The Dakota Pipeline Problem

Cheyenne, WY, 12/4/16 – Time flies when you’re having fun. It’s already into the first week of December. Christmas will be here before we know it. But, in Cannonball, North Dakota, on the northern edge of the Indian reservation, the Standing Rock Sioux and a couple of other American Indian tribes are not ‘hanging their stocking by the chimney with care’ or ‘dashing through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh.” They are, after many weeks, still protesting against the 1,200 mile, four-state pipeline designed to carry oil from the Bakkan formation, a drilling area in western North Dakota to a shipping point in Illinois, probably at a port along Lake Michigan.

The Indians, members of the Standing Rock nation, the Cheyenne River Lakota, and the Rosebud Sioux, claim it threatens their drinking water supply on a nearby reservation, and certain cultural sites. The Pipeline developer, a company, called Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), claims that no sites have been disturbed and the pipeline will be safe. Both could be true; one could be true and the other not true; or neither could be true.

“The Missouri River is the primary source of our drinking water,” Doug Crow Ghost, a spokesman for the Standing Rock Sioux and the director of the tribe’s water office, said. He also stated that “Tribal members fish in the river.”

The issue has been waiting for a decision from a colonel at the Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees such matters, as to whether or not it will grant the company a permit to complete the short stretch of pipeline under the reservoir. This past weekend, the Corps announced that it will not grant said permit. What happens next? Probably an Environmental Impact study, which the Indians say has never been done.

Their protests have been ineffective. The pipeline is largely completed except for a short section that will pass under a Missouri River reservoir in southern North Dakota; hence, the drinking water issue. I’d hoped that the two parties would meet and work out a different solution before winter actually set in, but the weather has now turned frigid and the protestors, taking a page from their ancestors, have erected tepees at the site where they are temporarily living.

The local authorities, having had enough, have asked the Indians to pack up and leave now. Tribal elders have also asked them to disband. Meanwhile, ETP’s Executive Director, Kelcy Warren has stated that after a further study, it will not re-route the pipeline using a route west and south; too costly. But, he is open to meeting with the elders to attempt another solution.

Things turned nasty two weeks ago. Local authorities doused protestors with water as they tried to push past a roadblock at a local bridge, closed as unsafe because it had been partially burned by the protestors a few weeks before. Protestor organizers, according to an AP article, said that “at least 17 protestors were taken to a hospital, including some treated for hypothermia.” This, of course may or may not be true – consider the two sources – but the weather is cold enough to cause some damage to the health of anyone doused with cold water. And, the protestors were attempting to reach a pipeline construction site on the other side of the bridge. What they were going to do if they got there is an open question.

The latest word is that the Governor of North Dakota has said he is willing to meet with company officials and the protest leaders, to see if a different solution could be reached which will satisfy both parties to this dispute.

Stay tuned.

Donald Trump Campaigns Hard for Florida’s Electoral Votes!

11/3/16 – CHEYENNE, WY: Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump was on stage in Jacksonville Thursday in the quest for Florida’s 29 electoral votes. Trump has surged ahead in Sunshine State polling since the FBI announced it was looking at new emails related to its investigation into Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private server.

Trump’s Jacksonville appearance is his fourth in the past two days. He has fielded a heavy rally schedule as he’s been working to capitalize on Clinton’s falling poll numbers. His tremendous energy is in stark contrast to his opponent, whose health has been questioned.

Clinton has been facing fallout since FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congressional leaders Oct. 28 about the discovery of new emails. . . . That bombshell was dropped just 11 days before the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Clinton’s campaign has also been on the defensive as WikiLeaks continues to dump emails; some written by her campaign staffers, some sent to Clinton campaign staffers.

Among the revelations to come out of the WikiLeaks dumps is a $12 million donation from Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to the Clinton Foundation. The Clintons said nothing in the mid-90s when Chinese military intelligence made huge, illegal payouts to the re-election campaign of Bill Clinton. For more details on how the Clinton’s conceived the idea of a so-called charitable foundation in order to avoid prosecution for violation of federal laws, see my book, The China Connection, available from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com or directly from the author.

As controversy surrounds the Clinton campaign, the Democrat has watched her lead in the polls dwindle. On Friday, October 28th, she led Republican challenger Donald Trump by 4.6 percentage points in national polls, according to Real Clear Politics. By Wednesday, November 2, her lead had dropped to 1.7 percentage points. The number held steady on Thursday morning, but has apparently dwindled further overnight. As of Thursday, Real Clear Politics said Trump was ahead in Florida by 0.7 percent with five days to go.

With only a few days remaining before the election, Donald Trump has scheduled eleven rallies in at least four states across the nation. Crowds at his rallies continue to set records wherever he goes. Let’s hope those numbers translate into votes on election day.

Wyoming’s Upcoming General Election: A Snapshot

9/15/2016 – Wyoming’s General election occurs on Tuesday, November 8th. Things are getting interesting.

Nationally, we’ve got a race for Wyoming’s one House seat; Dick Cheney’s daughter, Liz, running for the second time, and Ryan Greene, a Democrat with little or no name recognition.

Closer to home, we’ve got a tight race for the State Legislature; House District 11, between incumbent Democrat Mary Throne and Chairman of the Laramie County Republican Central Committee, Jared Olsen.

What I find so interesting about this race is their Pre-Primary Report – 2016, filed just a few days before the Primary in August, with the Wyoming Election Division. Throne’s report states that she has raised a total of $14,310.78 from donations and loans. But, hey, she loaned herself $5,000, carried $2,365.78 over from last year and almost all the rest, except for $500, came from these out-of-state and a few in-state PACS.

You read THAT right. out-of-state and in-state PACS. Will someone kindly tell me what the Motorola Solutions, Inc. PAC of Washington, D.C. the Oneok Employees PAC, The Chesapeake Energy Corp. Federal PAC, the Tesoro PAC of Salt Lake City, UT, the United Transportation Union PAC of North Olmstead, OH and the BP North American Employee PAC from Houston, TX are doing contributing to the campaign of the Democrat Party House leader, who happens to be running from House District 11 in Cheyenne, Wyoming? Could it be that legislation may come before the Wyoming lawmakers affecting these entities, and they expect some consideration from the minority Party leader? Is this part of a “pay to play” scheme, Wyoming style?

According to her Report, Throne received donations from five Wyoming individuals, who contributed a total of $500. But the rest are Wyoming PACS; the WY Realtors PAC, the Wyoming Hospital Association PAC, and the Wyoming Rural Electric Assn. PAC, to name four of six. Of course, it could not be that they expect some sort of quid pro quo from Ms. Throne, in exchange for their money.

The contrast is stark. Jared Olsen’s Pre-Primary Report – 2016 shows that he has raised $5,345.00 from twenty-seven donors, of which twenty-five are Wyoming individuals. Of the other two, one came from a family member. The other, from a candidate who ran against Throne in the previous election. No donations came from any out-of-state individuals, corporations or PACS.

Looks like, if he wins the House seat, Olsen will not be in the hip pocket of any interests, and will be free to represent the interests of the constituents in his District and in the State of Wyoming.

9/8/16 – CHEYENNE, WY – Despite Large Number of Women Serving in Congress, Its Ratings Continue to Decline

Women in U.S. Congress – 2015

In 2015, 104 (76D, 28R) women held seats in the United States Congress, comprising 19.4% of the 535 members; 20 women (20%) served in the United States Senate, and 84 women (19.3%) served in the United States House of Representatives. Four women delegates (3D, 1R) also represented American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands in the United States House of Representatives.

Congressional Performance

Voters Still Say Congress Is For Sale

Monday, February 22, 2016

Positive reviews of Congress just barely cracked double-digits this month, while voters continued to believe that most representatives – including their own – are selling their votes.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 11% of Likely U.S. voters thought Congress was doing a good or excellent job. That’s up slightly from nine percent (9%) in the previous two surveys which was the lowest positive rating since the start of the new Republican-led Congress in January of last year. Sixty percent (60%) said Congress was doing a poor job, showing little change from the previous survey and generally in line with findings over the past year. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

When the new Congress arrived last year, positive reviews inched up to double digits for the first time in over two years and hit a recent high of 16% that February. The percentage of voters giving the legislators poor marks dropped into the 50s during the early months of 2015 after generally running in the 60s and 70s since mid-2011.

Now, however, voters including members of their own party aren’t pleased with the Republicans’ control of both chambers of Congress this past year. (NOTE Most voters do not understand that it’s not Republicans generally who are doing a poor job, but members of the Republican establishment; those elitists who believe they know better than the voters who sent them to Washington for a reason).

Sixty-one percent (61%) of all voters thought most members of Congress are willing to sell their vote for either cash or a campaign contribution, and the same percentage (61%) thought it’s likely their own representative had already done so. That includes 30% who thought it’s Very Likely their representative had sold his or her vote; which tied the highest finding in surveys since 2012.

Only 17% don’t think most members of Congress would sell their vote, but a sizable 22% are undecided. Twenty-six percent (26%) don’t think it’s likely their own representative had sold his or her vote, but only seven percent (7%) say it’s Not At All Likely. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.

(Want a free daily email update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 17-18, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Voters in past surveys have said that the wealthiest individuals and companies, as well as wealthy special interest groups, have too much influence over government decisions. Most also say these wealthy interests have too much influence over elections.

Majorities of voters across most demographic groups give Congress poor marks and say most representatives sell their votes.

Just six percent (6%) of voters not affiliated with either major political party think Congress is doing a good or excellent job, compared to 13% of both Republicans and Democrats. GOP voters are only slightly less likely than the others to give Congress a poor rating.

Unaffiliated voters feel the most strongly that most members of Congress are willing to sell a vote and that their only representative has likely done so. Democrats are the least convinced that their local representative is on the take.

Voters under 40 are slightly less critical of Congress compared to their elders, but they are just as likely to think most members are willing to sell votes.

Self-described politically liberal voters are the most critical of Congress, but over 50% of moderate and conservative voters agree the legislature is doing a poor job.

Only nine percent (9%) of all voters think the average member of Congress listens to the voters he or she represents the most. Seventy-seven percent (77%) think the average member listens mostly to party leaders in Congress.

Fifty-four percent (54%) feel that the Republican-led Congress’ record will hurt the GOP nominee for president this year. Even among Republicans, just 20% think the GOP Congress’ record will help their party’s candidate, compared to 39% who say it will hurt the candidate instead.

Voters want the Republican-led Congress and President Obama to work together, and they’re far more likely to blame Congress than the president for preventing that from happening.

Yet while voters don’t much care for the job Congress is doing, they still strongly believe the president needs congressional approval before taking action on the major issues facing the nation.

The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has set off a political battle over who should get to nominate his replacement. Only 27% of voters think it’s even somewhat likely that the Republican–controlled Senate will confirm any candidate President Obama nominates to replace Scalia.

Wyoming’s Upcoming Primary Election: A Snapshot

8/12/2016 – Wyoming’s Primary election occurs this coming Tuesday. Things are getting interesting.

Nationally, we’ve got a race for Wyoming’s one House seat; several good candidates – Liz Cheney running for the second time, after being rejected by the voters for being a “carpetbagger”; several talented newcomers, including Darin Smith, who has run an excellent campaign and is closing fast.

Closer to home, we’ve got a tight race for the State Legislature; House District 11, between incumbent Democrat Mary Throne and President of the Laramie County Republican Central Committee, Jared Olsen.

What I find so interesting about this race is their Pre-Primary Report – 2016, filed just a few days ago with the Wyoming Election Division. First, Mary Throne’s report states that she has raised a total of $14,310.78 from donations and loans. But, hey, she loaned herself $5,000, carried $2,365.78 over from last year and almost all the rest, except for $500, came from state and federal PACS.

You read THAT right; state and federal PACS. Will someone kindly tell me what the Motorola Solutions, Inc. PAC of Washington, D.C. the Oneok Employees PAC, The Chesapeake Energy Corp. Federal PAC, the Tesoro PAC of Salt Lake City, UT, the United Transportation Union PAC of North Omstead, OH and the BP North American Employee PAC from Houston, TX are doing contributing to the Primary campaign of the Democrat Party House leader in Wyoming? Could it be that legislation may come before the Wyoming lawmakers affecting these entities, and they expect some consideration from the minority Party leader?

According to her Report, Throne received donations from five Wyoming individuals, who contributed a total of $500. But the rest are Wyoming PACS; the WY Realtors PAC, the Wyoming Hospital Association PAC, and the Wyoming Rural Electric Assn. PAC, to name four of six. Of course, it could not be that they expect some sort of quid pro quo from Ms. Throne, in exchange for their money.

The contrast is stark. Jared Olsen’s Pre-Primary Report – 2016 shows that he has raised $5,345.00 from twenty-seven donors, of which twenty-five are Wyoming individuals. One came from family. The other, from a candidate who ran against Throne in the previous election. No donations came from any out-of-state individuals, corporations or PACS.

Looks like, if he wins the House seat, Olsen will represent the interests of the constituents in his District and in the State of Wyoming.

Water in Wyoming

8/3/16 – CHEYENNE, WY – although the Western states are far from an arid wasteland, there’s no denying that water is scarce. As such it is an important resource, depended upon by the Agriculture and Mining industries, as well as the people who reside in cities and towns.

About our water supply? We get water from both surface water and ground water. Surface water is collected from the Douglas Creek Drainage area, located in the Snowy Range Mountains, about 75 miles west of Cheyenne. The water is stored in Rob Roy Reservoir and transported to Granite and Crystal Reservoirs via two water delivery pipelines. Surface water is also collected from the Crow Creek Drainage area located in the Pole Mountain/Vedauwoo Drainage area, about 30 miles west of Cheyenne. Crow Creek water is collected and stored in North Crow Reservoir (North Crow Creek Drainage area), in Granite and Crystal Reservoirs (Middle Crow Creek Drainage area), and South Crow Reservoir (South Crow Creek Drainage area). Water is delivered from these drainage areas to the R. L. Sherard water treatment plant by pipelines.

The City of Cheyenne owns about 35 groundwater wells located west and northwest of Cheyenne. These wells pump water from the Ogallala and White River Aquifers.

Cheyenne also collects surface water in the Little Snake River Drainage area, located about 110 miles west of Cheyenne on the western slope of the Continental Divide. This water is transported through a tunnel and stored in Hog Park Reservoir, located on the eastern slope of the Divide. Water released from Hog Reservoir is traded for surface water from the Douglas Creek Drainage area. Cheyenne is allowed to collect water from this Drainage area and store it in Rob Roy Reservoir for use in the drinking water system.

In view of Islam’s war against the western world, water can and will become a target for their terrorist tactics. That means that we must develop counter terrorist tactics to protect this major resource from attack by those seeking to damage or destroy the United States.