We need infrastructure jobs. FDR did this after the depression by starting the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Under this, thousands of bridges, dams, parks and other public works were built all across the country.
The biggest obstacle to creating another WPA today is not lack of money but lack of will. President Obama has all the authority he needs to establish a new WPA within the executive branch. The best part is that he was given this authority by ... the Patriot Act. All he has to do is to use the authority that Congress has already given him.
Under the Patriot Act, Congress defines what “critical infrastructure” is — “systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.” They state that “a continuous national effort is required ... to ensure the reliable provision [of infrastructure] ... critical to maintaining ... economic prosperity, and quality of life in the United States.” (quotes are from the Patriot Act, with emphasis added).
They further went on to establish that “it is the POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES that any physical or virtual disruption of the operation of the critical infrastructures of the United States be rare, brief, geographically limited in effect, manageable, and minimally detrimental to the economy, human and government services ... and that actions necessary to achieve the policy ... be carried out.” I think this means that the president is not limited in any way as to how he implements this policy on the ground. Because Congress has defined critical infrastructure as an issue of national security, he could even fund repairs out of one of the biggest pots of money out there — the defense department.
I want my country back from the 1/10th of 1% of us who have completely taken our country hostage - the Needy Billionaires. Every day we're bombarded with their needs, their wants, and their wishes. It's the 99% of us who are We the People versus THEM.
So here's a video that left, right and center -- everybody who's NOT a Needy Billionaire -- can find some common ground and purpose in. It shows just who's most responsible for this prefabricated "crisis" that we're in. And at the end, it calls for people to contact both Congress and the White House, primarily via postcards. It gives people something they can do, right now, to take our country back. Blue postcards for Democrats and liberals, red for Republicans, conservatives and Tea Partiers, and yellow for Independents. Millions of postcards, all with the same message and from all points of the political spectrum, can make a difference.
Leviticus 17:11 — “For the life of a creature is in the blood ...” (NIV).
Genesis 2:7 — “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (NKJV).
Genesis 2:2 — “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (NKJV).
I’ve never understood what part of these passages is somehow incompatible with the concept of evolution. These passages were written thousands of years ago, but it’s only been in the last century or so that we’ve understood the actual biology, chemistry, physiology, etc., of how our bodies work. So, in the Christianist’s view, because we didn’t understand how blood carries oxygen to the cells until recently, apparently no one should have taken it as an article of faith that God knew what He was talking about. Because we couldn’t quantitfy exactly how our lungs exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, that whole “breath of life” thing was just so much pablum or hocus-pocus. All the people who came before us who just took the Bible at is word and happily lived their lives trusting that what He says is so, without any actual “proof”, were apparently all just idiots or fools.
29 miners killed because of dangerous mining conditions. 7 killed when a gas pipeline explodes because the utility company "never got around to" making repairs. Medicine that kills instead of cures and BP's Deepwater Horizon. Thousands poisoned because of horrific conditions at an egg-processing plant. These and other examples of deliberate corporate wrongdoing that hurts or even kills are all highlighted in my new video, "Like Good Fences, Good Laws Make for Good Corporations".
This video is extremely powerful and hard-hitting. It SHOWS -- rather than tells -- what's at stake this election. It speaks directly to people's basic survival needs and shows that dangerous corporate practices put them directly in harm's way. Practices that will become even more common if Republicans win next week.
Seems folks on the other side have been doing their best to convince everyone else that none of us are our neighbor's keepers. Least of all, the "persons" known as corporations. They have nip, nada, zero responsibility to care whether their products hurt, maim or even kill.
As long as they get paid, everything's hunky dory. Move along, nothing to see here.
I'm with Howard Dean. He firmly believes that we're going to win this fall. Our candidates are better and what we stand for is better. But there is one thing I think we could do a whole lot better: our message, particularly our message to other Dems.
The message I think we should be giving to each and every other Dem this year is "bring 10 to the polls to win".
This election is going to be all about turnout. And there is one thing that EVERY one of us can do -- make sure that at least 10 of your Democratic friends and neighbors VOTES this year. Ask them if they're registered or if they've moved since they last registered. Make sure they sign up. Doublecheck with them that they've gotten their ballot and ask if they have any questions. Answer those questions or point them to knowledgeable sources like candidate's and Democratic or left-leaning websites if you don't know. Encourage them to vote absentee if they think there's any reason they might not be available on election day.
Then make sure they get to the polls. If they don't have a ride, offer to take them or arrange transportation for them. And then ask them, on election day, if they've voted yet. Keep checking back with them until they do.
NSF has a special "Rapid Response Research" progam that they've initiated to generate new approaches to handing the oil gusher BP has launched against our country. Here's the info:
,,, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has in place a mechanism to receive and review proposals having a severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to data, facilities or specialized equipment, as well as quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters and similar unanticipated events.
It provides up to a maximum of $200,000 of funding for a year. After that, projects can be expanded or extended via their regular evaluation protocol.
This diary is in 2 parts. First a rant, and then onto a new Manhattan Project. So here goes ...
Let's play a little thought experiment. Imagine that you or I had our very own money tree known as an oil well. Let's say it went way over budget and cost $385 million to build, or roughly the original value of the Deepwater well. Let's say that we expect to get 25,000 barrels a day out of it, much less than the million or so barrels that's currently spewing out. At a price of $77 per barrel, that comes out to just under $2 million a day or about $700 million a year. So, over 5 years, we'd be looking at about $3.5 billion.
Now, not being any type of an oil expert, I've chosen what I think are likely to be realllly exaggerated costs as well as greatly under-estimated incoming revenue. I don't know what the actual life of an oil well is — more than likely, it's a lot longer than 5 years. So these are very rough, back-of-the-envelope guesstimates.
So now we have our hypothetical $3.5 billion money tree. Let me ask you— how much would you be willing to pay to make sure your very own, money-making, oil well doesn't blow up?
Yep, suddenly that $500,000 blowout preventer's looking pretty cheap.
Like so many other Americans, I've pretty much stopped buying newspapers. I get most of my news online because it's quicker, more accurate, and generally goes into a whole more depth.
But you know what would get me to buy your newspapers again? Stories about how predatory banksters stole my money. Not just the $700 billion in TARP money, but the over $8 TRILLION that's been either donated or guaranteed to these vultures (fromNomi Prins, the REAL bailout numbers). From the SEC's civil suit against Goldman Sachs to Lehman Bros' 105 repos and the "fraud-o-rama" that is Citigroup, as well as the rest of the predatory banksters, we now have ample evidence of the pivotal role that fraud played in blowing up our economy (additional links here and here).
WE WON! We did it. It’s not a great bill but it is a good one, one that at least moves the ball firmly down the field on our way to single payer. Now that health care reform is — finally — the law of the land, here’s another tool to help bring your misinformed and greatly-lied-to loved one or friend over to our side.
One caveat: the website shown at the end of the video is no longer up. However, both the White House and Speaker Pelosi have some lovely rebuttals of the most enduring GOP myths out there about health care.
So, Harry, I'm sure that your constituents know all about what you've done for them over the many, long years that you've ... (ahem) ... "served" them. I'm sure they appreciate all of your many and varied "accomplishments" that you've done for them. But, as in so many other areas of life, when voters go to the polls in November, they're going to have one question on their minds:
So what have you done for us lately?
This fall, the 2 biggest issues on voters' minds will be -- c'mon and say it with me -- jobs and health care. They're going to remember that they sent you to Washington with the biggest Democratic majority in a generation. They're going to remember all of those promises you made made about how it was sooooo important that we have that Democratic majority. They'll remember those pledges you made that you, as Senate MAJORITY Leader, would "make the lives of every Nevadan" oh-so-much better.
So ... (ahem) ... Harry, what have you done for us lately?
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain (aka Wall Street nowadays), with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER.
And from Gandhi:
First they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight with you, then you win.