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Weekly Interest

332 Landslide

332 Landslide

February 7, 2009

Obama Speaks to America on the Economy

The above image, created by Paul Rosenberg at Open Left, shows figures that combine data from Moody's and Dean Baker's Center for Economic Policy and Research. It shows the return on investment for different stimulus options. The takeaway? Food stamps, unemployment benefits, and infrastructure investment put the most money back into the economy for every dollar spent on them. Tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy do the least. (A payroll tax holiday, which is essentially a tax break for poor people, isn't so bad.) Job creation maps similarly.

So when conservatives tell you that FDR's public investment programs made the depression worse and that we need to hold fast to the conservative economic principles that created the current mess, shoot them this link. Perhaps President Obama should use that snazzy new BlackBerry of his to email it to his Republican opponents in Congress.

In the video below, commonly asked questions regarding the stimulus package are answered in clear, easy to understand terms.

Solid cutting edge infrastructure has been the secret weapon of every successful country/kingdom/empire. Our (US) interstate highway system is one of relatively few key reasons for our success. Without it we wouldn't have been able to transport goods (metals during the war, food always) across our vast country quickly and efficiently. We took one giant step forward after WWII, and it was because we put building a national infrastructure for transportation, water, power and food as well as communications on a double-step fast track. We are still working with that infrastructure in all parts of the country today, and more places than you would think still run entirely on that old system.

It is my belief that it is time to close up the foreign lending shop for a while, hang out an 'Under Construction' sign and get to work re-working our workings! We have the information and technology, the manpower the money and most of all the WILL to remake our systems into more efficient, longer lasting, safer systems that will once again throw us headlong over the goal post of expectations just as we have done in the past.

Internet communications lends itself to working from home or local 'communal' office spaces, lends itself to fewer flights, fewer buildings spewing carbon, fewer drivers, fewer accidents. The technology noted above is only a fraction of what is available.

There are still going to be jobs to be done, but new and different jobs. There will still be things to be sold, but different things. Business will not come to an end, it will just change. I think this will lead to more businesses ending up in the hands of the small business owners, the local communities. Working, shopping and eating local.

February 4, 2009

A Tough Week For Coal - No Clean Coal

A Tough Week for Coal

February 4, 2009, 8:44 am — Updated: 12:34 pm -->
Tom Zeller Jr.

Protesters chained themselves to an excavator at a coal operation in West Virginia on Tuesday. (Photo: West Virginia Blue/Flickr)

The coal industry, which suffers from an image problem to begin with, has had a particularly rough few days. Without additional interpretation, we present a selection of articles, published over just the last 48 hours, from around the Web:

A Bad Week for Coal Plants in North-Central MontanaLast Thursday, the Air Force announced that it had rejected proposals to build a large coal-to-liquid-fuels plant at or near Malmstrom Air Force Base. Tuesday, Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission announced it is giving up on a proposed coal-fired power plant northeast of the city, at least for now.

Anti-Coal Activists Chain Themselves to Equipment at Massey OperationFourteen people were cited by State Police today in two separate protests against Massey Energy’s mountaintop removal operations in southern West Virginia.

W.Va. Towns With Bad Well Water Sue Coal Companies About 250 people with orange and black water in their taps are suing eight coal companies they believe poisoned wells in two southern West Virginia communities.

Click Here to read the remaining "Bad Coal Day" Headlines from the NYTimes.

Just as a reminder, There Is No Clean Coal.

The Myth of Clean Coal
The coal industry and its allies are spending more than $60 million to promote the notion that coal is clean. But so far, “clean coal” is little more than an advertising slogan.

Collapse of the Clean Coal Myth
More broadly, the authority’s recent travails may help persuade the public that coal is nowhere near as “clean” as a high-priced industry advertising campaign makes it out to be.

Even Obama has been duped,
I hope his promise to listen more to science than corporations is one he intends to keep.

The Center for Public Integrity

The 380,000-plus-word database presented here allows, for the first time, the Iraq-related public pronouncements of top Bush administration officials to be tracked on a day-by-day basis against their private assessments and the actual “ground truth” as it is now known. Throughout the database, passages containing false statements by the top Bush administration officials are highlighted in yellow. The 935 false statements in the database may also be accessed by selecting the “False Statements” option from the “Subject” pull-down menu and may be displayed within selected date ranges using the selection tool below. Searches may also be limited by person or subject, or both, by using the appropriate selections from the pull-down menus.