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Wonkbook: Obama might push carbon price; Waxman to investigate BP; NRA gets a special deal

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Barack Obama will address the nation tonight after spending the day in the Gulf. The big question: Will he push a carbon-pricing bill, or not? His pollster has been circulating a memo to lawmakers arguing that the public wants a comprehensive energy bill, but in a quiet admission of the issue's tough politics, the memo doesn't use the words "global warming" or "climate change."

Meanwhile, House energy committee chairman Henry Waxman is slamming BP for "shortcuts" taken on the oil rig that exploded and previewing an aggressive investigation, congressional Democrats have brokered a deal to exempt the NRA and other groups from new campaign disclosure rules, and the Wold Bank kicks off a two-day conference on the growing crisis in municipal finance.

Tuesday, huh? Well, welcome to Wonkbook.

Top Stories

Obama will try to reinvigorate a climate bill in his address tonight, reports Mike Allen: Obama plans to include a call for an energy bill in his Oval Office address about the Gulf on Tuesday night. And the Obama administration has told key senators that 'an energy deal must include some serious effort to price carbon as a way to slow climate change,' according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide."

And Obama's top pollster is circulating a memo to lawmakers arguing that a big energy bill makes good political sense. But the memo never mentions "global warming" or "climate change," so it's clear those word don't make good political sense. Read it: http://politi.co/aKhagF

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Henry Waxman and energy committee oversight chair Bart Stupak are alleging that BP took "shortcuts" on the exploded oil rig, report Steven Mufson and Anne Kornblut: "In one instance, four days before the April 20 explosion, Brett Cocales, one of BP's operations drilling engineers, sent an e-mail to a colleague noting that engineers had not taken all the usual steps to center the steel pipe in the drill hole, a standard procedure designed to ensure that the pipe would be properly cemented in place. '[W]ho cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fine and we'll get a good cement job,' he wrote."

The campaign disclosure bill being considered in the House will exempt the NRA, reports John Bresnahan: "The proposal would exempt organizations that have more than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations. Democrats say the new language would apply to only the NRA, since no other organization would qualify under these specific provisions. The NRA, with 4 million members, will not actively oppose the DISCLOSE Act, according to Democratic sources."

Kitsch cover interlude: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Surfer Blood cover Lit's "My Own Worst Enemy".

Table of Contents: BP has outlined its new plan to contain the oil leak (and other energy news); Moody's rates Greece's debt as junk (and other economic news); the National Labor Relations Board is looking into electronic voting (and other domestic policy news); and Blanche Lincoln's derivatives proposal is gaining steam as it's dialed back (and other FinReg news).

Energy

BP has outlined a plan to capture all currently leaking oil, report Susan Daker and James Herron: "In a letter sent Sunday to U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson, BP said it expects to have the capacity to capture between 40,000 and 53,000 barrels of oil a day by the end of June. That compares with 15,000 barrels a day now, out of a flow of 20,000 to 40,000 barrels scientists estimate are coming from the well."

Obama's BP escrow plan is designed to make sure BP keeps its word later on, writes Chris Good: "Obama wants to get the money up front to ensure BP doesn't hide behind the $75 million liability cap for oil-spill damages, instituted under the Oil Spill Pollution Act of 1990, a law written in response to the Exxon-Valdez spill. BP has said it will not hide behind this liability cap and that it will pay 'all legitimate claims,' but the cap could signifiy an implicit threat as BP doles out claim money--since BP will not be legally obligated to pay those claims, as the company itself deems what is 'legitimate.'"

Harry Reid is backing the BP escrow fund plan: http://politi.co/9t2a3d

The onshore cleanup effort in the Gulf is chaotic, reports Campbell Robertson: "From the beginning, the effort has been bedeviled by a lack of preparation, organization, urgency and clear lines of authority among federal, state and local officials, as well as BP. As a result, officials and experts say, the damage to the coastline and wildlife has been worse than it might have been if the response had been faster and orchestrated more effectively."

Spy testing interlude: The NSA explains how polygraphs work.

Economy

Moody's is now rating Greek debt as junk: http://bit.ly/dwZKQ9

A Fed study suggests we could have near-zero interest rates until 2012, reports Sewell Chan: "A new research paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco suggests that if the Fed continues to follow the course of monetary policy it has pursued since the crisis, the fed funds rate won’t lift off from near-zero until 2012."

David Brooks thinks that in 'the larger struggle,' American and BP are on the same team: "The larger conflict began with the end of the cold war. That ideological dispute settled the argument over whether capitalism was the best economic system. But it did not settle the argument over whether democratic capitalism was the best political-social-economic system. Instead, it left the world divided into two general camps."

Long-term unemployment patterns suggest which industries may not recover, write Mebere Shiferaw and John Robertson: "For instance, construction and related industries are deep in the continued job-loss quadrant. In contrast, the temporary help sector has behaved procyclically. Jobs in federal government and health care have continued to grow, with the former boosted by temporary hiring of census workers. Of the 79 industries examined, about a third of them have landed in a different quadrant compared with the 2001 recession."

Gerald Seib thinks Washington is finding religion on the deficit at exactly the wrong time: "Is this really the right time to make deficit-cutting the top priority, when the economic recovery looks more fragile than it did just a few weeks ago, when state governments laying off people might help kill off recovery in its cradle and when a little juice from Washington is what's needed to prevent that from happening?…The political imperative of showing that he gets the gravity of the deficit is running smack into a short-term policy desire to keep priming the economic pump."

Sasha Reuther, of the United Auto Workers-leading Reuthers, explains how the union can recover: http://bit.ly/avXp3W

Daniel Gross argues that cutting spending now would be folly: "The debate fails to recognize the anti-stimulus provided by states and cities, which are prohibited from running deficits. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculated that 33 states made tax changes in 2008 or '09 that would increase annual revenues by $31.7 billion. Meanwhile, state and local governments slashed 22,000 jobs in May. 'The actions that states are taking because of the recession and their balanced-budget requirements are slowing the economy,' said Nicholas Johnson, director of the state fiscal project at CBPP."

Lego soccer interlude: A brick-by-brick recreation of Saturday's US-England game.

Domestic Policy

The National Labor Relations Board is looking into electronic voting for unionization elections, which could help unions, reports Kris Maher: "Some attorneys are interpreting the request for information as a step toward Internet or telephone balloting which they argue could favor unions. Today unionization votes overseen by the NLRB at private-sector employers are typically cast in person via secret ballots on company property. 'There's nothing to stop people from saying 'Let's do our Internet voting or telephone voting together to show our solidarity'' which could lead to peer pressure, said Chuck Cohen, senior counsel at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and former Republican appointee to the NLRB during the Clinton administration."

House Ways and Means staff director Janice Mays may be the second most powerful woman on Capitol Hill: http://bit.ly/dAdScQ

More and more college-educated workers are going into manual labor, reports Carol Morello "Apprentices start out getting paid half the scale for experienced workers, with raises every six months. Ultimately, many make as much or more as they would in jobs requiring a college degree. Licensed journeymen can expect to be paid $65,000 to $85,000 a year, depending on overtime."

Obama's auto industry advisor is leaving for academia: http://politi.co/a1pKEw

Historically black medical school graduates are the most likely to work for underserved communities, reports Darryl Fears "The study in the Annals of Internal Medicine ranked medical schools based on the communities where their graduates worked and whether those doctors practiced primary care. The Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Howard University College of Medicine in the District and Meharry Medical College in Nashville ranked as the top three, in that order. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville finished at the bottom of the 141 ranked schools, and the Northwestern University-Feinberg School of Medicine was 139. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore was ranked 122."

Urban planning interlude: The world's coolest bridge.

FinReg

Blanche Lincoln is gaining support for her derivatives proposal, reports Brady Dennis: "Two regional Fed presidents recently backed Lincoln's efforts, while Economic Recovery Advisory Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker has softened his earlier criticism that the provision was too sweeping. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), who quietly tried to forge a compromise on Lincoln's measure during the Senate debate, last week said that 'at this point, I'm in support of what she has in the bill.'"

But Lincoln is weakening the provision at the same time, reports Damian Paletta: "Ms. Lincoln's new proposal clarified that the legislation would allow banks to trade and deal derivatives through separately capitalized affiliates. Previously, it seemed possible the language of the provision would force banks to spin off their derivatives businesses entirely. The new proposal also would give large bank-holding companies up to two years to follow the new rules and shield most community banks from limits."

Daniel Indiviglio argues this doesn't capture the intent of the original legislation: http://bit.ly/9aOFDt

Wall Street lobbyists have conceded defeat on the Volcker Rule, reports Edward Wyatt: "Bankers have all but given up on defeating one of the most contentious provisions in the financial regulation bill - one that would effectively bar federally insured banks from trading for their own accounts - and are now focusing on battles like heading off a prohibition on derivatives trading.…But with the so-called Volcker Rule now likely to become law after appearing to be dead at earlier points in the legislative process, banks are battling hard to fend off further restrictions on their activities."

Goldman Sachs is not losing clients despite revelations about its business practices, writes Andrew Ross Sorkin: "'We trust them,' Jeffrey R. Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric, told an audience at the 92nd Street Y in New York last month. 'People need to tone down the rhetoric around financial services and stop the populism and be adults.'…Thomas J. Pritzker, the chairman of Hyatt Hotels and a long-time Goldman client, says he’s wise to Goldman’s practices. 'I’m a big boy,' Mr. Pritzker told me. 'I understand that they are in many businesses. I go into it with my eyes wide open.' He added, 'I don’t feel any outrage, just the opposite.'"

We need to nationalize Fannie and Freddie, writes Stephen Blumenthal: "We must accept the fact that keeping the mortgage market liquid is so important to our economy that it must be guaranteed by the government. There is no reason why government agencies and their employees cannot administer programs that provide guarantees of payment of principal and interest, and securitization of mortgages."

Closing credits: Wonkbook compiled with the help of Dylan Matthews and Mike Shepard. Photo: Pete Souza/White House.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 15, 2010; 6:46 AM ET
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Next: Thinking outside the box

Comments

Brooks wrote : "We also need to gradually move away from oil and gas — the products that have financed the rise of aggressive state capitalism."

So he totally fails to see that the democratic capitalists are actually the more aggressive?

Does he think Iraq, and even Afghanistan, was not partly about oil?

One reason our defense budget has doubled in recent years, and why we have so many aircraft carriers, is to protect the international shipping lines that both democratic and state capitalists jointly use. The demarcation between democratic and state capitalists is constantly blurring.

Many democratic capitalist oil and gas companies are involved in misery-laden places like Darfur as well.

I saw a map last year somewhere online that overlaid US troop-level presence over known oil and gas reserves or shipping lines. The correspondence was stunning.

Posted by: Lomillialor | June 15, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Why do I get the feeling that NRA deal means the bill is now laden with loopholes that will make it useless?

Why would the NRA insist on the need to create political ads it did not need to put its own name on? Will they, for example, simply become a kind of ad broker, and sell ads for other groups that otherwise would have to disclose their names?

Once again we can't even get the Dems to agree to a solid piece of legislation.

Perhaps instead of compromising and watering down the bill to the point if uselessness, Obama and the Dems should call out wayward Dems by name and stop supporting them with campaign cash and other resources? Is Blanche Lincoln, who Obama supported, one of the moderate Dems opposing the need of the NRA's of the land to disclose their names?

As someone else here said, the Dems are cowardly incompetent and the Republicans are competently dangerous. I wish there was a viable third choice. I'm near the point of moving to Canada so my tax dollars won't be used to fund these insane wars, though I wouldn't blame them if they banned any American from entering their territory out of fear we would wreck it.

Posted by: Lomillialor | June 15, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

“What should Obama say tonight about the Oil Disaster?”

Like the one word advice that Dustin Hoffman received in "The Graduate",
Obama should level with and advise the American people;

"I've got one word to share with you folks. Our future and survival
depends on confronting it. Just one word to say to you --- EMPIRE."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSxihhBzCjk

Here's my slightly more explanatory answer to the NYTimes' article, ""Obama
Plans to Force BP's Hand on Oil Spill Fund", on what Obama must say:


"First, it's not a 'SPILL' and should never be referred to as such, since
doing so merely helps the global corporate/financial/militarist EMPIRE's
continuing propaganda war against all of us, our children, 'our' former
country, 'our' former democracy, our dying environment, our assaulted earth,
and our very species.

Obama's coming address will mean absolutely nothing (except that he is a
pawn of this global EMPIRE) unless he "Breaks the Silence" (as Martin Luther
King did in 1967 at Riverside Church, and JFK did in 1963 at American
University) about the disguised EMPIRE which is the proximate CAUSE of all
foreign and domestic "Sorrows of Empire" [Chalmers Johnson], such as all the
EMPIRE-CAUSED; imperialist foreign war crises, domestic financial crises,
global environmental crises, economic oppression crises, social injustice
crises, torture crises, spying crises, 'police-state' tyranny crises,
'targeted assassination' crises, unSupreme Court
unlimited corporate cash crises, the overall democracy crises, and
all inhumanity crises directly CAUSED by this inhuman global corporatist
EMPIRE."

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

Posted by: alanmd | June 15, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

"Does he think Iraq, and even Afghanistan, was not partly about oil?"

Afghanistan would have happened even if oil wasn't part of the picture, assuming 9/11 happened the way it did, and the Taliban (who, up until that point, we'd been sending lots of foreign aid for them to shoot farmers and unescorted women in the head, execution style) had continued to shelter Al Qaeda. Iraq had to have been chosen mostly in regards to oil, and ensuring the oil supply.

Otherwise, we would have either devoted our resources to turning Afghanistan into an American colony or conducting overt war with Iran or covert war with North Korea, both states that represent a greater threat to the West than Iraq did.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 15, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

"The proposal would exempt organizations that have more than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations.


----------

Maybe I'm wrong and I'll gladly admit it but wouldn't many UNIONS fit under this profile? I'd say they fit the first two criteria but not sure about the third.

Posted by: visionbrkr | June 15, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

@alandmd: "Obama should level with and advise the American people . . . "First, it's not a 'SPILL' and should never be referred to as such, since doing so merely helps the global corporate/financial/militarist EMPIRE's continuing propaganda war against all of us"

You do understand that that would just alienate Obama from many, many, many people, right? That it would help him to lose the argument, not to win it? And that if he's going that route, he might as well start talking about the Bilderberg Group and black helicopters.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 15, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@Lom: "As someone else here said, the Dems are cowardly incompetent and the Republicans are competently dangerous."

Actually, the Republicans are equally incompetent. And, until recently, they were also cowardly. Apparently being in the minority after having held the majority for an extended period as emboldened them. So they are no longer cowardly. But I think they remain incompetent.

Also, most of the things Republicans are supposedly dangerously competent about (you may have other things in mind), such as looting foreign countries for mineral wealth and fossil fuels or bankrolling Wallstreet fat cats are deconstructing regulatory systems so that they can be abused by corporate interest are also areas where Democrats are dangerously competent, and if you think their indulgence and support and protection for all their friends in the sphere of the mega-ultra-wealthy is accidental, then they've got you fooled.

In my opinion. And you know what opinions are like.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 15, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

BTW, you've all seen that picture of Ben Bernanke getting into a black limousine with tinted windows after he attended the Bilderberg Conference in 2008, right? New World Order. All I'm sayin'.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 15, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Afghanistan might have HAPPENED even despite oil, but it is probably currently HAPPENING partly because of oil and other vast mineral resources. As you recall, Bush was (in vain) negotiating with those murderous Talibanis for an oil pipeline just before 911 happened.

Some corporate Democrats (ConservaDems) are accomplices with the neocons. But at least 2/3 of Dems are not accomplices with the dangerously competent Republicans. There are many dimensions to the dangerous aspect of their competency. Wars are just one variable.

Starve the Beast is another. Now surely you aren't going to declare the "big-gvmt" Dems also participate in Starve the Beast? That would be a contradiction. They are mutually exclusive. Dems fund their initiatives while Repugs rip out the revenue base and create debt and chaos.

Another danger variable is the traditional Republican desire to end medicare and SS.

More danger variables: refusal to regulate anything, refusal to allow communities to pass gun-related laws, refusal to raise any taxes under any circumstance (oops, that falls under the starve the beast umbrella), general refusal to penalize businesses who hire illegal workers and instead enact draconian immigration laws that violate civil rights of Americans and creates humanitarian crisis' as families are torn apart, refusal to accept the fact the drug war is costing significant losses of blood and treasure, and so on.

Just because you can find a handful of Dems who might agree with any given policy, don't tell me that proves Dema and Repubs are the same. There's a reason after all why people like you are willing to vote for patent liars and dangerous zealots like Palin.

Posted by: Lomillialor | June 15, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"...then they've got you fooled."

Said to someone who in this very thread strongly lambasted Obama and Dems, and who in earlier threads professed not to vote for ConservaDems anymore.

You may have mildly criticized Repubs from time to time, but I've never seen you lament or emote or admit about the grave damage Republicans have caused in recent decades.

You no doubt vote straight Republican ticket. You earlier admitted you would vote for Palin. Which means you would vote for your ticket no matter which lunatic they nominated. I have switched parties several times because of my perceptions of corruption/lunacy/etc..

We have a grave economic crisis on hand and we can't count on even ONE GOP vote for ANY kind of reform. No viable deals or ideas are being offered by the GOP in this time of collapse and bankruptcy which they (and their deceitful ConservaDems), the ones in dominant power for the last 30 years, have mostly caused. Yes, the country at all levels has been run by centrist or right-wing policies for the thirty years where all discernable trends of failure are evident, and you have the audacity to suggest someone who favors fresh blood and ideas is the one being fooled.

So, look in the mirror Kevin. I may have been fooled by a given person from time time, but you have been fooled by a complete party and culture-based ideology. That's why you willingly vote for lugnuts like Palin and defend bridges to nowhere during good times while mocking stimulus in bad times--ideology.

Posted by: Lomillialor | June 15, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

vision

I believe that article (or maybe a different article I read this morning?) said unions are not included in the deal.

Posted by: Lomillialor | June 15, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

And I think if you overlaid the areas of occurence of piracy with the shipping lanes and naval presence, you would also observe striking coincidence. There's no mystery here. One of our Navy's chief functions is to maintain free and unfettered seas for commerce. Do you want it some other way? Are you expecting somebody else to do it?

Posted by: flintston | June 15, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"Will he push a carbon-pricing bill?"

Of course he will. Chairman Obamao is a radical leftist pig who won't stop until he has completely destroyed the American economy.

Although given his stupidity, laziness and incompetence regarding the Gulf catastrophe, he really doesn't have to do much more to wreck America.

Go play another round of golf, fool.

Posted by: Azarkhan | June 15, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

A big reason there is piracy in today's modern world is because we (US, allies, China, and other richer nations) are systematically raping other lands of their resources.

Somali pirates started out protecting their fishing waters from commercial fishers and graduated to piracy as their traditional means of livelihood (fish) finally disappeared.

Most US and western naval resources are assigned to conduct/support wars, not to stop piracy. Our navies became vast and expensive long before modern pirates became anything more than gnats we shoo away. Navies could be cut down to much smaller sizes if all we had to do is stop piracy.

The wars/bases we choose/build coincide with natural resources, and humanitarian tragedies then develop there about. The wars/bases we choose/build rarely coincide with the areas where humanitarian need is greatest.

Posted by: Lomillialor | June 15, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Gee, Reagan raised taxes. Is he a leftist pig too?

Do you really want to stay addicted to oil and keep transferring the bulk of our wealth to arab countries?

Are you actually a BP exec pretending to be a moron?

Posted by: Lomillialor | June 15, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"Just because you can find a handful of Dems who might agree with any given policy, don't tell me that proves Dema and Repubs are the same."

Just because they go about serving their corporate masters differently doesn't mean they aren't. Also, there are competing oligopolies. Some own the Democrats, some own the Republicans. The Republicans are more straight-forward in their embrace of donors and lobbyists. The practical upshot is the same. When was the last time Democrats advanced a tax on wealth, rather than on income? Or did something significant (other than lip service) to reign in the big banks? The only one I can think of right now is possibly Blanche Lincoln, who you would characerize as a ConservaDem. And there'd probably end up being a loophole in there for the Richard Bransons and Warren Buffets and Goldman Sachs. A little something to protect George Soros. There always is.

Also, Democrats are more devoted to the super-mega wealthy while Republicans like the super-mega wealthy and the super-wealthy in equal measure. So there is a difference, there.

"There's a reason after all why people like you are willing to vote for patent liars and dangerous zealots like Palin."

My, that's an awfully high horse you're sitting on. Be careful up there.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 15, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The OFA sent out a request for support yesterday, and when you get to their site, it's says "comprehensive energy bill" and one of three points it's meant to address is "climate change."

I hope he uses his speech to explain that oil is just harder and harder to get, and no amount of regulation can really protect us fully. Every now and again, he really explains things well - the race speech, the house/sand speech, etc. If you treat Americans like adults, as I would've thought he'd have had reinforced over and over in the campaign, the results can be surprising.

He just needs to phrase it like he's talking to Americans, not to Congress. We haven't been getting enough of that because so many of his big speeches have been either SOTU or to West Point or whatever. The Oval Office speech is the perfect medium for an explanation, reevaluation and course correction in the broadest, theme-i-est sense. If it comes out like a policy speech, it'll tank. Big Ideas time, Mr. Prez.

Posted by: roquelaure_79 | June 15, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@Lom: "You no doubt vote straight Republican ticket"

Usually. I make no bones about it. I voted for Harold Ford (a vote I'd cast again) and Phil Bredesen. Both of whom would be ConservaDems to your way of thinking, I expect.

"You earlier admitted you would vote for Palin. Which means you would vote for your ticket no matter which lunatic they nominated."

Actually, I especially liked Palin. And, no, I wouldn't vote for Republicans no matter which lunatic they nominated. It'd have to be a lunatic I liked. I would not vote for Pat Robertson, for example. Or Pat Buchanan. I don't care for Pats. Maybe Pat Sajack.

I considered not voting for McCain, but in the end, I did vote for him. I didn't vote in the presidential election in '96, as I didn't care for Dole.

"I have switched parties several times because of my perceptions of corruption/lunacy/etc.."

I used to be pretty liberal and, before I could vote, I was a huge Mondale supporter (and despised Reagan). Does that count? Or do I have to keep jumping back and forth to be considered sufficiently broad-minded?

"Yes, the country at all levels has been run by centrist or right-wing policies for the thirty years"

Which causes all our trouble. As opposed to left-wing policies, which are demonstrably better in what country? Venezuela? Cuba? The U.K.?

"and you have the audacity to suggest someone who favors fresh blood and ideas is the one being fooled"

Dude, chill. There was an "if" in that sentence, you know. Clearly, nobody is pulling the wool over your eyes.

"So, look in the mirror Kevin."

Just as I suspected. Mary Poppins: Practically Perfect In Every Way.

"That's why you willingly vote for lugnuts like Palin and defend bridges to nowhere during good times while mocking stimulus in bad times--ideology."

I'm pretty sure that you know I haven't "mocked" stimulus in bad times. I realize that we conservatives all look the same to you, but we're not.

I defend "bridges to nowhere" (which Palin turned against, if you recall) because in that case (as is usually the case), it's not "nowhere", it is somewhere specific (in that case, a frickin' airport, a good hub for shipping commerce), and easing transportation to that location is an economic good, and can provide real stimulus. Then or now.

I believe in infrastructure stimulus, rather than temporary jobs or "service sector" stimulus in the hopes that that will prime the pump. I don't think that's quite as whacky, in practice, as you want to make it sound.


Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 15, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me, but I can't remember the last time the United States raped, pillaged, or otherwise "stole" anything from another country. I think the first thing the U.S. would want to steal would be oil, and it doesn't. It pays for every stinking drop of it from whatever Arab nation or banana republic that wants to sell it. I'm confused as to how the U.S. becomes the bad guy in that scenario.

Posted by: flintston | June 15, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

RE: a carbon tax, and your Newsweek piece about pricing externalities into a gallon of gas.

I feel like people - including you on this one - miss the point. Raising the price of gas (and diesel and jet fuel...) will cause some people to choose non-oil based alternative ways to meet their needs.

Yes, some will try to make jet fuel from algae, and some will continue to pursue cellulosic ethanol, etc. Others will make plug-in hybrids that average 100 mpg. All good.

But at a reasonable carbon price people will get out of cars and jets entirely for some trips IF the infrastructure is there.

Minneapolis to Chicago is a prime example. Right now a lot of people drive. And a lot of other people fly. If HSR were up and running in 5 years, I feel confident that a decent segment of both drivers and fliers would opt for HSR.

Add in a strong price signal from carbon taxes or cap-n-trade, and the slice that takes HSR gets that much bigger.

So it's not just about getting some other energy dense liquid in our tanks and nothing else changes.

I may be a dreamer, but I think rail travel has social benefits that neither car nor plane has. It's scale and pacing allow much more interaction and productivity.

Way easier to work in a coach seat on a train than crammed in a 30 inch by 17 inch space (before the dude in front reclines on you). And try designing a PowerPoint while driving (don't actually).

Posted by: RalfW | June 15, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

How did we all know we were going to hear this soon?
Re:Bilderberg desire for the USA to start a war with Iran on behalf of Israel - I suggest the Bilder Group members go to Iran and fight the war on behalf of Israel themselves!

These Elitists, have been starting wars for mankind for centuries, but they never fight in what they have started! I say it is about time they fight in what they are attempting to start!

If not, maybe the countries that prefer not to start these wars should enforce this stipulation!

I would prefer to fight a war against the Elitists whom I know are the trouble makers rathe than some country that I have nothing against!

Come on Globalists put your fight where your big Balkanization moths are! I'd like to Bulkanize against you the war mongering manipulator - time to smell your own stink!

Posted by: PaulRevere4 | June 15, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Re: Correction because of Typos! 2nd Try!

How did we all know America was going to hear this headline soon? What a Con job a PSYOP player!

Re:Bilderberg desire for the USA to start a war with Iran on behalf of Israel - I suggest the Bilderberg Group members go to Iran and fight the war on behalf of Israel themselves!

These Elitists, have been starting wars for mankind for centuries, but they never fight in what they have started! I say it is about time they fight in what they are attempting to start!

If not, maybe the countries that prefer not to start these wars should enforce this stipulation!

I would prefer to fight a war against the Elitists whom I know are the trouble makers rather, than some country that I have nothing against!

Come on Globalists, put your fight where your big Balkanization mouths are! I'd like to Bulkanize against you the war mongering manipulator - time to smell your own stink!


Posted by: PaulRevere4 | June 15, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The Carbon Tax and Cap and Trade will all but kill the rest of the Economy and manufacturing that is left in the USA!

Barry Soetoro aka; Barak Obama the foreign visitor, President of the USA, who is a citizen of Indonesia, by bringing his Bills into operation will be known as the President who killed America!

He has gone to great lengths to ruin America, there was even some black mail going on in the senate as this news article below reports!

Re:http://www.prisonplanet.com/carbon-tax-bill-may-be-dead-after-shock-graham-reversal-on-climate-change.html

Graham withdrew his support for both the Democrat’s pro-amnesty immigration bill and cap and trade legislation just a week after ALIPAC Chairman Gheen gave a speech in which he demanded that Graham come clean on the fact that he was being blackmailed over his homosexuality.

Graham’s support for legislation that was highly unpopular amongst his own constituents strongly suggested that he was being strong-armed into toeing the line on policies being pushed by the Washington establishment.

Now that Gheen’s allegations are out in the open, Graham may feel that the heat is off and he can abandon his endorsement of unpopular legislation and concentrate on trying to keep his Senate seat.

PS: Help to stop it the best way you can to save the opportunity to one day have a free prosperous America again – not for the few Elitists, but all Americans!

Posted by: PaulRevere4 | June 16, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

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