Obamamometer Whispers DAPL Sweet Nothings to Lure Progressives

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She now spends most of her time in India and other parts of Asia researching a book about textile artisans. She also writes regularly about legal, political economy, and regulatory topics for various consulting clients and publications, as well as writes occasional travel pieces for The National.

Just in time to pander for progressive votes in the home stretch leading into the election, the Obamamometer suggested earlier this week that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may be open to rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), currently the subject of protests organized in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other pipeline opponents.

The DAPL is designed to transport light sweet crude oil from the Bakken Shield in North Dakota — an area not served by existing pipelines — through South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. DAPL would supersede the previous distribution arrangements, under which oil from this source was shipped by train.

What’s now occurring follows the playbook I suggested would be used in my September post, Dakota Pipeline Will Proceed As Feds Undertake Smoke and Mirrors Policy Reconsideration. And the administration is still promising to pay us on Tuesday.

Soft, Sibilant, Sweet Nothings

As reported DeSmogBlog’s Steven Horn, in As President Obama Hints At Dakota Access Possible Reroute, Tensions Swirl at Standing Rock— which is worth reading in full for the additional details and context it provides– the Obamamometer said the Corps would consider rerouting the pipeline following a continued consultation process. His key weasel words:

right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways we can reroute this pipeline, so we’re going to let it play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that is properly attentive to the tradition of First Americans.

To be fair, he did genuflect in the direction of the First Amendment and call for both authorities and protestors to show restraint (as reported by the BBC):

There is an obligation for protesters to be peaceful, and there’s an obligation for authorities to show restraint…
I want to make sure that as everybody is exercising their constitutional rights to be heard, that both sides are refraining from situations that might result in people being hurt.

Standing Rock Sioux Ask for DOJ Investigation

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has asked the Department of Justice to intervene and investigate alleged civil rights abuses in pipeline policing, which has been conducted by state and local police and private security companies. North Dakota earlier this month approved an additional $4 million for policing the DAPL protest, raising total expenditures to 10 million.

Horn’s article features an embedded video showing a policing crackdown.

The Wall Street Journal also posted video footage filmed yesterday.

Faith in Vague Promises

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe issued a press release in which they chose to take the Obamamometer at his word:

We applaud President Obama’s commitment to protect our sacred lands, our water, and the water of 17 million others.

While the Army Corps of Engineers is examining this issue we call on the administration and the Corps to issue an immediate “stop work order” on the Dakota Access Pipeline. And given the flawed process that has put our drinking water in jeopardy, we also urge the Administration to call for a full environmental impact study.

The nation and the world are watching. The injustices done to Native people in North Dakota and throughout the country must be addressed.

We believe President Obama and his Administration will do the right thing.

Yet as Horn reported, Greenpeace is made of stronger stuff:

The administration seems to be buying time to maintain the status quo and profits for fossil fuel investors,” Greenpeace USA spokeswoman Lilian Molina said in a press release. “There is only one option that is truly attentive to the Native lives and lands at stake: respect the rights and sovereignty of Indigenous communities by revoking the permits immediately.”

Greenpeace USA, meanwhile, called for Obama to reverse the Army Corps permit granted for the pipeline. It opined that Obama was engaging in a stalling tactic.

“The administration seems to be buying time to maintain the status quo and profits for fossil fuel investors,” Greenpeace USA spokeswoman Lilian Molina said in a press release. “There is only one option that is truly attentive to the Native lives and lands at stake: respect the rights and sovereignty of Indigenous communities by revoking the permits immediately.”

Will Wider Audience Be Gulled?

The intended audience for the Obamamometer’s remarks is much wider than those immediately involved in the protests. As reported by the BBC:

The protest has gathered widespread attention and social media support, prompting 1.4 million people to ‘check in’ to the location on Facebook in solidarity. The Democrats are clearly trying to maximize turnout among younger progressives, many of whom have shown little inclination to support Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

Despite  the need to attract these votes, Clinton has hewed to her game plan of offering few positive reasons to support her candidacy and missed the chance to make this issue one on which to stake out a progressive position. Instead, as Horn noted, she “offered a wishy-washy statement on the project, using many words to say very little”, and which said in part:

From the beginning of this campaign, Secretary Clinton has been clear that she thinks all voices should be heard and all views considered in federal infrastructure projects…

Now, all of the parties involved—including the federal government, the pipeline company and contractors, the state of North Dakota, and the tribes—need to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest. As that happens, it’s important that on the ground in North Dakota, everyone respects demonstrators’ rights to protest peacefully, and workers’ rights to do their jobs safely.

Ongoing Formal, Government-To-Government Consultations

As I wrote in September:

The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior waded into the controversy over construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline (DAPL) [yesterday], shortly after U.S. federal court judge James E. Boasberg denied a request for a preliminary injunction to halt its construction in his Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ruling.

The three agencies recognized:

…[T}his case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects. Therefore, this fall, we will invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions: (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals.

The three agencies continue to conduct these consultations with the tribes, with a key meeting scheduled for November 17 in Rapid City, South Dakota, and the final session due to be completed via teleconference on November 21. Conveniently, these discussions will conclude after election day.

Pipeline Proponents Didn’t Get the Memo

Unsurprisingly, pipeline proponents opposed even the weak commitment seemingly made in the interview. Some of the parties to the pipeline have entered into long-term binding contracts with shippers in anticipation of the DAPL and its related facilities coming on stream later this year. Despite the announcement in the three agency statement that the Corps of Engineers would not authorize constructing DAPL on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it conducted a further policy review– and asking that “the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahu”– construction on the rest of the pipeline has proceeded, so that now it is estimated that the DAPL is more than three-quarters completed.

The Wall Street Journal quoted a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer Partners LP, which is constructing DAPL, as saying:

the company isn’t aware of any consideration being given to rerouting the project. She said the company also expects to receive the final federal approval for a disputed portion of the pipeline in a timely fashion.

In an internal company memo on Sept. 13, Energy Transfer CEO Kelcy Warren said the pipeline was nearly 60% complete and that the company had spent more than $1.6 billion on the project.

Likely Outcome?

Despite the hopes and dreams of progressives, the administration will face heavy pressure to conclude its review process in time for those involved in the project to honour existing supply contracts. Alternatively, the issue may be dumped onto the incoming administration. The WSJ reported that neither the Trump nor Clinton campaign has taken a position on DAPL construction.

Despite the Obamamometer’s remarks, I’d be very surprised indeed if the Corps were to present a viable plan to reroute the pipeline at this late date. And if it does, further lawsuits would inevitably follow.

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  1. hreik

    Lol. I like how you think and construct / write your thoughts. Perfect!
    Potus is a gifted conman. I didn’t like Bush the 2nd, but he wasn’t a conman. I am beginning to see many democrats as con/men/women. one of the reasons I left the party after the CA primary this year.

    Potus cares about his image. There ain’t much there, I fear. Very gifted speaker tho…. or was, in 2004 at the convention.

        1. a different chris

          Problem in evaluating Bush II’s honesty is George Costanza’s famous line- “It’s not a lie if you believe it”… I

          1. different clue

            And the progressives will be judged on how they reCEIVE the POTUS’s lie based on what Homer Simpson said to Lisa.

            ” Lisa, it takes two people to lie. One to lie, and one to listen.”

      1. Tom

        Bush 2 was obviously a friendly face used by the neocons/neolibs to sell an unnecessary war. He was about 10 IQ points short of being a conman, unlike the Clintons.

    1. oho

      DNC loves its liberal base: “Friendly advice. No Mercy”

      Bernie “needs to be ground to a pulp,” Johnson says. “Crush him as hard as you can.”

      “Where would you stick the knife in?” Podesta asks in response.

      “Obama betrayer (Wh will affirm). Hapless legislator (Senators/members will affirm). False promiser (policy elites will affirm). Can’t win (black people will affirm),”


  2. marym

    #NoDAPL – Kinz Retweeted
    šųktógeja ȟoda ‏@IrreverentNdn · 11h11 hours ago

    Absolutely insane! We are watching in real-time the violent repression of indigenous rights by the militarized hand of the corporate state.

    #NoDAPL – Kinz
    This bridge was knocked down, it was made for elders to walk across it so they could go pray. but the police broke it.

    #NoDAPL – Kinz
    4 dump trucks of materials that they cleared from the north camp.. there are SACRED items in there!

  3. TrueNorth

    The sad fact lost in all of this is that through all the coverage and all the protests, the project is nearly finished.

    1. diptherio

      Yeah, it kinda sucks.

      …it is estimated that the DAPL is now more than three-quarters completed.

      But that just means there are a bunch more sites for protest actions, right? My understanding of pipelines is that the whole thing needs to be ready to go before any of it is useable…just sayin’

  4. allan

    If you want to know whether the Village cares about DAPL (other than as as speedbump to the election
    or to The Legacy), look at the landing page of the Washington Post.
    Currently there is nothing about DAPL, but there is a breaking story on

    Neiman Marcus sells collard greens for $66, and the Internet mockery explodes

    1. Foppe

      Yeah, but after some scrolling I did find this splendid article, which contains lots of details, from a mere 5d ago. It opens thusly:

      Why are celebrities like actor Mark Ruffalo, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, liberal television anchor Amy Goodman and scores of Native Americans from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe all converging on a isolated spot along the Missouri river of North Dakota?

      To block the construction of an oil pipeline. But there’s much more to it than that.

      On Thursday, the group was met by scores of police wearing riot gear and riding in military-style armored vehicles. By the end of the day, after firing tear gas, dismantling teepees and seeking to disperse the crowd, police said they had arrested 141 people, according to news reports.

      Here’s what’s behind the burning tires and riot shields.

      then we get somewhere between 10 and 240 paragraphs of serious issues; after which, this:

      Then there are the Native American Groups, nursing grievances dating back to the 19th century treaties in which tribes ceded much of the Dakotas to the U.S. government. The protestors say the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie treaties left areas west of the Missouri River to the Lakota or Sioux tribes. (Rocker Neil Young even has written a new song about it called “Indian Givers.”)

      Energy Transfer says it obtained right of way from private landowners. And the Army Corps of Engineers, which approved the route, says the pipeline crosses half a mile north of the modern day Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

      Native American groups have also raised two other objections: danger to water supplies and sacred grounds including Lake Oahe. Many of the Standing Rock Sioux live downstream from the spot where the pipeline would cross under the Missouri River, and they cite dangers of a leak similar to ones in Montana’s Yellowstone River or Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. They also say that the pipeline would dig up sacred burial grounds and historic archaeological artifacts.

      “We have witnessed inspiring and brave acts by Native Americans and their allies who are defending and trying to protect their sacred sites and the safety of their sole source of water,” Al Gore said in a statement Oct. 25.

      Of course, we can only learn of these people and their concerns after the serious folks from the Sierra Club and 350.org have had their say; and as you can see, Al Gore and Rocker Neil Young are the ones to quote when considering Sioux/Lakota interests, presumably because of a language barrier or somesuch. [Exit Standing Rock Sioux, though the article continues for a bit longer.]

  5. TomDority

    I thought different laws applied to waterways that would make the Jack Boots…..er ah, law enforcement and private security from all over the place, In direct violation of constitutional guarantees regarding free movement of US citizens and, considering that the power of the state is police powers that are to protect citizens from harm, general welfare and a modicum of peace…..they maced people in the waterway thus, directly placing citizens at much higher risk of harm….they should of helped the citizens out of the water in the name of public safety……It is a good thing that lifeguards at public swimming pools don’t protect the surrounding cement from wear and tear by making sure everyone stays in the pool, by force and mace if necessary. If someone were drowning or in panic in the water, by the standards being set at the pipeline construction, lifeguards would be required to mace the swimmer and prevent him from getting out of the pool.
    Is there an AG or policeman that will at least stand up to their own oath of office and do the right thing—-or are the police bought and paid for just like the politicians at every level.
    By the way, Vote Jill Stein or Gary Johnson as both Hillary and Trump are both not fit for office.

    1. Portia

      I recall some mumbletygook from Obama and other govt bots speechifying about the serving of the “greater good” being most important, and believe me, they are going to insist that they know best and March of Progress, etc. I believe they are operating on the git-er-done principle and know they can mow over, delay, deny, whatever and just keep going with the pipeline and whatever other plans they have cooking. What the Native Americans are doing is the only thing to do any more. We are back to being jailed, hurt and dying for our rights.

  6. ckimball

    To hell with the election where the interests remain special and the abuses being perpetrated are
    within the purview of our “establishment’s two sided coin, coughed up for the arena of our attention.
    My mother used to say “some people can justify anything” It took me a long time to understand
    what she was meaning. We get to be spectators of the painful demonstration of ruthlessness and abuse again being reenacted in this theater. Oh…but they can always apologize …sorry. Here’s some money or maybe beads. If feels like it is time to go stand with them and their buffalo. I hate to admit it, but the
    lack of feeling makes be despair. The buffalo renew my spirit. I guess I must add and you all do too Again, our president is a dud,

  7. Portia

    That Northern Trust advert at the beginning is just too much. Achieve Greater. with swimming in pristine water with sea turtles no less.
    The irony is just unbelievable even for WSJ
    And why does Obama always look so pissed when he has to talk about stuff like this. such a waste of his time to be questioned about stuff that should not have to be debated…

    1. Foppe

      He’s nervous. Payday’s coming, mere weeks to go until the finish line is crossed. No room for mistakes.

        1. different clue

          Well . . . he might not get all the money he expects to get after he leaves office. And that could feel pretty severe, depending on the amounts.

  8. john

    Anyone who’s heard of DAPL has heard of Obama, so it’s almost like what’s the point?

    He’s not there to persuade, but to maintain the existing believe-bots.

    Government is a virus.

    Even Hilary is just another victim of power.

  9. Uahsenaa

    I want to make sure that as everybody is exercising their constitutional rights to be heard, that both sides are refraining from situations that might result in people being hurt.

    I know the general line is to think of Obama as mostly banal, but this equivocation here is downright insidious. While there is a constitutional right to free speech and assembly (which is currently being trampled upon both by law enforcement and private security), there is no similar constitutional right to build a pipeline. The mere fact that he gives these two sides equal status is part of the problem, symptomatic of his inability to make meaningful differentiations or judgments of any kind. See also, equivocating between people angry about being killed by cops and the cops doing the killing.

    I imagine if Obama were put in a situation where he had to mediate between axe murderers and victims of axe murder, he would insist on both sides being allowed to express themselves, despite the fact that one side’s mode of expression is literally to kill the other one.

    Also, Cubs win. Racist mascot loses.

    1. flora

      The mere fact that he gives these two sides equal status is part of the problem, symptomatic of his inability to make meaningful differentiations or judgments of any kind.

      That’s mighty post-modern of him. /s

  10. pretzelattack

    i’m sure he will put on his comfortable shoes, mount a horse and lasso a buffalo and ride to support the protestors.

  11. diptherio

    The hypocrisy of the State to call on restraint on all sides, when they are the ones who are responding violently is not by itself surprising, but I am disappointed that so few (none) of the mainstream “journalists” are willing to confront those in power with the obvious hypocrisy. You don’t want violence? Ok then, stop engaging in violence.

    On the up side, I saw a video from one of the camps yesterday saying the donations have been flooding in…

  12. RWood

    Some … gargle? …phlegm? … pr? On pbs newshour that this has to happen or bankruptcy of poor companies? Bail out or whale on?

  13. jfleni

    Anyone who really believes that Obama will do anything except consult his thesaurus, is dreaming!

    He could have insisted that the original path through Bismark be followed; since
    thats the only place in ND really fit for yuppies and politicians, that was out; just
    leave the trash for the junky natives! Democracy wins again!

    1. different clue

      Well, that might be something for a whole other group of groups to start organizing and demanding for.

      “If you like it so much, you take it back.”

  14. Ché Pasa

    Dakota Access protests poised to become political debacle for American oil and gas industry


    The national “soul searching” around the energy narrative will not be aided by violent confrontation between Native Americans (supported by well-funded and organized environmental groups) and heavily militarized police forces enforcing the rule of law on behalf of a pipeline company.

    That is a losing scenario for the American oil and gas industry already plagued by declining political legitimacy.

    Energy Enterprise Partners had a chance to de-escalate tensions with the Standing Rock Sioux – as crisis communications experts always advise. Instead, the company chose to escalate and continue escalating, culminating with the clash Friday between protestors and police forces who looked like they were ready for a war.

    Images of armored vehicles and SWAT teams and young women hit in the face with rubber bullets and rumors of arrested protestors being held in dog cages – and so much more – are buzzing around the world on social media. The Standing Rock Sioux are not going away; instead, they have vowed to continue their protest over the winter and have begun crowdfunding online to pay for provisions and housing. Protests have broken out in other parts of the United States in support of the Sioux.

    There’s much more at the link. When even oil industry outlets are questioning what’s going on in North Dakota and the brutal suppression of #NoDAPL activists, there’s something bigger happening than we’re led to believe.

    Energy Enterprise Partners have an opportunity to back away from the brink. The question is, will they. Meanwhile some of the out of state axillary troops brought in to protect the pipeline have been withdrawn due to protests in their home states.

    Baby steps.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks for posting this link. I concur it’s well worth a read, and the site looks to be one I’ll be checking regularly. You know EEP has really mishandled this if what seems to be an industry-friendly site is backing away (reminds me a bit of some of the big pharma attempts to distance themselves from Shkreli). (I’m being cautious about what I say about the site itself overall b/c I haven’t had the chance to look at it closely and figure out what they’re on about, bias, credibility, etc.)

    1. a different chris

      Yes, this is a excellent post overall but I think Ms Scofield needs to seriously rethink this part:

      >Greenpeace is made of stronger stuff:

      Greenpeace is a bunch of generally middle-class and upper white guys who will move on to the next problem after this is resolved, however it is resolved. (not optimistic) The Native American tribes are in deep – in that famous quote about breakfast “the chicken is involved but the pig is committed”, they are definitely the committed ones.

      That’s not really a slam at Greenpeace, in fact they are doing exactly as you would want – they cement the tribes appearance as reasonable people.

      But there is no question who has sacked-up and put their backs to the wall, here.

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Fair point. Should perhaps have said “Greenpeace has taken a tougher line” as my larger point concerned the respective positions being taken, rather than relative commitment to the cause. Also, I don’t know whether the Standing Rock Sioux are seemingly assuming that the Obamamometer is acting in good faith for tactical reasons or because they really believe it.

        1. Eclair

          As chris stated, above,: “But there is no question who has sacked-up and put their backs to the wall, here.”

          The Standing Rock Sioux (and, they call themselves Hunkpapa Lakota, as did Sitting Bull; ‘Sioux’ is the name the US government bestowed on them and so they use it in public; it’s rather like the British aristocracy calling all their Parlour Maids, Rose) know they will bear the brunt of the reprisals if they fail. But they are a community, along with the other Lakota communities in SD and ND .. the Rosebud, the Lower Brule, the Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, that have been pushed down so low that they have little to lose.

          If your children are born with fetal alcohol syndrome, if your young men and women are dying from meth addiction, if you are are quite literally spat upon and verbally abused when you go to high school sporting events or shopping centers in settler communities, if your water supply is contaminated with uranium from mining, or mercury from coal plants, if your young women in communities near the fossil fuel ‘man camps’ are routinely raped, prostituted and disappeared, if you live in the second poorest county in the United States, if your family passes down stories of grandmothers and aunts massacred by the US Army in Sand Creek or Wounded Knee …. then there is no where to go but up.

          And, spending a winter living in tents and tipis in North Dakota? Incredibly tough. But, if you have ever spent a winter in a rotten, uninsulated FEMA trailer with an empty propane tank and a broke-down pick-up truck, miles from your nearest neighbor and grocery store (and, to make it clear, the policies of the US Government forced the Lakota from their communal living into this isolation), then living with a group of your tribe and your allies, where the emotional and spiritual energy are incredibly high, where there is a common sense of purpose and where you can feel, constantly, the love and support of of people around the world, is a high that no drug could ever provide.

          And, for those of us on the outside, who are providing that monetary and spiritual support, what Portia has said above applies: what the Native Americans are doing is the only thing to be doing anymore.

  15. Binky

    What is even plainer is the contrast between the Bundy clowns, the tribes and BLM. There can be no clearer statement of public sentiment than the outcomes of events for each constituent group. Bundy bums go free in Oregon and may sail away strengthened from Nevada. Indians get a rent a riot fake army to abuse them in a soon to be repeat of Wounded Knee. BLM gets nothing and the body count increases as the same army of the rich slaughters them willy nilly, no repercussions.

    What else is there to know?

    1. a different chris

      Don’t worry I’m sure the Bundys are working on their statement of kinship with the Native American protesters… (crickets chirping)

  16. oh

    I saw the Obamamometer’s video and there’s another meter that I’ve been noticing whenever he speaks. It’s the lack-o-truth meter. Check his eyes when he’s lying. They always flutter.

    GreenPeace is smart in not buying it.

  17. ewmayer

    “From the beginning of this campaign, Secretary Clinton has been clear that she thinks all voices should be heard, blah blah blah…” — Paraphrasing both Mr. Orwell and the atrocious SCOTUS Citizens United ruling, it goes without saying that some voices are more equal than others.

    And how ironic is phrasing like “within the existing statutory framework”? You mean the one which simply treats corporate-profits-impinging treaties made by the US government as ignorable? Ah yes, *that* framework. The same one aiming to shower us “workers” with the beyond-dispute blessings of highly non-ignorable negotiated-in-secret-and-not-allowed-to-be-properly-reviewed-and-publicly-discussed-by-Congress treaties such as TPP/TTIP/TISA/ISDS. Unlike ha-ha-just-kidding treaties made with the red-skinned godless heathen unwashed, these more recent treaties are highly sacred.

    More examples of elite Orwellian-and-weasel-phrasing:

    [0bama]: “the Army Corps is examining” — a.k.a. “we are looking into it”. Maybe they’re wiping the dust off the 1851 treaty with the tribes, with a cloth, or something.

    [0bama]: “…whether or not this can be resolved in a way that is properly attentive to the tradition of First Americans.” — especially the fine and longstanding tradition of “being heard” by some suitable groups of head-nodding-in-pretend-understanding DC flunkies, then sitting down and shutting TFU while we do what we were gonna do all along.

    [0bama]: “There is an obligation for protesters to be peaceful, and there’s an obligation for authorities to show restraint…” — Note the authorities are to show ‘restraint’, but implicitly with regard to their violence against the protesters, since by definition, peacefulness needs no restraint. E.g. “the same kind of restraint I expect our heroic servicemen-and-women to show in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere where they are doing The Lord’s work.”

    [0bama]: “I want to make sure that as everybody is exercising their constitutional rights to be heard, that both sides are refraining from situations that might result in people being hurt.” — “..and by people, I mean especially the corporate kind.”

    [HillBillary]: “Now, all of the parties involved—including the federal government, the pipeline company and contractors, the state of North Dakota, and the tribes—need to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest.” — Note the framing of “broadest public interest” … you mean, as in, majority interest? Because in your framing, dear soon-to-be-madam-President, I count 3 [or 4] parties, all wealthy and powerful, on the pro-pipeline side, and just one decidedly non-wealthy-nor-powerful on the other. Majority rules!

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      It’s part of the happy horseshit Demo line that all we need to do is have a conversation, hold hands, sing kumbaya, and get to Yes! Rather than recognizing that there will be winners and losers here, the various positions are irreconcilable, and that you can’t at the same time HAVE and NOT HAVE a DAPL, no matter what a transformational world historical political figure the Obamamometer is and his inherent genius as a leader of men, women, and the animal and plant kingdoms (irony alert).

    2. Lambert Strether

      Yes, “all voices should be heard” reads a little differently when you remember that money is speech under Citizens United. And let’s remember that the Democrat establishment has embraced the key doctrine of Citizens United, that absent a showing of a quid pro quo there is no corruption.

      Speculating freely, just imagine the synergies! You set up a private foundation where a gifted and influential speaker makes the running on the payments, for favors to be delivered later by a close associate of said speaker, when in public office.

      It’s the asynchrony that makes the architecture, by separating the quid from the quo in space and time, but the weak points are (a) records need to be kept somewhere ***cough*** the destroyed emails on the private server ***cough*** and (b) the payees need to be managed in the interim *** cough *** Huma Abedin ***

    3. Eclair

      I find myself returning regularly to Dr King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, for inspiration, consolation and sustenance. https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/documents/Letter_Birmingham_Jail.pdf

      King’s condemnation of the ‘white moderates’ can apply to the Dems ‘let’s give all the parties equal consideration,’ stance.

      “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time; and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

  18. steelhead23

    I understand that the human and cultural rights concerns dominate this issue, but there are economic ones as well. There is currently a situation in the Dakota oil patch of substantial zombie production (bankrupt companies pumping even though at current prices it makes little long-term sense) to provide cash flow to placate creditors (Chapter 11). Were that uneconomic production to cease, the banks would foreclose, call-in their loans, or whatever and those assets (from leases to drill rigs) would fetch dimes on the dollar and the banks take a big hit. There is also huge pressure to end oil shipping by rail – particularly the highly flammable stuff coming from the Dakotas. Never forget that Obamamometer is the darling of Wall Street and likely expects to benefit from that relationship after leaving office and you will understand that he would never actually stop the DAPL. Ignore his soaring rhetoric – watch what he does. Nothing. Do not be deceived.

  19. sharonsj

    It’s pretty simple. After the Obama administration dithers for several weeks, the pipeline will have been built right up to the river (if not already under it) and it will be too late to stop it. Peaceful protests no longer work unless you can get five or ten thousand to show up and all demand to be arrested at the same time (which hopefully will empty the police and state coffers). Or you could just bomb the equipment and then run like hell.

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