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grahamhgreen

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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 15,021

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Obama says he willing to defy Democrats on his support of Trans-Pacific Partnership

President Obama signaled Wednesday that, at least on international trade, he is willing to defy his fellow Democrats and his own liberal base to pursue a partnership with Republicans. Trade represents one of Obama’s best chances for a legacy-building achievement in the final two years of his presidency, but he acknowledged that it is an idea he still has to sell to many of his traditional allies.

Speaking at a gathering of business leaders, Obama offered his strongest public defense of his administration’s pursuit of a major 12-nation trade deal in the Asia Pacific, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that has been opposed by Democrats, labor unions and environmental groups.

The administration has argued that the trade deals will boost U.S. exports and lower tariffs for American goods in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, where the United States has faced increasing economic competition from China.

“Those who oppose these trade deals ironically are accepting a status quo that is more damaging to American workers,” Obama said at the Business Roundtable. “There are folks in my own party and in my own constituency that have legitimate complaints about some of the trend lines of inequality, but are barking up the wrong tree when it comes to opposing TPP, and I’m going to have to make that argument.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-says-he-willing-to-defy-democrats-on-his-support-of-trans-pacific-partnership/2014/12/03/25edcaf4-7b30-11e4-84d4-7c896b90abdc_story.html

Tom Harkin says that Congress should have enacted single payer

ObamaCare author Tom Harkin: Health law is 'really complicated'

By Alexander Bolton
The Hill, December 3, 2014

Sen. Tom Harkin, one of the co-authors of the Affordable Care Act, now thinks Democrats may have been better off not passing it at all and holding out for a better bill. The Iowa Democrat who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, laments the complexity of legislation the Senate passed five years ago.
...

“We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it,” Harkin told The Hill. “So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all.
...

He believes Congress should have enacted “single-payer right from the get-go or at least put a public option would have simplified a lot.” “We had the votes to do that and we blew it,” he said.

Harkin and other liberals are now faced with the bitter irony that the centrists he tried to placate five years ago by crafting a labyrinthine market-based reform are now all out of the Senate.

http://www.pnhp.org/news/2014/december/tom-harkin-says-that-congress-should-have-enacted-single-payer



Well, that's what we've been screaming from the get-go!

Now, let's all get on board with fixing this law (as promised), and moving to single payer!

I want to note:
“We had the votes to do that and we blew it,” he said.
“We had the votes to do that and we blew it,” he said.
“We had the votes to do that and we blew it,” he said.
“We had the votes to do that and we blew it,” he said.
“We had the votes to do that and we blew it,” he said.

Green energy sector jobs surpass total oil sands employment

Even though oil gets bigger subsidies!

Kind of begs the question: where the puck are WE going....


http://m.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/green-energy-sector-jobs-surpass-oil-sand-employment-total/article21859169/?service=mobile

Canada’s green energy sector has grown so quickly and has become such an important part of the economy that it now employs more people than the oil sands.

About $25-billion has been invested in Canada’s clean-energy sector in the past five years, and employment is up 37 per cent, according to a new report from climate think tank Clean Energy Canada to be released Tuesday. That means the 23,700 people who work in green energy organizations outnumber the 22,340 whose work relates to the oil sands, the report says.....

Not only does the oil industry still get more substantial subsidies, she said, it also eats up a good deal of the country’s diplomatic relations efforts – through the lobbying for the Keystone XL pipeline, for example.


.....

“The fact that foreign investors are coming to Canada to invest in our clean energy, tells us that we have a fantastic resource,” Ms. Smith said. “We need Bay Street to wake up and recognize this is where the puck is going.”
Posted by grahamhgreen | Tue Dec 2, 2014, 02:12 PM (0 replies)

German Energy co, E.ON to quit gas and coal and focus on renewable energy

E.ON’s generation, upstream and global commodities units, the last of which includes trading, accounted for about 35% of its €9.32bn (£7.4bn) in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in 2013. Renewables and regulated businesses alone accounted for 54%.

E.ON will hold a news conference on Monday about its plans, which will include investing more in wind and solar power.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/01/eon-splits-energy-renewables
Posted by grahamhgreen | Mon Dec 1, 2014, 04:04 AM (4 replies)

World's largest solar farm is up and running in California

http://m.phys.org/news/2014-11-world-largest-solar-farm-california.html
8 hours ago by Nancy Owano

The world's largest solar plant is up and running in California, with the completion of Topaz, a 550 megawatt plant; the Topaz solar project completed its final 40-megawatt (AC) phase, reported Greentech Media, making history not only as the first 500-megawatt plus solar farm to come on-line in the U.S. but also as the largest solar plant on-line in the world. Reports are talking about a plant with 9 million solar panels installed across 9.5 square miles.

This is a $2.5 billion project, said io9, with construction that began two years ago. The owner is MidAmerican Solar, a Pheonix, Arizona-based subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables. Topaz is described by MidAmerican Solar as a 550-megawatt photovoltaic power plant.....

"As of today," wrote Eric Wesoff on November 24 in Greentech Media, "the project has installed 9 million solar panels across 9.5 square miles in San Luis Obispo County on California's Carrizo Plain. Construction began in 2012 and was expected to be complete in early 2015—so call this an on-time delivery." Engadget said that "It's an impressive feat that should power 160,000 homes on Pacific Gas and Electric's grid."



Spitting on the Troops: Old Myth, New Rumors

I'm so tired of this old disinformation campaign used to discredit anti-war demonstrators (don't ask) From VVAW 2003:

Many of the current stories are accompanied by stories of spat-upon Vietnam veterans. The recent story of spitting in Asheville, for example, was traced to a local businessman who says he is a veteran who was also spat upon and called a "baby killer" when he returned from Vietnam. An Associated Press story of April 9 reported stories of spat-upon Vietnam veterans surfacing in several cities including Spicer, Minnesota whose mayor said he was spat upon in the San Francisco airport while coming home from Vietnam in 1971.

Similar stories became quite popular during the Gulf War of 1991 which raised my curiosity about where they came from and why they were believed. There is nothing in the historical record — news or police reports, for example — suggesting they really happened. In fact, the Veterans Administration commissioned a Harris Poll in 1971 that found 94% of Vietnam veterans reporting friendly homecomings from their age-group peers who had not served in the military. Moreover, the historical record is rich with the details of solidarity and mutuality between the anti-war movement and Vietnam veterans. The real truth, in other words, is that anti-war activists reached out to Vietnam veterans and veterans joined the movement in large numbers.

Stories of spat-upon Vietnam veterans are bogus. Born out of accusations made by the Nixon administration, they were enlivened in popular culture (recall Rambo saying he was spat on by those maggots at the airport) and enhanced in the imaginations of Vietnam-generation men — some veterans, some not. The stories besmirch the reputation of the anti-war movement and help construct an alibi for why we lost the war: had it not been for the betrayal by liberals in Washington and radicals in the street, we could have defeated the Vietnamese. The stories also erase from public memory the image, discomforting to some Americans, of Vietnam veterans who helped end the carnage they had been part of.

The facsimiles of spat-upon veteran stories that are surfacing now confuse the public dialogue surrounding the war. Debate about the war itself and the politics that got us into it is being displaced by the phony issue of who supports the troops. Everyone supports the troops and wishes them a safe and speedy homecoming. It's the mission they have been sent on that is dividing the nation and it is the mission that we have a right and obligation to question.

The "support the troops" symbolism also comes with a hidden agenda, a subtext that is about the anti-war movement. Understandably, the war brings a lot of emotion to the surface and some of that feeling stems from frustration with the economy, a sense of helplessness in the face of large-scale social and technological change, and fear that cherished American values are being lost. For some people, the real war is the war at home and the enemy coalition comes bundled for them in the anti-war movement. The redirection of their legitimate anger about the deteriorating quality of life in America onto peace activists is shortsighted scapegoating that won't solve problems.

The truth is that nobody spat on Vietnam veterans and nobody is spitting on the soldiers today. Attempts to silence opponents of the war with those figments of hostility are dishonest and should, themselves, be banished from our discourse.

http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=350



Out of Iraq, already. Or, you got a good reason for us to be there???? 'splain it like I'm 5.




Renewable energy overtakes nuclear as Scotland's top power source

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/27/renewable-energy-overtakes-nuclear-as-scotlands-top-power-source

Renewable energy in Scotland from wind farms, hydro power plants and other clean technologies provided the single largest source of electricity to the country for the first time, in the first half of 2014, new industry figures will show on Thursday.

Analysis by the trade body Scottish Renewables shows that renewables produced nearly one third more power than nuclear, coal or gas in the first six months of the year, generating a record 10.4 terawatt hours (TWh) during the six-month period.

WikiLeaks founder: Google works for US State Department

MADRID, November 27. /TASS/. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in his book planned to be out on December 1 reveals that Goggle in fact works for the US State Department, as reported by the Spanish Publico.es web edition.

According to the edition, Assange arrived at the conclusion that Google works for the US government after meeting Google president Eric Schmidt and board member Jared Cohen in 2011. The meeting was also attended by Lisa Shields and Scott Malcomson who turned out to be Washington's diplomatic envoys.

WikiLeaks founder in his book says he was visited by a group of people 3/4 of whom were representatives of the US State Department and the rest being fromGoogle.

According to the edition, the company provides FBI and CIA with unfettered access to users' correspondence. Such access can be obtained without the prosecutor's approval or a court ruling, the edition quotes Assange.

http://en.itar-tass.com/world/763927



I remember Rumsfeld talking about buying google many years ago.....

Happy Thanksgiving: Today, Vancouver Becomes the First North American City to Prescribe Heroin

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/11/26/today-vancouver-becomes-the-first-north-american-city-to-prescribe-heroin-to-addicts-since-the-drug-war-began

The results of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that 95.2 percent of the research participants receiving heroin stuck with the program while only 54.1 of those taking methadone did.

Dr. Scott MacDonald, who was involved in the trial, has told reporters that bringing stability to the participants' lives gives them the opportunity to reconnect with their families and perhaps even begin building towards further educational or job opportunities.

"I think all the clinicians at the clinic have seen the great beneficial effect that this treatment can have on people — hard-to-reach populations that may have been using on the streets for 15, 20, 25, even 30 years," he told the CBC. "It is very dangerous and life-destroying to have to ingest in an alley, to use illicit heroin three, four times a day. That destroys lives. This is an alternative."

Vancouver has long been an epicenter of progressive thinking about drug policy and drug addiction. Dr. Martin Schechter, president of the School of Public Health at the University of British Columbia, has argued for years that the most destructive harms of heroin use don't come from the drug itself—they come from the fact that the drug is illegal.

Killer Coal Kills 10,000 Americans Each Year. More than 9-11. Where's Our War On Dirty Energy???

That's 27 of us a day.... killed by coal.

It is notable that the U.S. death rates for coal are so much lower than for China, strictly a result of regulation and the Clean Air Act (Scott et al., 2005). It is also notable that the Clean Air Act is one of the most life-saving pieces of legislation ever adopted by any country in history. Still, about 10,000 die from coal use in the U.S. each year, and another thousand from natural gas......


...estimates have suggested a 10% increase in health care costs in countries where coal makes up a significant fraction of the energy mix, like the U.S. and Europe (NAS 2010; Cohen et al., 2005; Pope et al., 2002). These additional health costs begin to rival the total energy costs on an annual basis for the U.S. given that health care costs top $2.6 trillion, and electricity costs only exceed about $400 billion. Another way to describe this human health energy fee is that it costs about 2,000 lives per year to keep the lights on in Beijing but only about 200 lives to keep them on in New York.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/
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