What a big fat mean lady this Irene is.
Good thing I live in tornado alley!
By Jim Hightower
Our problem in Washington is this: we have too many 5-watt bulbs sitting in 100-watt sockets.
Any doubt about this was erased in July when tea party ravers in the House joined old-school right-wing ranters to pass a light bulb bill. This was the culmination of a loopy crusade by the billionaire Koch brothers to stop the spread of energy-efficient light bulbs. Say what? Yes, Koch front groups drummed up a non-issue by howling that Big Government is “telling us what kind of light bulbs we can buy.”
Sure enough, an assortment of Koch-headed Congress critters joined the silly circus by trying to undo the rather useful government effort to stimulate production of better bulbs. They rallied round Thomas Edison’s old 100-watt energy gulper, claiming that nanny-state Democrats had banned Edison’s marvel, requiring that incandescent bulbs be replaced by the cold light of fluorescent bulbs.
This whole crusade is hogwash. There is no ban on incandescent bulbs – just a new standard for all bulbs to consume less energy. And this standard was not set by Democrats, but by a Republican-sponsored law signed in 2007 by George W. Bush. Also, the descendants of Edison say that he would support such an advance: “Technology changes,” they said, “Embrace it.”
And guess who was behind passage of the new energy efficiency mandate: light bulb makers. “Everyone supported it,” says a top Philips executive, adding that the law produced a major surge in innovation by the industry. Only four years after the law passed, Philips, GE, and Sylvania all are ready to market incandescent bulbs that meet the higher efficiency standards, while saving money for consumers.
Did I mention that the Koch brothers are in the dirty energy business and profit when you have to use more of it to light your house?
Ron Paul, Barney Frank Introduce Bill
Reps. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced a bipartisan bill today that would remove the federal prohibition on marijuana. The bill would instead let states legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.
USA Today reports the bill is being championed by a legalization advocacy group: The Marijuana Policy Project. It cites a report released this month by the Global Commission on Drug Policy that slammed the decades-old war on drugs and called on governments to take a look at decriminalizing marijuana and other drugs.
The bill by Frank and Paul would “end state/federal conflicts over marijuana policy, re-prioritize federal resources and provide more room for states to do what is best for their own citizens,” the group says.
Politico says the legislation is modeled after the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, which repealed the federal prohibition on alcohol and handed that responsibility to the states. Quoting the Marijuana Policy Project, Politico reports it’s “the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Barbara Lee (D-CA).
Frank said “he’s not advocating marijuana use, but believes that criminal prosecution is a waste of resources and an intrusion on personal freedom.”
by Jim Hightower
As one politician bluntly said of Washington’s annual tax giveaway to massively profitable oil corporations, “We don’t need incentives to the oil and gas companies to explore. There are plenty of incentives.”
That was no lefty talking – it was George W. Bush.
Yet, thanks to their lobbyists and campaign cash, the oil guys have been allowed to keep drilling into our public treasury, pumping out some $4 billion a year in tax subsidies – more than half of which goes to the five richest corporations. Far from exploring for more oil, hiring more Americans, or investing in renewable energy, top executives have spent the vast majority of their huge profits on driving up their own corporations’ stock prices to enrich themselves.
This is why oil executives are less popular than a Mississippi River flood. Indeed, a Congressional proposal to end Big Oil’s tax gimmies is supported by 74 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans. Yet, in March, every single Republican in the House voted in lockstep to protect every oil subsidy. Also, the new GOP budget retains every dime of the giveaway, even as it slashes food stamps, job training, and health care for seniors and the poor.
But it’s the poor oil goliaths that draw the tongue-clucking sympathy of these compassionate corporatists. For example, GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty called the idea of ending the subsidy “ludicrous,” wailing that killing it would be a crude “tax increase” on the waifs of Big Oil.
Meanwhile, Chevron’s CEO says, “I don’t think people want shared sacrifice [from oil corporations]. I think they want shared prosperity.” Hello, Earth to Chevron-Man, you’ve been grossly prosperous for years – where’s the sharing?
If ignorance goes to $100 a barrel, try to get drilling rights on that guy’s head.
These photos are all from the May 10th deadly storm that swept through Norman Oklahoma.