Friday, September 17, 2010

Fighting to Protect Consumers

Good luck to ya, Ma'am! You were like the canary in the coal mine, foretelling this mess, so I imagine you are the right person for the job. It's a tough job, though. I wouldn't want to rub shoulders with the likes of Blankfein, Dimon, or Pandit. It'd probably drive me to drinkin', as my grandmother used to say (when she wasn't pulling her socks up).

May the wind be at your back.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Orrin Hatch Compares Obama To Bernie Madoff When It Comes To Fixing Economy

And asking Orrin Hatch to prognosticate on the source of our economic woes is like asking Pee Wee Herman for wardrobe advice...just don't.

I didn't just compare Orrin to Pee Wee, did I?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

The Chamber of Commerce: Without Shame or Sense

Well said. What amazes me is that the Chamber doesn't even bother to be objective. If they did, they wouldn't shill for companies pitching antiquated, planet wrecking technologies. They'd shill for renewable energy, public transportation, unions (and not free trade), and nationalized health care. All things that would expand our economy by expanding prosperity to more of us, rather than fewer, as entrenched, capitalized conservatives would have it.

Let's start living in the 21st century. Let's build stuff here, pay people decently to do it, and give them the health care they need to live. We can't afford not to.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Moved to a new address...

4 States Prepare Legal Assault On California's Climate Law

"We are going to test the limits of how much you can constrain interstate commerce in the name of climate change," Stenehjem said.

So, in this brilliant attorney's addled mind, interstate commerce trumps public health and safety? What if I live in California and want to sell some pot in North Dakota? Can I do that? If this guy Stenehjem says no, he's constraining interstate commerce in the name of whatever values Mr. Stenehjem would cite to justify his anti-pot attitude.

No, this isn't about interstate commerce at all. It's about easy money for coal company executives, and free-flowing campaign contributions for lap dog politicians.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Does praying help when you got no job, you're flat broke, and you got one foot in the gutter?

I really hope so, because if you lack the capital to feed at the hedge fund trough, prayer seems to be the only remedy offered to the impoverished by overfed, conservative lawmakers these days.
And, the Republican, pro-tax cut, me-first, tea-party patriots amongst us sure seem to think prayer is the answer... here's a tribute to the genuine piety they offer every day for the rest of us to take inspiration from. I'm thinking of pure, upstanding guys like Rep. John Boehner, here. Take it, Janis...

"Mercedes Benz"

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV ?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until three,
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV ?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town ?
I'm counting on you, Lord, please don't let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town ?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

That's it!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Clean Energy Stimulus

Time magazine published an article, "How the Stimulus Is Changing America," about the positive effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and noted the success of its "green" components.

Here the article mentions an entrepreneur who benefited from the $787 billion stimulus package:
The green industrial revolution begins with gee-whiz companies like A123 Systems of Watertown, Mass. Founded in 2001 by MIT nanotechnology geeks who landed a $100,000 federal grant, A123 grew into a global player in the lithium-ion battery market, with 1,800 employees and five factories in China. It has won $249 million to build two plants in Michigan, where it will help supply the first generation of mass-market electric cars. At least four of A123's suppliers received stimulus money too. The Administration is also financing three of the world's first electric-car plants, including a $529 million loan to help Fisker Automotive reopen a shuttered General Motors factory in Delaware (Biden's home state) to build sedans powered by A123 batteries. Another A123 customer, Navistar, got cash to build electric trucks in Indiana. And since electric vehicles need juice, the stimulus will also boost the number of U.S. battery-charging stations by 3,200%.
"Without government, there's no way we would've done this in the U.S.," A123 chief technology officer Bart Riley told TIME. "But now you're going to see the industry reach critical mass here."
Note, Mr. Riley points out that his business depended on government assistance. Fine, but let's keep that in mind when Republicans tell us that all we need is an "free market," unfettered by the government.

The article goes on:
That's why the Recovery Act is funding dozens of smart-grid approaches. For instance, A123 is providing truckloads of batteries for a grid-storage project in California and recycled electric-car batteries for a similar effort in Detroit. "If we can show the utilities this stuff works," says Riley, "it will take off on its own."
Stimulus money is being used for other worthwhile purposes as well:
The Recovery Act is weatherizing 250,000 homes this year. It gave homeowners rebates for energy-efficient appliances, much as the Cash for Clunkers program subsidized fuel-efficient cars. It's retrofitting juice-sucking server farms, factories and power plants; financing research into superefficient lighting, windows and machinery; and funneling billions into state and local efficiency efforts. (See TIME's special report "Obama's Agenda: Get America Back on Track.")
It will also retrofit 3 in 4 federal buildings. The U.S. government is the nation's largest energy consumer, so this will save big money while boosting demand for geothermal heat pumps, LED lighting and other energy-saving products. "We're so huge, we make markets," says Bob Peck, the General Services Administration's public-buildings commissioner. GSA's 93-year-old headquarters, now featuring clunky window air conditioners and wires duct-taped to ceilings, will get energy optimized heating, cooling and lighting systems, glass facades with solar membranes and a green roof; the makeover should cut its energy use 55%. It might even beta-test stimulus-funded windows that harvest sunlight. "We'll be the proving ground for innovation in the building industry," Peck says. "It all starts with renovating the government."

With an open mind, and a little courage, we could transform this country into a place that offers broad prosperity, and a healthy future for the planet. But, it's the open mind and courage part that I worry about.

Read the whole article, maybe it'll inspire you. Or, maybe you're already too poisoned by toxic rhetoric from the frightened right...