the scope of offshore fracking in the Gulf under the Freedom of Information Act.”

Think Progress: While The Spotlight Was On Offshore Drilling, Fracking Quietly Made Its Way Into Our Oceans, July 1

Democrats Reject Platform Proposal Opposing Trade Deal

AP, By Ken Thomas, June 25

St. Louis — Democrats on Friday voted down an amendment to the party’s platform that would have opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, avoiding an awkward scenario that would have put its statement of values at odds with President Barack Obama.

Members of a Democratic National Convention drafting committee defeated a proposal led by Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., that would have added language rejecting the Pacific Rim trade pact, which has been opposed by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
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David Cameron resigns after UK votes to leave European Union

PM announces resignation following victory for leave supporters after divisive referendum campaign.

The Guardian, By Heather Stewart, Rowena Mason & Rajeev Syal, June 24

David Cameron has resigned, bringing an abrupt end to his six-year premiership, after the British public took the momentous decision to reject his entreaties and turn their back on the European Union.

Just a year after he clinched a surprise majority in the general election, a visibly emotional Cameron, standing outside Number 10 on Friday morning alongside his wife, Samantha, said: “The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.”
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Fukushima meltdown apology: “It was a cover-up”

AP/CBS, June 21

Tokyo – The utility that ran the Fukushima nuclear plant acknowledged Tuesday its delayed disclosure of the meltdowns at three reactors was tantamount to a cover-up and apologized for it.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose’s apology followed the revelation last week that an investigation had found Hirose’s predecessor instructed officials during the 2011 disaster to avoid using the word “meltdown.”

“I would say it was a cover-up,” Hirose told a news conference. “It’s extremely regrettable.”
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Supreme Court Ruling Limits Constitutional Protections Against Searches

Evidence gathered after police illegally detain someone may be used in court absent ‘flagrant’ misconduct by law enforcement

WSJ, By Jess Bravin, June 20

WASHINGTON—A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday limited constitutional protections against searches, ruling that evidence gathered after police illegally detain someone could be used in court absent “flagrant” misconduct by law enforcement.

Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said a police officer’s possible “negligence” in stopping a pedestrian without reasonable suspicion shouldn’t prevent prosecutors from charging him with a drug offense.
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U.S. Third Fleet expands East Asia role as tensions rise with China

Reuters, By Idrees Ali & David Brunnstrom, June 15

The U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet will send more ships to East Asia to operate outside its normal theater alongside the Japan-based Seventh Fleet, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, a move that comes at a time of heightened tensions with China.

The Third Fleet’s Pacific Surface Action Group, which includes the guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Momsen, was deployed to East Asia in April.

More Third Fleet vessels will be deployed in the region in the future, said a U.S. official who requested anonymity. He and a second official said the vessels would conduct a range of operations, but gave no details.