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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,586

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

A Congressional committee investigation NO REPUBLICANS SHOWED UP FOR! THIS IS GOOD!

Senators grill New York Fed chief over reports of lax bank oversight (i.e. Too Cozy with banks they are supposed to be regulating)


“Either you need to fix it, Mr. Dudley, or we need to get someone who will.”
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

"No Republican senators attended the hearing."




Democratic senators on Friday hammered a key regulator over reports of lax oversight of large Wall Street banks that they said posed a risk to the financial system and broader economy..

William Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, faced nearly two hours of aggressive questioning from some of the most outspoken critics of the nation's biggest financial firms.

The senators dismissed Dudley's assertion that the banking system was safer now than it was before the 2008 financial crisis.

And they accused the New York Fed of having a culture of deferring to the large firms, such as Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co., they are responsible for regulating.
(more)


Republican Members of the committee who thought this hearing wasn't worth showing up for (probably working on speeches laying curses on and demonizing the President)

Patrick J. Toomey (Ranking Member)
Richard C. Shelby
David Vitter
Mike Johanns
Jerry Moran
Dean Heller
Bob Corker






Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs: Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection



Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs: Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection - on Senate website


Republican Subcommittee Members

Patrick J. Toomey (Ranking Member)
Richard C. Shelby
David Vitter
Mike Johanns
Jerry Moran
Dean Heller
Bob Corker


Democratic Subcommittee Members

Sherrod Brown (Chairman)
Jack Reed
Charles E. Schumer
Robert Menendez
Jon Tester
Jeff Merkley
Kay R. Hagan
Elizabeth Warren

If Democrats thought like Republicans rather than fight any Keystone Pipeline bill they would have


... amended it to permit running the pipeline to the Twin Cities / Chicago area where there is all kinds of refining capacity AND you are close to the population center of the country.

Well, the Big Oil companies should LOVE that --- I mean, the oil IS FOR THE U.S. market ISN'T IT!


original: http://www.democraticunderground.com/112778086

If Democrats thought like Republicans rather than fight any Keystone Pipeline bill they would have

... amended it to permit running the pipeline to the Twin Cities / Chicago area where there is all kinds of refining capacity AND you are close to the population center of the country.

Well, the Big Oil companies should LOVE that --- I mean, the oil IS FOR THE U.S. market ISN'T IT!

Tom Coburn inciting to riot with hysterical, Repugnant-speak.

.. Tom Coburn, obviously feels being a Republican, he enjoys a wider lattitude in terms of what he can say. Coburn said that people might react with violence to the PResident's using a Presidential Executive Order to keep some people from being deported - until their situation is clarified with some Immigration legislation.

Apparently Coburn feels since he's a Republican he is allowed to speak irresponsibly. That people will just say: "Oh it's just another insane Repugnant hysterical rant." But given that he is a member of the Government, he is giving some legitimacy to the idea of committing acts of violence. This is nothing but inciting people to riot. Coburn should be censured by the Senate and since he made these statements off the floor of Congress, he should be charged with inciting to riot. Even if you are a Republican there are some minimum standards of responsible behavior to be met.

Hm-m-m-m, time for a petition? ... We the People


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/11/19/usa-today-capital-download-with-tom-coburn/19263969/

WASHINGTON — Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn warns there could be not only a political firestorm but acts of civil disobedience and even violence in reaction to President Obama's executive order on immigration Thursday.

"The country's going to go nuts, because they're going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it's going to be a very serious situation," Coburn said on Capital Download. "You're going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. ... You could see violence."
(more)

GOP "Crosscheck" program could erase millions of voters from the rolls, - Greg Palast

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/11/3/jim_crow_returns_interstate_crosscheck_program

(see video at Democracy Now.org)

On the eve of the midterm elections, we air a report by investigative journalist Greg Palast on how new voter ID laws risk disenfranchising millions, especially black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters. Twenty-seven states are now participating in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. Backers say it is needed to prevent voter fraud, but critics say it is being used to stop Democratic-leaning voters from going to the polls. Tens of thousands of names have already been removed, and millions more are threatened. Based on a six-month investigation, Palast’s report originally aired on Al Jazeera America. A Puffin Foundation fellow, Palast is the author of the New York Times best-seller, "Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps."

(more)

Private Equity at Work - When Wall Street Manages Main Street - Eileen Appelbaum & Rosemary Batt


https://www.russellsage.org/publications/private-equity-work

Private equity firms have long been at the center of public debates on the impact of the financial sector on Main Street companies. Are these firms financial innovators that save failing businesses or financial predators that bankrupt otherwise healthy companies and destroy jobs? The first comprehensive examination of this topic, Private Equity at Work provides a detailed yet accessible guide to this controversial business model. Economist Eileen Appelbaum and Professor Rosemary Batt carefully evaluate the evidence—including original case studies and interviews, legal documents, bankruptcy proceedings, media coverage, and existing academic scholarship—to demonstrate the effects of private equity on American businesses and workers. They document that while private equity firms have had positive effects on the operations and growth of small and mid-sized companies and in turning around failing companies, the interventions of private equity more often than not lead to significant negative consequences for many businesses and workers.

Prior research on private equity has focused almost exclusively on the financial performance of private equity funds and the returns to their investors. Private Equity at Work provides a new roadmap to the largely hidden internal operations of these firms, showing how their business strategies disproportionately benefit the partners in private equity firms at the expense of other stakeholders and taxpayers. In the 1980s, leveraged buyouts by private equity firms saw high returns and were widely considered the solution to corporate wastefulness and mismanagement. And since 2000, nearly 11,500 companies—representing almost 8 million employees—have been purchased by private equity firms. As their role in the economy has increased, they have come under fire from labor unions and community advocates who argue that the proliferation of leveraged buyouts destroys jobs, causes wages to stagnate, saddles otherwise healthy companies with debt, and leads to subsidies from taxpayers.

Appelbaum and Batt show that private equity firms’ financial strategies are designed to extract maximum value from the companies they buy and sell, often to the detriment of those companies and their employees and suppliers. Their risky decisions include buying companies and extracting dividends by loading them with high levels of debt and selling assets. These actions often lead to financial distress and a disproportionate focus on cost-cutting, outsourcing, and wage and benefit losses for workers, especially if they are unionized.

Because the law views private equity firms as investors rather than employers, private equity owners are not held accountable for their actions in ways that public corporations are. And their actions are not transparent because private equity owned companies are not regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Thus, any debts or costs of bankruptcy incurred fall on businesses owned by private equity and their workers, not the private equity firms that govern them. For employees this often means loss of jobs, health and pension benefits, and retirement income. Appelbaum and Batt conclude with a set of policy recommendations intended to curb the negative effects of private equity while preserving its constructive role in the economy. These include policies to improve transparency and accountability, as well as changes that would reduce the excessive use of financial engineering strategies by firms.
(more)

New ‘Solar Cloth’ Allows Solar Cells To Be Stretched Across Parking Lots, Stadiums

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/14/3592449/solar-cloth-parking-lots/

A British start-up has developed a way for parking lots and structures with roofs that can’t take much weight to harness the power of the sun.



The Cambridge, England-based Solar Cloth Company is beginning to run trials of its solar cloth, which uses lightweight photovoltaic fabric that can be stretched across parking lots or on buildings that can’t hold heavy loads, such as sports stadiums with lightweight, retractable roofs. Perry Carroll, Solar Cloth Company’s founder, told BusinessGreen that the company is working to close deals to install solar cloth on 27,000 parking lots.

“We have built a growing sales pipeline worth £4.2m for 2015, including park and ride projects, airport parking operators and retail park owners,” he said.

According to Solar Cloth Company, there are about 320 square miles of roof space and 135 square miles of parking space in the U.K. that could be covered by solar cloth, and if all of these spaces were covered, the solar power produced would be enough to power the U.K.’s grid three times.

The key to solar cloth’s adaptability is its lightweight nature. An approximately ten square-meter piece of the cloth weighs about 7.3 pounds, far less than a traditional, silicone-based solar panel’s weight of about 35 to 48 pounds. The material is also flexible, which allows it to be installed on most roofs, regardless of their shape.
(more)

PBS's Gwen Awful being typically snarky in interview of Wasserman - Schultz

Gwen Awful OPENED her post election interview of Debbie Wasserman Schultz in usual Awful Punk style, by asking Wasserman-Schultz:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/moving-midterm-losses-whats-next-democratic-leadership/

GWEN IFILL: Nancy Pelosi said in an interview today that this was not a GOP wave, but an ebb tide for the Democrats. Which is worse?


In my imagination, I picture Schultz giving Awful an answer in kind: "Well, unlike you Gwen, we Democrats don't like taking it in the rear from the GOP. But of course, being part of Corporate Media, that's in your job description isn't it?

A couple questions later Awful asked Schultz:


PBS: But you said now and before that you are right on the issues, but it’s not translating. What is not translating? What are Democrats doing wrong?

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, that’s exactly why we need to take a good, hard look at what are the structural deficits that we have, where we have an electorate that goes in a presidential election and votes for our presidential candidate, embraces our party’s agenda and our message, and then two years later doesn’t feel motivated to go to the polls and support candidates that are going to help implement that agenda?

They are supporting us on the issues. They’re just not — there is a disconnect on them actually getting out and voting for our candidates in midterms. And we have got to take a really deep dive on what the problem is.


I wish Wasserman - Schultz had put it a little bit more directly, maybe something like:

"They are supporting us on the issues. They’re just not — there is a disconnect

.... the voters don't seem to realize that the Democrats are with them on the issues. Somehow the voters seem seriously misinformed.. Say Ms. Awful, you're in the media. YOu perform on a news show. How do you figure the voters don't know the Democrats are on their side on the issues? How is they don't know the GOP has been fighting us on every issue where we are trying to get something done. I don't think they know the GOP has set records for filibustering legislation during this Democratic administration. How could it be they don't even know what would seem to be a newsworthy fact as that?


...I would describe the way Awful questioned Wasserman - Schultz as punk journalism. It certainly wasn't professional: "...which is worse." Yeah, Ms. Awful you play the punk well. The GOP will reward you for it I'm sure, but maybe you get your own satisfaction out of being an ass.

I plan to write a letter - yes, a letter to the local PBS station and tell them why I'm not kicking in anymore when they have their next membership drive.





Benefits of Texas Wind Energy Estimated to Exceed $3.3 Billion Annually

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdetwiler/2014/11/10/benefits-of-texas-wind-energy-estimated-to-exceed-3-3-annually/

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has just come out with an analysis highlighting the value of wind energy to the state of Texas, indicating that the overall societal benefits of the wind resource add up to about $3.3 billion annually. The gross annual savings to consumers are estimated at $1.2 billion.

As with any such analysis, the outcome depends upon specific assumptions that are made. However, whether the number is high or lower, the analysis – and its conclusions – is worth considering. Let’s break down the $3.3 billion number into its constituent elements so that we can better assess what is being put forth. The valuation is comprised of the following elements:

1) A reduction in the price of energy to Texas residents, since wind displaces more expensive resources on the margin, valued at $973 million.

2) A cut in sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution, with an assigned cost of $652 million.

(more)

Texas Proposes Tougher Rules On Fracking Wastewater After Earthquakes Surge

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/27/3476207/texas-earthquake-rules-fracking/

The agency that regulates oil and gas activity in Texas is considering new, tougher regulations governing the practice of injecting leftover water used to frack natural gas wells deep into the ground — a process which is believed to be responsible for an increase in human-caused earthquakes across the state.


The Texas Railroad Commission’s new proposed regulations on wastewater injection wells were heard by members of the Texas House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Seismic Activity on Monday, following complaints that earthquakes have become more frequent over the last several years. Dr. Craig Pearson, the Railroad Commission’s new seismologist, told the subcommittee that the regulations would help make sure injected wastewater doesn’t migrate onto inactive fault lines and cause man-made quakes.

“Because we’re now dealing with induced seismicity, the worry is not only about water moving up but out to dormant faults,” Pearson said, noting that current regulations are only designed to protect from groundwater contamination.

The controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking,” uses a great deal more water than conventional drilling. To stimulate natural gas wells, companies inject high-pressure water and chemicals miles-deep into subsurface rock which effectively cracks or “fractures” it, making the gas easier to extract.
(more)


Are there no rules concerning having the oil companies reclaim the water used in fracking? Or are they just gonna let it lay around in toxic waste lakes until it evaporates leaving the toxic sludge on/in the ground? I guess it's another case of private profits and public funded cleanup? Wouldn't want any 'costly' regulations there, would we?




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