THE PUBLIC EYE: Welcome to Romneyland

By Bob Burnett
Friday September 14, 2012 - 08:59:00 AM

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s policies would degrade American life. If Romney had his way, the US would follow the dysfunctional course of Wyoming, a state run by big oil and gas companies and governed by conservative Republicans. A state where pursuit of corporate profits trumps quality of life.

In Romney’s acceptance speech he promised, “By 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.” Reframing the Republican mantra “drill, baby, drill,” Romney’s energy plan would “open America’s energy reserves for development” and “provide a rational and streamlined process to regulation.” A Washington Post analysis of the plan concludes Romney would “Open all federal lands and waters for drilling, including the entire Pacific and Atlantic coasts as well as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.” Currently, the Interior Department has the power to issue drilling permits for Federal lands and waters; “Romney would give that power to states.” In addition, Romney would “approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil sands from Canada to the Texas gulf coast.”

To facilitate his full-throttle approach, Romney would significantly weaken the regulatory power of Federal agencies. He would, “Strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the power to regulate carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.” In addition, Romney would “remove obstacles and regulations” that impede the development of coal. (Romney has called the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts “outdated” and said “they need to be overhauled.”) -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Making it Harder For Some to Vote: Restrictive Voting Laws

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday September 14, 2012 - 09:55:00 AM

In the 2008 presidential election, approximately 5 million more Americans voted than in 2004. And the voters were the most racially diverse in American history, with African-Americans, Latino, and Asian-American citizens voting in record number. Since the 2008 election, however, more than 30 states have introduced laws that make it harder to vote, ostensibly to curb voter fraud. According to the Brennan Center for Justice , these restrictive laws could disenfranchise more than 5 million Americans, and could effect the presidential election in key states. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS:Outpatient Institutionalization--A Rant

By Jack Bragen
Friday September 14, 2012 - 09:46:00 AM

Institutionalization can happen to a person with mental illness with or without their housing as one of its components. Many persons with mental illness are forced by economic concerns to live in a "board and care home" (which is a privately owned house that rents to mentally ill people) or in "supported housing," (this might be an apartment complex that has low rent, set aside for persons with disabilities.) -more-