Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fred Upton Named "The Most Dangerous Member Of Congress" By The L.A. Times


Yesterday the L.A. Times ran an interesting year in review editorial: Congress' 10 Biggest Enemies of the Earth. For a Republican-owned and slanted newspaper it was shockingly on the money. The 10 biggest enemies are all characters we've discussed here before: John Cornyn (R-TX), "the biggest lifetime recipient of oil-industry contributions in the Senate;" Don Young (R-AK), "a tireless advocate for opening Alaska's pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling;" Darrell Issa (R-CA), who's turned "political gamesmanship into an art form, and has been particularly keen to attack environmental regulators and policymaker;" Bob Latta (R-OH), who "has the distinction of sponsoring the most far-reaching and destructive amendment to the most egregious anti-environment bill passed by the House this year;" Edward Whitfield (R-KY) who "offered an amendment that would block the EPA from regulating mercury and other toxics from power plants, and from coming up with a rule on smog and soot that crosses state lines;" Jim Inhofe (R-OK), "one of the most outspoken climate-change deniers in the Senate (he's renowned for calling global warming 'the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people');" Michael Simpson (R-ID), who adds "dozens of anti-environment riders to must-pass budget legislation;" Miss McConnell (R-KY) "is among the key architects of his party's stance on environmental issues;" Eric Cantor (R-VA), "released a memo in late August listing the top 10 "job-destroying regulations his party would battle in the remainder of the congressional session [&] seven were environmental rules opposed by the fossil fuel industry, including restrictions on emissions from industrial boilers and cement plants, and proposed rulemaking on smog, farm soot and greenhouse gases." The list goes from horrible to even more horrible. Cornyn, in other words, is awful, but Cantor is the worst on the list... so far. There's actually, according to the L.A. Times editorial board, someone even worse than Cantor-- our old pal, hereditary multimillionaire and one percenter Fred Upton (R-MI). Here's what they had to say about Upton and why they named him the single most dangerous Member of Congress:
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Upton is the gatekeeper for many of the disastrous anti-environment bills that have been approved or proposed in the House this year. Ironically, he was once known among his state's conservatives as "Red Fred" because of a somewhat pro-environment voting record, but a recent electoral challenge from his right changed all that. Because of his powerful position and newfound disdain for green regulation, he represents one of the biggest threats to planet Earth on planet Earth.

And there's more-- lots more. This week it's all about telemarketers wanting access to our cell phones. As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Upton's the power behind HR 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011. Upton has opposed every consumer protection bill that has come along and the collection agencies and other disreputable characters behind this one know Upton is their man. The corporations Upton is working with the push this bill forward include American Bankers Association, ACA International, Air Transport Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations, Edison Electric Institute, Education Finance Council, Financial Services Roundtable, Housing Policy Council, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), National Council of Higher Education Loan Program, Student Loan Servicing Alliance, Student Loan Servicing Alliance Private Loan Committee, The Clearing House, and, of course, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In case you are interested in sending Upton a message you don't approve of this law, you can contribute to the progressive Democrat running against him in his Michigan district, John Waltz. And you can do that right here on the main Blue America page. Waltz vehemently opposes this invasion of privacy-- and the weaking of regulatory laws that protect consumers, workers and, of course, the environment.

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At 10:39 PM, Anonymous me said...

I sense a change in the wind. Not a strong change, but definite. In recent months, more than once, more than twice, I've encountered right-wing publications countering the right-wing narrative.

It remains true that everything one encounters in newspapers, radio, and TV is concocted by corporate PR departments, with controlling public opinion in mind. So the question is, why are they doing it?

Have they actually wised up? That seems unlikely. Have their research teams concluded that Occupy is winning too many hearts and minds, and they need to lighten up? Have they finally realized that a big piece of a small pie (economically speaking) is not such a good deal for them, and they need to make the pie bigger?

Have they realized that they are losing control of the whack jobs like Palin, Bachmann, Gingrich, et al. that they have been forcing on the populace?

Maybe all of the above, maybe something else entirely.

This change clearly deliberate, and there must be a goal. But I have not yet figured out what that goal is.

At 2:11 AM, Blogger narishbeatle said...

One fairly major error in the post-John Conyers should be John Cornyn. John Conyers is a House Democrat from Michigan.

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

H.R. 3035 is actually off the docket in the Energy and Commerce Committee and it will not be pursued. The people spoke and Congress actually listened for once. Let's at least give some credit where credit is due to Mr. Upton who stopped this bill in it's tracks and refused to hold even a markup for this bill.


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