-Jim Ellis, formerly an aide to Tom DeLay and head of DeLay’s PAC Americans for a Republican Majority, pleaded guilty Thursday to making an illegal campaign contribution in the 2002 election. Ellis received four years probation and a $10,000 fine. In return for the guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed conspiracy and money-laundering charges against him. Tom DeLay remains free on bail pending appeal of his conviction and three year jail sentence for money laundering. If DeLay’s conviction stands up in state court, I expect him and whoever it is paying his legal fees to go the Supreme Court, which recently threw out Montana’s ban on corporate campaign contributions.
-Rex Tillerson, the new head of Exxon/Mobil spoke before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York last week and in a break from his predecessor admitted that fossil fuel use contributes to global warming and is changing the climate, saying “yes, fossil fuels are warming the planet, but we’ll adapt to climate change and rising sea levels.” "Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around -- we'll adapt to that. It's an engineering problem and it has engineering solutions."
Tillerson said that lazy journalists are scaring the public, and that people are illiterate and don’t understand science and engineering. Would he say that people in his industry have been dishonest in denying climate change or is it just that geologists and engineers don’t understand climate science and ecology? This reminds me again of what Upton Sinclair said about how. "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" I don’t see how people who call themselves ‘conservatives’ can square that with changing the weather, which is a lot more crucial to our well-being than, say, the tax rate on capital gains.
-I heard Texas Attorney General and Major Tool Greg Abbott on the news bragging about their only win in the Supreme Court ruling affirming the Affordable Care Act as Constitutional. The ruling apparently will allow Texas and other states to continue keeping poor people off Medicaid. Still, Abbot is 0-for-five in his Federal suits by my count (on Voter ID, Re-districting, Planned Parenthood ban, and EPA rules.) I wonder if Texans for Lawsuit Reform will cut him off over frivolous lawsuits.