Thursday, December 22, 2005

Good News from the US

Some good news (sorta) from down there:

1. The Alaska oil drilling plan has stalled in the US Senate.

This (the failure of the bill to pass) is a bad thing if you are Pres. Bush. For the rest of the world it appears to be good especially if you are wildlife.
There are environmental issues, some involving Canada, caribou and the food chain of some First Nations communities.

This plan has been kicking around for decades, and it almost went through this time because it somehow was tied to a defense spending bill, meant to provide funding for US troops and hurricane victims. Or motherhood and apple pie, not sure which.

I've heard this many times before, having one piece of legislation added on to another, totally separate issue. Why this is allowed, is beyond me. Probably because it works (at least sometimes) and mostly because they can.

Meanwhile, the caribou et al will be okay for at least a short while longer.

2. The US Senate voted to repeal the Byrd Amendment.

This is a weird one. It seems that the Americans had allowed themselves to pass along import duties collected to American companies in competition with the foreign manufacturer.
The World Trade Organization declared this illegal in 2002, and when the US ignored that ruling, permitted affected countries to impose "retaliatory" duties.
So much for free trade, huh.
The bad news is, that thing (Byrd Amendment) will still be in force for almost two more years. Illegally.

Meanwhile the scandals keep piling up, making ours look rather tame. This domestic spying issue might just be a keeper, the CIA leak case isn't done and another one looms.

Oh and by the way, I am NOT anti-American. I am anti-right-wing neo-con evangelical wingnut Republican influence. Just wanted to make that clear.

I also want to say that after the last few days of the campaign I'm drifting toward "undecided". Or "a pox on all your houses", kind of the same thing, really.

(Cross-posted to CTV Election Weblog)

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