The Widdershins

Activist Wednesday: Progress on Keystone XL, and Mea Culpas

Posted on: June 26, 2013

Hello Widdershins! Today, it seems like Obama has taken a tentative, Tree-Beard-Like step towards energy sanity by deciding that if Keystone XL increases greenhouse gases, it shouldn’t go forward. (Not that there’s any “if” about it, but still…)

“Our national interest will be served only if this project doesn’t significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution,” Obama said in speech laying out his second-term climate agenda, including greenhouse gas emissions for power plants.

“The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project can go forward.”


Keystone’s foes said they were heartened because they do not believe there is any way the pipeline will pass Obama’s test.


“The president is saying what the science has always demanded. It’s encouraging news for certain,” said Bill McKibben, founder of the group

Well, it’s certainly an improvement over his previous statements, which pretty much amounted to “Hoom, Hoom, Let’s Not Be Hasty.” While what he said was somewhat vague, I think I have seen this progression towards the right (left) side of an issue before. It’s reminiscent of his “evolution” on marriage equality. First he wouldn’t take a position, then he said he didn’t favor equal marriage, then he said he did after a great deal of pressure by the LGBT community. After all the pressure from the environmental community on this issue, I do believe our President DINO may just end up rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, and come out smelling like smog-free air on climate change as a result. That would indeed be reason to celebrate.

And now…my mea culpas. I know I have not been around regularly for quite some time, and I am becoming woefully ignorant on the main issues of the day. Oh, I know some things are happening: Aaron Hernandez is probably a murderer, the Supreme Court is ruling on some important issues (including marriage equality), the NSA whistleblower is running for cover and may or may not be in Russia with Pooty-Poot…but I truly, truly do not have the time to investigate them and write about them intelligently. As it has been said in a comic book once, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Okay, okay, I don’t have great power, but I have SOME power now, and a LOT of responsibility. Not to mention that my weekly “commute” is up to 16 hours a week!

But just because I am not as present as I used to be, does not mean that I don’t want to be here with you all. You mean so much to me still, after all these years – both the newer friends, and the ones who have been around since the beginning on TC. And I am so thankful that you are still here, and that you’re still writing about the things you care about. You are the best!

So please don’t take it personally that I’m not able to give as much as I’d like, or (SORRY!) that my next two posts will be re-posts of plays/open threads. (Going on vacation, counting the minutes!) Just keep doing what your doing, and know that the fault lies not in you, Widdershin stars, but in myself.

This is an open thread.


34 Responses to "Activist Wednesday: Progress on Keystone XL, and Mea Culpas"

Sorry to be OT right out of the gate, but DOMA is DEAD!!!!! The Supremes have ruled!!!! Woohoo! Doing the happy dance right now.

@1: Indeed! Now, if we can ever pass the ERA……


@2 chat that is our next big thing!

It is a good day — DOMA is relegated to the scrapheap of history and Prop 8 is defanged from its vengeful roots. These two cases were the only stumbling blocks to the real red meat cases that are now cleared to be on their way.

Another wonderful thing is that these two cases blew Scalia’s robe up about his head for all the world to see what a mean, little, vindictive, hateful, hypocrite he really is whose bombastity is too often characterized as legal acuity. His legal analysis is just like the Platte River — a mile wide and three inches deep. It is quite ironic his coming out was triggered by DOMA and Prop 8.

What Prolix said. 🙂

MB said: next two posts will be re-posts of plays/open thread

Not to worry. If you have one, perhaps a play about the Supremes in light of the last two days’ actions by the Court?

We know you’ve been busy as hell so it’s no biggie.

Yeah, really! What Prolix said and Fredster posted a smiley about.

It’s a happy, happy day! I feel pretty teary-eyed myself.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-@sshole) is my congressman in La. and said this:

“It is a sad day when the same court that upheld Obamacare decides to reverse course on thousands of years of tradition and a strong bipartisan coalition in Congress by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act,” said Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson. “This Supreme Court ruling marks a low point in judicial activism where unelected judges turned against traditional marriage which has been a hallmark of American society since our nation’s founding. By overturning DOMA, the Supreme Court has commandeered the role of voters and their elected representatives, and turned the definition of marriage over to unelected judges where this will now be litigated in the courts for years to come.”

@10 — what do you want to bet, Rep. Scalise broke out his nice percale 500 thread count sheet and burned a nice celebratory cross yesterday in his giddiness about the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. I bet he wasn’t too heartbroken over the Supremes’ activism then.

Prolix@11: Oh hell no he wasn’t heartbroken then. Can you say gerrymandered district?

Two folks celebrating the Supremes’ decision today.

Fantastic day for justice. Did you all see Scalia’s crazy rant? He’s nuts.

Love the comment “treebeard-like step”! Good one!

We Have a long way to go…as Winston Church said “this is not end…this is not even the beginning of the end …but perhaps this is the end of the beginning…”

Lest we Forget our African American Brothers and Sisters who were wounded by this same Court on Monday and Tuesday. We must now double our efforts to make it right for them what has been snatched away so that the next generation will not judge us harshly. It is important we have record Democrat turn out in 2014 and move us forward.

Pat Johnson must be overjoyed that some one in law enforcement read her post:

Fuzzy, you might enjoy this Tweet about Scalia, in reference to his raging dissent:

I am going to say this once Bill Clinton is responsible for today when he signed DOMA in 1996 he derailed the Constitutional Amendment to ban “Gay Marriage” now known correctly as Marriage Equality by defining Marriage as between only a man and a woman.

If Clinton had Vetoed DOMA in 1996 the amendment would have cleared Congress and 37 states would have approved in record time such was America in 1996. Congress could also would have overridden the presidents veto.

DOMA provided the cooling off period for Many Americans to reflect in their hearts and minds so that in 17 years approval for gay marriage could go from 20% to 53% today.

Now with the SCOTUS Ruling it will bring millions more to the table in support of Gay Marriage. Canada has had national marriage for same sex couples since 2003 and they have not been smited by the hand of God.

I do not know what went through President Clinton’s Mind when he signed DOMA but I am glad he did and because he did we had today and we can move forward. =towards national Marriage Equality.

Thank you William Jefferson Clinton for giving us today. The truth has set us free.

Personally I want to thank all of you here that have given my gay voice a home. Madamab, Pat Johnson, and all of you.

love Micheal Varvel

@18 Sophie-Bwahahahahahahaha

Fuzzy, good point. From Scalia’s dissent:

“We have no power to decide this case,” Scalia wrote. “And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation.”

But yesterday it was perfectly fine to invalidate the Voting Rights Act, another democratically adopted legislation.

What a hypocrite!

Fuzzy, very interesting point about Clinton. I hadn’t thought of that.

More from Scarelia’s dissent:

“As I have said, the real rationale of today’s opinion, whatever disappearing trail of its legalistic argle-bargle one chooses to follow…”

Legalistic argle bargle? Ah, that must be the legal reasoning that they used when they crowned Bush II King and stopped the Florida recounts, and declared that corporations were people and allowed elections to be bought by the richest of the rich.

This Supreme Court ruling marks a low point in judicial activism where unelected judges turned against traditional marriage which has been a hallmark of American society since our nation’s founding.

Now where did I get the silly idea that marriage was a religious ceremony? And that the government was to make no law instituting religion (religious practices?)

What a day today!!!

And Scalia is out of his fracking mind! The pure vitriol coming out of his dissent is just staggering. Not surprising, mind you, but just staggering. The pretzel twisting he is doing in it, in light of his own vote in Bush v. Gore and on the Voting Act yesterday is just … just… there are no words.

I loved the Talking Points Memo described his dissent as “flaming.”

Also, of course, you must all have seen Michelle Bachmann weighing in. She is shocked, just shocked, that the Supreme Court would have the gall to overturn God’s will. But the best response to Bachmann came from Nancy Pelosi. When asked to comment on Bachmann’s statement Pelosi replied: “Who cares?”

This weekend’s NY Pride parade will be extra special!

And yes, Pat, that football guy has been arrested and charged with murder. His team has dropped him.

socal said: But yesterday it was perfectly fine to invalidate the Voting Rights Act, another democratically adopted legislation.

Exactly! Scalia needs to retire!!

Sophie, luv the tweet!

Janicen, you were NOT OT! Thank you for kicking off the discussion. I actually saw this headline at work and was so thrilled and moved. I know that we need to make equal marriage legal federally, but at least DOMA and Prop 8 are no more. (It sure helped when Obama stopped fighting for DOMA, didn’t it?)

Fuzzy’s point about Bill was very well-taken. He had such an ability to beat the Repubs at their own game..

are we looking at the next Governor of Texas?

@23 “argle-bargle’?! Scalia needs to get a new law clerk. One who can actually write.

fuzzy@29: Now wouldn’t that be a kicker!

Mary Luke@30: You mean those pearls of wisdom didn’t come from his own hands? 😯

@32 In this case, they probably did, Fredster. I don’t think any self-respecting law clerk (who ever wanted to get a job once her clerkship is over) would pen those particular words.

I tried to visualize myself submitting something like that in a brief, and all I could visualize was an irate justice yelling at me to “Sit Down!”. I guess that’s why they’re the Supremes.

One thing on Scalia and his raving “lunatic-ness” — he’s still whining about Lawrence v. Texas from 2003 that “decriminalized sodomy.” Only Scalia, Rehnquist, and of course, Thomas voted in the 6-3 decision. If you will notice from this passage from the Lawrence case, his reasoning of societal morality hasn’t changed one whit:

Scalia wrote in 2003:

Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct…. [T]he Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed.

In other words, as long as the majority’s morality fits neatly into his morality orbit, things are all good, but he fails to ever explain why the same conduct by heterosexual couples doesn’t run afoul of his morality, ergo, Scalia must like to get his freak on.

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