Pundit Wire

The news summer from hell and the end of optimism

globe By this point in the summer, a sane person could reasonably conclude that the world is going nuts.  Spiraling out of control, descending into darkness, making optimism a delusional last recourse – that kind of feeling.

“What fresh hell is this?” – the question Dorothy Parker asked when her doorbell rang – now applies to the news.  If you’re staying informed, you’re licking the razor.  Unfortunately, not following what’s happening in the world isn’t really an option.  These horrors seize our lizard brains; we’re hard-wired to pay attention to danger.

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Save Elves Chasm!

Elves Chasm Last Sunday, as I was reading the New York Times, I came across an opinion piece by writer Kevin Fedarko called, “A Cathedral Under Siege.” It was about two proposed developments that threaten the integrity and the beauty of America’s Grand Canyon.

One of these developments is the erection of 2,200 homes and an accompanying three million square feet of shops, hotels and other tourist attractions on the South Rim plateau, less than two miles from the park’s entrance. This development, which has been approved by the local community of Tusayan, will tap into the aquifer that feeds many of the springs deep inside the canyon.

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Once Upon A Climate Change

SONY DSC I wonder what would happen if the world’s storytellers and artists were to throw themselves into making the 2014 summit succeed. Invite the wizards of digital creation and distribution, the social media entrepreneurs and software geniuses, the networks and studios, to lend their talents to a communication campaign. Imagine if film-, video- and game-makers, musicians, photographers, screenwriters, graphic novelists, comedians, actors, essayists and fashionistas were inspired to tell the tale of climate change. Think of what designers, logo makers, branders and advertisers could contribute.

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The Obamacare Apocalypse

aster It’s only a matter of time before a Sarah Palin names these death rocks “Obamacare asteroids.” A Ted Cruz also will liken Obamacare to an asteroid, assuring us Obamacare has a 100 percent chance of causing Armageddon. Some concern troll will say that the beleaguered White House “needs a Bruce Willis” to rescue it from losing the Senate and seeing its legacy repealed.

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The Tea Party Luddites

dont tread Ask Tea Party adherents what inspires them most and many will say their reverence of history. Indeed it’s not unusual at Tea Party rallies to see bands of self-referential patriots dressed up in Revolutionary War garb, wearing tricorn hats and carrying their defiant Don’t Tread on Me flags.

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Pemexed Out

320px-Oil_platform_P-51_(Brazil)In 1938, Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas expropriated and nationalized the largely foreign-owned petroleum industry in Mexico. Since that time, Mexico has maintained one of the most restrictive legal frameworks for energy development in the world. The Mexican constitution virtually excludes participation by foreign energy firms, with the result that Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the national oil company, has a monopoly on the exploration and production of oil and gas.

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Changing the Climate Debate

Earth The next battle in America’s war on global warming is a quiet but robust debate among those who seek a larger government role, but disagree about why an earlier Obama effort failed.

This debate is worth watching because it may have implications beyond climate policy. It features a new tactic where a group of outside players attempts to write the narrative about what went wrong in an effort to impose their strategy on what happens next. Earlier failed legislative efforts typically cast a broad shadow. That’s why proposed Clinton health reforms were so frequently mentioned during the debate over Obamacare.

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Over the Energy Cliff?

John Hofmeister America may have skirted the fiscal cliff, but don’t unfasten your seatbelts just yet. Looming ahead is the energy cliff, another avoidable crisis brought on by our own ignorance, complacency and lack of leadership.

That was the grim warning conveyed yesterday afternoon by veteran energy executive John Hofmeister at a meeting of the Houston chapter of the American Petroleum Institute. Mr. Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Company, currently heads a public advocacy group called Citizens for Affordable Energy, devoted to educating the American people and our leaders on the need for responsible energy policies.

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