Month: January 2015

Will the Keystone Pipeline Ever Be Built?

February 3, 2015—Hello, everybody, and thank you for tuning in. The Senate just had a recent vote on Keystone and the pro-Keystone Pipeline people won 62 to 36. It’s a very good victory. It required nine Democrats coming over, and yet it isn’t quite enough to override a veto.

My bet is that the President’s probably going to stick to his guns. He’s not going to back down now and not veto it. The big question is whether any more Democrats would come over. The only reason they might is for political benefit and thinking that it’s a dangerous vote to vote against the pipeline. But it looks like the president will veto this. The bill still has to go into conference and it has to be reconciled with the House vote, but I don’t think that’s as big a problem as facing the veto.

One thing about this whole issue is that I think the president has way too much power. The president shouldn’t be able to say, “Oh, there will be a pipeline or there won’t be a pipeline.”

We’ve drifted so far from how issues like this should be handled. It says very clearly in the Constitution that for international trade, the Congress is in charge, not the president. The president is not the dictator and yet they assume that and the President has this power. There are eight U.S. Federal agencies that deal with this: environmental agencies and labor organizations and they all have to reconcile this. So the president ends up with a lot of power. That’s one of our problems why this has been delayed so long. The president has too much power.

The Congress should, under constitutional circumstances, the Congress could pass a bill and say that it’s permissible for Canada and such-and-such state to work out an agreement to have a pipe come across the international border. It wouldn’t be any more complicated than that. There’s been pipes crossing the borders for years. There are hundreds of thousands of pipes laid in this country. Texas is literally swarming with pipelines and this has been blown up, I think for environmental reasons as much as anything.

During the debate the question of eminent domain came up. I’ve been very interested in that because I do not believe that for practical reasons or constitutional reasons that you should have eminent domain powers to serve the interests of private groups. I don’t think it was meant to do that. Unfortunately, the Kelo ruling by the Supreme Court said that it was constitutional to take property for the benefit of commercial interests.

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Can the U.S. Forge Diplomatic Ties with Iran and Israel?

January 30, 2015—Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in. I want to comment a little bit about what’s going on with the invitation by Boehner to Netanyahu to come and address the joint session of congress. It’s interesting because this is unusual. I don’t even know if it’s ever happened before. Most people say it probably never did because they never told the president.

This has a little bit to do with diplomacy with another country and a leader of another country coming here. It’s interesting in that regard. It’s politics as usual because I think Boehner, what he wants to do, is get somebody on his side to say, “We don’t like our president for the way he’s operating foreign policy.” It has a lot to do with Iran.

Obama wants to continue to talk to the Iranians and maybe come up with an agreement and avoid a war with Iran. I tend to be very sympathetic to what the president says he’s doing. As long as that’s what he’s doing, I’m very sympathetic to that. All of a sudden now, we have this invitation but what it has done is it’s divided a group of people that are never divided.

They’re arguing about it in Israel. There’s a couple of newspapers saying this is … They are blaming Netanyahu for going. He shouldn’t go. It’s risky. The president is still a president. He can’t retaliate. It’s not good for the relationship between our two countries.

It’s really fascinating that this is going on. Even in this country, some of the very pro-Zionist groups that are very, very supportive of Israel, they’re split on this too. One of the most interesting remarks was made by Chris Matthews. He really was upset with this and said, “You know, this actually could lead to war.” While he was referring to this, it would interrupt the negotiations with Obama and the Iranians and lead to a bigger problem if that breaks down. He’s assuming it could be much worse.

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Government Won’t Admit to Killing Civilians in War Against ISIS

January 29, 2015—There is still lots of trouble over in Iraq and Syria. There’s a war going on against ISIS and the support against ISIS is pretty strong worldwide. But sorting out the truth of this situation is sometimes a tough job. Sometimes what you hear in the evening news is not exactly what’s happening. Propaganda is a powerful tool to motivate people to support war.

Here’s an article that says, “U.S. Won’t Admit to Killing a Single Civilian in the ISIS war”. That is some stretch, not one person. They’ve had 1,800 strikes, there’s estimates that 6,000 individuals have been killed, but best they can tell, not one single civilian.

How do you tell a civilian against somebody who thinks they’re really fighting an intrusion from people outside and protecting their homeland? I think it’s pretty hard to distinguish between the two, and distinguishing between those individuals who may be resenting this invasion and bombing and our participation because they’ve lost family members. It’s a lot a more complicated than the United States putting out a release and saying that not a single individual was killed by these bombs that was considered a civilian.

The day that Charlie Hebdo event occurred, 17 were killed in the magazine building. On the same day, there were 50 individuals killed from our bombing in Syria…

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