Archive | September, 2011

How Energy Drains Water Supplies – NYTimes.com

21 Sep

The worries in Texas bear out what an increasingly vocal group of researchers has been warning in recent years: that planners must pay more attention to how much water is needed in energy production.

“Water and energy are really linked,” said Henrik Larsen, a water policy expert with the DHI Group, a research and consulting firm based in Denmark. “If you save water, you save energy, and vice-versa.”

Experts call this the “water-energy nexus.” It takes huge quantities of water to produce electricity from a plant powered by nuclear energy or fossil fuels, and it also takes lots of energy to pump and process the water that irrigates fields and supplies cities.

via How Energy Drains Water Supplies – NYTimes.com.

Real Class War Is Working to Keep Those Below You Down | Truthout

20 Sep

We live in a country where most people believe their opportunities are limited only by their innate talents and appetite for hard work, but over the last four decades, while decrying a wholly imaginary class war from below, conservative policies have undermined many of the ladders by which working people once achieved a middle-class lifestyle. Taking pot-shots at another class isn’t war, nor is imposing a modest tax increase on those who have been showered with tax cuts for the last decade. Genuine class warfare is those at the very top working to keep everyone else far beneath them.

via Real Class War Is Working to Keep Those Below You Down | Truthout.

America’s Costly War Machine | Common Dreams

19 Sep

There are many reasons for the current parlous state of the USofA. But none are so wasteful and unnecessary as adolescent military adventurism. Ron Paul has consistently opposed this, and for years. Does that not count for something?

Recent congressional investigations have shown that roughly 1 of every 4 dollars spent on wartime contracting was wasted or misspent.

To date, the United States has spent more than $2.5 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon spending spree that accompanied it and a battery of new homeland security measures instituted after Sept. 11.

How have we paid for this? Entirely through borrowing. Spending on the wars and on added security at home has accounted for more than one-quarter of the total increase in U.S. government debt since 2001. And not only did we fail to pay as we went for the wars, the George W. Bush administration also successfully pushed to cut taxes in 2001 and again in 2003, which added further to the debt. This toxic combination of lower revenues and higher spending has brought the country to its current political stalemate.

via America’s Costly War Machine | Common Dreams.

Thousands Cheer Bernie Sanders’s Appeal to Obama, Super-Committee: Make the Rich Pay for Deficits | The Nation

19 Sep

Declaring that “Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation’s history,” and decrying threats to Medicare and Medicaid that would punish Americans who did not cause the current economic crisis, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders brought thousands of progressives from across the Midwest to their feet Saturday, as they cheered his message to President Obama and the Congressional “super-committee”: “We can deal with deficit reduction in a way that is fair and responsible.”

“Instead of balancing the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the most vulnerable,” Sanders said, “it is time to ask the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations in this country to pay their fair share.”

via Thousands Cheer Bernie Sanders’s Appeal to Obama, Super-Committee: Make the Rich Pay for Deficits | The Nation.

A real Wall Street takeover threat – Wall Street – Salon.com

19 Sep

The hundreds of young people who converged on the New York Stock Exchange this weekend are calling their demonstration against Wall Street greed an “American Tahrir Square.” While they have a long way to go before they create the tremors that brought down the Mubarak regime, their passion was clearly on display on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.

The protestors were gathered in the square at the corner of Broadway and Liberty Street, after police blocked them from the epicenter of American finance a couple of blocks away. Many had spent the night in sleeping bags and insisted they were prepared to spend many more to make their point.

via A real Wall Street takeover threat – Wall Street – Salon.com.

Leadership Crisis – NYTimes.com

18 Sep

A solid majority said creating jobs should be the highest priority for the government now and that payroll taxes should be cut to help with that. A whopping 8 in 10 think building bridges, roads and schools is important, which means — gasp — spending money.

Many Democrats are so gun shy that they don’t dare even to talk about raising taxes on the rich. But 71 percent of those polled said any plan to reduce the budget deficit should include both spending cuts and tax increases. And Americans understand that there are choices to be made; 56 percent said the wealthier should pay higher taxes to reduce the federal deficit.

via Leadership Crisis – NYTimes.com.

House GOP Rejects Tax Cuts For Middle Class | ThinkProgress

17 Sep

Meanwhile, a payroll tax holiday is one of the few types of tax cuts that do actually stimulate the economy, precisely because they mostly affect working- and middle-class people, who need the money more and thus spend it right away.

via House GOP Rejects Tax Cuts For Middle Class | ThinkProgress.

Japan to build floating wind farm near Fukushima nuclear plant ‹ Japan Today

17 Sep

Japan plans to build a floating wind farm near the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant as part of the country’s disaster reconstruction effort, a government official said Thursday.

Tokyo is seeking ways to reduce its reliance on atomic energy following the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, and is eying the Pacific coast of Fukushima Prefecture, the official said.

via Japan to build floating wind farm near Fukushima nuclear plant ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion.

The GOP’s unremarkable special election stunner – War Room – Salon.com

14 Sep

Are the Democrats sharp enough and resilient enough to Wake Up?

But if you can get beyond the fact that it technically played out within the confines of New York City, there really isn’t much that’s remarkable about the victory that Republican Bob Turner achieved on Tuesday night.

Mainly, it tells us what a simple look at President Obama’s job approval numbers (or the economic indicators that are largely responsible for them) would tell us: Voters are frustrated and eager to register their displeasure with him and his party. This is true everywhere, but particularly in areas like the 9th District, where voters already had clear reservations about Obama even before he did anything as president — back when his approval ratings were still stratospheric.

via The GOP’s unremarkable special election stunner – War Room – Salon.com.

Say Hello to the Highest Poverty Rate in 17 Years | The Nation

14 Sep

The Census Bureau has released its poverty numbers for 2010, and the picture isn’t pretty: 46.2 million people were living in poverty last year, according to the bureau’s latest report, the largest number for the fifty-two years that the data have been published. This marks the fourth consecutive year in which poverty rose, with an overall poverty rate of 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009, and the highest rate since 1993. Indeed, with real median household income at $49,445—a drop of 2.3 prcent from 2009—incomes are lower now than they were more than a decade ago.

via Say Hello to the Highest Poverty Rate in 17 Years | The Nation.

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