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View Diary: BREAKING: Obama to Appoint Eric Schneiderman to Investigate Mortgage Crisis (128 comments)

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  •  Schneiderman is working with Beau Biden (14+ / 0-)

    and they are very determined. This is great news!

    Corporations aren't people; they're Republicans. Rev. Al Sharpton

    by HappyinNM on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:28:06 PM PST

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    •  This was also good news I had missed before... (11+ / 0-)

      The President mentioned this in his address and I missed this one until now...

      Few people seem to know that for the first ten years of the computer industry the sole customer was the military and NASA.

      Out of that came Silicon Valley and our tech boom that rippled out across multiple industries.

      As noted in the article below, Republicans have attempted to cut any funding for green energy initiatives and scuttle President Obama's clean energy program.

      Obama's counter to Republican resistance was to use the military budget to go around Bonehead and the House rethuglicans... the same way the US computer industry was launched.

      A very smart move... I like this President... he is a reall good strategic thinker.

      Pentagon wants to spur a revolution in clean energy

      So can the military-industrial complex do for clean energy what it did for the Internet, jet engines, and the microwave?

      Experts in the worlds of defense, energy, finance, and policy say yes--but the hurdles are high. The Republican-controlled House, skeptical of climate change and renewable energy, isn't a fan of the Pentagon's green push. Renewable fuels are far more expensive than conventional ones, and it's not clear when (or if) prices will fall enough to compete with petroleum. The success of the entire effort depends on the Pentagon's ability to spur creation of an industry capable of producing enormous quantities of renewable energy despite largely unproven technologies and business models. The Defense Department "is in the process of playing a catalytic role with renewable energy," said Arati Prabhakar, a former director of microelectronics for DARPA who now chairs the Energy Department's Efficiency and Renewables Advisory Committee. "They won't be the biggest, most important market over time. But for the newest technologies, those first few percentage points of market share are tremendously important."


      Overall, the Pentagon is aggressively working to meet a mandate, contained in a 2007 law, to generate 25 percent of its electricity using wind, solar, and other renewable sources by 2025. What's more, the Air Force says it will buy roughly 400 million gallons of alternative fuel by 2016, enough to power half of its domestic flights, and the Navy plans to shift half of its energy usage from fossil fuels to renewable sources by 2020. Pentagon officials say that these are extraordinarily ambitious goals; they've only just begun to think about how to realize them.


      President Obama has tried to spur a transition of the U.S. economy from fossil fuels to clean energy, but his efforts have largely stalled, chiefly because of pushback from Republicans in Congress and a powerful lobbying campaign by the coal and oil industries. Sweeping climate-change legislation that would have priced fossil-fuel emissions and mandated purchases of renewable electricity--creating both demand and a market for clean energy--died in Congress and is unlikely to be revived as long as the GOP controls the House.

      Clean-tech companies and venture capitalists say that the military's latest efforts come just as those firms are in desperate need of a boost from the federal government, whether through a mandate, a price signal on fossil fuels, or just a giant new customer. Companies say they need a kick-start to get the technologies close to the point of "price parity"--almost equal to the cost of fossil fuels. When that happens, these firms say, they're confident more demand will emerge. But federal help for renewables is under attack today as never before. House Republican leaders, skeptical of climate-change science and eager to slash federal spending, shoot down anything that resembles new government regulation--and they have placed the paltry clean-energy subsidies that do exist at the center of their assault on government spending.


      •  The article above is chock full of fun facts... (7+ / 0-)


        Because of the military's vast energy needs, senior Defense officials say that reducing those costs is a national-security imperative. On its own, the U.S. military is the single largest industrial consumer of oil in the world. It requires approximately 125 million barrels annually--more oil than 85 percent of the world's nations consume. Every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of crude costs the Defense Department $1.3 billion. In 2008, the year that oil and gasoline prices last reached record highs, the Pentagon spent about $20 billion on fuel alone--a burden ultimately borne, of course, by U.S. taxpayers. Energy experts predict that prices will only rise in the coming years. Meanwhile, the nation's broader dependence on oil all but ensures that the military will remain handcuffed to the Middle East, North Africa, and other volatile-but-oil-rich parts of the world.
        •  And the tech for wireless also comes out of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Flint, HappyinNM

          the needs of the military for communications.  Our military has spurred lots that we don't often associate together.  DARPA has evolved into the Internet.

          Congressional elections have consequences!

          by Cordyc on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 01:30:08 AM PST

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      •  That would make a great diary (hint, hint) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HappyinNM, Flint

        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 06:14:35 AM PST

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        •  "Understanding Obama" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama

          I'm thinking of something larger that would include this as one piece of the puzzle about the man.

          We are the instant gratification generation... like the character of smeagal in LOTR... "We wants it and we wants it now!"

          Like most progressives I was infuriated that the public option was taken off the table in the Affordable Health Care Act debate.

          I wanted a single payer system and I wanted it now! Like many here I grew cynical over Obama and his administration.

          It wasn't until the Governors conference at the White House though that something else began to emerge. Obama scolded the governors about health care in their states and pointed out to them that AHCA contained provisions that enabled states to enact "a better health care idea of your own and we will provide federal funding to implement it."

          Suddenly we have "single payer" health care plans passing in Vermont and a move for it in California (although I don't know where that one stands at the moment).

          In retrospect, single payer would probably not have gotten through this congress because too many of its members are bought and sold by the health care industry in both parties.

          What Obama did do was enable the states to do it... just like it did in Canada where it came in on a province by province basis.

          I worked in Japan for a lot of years and negotiating with them was negotiation by attrition. There would be 2,000 points of contention and most of them were trivial but they acted like it all depended on each one... later you would find out that it was really item #1287 that the Japanese were really after... but by the time you got to it you had lost your perspective on the big picture and you gave in to easily.

          At the time I wondered if Obama did this intentionally or was it an after thought?  Could Obama really be as crafty as the Japanese are in getting what they want?

          Now there is the Pentagon "clean energy Initiative" where Obama is using the massive defense budget to by-pass congressional resistance on his Green Energy plans... and get the Pentagon to fund the R&D and implementation of green energy.

          What is emerging is a picture of a President that knows what the congressional beast is all about and how to work around it.

          Two other statements and moves by the President that he highlighted in his SOTU address would support this picture...

          1. Recess appointments of Cordray and the NLRB officials.

          This one has triggered an constitutional crisis and will wind up in SCOTUS. A very ballsy move.

          2. The call for a bill to prevent members of congress from insider trading.

          This last one seeming to come out of nowhere but a sort of... "I know where you live" statement to congress.

          Americans think the Presidency has tremendous power... in reality there are a lot of limitations and what it has is more influence than direct power.

          What is emerging is a picture of a President who got steam rolled by bad advisers at first looking to build bi-partisan consensus that would never come, but now Obama really does understand exactly where we need to go and how to by-pass a corrupt and broken congress to get us there.

          He thinks long term and now knows how to use the Powers of the Executive office to lay seminal foundations for changing America.  


    •  And our A.G. (Kamala Harris) out here in Ca. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 12:20:15 AM PST

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