Saturday, December 09, 2006

Is Congress USELESS?

Now, I'm not saying the Republicans are the entire reason why Congress gets nothing done ever, or at the last minute, (with the exception of "for the wealthy"), but if their leader is used to taking mostly vacations and never working then are we really surprised?
We should really be asking what the big deal was over the election we just had if we are only electing people who politicize, strategize, speak a good game, but get nothing done that helps most Americans.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Alternative Energy News - December 7, 2006

  • Occidental Petroleum announced it would withdraw from the Peruvian Amazon. For the first time in 30 years, the company will not be drilling in the Amazon.

  • Michigan State Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, is pleased that the state House on Wednesday unanimously approved a wind energy tax credit he proposed.

  • University of Rhode Island scientist aims to genetically modify switchgrass and produce 100% ethanol for less than $1 per gallon.

  • Sales of hybrids in the US in November rose 13.8% from the 16,065 sold in November 2005.

  • New York has proposed a new system that would reduce smokestack emissions that contribute to air pollution and acid rain.

  • Waterless urinals and recycled carpet could become common building features in the U.S. capital under green construction legislation passed by the district's council.

  • The Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to initiate an effort aimed at making Ventura County, California a world leader in reducing climate change.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Introducing Barak Clinton and Hillary Obama

Can these guys handle World War IV?:
If 2007 is the year of the Iraq withdrawal, then what can the future White House team expect to be left with to handle?

What do you think the future looks like for American and international politics? What happens once we leave Iraq, what happens with Iran, what countries do we speak to, who do we trade with and what ideology do we promote? Join the Angry Progressives Study Group on the Future of America and share your thoughts (via emails to us [that we may post] or comments on our site).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Alternative Energy News - December 5, 2006

  • Farmers Group of Companies is expanding its discount to its auto insurance customers who own a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle to 37 additional states.

  • Some of America's largest corporations pledged Monday to support green power, responding to a challenge posed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Spain leads a global push to capitalize on new solar-power technologies.

  • WSJ highlights growing environmental concerns over alternative energy.

More Hate From Right-Wing Radio

We at the Angry Progressives join the Council on American-Islamic Relations in calling for the removal of right-wing radio host Dennis Prager from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, which oversees the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

Prager has criticized Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to Congress, for his decision to use the Quran during his ceremonial swearing-in next month.

In his column last week, Prager wrote: "Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."

Prager offered what he called "a solution to this that would satisfy me and the vast majority of Americans" — Ellison bringing a Bible with him along with his Quran. "The issue has never been one of religious freedom or attitudes toward Islam. The issue has been from the outset honoring the most important text of American history."

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement calling Prager's comments "intolerant, misinformed and downright un-American."

The ADL is absolutely correct. Attitudes like Prager's are un-American and hateful. On top of fellow right-winger Glen Beck's absolutely unbelievable interview on CNN with Ellison on November 14, the right-wing continues to embarass itself with regards to Ellison and American Muslim community.

Libertarians Up For Grabs?

Sebastian Mallaby of the Washington Post wonders if the often tenuous relationship between Republican conservatives and libertarians has reached an ending point, and if there's an opportunity for them to align with the Democrats.

"Republicans are not merely failing to live up to their principles; the principles have altered. The party has been virtually cleaned out of the Northeast; it has suffered setbacks in the Mountain West; it increasingly reflects the values of its stronghold in the South. As a result, it has lost its libertarian tinge and grown more religious and traditionalist." we've been saying.

"Would libertarians be more comfortable in the company of Democrats? On moral questions -- abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research -- clearly they would. But on economic issues, the answer is less obvious.

If Democrats can get over this nostalgia, there's a chance that liberaltarianism could work. For the time has passed when libertarians could seriously hope to cut government: Much of what could be deregulated has been, and the combination of demographics, defense costs and medical inflation leaves no scope for tax cuts. As Lindsey himself says, the ambition of realistic libertarians is not to shrink government but to contain it: to cut senseless spending such as the farm program and oil subsidies to make room for the inevitable expansion in areas such as health.

As it happens, this also describes a plausible agenda for the Democratic Party -- at least if it can shed the back-to-the-1950s yearnings of its reactionary left. Precisely because Democrats want government to provide social insurance against the volatility of globalization, the party has an interest in cutting unneeded federal spending. Precisely because entitlements are expanding so expensively, the party needs cost-saving ideas from anyone who has them -- including libertarians."

We saw the beginning of this realignment this past November, as Democrats made major gains in the West, where libertarianism has traditionally thrived. If Democrats can make the libertarians a permanent part of their coalition, it will continue to isolate the Republicans, not only geographically in the South but also ideologically with far-right Christian fundamentalists.

Minimum Wage Updates

  • Shameful: On December 2, the federal minimum wage set a new record for the longest period without a raise since its establishment in 1938. The $5.15-per-hour wage rate has remained unchanged for nine years and three months.
  • Progress: Under a bill sponsored by Democratic state Senator Darrell Jackson, South Carolina would establish a minimum wage $1 higher than the federal hourly wage.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Alternative Energy News - December 4, 2006

  • The IRS recently allocated $800 million in tax credit bonds to renewable and alternative energy projects across the country.

  • Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid to offer 25% fuel economy improvement over non-hybrid.

  • China's Ministry of Finance and the State Environmental Protection Administration have announced that starting in 2007, the nation’s central and provincial governments will prioritize their purchasing of environmentally friendly products and services.