Tag: Commentary

Black History Month milestones can’t blot out the bad

by Colbert I. King, Washington Post.
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excerpt.

Making lemonade out of lemons can still leave a sour taste……..

But those commemorations don’t blot out the bad things in our past, take away the painful memories or make up for the losses that those bad things caused.

Nor do they mask the changes taking place before our very eyes:

The displacement of black and brown neighborhoods with younger, better-educated, more affluent white millennials.

The socioeconomic disparities — more than $60 million allocated to renovate Murch Elementary School in the prosperous upper Northwest Van Ness neighborhood, while Savoy Elementary School in poverty-stricken Southeast was shut and its students parceled out to other schools because it was overrun with rodents and bedbugs.

The radical changes in priorities — a family leave program costing tens of millions of dollars and primarily benefiting non-D.C. residents; a city commitment to keep operating, for at least the next four years, a no-fare streetcar line along gentrifying H Street NE at $8 million annually.

Closing out observance of Black History Month, and surveying the evolving D.C. landscape and the drift of things, the sour taste lingers.

Pruitt Ignored Cries to Regulate Fracking in Okla. Now Residents Face Big Oil on Their Own

The Senate just confirmed Scott Pruitt to run the EPA. But as residents reported major damage from fracking-related earthquakes, the then-attorney general closed his office’s environmental enforcement unit.

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Andrew Knife Chief is the executive director of the Pawnee Nation, which took a beating from a 5.8 magnitude tremor that caused $250,000 in damages to Pawnee Nation government buildings in September. This does not include additional damage to Pawnee homes.

“The state of Oklahoma has vehemently denied the link between modern drilling techniques and earthquakes,” Knife Chief said. “These guys are beholden to the energy companies. The energy companies provide a lot of jobs for the state of Oklahoma; however, there comes a point when common sense and reason should outweigh your efforts to delude the public.”

That common sense never reached Pruitt, a self-described “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda” who closed the environmental enforcement unit in his office and established a legal team to challenge federal agencies, according to EPA sources. He has sued the EPA 14 times to challenge environmental regulations. He even reprinted industry arguments under his agency letterhead and forwarded them to the EPA.