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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,747

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

Keystone Academy: Where Legislators Learn the Etiquette of Serving Special Interests

http://www.democraticunderground.com/112748324

Remember? Not Long Ago, Republicans Wanted To Pass a Budget -

http://www.dpcc.senate.gov/?p=news&id=239







SEN. MCCONNELL: PASS A BUDGET THROUGH REGULAR ORDER

Sen. McConnell (R-KY): "A second term presents the opportunity to do things differently, and in the Senate that means a return to regular order. Later this week, the House plans to send the Senate a bill to address the debt limit in a timely manner. Once we get it, the Senate should quickly respond. If the Senate version is different than the one the House sends over, send it off to conference. That's how things are supposed to work around here. We used to call it legislating."


Sen. McConnell (R-KY): "Why aren't we trying to do something about reducing spending? We know we need to do it. When are we going to do it? We don't need to use the deadlines. We could go through the regular order. Congress could pass bills. They could have conferences between the House and Senate."

Sen. McConnell (R-KY): "But, in any event, we ought not to ignore the law any longer. And I think it's a good step in the direction of getting back to regular order, which we ought to follow, it strikes me, most of the time, unless there's a pretty strong reason not to do that."



REPUBLICANS ASKED AND ASKED AGAIN FOR THE SENATE TO PASS A BUDGET RESOLUTION


Sen. Thune (R-SD): "It all started with the fact that this Chamber has not produced a budget for now 3 years in a row."


Sen. Corker (R-TN): "We have not had a budget in this body for 1,240 days."

Sen. Cornyn (R-TX): "1,387 days since the United States Senate has passed a budget."


Sen. Coats (R-IN): "It has been 1,372 days since the United States Senate passed a budget."

Sen. Cornyn (R-TX): "But it starts with passing a budget, something Senate Democrats haven't done for 1,414 days."

Sen. Isakson (R-GA): "Let's get back to the business of America. Let's get a budget to the floor."

Sen. McConnell (R-KY): "I don't think the law says 'pass a budget unless it's hard.' So I think there's no question that we would -- we would take up our responsibility."

Sen. McConnell (R-KY): "A second term presents the opportunity to do things differently, and in the Senate that means a return to regular order. Later this week, the House plans to send the Senate a bill to address the debt limit in a timely manner. Once we get it, the Senate should quickly respond. If the Senate version is different than the one the House sends over, send it off to conference. That's how things are supposed to work around here. We used to call it legislating."

Sen. Blunt (R-MO): "These problems are big, but they are not necessarily that complicated. We just have to have the willpower to deal with them. This Congress has not done that. This Senate, more importantly, has not done that. The House has passed bills. The House has passed a budget ."

BUT NOW, REPUBLICANS ARE STANDING IN THE WAY

Sen. Toomey (R-PA): "Mr. President, the ranking member of the Budget Committee, Senator Sessions, is not available because he has a conflict at the moment. On his behalf, I object."

Sen. Cruz (R-TX): "Yes. I object."

Sen. McConnell (R-KY): "I object."

Sen. McConnell (R-KY): "I object."

Sen. McConnell (R-KY): "I object."

Sen. McConnell (R-KY): "I object."

Sen. McConnell (R-KY): "I object."

Sen. Lee (R-UT): "I object."

Sen. Paul (R-KY): "I object."

Sen. Rubio (R-FL): "I object."

Sen. Lee (R-UT): "I object to the motion on the floor."

Sen. Rubio (R-FL): "I object."

Sen. Lee (R-UT): "I object."

Sen. Toomey (R-PA): "And so I object."

Sen. Cruz (R-TX): "I object."


By: DPCC
- See more at: http://www.dpcc.senate.gov/?p=news&id=239#sthash.XAC2NrSW.dpuf

Sequestration Slashes Benefits For The Long-Term Unemployed

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/02/2249251/sequestration-slashes-benefits-for-the-long-term-unemployed/

The long-term unemployed, those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more, are seeing a big reduction in unemployment benefits thanks to sequestration, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP). Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits, which help workers after they exhaust state-level programs around 26 weeks, have been reduced by nearly 15 percent.

Nearly 40 percent of those who are unemployed have been out of work for 27 weeks or more, coming to a total of 4.4 million people. Yet 8 percent of this year’s sequestration cuts are being taken out of the modest benefits provided to these workers, the report says.

The cuts to each check become more severe the longer a state waits to implement them. Maryland and New Jersey are cutting benefits by more than 22 percent. Seven states cut benefits in May and June, reducing checks by 16.8 to 22.2 percent. Other states have eliminated weeks rather than reduce benefits: Maine cut the last eight weeks of benefits and Florida eliminated the last four. California, the state with the most workers collecting EUC benefits, cut checks by 17.7 percent in May alone for 120,000 workers. About 429,000 will experience cuts through September 30 and 531,000 by the end of the year if sequestration continues.

The report comes on the heels of news that North Carolina has been dropped from the EUC program altogether. It cut the level of its weekly benefit payments, violating a provision of the program and leaving it completely ineligible for federal jobless funds.
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REPORT: Corporations Pay Lower Tax Rates Than The Middle Class

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/02/2248801/report-corporations-pay-lower-tax-rates-than-the-middle-class/

Large, profitable U.S. corporations actually paid just a 12.6 percent effective tax rate in 2010. That’s barely a third of the 35 percent corporate rate on the books, and it’s actually lower than the median effective tax rate for middle-class Americans. The number comes from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study intended to clarify the terms of debate as lawmakers weigh changes to the business tax code.

Most analyses of the gap between the tax rate on the books and the “effective rate” companies actually pay rely upon company financial statements, but the GAO’s work is based on actual corporate tax returns for 2010. The researchers found that large companies – those “with assets of $10 million or more” – that are profitable paid about 12.6 percent of their global income in U.S. taxes. The figure rises to 16.9 percent of global income if all foreign, state, and local taxes are factored in. Companies that took a loss for the year actually paid a higher rate than the profitable ones.

In the spring, Apple CEO Tim Cook defended his company’s entirely legal tax avoidance strategies before a Senate committee. Apple used Ireland-based subsidiaries to pay almost zero tax on tens of billions in income from international sales, and other massive firms like Google and Microsoft use similar corporate structures and accounting strategies to avoid billions in taxes.

The new numbers are inconvenient for the ongoing business community’s push to slash corporate tax rates. A group called the Alliance for Competitive Taxation (ACT) was launched in June by 40 major corporate brands and cites multiple studies using different methodologies to claim that U.S. companies pay among the highest effective tax rates in the world, but this new data would appear to refute those studies. Recent work from the Economic Policy Institute has also shown no correlation between corporate tax rates and economic growth.

Health Insurance Rate Shock-California Obamacare Ins Exchange Premiums LOWER than expected

... even for young people!


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/23/california-obamacare-premiums-no-rate-shock-here/

The Congressional Budget Office predicted back in November 2009 that a medium-cost plan on the health exchange – known as a “silver plan” – would have an annual premium of $5,200. A separate report from actuarial firm Milliman projected that, in California, the average silver plan would have a $450 monthly premium.

Now we have California’s rates, and they appear to be significantly less expensive than what forecasters expected.

On average, the most affordable “silver plan” – which covers 70 percent of the average subscriber’s medical costs – comes with a $276 monthly premium. {that's $3,300 per year, so the CBO's estimate overshot the number by 57%!! _Bill USA} For the 2.6 million Californians who will receive federal subsidies, the price is a good deal less expensive, the amount noted in green below.



Health premiums will be lower for the youngest Americans. Here’s how the costs work out for a 25-year-old purchasing the same health plan.



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here's the Federal Poverty Levels: http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/tools-for-advocates/guides/federal-poverty-guidelines.html


what's happened to PoliticusUSA? did the Corporate nation conduct a cyber-attack on it?

Browsers say they "can't find the server".

try it yourself: http://www.politicususa.com

Heat reaches triple digits, strains power grids - USA Today

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/30/heat-wave-southwestern-united-states/2476675/

High temperatures brought sweaty discomfort to much of the Southwest on Sunday with no break in the sizzling temperatures likely until Tuesday.

The thermometer reached 117 in Las Vegas. Triple-digit temperatures were recorded n the valleys and desert regions of Southern California, while metropolitan Phoenix saw just a slight drop in temperatures after experiencing record-breaking heat a day earlier.

~~
~~

Utility companies struggled to keep up with the demands of air conditioning.

"Some of these generators have been running at full speed for many hours now and they're not designed to do that and they break," said Steven Greenlee, spokesman for the California Independent System Operator, managing 80% of the state's power grid.


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Fossil fuel industry toadies keep saying going 'Green' will cost more in utility bills and lost jobs (Note: when the fossil fuel toadies talk of lost jobs they never look at the net figure - which would include more jobs created in Green Energy sector). How much will utility bills and lost work cost when power outages shut down businesses and force repair/replacement or rapid increases in investment in even traditional power sources needed to meet the increased demand for power due relentlessly rising temperatures?

Has anybody figured the costs of heat induced power outages?? and the cost to increase power capacity - even with conventional fossil fuel based infrastructure? This cost has to be figured into the calculations for an accurate baseline to be establilshed for doing NOTHING.




Lotus Engineering's presentation for developing Methanol as a transportation fuel

this is from a few years ago. The fact that Lotus's presentation has never been discussed on American M$M is a testament to the power of the Oil Industry - especially when you consider that methanol has been used for decades in auto racing.

Using methanol would enable us replace most, or virtually all of petroleum as a light transportation fuel. This would constitute a PROFOUND strengthening of our economy through dramatically reducing the amount of money exported for petroleum and freeing us from the adverse economic impact of ever rising oil prices. Biomass based methanol would produce significant reductions of GHG as it replaces gasoline. Use of the MIT designed Ethanol Direct Injection engine (which works with Methanol as well) would enable a quicker reduction to gasoline consumption due to the 25% to 30% increase in fuel efficiency achieved by this engine (at relatively modest cost - relative to hybrids and PHEVs).

http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/sites/default/files/james_turner_Lotus.pdf

Alcohols as the Alternative (1)

• Alcohols are liquid fuels which provide high on-board energy
density in comparison to gaseous fuels (e.g. hydrogen_B USA)
– Using gasoline-compatible fuel systems (i.e. simple and lightweight)

• They can be distributed via a modified existing infrastructure

• Alcohols are miscible with gasoline
– The transition is easy – ethanol is being blended in now

• No engine modifications necessary up to 10% by volume

• Engine modifications for higher concentrations are minimal and
fully understood
– Principally inlet valve seats, fuel system materials and spark plugs

• Lower alcohols have high octane indices – ideal for ‘downsizing’

• High knock resistance enables better combustion efficiency
– Through optimised ignition advance and higher compression ratios


Alcohols as the Alternative (2)

• Alcohols can be synthesized from biomass, gaseous hydrocarbons
or from hydrogen and carbon mon- or dioxide
– They are alternatives to hydrogen to minimise climatic impact

• Alcohols are therefore excellent potential candidates on which to
base the long-term energy economy

• In ‘biofuel’ form they offer significant well-to-wheel CO2 benefits

• Additionally, the cost of ‘flex-fuel’ capability is trivial
– All new spark ignition vehicles could be made flex-fuel compatible
at minimal on-cost

• This is why Lotus has developed its gasoline/ethanol flex-fuel
Exige 265E vehicle



Renewable Alcohols: Future Possibilities

Using methanol for synthetic chemical production can effectively
remove CO2 from the atmosphere (“auto-sequestration”)

• To encourage this, Lotus believes that in 2012 the small step of
legislation requiring all gasoline vehicles to be gasoline/ethanol
flex-fuel should be enacted

– Gives a significant market incentive to renewable fuels suppliers

• There is therefore a potential for a joined-up, clear path to a
negative-CO2 energy economy for transport with a soft start

– Which hydrogen cannot provide
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the presentation presents conclusions developed in more detail in:


Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy
Olah, G.A., Goeppert, A. and Prakash, G.K.S

Renewable energy to eclipse gas by 2016 - IEA - New Scientist

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23770-renewable-energy-to-eclipse-gas-by-2016.html#.Uc8YARjD-mw

The dash for gas is being outrun by the race for renewables. According to the latest projections from the International Energy Agency, by 2016 global electricity generation from wind, solar, hydro and other forms of renewable power will exceed that from natural gas – and should be double that provided by nuclear plants.

This surge is being driven in large part by emerging economies. China is leading the way, accounting for 40 per cent of the projected global growth in renewables between 2012 and 2018, the IEA – a Paris-based body with 28 member countries – notes.
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Greenwald: Beltway media types are ‘courtiers to power’

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2013/06/24/greenwald-beltway-media-types-are-courtiers-to-power/?hpid=z7

Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald yesterday clashed with “Meet the Press” host David Gregory, who’d asked Greenwald the following question: “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”

The elbow that came right back at Gregory was sharpened by the contempt that Greenwald harbors toward the media types that live and work around here. “I think it’s pretty extraordinary,” Greenwald said to Gregory, “that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies.”

When asked by the Erik Wemple Blog for his thoughts on how the rest of the media has greeted his stuff, Greenwald responded:

Media reaction to our scoops has been mixed. Many journalists have taken them very seriously, been quite supportive of the reporting I’ve been doing, and have with particular vigor defended our free press rights to report this.

But it is true that the Guardian generally, and me in particular, are outsiders, not members of the Beltway establishment media clique. I’ve purposely made myself an outsider by very aggressively and harshly criticizing not just the culture itself but the most prominent members of it, including David Gregory and Andrew Ross Sorkin, who this morning suggested on CNBC that I be arrested.*

Some of what is driving this hostility from some media figures is personal bitterness. Some of it is resentment over my having been able to break these big stories not despite, but because of, my deliberate breaching of the conventions that rule their world.

But most of it is what I have long criticized them for most: they are far more servants to political power than adversarial watchdogs over it, and what provokes their rage most is not corruption on the part of those in power (they don’t care about that) but rather those who expose that corruption, especially when the ones bringing transparency are outside of, even hostile to, their incestuous media circles.


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