Friday, January 31, 2014

Good news: Keystone XL pipeline clears big environmental hurdle

Nebraska Sandhills
After years of dithering by the Obama administration, there is finally some good news for Americans in regards to the Keystone pipeline. If it is finally approved, the project will bring much needed petroleum from our friends in Canada, lessening our dependence on oil from hostile governments in the Middle East--as well as Venezuela.

From Bloomberg:
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline cleared a key hurdle today with a government study that found its impact on the climate would be minimal, which supporters said meets President Barack Obama's test for allowing the project to be built.

In its final environmental review, the U.S. State Department found the Canada-U.S. oil pipeline would not greatly increase carbon emissions because the oil sands in Alberta will be developed anyway.

The study, while not the final word, is important because Obama has said he wouldn't approve Keystone if it would exacerbate carbon pollution. Now the pipeline's fate comes down to broader questions about whether the project is in the U.S. national interest, weighing matters such as energy needs and diplomatic relations.

"We are one step closer toward approval of the Keystone XL pipeline," Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat and pipeline supporter, said in a statement. "Not only is it unacceptable, but it's embarrassing that we cannot approve a pipeline application in the time it took us to fight World War II."
This announcement was released late Friday afternoon, in an attempt by the White House to lessen outrage from anti-energy environmentalists, as many people are paying attention to their weekend plans, not current events.

Look for the greenies to claim that the pipeline will somehow destroy the Nebraska Sandhills in their next move against KXL.

Keystone, if finally approved, will create 120,000 American jobs.

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Classic car: 1997 Toyota Celica convertible

While it's not convertible weather in the Chicago area, I spotted this 1997 Toyota Celica ragtop coupe in Morton Grove earlier this month.

Spring and summer will come.

I think.

(Video) Executive Lawlessness: Obama Skirts Constitution in Pursuit of Power

Watch here Part One of PJ Media's series on executive lawlessness. Of course the Trifecta panel starts with President Obama.

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Tribune: Rauner's ties to crook Levine "tenuous at best"; Dillard: What about Cellini?

Two primary opponents of Republican businessman and Bruce Rauner,  Kirk Dillard and to a lesser extent Bill Brady, both state senators, are trying to make an issue of the gubernatorial frontrunner's business relationship with convicted political scammer Stuart Levine, who was part of the catch from the Rod Blagojevich scandals.

But today the Chicago Tribune called such ties "tenuous at best."

Dillard, who is best known outside of Illinois for his shameful appearance in a 2007 Barack Obama campaign commercial, has his own problem in regard to the Blago scandals, as I've pointed out before, his connection with longtime downstate power broker William Cellini. In 1996, Dillard referred to Cellini, whose eleven-month prison term ended in November, as a "trusted advisor."

Dillard's political career began as chief-of-staff to Jim Edgar, who served two terms as governor in the 1990s.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Cellini remains in regular contact with Edgar's chiefs of staff, said Dillard, who had the job for three years.

"When I was the governor's chief of staff, Bill and I talked, but it wasn't nearly as often as people imagined . . . a couple times a month," Dillard said. "It could be (about) upcoming political races or just rumors he would pick up.

"One of the things that makes Bill Cellini a trusted adviser is the longevity and breadth of his experience in state government," Dillard said.

"Bill Cellini personally cares in a friendship type of fashion . . . about governors Thompson and Edgar," Dillard said. "He's very different . . . from many of the other individuals who tangentially profit from government."
To follow Rauner on Facebook, click here. To follow him on Twitter, click here.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Climate change is a fact: January 2014 third-snowiest month in history of Obama's hometown

New Year's Day 2014, Morton Grove, IL
The Chicago area received a dusting of snow today, which brought the monthly total to 33.5 inches, the third-snowiest month in Chicago since records began to be kept in the late 19th century.

According to the Chicago Weather Center, today's snowfall was the 30th measurable accumulation, also the third most in city history.

More snow is forecast for tomorrow and Saturday--after which subzero temperatures return again.

During Tuesday's State of the Union Address, President Obama, whose adopted hometown is Chicago, declared, "The debate has been settled. Climate change is a fact."

Related post:

What is your favorite memory of the Global Warming Winter of 2014?

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(Photo) Niles' St. Matthew's Lutheran Cemetery in winter

As the world--for most people--is in color, I choose to post color photographs. But I took a picture of some gravestones at another old local cemetery on Sunday--St. Mathew's Lutheran in Niles, Illinois. The colors were so muted in this photograph, I figured why not go all the way with PhotoShop Elements turn this pic into a black-and-white one.

And so I did.

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Pat Quinn's "temporary" income tax hike expires in 337 days

Yesterday Illinois' hapless governor, Chicago Democrat Pat Quinn, gave his State of the State address. "Illinois is making a comeback," he boasted.

Quinn has been governor for five years. Thanks for getting around to that task.

Three years ago Quinn and his fellow Democrats passed a "temporary" 67 percent personal income tax hike. There was no mention of that tax increase, the funds from it were supposed to pay off old bills but most of it went to public worker pensions, nor of its expiration on January 1, 2015. That's because the Dems are plotting to replace it with a progressive income tax, in other words, another tax hike.

Quinn lied.

There is an election in November

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