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The consequences of the Keystone XL vote, Obama’s immigration action, and more

A sign reading “Stop the Transcanada Pipeline” stood in a field near Bradshaw, Neb., along the proposed route.AP/file 2013

The consequences of the progressive campaigns to halt Keystone XL: Washington Post columnist Chuck Lane contends that the progressive campaigns, which halted the Senate’s debate on whether to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, are “intellectually dishonest.”

“Far from being ‘game over’ for the planet, Keystone XL would not boost greenhouse gas emissions significantly, according to State Department experts,” he writes. “In their tendentious effort to deny these realities, progressives risk violating yet another cherished principle that, in their view, distinguishes them from the right: that of letting facts and science, not ideology, determine policy.” Read more.

Blumenthal bills would improve accountability by corporations: Following the recent product liability and safety issues at General Motors and Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata, the editors of the New York Times advocate for swift passage of three new bills aimed at improving corporate accountability for product failures.


“Whether the products are cars, airbags, tires, toys, cribs, food, drugs or other goods, new laws are needed to deter corporations from covering up safety defects and punish those individuals and companies that do,” they write. “Three bills introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut and a former state attorney general, would cover many of the prominent issues.” Read more.

The rich are getting richer: In a Salon op-ed, former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich opines on the growing disparity between the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans and the rest of the country’s population.

“This explosion of wealth at the top has been accompanied by an erosion of the wealth of the middle class and the poor,” he writes. “The top .01 percent have also been investing their money in politics. And these investments have been changing the game.” Read more.

Lavon Massey, 1, held a sign as activists demonstrated outside the US Citizenship & Immigration Service office in New Orleans on Wednesday.AP

Even if Obama acts on immigration, questions remain: Bloomberg View’s Megan McArdle argues that if the Obama administration does take action on immigration reform, there are still numerous questions Congress will have to address regarding its implementation.


“We’re discussing the political fallout, and telling stories about plucky folks whose lives would be really disrupted if they had to go back to their country of origin,” she writes. “Every policy you can imagine hurts someone and helps someone. We still have to decide how many people to help, and how.” Read more.

Cosby’s image gave him cover: Writing for the Guardian, Hadley Freeman suggests that actor and comedian Bill Cosby was able to downplay rape allegations because of the respectable image and reputation he built for himself within the entertainment industry.

“Cosby set himself up as the image of conservative paternalistic morality in black America,” she writes. “His success as a pioneer and, more crucially, his self-fashioned image for a long time protected him from the allegations. Now they make the crimes he is accused of committing feel even more cruel and repulsive than they already are.” Read more.