May 2010 Archives
Top kill method to plug up the oil gusher has failed. After pumping 1.2 million gallons of drilling mud, plus two attempts with junk shots, BP today admitted that it has not worked at plugging the oil volcano.
The long term consequences of failure will be felt for years to come by the destruction of sea and marsh land environments, including commercial and sport fishing. For example, the Gulf of Mexico supplies 30 percent of shrimp for Americans.
There will be international consequences: The United States government has entered into talks with the governments of Cuba and Mexico on the impact of BP's gulf gusher on their consequential costs to deep water drilling, tourism and fishing.
Miami Herald news.
Serious consideration should now be given to the sealing of the well head with explosives, including the nuclear option.
The nuclear option read this by Susan Deily-Sweringen.
For a conscise overview read on the oil volcano and why the amount of oil coming from the BOP is not the real gusher this.
Unless you act now, our children will bear another burden of the economic crisis brought about by the failed policies of George W. Bush.
Our kids need your help.
Thousands of Colorado teachers are facing layoffs, and students from all across the state could be forced into larger classes with less personal attention, fewer course choices and even cuts to instruction time.
Add your name to our petition asking Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet to stand up for Colorado's students, teachers and schools and support the Keep Our Educators Working Act. Senators Udall and Bennet have been true champions for public education. We need their proven leadership now more than ever.
The Keep Our Educators Working Act will provide desperately needed money to Colorado school districts, save or create over 3,300 jobs in Colorado and ensure our public schools, one of the most important factors in a sustained economic recovery, remain strong and able to provide a top-notch education for our kids.
Sign our petition today: Tell Udall and Bennet you support this bill.
Your voice can have a big impact in making sure our schools remain strong and our students have the best chance for academic success. Take two minutes and add your name in support of the Keep Our Educators Working Act - we'll make sure Senators Udall and Bennet hear loud and clear from you.
It only takes a moment to help keep Colorado's schools strong. Please sign on in support of the Keep Our Educators Working Act and we'll make sure Senators Udall and Bennet get your message about the importance of standing up for Colorado's students. Thanks!
Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong"
Besides, why are we taking so much risk for so little oil. Even if the new oil field (the Wilcox formation) estimated at 3 to 15 billion barrels added to the 15 billion barrels of proven oil, we are talking a four year supply at our present consumption, 19.6 million barrels per day. Obviously there is a hefty profit to be had for whatever they produce.
Check these figures from the Washington Post:
"But the costs of exploring for oil in deep water far from shore run high, which makes it important to find bigger fields. Chevron's Siegele said the test well, called the Jack No. 2, cost more than $100 million. Devon Energy's Hadden said a production facility in the area could cost between $250 million and $500 million, plus a series of production wells at a cost of $80 million to $120 million each. It isn't clear whether the companies would build a floating platform and put the oil directly into tankers or a platform would connect to pipelines that would run to shore." (Even worse is the location) "Chevron said yesterday that 6,000 barrels a day of crude oil flowed through a test well from the tertiary trend more than 20,000 feet beneath the sea floor in 7,000 feet of water. " Deepwater Horizon was in 5000 feet of water and drilled 18,000 feet below the ocean floor. The rig was rated for 10,000 feet of water (4,333 PSI) and 30,000 feet below the ocean floor. The rig was built in South Korea for $365 million and Deepwater Horizon was rented for $500,000 a day.
A modern US submarine has a crush depth of 2400 feet. The temperature at 5,000 feet in the Gulf is about 40 degrees. The water pressure is about 2,300 pounds per square inch, conditions that can damage hydraulic systems or cause leaks.
Drill, baby, drill! Can you believe there are people with stickers on their cars that read, "Palin 2012" ????? I was thinking the other day when I heard her talking, she sounds just like a Valley Girl and always looks like she needs a shampoo and a haircut.
2010Panel Suggests Signs of Trouble Before Rig Explosion
By HENRY FOUNTAIN and TOM ZELLER Jr.
In the hours before the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded last month in the Gulf of Mexico, there were strong warning signs that something was terribly wrong with the well, according to a Congressional committee that was briefed on the accident by executives from BP.
Among the red flags, the panel said, were several equipment readings suggesting that gas was bubbling into the well, a potential sign of an impending blowout. Investigators also noted “other events in the 24 hours before the explosion that require further inquiry,” including a critical decision to replace heavy mud in the pipe rising from the seabed with seawater, possibly increasing the risk of an explosion.
Continued at the NY Times
"Mr. Obama wanted to transcend partisanship. Instead, however, he finds himself very much in the position Franklin Roosevelt described in a famous 1936 speech
, struggling with “the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.”
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Roosevelt turned corporate opposition into a badge of honor: “I welcome their hatred,” he declared. It’s time for President Obama to find his inner F.D.R., and do the same."
From the FDR speech:
"Peace on earth, good will toward men", democracy must cling to that message. For it is my deep conviction that democracy cannot live without that true religion which gives a nation a sense of justice and of moral purpose. Above our political forums, above our market places stand the altars of our faith-altars on which burn the fires of devotion that maintain all that is best in us and all that is best in our Nation."
We have need of that devotion today. It is that which makes it possible for government to persuade those who are mentally prepared to fight each other to go on instead, to work for and to sacrifice for each other. That is why we need to say with the Prophet: "What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God." That is why the recovery we seek, the recovery we are winning, is more than economic. In it are included justice and love and humility, not for ourselves as individuals alone, but for our Nation..." (E pluribus unum?)
May 23, 2010The Old Enemies
By PAUL KRUGMAN
So here’s how it is: They’re as mad as hell, and they’re not going to take this anymore. Am I talking about the Tea Partiers? No, I’m talking about the corporations.
Much reporting on opposition to the Obama administration portrays it as a sort of populist uprising. Yet the antics of the socialism-and-death-panels crowd are only part of the story of anti-Obamaism, and arguably the less important part. If you really want to know what’s going on, watch the corporations.
How can you do that? Follow the money — donations by corporate political action committees.
This analysis looks behind the scenes at how the ban on offshore drilling was lifted and what that had to do with the ultimate prize for big oil, the American Power Act. It focuses on the current administration. That in no way implies that the problem originated in January 2009. The out sized and destructive influence of the oil monopoly has been with us for since the 1870's.
Banning Offshore Drilling
In 1969 a Unocal oil rig off the coast of Santa Barbara, California began leaking oil. The extent of the leak, damage to wildlife, and the shoreline caused considerable outrage. The state of California banned offshore drilling shortly after the leak. In 1980, Congress banned offshore drilling in most federally controlled waters. President George H.W. Bush reluctantly banned off shore drilling in 1990 for the western states, Alaska, and the North Atlantic.
1. The Volcker Rule, as specifically proposed in the Merkley-Levin amendment
2. Constraints on the size and leverage of our largest banks, as proposed by the Brown-Kaufman amendment
Do they support these two financial rules?
If not then they support banks that work against your interest and banks that are "too big to fail".
You know what chaps my ass, other than the fact that this guy is a Democrat running for the US Senate? This guy has no idea what effect the scars inflicted by war do to ones long term mental health nor the humiliation of not being able to get ANY job because we were Vietnam veterans with a thousand yard stare. On my discharge papers, it has a box that states the related civilian occupation and DOT Number. In my box, the word is. "NONE" I was watching the last episode of the Stephen Spielberg miniseries "Pacific" on HBO last night, one of the characters who was based on an actual Marine grunt, Eugene Sledge, was getting the 3rd degree from a cute girl in an employment line back home in Mobile, AL.. She kept pressing him about what Marine training he had received, not wanting to believe that he was not taught a marketable skill, he finally leaned in and with a low voice said, "I learned to kill Japs and I was damned good at it." He then proceeded to leave. Eugene Sledge wrote the book, "With the Old Breed" and suffered some of the worst symptoms of PTSD I have ever seen portrayed on film.
The most stunning part of Episode 10 is at the end where they show the actor and then cut away to the actual Marine and say a few words about who they married, how many children, when they died, what they accomplished. Most of the Marines are dead or near death. A notable quote from the HBO sight, "For those that lived through the worst of it, it was a war that was never over................" If you can find the time to read this page on HBO, do so, it's that revealing. HBO Pacific By all means see this film. MC
May 17, 2010
Candidate’s Words on Vietnam Service Differ From History
By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ
At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.
“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”
There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.
The deferments allowed Mr. Blumenthal to complete his studies at Harvard; pursue a graduate fellowship in England; serve as a special assistant to The Washington Post’s publisher, Katharine Graham; and ultimately take a job in the Nixon White House.
Continued at the New York Times:
All together now, 'water and oil don't mix' literally and figuratively. Kind of like politics and big business. Of course they are mixed, even for a short while, but at great hazard to us all. Check out the picture of Ken Salazar with the 'oh shit' look on his face. Forget the Senate, he'd rather be castrating calves than washing dinosaurs. :-))
Meanwhile, Sarah Palin checks in:
Sarah Palin has fueled growing anti-British sentiment over the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster by saying "foreign" oil companies like BP were not to be trusted. "Don't naively trust – verify." She got her words all twisted up, she meant to say, "Don't verify, Don't trust." The 14th Commandment of the Republican Party. Just as odd/hilarious was her use of the word "naively" Can I get a sexy wink over here? Exxon/Mobil good, Brithish Petroleum bad. Hell, the CEO of BP spoke fluent American, it's the new world order, wink, wink and Sarah will be the queen. MC
The paper (The Telegraph) is quick to note that:
Her comments came despite the fact her husband Todd Palin worked for BP for 18 years, as a production supervisor, and only left the company last year to spend more time with his family.
Meanwhile BP demonstrates the necessity of hiring a qualified spokesman rather than an incompetent brother in law/golf partner/drinking buddy:
"BP has resisted entreaties from scientists that they be allowed to use sophisticated instruments at the ocean floor that would give a far more accurate picture of how much oil is really gushing from the well.
“The answer is no to that,” a BP spokesman, Tom Mueller, said on Saturday. “We’re not going to take any extra efforts now to calculate flow there at this point. It’s not relevant to the response effort, and it might even detract from the response effort.” "
May 15, 2010
Giant Plumes of Oil Found Forming Under Gulf of Mexico
By JUSTIN GILLIS
Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.
“There’s a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water,” said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. “There’s a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.”
The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.
Continued at the NY Times:
I wanted to post this again, and again and then again. The insulation of an elected official from their constituents may not be their fault alone, none the less, it is a problem. Perhaps the districts are designed for failure of that sort. I don't think adding representation is the answer, can you imagine 900 US Congressman? 1200? It would be far more effective to add competent staff.
SIDE OF POLITICS
[A talk to the Claim Democracy conference organized by the Center for Voting & Democracy]
I rise to interrupt your proceedings - logical, thoughtful, and well constructed though they are - to suggest something oddly subversive: that people only get involved in politics in large numbers when it becomes more than politics, when it is more than a logical, thoughtful and well constructed process, when it is more even than a ideology. They get involved when politics becomes a normal, convivial, exciting and satisfying part of their social existence. I want to talk for a moment about the non-rational, inefficient, even sometimes almost indescribable elements of a politics that works.
Come with me for a moment to the time of when politics was so much a part of New York City that Tammany Hall had to rent Madison Square Gardens for its meetings of committeemen - all 32,000 of them. . In contrast, when the Democratic National Committee decided to send a mailing to its workers some years back, it found that no one had kept a list. The party had come to care only about its donors.
We got rid machines like Tammany because we came to believe in something called good government. But in throwing out the machines we also tossed out a culture and an art of politics. It is as though, in seeking to destroy the Mafia, we had determined that family values and personal loyalty were somehow by association criminal as well.
With the 2010 Colorado legislative session coming to a close, here is a list of winners and losers among your Colorado State Representatives and Senators--who stood up to do right by their constituents and our state's future, versus those who devoted the session to pandering and disingenuous partisan politics. We are proud of the hard work done by our progressive majority this session, from renewable energy and clean air to improving health care. Please enjoy this brief summary of those you have to thank--and those you don't.
For the geek in we :-)
First a few words regarding the speck in God's eye that we really are.
The current US stockpile of nuclear weapons is 2,330 megatons, the good news is that 2,330 megatons are only capable of complete destruction of approximately 58,000 square miles. The US land mass constitutes 3,537,441 square miles. Perhaps this is a clue as to why so many bombs were made. Target 145 of the largest cities in the US and allow for 400 square miles per city and bingo, instant socialism down on the farm. Needless to say, there was a big reason for Mutual Assured Destruction, "MAD", other than deterrence, it was very clear that destroying an incoming ICBM was/is next to impossible. "Star Wars" was just another way for tax and spend Republican hawks to pick your pocket.
The movie, "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" obviously missed it's target audience and there you have it, $665 billion a year on defense that can't stop a Boeing 757 from hitting the Pentagon with a 52 minute warning. George proved that being the Commander in Chief takes lots of practice. "Bring 'em on, we're going to smoke 'em out" The three biggest lies GWB ever told? I won this belt buckle at the rodeo, cowboy boots are good for clearing brush and casual walking and last but not least, “He's (Hussein) the person who gets to decide war and peace.” [White House, 2/7/03]MC
"Weinberg and his men proved the efficacy of thorium reactors in hundreds of tests at Oak Ridge from the ’50s through the early ’70s. But thorium hit a dead end. Locked in a struggle with a nuclear- armed Soviet Union, the US government in the ’60s chose to build uranium-fueled reactors — in part because they produce plutonium that can be refined into weapons-grade material. The course of the nuclear industry was set for the next four decades, and thorium power became one of the great what-if technologies of the 20th century."
Uranium Is So Last Century — Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke
By Richard Martin
The thick hardbound volume was sitting on a shelf in a colleague’s office when Kirk Sorensen spotted it. A rookie NASA engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Sorensen was researching nuclear-powered propulsion, and the book’s title — Fluid Fuel Reactors — jumped out at him. He picked it up and thumbed through it. Hours later, he was still reading, enchanted by the ideas but struggling with the arcane writing. “I took it home that night, but I didn’t understand all the nuclear terminology,” Sorensen says. He pored over it in the coming months, ultimately deciding that he held in his hands the key to the world’s energy future.
Published in 1958 under the auspices of the Atomic Energy Commission as part of its Atoms for Peace program, Fluid Fuel Reactors is a book only an engineer could love: a dense, 978-page account of research conducted at Oak Ridge National Lab, most of it under former director Alvin Weinberg. What caught Sorensen’s eye was the description of Weinberg’s experiments producing nuclear power with an element called thorium.
At the time, in 2000, Sorensen was just 25, engaged to be married and thrilled to be employed at his first serious job as a real aerospace engineer. A devout Mormon with a linebacker’s build and a marine’s crew cut, Sorensen made an unlikely iconoclast. But the book inspired him to pursue an intense study of nuclear energy over the next few years, during which he became convinced that thorium could solve the nuclear power industry’s most intractable problems. After it has been used as fuel for power plants, the element leaves behind minuscule amounts of waste. And that waste needs to be stored for only a few hundred years, not a few hundred thousand like other nuclear byproducts. Because it’s so plentiful in nature, it’s virtually inexhaustible. It’s also one of only a few substances that acts as a thermal breeder, in theory creating enough new fuel as it breaks down to sustain a high-temperature chain reaction indefinitely. And it would be virtually impossible for the byproducts of a thorium reactor to be used by terrorists or anyone else to make nuclear weapons.
Weinberg and his men proved the efficacy of thorium reactors in hundreds of tests at Oak Ridge from the ’50s through the early ’70s. But thorium hit a dead end. Locked in a struggle with a nuclear- armed Soviet Union, the US government in the ’60s chose to build uranium-fueled reactors — in part because they produce plutonium that can be refined into weapons-grade material. The course of the nuclear industry was set for the next four decades, and thorium power became one of the great what-if technologies of the 20th century.
Today, however, Sorensen spearheads a cadre of outsiders dedicated to sparking a thorium revival. When he’s not at his day job as an aerospace engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama — or wrapping up the master’s in nuclear engineering he is soon to earn from the University of Tennessee — he runs a popular blog called Energy From Thorium. A community of engineers, amateur nuclear power geeks, and researchers has gathered around the site’s forum, ardently discussing the future of thorium. The site even links to PDFs of the Oak Ridge archives, which Sorensen helped get scanned. Energy From Thorium has become a sort of open source project aimed at resurrecting long-lost energy technology using modern techniques.
And the online upstarts aren’t alone. Industry players are looking into thorium, and governments from Dubai to Beijing are funding research. India is betting heavily on the element.
The concept of nuclear power without waste or proliferation has obvious political appeal in the US, as well. The threat of climate change has created an urgent demand for carbon-free electricity, and the 52,000 tons of spent, toxic material that has piled up around the country makes traditional nuclear power less attractive. President Obama and his energy secretary, Steven Chu, have expressed general support for a nuclear renaissance. Utilities are investigating several next-gen alternatives, including scaled-down conventional plants and “pebble bed” reactors, in which the nuclear fuel is inserted into small graphite balls in a way that reduces the risk of meltdown.
Those technologies are still based on uranium, however, and will be beset by the same problems that have dogged the nuclear industry since the 1960s. It is only thorium, Sorensen and his band of revolutionaries argue, that can move the country toward a new era of safe, clean, affordable energy.
Named for the Norse god of thunder, thorium is a lustrous silvery-white metal. It’s only slightly radioactive; you could carry a lump of it in your pocket without harm. On the periodic table of elements, it’s found in the bottom row, along with other dense, radioactive substances — including uranium and plutonium — known as actinides.
Continued at Wired Magazine:
From the "No Surprise Here" file.
May 11, 2010
Conservatives Tend to Conserve Less, When It Comes to Energy -- Study
By DEBRA KAHN of ClimateWire
Political ideology helps determine whether homeowners respond to voluntary energy conservation programs, two University of California, Los Angeles, economists have found.
In a study published last month on the National Bureau of Economic Research website, Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn concluded that providing feedback on energy use can actually backfire with some conservatives.
This is another fact that Goldman Sachs is the Master of the Universe. Ampedstatus.com writes:
9/29/08 proved that when you have so much power concentrated in the hands of a few, you can manipulate a computer algorithm and make the market and economy go whichever way you want it to go. So on 5/6/10, just as the power of the big banks was again threatened on the floor of the Senate and a deal on auditing the Federal Reserve was being negotiated, in came a sudden and unprecedented ten-minute 700 point market drop, a precision-guided High Frequency Trading (HFT) attack to show Congress who’s boss.
Why is the White House dead set against breaking up the top four financial institutions in America? Does anyone really believe that colossal corporations like Walmart, Exxon, etc. care about if they have to deal with one "bank" or a dozen "banks" to get financing? Could it really be this?
Derivative contracts total about three-quarters of a quadrillion dollars in "notional" amounts, according to the Bank for International Settlements. These contracts are tallied in notional values because no one really can say how much they are worth.
But valuing them correctly is exactly what we should be doing because these comprise the viral disease that has infected the financial markets and the economies of the world.
Forbes reports on Goldman Sachs 2009 10-Q:
Goldman Sachs is a major player in every derivatives market. It had in position $29 trillion of interest rate swaps, according to its filing of consolidated financial statements with the Federal Reserve System, required now that it is a bank holding company. That is about 10% of the nominal value all interest rate swaps--$300 trillion-in the world.
What does this mean? When paper makes paper without any connection to reality like production of goods or sales fantasy has become the new reality. Are we to be held financial hostage to a delusion?
From the any woman will do files, if Palin were a Democrat she would have a job, knowhatimsaying? Personally, I would have preferred a fire breathing, no holds barred, liberal Democrat, woman, think Ann Richards. The choice is typical Democrat Party timidity and clannishness when there should be tenacity and a serious search for one that merits
such a huge responsibility. MC
NY Times Editorial
May 11, 2010
Searching for Elena Kagan
President Obama may know that his new nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, shares his thinking on the multitude of issues that face the court and the nation, but the public knows nothing of the kind. Whether by ambitious design or by habit of mind, Ms. Kagan has spent decades carefully husbanding her thoughts and shielding her philosophy from view. Her lack of a clear record on certain issues makes it hard to know whether Mr. Obama has nominated a full-throated counterweight to the court’s increasingly aggressive conservative wing.
"If a bank is too big to fail, it’s too big to exist.” -Andrew Romanoff
Glenn Greenwald makes a cogent case against Elena Kagan. She has written and talked about the Constitution and constitutional issues at a non-existent level over the last ten years. The cost to America and the Constitution if she is the "next David Souter" is too much of a danger on two critical issues. Glenn writes:
[Kagan views ]closer to the Bush/Cheney vision of Government and the Thomas/Scalia approach to executive power and law
Glenn makes the political point that conservaties sunk Harriet Meir's nomination because of the "Souter factor". Why should progressives and liberals face the same kind of odds? What if Kagan would move the Court to the right of John Paul Stevens, who was then known as a moderate at his nomination?
Why should we support a nomination that would continue to emasculate the Constitution and vote for continuied executive power and state power that overrides constitutional checks for the citizen?
Tell President Obama that his bashing of the Warren Court and liberal "judicial activism" means that a nomination like Kagan is the clearest signal that he is a "conservative" Democrat. We will fight for a nominee to the Supreme Court that stands for liberal and progressive principals.
Kagan, if nominated, is the wrong choice at the wrong time.
Progressives Celebrate Passage of Critical Predatory Lending Regulations
After three years of fighting for reform, payday lending "loan sharks" must play fair
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
CONTACT: Bobby Clark, Executive Director at 303-905-8375
DENVER: Responding to news that Colorado House Bill 1351, a bill to regulate excessive interest rates and onerous terms of the payday lending industry, achieved final passage in the House today by a vote of 33-32, ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Bobby Clark offered the following statement:
"There are no words to adequately express the gratitude we, and progressives across Colorado, have for legislators who stood up to an onslaught of lobbyists for the payday lending industry and passed House Bill 1351," said Clark. "For a decade, predatory payday lenders have abused an exemption granted them in Colorado's usury laws and unfairly lured unsuspecting citizens into giving them tens of millions of dollars. Payday lenders brazenly offered 350% and higher interest rate loans on unemployment and Social Security checks, preying on taxpayers as well as Colorado's most economically vulnerable citizens."
"Each year, nearly 200,000 of our friends and neighbors in Colorado become trapped in a cycle of debt by payday lending products that pray on those most vulnerable in our community. The legislation just passed by the General Assembly is not perfect, but it is an important step toward providing far greater protection for our fellow Coloradans against these predatory lending practices. ProgressNow Colorado has fought for payday lending reform every time it has come before the legislature, and thousands of our members made phone calls and wrote letters in support of this legislation."
"Thanks to the patience and persistence of Rep. Mark Ferrandino, the bill's primary sponsor in the House, and the bridge-building efforts of key negotiators like Sen. Rollie Heath of Boulder, meaningful reform of predatory payday lending is now a reality. This bill will help break the cycle of debt and provide an alternative for consumers who need credit, keeping millions of dollars right here in Colorado's economy--dollars that otherwise would be siphoned off by predatory lenders. It's a huge win for progressives and consumers in Colorado."
As we slowly pull back from Colorado's most severe budget crisis in generations, we need to continue looking for solutions to protect the things that matter most--like our public schools and teachers this Teacher Appreciation Day.
In Colorado, we have a paradox with regard to education: home to a highly-educated workforce and some of the nation's premiere research and educational institutions, Colorado ranks near the very bottom of education funding. Our students are not getting the education they need to compete for good paying jobs because years of budget cuts have damaged our ability to compete. Worse, it has led to teachers losing their jobs, a blow to hard-working educators and their families across the state.
In just three states--California, New York and Illinois--60,000 K-12 teachers face layoffs. Job cuts of this magnitude threaten to stall Colorado’s economic recovery and damage our educational system by forcing larger class sizes, fewer elective courses and reduced services for all students.
When schools get cut, it’s more than just students, teachers and their families who suffer. The entire community pays a price, too. Businesses have long said they invest in communities with strong services, and that includes good schools. 21st century companies won’t invest in places where schools are crumbling and students, cramped into crowded classrooms, are denied a world-class education.
That’s why Colorado’s congressional delegation needs to put partisan politics aside and put our students and teachers first, by supporting S. 3206, the Keep Our Educators Working Act.
This important bill will provide millions of dollars for Colorado, to ensure that teachers can stay on the job and students can get the world-class education our economy needs to compete.
Keep Our Educators Working
will provide $23 billion to keep the successful State Fiscal Stabilization Fund under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) going for another year, providing continuing relief to state education budgets just now beginning to recover from the recession. Please--say thanks to your teacher this week by calling your Senators and congressional representatives, and urging support for the Keep Our Educators Working Act.
Ask your Republican brother/sister in law how they feel about big oil and big agriculture taxing them. Even better, ask them how they feel about paying for oil and gas propaganda on their dime. You might also ask them the definition of black mail as in, "we won't drill or produce crops without subsidies." How patriotic is that? Exxon/Mobil made a $45 billion profit in 2008 and they are bitching about taxes?Oil and Gas Industry subsidies from the US Government, $3.65 Billion a year. Coal about $3 Billion a year.Research and development for solar energy was given $302 million, up 22 percent; wind energy received $123 million, a 53 percent increase, and geothermal energy was given $55 million, up 25 percent. Total, a puny $480 Million.Agriculture Subsidies $8 Billion a year plus $7.3 Billion for corn ethanol.
Talk about entitlements all you want, but education gives the biggest bang for the buck, a conservative estimate of a four to one return on investment, that $30 billion is worth $90 Billion a year, enough to build 90,000 miles of rapid rail line. I'd double or triple down and cut the defense budget $30 to $60 billion..The Department of Education spends about $30 billion a year on subsidies for higher education. The bulk of that funding goes toward student aid programs, with the balance going toward grants to educational institutions. In 2008, grants to institutions cost $2.3 billion and aid programs cost $27.6 billion, which included $17.4 billion for student grants, $9.6 billion for student loans, and $0.6 billion for administration.Meanwhile we produce dumb, lazy, malnourished, flag waving, professional TV watchers and video game players. American exceptionalism, indeed.
Mike Collinshttp://www.collinsforcolorado.com/portal/ www.ranger25.com
My Dear Sir: But you are proceeding upon the superstition that Moral Courage and a Hankering to Learn the Truth are ingredients in the human being's makeup. Your premises being wild and foolish, you naturally and properly get wild and foolish results. If you will now reform, and in future proceed upon the sane and unchallengeable hypothesis that those two ingredients are on vacation in our race, and have been from the start, you will be able to account for some things which seem to puzzle you now.Sincerely yours, S. L. CLEMENS.
Riverdale-on-the-Hudson, Dec. 21, 1901.