Bill USA's Journal
Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,598
Number of posts: 3,598
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
- 2014 (218)
- 2013 (389)
- 2012 (168)
- 2011 (2)
- December (2)
- Older Archives
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.
Posted by Bill USA | Wed Nov 12, 2014, 06:30 PM (0 replies)
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.
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?
Posted by Bill USA | Wed Nov 12, 2014, 05:44 PM (2 replies)
According to new numbers published by WWF Scotland this week, wind turbines generated enough electricity in October to power 3,045,000 homes in the U.K. — more than enough for all the homes in Scotland.
Referring to it as a “bumper month” for renewable energy, WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said in a statement that “while nuclear power plants were being forced to shut because of cracks, Scotland’s wind and sunshine were quietly and cleanly helping to keep the lights on in homes across the country.”
Based on figures provided by WeatherEnergy, part of the European EnergizAIR project, the data also showed that for those homes fitted with solar panels, there was enough sunshine to meet around 40 percent of the electricity needs of an average home.
Wind energy has been thriving in the U.K. in recent months. In August the U.K set a new record for wind power generation, with wind accounting for seventeen percent of national demand. This came around the time that EDF Energy announced it was temporarily shutting down four of its U.K. reactors, or around a quarter of its total nuclear generating capacity, due to longevity issues. The four EDF reactors under investigation were commissioned in 1983 and are officially scheduled to be taken out of service in 2019.
Posted by Bill USA | Wed Nov 12, 2014, 05:31 PM (7 replies)
HALLELUJUH!!! PBS allowed the word "filibuster" to be uttered onthe 11/7/14 broadcast ofthe NewsHour
As far as I know THIS IS THE FIRST TIME ANY OF THE M$M NETWORKS HAS ALLOWED THE VERBOTEN WORD "FILIBUSTER" TO BE SPOKEN SINCE BARACK OBAMA WAS ELECTED. Obviously, if nobody could utter the word "filibuster" then it was pretty hard for anybody to report the fact that the GOP has set records for filibustering during Obama's presidency. Which would have been a little problematic when the GOP set out to blame Obama and 'his policies' for any perceived inadequacy in the recovery. (Wouldn't do to have voters hear that the GOP filibustered several jobs bills proposed by the President and Democrats, now would it?)
Don't believe me? Hey , I don't blame you. But here's what Mark Shields actually said on FRidays PBS Newshour broadcast:
from the transcript..
"I think it’s awfully important to point out that Mitch McConnell now is against gridlock and dysfunction.
There were 458 times during Barack Obama’s six years in office that there had been a filibuster or the threat of a filibuster to stop the Senate from acting. During Dwight Eisenhower’s eight years, there were two. During Ronald Reagan’s, there were 75 in eight years.
This is in six years. So it’s going to be a total — it’s going to be a 180 if, in fact, this does happen. And the Senate is tough, because all it takes is one person to stop it. And you can talk about it’s not being a Ted Cruz caucus or a Mike Lee caucus. But I really think it’s going to be a problem for the Republicans. And I think that’s where the action is, is to watch that dynamic."
... of course, this was AFTER the last election of Obama's presidency --- so I guess the GOP thought: "Hell, let 'em say it. we don't give a shit. We pulled off the 'Sabotage and blame Obama' trick already. Too late for voters to ask for a 'do-over'! Ha-ha-ha-ha! Yeah, tell the PBS we'll allow it."
Posted by Bill USA | Sat Nov 8, 2014, 04:46 PM (2 replies)
Election 2014: The GOP's war on Obama works, or: sabotage and proclaim: "Look he can't get it done!"
The GOP said they were going to make this election about Obama. That's hardly a surprise to anyone. They didn't have any accomplishments or positive policy positions to propose and everyone knows that their campaign against Obama started on the President's day of inauguration, Jan 20, 2009. They decided then that, lacking any policy ground to stand on (Trickle Down Deregulation disaster was the culmination of thirty years of Republican policies of wealth concentration (e.g. tax reform) and the undermining of civic responsibility (i.e. Deregulation), their only course of action was - rather than admit they were clueless as to how to run the country - obstruct and attack Obama (i.e. sabotage everything the President and the Democrats tried to do - to prevent them from expeditiously repairing the economy and then blame President Obama for any lack of results.)
To that end, while President Obama was working to keep our ship from sinking, the Republicans were down below drilling new holes in the hull. Then, later they criticized President Obama because he hadn't returned the ship 'to trim'. This is like the guy who complains: "How DARE you strike my fist with your face!".
Now this vaudeville inspired campaign tactic would not fool anyone - except those not capable of thinking for themselves or those profoundly misinformed. But this being an 'off-year' election that would be of no concern as Republicans would be out 'in numbers' relative to Democrats. And the Corporate media could be counted on to take care of the misinformation part.
So, the result was Republicans gained several Senate seats and as the faithful M$M would pronounce hourly - Obama was drag on the Democratic candidates - WHILE the exit polls showed the voters prioritized concerns matched closely with what Obama and the Democrats have been focused on accomplishing but were obstructed and undermined at every step by the destructively partisan Republicans. ('destructively partisan' in that they worked to prevent the President from succeeding at everything he tried to do - and hurt the American people in the consequence)
Here is what the voters indicated were their greatest concerns...
Analysis: Shaking things up ... and making them and making them worse
Six years after the financial meltdown that led to the Great Recession, Americans continue to worry about the economy. It was the top issue cited by voters, well ahead of health care and immigration. Nearly eight in 10 say they are worried about the economy. Seven in 10 assess the economy as being "not good" or poor. Nearly as many say the economy is getting worse as those who say it's getting better.
What's more, there is a growing perception that the U.S. economic system is unfair. Two-thirds of voters say the system generally favors the wealthy; just a third say it is fair to most people. That has contributed to an erosion in faith in the traditional American dream: Now just one in five say the next generation will be better off than the current one. Half say it will be worse off.
So, there it is, among the voters...
The Economy is the top issue. Nearly 8 in 10 voters said they feel it's the TOP issue.
Nearly as many feel the economy is getting WORSE - as who feel it's getting better!
There is a pervasive feeling that the economic system is UNFAIR.
Two thirds of the voters feel the system generally favors the wealthy
Only a third say the economic system is fair to most people.
Just 1 in 5 say the next generation will be better off than the current one!
Half say the next generation will be worse off than the current generation!
So I guess if they voted in many Republicans - and, as the M$M tells us, this was a GOP "wave" election and that the vote "sends a message" to President Obama - then I guess the President's actions and policy priorities ran counter to the expressed concerns of the voters ...right? ......WRONG!
President Obama's and the Democratic Party's Priorities were those of 'everyday' Americans--
and they were opposed consistently and cynically by the GOP
The President acted to repair the economy from the Republican's Trickle Down Deregulation disaster. And he was fought by the Republicans every step of the way. The GOP attempted to filibuster the original stimulus bill (ARRA) even after he gave them what they said they wanted - a reduction of the spending (economic stimulus) in the bill by converting one third of the bill to tax cuts (hardly stimulating in a recession when people are worried they may not have a job in six months). In the end, three Republican Senators decided to vote FOR their country than WITH their party and the ARRA was passed into law.
President Obama has said several times that concentration of wealth in too few hands isn't good for our economy or our democracy. He tried to terminate the BUSH tax cuts only for the middle and low income people (feeling that the highest income groups really didn't need a permanent tax cut). But the GOP threatened to filibuster such a bill which would mean tax increases for everybody and a threat to the continuing recovery. Eventually, the President won a tax cut permanent extension only for those with incomes BELOW $400,000 ($450,000 filing jointly).
In president Obama's second term one of his top priorities was raising the Federal Minimum wage, but when the Democrats tried to introduce such a bill in Congress, the Republicans filibustered that too.
President Obama/Democrats have introduced several jobs/stimulus bills to provide further needed economic stimulus but the GOP successfully filibustered every one of these bills.
The GOP threatened and eventually shutdown the Government and threatened to cause a default on U.S. Debt. For the first time in history Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating. downgraded the credit rating of the United States.
The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.
The GOP's brand of 'War on Obama' politics lead businesses to be very wary of hiring back full-time permanent people. Businesses hired many more part-time workers than historically was the case. The reason was businesses weren't sure just what the GOP was capable of in terms of killing the recovery to hurt President Obama. Businesses over the last few years have been holding unprecedented cash hoards larger than at any time in the last half century. Not being sure what the Republicans were capable of doing to sabotage the recovery they have been wary of committing to investments, expansions or hiring back full-time workers. The result was to slow down and diminish the recovery.
So there you have it. The voters priorities have been President Obama's priorities. The Republicans have been undermining every effort to build an economic recovery. Yet the electorate voted in Republicans. The obvious reason for this result was that the GOP gambit of sabotaging everything President Obama has tried to do for the country and then attacking and demonizing the President for any lack of success - worked. The voters bought (well the Republicans and some Independents anyway) the campaign tactic (strait from the 'Marx brothers' repertoire) of sabotaging the ship and blaming the President for being a lousy 'skipper'.
But the Corporate Media don't want to talk about this - first of all, because it contradicts the GOP's narrative that this election result was a "wave election" for the Republicans and that therefore it means the American public supported GOP policies (now what were their expressed policies in this election? - oh yeah, "GET OBAMA!") and REJECTED PRESIDENT OBAMA. And to pull off this con on the electorate, Corporate media played an essential part.
During the runup to the election, M$M reliably repeated that the President was "toxic". But for the last six years, that same media did a thorough job of NOT informing people of the Republican Party's unremitting efforts to obstruct and sabotage everything the President tried to do - especially in terms of rebuilding the economy. Throughout President Obama's administrations the GOP set records for filibustering legislation and presidential appointments. But over this time period the M$M has held the word 'filibuster' verboten. And if 'filibuster' is verboten, you're going to have a hard time reporting the record setting GOP campaign of filibustering everything the president tried to do for the country. Nowhere in M$M television was this ever a subject of conversation. Thus, the preproduction work for the conning of the American electorate producing the GOP "wave" election was being done for several years in advance by the GOP with essential help provided by the Corporate television media.
Posted by Bill USA | Fri Nov 7, 2014, 04:53 PM (4 replies)
McConnell interviewed after election said: "If the President is willing to move to the middle were..
..ready to work with him."
RIGHT. Like they worked WITH HIM when he proposed a Republican Health care plan based on Romneycare with a mandate - a Republican idea first proposed as a countermeasure to the Single payer system being proposed by Clinton.
McConnell's and all the Insurgency Republicans' idea of meeting in the middle is for Democrats to embrace entirely the proposals of the GOP. That's how they define "compromise".
Here's some more double talk from the consummate master of duplicity:
McConnell says GOP Senate will seek areas of agreement with Obama
The question now is whether the man who once said the GOP’s top priority was to make President Obama a one-term president will follow through on a pledge to seek common ground with the White House at the end of its second term.
McConnell said there are areas where he expects the president will be willing to work with Republicans, naming trade and tax reform as topics that already came up in a conversation he had with Obama earlier in the day. On Friday, congressional leadership will meet with the president for lunch at the White House.
Beyond that, whether or not Washington sees continued gridlock will depend on the president, McConnell said.
He also said Republicans continue to believe that Obamacare “was a huge legislative mistake” but acknowledged limitations they face if they pursue full repeal.
Posted by Bill USA | Wed Nov 5, 2014, 03:53 PM (6 replies)
Forget the issues. Let's talk about fear and anger.
That message, coming out of a CNN interview with Vice President Joe Biden, perfectly captures the media's role in the 2014 midterm elections.
Biden and Gloria Borger, CNN's chief political analyst, discussed the VP's future political ambitions and his take on whether the 2014 midterms will shift the balance of power in Washington in an interview that aired this morning.
Biden is right, and the numbers are staggering. Seventy percent of Americans support increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, according to the results of a CBS News/New York Times poll from September. When Gallup asked whether voters would be more likely to support candidates who want to spend federal government money on infrastructure repairs, 72 percent said they would. Polling from ABCNews/Washington Post, The New York Times/CBS News, and McClatchy-Marist all shows majority support for marriage equality. Add universal background checks and federal action to combat climate change to the growing list of progressive issues backed by large majorities of the electorate.
"But wait a minute," Borger injected:
It's true that a recent CNN poll found that voters are scared and angry -- when they are asked by pollsters how scared and angry they are. That poll, incidentally, didn't ask what issues matter most to voters. All of this feeds right into the GOP electoral strategy of using fear-based appeals to sway voters.
Posted by Bill USA | Wed Nov 5, 2014, 03:49 PM (3 replies)
M$M calls Obama 'Toxic', thus declaring the victim guilty of the crime. What's Toxic is GOP politics
of opposition to whatever Obama and the Democrats have proposed especially to repair and rebuild the economy from the Trickle Down - Deregulation disaster.
Lately, I was taken aback to hear some M$M Fascist Fellatiators declare that President Obama was "toxic". John Dickerson on PBS (Faux News - Light) Washington Week in Review (where they tell viewers what to think about previous weeks events in D.C.) is a case in point. M$M is doing its duty to the GOP wherein they reverse reality so as to end up with the GOP free of any political blood on its hands. Calling Obama toxic implies he is the actor, that he is the cause of the toxicity in the political environment today.
But it is the Republican war on Obama that is toxic. In 2008 after 30 years of Republican policies that promoted concentration of wealth (i.e. Tax reform) and the undermining of civil authority (deregulation) we experienced the greatest economic calamity this country has seen since the (first) Great Depression. The GOP had a problem. With all their crack-pot economic theories shown to be spectacularly wrong, GOP leaders decided the only thing they could do was just attack Obama on whatever he did. They would work their damnedest to see that he and the Democrats would fail at repairing the economy from the Trickle Down Deregulation disaster (couldn't have Democrats come into office and in a few years clean up the GOP's disaster- what an embarrassment that would be). So they decided they had to make sure he failed. This was decided on the day of Obama's inauguration in January 2009.
The Republicans proceeded to set records for filibustering legislation and presidential appointments. They even filibustered a deficit commission they demanded - when Obama supported the idea. On November 4, 2010 Mitch O'Connell declared "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.". The Republicans filibustered every stimulus/jobs bill proposed by the Democrats seriously undermining the recovery. The Republicans threatened to filibuster the initial stimulus bill unless about a third of what was to be Government spending was converted to tax cuts. (The GOP knew that in a time of recession with people worried about whether they would have a job in six months such a tax cut would not be spent. People would save it or pay down debt in case they got laid off. At any rate they knew tax cuts would NOT be stimulative to the economy). When President Obama obliged them and converted one third of the stimulus bill to tax cuts - the GOP still filibustered it. (Fortunately, three Republican Senators put the country before party and voted for the ARRA) Then came three years of repetitive threats to shut down the government - topped off with an actual Government shutdown. And let's not forget the threat to force a default on the U.S. debt. These kind of tactics caused Standard & Poor's to downgrade the U.S. credit rating!!! Needless to say this made businessmen very cautious about hiring back full time permanent workers which slowed the recovery by perhaps two years. Businesses hired back more part-time workers and built up huge cash hoards. Ordinarily businesses do not like to hold too much cash as it doesn't earn that much for them (especially now) and they would rather put it to use in their own businesses. But businessmen weren't sure what the Republicans might do to sabotage the recovery. Thus another brake on the recovery was applied by the patriotism-challenged Republicans.
No, calling President Obama 'toxic' is the M$M performing 'tricks' for the GOP. Obama is not the cause of the toxic political environment. THe Toxicity comes from the GOP. But M$M is playing a critical role in duping the American public by confusing them into thinking all our problems are because of Obama's lack of "leadership" and not the fact that the GOP is acting as an insurgency as Thomas Mann (Brookings Institution) and Norman Ornstein (AMerican Enterprise Institute) described them in the article "Let's Just Say it: the Republicans are the problem". No matter what President Obama did the GOP fought him at it. Trying to see that he would fail and they could go out and say: "See what a BAD President he is. Give US another chance." - or in 2014 - hand control of the Senate to them.
Well, there's one thing I can say on there behalf. As P.T. Barnum said: "There's a sucker born every minute."
Posted by Bill USA | Fri Oct 31, 2014, 05:33 PM (2 replies)
The researchers disclosed their discovery in the latest online edition of the journal Nature, and in it they say that in less than three years’ time they expect to have a prototype device ready that will make biofuel from using not much more than carbon monoxide, easily derived from carbon dioxide.
"We have discovered the first metal catalyst that can produce appreciable amounts of ethanol from carbon monoxide at room temperature and pressure – a notoriously difficult electrochemical reaction," wrote Stanford’s Matthew Kanan, a co-author of the report released this week.
The scientists say that they are still a ways from developing said prototype, but believe they are on the right track towards achieving a goal that has the potential of providing people with a new, less-costly biofuel that could essentially revamp the energy industry.
...the researchers say that biofuel would be generated by using a state-of-the-art device still in development that uses two electrodes, including one made of an "oxide-derived copper," to convert it into fuel.
Posted by Bill USA | Thu Oct 30, 2014, 07:04 PM (4 replies)
The Revenge Of Mitch McConnell: GOP Senate Will Halt Obama Nominations: What to expect if Dems don't
... get out the vote (i.e. not one Democrat stays home on election day).
If Republicans win control of the Senate next week, as many expect, they will gain a powerful weapon to reshape President Barack Obama's legacy in his final two years: the authority to block his nominations.
Under a Democratic-led Senate, Obama has enjoyed remarkable success in confirming his executive appointees and remaking the federal courts in his image.
That streak could screech to a halt if Republicans win the net six seats needed to take the Senate come January. In that scenario, probable Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) could prevent any nomination from coming up in committee, and probable Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could block anyone from receiving a full Senate vote.
"My guess is Obama would have to present nominees that are much much more acceptable to Republicans, or they won't even schedule hearings," Barnett said.
Posted by Bill USA | Thu Oct 30, 2014, 05:18 PM (4 replies)