Bill USA's Journal
Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,676
Number of posts: 3,676
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
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.. 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
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."
Posted by Bill USA | Thu Nov 20, 2014, 05:08 PM (5 replies)
(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."
Posted by Bill USA | Fri Nov 14, 2014, 05:12 PM (3 replies)
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.
Posted by Bill USA | Fri Nov 14, 2014, 04:03 PM (0 replies)
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.
Posted by Bill USA | Fri Nov 14, 2014, 02:55 PM (7 replies)
Gwen Awful OPENED her post election interview of Debbie Wasserman Schultz in usual Awful Punk style, by asking Wasserman-Schultz:
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.
Posted by Bill USA | Thu Nov 13, 2014, 05:46 PM (5 replies)
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)