Trees – not Terrorists – are taking down D.C.

July 3, 2012


Maryland & Nebraska: different as night & day; fire & ice; yin & yang…you get the idea.

A funny note: The national Foundation devoted to trees is in Nebraska but America’s trees live in Maryland.

And OMG, the devastation caused by last Friday evening’s storm is almost indescribable; however, you know me. I’ll attempt to describe it anyway: devastation on every street; residents – and a friend’s teen-ager –  randomly saved by sleeping just feet from fallen limbs so large it would have been instant death. Or not. People have been killed.

Gigantic trees uprooted on almost every street. Two doors down, a massive Oak branch fell on to my neighbor’s roof four days after the storm (yesterday around 3:30 p.m.) revealing that the tree – on Montgomery County, MD land –  was as hollow as a huge inner tube. For years, PEPCO – Potomac Electric Power Company – had been promising to cut it down. But had they? No.

PEPCO – in defending themselves calls Marylanders “tree huggers” and say that “they” won’t let them bulldoze trees. That is a lie; for years, residents have been begging PEPCO to trim or cut down trees. They refuse.

Gotta get those “dividends” for PEPCO shareholders who profit on people’s pain.

For days now, I’ve been telling friends, neighbors, strangers, new BFF’s at Starbucks & Panera, about Nebraska’s unique relationship with Public Power.

I don’t think our nation needs a Unicameral when I see how three lobbying groups – Radcliffe, O’Hara & Associates, and Mueller-Robak run Nebraska and make millions a year while Nebraska’s hard-working State Senators earn $12,000 dollars a year and while Nebraska’s students have been stuck with life-altering predatory student loan debt while Mueller-Robak has received tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of dolars representing the predatory student loan company, NELNET. Perhaps, this is a coincidence, but Kim Robak was the Vice-Chancellor for “External” Affairs at NU in 2004; in Sept. of 2004, NU & NELNET signed on to their now-infamous three-year “partnership.” One month later, then-NU Vice-Chancellor Robak (Oct. 2004) leaves NU and not long after that, NELNET signs on to her lobbying firm and not long after that, Robak & Mueller appear in half-page Lincoln ads with the slogan, “It’s Who You Know.” My point: a Unicameral cuts off democratic checks & balances and lobbyists like Lincoln’s Big Three end up running the state especially if the state in question – like Nebraska – is a small one.

But Nebraska needs to import its Public Power ownership model to Maryland. Pronto. The PEPCO CEO – who, rumor has it, his total “compensation” in the last few years totals $8 (eight) million dollars – while Marylanders die during outages that don’t happen in bustling cities in Africa.

Bottom line: what a Paper Tiger, Banana Republic, flat-out Farce Washington, D.C. must be seen as when you’ve got Cabinet Secretaries wandering into Starbucks after 7 p.m. trying to find “power” because once they come home from the White House, they can’t get on their home-office computers.

Only in Washington, D.C., my Friends.

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