Saturday, November 27, 2010

Klein Gets It

A columnist finally sees the error of his ways. Joe Klein confesses that his past support of Social Security privatization was a really...bad...idea.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


This McClatchy poll indicates that the mandate claimed by the Republicans on key issues just doesn't exist.

E-ink on paper

I love my Kindle but I'm looking forward to its obsolescence.
"It is pretty exciting," said Steckl. "With the right paper, the right process and the right device fabrication technique, you can get results that are as good as you would get on glass, and our results are good enough for a video-style e-reader."

Steckl imagines a future device that is rollable, feels like paper yet delivers books, news and even high-resolution color video in bright-light conditions.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What the Secret Donors Want

You heard about all the secret donors to the US Chamber of Commerce. What do they want and why do they want to be secret?
According to tax records unearthed by Bloomberg News, the health insurance lobby secretly gave $86.2 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2009 to try to prevent the health care bill from becoming law. The huge contribution — 40 percent of the chamber’s spending for that year — allowed the group to run ads against the bill without tainting the insurance industry, which was negotiating with Democrats on the bill at the same time.
Keeping donors secret allows corporate interests to advertise for what they want without the public being able to see their self-interest in action. Since when is it a good business model to do things which the public finds objectionable?

Why Do They Want to Destroy the Country?

Paul Krugman casts a look forward to the spring government shutdown.
The fact is that one of our two great political parties has made it clear that it has no interest in making America governable, unless it’s doing the governing. And that party now controls one house of Congress, which means that the country will not, in fact, be governable without that party’s cooperation — cooperation that won’t be forthcoming.
We must keep asking our people why we give power to folks who are willing to sacrifice the good of the country for their own selfish interest?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nuclear Energy Factoid

Commercial power reactors do not lead to nuclear weapons. No state that has nuclear weapons got there by starting with commercial reactors. To produce electricity economically you want to burn the fuel as long as possible. The longer the fuel is in a reactor, the more plutonium 240 is produced. Plutonium 240 is very dangerous to fabricate into weapons because it is too fissionable. it goes critical too easily. When weapons-grade plutonium is produced from reactors it is done by taking the fuel out after only a limited amount of time. The short-exposure fuel has much higher fractions of plutonium 239 which is what constitutes weapons-grade material.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why is Palin still in DWTS?

OK. It was a bit of a mystery why Bristol kept her spot on Dancing with the Stars despite being at the bottom of the judges ratings week after week. Mystery is solved. It seems Palin fans have been
gaming the system. It's ABC's error but it took Palin fans to shamelessly exploit it to an astounding degree. Sad, really.

A Fair Trade

Labor is serious enough about the debt problem to see it as a fair trade to accept the tax cut rollback on the middle class in order to eliminate the budget-busting tax cuts on the well-to-do. Do we have the moral courage to fight for what is right at the risk of getting something that is a little less than right?

As we enter the deficit debate

Let's identify were the debt comes from. Since Republicans are mostly responsible for the debt, they should either lead the way in doing something about it or get out of the way for more serious people to do the job.

Ezra Klein makes the case that root cause of the current debt crisis is the crashed economy. Fix the economy and you can fix the deficit.

A consensus of four decades of scientific literature

It's warming up. Yep, it really is.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

What Got Done in the Last Two Years

1. American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009. At least 800,000 jobs were created or preserved.
2. Created more private sector jobs in 2010 than Bush did in all 8 years.
3. Boosted private sector space programs with stimulus funding.
4. Financial reforms including a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
5. Law to require financial agencies to verify applicants credit history, income, and employment status.
6. Prohibited banks from proprietary trading.
7. Allowed shareholders to vote on executive pay.
8. Cut medicare prescription drug costs by 50%.
9. Provided $12.2 Billion in new funding for Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
10. Extended Benefits to same-sex partners of federal employee
11. Appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in US history
12. Reversed 'global gag rule', allowing US aid to go to organizations regardless of whether they provide abortions
13. Gave the FDA the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco for the first time
14. Signed New START Treaty - nuclear arms reduction pact with Russia
15. Increased average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg to 35.5mpg, starting in 2016
16. Restored basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers
17. Provided the VA with more than $1.4 billion to improve services to America's Veterans
18. Provided health care to 11 million children, 4 million of whom were uninsured
19. Repealed restrictions on stem cell research
20. Stimulated nondefense scientific research by $18 billion.
21. Signed law to stop fraud and wasteful spending in defense procurement.
22. Issued order to close Guantanamo Bay.
23. Stopped torture by the CIA.
24. Established the Credit Card Bill of Rights
25. Prevented health insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
26. Allowed children to be on parents' health insurance until age 26.
27. Tax cuts for small business to help pay for health care for their employees.
28. Tax credits for 29 million people to help pay for health care.
29. Expanded Medicaid for those with incomes up to 133 percent of federal poverty level.
30. Required disclosure of how much of health insurance premiums actually go to claims.
and there's more.

No Fight, No win

If you can't get the goods, you would be better off having a good fight.

Ditching the Chamber

If you're a responsible business owner who wants to pay your employees well, pay your fair share of taxes, respect the environment, or make sure your employees have affordable healthcare, isn't it time to find another voice than these creeps?