Category Archives: Energy

State of the Union – Enhanced

Some of my favorite passages from the State of the Union:

On the deficit: But we can’t ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and the most powerful. We won’t grow the middle class simply by shifting the cost of health care or college onto families that are already struggling, or by forcing communities to lay off more teachers and more cops and more firefighters. Most Americans — Democrats, Republicans, and independents — understand that we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. They know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share. And that’s the approach I offer tonight. On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.

On manufacturing: So tonight, I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the Department of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. And I ask this Congress to help create a network of 15 of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is made right here in America. We can get that done.

On energy: In fact, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a nonpartisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long.

On Immigration – Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my administration has already made — putting more boots on the Southern border than at any time in our history and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years. Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship — a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.

On education: Every dollar we invest in high-quality early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on — by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works. So let’s do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.

All in all, I thought it was a very good, very solid state of the union.

State of the Union Address – My Hope

State of the Union Address – My Hope

I know that there are many people who hope that Barack Obama will say X, Y or Z. I hope that Barack Obama continues what he stated in his inauguration address. These are the priorities that I hope he stays near in the State of the Union address.

Education – If we are truly going to compete against South Korea, Singapore, China and Europe, we’re going to have to do a better job of educating not just some of our kids, but all of our kids. Training some of our youngsters to be auto mechanics and plumbers, that’s fine. But we also have to train a new generation of computer scientists, nuclear engineers, astronomers and the like. We simply have to do better. In my opinion we simply need to put more resources into schools. Every child has to be able to work a computer by the time he/she graduates fourth grade. We simply can’t wait. Bill Gates started Microsoft when he was 19 or 20. He didn’t start using computers when he was in college. By the time he was in college, he was already miles ahead of his college professors. In order to get the next generation of Bill Gateses, we need to liberate our teachers from a lot of the standardized tests.

Strengthen the Economy – Four years ago, we were facing the worst recession that America has gone through since the Great Depression. The economy has added approximately 150,000 jobs per month for more than a year, but we need more. We still have a jobs deficit of over five million. We need to put America back to work. We cannot wait for big business. Big business is sitting on trillions of dollars. The only entity big enough to make the difference we need, if big business is going to twiddle their thumbs, is the US government. We need to invest heavily in infrastructure. We need to rebuild our roads, our schools and our bridges. Plus, we really need to infuse green industry. I propose a $100 billion investment in green energy this year, and in every year of the Obama presidency. That will put us in the driver seat with green energy. That will put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work. I like the idea of high-speed rail. I don’t like this particular map where it crisscrosses the whole country. Instead, I think it would be most effective along our most congested corridors – Boston to Washington DC, Dallas to Houston (including Austin and San Antonio), Tallahassee to Miami and possibly Chicago to St. Louis and Kansas City.

Immigration – It is time for us to get serious about immigration. So far, we’ve been listening to a lot of people who aren’t serious. The idea of “self deportation” is laughable. We need a serious path to citizenship. We also need serious penalties for employers who knowingly hire economic refugees (illegal aliens).

We need to reauthorize The Violence against Women Act.

We need to work towards Medicare for all.

Monday Morning News Roundup

Lots of people continue to fret over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. In my opinion, David Brooks sums up the frustration of conservatives in a column he wrote a couple of days ago. Basically, he thought the Affordable Care Act should be repealed and then replaced with a bunch of laws that are already in the Affordable Aare Act. Kind of confusing, isn’t it?

The Google I/O conference may not be as well-known or as eagerly anticipated as Apple’s yearly lovefest. In spite of this, there was plenty of fun and technology to be enjoyed by all.

Continued power outages in the Washington DC area is highly frustrating.

Back to the dysfunction of the conservative movement over healthcare reform. In essence, conservatives have nothing for the American people should they be able to repeal The Affordable Care Act. Senator Mitch McConnell stated that covering uninsured Americans was not the issue. I can only smile. There are several major issues that the Affordable Care Act tries to address. First, try to cover the majority of uninsured Americans. Secondly, try to curb some of the abuses of insurance companies, including inventing lifetime limits on health insurance, dropping people with pre-existing conditions and simply making up reasons not to cover certain treatments or procedures. For the most part, The Affordable Care Act covers all those issues.

New poll shows growing support for ObamaCare?

One of the craziest decisions to come out of the Supreme Court during this term was their overturning Montana’s 100-year-old Corrupt Practices Act. Basically, Montana had set up a law which capped the amount of money that could be spent in state races. This seemed to work very well for everyone… except for those who wanted to game the system.

Finally, Tiger Woods won the AT&T National golf tournament yesterday. It is his 74th tournament victory on the PGA, pulling him in front of some guy named Jack Nicklaus. All I can tell you is that Tiger seems to be in complete control of his game, including his putting, which seemed to let him down at the U.S. Open two weeks ago. On 18, with a one-stroke lead, he pulled out the driver and drove the ball 340 yards. The ball landed in the middle of the fairway. Impressive. Bo Van Pelt really played some solid golf. He held up to the pressure of being tied with Tiger Woods down the stretch until the 16th hole. Mistakes on 16 and 17 cost him the tournament.