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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A missed opportunity to pick your battles: Democrats remain in denial & Obama in your face on a chance to help someone whose support for him contributed to her defeat. - Keystone goes down in Senate by narrow margin

From The Washington Post:

In a dramatic vote, the Senate rejected a controversial new energy pipeline Tuesday evening, dealing a serious blow to the re-election prospects of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and leaving Republicans itching for a fight next year on the issue.

On a 59 to 41 vote, Landrieu lost her bid to pass legislation meant to compel the Obama White House to approve the nearly 1,700-mile, $7.6 billion Keystone XL pipeline, which if built would deliver 830,000 barrels of oil a day from western Canada into the American heartland.

Already six years in the making, the Keystone fight has become the rallying cry for Landrieu, a three-term senator facing a run-off election Dec. 6. For the past week she has placed a political bet on her ability to pass the legislation as a demonstration of her clout in the Senate.

Supporters said the new pipeline would lead to a more efficient delivery of oil into the domestic markets, helping boost the national economy by creating tens of thousands of jobs along the construction of the pipeline. Opponents said that the project would be harvesting oil from the environmentally dirty tar sands in Canada, leading to too many health risks and coming at a time when other domestic oil production has already shrunk gas prices to less than $3 a gallon in many regions.

“This is for Americans, for an American middle class,” Landrieu pleaded Tuesday evening, moments before the roll was called, arguing that jobs would go to rural American communities struggling in the economic recovery. “The time to act is now.”

It became Landrieu’s last-gasp attempt to demonstrate her clout to voters back home, where oil and gas exploration is the biggest industry and where Democrats are increasingly on the defensive. She ran the general election campaign boasting of her chairmanship of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, a gavel that she predicted would lead to tangible results for Louisiana.

But she received just 42 percent of the initial vote, as remaining ballots were splintered among the Republicans, making her the underdog against Rep. Bill Cassidy (La.), the top Republican vote-getter, in the runoff election next month. Even worse: the Democratic collapse across the nation left the party in the minority next year and took away her main argument for votes by leaving her without a chairman’s gavel even if she were to win reelection.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), after years of tangling the chamber in knots when it came to the pipeline debate, relented to Landrieu last week and allowed for Tuesday’s debate and vote even though he remains opposed to the measure, and wants Obama to veto it.

This particular branch of oil pipeline does not actually make its way to the Louisiana ports. A different portion of that pipeline has been finished and runs from Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas, on the border with Louisiana. This proposed pipeline would run from western Canada down through the northern portion of the nation to Nebraska.

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