liberal N proud's Journal
Well, you can stop imagining it now. High-speed rail isn’t happening in America. Not anytime soon. Probably not ever. The questions now are (1) what killed it, and (2) should we mourn its passing?
There was a brief burst of enthusiasm around the future of high-speed rail in January 2010, when President Obama announced $8 billion in federal stimulus spending to start building “America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service.” Since then, however, the project’s chances of success have been heading in one direction: downhill. First, Tea Party conservatives in Florida and wealthy liberal suburbanites in the Bay Area began questioning their states’ plans. Then, just as Joe Biden was calling for $53 billion in high-speed-rail spending over the next six years, a crop of freshly elected Republican governors turned down billions in federal money for lines in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida. Finally, Republicans in Congress zeroed out the federal high-speed rail budget last month. (To understand why conservatives hate trains, see my colleague Dave Weigel’s story from earlier this year.)
Though Republicans’ outright rejection of high-speed rail is short-sighted, so were many of the plans themselves. Rather than focus on the few corridors that need high-speed rail lines the most, the Obama administration doled out half a billion here and half a billion there, a strategy better-suited to currying political support than to addressing real infrastructure problems. Spread across 10 corridors, each between 100 and 600 miles long, Obama’s rail system would have been, at best, a disjointed patchwork. The nation’s most gridlocked corridor, along the East Coast between Washington, D.C. and Boston, was left out of the plans entirely. Worse, much of the money was allocated to projects that weren’t high-speed rail at all.
The Europeans define high-speed trains as those that travel at speeds of 155 miles per hour or more (or 125 mph for tracks that are upgraded, rather than newly built). Wisconsin’s proposed $823 million Milwaukee-to-Madison line was to reach 110 mph, at most, in between stops in cities such as Brookfield and Oconomowoc. Ohio’s version was even slower, with trains on an upgraded freight-rail track topping out at 79 mph. With stops, the trip from Cincinnati to Cleveland would have been significantly slower by rail than by car. Who would ride such a thing? Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat, bemoaned the jobs that would be lost when his Republican successor killed the project. But at a cost of $400 million, this was job creation of the sort that John Maynard Keynes himself would have eyed skeptically. Florida’s $2.4 billion Tampa-to-Orlando line made more sense, but it was no surprise that Republican Gov. Rick Scott nixed it in February. By that time, high-speed rail had already become a punch line among fiscal conservatives.
and the reasons go on and on at the link: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/t...
Also linked: Why do conservatives hate trains so much? - http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_pol...
"Conservatives used to be in favor of a civilized way of doing things," William Lind, the director of the American Conservative Center for Public Transportation
CEO's who became JOB KILLERS
Like the 10 most wanted list and their rap sheets...
Al Dunlap, Scott Paper
"said in a 2006 interview with PBS. "I got rid of 35% of the people"
Jack Welch, General Electric
Welch's management was largely defined by his annual purging of what he saw as the bottom 10%.
(I work for one of his former Apprentices, every year 10%)
Frederick Henderson, General Motors
Between November 2008 and April 1, 2010, GM laid off more than 75,000 workers. When the impact on dealerships is taken into account, more than 100,000 people lost their jobs during this period.
Vikram Pandit, Citigroup
reduced the workforce by 75,000 through layoffs and buyouts.
Louis Gerstner, IBM
more than 60,000 employees were eliminated in 1993, the year he took over
Kenneth Lewis, Bank of America
During the financial crisis, Lewis slashed the company's workforce by nearly 10%, or 35,000 people
Mark Hurd, Hewlett-Packard
More than 24,000 Hewlett-Packard employees were fired on Sept. 15, 2008, a day that lives in infamy because of the Lehman Brothers collapse.
James Owens, Caterpillar
27,500 layoffs between 2008 and 2010
Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon Communications
reduced its payroll by more than 21,000 workers between 2008 and 2010.
Jeffrey Kindler, Pfizer
Nearly 20,000 Pfizer workers lost their jobs during Kindler's brief reign. He resigned in 2010
Full story and details at link: http://money.msn.com/investing/ceos-who-be... >1=33002
This is the letter the President will be sending us all on August 3rd.
I am sure you have heard by now that the United States will be closing its doors after more than 200 years of igniting the love of country and generations of citizens. I am sorry to have to share this news with you as I feel you have been here right along with us as we fought valiantly to save the country. I want to personally thank you for your loyalty, whether you were born here or an immigrant to this once great nation or simply one of our visitors.
You might be asking yourself, what happened? How could it be there won’t be a United States moving forward? In a nutshell, following continued negotiations and the best efforts from one party, no acceptable proposal could be reached to keep the country going. Therefore, under the terms of our debtor-in-possession financing agreement, we presented a plan to administer the liquidation process.
We had worked very hard toward a different outcome (some of us anyway). The fact is that the US has been facing headwinds for quite some time, including a rapidly changing world. The rise of democracy in other parts of the world has prevented us from overcoming these external forces.
The Going out of business sale begins Monday, August 22, 2011. I encourage you to take advantage of this one-time opportunity to find exceptional discounts on your favorite National Park, Federal Land, military base, Highway or Federal Office building in addition to the countless war ships, airplanes and other military equipment. Savings Bonds and Federal Securities will be honored during this sale in if used before August 32, 2011.
For two centuries, the United States has been destinations for countless people immigrating for one reason or another, seeking liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is with great regret that we as a nation and leaders have let those people and their descendants down. We cannot thank those millions of immigrants enough for their hunger and perseverance over the years. My sincerest hope is that we remain in the hearts of the world for the millennium.
This is where, I would insert God Bless America, but with America gone, I don’t know what to close with here.
Posted by liberal N proud in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Jan 02nd 2010, 09:44 PM
Let's drink to '09 with a good belt of wine
(though whiskey may well be more fitting!)
The recession was hairy, the swine flu scary,
and Oprah announced she was quitting
While we loved Lady Gaga, the Octomom saga
struck many as shameless and wrong.
We witness the rift between Kanye and Switft, and Phelps was caught smoking a bong!
When a pilot's quick brian
saved his passenger plan on the Hudson,
The tale was a thriller.
The Balloon Boy was phony as rubber baloney.
The abs on the werewolves were killer!
A governor's flame was an Argentine dame,
bringing scandal to South Carolina.
There were pirate attacks and there was
Goldman Sachs, There was poisonous drywall
The Prez was sworn in and he flashed us a grin
while exuding his usual charms.
Though some thought it was shady,
the stylish First Lady asserted
her right to bare arms.
While Michelle was in Vogue,
Sarah Palin went Rogue, and
political tensions were showing.
With the gathering storm over
health care reform,
the Tea Party movement was growing.
The Hollywood crew gave us "Transformers 2,"
while "UP" was a true work of art.
There was Bruno (a jerk!)
plus a young Captain Kirk and
and overweight mall cop named Blart.
Those admen on "Mad Men" were
sexy-yet-sad men with
lives full of pressure and toil.
Adam Lambert came out,
leaving no shred of doubt,
and who didn't love Susan Boyle?
O'Brein shone bright
as the star of "Tonight"
Stephanopoulos stepped in for Sawyer.
And of course a divorce
was so quickly in force as
we watched "Jon and Kate Plus Her Lawyer!"
When a huge SUV hit
a hydrant and a tree
and the juiciest rumors proved true,
The endorsements went wining,
for that kind of swinging
just wasn't the Tiger we knew!
And Pop lost its King!
What a terrible thing
for an artist with hit after hit!
There were songs and orations
with loud lemantions,
for everyone knew This was It.
There were others as well who
went out, sad to tell.
We saw Cronkite and Kennedy fall.
Bea Arthur is gone,
Ed McMahon has passed on,
and Mary left Peter and Paul.
With the passing of Farrah
we ended and era
and Soupy and Swayze went too.
DeLuise said goodbye as
did Oxy-Clean Guy and
the soft-spoken star of "Kung Fu."
Yet some news was brighter
and made us feel lighter
in spite of our sorrows and peeves.
There was Google Wave chat and
a keyboarding cat.
There were trendy new blankets with sleeves!
Though we still can't erase
all the troubles we face
from the climate to high unemployment,
Let's be of good cheer
and they won't interfere with our
holiday fun and enjoyment.
We'll turn from the news to
whatever we choose,
be it Lifetime or ESPN.
And after a break
we'll be ready to take
the big plunge into Two Thousand and Ten!
Wishing YOU all the best of everything good in the New Year.
(Unfortunately, the source is unknown, so proper credit cannot be given)
Posted by liberal N proud in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Sep 04th 2008, 10:17 AM
The College Years
Remembering the values of empathy and service that his mother taught him, Barack put law school and corporate life on hold after college and moved to Chicago in 1985, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment.
The group had some success, but Barack had come to realize that in order to truly improve the lives of people in that community and other communities, it would take not just a change at the local level, but a change in our laws and in our politics.
He went on to earn his law degree from Harvard in 1991, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Soon after, he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law. Finally, his advocacy work led him to run for the Illinois State Senate, where he served for eight years. In 2004, he became the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
Obama taught Constitutional law!
After graduating from the University of Delaware in 1965 and from law school at Syracuse University in 1968, Biden moved back to the Wilmington area and set up his own law firm. He practiced law until 1972.
In 1970, Biden – at age 27 – ran for New Castle County Council and won in a Republican district. At age 29, he launched an improbable bid to unseat two-term Republican U.S. Sen. J. Caleb Boggs. With very little help from the state establishment, and with his sister as his campaign manager, Biden defeated Boggs by 3,162 votes.
Biden has served in Congress since 1970, Hands on experience, knowledge
I never really set out to be involved in public affairs, much less to run for this office. My mom and dad both worked at the local elementary school. And my husband and I, we both grew up working with our hands.
She didn't want to get involved in public affairs? This was all I could find on the site that mentions her education.
Posted by liberal N proud in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Aug 03rd 2007, 11:03 PM
America, once the land of the free and home of the brave. Once the land of prosperity and the host to democracy.
For two hundred and twenty five years she stood as a symbol of life, liberty an the pursuit of happiness. The once mighty and powerful nation seen as the great saviour to a nation of people and to the world stopping the spread of hate and fascism only to succumb to a fascist regime from within it's own borders.
I sit here and try to look forward, wondering, what is the fascist state of America going to be like. Will I ever see the mid-west again? The land where I grew up and lived half of my life. Where all of my family still lives? Will they allow us to move about the country? Will we be able to afford to move about the country if allowed? Will living in the US be similar to the communist years of Russia?
How many of us will be herded off to camps never to see our loved ones again? Them not knowing what has happened to us.
This is the day that I have feared since December 2000 when the United States Supreme Court sealed our fate as they awarded the office of the President to the criminal regime of George W. Bush. Since that time they have systematically dismantled every thing the United States stood for. Liberty is but a mere memory long been abused and stolen by the actions of the regime. From 9/11 to the latest defeat of democracy in the Congress, every action by the bush regime has had one goal in mind, total domination, a singular power over the nation.
Oh we all thought that maybe we would make it through this regime, the Democratic Congress would stand in bush's way as he attempted to seize more power, but time after time since November 2006, we have seen them step back and give the regime everything they have demanded further eroding the ground the Constitution was founded on.
Who knows how much longer before they come to silence all of us but it will happen in the course of this nations transition from a democracy to fascism. It has to because dissent is not allowed in totalitarian regimes. We must all be good little comrades and follow the orders of the leaders.
As we will not have the opportunity to say goodbye when they come for us, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for the times we have shared. I hope we can hold this thing together and come out on the other-side sooner than later. And for those who don't make it we never forget.
RIP: The United States Constitution 1776 - 2007.
Posted by liberal N proud in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Jun 07th 2007, 10:20 PM
Yes here is all the BS you can take on high gas prices:
10 things you should know about gas prices
If you believe the experts, the oil companies aren't lying to you; it really is supply and demand. And no, it isn't price gouging by any legal definition; it's just the normal profit taking.
1. Are gas prices truly high, and will they stay that way?
"We would expect prices to be somewhere between $2.50 and $3.25 for the next several months," said Doug MacIntyre, a senior oil market analyst with the EIA. "Right now it's not in our forecast to see a return close to $2 a gallon anytime soon."
2. Is there something consumers can do now to immediately drive prices down?
On this one the experts generally agree: No.
One-day or one-month boycotts don't reduce the overall demand for gas and so don't affect price. (Economist Steven D. Levitt, author of "Freakonomics," called the recurring one-day boycott idea "a new low in economic thinking.")
3. If there's a gas "shortage," why can I buy all I want?
"There's an imbalance, and the imbalance is being taken care of through high prices," said Lou Pugliaresi, president of the Energy Policy Research Foundation, an independent research board funded in part by the oil industry. "The market will equilibrate."
That means poor people cut back and rich people pay more. The upside is that if the market is working properly, high prices should entice operators to boost supplies, causing prices to drop back down.
5. Do oil companies make greater profits during high-priced "shortages"? If so, what would motivate them to satisfy demand?
"Does it translate to profit? At this moment, yes," said Doug Reynolds, associate professor of oil and energy economics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. "But, as with any company, it never lasts long. It always entices new competitors."
Other headings with more bs:
6. Are oil companies price gouging?
7. Why does gasoline cost more in some areas than in others?
8. Why do gas stations raise their prices when they still have the lower-priced gasoline in their tanks?
9. Gas is $3.50 a gallon in many places. Surely we're cutting back by now.
10. Can the government really do anything about gas prices?
So the gas prices are going to stay high through the summer, surprise, surprise. We can't do a f$#king thing about it. It's not a shortage, it is an imbalance. Is that another way of calling it a fake shortage?
Oil companies are contemplating building new refineries but the profits from the imbalance are just too sweet. But because it is an imbalance and they haven't built new refineries, their record profits are not considered price gouging.
They blame the taxes as the reason it cost more to buy gas right in your neighborhood when it is a nickle cheaper down the street 3 blocks.
Here is a good one, gas stations make less profit when they raise the price on gas that is already in their tanks.
It's all americans fault because they can't cut back on driving. Finally a little bit of sense.
And the no. 10 reason why gas prices are so high: The government could regulate the industry but "We're not talking about the production of yachts or diamonds"
If this nation really was serious about cutting back on fuel consumption, it would move to 4 day work weeks vs. the traditional 5 day.
This would amount to a 20% savings in fuel consumption for commuters as they would travel to and from work one less day each week.
This country could move much of it's business to a 4 - 10 hour days and achieve the same amount of work as we do with the 5 day - 8 hour work weeks.
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