Dems Forming Their Own Secret Senate To Actually Do Sh*t On Climate Change!


Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Wednesday that Brian Schatz from Hawaii will lead a specialized committee to combat climate change. But wait! How is Schatz, who's in the Democratic minority in the Senate, leading a committee? Because it's Democrats-only because Republicans give fuck all about the environment. They rejected the Green New Deal Tuesday in a sham vote they only held so they could look like assholes and talk about tauntauns. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won't even permit the formation of a bipartisan committee to address the issue that is steadily becoming a crisis.

The Senate as a whole will likely do nothing productive until after 2020 when Democrats plunge a dagger into the serpent beast's chest -- electorally speaking -- and end McConnell's dark reign forever. But Democrats aren't going to sit around and wait while Republicans waste time investigating Hillary Clinton and the ghost of FDR.

SCHATZ: What we decided is that if (McConnell) isn't going to do it, we can't wait until 2021 when and if we're in charge of the Senate. We're going to take action now.

We like Schatz. He is one of our favorite Twitter follows. The snark is strong with him.

Joining Schatz on the committee are Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Cruz-slayer Michael Bennet, Tammy Baldwin, Martin Heinrich, Ed Markey, Tammy Duckworth, and Tina Smith. They are also nice enough to consider addressing the effects of climate change in states foolish enough to elect Republican senators.

Duckworth: "Climate Change Isn't Some Partisan Squabble: It's A National and Global Security Crisis"

The statement Duckworth released yesterday is especially powerful.

DUCKWORTH: Climate change isn't some partisan squabble: It's a national and global security threat—a fact that military leaders and Donald Trump's own intelligence officials admit. Anyone who cares about our national security has an imperative to do whatever they can to combat climate change before it's too late. That's why this committee is so important. We must do more—before even one more military base floods in the Midwest or one more drought helps another terrorist group solidify power in West Africa.

Schumer stressed that we are on the "offense" on climate. Schatz, who has consistently urged bipartisan action on climate change, outright dismissed recent Republican antics: "The goofy stuff is done. We are treating this like the planetary emergency that it is."

Unfortunately, the "goofy stuff" is not quite done. Republicans have argued with mostly straight faces that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal would wreck the economy and slaughter cows without generating a single Big Mac. Ted Cruz claims that the Green New Deal would "destroy the American energy industry as we know it." The automobile also destroyed the horse-and-buggy industry as we knew it. Innovation is often a good thing, especially when it directly confronts a global threat.

Schatz was not a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, but his fellow senator from Hawaii, the awesome Mazie Hirono, was. He has worked on his own climate change reform for a while now, but Schatz says this new committee will examine the Green New Deal in depth and determine the best ways to move forward. They can hold special hearings with industry experts and outline to the public the many positives of a clean energy economy. And yes, bold action would require equally bold proposals.

SCHATZ: We have to make sure that people understand what's in it for them. We're going to need to spend on green infrastructure, we're going to need to spend on clean water and clean air. We're going to need to make sure that there is a just transition for people who currently work in the fossil fuel industry.

We can expect Republicans to fight them every step of the way. They'll need more dinosaur paintings.


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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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NYT video screenshot

The New York Times this weekend brought us a case study of how Donald Trump's family separation policy tore apart just one family last year, although this particular example is notable because it involves the youngest child known -- so far -- to have been taken from his parents at the US-Mexico border. Little Constantin Mutu was just four months old when he was taken from his father, Vasile, a Romanian seeking asylum in the USA, having believed all that outdated crap about the Statue of Liberty being the "Mother of Exiles." What a sap! We're not letting those tempest-tossed takers push US around any more!

Constantin was taken from his dad in February of 2018, a good two months before the Trump administration officially announced the family separation policy -- but which we now know had been operating covertly since the summer of 2017 before it was expanded last year. Vasile and Florentina Mutu, members of the Roma ethnic minority, came to the US seeking asylum after Florentina found out that when she'd had a C-section while giving birth to Constantin, the doctors had also sterilized her without her knowing it. She said she was handed papers while she was foggy from the pain of labor, and had no idea what she was signing, and reporter Caitlin Dickerson notes "human rights groups have documented the practice of forced sterilizations" of Roma elsewhere in Europe.

And the Mutus had heard all sorts of wonderful things about America, too. They made a living by leaving their village and begging or doing short-term labor around Europe, then going home, where life was less expensive, but some people from their village had reputedly gone to the US and become rich, although maybe those stories were exaggerated. Still,

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