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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 50,897

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Tom Tommorow Toon: Protect & Serve


California's 220MPH High-Speed Railway Is Finally Being Built

California's 220MPH High-Speed Railway Is Finally Being Built

It's been a long time coming, but the state of California is finally building its long-promised high-speed rail link. The new line, which will see trains travel at up to 220mph, will finally start construction this week.

The initial build begins on January 6th at Fresno, and will eventually see trains travel from Sacramento in the north to San Diego in the south. But in the first instance, work will concentrate on building a line through the Central Valley, before linking San Francisco and Los Angeles. Once it's done, it should allow travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles within three hours.

It'll be some time before that's possible though—and construction is already proving problematic. The estimated total cost is a dizzying $68 billion, and the amount of disruption for new stations is also proving controversial. Still, with such fast journey times, we can at least hope that the line will ease at least part of California's traffic congestion.

more plus links:

“Expensive as this program is-it is much better to have these people in jobs than out on the street"


Sixty-four unskilled workers will report to new jobs in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday as part of a federal jobs program that provides employment for people unable to find productive work elsewhere.

The new hires, who have no talents or abilities that would make them employable in most workplaces, will be earning a first-year salary of $174,000.

For that sum, the new employees will be expected to work a hundred and thirty-seven days a year, leaving them with two hundred and twenty-eight days of vacation.

Some critics have blasted the federal jobs program as too expensive, noting that the workers were chosen last November in a bloated and wasteful selection process that cost the nation nearly four billion dollars.


the rest:

Welcome Home Mr. President, What can we do to help?

and he is getting to work:

I was 12 when I heard that for the first time
I am asking you, now.


Laura Ingraham STUPEFIED by Obama’s popularity: ‘In defeat… he’s setting the agenda’

“In defeat, Obama looks like he’s setting the agenda,” Ingraham complained during a panel discussion on Fox News Sunday. “I mean, his poll numbers are up. He’s got a bounce in his step… He is rising in the polls as he comes off this near-historic defeat across the board.”



Robert Reich: When we give up on democracy, the 1 percent ‘run everything and they get everything’

“Most people want an economy that spreads the benefits of prosperity instead of sending it all to the top,” he said. “Most never again want to bail out Wall Street. Most want big money out of politics and don’t believe corporations are people.”

“And yet, many people have become deeply cynical about politics — voter turnout in the midterm elections was the lowest it’s been in 70 years,” Reich added. “But let me tell you something — if we join together, we can continue to make change.”

“But if we give up on politics, we give up on our democracy,” he concluded. “And if we give up on democracy, we don’t stand a chance.”

“That’s what the moneyed interests want — it’s been their intention all along. Then they run everything, and they get everything.”

Watch Robert Reich’s 2014 year in review:



Anti-terror plan to spy on toddlers 'is heavy-handed’
Nursery staff and childminders are given 'duty' to report toddlers they suspect of being at risk of becoming terrorists under new Home Office measures

Nursery school staff and registered childminders must report toddlers at risk of becoming terrorists, under counter-terrorism measures proposed by the Government.

The directive is contained in a 39-page consultation document issued by the Home Office in a bid to bolster its Prevent anti-terrorism plan.

Critics said the idea was “unworkable” and “heavy-handed”, and accused the Government of treating teachers and carers as “spies”.

The document accompanies the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently before parliament. It identifies nurseries and early years childcare providers, along with schools and universities, as having a duty “to prevent people being drawn into terrorism”.


I believe this will be interpreted by the GOP as “YOUR CHEERIOS, I AM PEEING IN THEM”.

Well, this should cause plenty of soiled diapers among the stalwarts of the Wingnut Wurlizter. Per the NYTimes:

HONOLULU — President Obama plans to spend the weeks leading up to his State of the Union speech traveling across the country to promote different themes from it, a new approach by the commander in chief to the annual address to Congress.

In previous years, the administration waited until the day before the speech to disclose what the president planned to talk about, hoping that the element of surprise increased its news value and reach. Typically, Mr. Obama went on the road the day after the address, like the two previous presidents, to push his agenda.

But starting on Wednesday, according to the White House, Mr. Obama will begin a three-day, three-state trip in which he will lay out new executive actions and legislative policy proposals for higher education (Tennessee), housing (Arizona) and jobs (Michigan)…

The administration has not said whether Mr. Obama plans to do any additional traveling after the speech. But officials said they had changed their approach because they wanted the president to contrast with, and perhaps overshadow, Republicans, who will be taking over control of the Senate when the new Congress convenes on Tuesday…

“The president is eager to get to work, and looks forward to working with the new Congress on policies that will make sure middle-class Americans are sharing in the economic recovery,” the White House said. “There are a number of issues we could make progress on, but the president is clear that he will not let this Congress undo important protections gained — particularly in areas of health care, Wall Street reform and the environment.”


"It's as clear as the skin on his face!!"

via: http://www.balloon-juice.com/2015/01/04/sunday-morning-open-thread-umpeech/

The left must remember that leaders do not make movements; rather, movements make leaders.

SUNDAY, JAN 4, 2015 03:58 AM PST
Three secrets to revitalizing liberal America
New year, same old problems


2014 was not a good year for the left. Republicans now have a stranglehold on the House, where they control the most seats they’ve had since 1948. That lead will likely last for decades. Democrats didn’t just lose the Senate, they have significantly diminished their chance of regaining it in 2016. Republicans control 31 governorships, as well as 68 of 98 legislative chambers. And of, course, the Democratic party has shown itself to be only nominally liberal, with the current frontrunner for 2016 raising money from Wall Street financiers. The left then has two problems: how to get Democrats winning and how to get Democrats to avoid becoming a party permanently in the callous hands of capital.

Currently, much of the hope for a more liberal Democratic party rests on the shoulders of Elizabeth Warren, who is being drafted to run against Hillary Clinton. While Warren is formidable, it was only six years ago that the left laid its hopes for victory on a single individual and found itself sorely disappointed. The left must remember that leaders do not make movements; rather, movements make leaders. Instead of vacillating from one hero to another, the left must create a formidable power base from which to both defeat Republicans and shift Democrats to the left. This will require a three-pronged approach: mass mobilization of the non-voting population, a stable of progressive leaders and a reduction in the influence of money in politics.


........... a progressive America will require work. While it is easy to crown Obama or Warren savior and wait in anticipation for change, those who do so are waiting for Godot. There have been successes over the last year: the Working Families Party helped re-elect Governor Malloy, a consistent progressive (something possible partially because of public financing. Demos (my organization) has been doggedly ensuring that states comply with Motor Voter and we’ve had victories on Same-Day registration. These wins were difficult, but they compound into more victories down the road. But simply anointing another progressive to lead the movement will only lead to disappointment.

Much More About The Three secrets to revitalizing liberal America:
Let's get to work:

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