Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wingers Set Their Hateful Sights On Hallmark

When your entire being and motivation in life is to hate those different from you (or not) and to hate them as much as you can, new targets must be found all the time. Lovable Barney the Dinosaur can only be ripped apart for so long, ya know? So the religious right has found a new icon, Hallmark greeting cards. What could the card makers have possibly done? Well, growing their business to an undeveloped a financial sense that is.

From ThinkProgress:

Today, the right-wing American Family Association (AFA) announced a protest of Hallmark for its decision to start selling gay marriage greeting cards. AFA wants Hallmark to “stop promoting a lifestyle that is not only unhealthy, but is also illegal in 48 states.” From the protest site:

We’ve all given or received Hallmark Cards – remember their slogan – “when you care enough to send the very best.” But promoting same-sex marriage for profit is not the very best for families or our nation.

Hallmark is a private company obviously driven by greed. Let them know you do not appreciate Hallmark promoting a lifestyle which is illegal in 48 states. American Greeting Cards, Hallmark’s competitor, does not offer same-sex marriage cards.

AFA also criticized Hallmark for having the secret purpose of “pushing[ing] same-sex marriage.” More on AFA’s previous boycotts here.

Yeah, buying websites and signing petitions won't get Hallmark to pull the cards, but it will certainly keep the right wing radicals' donations coming in to AFA. And of course these hateful human beings can always patronize their competitor, meanwhile Hallmark will diversify their business and be all-encompassing in one shot.

If these nuts express this much outrage over a greeting card, I can't wait to see their reaction if McCain picks Tom Ridge or Mitt Romney next week!

John McCain's Monopoly

I've always loved playing Monopoly, but John McCain think's this Chance card is for real:

Beware: Delaware Is Bigger Than It Looks

Delaware may be the smallest state in the Union save for Rhode Island, but it packs a massive punch with their Senator Joe Biden. I was honestly hoping for Tom Daschle to be given the VP nod but if I had to have a second choice, it would be the man from Delaware. Now of course no one is perfect and Joe certainly has his flaws, but I truly believe that his strengths will shine through in the next ten weeks and three days.

Now the first thing that is going to happen from the right are the attacks. That is primarily why Obama waited until three days before the convention. Also, he has already responded to their attacks before they started, so Obama is way ahead of McCain's game. Biden will certainly say what he thinks and has the wit and debate skills to get those ideas across. Being in the Senate for all these years, he hasn't become secluded from his constituents but always learning about what is going on in Delaware, across the country and throughout the world. Not only has he sought information for his own good but as a dedicated public servant that heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Now the whiners have to be called out on our side and we must bond together to make Obama/Biden from a campaign to the next leaders of the Executive Branch. While the traditional media was turned on its head on this VP rollout, that is where the rest of us surge forward. Donating to the campaign, signing up to get involved and talking to everyone you know across the country is what will make Barack Obama our next President and Joe Biden the Vice President. Now go enjoy the convention next week and get ready to work your arse off so we can finally realize change in our country, the change we've needed since the day George Bush walked into the Oval Office.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mayor Nods Off At Memorial For FDNY Who Died At Bank Bldg

Mayor Bloomberg showed up to give a speech at Joseph Graffagnino and Robert Beddia's memorial this week, but to call his appearance there respectful would be way off the mark. The two men lost their lives fighting a fire at the partially de-constructed Deutsche Bank building last year. With blame for the incident being thrown all over the city, you'd think that everyone would try to be on their best behavior, especially at the memorial service...but not Mayor Bloomberg.

From The Downtown Express:

One more thing that Bloomberg could have done was to pay attention to the speeches Monday morning in Graffagnino and Beddia’s honor. A female friend of Graffagnino’s family nudged this reporter during the speeches and gestured toward Bloomberg, who sat facing the rows of family members.

“He’s sleeping!” the woman whispered indignantly.

And, indeed, Bloomberg did appear to have briefly dozed off. His chin was angled toward his chest, listing to the side. His eyes were closed. The friend, who did not want to give her name, said Bloomberg had been nodding off throughout the ceremony. A freelance photographer also noticed Bloomberg’s catnap, which she said lasted for about 15 seconds. A round of applause soon startled him to his feet.

Jason Post, a Bloomberg spokesperson, said Bloomberg was not asleep.

“It’s a little strange,” the Graffagnino friend later said of the ceremony, “what with city being at such fault for what happened…. And then to have the mayor sleeping during it, that’s…”


“Quite,” she said.

I'd love to see a picture of the Mayor dozing while family and friends paid their respects to Beddia and Graffagnino, but I'll believe a friend of the family over a Bloomberg official any day of the week.

The Fabulous John McCain

It ain't easy being McCain:

Another State Senate Primary Comes To An Early Close

Just two weeks after Jimmy Dahroug dropped out his State Senate campaign in the 3rd district for establishment-favored Brian Foley, Albert Baldeo is letting his primary opponent off to face incumbent Serph Maltese on his own. Baldeo, like Dahroug had run this race before and in this Queens district, had nearly ousted the veteran Maltese, missing by only 800 votes. Now he's throwing his support to Addabbo.

From The Daily Politics:

This is not good news for Maltese, who is one of the Democrats' top targets as they try to take control of the Senate from the GOP this fall. Baldeo had threatened to remain in the general election on a third party line, which could have made a difference in a contest that's expected to be very close.

Baldeo surprised New York Democrats when he nearly toppled Maltese with no assistance whatsoever from the party and made leaders realize just how vulnerable the Queens Republican is.

That is another similarity with Dahroug, who made the establishment take notice of Republican Senator Caesar Trunzo. Though from what I know in the progressive community, Addabbo has had more support than Foley did before Dahroug dropped out. Regardless, we now have two strong Democratic challengers who can knock out Trunzo and Maltese....and make our State Senate blue again.

McCain Needs Nine Car Motorcade To Go To Starbucks

I admit, I like Starbucks. My girlfriend refers to it as my crackhouse. So its a little more than just 'like.' Having the free internet is great and being that I live in NYC, I can walk to the one on my corner (literally). I also brew my own at home when I have the time, and I get it from a local store in the Village that has been around for more than a hundred years. So I try to balance out the corporate coffee. John McCain also likes coffee, but this is just ridiculous.

From The LA Times:

McCain, who huddled with advisors at his desert compound in Sedona, Ariz., said nothing in public. A nine-car motorcade took him to a nearby Starbucks early in the morning, where he ordered a large cappuccino. McCain otherwise avoided reporters.

Forced into damage-control mode, his campaign aides counterattacked to reinforce their claim that Obama is an elitist.

Um Senator McCain? Calling your opponent elitist after taking a nine car motorcade to a nearby Starbucks is absolutely ridiculous. Add that to yesterday's story of your twelve houses, and it is just over the top. Obama came from a single-parent family and worked hard to get where he is. And while it was your wife and your choice, you married into your money. The two stories are not even close.

Now maybe you can try and get in touch with your inner-middle classness and buy a coffeemaker.

Dan Abrams Signing Off

I have admired Dan Abrams' efforts at exposing the illegalities of the Bush Administration for the last few months, so it is sad to see him go. The last episode deals with his signing statements, former Justice O'Connor's opinion of it and the weak non-attempt Congressional Democrats made at doing something about it.

Of course, it isn't all bad, since he's going to be replaced by the incredibly awesome Rachel Maddow starting on September 8th!

Another House McCain Doesn't Want You To Know About

Yesterday's news was all about John and Cindy McCain's four seven eight twelve multi-million dollar homes. However there is another house that wasn't mentioned because they don't own it at the moment but goes straight to the heart of John McCain's willingness to do anything for the sake of political expediency. That little house is located at 921 E. Lamplighter Lane in Tempe, Arizona and it was bought in 1982, the year McCain ran for Congress.

From The East Valley Tribune:

Collins and Jeff Grillion, young mortgage consultants, said McCain's residency never came up before they closed on the foreclosed two-story house in April. Neighbors over their back fence were the first to pass on the news, and from then on whenever they met others living on Lamplighter Lane in The Lakes subdivision they heard it again and again.

"They'd say, 'You'd never believe who used to live there,' " Grillion said.

Collins admitted they possess no proof that under their roof once lived the man who may become the 44th president of the United States of America.

But the Maricopa County Recorder does hold the conclusive evidence. A warranty deed from 1987 shows the home being sold by Eagle Enterprises, whose general partner is listed as James W. Hensley - McCain's father-in-law.

Now being as wealthy as the McCain's are, why would they want to live a block south of Baseline Rd. when they can easily live in the more affluent areas of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley? Well that is because the house was then in the 1st Congressional District and McCain wanted to run for the seat even though he wasn't a resident.

As Timberg states in his book, "John McCain: An American Odyssey," on the very day of Rhodes' news conference announcing his retirement, Cindy bought the Lamplighter house.

And in late 1986, before McCain was voted into his first term in the Senate, a report from The Associated Press revealed he planned to move after the election and wanted that news kept quiet.

A reporter had found permits filed with the city for the remodeling of Cindy's childhood home in north-central Phoenix. Oddly, the permits were submitted under the name "Smith" - the maiden name of Cindy's mother - rather than McCain.

How sneaky! Is that the type of man you want in the White House? I think not.

NY Times Editorial Endorses Paul Newell

The paper of record here in Manhattan came out this morning with their endorsements for the upcoming primary on September 9th. The editors that wrote this are looking for change in Albany as much as people across the country want it in the White House. At least here in the city, they have a few picks as to who should stay and who should replace the inhibitors of change up in our state capitol. One of the picks is not Shelly Silver.

It's Paul Newell:

The most important of these races is in Lower Manhattan, where Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the most powerful people in the state, is facing his first real challenge in decades. It is still an uphill fight for any opponent, but the race has already made one difference. It has brought the ever-secretive Mr. Silver out to meet voters and campaign for his job.

Of the two challengers, Paul Newell, a community activist with deep roots in the Lower East Side, has the stronger credentials. Luke Henry, an attorney who moved into the district more recently, is working hard. Mr. Newell has done a better job of identifying Mr. Silver’s weaknesses: mainly, his devotion to closed-door politics, including his refusal to disclose details about his outside income. Mr. Newell is also pledging to support congestion pricing and to press for a nonpartisan redistricting commission, which is essential for real change. In the 64th Assembly District, we endorse Paul Newell.

Now since I wasn't in the editorial board meeting when and if all three candidates sat down for discussions I don't know the entirety of their criteria. I am for change, so that automatically rules out Sheldon Silver, but between the challengers I have been torn. Both want to reform Albany, both care about their community and not the developers that want to demolish it and both would make excellent Assemblymen.

Of course the Times' endorsement carries more weight than mine, but I am still holding off for the moment. September 9th is still a couple weeks away. Though as long as change in Albany is what wins, then I'll be satisfied.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How To Have A Political Discussion...Brooklyn Style

Of course, there are more polite forums for political discourse, but this sidewalk certaonly wasn't it:

At least it didn't come to blows.

Hans von Spakovsky: Another Reason I Cannot Wait For Bush's Term To Be Over

The atrocities George Bush has committed against our country in the last seven years and seven months is wide-ranging in scope and breadth. The stolen elections, signing statements, wars, battered economy, corruption, shredded goes on and on. One topic though that has irked me since 2001 are his choices to run certain offices in his Administration. Even with record low approval ratings, he always has the talent of picking the worst possible person for whatever job has an opening. Even now, with less than five months to go in his term, he appointed Hans von Spakovsky to the Civil Rights Commission, a man that has no respect for anyone's rights.

From TPM:

It looks like Hans von Spakovsky, an old TPM favorite, is back in business. The former Justice Department official, whose nomination to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was thwarted when Democrats objected to his long record of support for restrictions on voting rights, has been hired as a "consultant and temporary full-time employee" at the ostensibly bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) the agency confirmed to TPMmuckraker.

If Spakovsky's history of backing efforts to make voting more difficult strikes you as a poor fit with the Commission's mission of defending voter rights, consider that of the eight current commissioners at the agency, only two are registered Democrats, a politicization that the New York Times Charlie Savage brought to light last year.

Among Spakovsky's duties will be overseeing the USCCR's report on the Justice Department's monitoring of the 2008 presidential elections, a source inside the USCCR told TPMmuckraker.

Monitoring the 2008 U.S. elections....not that I am surprised, but it is still outrageous for Hans to be in a position to instill confidence in our electoral process. The man thrives on thwarting the will of the public and their votes, not ensuring that they count. Five more months.....and we can start to believe in our President to appoint people to government positions that actually help to make government more respondent to the people. I wish it were January 20th already.

Hillary Intends To Keep Her P.U.M.A.s In Line At DNC

Hillary Clinton's campaign has been over for nearly three months now, but there are still a small but determined group of people that still want her to get the nomination. These so-called PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass) do not recognize Obama to have won the primary battles fair and square so they are taking their fight to the convention. Thankfully Senator Clinton has a better head on her shoulders than this rabid group, so she's going to do something about them and the possibility of them making a scene in Denver.

From Politico:

In an unusual move, Hillary Clinton's staff is creating a 40-member "whip team" at the Denver Democratic convention to ensure that her supporters don't engage in embarrassing anti-Obama demonstrations during the floor vote on her nomination, according to people familiar with the planning.

The team, which is being organized by longtime Clinton staffer Craig Smith, is working in conjunction with Obama's floor organizers to help foster the image of a unified front during a roll-call process Clinton herself has described as an emotional "catharsis" for her disappointed supporters.

"If people get down there on the floor and want to start blowing kazoos and making a scene we want to make sure we've got people who stand in front of them with Obama signs," said a person involved in the planning.

Now most of Hillary's supporters are sane enough to recognize that Barack Obama is infinitely better for the country than John McCain. Yet there are a few out there that are upset and want to make a big stink. So as long as there are ex-Clinton supporters holding Obama signs in front of them, then they can blow all the kazoos they want to.

Obama Hits McCain Hard For Forgetting How Many Houses He Has

Now this is the style I like to see. McCain makes a gaffe and Obama immediately hits him on the airwaves with it. When McCain screws up big, then keep the message going strong for several days. I hope to see this ad up on the national stage for quite a while.

Rush Limbaugh Still A Racist

Rush Limbaugh recently signed a $400 million dollar contract with the people that put him on the air across the country. For that amount of money, what exactly does Rush contribute to the national debate? Well nothing really, unless you count the increasing racist tone in his attacks against Barack Obama. Yesterday's outburst grabbed the attention of many anti-discrimination groups.

From ThinkProgress:

Continuing his race-based attacks from the day before, Rush Limbaugh declared yesterday that Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) success so far is because people “can’t criticize the little black man-child:”

LIMBAUGH: It’s — you know, it’s just — it’s just we can’t hit the girl. I don’t care how far feminism’s saying, you can’t hit the girl, and you can’t — you can’t criticize the little black man-child. You just can’t do it, ’cause it’s just not right. It’s not fair. He’s such a victim.

Limbaugh has made racist attacks on Obama his forte. In March, he declared Obama had “disowned his white half” and “decided he’s got to go all in on the black side.” Last year, he called Obama “Barack the Magic Negro.”

Now the radio stations would never think of pulling him from the air, no matter how incendiary he gets. As long as Rush pulls in the dough nobody in any position of power gives a damn. So that is why people need to call his advertisers....and ask why they agree with his comments.

Blackwater Is To War As WalMart Is To Mass Consumerism

WalMart has been so successful (for itself, not employees or consumers) because they sell everything under the sun as cheaply as they possibly can. The store is diversified through and through to appeal to anyone that doesn't know how their operation impoverishes their workers and decimates small businesses in the communities they enter.

Blackwater Worldwide is also on the path of diversification. The only difference is instead of profiting off the misery of American communities, they are merchants of death and destruction. Blackwater made headlines for their murderous security guards and gigantic government contracts. Now they want to expand into anything and everything that a government could possibly need to fight a war.

From SpaceWar:

While most attention is focused on Blackwater Security Consulting, the unit that provides contractors for work in Iraq and elsewhere, there is far more to it than that. Blackwater has long sought to be a one-stop shopping center, a sort of Wal-Mart for all the U.S. government's military outsourcing needs, and a review of its business units shows it has gone a long way toward meeting that goal.

Consider Greystone Ltd., which is a Blackwater entity. A private security service, it is registered in Barbados and employs third-country nationals for offshore security work. Its Web site advertises its ability to maintain and train "a workforce drawn from a diverse base of former special operations, defense, intelligence, and law enforcement professionals ready on a moment's notice for global deployment." Tasks can be from very small-scale up to major operations to facilitate large-scale stability operations requiring large numbers of people to assist in securing a region.

Need something delivered by air? Look no further than Aviation Worldwide Services. AWS was founded by Richard Pere and Tim Childrey, and is based in Melbourne, Fla. Several of the MD-530 helicopters used by Blackwater Security Consulting in Iraq are also operated by AWS.

And the list of things go on and on. They have received contracts from the government for myriad projects and training exercises. There has been no accountability in terms of Congressional oversight, only contracts approved by the Pentagon. Those contracts are eased through because many higher-ups at Blackwater Worldwide are former military brass themselves. Combined with the neo-cons, Blackwater has become the most powerful mercenary company out there....and despite all the bad press, no one has been able to stop them.

CNN Highlights McCain's Adulterous Past

What happened to his marriage with Carol, how he met Cindy and the lies he told to make it all look better:

You Know You're An Elitist When....Your Name's McCain

Republicans have tried to pain Barack Obama as an elitist this year, part of their never-ending plan to smear the Democratic nominee despite the fact that nothing is really working. Somehow in their minds, being raised by a single mom and your grandmother is akin to a childhood on the Upper East Side with a doorman. Yet when they hurl these charges, they might want to rein in their own candidate first. Apparently, John McCain can't remember how many homes he and his wife own.

We should all have such problems:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

"I think — I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."

The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.

Condominiums? That sounds kinda inexpensive, until you get to see them of course. That is just one residence though, to truly begin to understand their wealth, check this article out.

So you know, ya might be an elitist....if you consider $3 million a year middle class. Ya might be an elitist forgot how many houses you own. And ya might be an elitist if....all you care about is the rich and want to make them richer by screwing the poor.

Ohio Lost A Great Congresswoman In Tubbs-Jones

Yesterday afternoon Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones passed on after suffering a brain aneurysm the night before. Police saw her unconscious in her car and immediately had paramedics transport her to the hospital, but the damage had already been done. Life support kept her alive for a little longer and now Ohio's 11th District and the Tubbs-Jones family has lost a truly great woman.

The NY Times does a great write-up of her accomplishments:

Considered a liberal, Ms. Tubbs Jones was a co-sponsor of legislative efforts to broaden health care coverage for low- and middle-income people and of programs supporting the re-entry of convicts into their communities. She was also the author of legislation requiring certification for mortgage brokers and stiffer penalties for predatory loans.

In June, Ms. Tubbs Jones voted against emergency supplemental financing for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I feel it important that we have a plan for a timely redeployment of our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan before we continue funding what has become a seemingly endless war,” she said at the time.

When Congress officially ratified President Bush’s re-election in January 2005, Ms. Tubbs Jones joined Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, in initiating a rare challenge to what has historically been a polite formal ceremony. They were objecting to accepting Ohio’s 20 electoral votes for Mr. Bush, citing voting irregularities in the state.

She stood up for her beliefs and tirelessly fought for those that elected her to office and for all Americans. Truly 58 years too young.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Christine Quinn Speaks Out At Pro-Renter Rally

Landlords and realty groups are so upset over the Tenant Harassment Act that they have sued to strike it from the books. Although I have quite a few disagreements with the Speaker, I am fully with her on this one as she speaks up and fights for renters in our city:

John McCain Is A Technophobe, Resents His Wife Over It Too

John McCain has admitted previously to be a computer illiterate that leaves everything electronic to his wife. However, the story runs deeper than that as it seems that McCain is an outright technophobe and apparently he resents his wife for her technological prowess. According to the AP, it is one of twenty-five things you may not know about the Arizonan Senator.

From ThinkProgress:

The AP has released a “pre-convention package” with lists of “25 Things About Obama” and “25 Things About McCain.” Number two on the McCain list is a tidbit from Cindy McCain: Her husband gets annoyed by her interest in technology. Via Politico’s Playbook:

His wife says her obsession with electronic gadgets and technology is one of his pet peeves.

So not only does Cindy have to help McCain send e-mails, but he resents the fact that she takes an interest in e-mail in the first place. Even in his own demographic — white, college-educated men over 65 — McCain is an outlier. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, approximately three-quarters of this group use the Internet. More on McCain’s disastrous tech policies here.

Well I guess that isn't as bad as calling her a "See you next Tuesday" or a trollop, but it does add a little more to that maverick persona he so loves to display. In the next two months as the pressure builds, don't be surprised to see more of it.

"Holy Joe" Lieberman Speaking At RNC

Not that this is the most shocking of news, but now we have it confirmed. Senator Joseph Lieberman (CT 4 Lieberman-CT) will speak on the first night of the RNC convention.

From TPM:

The McCain campaign confirms what we all have known for months would happen: Senator Joe Lieberman will speak at the GOP convention on the first night.

Maybe Lieberman will reiterate his claim that Obama has not always put his country first. It's awfully valuable to McCain and the GOP to have a so-called Democrat leading with such a smear, and there apparently is nothing Lieberman won't do for his new buds.

There's simply no chance whatsoever that Lieberman will have his plum committee slot come 2009, presuming he's still calling himself an "Independent Democrat" by then.

The Senator gets to share the stage that evening with the most prestigious tyrants warmongers Republicans, George Bush and Dick Cheney (29% and 18% approval ratings respectively). Like the traitors to their country that Bush and Cheney are, Lieberman is the Democratic Party's Benedict Arnold this time around and he's ready to flaunt it in Minneapolis one week from this coming Monday.

All I have to say is that the Democratic leadership better be ready to kick his old ass out of his chairman positions in the Senate the minute after he take the GOP stage.

McCain Still Doesn't Know His Tax Policy

And it begs the question, what else doesn't he know about himself?

Speaking Up For Wounded Troops Got Chuck Goeder Fired

After more than five years of a mismanaged war, the Army brass would have enough experience of dealing with embarrassments and then moving on. Yet when Chuck Goeder fought against poor living conditions that wounded vets had been living in on Fort Sill, he got canned. Now of course the army denies that one had anything to do with the other, but they are probably full of bullshit on this one.

From USA Today:

On Monday, USA TODAY reported that the unit's barracks were infested with mold and that soldiers had been ordered by commanders not to speak about conditions there. Maj. Gen. Peter Vangjel, Fort Sill's commander, said base officials had started to investigate and fix the problems.

Roeder was hired at Fort Sill in January. He contacted USA TODAY in July about problems at Fort Sill, which were confirmed by more than 20 soldiers.

Roeder's departure Friday, following his contact with USA TODAY, was purely coincidental, said Col. Sam White, an executive officer at Fort Sill. He said Roeder has a history of confrontations with base officials.

"They can say whatever they want to say, but they're not being truthful," Roeder said. "I stand up for soldiers. I'm sure the word got out that I'd encouraged soldiers to speak."

Colonel White must have a different interpretation of "confrontation" than most of us. If he means that Roeder disagreed with the army's incompetence and lack of care for our wounded vets, then yes, Roeder probably does have a history of confrontations. Colonel White must think that his reputation comes before the treatment our soldiers deserve....but he'd be wrong on that count too.

The Arrogance Of Peabody Energy And The Tragedy Of Coal

Coal has been around for quite a while now, but in the beginning it's use was nearly insignificant. After nearly 200 years since the dawn of the industrial age though, it is well past the time to leave the rest of the coal in the ground and not burn it up in the atmosphere. What we know now and the technology and potential for clean energy is here, yet coal is still being used in abundance.

Coal is the worst pollutant on the planet and still, not much is getting done to abate the practice of scraping it from the Earth and heating our planet with the gases it emits when consumed. So why is it still making companies like Peabody Energy fistfuls of money?

From USA Today:

In the USA, Peabody is perhaps the staunchest opponent of stringent regulations to cap greenhouse gas emissions even as stalwarts such as ExxonMobil and American Electric Power have softened their stances.

A bill to curb global-warming gases fizzled in Congress in June, partly because of opposition from Peabody and the coal industry. It would have forced utilities and others to buy permits to emit carbon, passing the costs to consumers and boosting electric rates up to 45% by 2020.

About 30 coal-fired power plants are under construction around the country, the most in a generation. Peabody, along with partners, is building a $3 billion, 1,600-megawatt coal generator in Illinois, the biggest U.S. coal plant in 25 years.

Polluters like Peabody and their operators like CEO Gregory Boyce thrive on destroying our planet. They talk about how plentiful coal is and how the market needs more energy, but really, all they care about is profit. Seeing the price of coal go up puts a sparkle in their eyes. CEO Boyce claims that stopping our use of coal is akin to "shooting ourselves in the foot" but that is merely a scare tactic. Clean energy is the way to go, Boyce and his cohorts need to be placed on the way out.

NYPD Reacts To Public Panda Party With Their Usual Grace

Whether party goers were standing around having a good time or taking pictures, the NYPD wasn't having any of it, constitutionally-protected freedoms or not.

PandamoniumTV provides footage in regular and slow speed:

Apparently the police do not like people recording their instances of brutality:

Bloomberg Sees Windmills In The Big Apple

Speaking at the Las Vegas conference on alternative energy last night, Mayor Bloomberg envisioned a New York skyline that had wind turbines from the Hudson River to Jamaica Bay and beyond. Bloomberg is known as a man with big ideas and as the Times points out, ideas that have failed. However, except for some feelings of NIMBYism, wind power is not the same as congestion pricing or a West Side stadium.

From The NY Times:

Mr. Bloomberg said he would ask private companies and investors to study how windmills can be built across the city, with the aim of weaning it off the nation’s overtaxed power grid, which has produced several crippling blackouts in New York over the last decade.

Mr. Bloomberg did not specify which skyscrapers and bridges would be candidates for windmills, and city officials would need to work with property owners to identify the buildings that would best be able to hold the equipment.

But aides said that for offshore locations, the city was eyeing the generally windy coast off Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island for turbines that could generate 10 percent of the city’s electricity needs within 10 years.

The Times author Michael Barbaro goes on to talk about the problems of the plan, such as the price of setting up a turbine system, legalities of leasing federally-owned offshore land and that Bloomberg's term will be up at the end of next year. Yet as I stated from the top, this isn't congestion pricing or a stadium, we are talking about the long-term health of our planet and what the nation's preeminent city intends to about it. Bloomberg might not get it done by the end of 2009, but we as a city must make sure that we wean ourselves off of oil, coal and gas.

The Incompetence Of The TSA Is Astounding

If there isn't enough problems at the airports or in the planes we fly, an idiotic TSA employee decided to add another kink in the system at Chicago's Midway Airport the other day. Now I've never had much faith in the people who don those "TSA" embroidered shirts, especially since I've had to pass through their checkpoints at many different airports. After hearing this story, they dropped another notch or two in my book.

From RawStory:

Negligence during TSA security checks on planes at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport caused at least forty commuter flights to be delayed after nine American Eagle planes were grounded, a source told ABC News.

A TSA agent, conducting a security check on a parked plane, reportedly used an air thermometer mounted on the plane's fuselage as leverage to climb on.

"The brilliant employees used an instrument located just below the cockpit window that is critical to the operation of the onboard computers," a pilot wrote on an Internet forum. "They decided this instrument, the TAT probe, would be adequate to use as a ladder."

"Our inspector was following routine procedure for securing the aircraft that were on the tarmac," TSA official Elio Montenegro said.

Not only did an untrained TSA 'official' damage a crucial piece of an airplane, one of their buddies covered up for them and claimed nothing was done wrong. Either Elio Montenegro is a liar or an incompetent prick that did not make himself aware of the situation that occurred. I'm sorry but when it comes to believability between a TSA inspector and an airplane pilot, I will almost always side with the pilot (perhaps it has something to do with their reputation).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Live Coverage Of DNC Coming At You From TPMtv

Creator and founder of Talking Points Memo previews the live coverage of next week's DNC in Denver...and the RNC in Minneapolis the week after:

Hopefully it'll be just as good if not better than the UstreamTV at Netroots Nation

The Middle Class Is A Progressive Bunch

Republicans in Congress and the White House like to use fear and manipulation to control the masses in their favor. After 9/11, that tactic worked like a charm and with their power they brought our society to a level where banks are closing, the economy is in peril and two wars are draining our treasury and inflating our debt to record levels. They won that power with the middle class, but as the Drum Major Institute found out, most of those people support progressive...and dare I say liberal ideas.

From DMI:

DMI’s first annual survey on the Middle Class and Public Policy reveals that America’s middle-class households are fearful families – overwhelmingly pessimistic about the direction of the country, especially the economy and high gas prices. Most have little flexibility in their own economic situations and have little if anything left over each month after meeting basic expenses. The middle class is disgruntled with the direction of the country and politicians and see little coming out of Washington that would give them cause for optimism.

Middle-class Americans do know what policies they would like to see enacted. Despite media depictions of a sharp red and blue divide, the nation’s middle class displays broad consensus on a range of public policies aimed at easing their economic squeeze: they support a universal national health insurance plan, requiring employers to provide paid family and medical leave, making it easier for employees to join labor unions and allowing bankruptcy judges to change mortgage payments to keep homes out of foreclosure. A majority of middle-class adults – whether they are Democrats, Republicans, or independents and whether they are supporters of John McCain or Barack Obama for President – believe that these policies represent good ideas for the country. Regardless of party affiliation or presidential preference, these Fearful Families think largely alike.

Despite the overwhelming conservative and neo-con messages we have heard through the media in the last twenty or so years, people still believe in these liberal values because programs like Social Security, S-CHIP and national health insurance are things that have and will make our country stronger.

What has weakened us are the Republican policies since Reagan that have widened the income gap and decimated programs that help the least among us survive. In the world's wealthiest nation, most people believe in being good to all Americans and not just the wealthy few that too many politicians get their campaign donations from.

Senator Stevens Thinks He's Above The Law

It seems that a common trait for Republican elected officials these days is an allowance to be free from the rules and regulations of our country. George Bush got Congress to pass a law making one of his illegal maneuvers legal. So perhaps Ted Stevens thinks he can get around the legal system as well.

Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska was caught receiving gifts in the six figure range from campaign contributors like VECO who were the beneficiaries of Stevens' earmarks. Then Stevens lied about the gifts, netting him seven charges of falsifying records, each worth five years in prison. So when the law comes looking for Stevens, he tries to jump up over it.

From RetireTed:

Anchorage, Alaska – Last week, lawyers for Senator Ted Stevens filed several motions asserting that Senators are above the law and deserve special treatment. Specifically, the defense explained that since the Department of Justice is part of the executive branch, they cannot investigate Stevens or interview his staff since they are part of the legislative branch. Stevens’ attorneys went as far to say that only Congress can discipline a Senator who violates the law by lying on the financial disclosure forms. However, Stevens voted for the legislation which established the financial disclosure forms. In essence, Stevens’ defense is that legislation he supported is now unconstitutional, and therefore the case should be dismissed.

“Senator Stevens’ actions speak louder than words,” said Bethany Lesser, spokeswoman for the Alaska Democratic Party. “Senator Stevens voted for the bill that created financial disclosure reports, but now his defense says it doesn’t matter if a Senator lies on the forms because a Senator can’t be investigated. Senator Stevens’ lawyers are saying there are no consequences for breaking the very same ethics rules that Stevens voted in support of. Senator Stevens is not above the law.


In 1989, Congress amended the Ethics In Government Act of 1978 to require members of Congress to file financial disclosure reports including income and honoraria exceeding $200. The bill gave the Attorney General the authority to take action against anyone who falsifies the financial disclosure report. Stevens joined the rest of the Senate in a voice vote in favor of the legislation.

The Department of Justice cannot investigate criminal behavior? Oh, that's rich. Well, they don't really do such a good job of it at the moment, but the whole "Justice" in the Department of Justice should kinda speak for itself. This time around, I don't see Senator Stevens with too many friends in Washington...and with his anemic poll numbers versus Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, he won't have anyone to help him get out of trouble.

McCain Wants To Keep Bush's Tax Cuts To The Rich Permanent

How much did you save on your taxes from Bush's tax cuts a few years back? Certainly not hundreds of thousands or millions in savings like those in the top percent, you know, Bush's base. Of course if you did get those savings, then McCain is your man:

Congratulations To Luke Henry

We are still a few weeks from primary day, so Luke Henry hasn't beaten his fellow challenger Paul Newell or incumbent Shelly Silver. However, he must have had a great, yet tiring (more so for mom) weekend as he and his wife Meghan introduce Oliver Henry to Chinatown, the Lower East Side and the world.

From The NY Daily News:

Luke Henry, one of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's two Democratic primary opponents, announced today that his wife, Meghan Bryant, has given birth to the couple's first son. Oliver Franklin Henry was born at 2:41 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16 at New York Hospital. He weighed seven pounds, nine ounces.

From the press release:

"Mom and baby are doing great. An elated Luke says he's looking forward to taking Oliver to the park for an introduction to campaigning."

I don't know how much canvassing or phonebanking little Oliver can do from now until September 9th, but dad certainly has his work cut out for him, both at home and throughout the 64th Assembly district.

Finally, There Is A Price To Be A Blue Dog Dem

In this past legislative session Congress has disappointed us on several occasions. While the Democrats regained the majority, it is not a party that is in lockstep. Conservative members in the party, known as blue dogs, have sided with the President on highly controversial....and unconstitutional measures, such as FISA. It is heart breaking to see members of Congress who were elected to change Congress become the status quo and a few of them did so as freshmen. One of those people is Chris Carney, representing the 10th district of Pennsylvania and groups like Blue America are sick of him.

From Politicker PA:

The liberal wing of the Democratic Party is turning on U.S. Rep. Chris Carney (D-Dimock), actively campaigning against the incumbent despite his difficult re-election bid against Republican Chris Hackett, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The political action committee Blue America is campaigning against Carney and other Democratic lawmakers it perceives aren't progressive enough, particularly after some sided with President George Bush's domestic-surveillance program. The paper reports the PAC has taken out radio, TV and newspaper ads against Carney, who considers himself a moderate Democrat, also known as a "Blue Dog."

"Our goal is to attach a real price to the type of things Chris Carney is doing. If that means he ends up losing, then so be it," said Glenn Greenwald, one of the group's organizers, told the Journal. "I would rather see a smaller majority but fewer Blue Dogs than a big majority with the Blue Dogs in charge."

Within the party, this is a highly controversial move. Democratic activists are supposed to be electing more D's, not less of them. The mantra on DailyKos and across the blogosphere is "more Democrats and then better Democrats." Well, we have more Democrats, currently the majority has a 30+ seat lead and will likely increase that number by a significant amount.

Personally I want to see a large majority, but what does it matter if members of your caucus put the interests of George Bush and the telecom lobby ahead of the people that think they are protected by the 4th amendment in the Constitution? Right now Carney and other Blue Dogs think they can get away with these kinds of votes as long as they go along with some of the party platform. Nancy Pelosi certainly hasn't been able or willing to herd the cats when push comes to shove. So now that we have more Democrats, we need to elect more Democrats with better progressive principles.....or else we'll just have more of the status quo under the guise of Democratic leadership.

Five Million Reasons Not To Vote For McCain

Another brilliant ad from the Democratic Party. Of course credit is due to the man on the screen, he just can't help himself from providing ample material for which to be attacked on:

Millionaire's Tax Added Into NYS Budget Mix

Governor Paterson is looking to make major spending cuts in order to close a significant budget gap (except for those that make generous donations to his campaign). However, Assembly Democrats are laughing at the former legislature and will do as much in the budget they are set to pass today. One of the biggest items in there that will make waves is the re-introduction of the millionaire's tax. That progressive measure will in turn help to fund another bright idea, a circuit breaker (no, not the electrical kind).

From Press Connects:

Assembly leaders submitted a bill Monday to increase income taxes on those making more than $1 million a year and bump up taxes higher for those making more than $5 million a year.

The extra money would pay for tax breaks for middle-class homeowners by linking their property taxes to a percentage of their household incomes.

The measures have been pushed by a teachers' union as an alternative to a school-property-tax cap backed by Gov. David A. Paterson and the Republican-controlled Senate. The Senate remains opposed to the Assembly's plan, making it unlikely to pass today.

"The Assembly will pass a circuit breaker and a millionaires' tax," said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D-Greenburgh, Westchester County. "It's a step in the right direction. What we should be doing is reducing property taxes, not capping them."

The Assembly is doing the right thing here, though who knows if it is merely a political calculation and not a moral one. The Senate and the once-progressive Governor are opposed to such measures. Taking from the rich to give to the poor is a scary thing to Paterson and the slim Republican majority in the Senate, likely because that is how their campaigns are funded by and large.

For a while the Governor made decisions that looked like compromises and a way of currying favor with the Republicans after a stormy Spitzer reign. Now that we are a few months in to his term, it is way past the time that Paterson get on board for things that make sense for his supporters....unless he is looking to lose the favor of people that got him into the Senate (not counting his family name of course).

Well, at least the Assembly is protecting the majority of New Yorkers from him for now.

Some Karma For Global Warming Deniers

Ah there's nothing like the smell of karma in the morning! Those people that hate Al Gore for speaking up about global warming never stop trying to create a debate where there really isn't any to begin with. On and on they go, spinning anecdotal evidence to prove they're right while the burden of proof actually shows our planet heating up. Well they tried to get together this week to have a "townhall" meeting, but something got in the way.

From ThinkProgress:

This week, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) planned to have town hall meetings in Ft. Myers and West Palm Beach, FL. As the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson notes, “AFP is a front group for the right-wing pollution company Koch Industries, with an agenda of attacking ‘global warming alarmism‘ and promoting increased offshore drilling.” In an ironic twist, AFP has canceled its meetings because of Tropical Storm Fay. From a message on the group’s website:

Ft. Myers and West Palm Beach Town Hall Meetings Rescheduled

The August 19th Ft. Myers town hall and August 21st West Palm Beach town hall will be rescheduled as a result of Tropical Storm Fay. We apologize for any inconvenience.

More on how global warming intensifies tropical storms here.

Those pesky facts always get in the way of the deniers, but sometimes that isn't enough. Fossil fuel industries may be powerful thanks to their connections into government and their massive lobbying budgets (thanks to everyone who pays $4 a gallon or more) but there is nothing more impressive than the strength of mother nature. Especially so when we are collectively making her stronger.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Two Years Ago, A Campaign Started To Die

YouTube was known for video sharing before Jim Webb ran for Senate two years ago but the political power of viral videos was unknown until George Allen's big racist mouth set up his undoing.

Newt Is Still An Idiot

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich must think that Sean Hannity's audience is pretty damn stupid. Do they really believe all the lies that Hannity and his guests tell them? Well probably, but some things are just too hard to swallow. One of those untruthful stones was force-fed last night on the Fox News show.

From ThinkProgress:

Last night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) returned (as they often do) to Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) recent suggestion that Americans inflate their tires properly in order to save energy costs.

Seeming to outdo his previous false attacks on this issue, Gingrich claimed that Obama’s idea is actually encouraging Americans to “enrich Big Oil” because selling air has “a higher profit margin than selling gasoline”:

GINGRICH: Well, I got a very funny e-mail from a retired military officer in Tampa who pointed out that most tire inflation is done at service stations and you pay for it. And it’s actually a higher profit margin than selling gasoline. So Sen. Obama was urging you to go out and enrich Big Oil by inflating your tires instead of buying gas.

Um, since when do gas stations buy air from oil companies? Why would oil companies sell air? The fact of the matter is, the only profits go to the service station owners, not big oil...that is if the station in question charges for air at all. Also, people can go out and buy an air pump or pressure tank and do it themselves. Of course, Newt probably never deals with the maintenance of his car(s), so what the hell would he know anyways?

Paterson Plays Quid Pro Quo With State Troopers

Governor Paterson sure does know how to talk tough when it comes to cutting budgets. He is even better at pissing legislators off by demanding $600 million in additional cuts. Though when it comes to getting campaign donations from select groups, he listens to the donors more closely than his own overriding message of fiscal restraint.

From The NY Sun:

Weeks after state police troopers padded Governor Paterson's campaign war chest with a $25,000 contribution, the governor is awarding the troopers a 14% pay raise over four years.

The contract agreement with the Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers could present a problem for Mr. Paterson, as he has been sounding the alarm over the health of the state's budget and has summoned lawmakers back to Albany for a special session tomorrow to trim the budget by $600 million.

He has told New Yorkers to prepare for "painful" cuts to close a budget gap of some $6.4 billion, and warned that the state's economic downturn could turn into the next Great Depression.

By agreeing to pay raises for 3,600 state police troopers represented by the police union, he is seemingly sending mixed messages.

Mixed, blended or stirred, those messages are certainly off. While going on television for $600 million in cuts, this adds approximately $45 million to the budget over four years. Not bad for a $25K donation I might say. Now I am all in favor of giving troopers (and all middle-class state workers) raises but if the state needs to cut back, it has to be collectively, no exceptions made, even if you have $25,000 to give to the Governor's election fund.

Paul Waldman Shreds Jerome Corsi

When you aren't on an obnoxious cable news show like one of CNN's or Fox News, C-Span viewers can hear an argument (and answers to callers' questions) on Jerome Corsi's new book that defames Barack Obama:

How You And McCain Define Rich...Not Even Close

One of the questions at last night's "discussion" at Rick Warren's church with the Presidential candidates was extremely telling of two. Barack Obama mentioned that he'd decrease taxes for those that make less than $150,000 and raise taxes (or restore taxes on the rich that Bush cut) for those that make more than $250,000. To me, that sounds pretty on target. A comfortable life can be had for a quarter-million dollars in America, but not for John Sidney McCain.

From The Carpetbagger Report:

“Some of the richest people I’ve ever known in my life are the most unhappy. I think that rich is — should be defined by a home, a good job and education and the ability to hand to our children a more prosperous and safer world than the one that we inherited. I don’t want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich. I don’t believe in class warfare or redistribution of the wealth. But I can tell you for example there are small businessmen and women who are working 16 hours a day, seven days a week that some people would classify as, quote, ‘rich,’ my friends, who want to raise their taxes and raise their payroll taxes. Let’s have — keep taxes low. Let’s give every family in America a $7,000 tax credit for every child they have. Let’s give them a $5,000 refundable tax credit to go out and get the health insurance of their choice. Let’s not have the government take over the health care system in America.

“So I think if you’re just talking about income, how about $5 million. But seriously, I don’t think you can — I don’t think, seriously that — the point is that I’m trying to make here seriously — and I’m sure that comment will be distorted, but the point is — the point is — the point is that we want to keep people’s taxes low and increase revenues. And my friend, it was not taxes that mattered in America in the last several years. It was spending. Spending got completely out of control. We spent money in a way that mortgaged our kids futures. My friends, we spent $3 million of your money to study the DNA of bears in Montana. Now I don’t know if that was a paternity issue or a criminal issue, but the point is — but the point is it was $3 million of your money. It was your money.

“And you know, we laugh about it, but we cry and we should cry because the Congress is supposed to be careful stewards of your tax dollars. so what did they just do in the middle of an energy crisis when in California we are paying $4 a gallon for gas, went on vacation for five weeks. I guarantee you, two things they never miss, a pay raise and a vacation. And we should stop that and call them back and not raise your taxes. We should not and cannot raise taxes in tough economic times. So it doesn’t matter really what my definition of rich is because I don’t want to raise anybody’s taxes.”

Let's start with the first paragraph. First of all, when it comes to a national debate about the gap between rich and poor, I don't care if the wealthy are unhappy. Happiness is an inside job and yes, having all the money in the world won't make you happy, joyous and free, but robbing the poor to pay the upper echelons of society is just downright criminal. Secondly, keeping taxes low by giving tax breaks (to those that qualify) is basically a handout to the insurance companies that have been screwing us for decades now. We need a better system, not to feed the currently broken one.

Next paragraph. Um, wtf? Five million dollars is your line on who is rich or not? Maybe when you suck at the teet of a beer baroness, but for millions of Americans not living paycheck to paycheck would be a huge step up. Claiming that comment will get distorted? No, that came out crystal clear Senator. Now I agree that spending has run amok, but I could care less about a $3 million dollar study on bears, what makes me livid is wasting trillions.....TRILLIONS on a war in Iraq that nobody wants except for your friends in the defense industry (mercenaries too).

Third and final paragraph....hypocrite alert! Congress should be good stewards of our tax dollars, but guess what? McCain is in that Congress. Vacationing for five weeks (they've done this for a long time now, it is called a summer recess) is nothing compared to John McCain's almost non-existent voting record in the Senate this term. He doesn't show up for anything anymore. The state of Arizona has technically had one Senator and one that the country pays for (talk about a waste of taxpayer dollars) to not show up and pretend to be President while campaigning for the job.

John McCain had a lengthy answer about what it takes to be rich, but that response made double fudge cheesecake brownies taste like a sugar-free mousse.

One Year Later And All They Get Is A Memorial

Today is the one year anniversary of the tragic Deutsche Bank Building fire that claimed the lives of two of New York's Bravest. The two men, Joseph Graffagnino and Robert Beddia will be memorialized at their firehouse in SoHo. Yet besides that, not much is being done about what happened that terrible day.

Oh sure, safety has improved, don't get me wrong on that. The New York Post tells us all about it and that the godforsaken building will probably stand for another year. What I am ticked off about is getting justice for them. It wasn't just one negligent construction worker that set up these conditions, it was the whole damn city.

From The NY Daily News:

"The issue of fire watch and reviewing the fire watch was extremely important, as were any other safety issues," he said. "They served as one component of a system in which job-site issues were monitored and corrective action taken as necessary."

Other city, state and federal inspectors regularly trolled the site, yet none stopped the practices that led to the fatal blaze.[...]

The Fire Department, which failed to inspect the tower every 15 days as required by law, now says it meets the 15-day target on 93% of buildings.

"It was the perfect storm last year: a contaminated building being taken down by a shady company, and our guys weren't doing the inspections," one FDNY source said.

So now the building is being taken down and every piece removed is quadruple checked. To some that is justice, that things at the site are being done in a safer manner. To me that just seems like they are covering their asses now. For the families, friends and firefighters across the city, those responsible need to be held accountable, no matter how high the blame goes up on the chain of command.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Do You Support George Bush More Than You Did Four Years Ago?

Then why the hell would you vote for more of the same in McCain?

Despite Republican Opposition, U.S. Becomes Top Wind Power Producer

Countries across the world have realized the amazing potential in wind power, places like Holland have recognized it for centuries. Yet only recently has the U.S. begun to truly commit to investing in the raw power of the Earth's atmosphere. While oil men like T. Boone Pickens have ulterior motives in the wind business, many investors have good business sense with relatively pure hearts. So in the face of government knuckle-dragging, we have still forged ahead of everyone else on the planet.

From Celsias:

According to Environmental Finance , the U.S. is now the leader in wind energy generation with total installed wind power capacity currently at 19,549MW, up 2,726MW from the end of 2007. And although Germany has more installed generating capacity, the U.S. actually produces more electricity due to stronger winds. Further, "U.S. wind capacity is expected to increase 45% in 2008 although Congress' failure to extend the production tax credit (PTC) for the renewable energy industry threatens to derail further development, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)."[...]

Despite all of this good news on wind, there is a grey lining:

The rapid growth of the wind energy industry, however, is being threatened by the inability of Congress to pass legislation to extend the PTC for renewable energy projects, he said. The PTC is set to expire at the end of 2008, and many projects are being rushed to completion by the end of this year, Swisher said [American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) executive director Randall Swisher].

Investment in new wind energy projects beyond 2008 has stalled due to the failure to extend the credits, Swisher said. "If there is a great deal of uncertainty in the market and in policies in the market, that investment capacity will be deployed elsewhere", he said. "It's just ludicrous that the Congress is letting this opportunity slip away." - Environmental Finance

The potential in our country, especially in the midwest and mountainous regions is incredible. Even with the limited amount of turbines we have installed, they outperform other sites on the planet. And although Congress has largely ignored alternative energy for decades, it is time for the coming 111th Congress to get it's act together and succeed where prior Republican majorities failed. I am convinced that we can power the planet with wind and solar technology alone. Pushing these budding industries along is the smartest....and most necessary thing we as Americans and ultimately as a planet must do in the early part of the 21st century.