28 February 2011

USA Today article on Passivhouse

Heat your home by throwing a dinner party?

This concept may sound bizarre, but it's feasible in cutting-edge green homes that are so well-insulated, they don't need a furnace or boiler. They'll stay warm simply with body heat. A hairdryer might also suffice.

For more on this click here.

27 February 2011

2 Down

26 February 2011

DC Passive House

Reposted from Urban Turf

More and more these days, architects and builders across the DC area are focusing their attention on USGBC’s LEED Platinum standards in an effort to distinguish themselves from the rest of the industry who are still building according to code.
One such example of this trend is the DC area’s first Passive House, a five-bedroom, 4.5-bath home being designed in the Glenbrook Village section of Bethesda by Alexandria-based David Peabody Architects.
At first glance, the home appears to be missing the array of solar and thermal panels that have become trademarks of green homes. The house also will not have a furnace. As a home buyer, you might be worried about these items missing from your newly appointed “green” home, however Peabody says that’s all part of the design of a Passive Home.
Passive House design focuses on constructing a super-insulated building structure with a building orientation that offers a good amount of south-facing triple-glazed glass, and an air exchanger that brings in conditioned fresh air to the home. The idea is to build a more energy-efficient home from the outside, and consequently reduce heating and cooling costs drastically, eliminating much of the need for what can be expensive solar and geothermal systems. (For a more detailed explanation of how passive design works, click here.)
Building a home in this region without a furnace firing away every 10 minutes during the winter, though, seems like a bad idea. However on a recent 38-degree day, the work-in-progress registered a pleasant 68 degrees inside thanks to the passive design. (Eventually, a heating/cooling pump will be installed to control cooling and heating the home as well.)
When complete, the 4,500 square-foot home is expected to use 90 percent less energy per square foot than a comparable existing home in the region.
“A house the same size with a 100 HERS** rating would have about $2,900 a year in energy costs,” Peabody explained. “This home will have costs of about $725.”
The home at 4717 North Chelsea Lane (map) will hit the market by mid-spring for $1.689 million. For more info, contact David Peabody Architects.
(***HERS (Home Energy Rating System) is a rating system developed to measure how efficient a home performs. A home that is up to code has a HERS rating of 100.)
Michael Kiefer operates Green DC Realty

25 February 2011

Whose your Daddy?

24 February 2011

23 February 2011

22 February 2011

We did it!

The Center for Energy Efficient Design has officially become the first Certified Passivhaus Public School Project in the United States.

What a long strange trip it's been.

On the positive side, we are only using an average of 19kWh / day!

21 February 2011

No Comment Necessary

20 February 2011

No Comment Necessary

Ronnie at One-Hundred

From Tom Degan

I am proud to say that I am not one of the many who foolishly succumbed to the phenomena I used to refer to as "Ronniemania". I was never naive enough to fall for that cheap "aw shucks" persona that the guy exuded like the smell of horseshit. And for the life of me I've never been able to understand this country's dysfunctional love affair with this corrupt and feeble-minded old fool. At a time in his life when he should have been tucked snugly in an assisted living program somewhere, being spoon-fed oatmeal, Ronald Reagan was living in the Executive Mansion. Having made myself clear on this subject however, I might as well come clean:

I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980.

This is not to imply that thirty years ago (Great googly moogly! Where has the time gone!) I was ideologically in tune with Reagan and that in subsequent years I have seen the light. The sad, pathetic truth of the matter is that on the evening of Tuesday, November 4, 1980 I got so falling-down intoxicated, I voted for the man just as a joke. A failed, "B" movie actor in the White House? That ought to be good for a nice, long chuckle , I thought. When I was twenty-two I took nothing seriously. Three decades later, I'm not laughing.

On that ominous night, I was a cub reporter for a community radio station that has since been Clear Channeled out of existence, W-ALL of Middletown, NY. I had been assigned the task of covering the Republicans. But by the time I arrived at their headquarters at six PM the results were a foregone conclusion and the place was empty. They had all skipped out of town to celebrate "this great victory for the American people" at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. I had no other choice but to walk across the street with my recording gear in hand to the restaurant where the Democrats were holding what can only be described as the political equivalent of an Irish wake. I was more than happy to participate in their joyful, drunken mourning. At exactly 8:45 PM, with fifteen minutes left before the polls closed, I staggered one/tenth of a mile to the Town Hall and voted. It was in that condition that I cast my precious ballot for the likes of Ronald Reagan. Four years later I was alert enough to vote for Walter Mondale. I've been stone-cold sober every Election Day since.

Mothers Against Drunk Voters. Does such an organization even exist? It should, you know. It really should.

The economic catastrophe that we are now faced with may be laid directly at Reagan's grave. Thirty years of Reaganomics - which in some ways were aided and abetted by Bill Clinton - have resulted in the decimation of a country that used to be a nice place in which to live. And here's the dirty little secret that, as far as I can tell, no one is talking about: The type of vigorous reinvestment in this country's infrastructure that is now so desperately needed - the kind initiated by Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in the nineteen-thirties - is now practically impossible because of the debt we owe - much of it to Communist China. Here's another nasty little fact that everyone is ignoring: That debt is more than likely insurmountable. Isn't that a hoot?

He told us that government wasn't the answer to our problems - it was the problem. He told us that instead of improving the government we should shrink it down to the size where, in the words of Grover Norquist, "it could be strangled in the bathtub". He told us that the tax cuts he planned for a class of people who already had more money than they knew what to do with would "trickle down" to the rest of us. His rival for the 1980 Republican nomination, George H-Dubya Bush, called it "voodoo economics". It was one of the few accurate things ever uttered by the senior Bush. I'm impressed.

Tax cuts for the rich and inflated spending on the military industrial complex. Reagan promised his clueless countrymen and women that he would do both while simultaneously balancing the budget. It never happened - or at least the balanced budget part never did. Today your country is in economic ruins. You can thank der gipper. The damage that this dirty old dingbat did to this once-great nation is so immense it will never be accurately assessed - it is incalculable.

And see the debt how big it's grown
But friends it hasn't been too long it wasn't big
In early nineteen eighty-one
The debt that's now a redwood tree was just a twig
And Nixon I miss you
And I'm feeling blue
I've lost all of my senses
I'm nostalgic for you....

-To be sung to the tune of Bobby Goldsboro's maudlin classic, "Honey"

And in spite of all this, most of the American people, including some of us smart enough to know better (ATTENTION: CHRIS MATTHEWS) are still blind to his damaged legacy. A few months ago on the Morning Joe program I was shocked as I watched the distinguished historian Douglas Brinkley refer to Reagan as one of our "great" presidents - right up there with Lincoln and the two Roosevelts. If someone as smart as Brinkley doesn't get it, it's unlikely that most of the rest of us will be "getting it" any time soon.

There is at least one segment of our society where Ronald Reagan's poll numbers are in the single digits - among black people of course. How can that possibly be? That was a rhetorical question in case you were wondering.

Ronald Reagan was the most vehemently racist president since Woodrow Wilson. This is not merely my opinion, this is a fact that cannot be contested. It can be proven by a cursory examination of a quarter century of the man's misdeeds.

When Reagan was first vomited onto America's political stage in 1964, it was as a spokesman for Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign of that year. His two main talking points (aside from Medicaid and Medicare - or as he called them "socialized medicine") were Lyndon Johnson's proposed voting and civil rights acts. Reagan's subliminal message to the American people in 1964 was that he was against equal rights for all Americans.

Fast forward to the day in 1980 when he announced his candidacy for the presidency. Of all the thousands of places in the nation where he could have made that announcement, he chose Philadelphia - and I am not referring to the city of brotherly love where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 - I am referring to a tiny stain on the map called Philadelphia, Mississippi; the town whose ONLY claim to fame was the brutal murder of three civil rights workers sixteen years earlier. Reagan couldn't overtly wage an "anti-nigger" campaign. He had to be a lot more subtle than that. If there was one thing that Ronnie and his henchmen were good at, it was subtlety. Without actually coming out and saying it, Reagan let the bigots know that Jim Crow would be given the red carpet treatment in his White House. It was an extension of Nixon's 1968 Southern Strategy - and it worked like a rancid breeze.

At this moment in history our previous president's popularity is as low as any ex-president since Herbert Hoover left office in 1933. This is as it should be. But why all the teary-eyed nostalgia for Reagan? People need to understand that everything George W. Bush did to us, Ronald Reagan tried to do to us - and would have done to us had his party controlled both house of congress. Fortunately that never happened. Four eight long years people like Tip O'Neil and Ted Kennedy were able to keep much of Reagan's domestic craziness in check. I really miss those two.

As I said on this site a couple of years ago, what needs to be remembered is that Ronald Reagan was essentially a mash, with a twinkle in its eye and a fine Irish smile. Remove that mask and what is revealed is the twisted, hideous smirk of George W. Bush. That is the real face of the so-called "Reagan Revolution".

On February 6, 1911, one-hundred years ago today, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois. Unlike most of the country however, I won't be spending this day looking back on his presidency with any teary-eyed nostalgia. I'm not celebrating the life of Ronald Reagan. I hold the hideous old bastard in complete and utter contempt.

Tom Degan


The Acting President
by Bob Schieffer


This link was sent to me by a reader named Henry (Thank you, Henry!) It is a very good assessment of Reagan's awful legacy. It was published by a website that takes the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth very seriously. Here's a link:


And still we canonize him. Incredible.

19 February 2011

Taxes At Lowest Since 1950

Reposted from Jobsanger

A lot of right-wingers are whining about taxes and how high they are. They make it sound like President Obama has crushed Americans with a huge tax burden after years of low taxes under President Bush. Of course, that completely ridiculous. The truth is that taxes are lower under President Obama than they were under President Bush (or any other president since World War II).

According to the Congressional Budget Office (which is nonpartisan), the amount of taxes collected is also very low. Taxes this year will be 13% lower than in the last year of Bush's presidency, and actually lower as a share of the economy than any time since 1950 (14% of GDP as compared to 17.5% of GDP under Bush). So why do people feel like their tax burden is so high? Part of it is because more taxes (of all kinds) have been dumped on the middle and working classes, while the rich and the corporations pay less than ever (sometimes even nothing, while making record profits).

One of the best explanations I've read on why the tax burden seems larger even though the total taxes are lower is offered by Badtux, the Snarky Penguin. Here is his excellent explanation:

Taxes for 2010 are the lowest they've been, as a percentage of national income, since 1950. This is true whether you're looking at just federal taxes, or you're looking at combined local, state, and federal taxes.

So why, then, do many people seem to believe that they're overtaxed? My thought: It's because taxes today are fundamentally different from taxes in 1950. In 1950, taxes on ordinary working class and middle class individuals were fairly low -- sales taxes were around 1% in those few states that had sales taxes (vs. average of around 8.5% today), payroll taxes were 1.5% (vs. 7.65% today), and residential property taxes (vs. commercial property) accounted for around 1/3rd of all property tax receipts here in California vs. 2/3rds today. Corporate income taxes accounted for around 30% of income taxes collected in 1950, whereas they account for only around 7% of income tax collections today.
In short: People believe they're overtaxed because they are overtaxed -- but not because overall taxes have risen, but, rather, because taxes have been shifted from the rich and corporations to ordinary people.

It's all a part of the failed Republican trickle-down economics. They started in the 1980's letting the rich off the hook while shifting the tax burden to ordinary Americans, and it has been disastrous to the economy. Sadly, the people don't seem to realize the fraud being perpetrated on them by the Republicans on behalf of the corporations. And this economy won't get better until they get wise and demand new policies -- policies that make the rich pay their fair share of taxes and stop hogging the wealth of the country.

The Republicans tried these same policies in the 1920s and it led to the Great Depression. They are now in the process of turning this recession into another depression. When is America going to wake up and realize that unrestrained capitalism didn't work in the past and won't work now?

18 February 2011

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which consists of thousands of climatologist, has given predictions of extreme weather events due to gl

Phenomenon and direction of trend

Likelihood of future trends based on projections for 21st century using SRES scenarios

Over most land areas, warmer and fewer cold days and nights, warmer and more frequent hot days and night

Virtually certain

Warm spells/heat waves. Frequency increases over most land areas

Very likely

Heavy precipitation events. Frequency increases over most areas

Very likely

Area affected by drought increases


Intense tropical cyclone activity increases


Increased incidence of extreme high sea level (excludes tsunamis)


17 February 2011

You need to see this

I have been saying for 6 months that there is rampant inflation in the US and that the bull filled crap the government feeds us is nothing more than a way to keep the COLA adjustments down, The chart above shows the rise in commodity prices over the past year. It is really bad dudes~!

15 February 2011

Some Stuff you should know.

#1 Today, millions of American families are digging deep into their savings and investments in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. Over the past two years, U.S. consumers have withdrawn $311 billion more from savings and investment accounts than they have put into them.

#2 15 billion dollars: the total amount of compensation that Goldman Sachs paid out to its employees for 2010.

#3 The number of American families that were booted out of their homes and into the streets set a new all-time record in 2010.

#4 Dozens of packages that we buy in the supermarket have been reduced in size by up to 20%. For example, there are now 2 less slices of cheese in a typical package of Kraft American cheese, and there is now 9 percent less toilet paper in a typical package of Scott toilet paper. So now, you may think that you are paying the same amount for these items that you always have, but the truth is that you have been hit with a large price increase.

#5 One Canadian company is making a ton of money shipping “millions and millions of dollars” worth of manufacturing equipment from factories that are being shut down in the United States over to new factories that are being set up in China.

#6 In America today, the wealthiest 20% own a whopping 93% of all the “financial assets” in the United States.

#7 Only 35 percent of Americans now have enough “emergency savings” to be able to cover three months of living expenses.

#8 47 percent of all Americans now believe that China is the number one economic power in the world.

#9 If the U.S. banking system is healthy, then why does the number of “problem banks” continue to keep increasing? This past week the number of U.S. banks on the unofficial list of problem banks reached 937.

#10 According to former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, the wealthiest 0.1% of all Americans make as much money as the poorest 120 million.

#11 U.S. housing prices have now fallen further during this economic downturn than they did during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

#12 According to some very disturbing new research, 45 percent of U.S. college students exhibit “no significant gains in learning” after two years in college.

#13 Americans now owe more than $884 billion on student loans, which is a new all-time record.

#14 The United Nations says that the global price of food hit an all-time record high in December, and the price of oil is surging towards $100 a barrel, but the U.S. government continues to insist that we barely have any inflation at all.

#15 The more Americans that are on food stamps the more profits that JP Morgan makes. Today, an all-time record of 43.2 million Americans are on food stamps, and JP Morgan is making a lot of money processing millions of those benefit payments.

#16 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#17 Dozens of U.S. states are either implementing tax increases in 2011 or are considering proposals to raise taxes.

#18 The United States has had a negative trade deficit every single year since 1976.

#19 The U.S. national debt has crossed the $14 trillion mark for the first time, and at some point during 2011 it will cross the $15 trillion mark.

Why Wind Is the New Coal

by Gina Marie Cheeseman

The cost of onshore wind power dramatically decreased, and in some regions is competitive with coal, according to a survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The survey is based on wind turbine contracts provided by 28 consumers in 28 global markets, which represent almost 7,000 megawatts (MW) of turbines. The contracts signed late last year for turbines delivered in the first half of this year decreased seven percent from 2009 to an average of $1.33 million a MW, a 19 percent decrease since 2007.

In some areas of the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and Sweden, the cost of wind power ($68 per megawatt hour) generated electricity is competitive with coal-fired power (($67 a megawatt hour, according to the BNEF survey.

"The latest edition of our Wind Turbine Price Index shows wind continuing to become a competitive source of large-scale power," Michael Liebreich, Bloomberg New Energy Finance's chief executive, said in a statement.

Turbine costs up, wind costs down

"For the past few years, wind turbine costs went up due to rising demand around the world and the increasing price of steel," he added. "Behind the scenes, wind manufacturers were reducing their costs, and now we are seeing just how cheap wind energy can be when overcapacity in the supply chain works its way through to developers."

There’s more good news about wind power. It is now cost-competitive with natural gas for new electric generation, according to a recent statement by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

"Wind power is a great deal right now in many areas of the country," said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

“If you’re going to build a new wind farm, it is going to be competitive with any other new form of generation,” says Elizabeth Salerno, AWEA’s director of industry data and analysis.

Once again, US is behind

When it comes to offshore wind power, the bad news is that the U.S. lags behind Europe, Japan and China. However, the National Offshore Wind Strategy Plan, a Joint DOE and Interior Department research program, may help to change that fact. The research program is now $50.5 million. The grant money will go to wind turbine hardware and software technology development ($25 million), next-generation drive-trains ($7.5 million), and research into removing market barriers for offshore wind (up to $18 million over 3 years).

14 February 2011

Breakthrough promises $1.50 per gallon synthetic gasoline with no carbon emissions

UK-based Cella Energy has developed a synthetic fuel that could lead to US$1.50 per gallon gasoline. Apart from promising a future transportation fuel with a stable price regardless of oil prices, the fuel is hydrogen based and produces no carbon emissions when burned. The technology is based on complex hydrides, and has been developed over a four year top secret program at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. Early indications are that the fuel can be used in existing internal combustion engined vehicles without engine modification.

According to Stephen Voller CEO at Cella Energy, the technology was developed using advanced materials science, taking high energy materials and encapsulating them using a nanostructuring technique called coaxial electrospraying.

“We have developed new micro-beads that can be used in an existing gasoline or petrol vehicle to replace oil-based fuels,” said Voller. “Early indications are that the micro-beads can be used in existing vehicles without engine modification.”

“The materials are hydrogen-based, and so when used produce no carbon emissions at the point of use, in a similar way to electric vehicles”, said Voller.

The technology has been developed over a four-year top secret programme at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, UK.

The development team is led by Professor Stephen Bennington in collaboration with scientists from University College London and Oxford University.

Professor Bennington, Chief Scientific Officer at Cella Energy said, “our technology is based on materials called complex hydrides that contain hydrogen. When encapsulated using our unique patented process, they are safer to handle than regular gasoline.”

12 February 2011

Yeah Sista!

11 February 2011

Peak Oil is Here

10 February 2011

No Comment Necessary

09 February 2011

The "Gilded Age On Steroids"

I have always had an immense amount of respect for ex-Senator Russ Feingold. He was one of the few politicians who understood that most of the members of Congress (in both parties) have been bought and paid for by corporate interests, and no longer worked for the good of citizens but for the interests of giant corporations. Fortunately, he is still speaking out for the common man. Here is what he told John Nichols of The Nation recently:

"I don’t know how it could be more stark or clear: this entire society is being dominated by corporate power in a way that may exceed what happened in the late nineteenth century, early twentieth century. The incredible power these institutions now have over the average person is just overwhelming: the way they can make these trade deals to ship people’s jobs overseas, the way consumers are just brutalized and consumer protection laws are marginalized, the way this town here—Washington—has become a corporate playground. Since I’ve been here, this place has gone from a government town to a giant corporate headquarters. To me, the whole face of the country—whether it be the government, the media, agriculture, what happens on Main Street—has become so corporatized that the progressive movement is as relevant as it was one hundred years ago, maybe more so. It’s the same issues. It’s just that [corporate] power, because of money, international arrangements and communications, is so overwhelming that the average person is nearly helpless unless we develop a movement that can counter that power. I know we’ve all tried over the years, but this is a critical moment. We need to regenerate progressivism and make it relevant to what’s happening right now. But there’s no lack of historical comparison to a hundred years ago. It’s so similar; the only real difference is that corporate power is even more extended. It’s the Gilded Age on steroids."

08 February 2011

07 February 2011

06 February 2011

CBO Paints Black Picture If Republican Policies Are Continued

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is the nonpartisan organization that both parties use to see the effect of what their bills and economic policies would do to the American economy. While politicians might throw out unsubstantiated numbers glorifying their own bills, the CBO is tasked to look beneath and behind the rhetoric to determine the actual effects of those bills.

Posted by Ted McLaughlin
Reposted from Jobsanger

Lately, the Republicans have been ignoring many of the CBO projections, and after hearing the latest CBO projections, it is easy to see why. The Republican "trickle down" giveaways to the rich is responsible for much of our ballooning national debt and the continuing national deficit -- a deficit and debt that might be understandable if it was creating jobs, but it is not.

For 2011, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf (pictured) says that the deficit will be about $1.5 trillion (nearly one-third of which will be due to the massive Republican tax breaks for the richest 2% of Americans -- projected to be over $400 billion a year). So while complaining about the deficit, the Republicans actually increased it by nearly 50%. They promised in the last campaign to cut $100 billion, but now are only talking about cutting a little over $50 billion for 2011 (a drop in the bucket compared to the huge increase they created).

In spite of this, the CBO says that if current laws and policies are followed the deficit will fall in the next few years. While the deficit for 2011 will be about 9.8% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), they expect the deficit to fall to $1.1 trillion in 2012 (7.0% of GDP), about $704 billion in 2013 (about 4.3% of GDP) and $533 billion in 2014 (about 3.1% of GDP). They then expect the deficit for 2015 through 2021 to range between 2.9% and 3.4% of GDP.

However, these figures will be true only if current law is allowed to continue. If, for example, the cuts in Medicare Advantage mandated in the health care law were not to take place (like the Republicans want), and the tax cuts currently in place were not allowed to expire at the end of 2012 as scheduled (and the Republicans are sure to want to extend them), then the baseline projection for 2015 through 2021 would at least double, and the total debt held by the public would reach 97% of GDP (the most since 1945).

From these numbers it's easy to see that a continuation of Republican policies of repealing health care and continuing to cut taxes for the rich would be a disaster for the national deficit, and even worse for the national debt. Republicans like to claim they are the party of fiscal responsibility, but a review of their recent actions and a look back at Republican administrations shows something different. The truth is that the Republican "trickle down" policies have consistently added to both the deficit and the debt -- not decrease them.

The CBO does warn that if current law was continued, although deficits would come down in the next few years, the national debt would continue to grow. Either further cuts in government spending would be needed (including no more Republican giveaways to the rich) or an increase in taxes would be needed, or both. There is no way to bring down the national debt without doing this. The obvious solution would be to cut the military some (the most bloated area of the American budget) and raise taxes on the richest Americans (beyond letting the current cuts expire). But Republican policy would not allow either of these things to happen.

The CBO also paints a rather dark picture for employment. They say that if the economy produces 2.5 million jobs each year between now and 2016, the unemployment rate will finally fall below 6% in 2016. Even this dismal projection seems to me to be overly optimistic. Remember, only 1.1 million jobs were created in 2010 -- a figure that barely kept up with the number of new people entering the work force.

Unless the increasing amount of job outsourcing is stopped (something the Republicans oppose and recently blocked in Congress), it is unlikely that the 2.5 million jobs a year figure can be reached. While they may be created (since the corporations and the rich are doing very well), the sad fact is that far too many of them will be shipped abroad (where good-paying jobs can be turned into poverty-wage jobs).

After viewing this latest CBO projection, it becomes even clearer that the Republican policies of giveaways to the rich and outsourcing of jobs are the biggest impediments to bringing this country out of the recession. Ordinary Americans are still hurting and still feeling the full effects of the recession, but the Republicans are only interested in helping the rich -- the only people doing well right now.

05 February 2011

The Republican Clown Show

From Jobsanger

The number of hopefuls for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 was already a large and pretty crazy field. It included such people as Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mitch Daniels, Rick Santorum, Haley Barbour, Tim Pawlenty, John Thune, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Judd Gregg, and Gary Johnson.

Then it turned into a real clown show in the last few days. Jim DeMint is now saying he would consider running, Michele Bachmann is making noises like she could be a candidate (and putting out feelers), and Donald Trump is tossing his hat in the ring. There is some serious crazy in the race now -- but evidently not crazy enough.

Yesterday we found out that Nevada's teabagger extraordinaire Sharron Angle may be considering a run. She showed up in Iowa for the preview of a fundamentalist christian movie, and would not say no when reporters asked her if she was running for the presidential nomination. She just said, "I'll just say I have lots of options for the future, and I'm investigating all my options." Then she told the Iowans present, "Please, just invite me back."

This is starting to get weird now (and very interesting). Who needs a circus with the show all these clowns will be putting on?

04 February 2011

No Comment Necessary

03 February 2011

Teabagger Congressmen Break Their Promise

Reposted from Jobsanger

It certainly didn't take the members of the congressional teabagger caucus to break their campaign promises. They campaigned on controlling the deficit by eliminating congressional pork, especially the practice of earmarks (where congresspersons insert millions of dollars of spending for their own districts into congressional bills). They, along with many other Republicans, pledged to end the practice of earmarking.

Of course only the most naive Americans actually thought they would carry through with their campaign promises. If nothing else, teabaggers are among the biggest political hypocrites. We are only a couple of weeks into the new Congress, and already many in the teabagger congressional caucus have asked for a ton of earmarks.

According to CBS News, members of the caucus have requested at least 764 earmarks for a total of $1,049,783,150. About 29 caucus members have asked for over $10 million each, and at least seven have asked for earmarks of more than $50 million.

The worst offender was Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Montana), who requested 88 earmarks totaling $100,514,200. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama) requested 69 earmarks of $78,263,000, and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas) requested 39 earmarks for $63,400,000.

It just goes to show that congressional Republicans, even teabaggers, are enormous liars. Is anyone really surprised by this?

02 February 2011

Fixed Noise - New results

Reposted from Jobsanger

by Ted McLaughlin

Public Policy Polling has just released its second annual review of how much the public trusts various news outlets. Last year Fox was trusted by nearly half of the viewing public with 49% of the public trusting them and only 37% mistrusting them -- giving them a +12 rating. But things were very different this year.

This year shows Fox News is trusted by only 42% (a drop of 7 points) and is now mistrusted by 46% (up by 9 points) -- giving it a change of -16 points (the biggest change of any network). And not surprisingly, the only group that gives Fox a high trust factor is old white conservative Republicans. This is because they obviously slant their programs to preach the Republican Party line.

Here is how Fox News fares when the figures are broken down by demographic groups (and the numbers show the people who trust and distrust Fox News):

Not sure..........12%

Not sure..........11%

Not sure..........12%

Not sure..........15%

Not sure..........9%

Not sure..........11%

Not sure..........13%

Not sure..........11%

Not sure..........13%

Not sure..........9%

Not sure..........12%

Not sure..........9%

Not sure..........11%

Not sure..........12%

Not sure..........14%

01 February 2011

No Comment Necessary

Reposted from Jobsanger

by Ted McLaughlin

Before the recession hit this country women were making some gains toward gender equality. They weren't there yet, but it was getting better (in spite of the fact that many in America still want women to be second-class citizens). Women still on average only earn about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, and there are still jobs that discriminate against women (especially in hiring and promotions).

Because women generally make less than men and many are stuck in low-paying dead-end jobs, there has been an impression that this current recession has not hit women as hard as it has men. That's just not true now (if it ever was). Consider the following statistics:

* Although women lost one in three jobs that disappeared in the recession between 2007 and 2009, they have gotten only one in ten job openings that were filled in the last year (2010).

* Although women make up slightly more than half of government workers, they made up 86% of those laid-off from government jobs in the recession (and more government lay-offs are expected this year).

* During 2010, the unemployment rate for women over 20 rose from 7.8% to 8.1% (while the unemployment rate for men fell 0.6% during the same period).

* On average, it takes women over 16 about 24.3 weeks to find a new job (compared to 20.7 weeks for men).

* For older women, the job search time extends to 39.1 weeks on average (compared to 29.6 weeks for older men).

The truth is that this recession has been an equal opportunity destroyer of jobs -- hurting both women and men. But it takes women longer to find work when they lose a job and that replacement job will pay less. And the recession is not over (except for the rich Wall Street bankers -- most of whom are men). The unemployment situation is not going to get better in 2011. The country will be lucky if it just keeps up with the new people entering the work force -- thereby keeping the unemployment rate about where it is now.

And like men, there are many women who have given up finding work or are working part-time because they can't find full-time work. That means the unemployment rate is really much higher than the official government figure of 8.1%.

The recession may have started by men losing construction jobs and the like, but as it continues it is affecting women more and more (and this is affecting children more, since women are much more likely to be single-parents).

Sadly, the Republicans have taken over the House and want to continue their policy of favoring the rich -- they don't seem to care about real job creation and are blocking new job stimulus bills.