Archive for August 29th, 2009

Moyers: On health care reform, the Democrats are their own biggest enemy

| August 29, 2009 | Reply
Moyers: On health care reform, the Democrats are their own biggest enemy

Bill Moyers, spoke about the problems passing health care reform on Bill Maher’s show (as reported by Glenn Greenwald):

I don’t think the problem is the Republicans . . . .The problem is the Democratic Party. This is a party that has told its progressives — who are the most outspoken champions of health care reform — to sit down and shut up. That’s what Rahm Emanuel, the Chief of Staff at the White House, in effect told progressives who stood up as a unit in Congress and said: “no public insurance option, no health care reform.”

And I think the reason for that is — in the time since I was there, 40 years ago, the Democratic Part has become like the Republican Party, deeply influenced by corporate money. I think Rahm Emanuel, who is a clever politician, understands that the money for Obama’s re-election will come from the health care industry, from the drug industry, from Wall Street. And so he’s a corporate Democrat who is determined that there won’t be something in this legislation that will turn off these interests. . . .

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500 ways to save energy around the house

| August 29, 2009 | 4 Replies
500 ways to save energy around the house

Would you like to save energy around your house. This is the most comprehensive list I’ve seen. I found this link on the site of Rocky Mountain Institute, and the list is cross-categorized in several helpful ways.

BTW, have you seen a gradual shift in the media coverage regarding “peak oil“? Though this term (“peak oil”) is still avoided, I’ve seen many articles and many sources that are now acknowledging that we are in the twilight of the age of oil. Yet go back 5 years, and the thought that we were running out of reasonably priced oil in our lifetimes was mostly scoffed at. I think we have entered the age of resignation, without any official announcement.

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win” — Mahatma Ghandi.

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Russ Feingold seeks Afghanistan timetable

| August 29, 2009 | 1 Reply
Russ Feingold seeks Afghanistan timetable

Russ Feingold has published an article in the Wall Street Journal calling for a flexible time line to bring home the U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Here’s an excerpt:

We need to start discussing a flexible timetable to bring our brave troops out of Afghanistan. Proposing a timetable doesn’t mean giving up our ability to go after al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Far from it: We should continue a more focused military mission that includes targeted strikes on Taliban and al Qaeda leaders, and we should step up our long-term civilian efforts to deal with the corruption in the Afghan government that has helped the Taliban to thrive. But we must recognize that our troop presence contributes to resentment in some quarters and hinders our ability to achieve our broader national security goals.

Some may argue that if we leave now, the Taliban will expand its control over parts of Afghanistan and provide a wider safe haven for al Qaeda. But dedicating a disproportionate amount of our resources to the military occupation of one country is not the most effective way to combat the terrorist threat we face. Even if we invest billions more dollars annually for the next 10 years and sacrifice hundreds more American lives, we are unlikely to get a credible government capable of governing all Afghan territory.

I agree entirely. I’m not convinced that there is any widespread military mission remaining in Afghanistan. Why are we still there in great numbers? I agree that we should pull out most of our troops but monitor for real life threats to the U.S. I suspect that Obama is afraid to leave for fear of looking weak. That’s not a good reason to keep thousands of troops anywhere.

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