Stephen Colbert hilariously explains the real danger of the Keystone XL pipeline. WATCH:
While Colbert makes a great point with satire, the dangers of diluted bitumen are real. A 2012 article in the New York Times laid out the dangers of a tar-sands pipeline spill:
After the dilbit gushed into the river, it began separating into its constituent parts. The heavy bitumen sank to the river bottom, leaving a mess that is still being cleaned up. Meanwhile, the chemical additives evaporated, creating a foul smell that lingered for days. People reported headaches, dizziness and nausea. No one could say with certainty what they should do. Federal officials at the scene didn’t know until weeks later that the pipeline was carrying dilbit, because federal law doesn’t require pipeline operators to reveal that information.
The 2010 spill could have been worse if it had reached Lake Michigan, as authorities originally feared it might. Lake Michigan supplies drinking water to more than 12 million people. Fortunately, the damage was restricted to a tributary creek and about 36 miles of the Kalamazoo, used primarily for recreation, not drinking water.
Today President Obama unveiled the BRAIN initiative. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is "the next great American project." The White House describes the brain project as "a bold new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and advance the president's vision for creating jobs and building a thriving middle class by investing in research and development."
Here's Five Facts on BRAIN:
1. It is designed to map the inner workings of the brain, seeking answers to challenges such as epilepsy, autism, and Alzheimer's disease.
2. Job creation - the project would lead to developing technologies at the intersections of nanoscience, imaging, engineering, informatics, and other rapidly emerging fields of science and engineering - all opening new innovative careers for American students.
3. Three government agencies are uniting to lead the project: The National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.
4. All of this for just $100 million - miniscule by government spending standards (after all, the comparable, Human Genome Project was three BILLION).
5. Fact: It's about time. "As humans we can identify galaxies light-years away, study particles smaller than an atom but we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter than sits between our ears."
For more, WATCH HERE:
DFA applauds innovative efforts for progress. After all, as President Obama said: "We are a nation of dreamers and risktakers." What do you think of the BRAIN initiative? And what dream projects would you like to see the government invest in?
DFA’s Purple to Blue Project is a national, multi-year effort to win state House and Senate chambers across the country by making so-called “purple” state legislative seats decisively Democratic. For more information about Purple to Blue, check out this great Huffington Post article.
Even as Democrats picked up wins nationally last year, conservatives continued to cement control of state legislatures -- and they're using states like Virginia to build momentum for radical, extreme agendas.
We're seeing the damage they can do. Virginia's newly-enacted restrictions on abortion have spawned a national assault on women's right to make decisions about her own life: just this weekend, North Dakota's Republican-controlled legislature passed a "personhood" amendment, effectively banning all abortions in the state.
Whether it's stripping away labor rights in Wisconsin, restricting voting rights in Pennsylvania, or attacking a woman's right to choose in Virginia, conservatives are growing bolder and reaching further than ever before.
It's time to get back to basics. DFA is targeting five swing districts in Virginia to send a powerful message to Republicans: If you continue to wage war on our core values, progressives will defeat you at the ballot box.
This isn't a process that will happen overnight, but we have to start now. We're endorsing our first round of candidates -- now we need to raise $10,000 to begin recruiting staff to join them in the field.