Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chuck Norris Does Not Sleep. He Waits...For a Chance to be a Fox News Host

So Sean Hannity couldn't make it last night for his show. We don't know exactly why, but our guess is that he was probably trying to find more things to lie about. Nevertheless, Hannity was out, so Fox News had to find a guest host. Who'd they get? Another crazy right-wing moron? Geraldo?

No. Chuck Norris. CHUCK NORRIS. Chuck Norris was the host of Hannity & Colmes.

The best part about the whole thing (I know, how do you pick just one part, right?) is that Chuck Norris, on Hannity's own show, proceeded to say that a fabricated scene from ABC's fictional movie "The Path to 9/11"that Hannity is going to air as actual news "should not have been in the film."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Alternative Energy News - January 26, 2006

  • Organized labor is joining forces with environmentalists to push for an eco-friendly economy.

  • California regulators approved rules Thursday banning power companies from buying electricity from high-polluting sources, including most out-of-state coal-burning plants.

  • Planners and scientists from Purdue, central Indiana's Clinton County and city of Frankfort, and industries Archer Daniels Midland Company and Indiana Clean Energy LLC are joining forces to use waste to produce methane for conversion to electricity.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday Links

  • Republicans, who can't just help working Americans without aiding Corporate America, have held up the minimum wage bill in the Senate. They won't let it pass unless there are also further tax breaks for businesses included. Ted Kennedy - "Why can't we do just one thing for minimum-wage workers, no strings attached, no giveaways for the powerful?" That's a great question. Contact your senators to voice support for a clean minimum wage increase.

  • Given that the Republicans are going to do everything they can to delay an increase in the federal minimum wage, it's a good thing for Iowans that their state government has an increase on the way. The bill could be sent to Democratic Governor (and '08 Presidential candidate) Tom Vilsack by the end of the week.

  • Another reason to be happy the Democrats are in control of Congress. - a bipartisan group of senators have introduced legislation aimed at preventing American companies from profiting from the use of foreign sweatshops and other unfair labor practices abroad. Think this would have happened if the Republicans were still in power?

  • New Orleans needs, among other things, teachers.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Chuck Hagel - A Man With Integrity and Courage

This morning in his opening statements before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) took his fellow Senators to talk for being too concerned about the politics of their Iraq as opposed to the soldiers who are being sent to Iraq.

If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes.”

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Real Leadership - Jim Webb Gives Democratic Response to SOTU

Newly elected VA Senator Jim Webb gave the Democratic response to Bush's State of the Union speech.

In no uncertain terms, Webb let it be known that if Bush does not begin, in his 6th year in office, to lead this country responsibly, the Democrats are ready and able to step up to the plate.

ThinkProgress has outstanding coverage of the SOTU speech.

One additional note. We applaud Bush for spotlighting the genocide currently going on in the Darfur region of Sudan, and urge him and Congress to do more than talk about it and actually take some action. We also encourage our readers to check out the websites of organizations like Save Darfur and The International Rescue Committee to see what you can do to help.

Links to Read While You're Trying to Make Sense of Bush's Ramblings

  • VP Cheney was way more involved in outing CIA agent Valerie Plame than anyone knew. Stay tuned, Scooter Libby's trial is going to be very interesting.

  • Democratic lawmakers who stray too far from the party line could find themselves facing primary opponents financed by unions, trial lawyers and political activists like These are groups that make up a large part of the core of the Democratic party, and they're going to make sure that the people for whom they've worked so hard actually vote in the interests of their constituencies.

  • Bush will not mention Hurricane Katrina tonight, just as he's ignored New Orleans and the Gulf Coast since standing in front of props in Jackson Square a few weeks after the tragedy. Barney Frank, the incoming Chair of the Financial Services Committee, has called what is going on (or not going on, as the case may be) in New Orleans "ethnic cleansing through inaction," and has pledged to do something about it.

Alternative Energy News - January 23, 2006

  • GM places bets on alternative fuel vehicles.

  • Wind power capacity in U.S. increased 27% in 2006.

  • A partnership announced today between Sam's Club, Kärcher USA, and TerraPass aims to include for the first time the cost of offsetting carbon emissions with the purchase of a retail product.

  • A spate of corporations flaunting their environmental credentials, and especially their concern about climate change, says as much or more about a shifting commercial landscape as the planet's future.

  • Gov. Martin O'Malley embraced legislation yesterday to reduce automobile emissions in Maryland.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Next 100 Hours

With Tuesday night’s State of the Union speech and Senate Democrats’ efforts to come up with a resolution signifying their opposition to Bush’s Iraq escalation dominating the political agenda, there’s not a lot of actual governing going on in Washington this week.

So, given House Democrats’ great success in pushing through their 100 Hours Agenda, what do you, the readers, think should be the focus for the next 100 hours? And the next 100? And so on and so on. We encourage you to post your opinions about what the Democratic leadership in Congress should focus on next. Obviously, keeping Bush from both exacerbating this fiasco in Iraq and instigating another war in the region, this time with Iran, should be constantly on the front burner. But what other domestic issues should be next on the list?

Talk amongst yourselves…

Bernie Sanders, Malcolm Gladwell, and Universal Healthcare

Bernie Sanders, the newly-elected Socialist Senator from Vermont, was featured in this past Sunday's New York Times magazine. It's a very well-written piece about one of the hardest working men in politics in America. Sanders' focus on dental care reminded me of this very interesting article by Malcolm Gladwell, in which he discusses the myth of "moral hazard" as a reason why to this point universal health care does not exist in the U.S.

Health care promises to be one of the defining issues of the 2008 presidential campaign. However, as evidenced by these two articles in the Washington Post in the last week, this is an issue the American people are talking about and are looking for leadership on right now.

Alternative Energy News - January 22, 2006

  • An MIT study said that mining heat stored in rocks in the Earth's crust could meet a growing portion of U.S. electricity demand, replacing aging nuclear and coal plants with an environmentally friendly alternative.

  • The UK-based retail chain Tesco announced plans to build a $13 million solar installation on five-building, 820,400-square-foot distribution center in Riverside. It is believed that this will be the largest roof-mounted solar installation in California, and possibly the world.

  • More school systems in Kentucky and nationally are using biodiesel, partly because it reduces costly engine wear in diesel engines caused by ultralow sulfur diesel, which is now required by federal law.

  • Homeowners increasingly cashing in on sun's energy.

  • President Bush this week is prepared to unveil what his aides have billed as a bold new national strategy to confront global climate change and work toward energy independence. Pardon us if we're a bit, shall we say, skeptical.

Bush to perform Stand-up Comedy at State of Union

He is not supported by the public.

He is opposed by many in his own party.

Who is he kidding? You and every other American!

He may tell you that continuing the War in Iraq is a must and anything to the contrary will hurt the US. The biggest joke is that he hurts the US more than anything in the world.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mission Accomplished

Thursday, the Democratic-led House rolled back billions of dollars in oil industry subsidies , the last of six high-priority issues in its 100 hours agenda. To recap:

1) End the link between lobbyists and legislation. Check.

2) Pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending. Check.

3) Implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Check.

4) Raise the minimum wage. Check.

5) Promote stem cell research. Check.

6) Negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare Check.

7) Cut interest rates for student loans in half. Check.

8) Roll back the multi-billion dollar subsidies for Big Oil. Check.

Congratulations to the Democratic Party for taking care of business and for showing Americans that a party that believes that government can be part of the solution can actually get things done. There's so much more work to be done though, and this is only the first step.

Sunday Links

  • California lawmakers are switching from SUVs to hybrids for their official state cars.

  • Ten major companies with operations across the economy have joined with leading environmental groups to call for a firm nationwide limit on carbon dioxide emissions that would lead to reductions of 10%-30% over the next 15 years.

  • Bush has taken a ton of criticism for his administration's inept handling of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Deservedly so, of course, because he's a clown and it would've been hard to screw up the situation any more than he did. However, more and more the incompetence of Mayor Ray Nagin appears to be holding back reconstruction efforts. According to this AP article, there remains nearly $600 million in federal hurricane recovery money available simply waiting to be requested by Nagin.

  • From the "Whaaaat?" file, on Thursday Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claimed there is no express right to habeas corpus in the U.S. Constitution. There really appears to be no limit with this adminstration.