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May 25, 2010

President Obama has tense visit with Senate Republicans - latimes.com

They seem to have pretty unrealistic attitudes. When you are in the minority, with just 40 Senators and a minority of Representatives and don't have the presidency, you don't get to drive much legislation, you mostly only get an opportunity to shape the majority's legislation.

[an] angry Republican [Senator] accused Obama of treating members of the opposition like political props, saying the president's bipartisan words have repeatedly been followed by partisan deeds on such issues as regulation of Wall Street, healthcare and economic stimulus.

via www.latimes.com

May 24, 2010

GOP will spend 4 months crafting agenda for one month of work

Cool.  Republicans in the US House of Representatives have had no policy guide so far in the 111th Congress that started January 6, 2009 and now they plan to spend four of the last five months (in the middle of campaign season, no less) making a plan for the last month of the session.

And people want to put Republicans in charge?  In charge of what?

House Republicans on Tuesday will kick off their effort to craft a new agenda with the launch of a website called AmericaSpeakingOut.com, with the intent of releasing a final document in September.

But the agenda will not map the GOP path to victory through the midterm elections; instead it will serve as a policy guide for the rest of the 111th Congress, Republican leaders insist. The current House calendar anticipates an Oct. 8 adjournment.

via www.rollcall.com

May 21, 2010

Obama’s Is Changing Washington

With the Senate’s passage of financial regulation, Congress and the White House have completed 16 months of activity that rival any other since the New Deal in scope or ambition. Like the Reagan Revolution or Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the new progressive period has the makings of a generational shift in how Washington operates.

... If there is a theme to all this, it has been to try to lift economic growth while also reducing income inequality. Growth in the decade that just ended was the slowest in the post-World War II era, while inequality has been rising for most of the last 35 years.

via www.nytimes.com

May 17, 2010

Senate delays: Newer senators fed up with delaying tactics

Newer senators complain that rules originally created to protect the rights of the minority have turned into impassable obstacles to dealing with big issues.

The junior members are getting unlikely support from their seniors, who are loath to be seen as defending the status quo at a time when some voters seem ready to punish incumbents regardless of party.

Against that background, the Democratic leadership has promised to reexamine some of the old rules — including that most vaunted of time-encrusted mechanisms for delay, the filibuster.

The sheer number of new Democratic senators — 21, representing nearly half of the party's caucus — and the unwillingness of others to stand in their way provides a momentum unfelt since the Watergate babies were elected in 1974.

via www.latimes.com

May 06, 2010

What's so wrong with a National Day of Prayer?

As the National Day of Prayer nears, a right-winger wrote, 

President John Adams declared May 9, 1798 as "a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer," during which citizens of all faiths were asked to pray "that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it".  What could be so wrong with inviting all faiths to pray for our country?

Nothing, so long as Congress doesn’t pass a law about it because such a law would violate the First Ammendment prohibition that it “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”  Note that the ammendments says, “of religion” and not “of A regligion” as it protects non-believers as well religions and sects from one another.  

Prayer has only a religious and no secular function and declaring it by Congress would favor the religious over the non-religious.  And the text of the law makes it clear that it is a religious observance and nothing more.

Continue reading "What's so wrong with a National Day of Prayer?" »

May 04, 2010

No Fooling Mother Nature

There is only one meaningful response to the horrific oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and that is for America to stop messing around when it comes to designing its energy and environmental future. The only meaningful response to this man-made disaster is a man-made energy bill that would finally put in place an American clean-energy infrastructure that would set our country on a real, long-term path to ending our addiction to oil.

This oil spill is to the environment what the subprime mortgage mess was to the markets — both a wake-up call and an opportunity to galvanize a constituency for radical change that overcomes the powerful lobbies and vested interests that want to keep us addicted to oil.

Our dependence on crude oil is not just a national-security or climate problem. Some 40 percent of America’s fish catch comes out of the gulf, whose states also depend heavily on coastal tourism. In addition, the Chandeleur Islands off the Louisiana coast are part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. It was created by Teddy Roosevelt and is one of our richest cornucopias of biodiversity.

via www.nytimes.com

The cost of oil and its competitors

Such a well-written note, I couldn't excerpt pieces:

One other way to think about the cost of oil is to recognize what is and isn't in the price of oil. So mega-spills like the Deepwater spill or the spills that happen in other countries are not in the price. Global warming -- which is to say, carbon -- is not in the price. The cost of our military alliance with some petro-states, and military attention to other petro-states, is not in the price. The cost of the pollution is not in the price. All these costs will be paid, but they're not built into what we pay at the pump. Instead, we'll pay them through taxes, or medical bills, or global temperature changes.

But when it comes to immature renewables, there's much more in the price. In particular, 

Continue reading "The cost of oil and its competitors " »

May 03, 2010

Obama takes direct aim at anti-government rhetoric

"What troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad," Obama said after receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree. "When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us."

Government, he said, is the roads we drive on and the speed limits that keep us safe. It's the men and women in the military, the inspectors in our mines, the pioneering researchers in public universities.

The financial meltdown dramatically showed the dangers of too little government, he said, "when a lack of accountability on Wall Street nearly led to the collapse of our entire economy."

via news.yahoo.com

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