1. Obama’s unaccountable briefers:
Here’s a key paragraph in Saturday’s New York Times report explaining the Obama administration’s decision to delay yet again a decision on the Keystone pipeline:
’The Nebraska Supreme Court decision could lead to changes in the pipeline route, and it’s important to have that information and better understand that route, because it could have implications for environmental, socioeconomic and cultural impacts of the pipeline,’ a State Department official said Friday in a conference call with reporters that was conducted on the condition that the official not be named.
Why did this official have to remain anonymous? Was he or she providing a national security leak? Was he or she blowing the whistle on some government wrongdoing?
Hardly. In this case the anonymous briefer was offering up a comically far-fetched excuse for kicking the pipeline decision down the road until after the 2014 elections.
Even assuming a state court’s decision on the routing of part of the pipeline could have “environmental, socioeconomic” or even “cultural” impacts -- which is a stretch -- the State Department could have made its own decision contingent on the state court not throwing any such unlikely curve balls. So you can’t blame the briefer for not wanting his or her name attached to this gibberish, or the Obama administration for not wanting a name and a face out there for follow-up questions.