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Twitter: @SteveAhlquist

Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

His photos and video are usable under the Creative Commons license. Free to share with credit.

"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

8 responses to “Sheldon Whitehouse gets cookies for healthcare, castigated for Burrillville”

  1. salgal

    See, the situation with Rep Joe Kennedy coming out against the Rehoboth compressor station is completely contradictory to Whitehouse’s adamant position that he doesn’t have jurisdiction to take a stand on CREC up in Burrillville. I would like to hear from Carvalho or even better, the Senator himself, the explanation on that dichotomy. Is Kennedy acting outside of the law or some ethical tenet of office?

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  2. Andrew Stewart

    Yet Whitehouse refuses to put forth a single payer bill in the Senate.

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  3. Barry Schiller

    While I think Whitehouse might be more active on the Burrillville issue, he is not the decision maker, so its just not that important what he says. On the other hand, losing him to some Republican (who would vote for McConnell, Gorsuch, etc) over this would be absurd. We have to beware those that want perfection, we got Trump, Pruitt, Devos, Gorsuch etc because too many people let Clinton’s imperfections dominate their thinking and as a result millions are being hurt. I hope folks learn from such mistakes.

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    1. PinkHatLib

      “I hope folks learn from such mistakes.”

      Yes, vote Green. The Democrats are hopelessly captured by neoliberals, corporatists, and war hawks, who think your opinion doesn’t matter.

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    2. PinkHatLib

      Ted Rall on learning from mistakes…
      Hillary was a two time loser. Weirdly, her people are still in charge of the Democratic Party. Clintonista militant moderates haven’t learned a thing from Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump — so they’re trying to sell Democratic voters on more of the same.

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  4. Barry Schiller

    Lifetime ratings for Senators according to those who actually work in the environment field, the League of Conservation Voters based on decisions Senators actually have to make by their votes:
    Whitehouse 98%, Reed 96%,
    some GOP Senators: McConnell 7%, McCain 20%, Rubio 6%, Collins 65%

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  5. Bill Eccleston

    Barry, I think you’re correct that losing Senator Whitehouse over his reluctance to criticize the power plant would be absurd. But, as we learned in spades in November, these are absurd times, and the power plant is proposed for an utterly absurd site that overthrows the norms, and indeed the law and regulations, that have governed land-use decisions for nearly a generation in this state. This makes power plant opponents—and their ranks are very large now—see red. A lot of them will vote red, too, just to spite the Senator, if the power plant is approved and we see splashed across the media cranes in the over the state forests next to which the plant will be built. So that’s the risk both he and we all run regards control of the US Senate. The smart thing for Whitehouse to do would be to follow the Governor’s lead, (see GoLocal three weeks ago,) and issue a mea culpa to power plant opponents for his oft-repeated declarations that the EFSB siting process is a fair and thorough one. If he doesn’t, it is only a matter of time before Republicans discover this embarrassing issue for put some money behind it, adding fuel to the red flames in 2018. And as for the effect of him dissing the power plant, yes, his words would not be decisive, but they would be far from insignificant. And aren’t we concerned about a Democrat retaining the Governorship, too? Gina is absolute toast if this power plant gets approved. That is guaranteed. So stopping the power plant is very much a crucial issue both here and nationwide for Democrats. There are only 16 Democrat governors left in the whole country. And think what that will mean if that trend continues through the 2020 census and the Republicans get yet another chance to gerrymander their way to permanent power in our national government. So… Message to the Senator: Do something about the power plant. Join the Governor and issue a mea culpa. In Burrillville. Perhaps at the Pulaski Park Recreation Area—part of the larger George Washington Wildlife Management Area on whose northeast property line those cranes will be rearing their photogenic heads.

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  6. leftyrite

    Senator Whitehouse, on the worst day of his life, is three times the lawyer that Flanders is or ever was. And twenty times the gentle man.

    That, of course, is understood. But, who wants gentle at this late political date?

    Unfortunately, Senator Whitehouse has advanced too far in DC and not enough at home.

    Maybe, that’s because he now represents The Party against The Lobby. And, the Party suffers from ineffectual messaging, Chuck Schumer included. Who’s buying him?

    I’ve heard Shel when he has stood up to his full lawyerly height and inveighed against Power. Strong; convincing.

    What he needs to believe, in his heart; not his mind, is that he needs to fight.

    Otherwise, we get more of the Orwellian state.

    (The Mooch will soon gain traction; this con will get people who love a good lounge act laughing. Moses Brown has no antidote for the Four Seasons and a cynical laugh.)

    Skin in the game–or Brezhnev down the line.

    Ambrose Burnside was a great general, almost.

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