Tag Archives: alternative energy

Friday Morning News Roundup

Yesterday, the president spoke at the University of Miami and basically defended a balanced approach to solving our energy crisis. He was 100% correct in pointing out that simply drilling here, there and everywhere is not an answer to our problems. Instead we need to invest in developing all forms of alternative energy. Some progressives had a problem with the fact that he did include nuclear power in the discussion. Personally, I think we need to back away from nuclear power. I believe that we must actually have a solution as to how we’re going to get rid of the nuclear waste. Simply burying it in a big hole is fine for Wiley E. Coyote, but it’s not a real energy plan.

Sometimes, I find humor in these debates. The fact that Ron Paul continues to let himself be treated as the crusty old grandfather who really has nothing meaningful to say in the debate I find amusing. I also find it funny that it surprises people that Newt Gingrich says something outrageous and attacks the media. Not only is it not surprising, it should be expected. The stupidity of Newt Gingrich’s infanticide comments cannot be overemphasized.

Every now and then, you know it must suck to be the president. You are responsible for so much and yet so much is out of your control. Recently, we had another burning of the Koran in Afghanistan. How does this happen? We know exactly what the response will be – angry mobs which will turn violent. In my humble opinion, there is simply no excuse for us to be burning Bibles, the Torah or the Koran. The fact that Newt Gingrich is outraged that we apologized for this ridiculous act of thoughtlessness should not surprise anyone.

Sears is dying. It has been on life support for some time. I’m not sure that smart commercials are going to save it.

GOP is losing women voters. Dems seem to be winning.

Several lawmakers received threatening letters containing white powder. This should remind all of us that, in spite of spending billions of dollars on security, we still really are not safe. By the way, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert received the envelopes, also.

A 10,000 year old carving was found in Brazil. It is thought to be the oldest human carving in America.

The Department of Homeland Security has been tracking Americans on social media, despite having told Congress they weren’t really doing that.

Representative John Sullivan (Republican – Oklahoma) formally apologized on Thursday after he was said that he would need to kill members of the Senate in order to pass the Republican budget. An apology is all that is needed? Now everything’s okay?

By the way, did you noticed in Obama’s speech that he pointed out that the United States is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years? Where is the harsh and vicious retort from Republicans? Where are the accusations that president Obama is a liar and a communist? Crickets.

What’s on your mind?

We've Got to Get off the Crack Pipe — Oil

Since the early 1970s, we’ve been talking about getting off of oil. We’ve gone through the oil crisis of the mid-1970s in which it was not uncommon to wait 30, 60 or 90 minutes just to fill up your car with gas. Remember, for those of you who are old enough, there were predictions that the world was running out of oil within that five or 10 years. President Jimmy Carter, in the late 1970s, placed solar panels on the White House. Think about this — 30 years ago, the White House was making some of its electricity with solar panels. What happened? Ronald Reagan happened. He brought with him an attitude that we were Americans and did not need to conserve or use alternative energy. We’ve been living in that alternate universe ever since.

For those of you who are in the drill, baby drill crowd, don’t worry. No matter how much rhetoric we have about using alternative energy, I am convinced that we will only be giving it lip service until we change Washington. We need to fundamentally change the way our officials are elected. Currently, too many of our politicians are dependent upon large campaign contributions from large corporations. Until we fix our election system, we’re going to continue to consume oil like a cocaine addict consumes crack.

Watch the video:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
An Energy-Independent Future
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Opposing Newt Gingrich just seems right

Newt Gingrich has been out of power now for a decade or two, yet is still dominant figure in the Republican Party and on the Sunday talk shows. Can you think of any Democratic equivalent? There is none. Through hypnosis or magic, Newt Gingrich manages to convince Americans that he is still relevant. He has made two statements in the last couple of days which I think need discussion. About 10 days ago he wrote an op-ed piece which argued for more offshore drilling and then today, on Fox News Sunday, he called for the President to withdraw Elena Kagan’s nomination for the Supreme Court.

Let’s start with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As you know it’s been more than three weeks since the explosion, the death of 11 American workers and the subsequent disastrous spill in the Gulf. The exact circumstances of how this happened are not clear. President Obama was 100% correct when he said that there’s enough blame to go around. Newt Gingrich argues that one disaster should not cripple the industry, nor cause us to abandon offshore drilling. He lists a litany of disasters in aviation, nuclear energy and even the levee failure in New Orleans as examples of Americans investigating a disaster and then moving forward. His take-home message is that we should not abandon offshore drilling. We should learn from this mistake and move forward. I viscerally oppose just about everything that Newt Gingrich says. I know he’s not talking for me or people who think like I do. Instead, he’s talking for the corporations. I’m surprised that there is no acknowledgment that cleaner, less destructive forms of energy exist.

Suppose in 1980, when Ronald Reagan moved into the White House, he had embraced alternative energy. Where would we be now? If Ronald Reagan had poured federal resources into the development of more efficient solar cells, wind power and even tidal power on the coasts, would we have affordable alternative energy by now? You figure that 20 or 30 or even 40% of our energy could now come from alternative renewable sources. Oil would not be eliminated, but oil consumption would have been reduced. How could have been a bad thing? Would we have invaded Iraq? I doubt it. I see America’s consumption of oil as the equivalent of a cocaine addict’s addiction to crack. We have to put down the crack pipe. So, I have no problem with safe offshore drilling (I just think it’s an oxymoron at this time). We need to focus on alternative energy.

Watch the Video:

Newt Gingrich says Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan should be disqualified because she did not allow military recruiters on campus. The case went to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court ruled with the military. I’m not sure why this should disqualify her. Newt Gingrich couches his comments in patriotic rhetoric. “We’re fighting two wars.” My answer would be — so? If it is wrong to have military recruiters on campus in peacetime, it would still be wrong in wartime. Therefore, the context is not important. What is important is the reason why Elena Kagan, as Dean of Harvard Law School, opposed having military recruiters on campus. Those recruiters could not guarantee that some students would not be discriminated against. I’m beginning to like Dean Kagan more and more. With conservatives opposing her, maybe I need to crank up my support of her nomination. (To be honest, I’m ambivalent. I agree with Glenn Greenwald that we really should have some idea of how she feels about the major issues of our day. I do not believe that anything that will be said in a Senate hearing will be truly indicative of how she feels. Instead, I suspect what will be said in the Senate Judiciary hearing will be just enough to get her confirmed, but not enough to get a true grasp on many of these issues.)