Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

Environmental Group Attacks Inhofe's Record

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(Yes, please, Inhofe already.  It is time to send U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) into retirement. Check out his opponent in the 2008 election, State Sen. Andrew Rice (D-Oklahoma City), a true progressive who supports a full and open discussion on climate change and all environmental issues.)

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe has brought more embarrassment to Oklahoma.  The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has designated Inhofe as the leader of its “Dirty Dozen” list for possessing one of the worst anti-environmental records in Congress.

Unfortunately, the designation ultimately reflects on the state’s residents, many of whom do not support Inhofe’s radical anti-environmental agenda and ideology.  This must include some of his fellow Republicans.  For example, in his ongoing gesture of absurdity, Inhofe calls global warming a “hoax” developed by liberals.  He has been admonished by U.S. Sen.  Barbara Boxer twice at Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meetings for acting rudely to former Vice President Al Gore and a fellow senator as they tried to speak candidly about climate change.

Inhofe not only denies global warming, he also wants to prevent any public discussion about the issue.

“Our future will be significantly impacted by how we work to fight global warming, yet Senator Jim Inhofe won’t even acknowledge that global warming exists,” LCV Senior Vice President Tony Massaro said.  “During his tenure in Congress, Senator Inhofe has made it his mission to vote against commonsense solutions to global warming and our nation’s energy challenges, earning an abysmal 5 percent lifetime LCV voting score and a place on our ‘Dirty Dozen’ list.”

Inhofe is at odds with the world’s scientific community and President George Bush, who believes humans have contributed to global warming problems. Since 2001, Inhofe has accepted $636, 965 in campaign funds from “polluting energy interests,” according to the LCV.

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Inhofe responded to LCV’s designation by (what else, of course) trying to demonize the organization as a liberal special interest group, according to his personal public relations firm, The Daily Oklahoman.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Al Gore and the United Nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace Friday for their work educating the world about global warming.

The contrast cannot be greater. Gore, who won the popular vote for president in the 2000 election, wins the Nobel Peace Prize; Inhofe brings more ridicule upon Oklahomans.  It is one thing to be a skeptic about the causes and effects of climate change.  Honest skepticism helps people get at truth.  But it is quite another thing for Inhofe to actively work to suppress basic information about climate change. 

It should go without saying that the world needs to have a full and open discussion about global warming.  Fortunately, State Sen. Andrew Rice (D-Oklahoma City), who is running against Inhofe in 2008, will encourage such a discussion if he is elected.  He will not rubber stamp any particular global warming initiative or report without careful scrutiny, but he will allow all sides on the issue to be heard.

There are many reasons to support Rice over Inhofe in this race, but this issue alone should be enough for Oklahoma voters to send the 72-year-old Senator into retirement.


The War On Science: Inhofe Tries To Stop Climate Change Discussion

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(We need to send the denier/denyer into retirement.  Click here to support State Sen. Andrew Rice, who is running against U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe in 2008.)

Oklahoma’s most embarrassing political leader, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, continues to throw angry fits in committee meetings in an effort to stop discussions over scientific and firsthand information related to global warming.

In yet another bizarre episode in the senator’s personal war against science, Inhofe tried to prevent U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) from discussing the impact of global warming on the Chesapeake Bay.  Mikulski and other Bay area politicians were invited to share information at a recent hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee, headed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California). 

Inhofe, who calls global warming a “hoax” created by liberals, is the former head of the committee and one of the main reasons why the country has been late in dealing with the ramifications of climate change. (Even Imperial President George Bush acknowledges global warming and “that human activity is a factor.”)

According to Ryan Grim at Politico, Inhofe objected to allowing Mikulski talk about her recent trip to Greenland’s melting ice sheet, global warming and the effect of climate change on the Chesapeake Bay. He argued there was no precedent for Mikulski to talk and that he would agree with it only if Boxer would promise it was a one-time deviation.

As she did when Inhofe rudely confronted former Vice President Al Gore at a meeting, Boxer had to step up and defend basic commonsense and basic integrity when the 72-year-old Oklahoma politician acted out.

According to Grim, Boxer told Inhofe: “Senator, I’m not going to agree to that. I’m the chairman of this committee and I’ve spoken to you about this. You knew this was coming. I asked Sen. Mikulski to join us. If that’s not enough, I went back to the parliamentarian. There is absolutely no rule that forbids this.”

Grim writes Inhofe became red faced.

As Grim writes, Boxer went on, “It seems to me that we might not agree on this issue – and Lord knows we don’t, but we agree on other things – but we should have a sense of comity. This is a colleague who would bend over backwards for you if you ever asked her for anything. And I am going to ask unanimous consent that we allow Sen. Mikulski to join us today.”

Inhofe, Grim points out, later interrupted Boxer:  “It’s an outrage to invite her.”

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The larger tragedy here beyond Inhofe’s embarrassing, sophomoric behavior is how Oklahoma’s senior senator continues to do anything he can to prevent serious discussions about global warming.

It is one thing to be a skeptic about the effects of global warming and say so. It is Inhofe’s right to be wrong on one of the most important issues in the world today. But it is simply crazy and dangerous to work actively to suppress information so the public remains unaware of the issue. If global warming does not exist, then any information supporting its reality should be easily challenged, right?

Inhofe’s recent actions bring up the question of whether he possesses the mental stability to serve his country in such a powerful leadership role. A U.S. Senator owes it to all the American people and constituents to allow a full discussion on important issues. A U.S. Senator also owes constituents mature, reasonable behavior.

Fortunately, State Sen. Andrew Rice (D-Oklahoma), a true progressive, is running against Inhofe in the 2008 election. Rice will not rubber stamp any particular argument without careful and considered scrutiny, but he will always allow a full discussion about important issues facing Americans.

OK-Sen: Inhofe Puts Banks Above Students

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(Are you sick and tired of U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe’s bizarre comments on global warming and the Iraq occupation? Then click here to elect State Sen. Andrew Rice, a progressive Democrat who is running against Inhofe in the 2008 election.  Let’s send Inhofe into retirement.)

Even Oklahoma’s corporate power structure believes the state needs more college graduates, but do not count on U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe to help out.

Inhofe was one of just twelve U.S. Senators who recently voted against a bill to expand federal aid for college students.  President George Bush has said he will sign the bill, which passed the Senate 79-12 and the House 292-97.  The extra funding will be financed by cutting fees to banks on loans provided to students.

Oklahoma lags behind the nation in the number of college graduates.  The state’s corporate media outlets often bemoan the fact the state’s two major metropolitan areas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, do not have enough educated, highly-skilled workers to attract or sustain businesses. This bill provides better access to loans for students and will increase the state’s business viability.

So why did Inhofe vote against the bill, even though many Republicans supported the measure?

Inhofe is a shill for big corporations, including major banks and oil companies.  He has completely lost touch with ordinary Oklahomans, who have faced skyrocketing college tuition in recent years.  He has “gone Washington.”  He rewards big corporations as he denigrates ordinary Oklahomans trying to go to college.

Inhofe is a highly partisan extremist who fails to take into account Oklahoma’s particular needs and issues.

According to Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairperson Ivan Holmes, “Inhofe continues to paint himself as a ‘true’ conservative and deficit hawk, but his rhetoric doesn’t match his actions and this vote once again proves it.  Inhofe could have voted to reduce the deficit and help average families, but instead he sided with the banking industry. The latest Federal Election Commission report indicates that Inhofe received $10,000 from the American Bankers Association PAC so far in 2007.”