FROM Phil Kerpen
Native Americans versus big oil About 2000 Native Americans from tribes all over the country have gathered in Canon Ball, North Dakota near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. They're waiting for a court ruling on Friday, when a federal judge will decide if construction on an oil pipeline should be stopped for an environmental impact report. Did the Army Corps of Engineers ignore Indian rights when it approved an oil pipeline under the Missouri River? The tribes claim it endangers the water supply and that sacred burial sites have already been disturbed. In the past few days, there's been violence. A new generation is raising issues that go back to America's founding — in the midst of current debate on the nation's energy supply. NOTE: On Friday, September 9, Federal District Judge James Boasberg denied the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction.
Is the US Ready for Universal Coverage? America's shortage of doctors has been growing for years, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is going to make it much worse. Even supporters of "Obamacare" agree that, with 30 million new patients in 2014, there will be 62,000 fewer doctors than needed. That's just two years away, but it takes ten years to train a doctor, so there's a crisis just around the corner. Nurse practitioners and clinics in pharmacies can take up some of the slack, but can they really replace MD's? Will the gap in quality care between wealthy Americans and the poor grow bigger than ever?
Wisconsin and the Rights of Government Employees Wisconsin's public employee unions say they've agreed to Republican Governor Scott Walker's proposed increases in pension and healthcare contributions. But they're into the second week of protests over his demand that collective bargaining rights be limited.
Standoff Continues in Wisconsin In Madison, protesters packed the Capitol again today as Wisconsin's Governor refused to negotiate his controversial budget bill. Republican Scott Walker's plan is aimed at a $137 million shortfall. The state's public employee unions say they've agreed to Walker's proposed pay cuts and pension contributions, but are into the second week of protests over his demand that collective bargaining rights be limited. The minority Senate Democrats have left the state to prevent Republicans from enacting the Governor's proposal. President Obama's accused Walker of an "assault against unions," and minority Senate Democrats have left the state to prevent Republicans from changing the law. We get the latest's on a bitter dispute focused on government workers and the economy.
Global Warming, the EPA and Republicans in Congress Whatever the President says tonight about global warming, the Environmental Protection Agency is the next House-Republican target after healthcare reform . The GOP is determined to stop, or delay for years, new regulations of greenhouse emissions being promulgated by the EPA. Last year was the warmest on Earth since 1850, but Congress wasn't alarmed enough to take action, so the EPA began regulating greenhouse emissions. The US Supreme Court said the EPA had no choice if public health was at risk. Republicans say the regulations are job killers that aren't worth the cost. Are they a long-term requirement for coping with global warming or "an unconstitutional power grab" based on scientific uncertainties?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?