Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Belgian Fox

It was reported Wednesday that Bush has named Republican fund-raiser Sam Fox as this country’s ambassador to Belgium in a recess appointment. This is the procedure that the Shrub uses to bypass Congress and get his way when it dares challenge His Highness. This appointment came despite the withdrawal of Fox’s name from consideration after it became apparent that he would not be confirmed because of Fox’s $50,000 contribution to the Swift Boat Veteran’s for Truth. You remember that fine group of patriots, funded by W to smear a decorated combat veteran by the name of John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign (why oh why does Bush and the rest of that vile group hate our troops?). For some reason, this latest finger in the eye of the country by that spoiled brat hit me hard. All I can say is, what a petulant, arrogant little prick. I am counting the days until that scumbag is out of office.

- Jeff Bloomfield

Update: According to the Washington Post, Fox's recess appointment may be illegal. Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut is looking into it. Go get 'em Chris.

- AProgs

Alternative Energy Daily News - April 4, 2007

  • Although March is shaping up as a good month for hybrid sales with a record 31,652 units sold just by Toyota and Honda, it was the best month ever for Toyota and its hybrid sedans.

  • Speaking of Toyota, after doubling U.S. sales of its Prius hybrid in March, the company is offering new discounts worth as much as $2,000 to counter dwindling tax credits and to meet rising sales targets.

  • The right mix of appropriate government regulation, greater use of energy saving technologies and behavioral change can substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the building sector, which accounts for 30%-40% of global energy use.

  • New market research by McGraw-Hill Construction finds that approximately 0.3% of all homes in the U.S. are "green," incorporating elements in three of five environmental building categories.

  • Suppliers of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are in the midst of a multiyear investment boom, with an eye toward producing electricity as cheaply as the entrenched standard: fossil-fuel power generation.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Alternative Energy Daily News - April 3, 2007

  • Bus manufacturers are already rolling out the environmentally friendly vehicles – years before major automakers say they will.

  • Automakers called for an economy-wide approach to global warming in reaction to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could give Washington the authority to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases from cars.

  • Rising gas prices spur sales of hybrid vehicles.

Tuesday Links

  • Almost 40,000 of Iowa's lowest-paid workers get a raise Sunday, when the state's minimum wage increases from $5.15 to $6.20 an hour, the first of two bumps. The second increase on Jan. 1, 2008, will go to $7.25 an hour.

  • Governor Charlie Crist said Monday that he hoped to persuade members of the Florida cabinet this week to end the practice of stripping convicted felons of their right to vote.
    Florida is one of three states whose constitutions require withdrawal of voting rights from all convicted felons, the other two being Kentucky and Virginia.

  • Lawmakers urge Bush to fire NASA official.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Alternative Energy Daily News - April 2, 2007

  • US Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (both R-ME) have introduced a measure that would require automakers to reduce new vehicle greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2002 levels by 2016. This would nationalize California’s motor vehicle greenhouse gas reduction standard.

  • Legislative proposals to mandate that North Carolina utilities use solar and other renewable-energy sources could help Charlotte keep a local company developing a new process for manufacturing solar cells.

  • More than 3/4 of Canadians believe the country’s environmental regulations are too weak, while nearly 60% of the population would favor a new green tax on consumer and industrial products to crack down on pollution.

  • The nation’s ethanol producers hope to tie their product to the growing popularity of auto racing, one of many tactics the industry plans to employ in its initial attempts to advertise ethanol directly to consumers.

Monday Links

  • Here's an outstanding Salon article from Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) in which he discusses his bill, to be introduced next week with Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), that would require the president to begin safely redeploying U.S. troops out of Iraq in 120 days, with redeployment to be completed by March 31, 2008. After March, funding for the war in Iraq would be cut off, with three narrow exceptions -- targeted counterterrorism operations, protection of U.S. personnel and infrastructure, and training and equipping Iraqi forces.

  • From Daily Kos: Quick! Before Congress comes back, let's screw some troops!

  • On Sunday, NBC Iraq correspondent Tom Aspell reported that while Senator John McCain walked through a Baghdad market to try and bolster his ludicrous and laughed-at claim that Baghdad is safe, in fact the Senator was accompanied by 100 American soldiers, 3 Blackhawk helicopters, and 2 Apache gunships. This morning on The Imus Show, Aspell said that, with a similar level of protection, “even Paris Hilton could ride a bicycle in a bikini through Anbar province.” McCain continues to look ever weaker, and frankly, stupid, as he flails about in an attempt to convince the American people that this war which he has cheered for is in fact going just swimmingly. He is wrong, and if he does not know that then he is even dumber than I'm giving him credit for.

  • In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times, long-time W strategist Matthew Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership. While this is all well and good, and represents perhaps the first Bush insider to go public with is disapproval of the president's horrific management of the country, it's too bad he didn't come to this realization before he got that clown elected again. Probably would've had a little bit bigger of an impact.

  • This deserves better than the fifth bullet on a list of daily links, but the Supreme Court today ordered the federal government to take a fresh look at regulating carbon dioxide emissions from cars, a rebuke to Bush administration policy on global warming.

  • A proposed ban on homosexuals adopting or fostering children collapsed in the Arkansas Legislature on Tuesday, failing twice to win the approval of a House committee. I guess some people decided that it actually makes more sense for a child to grow up in a loving home, no matter the sexuality of the parents, than for him/her to grow up in foster care.

  • The New Hampshire House soundly defeated a proposed constitutional amendment to limit marriage to between one man and one woman.