November 22, 2008

Fiscal Stimulus II

Obama says today in his weekly Youtube message:

I have already directed my economic team to come up with an Economic Recovery Plan that will mean 2.5 million more jobs by January of 2011 – a plan big enough to meet the challenges we face that I intend to sign soon after taking office. We’ll be working out the details in the weeks ahead, but it will be a two-year, nationwide effort to jumpstart job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy. We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels; fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead.

How much of this can actually be done in 24 months?

It's crucial to understand that this isn't December 8, 1941 anymore. The people who voted for Obama have spent decades making it extremely difficult to do quickly anything physical. For example, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sponsored a bunch of bond initiatives that passed in 2006. But, I am told by a Sacramento insider, that, two years later, no dirt has been turned. I'm sure that a lot of environmental scientists, lawyers, and administrators have been pulling down paychecks, but in the physical world, nothing has happened in 24 months.

So, let's look at Obama's suggestions one by one:

Yes, we can quickly put people to work "rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges." There aren't, as far as I know, big environmental impact snags with resurfacing existing freeways. There's this one lane in particular that every time I drive it takes a day off the life of my car. Of course, all this would just make driving more enjoyable so it's the opposite of the "green" philosophy of the rest of Obama's thinking.

What about "modernizing schools that are failing our children"? First of all, there's little relationship between physically spiffy schools and non-failing schools. Los Angeles has spent something like $24 billion on school construction and remodeling in recent years with no clear return on the money. For example, the brand new, state of the art East Valley High School that opened in the San Fernando Valley a couple of years ago can't get enough students to fill it because it's overrun by gangs. Parents are lying about where they live in order to get their kids into the two pre-WWII high schools in the neighborhood because they are terrified of the brand new one. Here are the three comments about East Valley that I found on a website:

Although the students underneath me have similar beliefs about the school, I feeel that the school is a work in progress. It could be better but at the moment it is unorganized and undergoing many stumbling blocks. I feel that we need help from other schools and officials to make it better.

Posted by a student on 11/09/07

I am a student at east valley high school in north hollywood california. I never feel safe at this school. The teachers have no authority over their classrooms, or students...... I'm definetly not graduating from a school like this.

Posted by a student on 11/06/07

I find some of the teachers top rated, committed and have great teaching. However, the school culture is a mess...tagging everywhere and the principal seems not to care about all these.

Further, most of LA's school projects took many years to get off the ground. Construction of the 2500 student Belmont Learning Center near downtown LA that just opened was a notorious 20-year nightmare. From Wikipedia:

The project to build the school began in 1988. The site of the school had previously been used for industrial purposes, and a concern of soil contamination was confirmed during development in 1999. This resulted in a temporary halt to construction.

In December 2000 Superintendent Roy Romer[5] saved the project and began reviewing private bids to address the additional issues at the site. In 2002, "An Alliance for a Better Community" was selected to finish the project.[citation needed]

Further complicating the development, in September 2002 an earthquake fault was detected on the northeast portion of the plot. The project was again temporarily suspended.[6]

In May 2003 the Los Angeles Unified School District voted to finish the school but with certain modifications: inclusion of a 10 to 12 acre (4 to 4.9 ha) park; a 500 seat learning academy; a library; an auditorium; and a parent center. Once completed, these changes resulted in one of the more luxurious schools of the urban sections of the district.[citation needed]

The total project cost was then estimated to be around US$300 million. A voter initiative bond called Measure K provided $3.3 billion of the construction funds, with city funds supplying the rest.[citation needed]

In December 2004, approximately 60 percent of the buildings were demolished because of the earthquake fault and then construction continued.

What about upgrading existing schools? Well, one obvious problem is that it's hard to employ a lot of construction workers on schools except during the summer vacation, unless the school is so empty that you can shut down part of it and turn it into a construction site. But, if so few students go to it, why bother?

How about "building wind farms and solar panels?" Once again, there giant environmental issues. Wind farms are not popular in California. Further, hooking remote wind farms into the electrical grid is not trivial.

Finally, "fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead" haven't gone through the formality of being invented yet.

So, what do I think Obama will actually do in the short term?

A lot of state and local governments will need bailing out, most notably California, to prevent massive layoffs of civil servants. I expect to see, in the spirit of bipartisanship upon which Obama campaigned, a summit meeting between President Obama and Governor Schwarzenegger in which Obama hands tens of billions to California to meet payroll and even hire some more paper pushers and social workers. That's what Obama's entire career has been devoted to: taking money from productive people and hiring people like himself to collect paychecks while failing to solve social problems. That's his base.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

44 comments:

Vernunft said...

The trouble with fixing schools is not that the schools are failing the children, but vice versa. Unless Obama wants to make large demographics disappear, how are we going to get dumb people to pretend to be smart for 13 years?

This administration will be so fun.

Anonymous said...

"modernizing schools that are failing our children"

If you listen carefully, you can hear Richard Hernstein crying out in agony from his grave...

Anonymous said...

Remember the photo op from ten years ago of Bill Clinton and Al Gore wiring schools for the Internet? Has that paid any dividends yet?

- Fred

Parentalcation said...

I'm looking forward to seeing if the Bridge to Nowhere (yet) gets funded with a bailout / infastructure plan. Oh the irony... earmarks created jobs.

Anonymous said...

Not to rain on Steve's parade, but there are hundreds of highway, bridge, and mass transit projects all around the country that are already approved and permitted, with plans drawn up and everything. All they need is funding. So there are a whole lot of infrastructure jobs that could come online within 120 days if the funding appeared.

Maybe you conservatives ought to stop worrying about whether the (traditional, blue collar, mostly male) jobs will show up and start applying pressure to make sure they go to American citizens.

Sebastian said...

We all know Obama's plan can succeed. The devil is in how it is structured.

The solar industry currently can't fill the orders they're getting. Not because they don't have the expertise, but because they're at capacity. Here's where a loan or grant to a small to medium sized business will make a big impact.

By the 2011 model year, there will be a LOT of hybrid and electric cars in showrooms. Ford has already announced the new Fusion, Honda has a hybrid Accord on the boards, they're releasing the Insight to carve some market share away from the Prius. Mini is releasing 500 electric Minis for road test. There's a lot going on in that industry that the average visitor here may not pay attention to.

If Detroit's plan comes back emphasizing the conversion of existing models to hybrid and all electric ones, the faster we can make a dramatic shift away from gasoline. Increasing the credit for people to buy them will add a lot of momentum as well.

That's just two areas where a little money can go a long way.

Here's the question. Are conservatives willing to help put together a plan that can work better?

We're going to have a man in the White House who I believe is earnestly looking for help from the GOP. Not the usual political two-step bullcrap, but actual thinking on how to solve problems. I also think he'll take their advice--as long as taking advice isn't confused with "do exactly what I want or it's all crap".

The upside (and it's a big upside) is to be seen as non-partisan. The downside is that if they stick their heels in the mud and play "let's be even more republican," anyone with a frontal lobe will be able to see they care more about politics than the republic. They'll be ready to prepare for a 70-seat Senate and 290-seat House for Dems come 2010.

With the coming redistricting, the GOP could be easily marginalized and gerrymandered into being a loud but extremely small party for the next 10 years.

testing99 said...

Good insight Steve, I've said the same thing on my blog.

However, the kicker is that Obama has HUGE expectations of delivery. Particularly by the White voters who wanted a change of course from Bush. If he does not deliver, they will abandon him.

His Black constituents will not, but they make up 12.5% of the population, and Hispanics are 13% nationally according to the 2000 Census, doubtless higher now but it's unknown how much higher.

Winning coalitions are based upon as Clinton said, the economy stupid and good times for the White Middle Class.

As you point out, there is no way Obama can deliver that because of the over-lawyered environment he himself has helped create and advanced in.

Anon -- yes there are plenty of PLANNED infrastructure projects. However, they take DECADES to construct because of all the hurdles. Not only the Belmont Learning Center, which was a 20 year plus fiasco, but the Big Dig in Boston, or the LA Subway system.

We could have had cheap and fast commuter rail with ugly but quick to put up Elevated railways here in LA. Yeah, they're ugly. They also work, are fast and cheap to put up, don't worry about methane as in the LA subways.

Victor Davis Hanson has a column up yesterday saying the same things. I've said them. Steve has said them. Richard Fernandez at Belmont Club has said them, along with Mark Steyn, and a few others.

It's obvious. We've built an overlawyered, "rent seeking" system on sustained good times built on relatively cheap oil and gas and America's security advantage in keeping the world generally policed.

Now, piracy out of Somalia is out of control. Just as I pointed out over a year ago. Because (again) overlawyering, "human rights" concerns and all that make it impossible for Western navies to simply sink the pirates motherships and destroy their ports. There are places in Somalia that boom with $3 cups of coffee, on all the money extorted through piracy because overlawyering won't allow a response to fix the problem.

KingM said...

The schools stuff is a dumb idea, but the electrical grid upgrades are absolutely essential. The windmill idea isn't bad, either, although I'd like to see some more nuclear plants, as well.

c23 said...

How many of these road construction jobs would go to American citizens anyway? In the Houston area, you would never see anybody who wasn't a Mexican on a road crew. I would guess that a fair proportion of them were of the illegal variety. OTOH, there are still parts of the country where Americans do jobs that don't involve sitting in air-conditioned cubicles.

James said...

You skipped over solar. We can do solar. Yes we can.

Bill said...

Obama's going to screw up royally. He's just an AA attorney/Chicago pol. He can't run a country, and we'll all see that soon enough. This might be amusing if it weren't so serious.

However, I'm not so sure McCain would have been much better. We're going to go through some painful times, and IMO Obama's no worse than another neocon. Perhaps the biggest question will be how much criticism Obama can stave off by having people attack his detractors as "raciss." Not sure how long that will hold up under our legal system (but that's the biggest threat this fake Obama represents -- the gutting of American legal standards).

Peter said...

Now, piracy out of Somalia is out of control. Just as I pointed out over a year ago. Because (again) overlawyering, "human rights" concerns and all that make it impossible for Western navies to simply sink the pirates motherships and destroy their ports

Fortunately, the Indian Navy had no such concerns when it destroyed a couple of pirate ships the other day.

Anonymous said...

"Once again, there giant environmental issues." - Steve

Edit!

Jody said...

Are conservatives willing to help put together a plan that can work better?

Here's my plan - don't do a thing.

It has the twin virtues of being the easiest plan to implement and the one most likely to not have significant negative effects.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sebastian,

While I am delighted at the notion of electric cars, our national electric grid is overstrained now. Where is the electric power generation going to come from? Wind in North Dakota? Storage needs figured out. Jerry Pournelle has the idea of reservoirs to pump water uphill when wind is blowing open floodgates to make power when the wind dies, but will the enviros nix any new reservoirs?

Coal? Obama just said, uh-uh.

Nuclear power? Will the enviros
let us?

There are people with ideas, but the biggest problem is getting the right of ways to string transmission lines.

Can Obama get the more ridiculous of the enviros in his own party to simmer down?

testing99 said...

Sebastian -- solar powered electric generation and electric cars are a fantasy.

Americans LIKE big vehicles because they are convenient, they haul a lot of stuff and are more comfortable to drive and ride in. Whenever gas is cheap enough long enough Americans buy big vehicles.

Solar power depends on lots of unobstructed sunlight, and cheap and efficient solar cells (so far a mirage). There are only a few places, mostly in the Southwest, where solar is practical, and it's ugly taking lots of space. Solar is not possible even in the Southwest in anything under 40 years due to lawsuits. Solar is not dependable either, storms make it go away and it's not available at night. Transmission lines are going to undergo energy loss and requires lots of legal clearance (think 40 years). You can't use Solar for peak load, air conditioners and stuff like that.

Electric cars are being built to make Pelosi and Reid happy, not customers. The Volt will LOSE about $17K per car. Battery tech is not there, autos require a proper power to weight ratio, electric motors are very torque-y and have auto enthusiasts drooling but the power to weight ratio of batteries make them a non-starter for a mass-consumer vehicle.

No one is going to retrofit cars, that is a fantasy. We are "stuck" with the internal combustion engine because nothing else gives both the power-weight ratios and the infrastructure. Electric vehicles are not a commuter vehicle for sure.
---
The Indian Navy made a good start, but the problem is going to get very bad and cost a lot of money. WSJ had a whole article on it today, recall 20% of the US budget in the 1800's was going to the Barbary Pirates for bribes/payoffs and piracy still spiraled out of control. Diplomats and travelers refused to go on board US ships and cargo would not be booked on them.

Already shipping firms are sending ships around the Horn of Africa, adding weeks and quadrupling the shipping costs, instead of through the Suez Canal which is now threatening to become a useless white elephant.

Lesson: upkeep of the international system including freedom of the seas is no different from cleaning out the sewers. An ugly job that needs doing, is not fun or glamorous, but if not done is a disaster. We'll see a lot of clueless coastal Yuppiedom from Obama, like the yuppies incensed by the "turkey Holocaust" going on behind Palin as she pardoned the turkey while others were killed behind her.

J said...

Steve is right, a bureaucracy is unable to spend much money fast. Only the military can do that.

daveg said...

Lesson: upkeep of the international system including freedom of the seas is no different from cleaning out the sewers. An ugly job that needs doing, is not fun or glamorous, but if not done is a disaster.

It is too bad people like testing99 have tied us up in numerous other conflicts with minimal national interest.

Now we are unable to focus on this pirate issue which would be relatively easy to solve and which would be beneficial to stop.

We don't have the resources or focus nor do we have the international good will necessary to deal with it.

Mr. Anon said...

"testing99 said...

Sebastian -- solar powered electric generation and electric cars are a fantasy."

Electric cars are not a fantasy, although they may not be just around the corner either. You are right that batteries probably won't cut it, but super-capacitors might. And there are enormous gains to be made by going to all electric cars. An all-electric drive-train is much more efficient than conventional internal combustion vehicles.

"Americans LIKE big vehicles because they are convenient, they haul a lot of stuff and are more comfortable to drive and ride in. Whenever gas is cheap enough long enough Americans buy big vehicles."

We sure do like em'. But Americans may need to get used to not getting everything they like. Gas isn't going to get much cheaper - long term it will only get more expensive.

I think you sell solar, and even wind power, short. Both extract energy that is freely available. It will take some planning and experience to make use of them. Such as for example, detailed analyses of how much power over how many days can be produced at any one site on average. When that knowledge is available, then utilities could plan on how to fit them in to the grid. Of course nuclear (and for the time being at least, coal) would still be needed as well.

Also overlooked in this whole debate is how we use nuclear power. The present infrastructure is inefficient in its use of Uranium (if we got all of our electricity from nuclear, we'd run out of uranium in about 100 years). We need to lift the ban on fuel reprocessing (Amy Carter be damned!) and build breeder reactors, and possibly go to the Thorium fuel cycle. This will require new reactor designs - a difficult thing to start on short notice, especially as we don't produce many nuclear engineers anymore.

We don't get all of our energy from any one source now, and we probably won't in the future either.

Roger Chaillet said...

Sebastian, why do we need to make a "dramatic shift away from gasoline"?

There's a surfeit of fossil fuels. There's no shortage, otherwise there would be long queues at gas pumps.

Cut the utopian fantasizing. Techno weenies believe that technology will supposedly cure all the ills that the market has created.

If you believe this, then you must also believe that there is a "digital divide" that can only be bridged by the government.

Mr. Anon said...

And a further comment. Steve is right that in the present litigation and regulatory environment, nothing much can be done to seriously overhaul our energy infrastructure.

The government is too sclerotic to do it, and private enterprise would be hamstrung by a plague of lawyers, environmentalists, and government beuracrats.

But we could stuff money into the pockets of community organizers, and I'm sure that's just what we'll do.

Ronduck said...

J said...


Steve is right, a bureaucracy is unable to spend much money fast. Only the military can do that.


The military is a bureaucracy, it just doesn't have to comply with all of the rules that the rest of the government has to...for now.

Mr. Anon said...

"daveg said...

It is too bad people like testing99 have tied us up in numerous other conflicts with minimal national interest.

Now we are unable to focus on this pirate issue which would be relatively easy to solve and which would be beneficial to stop."

Good point. Blowing Pirates out of the water is something I'm all in favor of having our navy do. It's one of the reasons we have a navy. Even routing out pirate lairs (which is what Somalia now is) might make sense, provided we don't linger there and engage in "nation building" or some such other crap.

It's a shame we are now so heavily invested in occupying countries that hate us in order to make them into something they are not and will not become.

Anonymous said...

With the coming redistricting, the GOP could be easily marginalized and gerrymandered into being a loud but extremely small party for the next 10 years.

Isn't redistricting determined at the state level?

Anonymous said...

"This will require new reactor designs - a difficult thing to start on short notice, especially as we don't produce many nuclear engineers anymore."

The U.S. Navy is full of nuclear engineers.

- Fred

Anonymous said...

Well if this pans out,
http://www.emc2fusion.org/

(Or go to google videos and type in Bussard fusion)

and that is a big if, we have a government infrastructure project that will both be expensive and hire a lot of people, and will pay huge dividends.

beowulf said...

ok, its been pointed out already, but projects ready to go with in 60 to 90 days of funding mean--- all the planning, permitting and environmental reviews has been completed and the plans banked until funding comes through. Once a contractor has line up materials and workers, the shovels can go in the dirt. You guys are on crack if you think it will take years to get started.

Most infrastructure work is pretty cut and dry-- expanding roads, repairing bridge and replacing aging pipes. Yes, it may take years to build a new rail line (buying up the right of ways is a pain), but the low lying fruit is easy-- commuter rail on existing railroad lines. If Congress mandated that state governments and railroads use a standard contract (oh, like the one Amtrak already negotiated), then the legal work will take 15 minutes to get through.

The railroads handled the right of way and environmental issues years ago (and have a federal exemption from local zoning). All it takes is upgrading the signaling, building simple depots and buying the railcars from Bombardier to have commuter rail service running within months, at a fraction of the cost of a new subway line.

Anonymous said...

However, the kicker is that Obama has HUGE expectations of delivery. Particularly by the White voters who wanted a change of course from Bush. If he does not deliver, they will abandon him.

wrong again, evil neocon. those walking dead whites who voted for obama did so to feed their own guilt complex. obama has never actually done ANYTHING for blue collar whites or white collar whites in his entire political career. and he will not do ANYTHING for them in the future.

obama knows that his hypnotized white voters don't require ANYTHING specific from him. because obama the clever genius never promised them anything specific. in fact the subtext of his campaign message to guilty whites was: whites owe blacks. and the stockholm syndrome whites agreed. and they nodded their heads and voted for obama with gusto.

obama knows that he only has to push white guilt buttons for another round of the exact same zombie votes in 2012. otherwise he owes them nothing. in fact it's only if obama made the mistake of kowtowing to these same whites that they would turn on him. because it would screw up their psychological programming. these walking dead whites desperately NEED obama to be a stern taskmaster authority figure in order to fully wallow in their guilt trip.

therefore obama will poke his finger in THE MAN'S eye during his entire term in office. he does not give a damn about providing jobs to middle class whites or any other kind of whites. he does not give a damn about their 401k plans and will only pay what lip service is necessary to fill the presidential role.

there WILL be a strong black man as president and not a house negro. blacks will revel in it, walking dead whites will revel in it, jews will revel in it, latinos will revel in it, asians will revel in it. ALL of these groups are completely ready for a post white america. why wouldn't they be? the media they experience daily has prepped them for the transition. their high schools and universities have prepped them. they all believe in the unique evil of the white race and its undeserved status as leader and controller of america. all non whites believe that they can do a better job in leadership positions and that they will be better off as a goup if in the future no other racial group has dominance in this society.

america's non white groups are sick of experiencing the primordial insecurity of living in a society where an alien dominant race is in control. the non white groups all correctly recognize that obama represents the end of white racial control of america and that political power will now logically flow to them and away from whites.

yes the non white groups recognize that a country without a dominant racial group may be unstable. but at the same time each non white group feels empowered by the sea change. these groups will take their chances in the coming chaotic scramble for power. this dynamic has played out a million times before in the ancient struggle for control of territory on planet earth.

yes indeed. the revolution is here and if you can't see that the revolution is best summed up as ADIOS WHITE MAN then you haven't been paying attention.

Anonymous said...

"Good point. Blowing Pirates out of the water is something I'm all in favor of having our navy do. It's one of the reasons we have a navy. Even routing out pirate lairs (which is what Somalia now is) might make sense, provided we don't linger there and engage in "nation building" or some such other crap."

Actually, the reason Somalia has become a pirate lair is that we didn't stick around and engage in nation building. The costs and difficulties of nation building are obvious up front; the costs of letting failed states fester sometimes become obvious only later. The pirate attacks are the chickens of our retreat from Somalia coming home to roost.

Another Neocon

Michaelt T said...

Another neocon, so "countries" are just protection rackets, are they? "Build us or we'll terrorize you."

As for schools, we can solve so many physical/material problems we've lulled ourselves into believing we can solve personal problems just as easily. So, you can't drive right? Traffic school. Can't love right? Relationship counselling. Drugs? Drug counselling. Violence? Anger management. And so on. As anyone who's ever participated in any of these can tell you, they're a waste of time and don't achieve anything lasting. The only people who might benefit are people who've truly made uncharacteristic mistakes, but they probably would've self-corrected anyway. That's not to say nothing whatsoever can be done to improve education. That's just not true: Charles Murray has excellent suggestions. It's that the good ideas that can be implemented won't come close to the lofty standards lie-berals think proper.

PA said...

Now we are unable to focus on this pirate issue which would be relatively easy to solve and which would be beneficial to stop."

Unable to deliver a tomahawk missle or two, or send out a punitive sortie from an Indian Ocean carrier?

Anonymous said...

Steve you don't keep up much with environmental issues. "Haven't gone through the formality of being invented"???

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2005/09/0923_02.htm

Sept. 23, 2003
"WEKIWA SPRINGS STATE PARK-Florida’s “hydrogen highway” took another step forward today as Lt. Governor Toni Jennings joined representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, Ford Motor Company, BP America and Progress Energy Florida at Wekiwa Springs State Park to laud the arrival of Florida’s first hydrogen fuel cell fleet. Last year, the international corporations selected the Sunshine State as one of three sites in the nation to demonstrate pollution-free hydrogen fuel cell cars."

I wonder what Steve's opinion is on global warming. I don't recall him ever taking a side on the issue.

dearieme said...

Wind power is a complete no-hoper; the energy is just too dilute - both spatially and temporally - so that you end up with enormous capital costs, plus the cost of the back-up. Perhaps wave power (much denser) or sun power might come along, but wind power - no chance.

Lloyd said...

The Chinese might put the kibosh on any such 'Fiscal Stimulus'. If they insist on IMF-type terms for continued credit flows, watch out. We'll be looking like Yeltsin-era Russia. (On the bright side, look at Russia now!)

http://www.chinastakes.com/story.aspx?id=813

Bill said...

Actually, the reason Somalia has become a pirate lair is that we didn't stick around and engage in nation building. The costs and difficulties of nation building are obvious up front; the costs of letting failed states fester sometimes become obvious only later. The pirate attacks are the chickens of our retreat from Somalia coming home to roost.

Another Neocon


What's cheaper and more effective:

Sailing up and down the Somali coast and sinking every motor boat in Somali waters with the handy five-inch gun, or invading and trying to civilize a country that has a culture of incessant warfare?

anony-mouse said...

Maybe we can hire some Somali pirates to fix the gang problem in LA's schools? They can also kill a lot of birds before they get to the wind turbines.

Piracy-another job Americans won't do (yet).

David said...

Here's the question. Are conservatives willing to help put together a plan that can work better?

Yes. Get rid of government planning.

Police, courts, and military: the only proper functions of any government. Anything else can only be a rent-seekers' racket, a vampire state.

RobertHume said...

Beowolf:
"projects ready to go with in 60 to 90 days of funding mean--- all the planning, permitting and environmental reviews has been completed and the plans banked until funding comes through. Once a contractor has line up materials and workers, the shovels can go in the dirt. You guys are on crack if you think it will take years to get started."

Might take a bit longer in some cases if many of the ready workers would fail an e-Verify test. Assuming that that is a condition to get the money, ...

josh said...

I understand Sarah Palin has hired some Univ of Chicago guys to tell her what she should think...come on 2012!! It cant get here soon enough for me! :)

Anonymous said...

obama has never actually done ANYTHING for blue collar whites or white collar whites in his entire political career. and he will not do ANYTHING for them in the future.

This sentence is correct if it ends with a period after the first ANYTHING.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

"Steve you don't keep up much with environmental issues. "Haven't gone through the formality of being invented"???
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2005/09/0923_02.htm

Sept. 23, 2003
"WEKIWA SPRINGS STATE PARK-Florida’s “hydrogen highway” took another step forward today as Lt. Governor Toni Jennings joined representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, Ford Motor Company, BP America and Progress Energy Florida at Wekiwa Springs State Park to laud the arrival of Florida’s first hydrogen fuel cell fleet. Last year, the international corporations selected the Sunshine State as one of three sites in the nation to demonstrate pollution-free hydrogen fuel cell cars.""

That's great. Where do we drill for hydrogen? Where are the salt domes filled with pure liquid hydrogen?

"dearieme said...

Wind power is a complete no-hoper; the energy is just too dilute "

Many people say that, but I don't see any evidence that their claims are based on any evidence, rather than just a bias.

"Anonymous said...

The U.S. Navy is full of nuclear engineers."

Yes, that's true - military engineers who are trained to operate existing systems. We don't have so many people who have been taught how to design new systems.

"Anonymous said...

Well if this pans out,
http://www.emc2fusion.org/

(Or go to google videos and type in Bussard fusion)

and that is a big if, we have a government infrastructure project that will both be expensive and hire a lot of people, and will pay huge dividends."

At this point, I don't regard Bussard's work as an "if", but as a "definitely not". And if his adherants (Bussard himself is dead) want me to believe otherwise, they can release some actual information by which their claims can be judged. Otherwise, they can screw off.

Big Bill said...

Anon: "Actually, the reason Somalia has become a pirate lair is that we didn't stick around and engage in nation building. ... The pirate attacks are the chickens of our retreat from Somalia coming home to roost."

Nation-bulding neo-con style is way, way too time consuming. Tell you what. Why don't we do a little "nation-building" right here in the USA. You know, jobs for Americans, police the borders, get rid of ethnic wars by killing the Mexican warlords in LA and sending their followers back home to Mexico. A regular "two-state solution": Mexico for Mexicans and America for Americans.

And to scratch that special itch you have for "tikkun olam", we can fund you as a neo-con missionary to spend your life with the Somali head-hunters on the coast teaching them the wonderful benefits of Democracy, free-speech and women's liberation.

Rather than inviting Somali pirates to come live their Islamic lives in Minneapolis, we can have the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society drop them off on the Somali Coast for you to look after. Hell, we can even let the HIAS keep the four figure profit they make off each Somali they dump on us Americans ... as long as we don't have to take care of them it is cheaper by far.

What with all the leftover money the Twin Cities will save in police protection, welfare programs and reconstructive surgery fixing the genitals of Somali girls carved up by their own mothers in Minneapolis, you could "build" quite a few Islamic "nations" right there in Somalia.

But before you move there, the US takes one day to shoot the living sh!t out of all the Somali pirate towns.

For old times sake (and poetic justice!) we can send in the USS [Stephen] Decatur to do the job. With its Phalanx systems and Tomahawk missiles it should leave nothing but an Islamic grease spot or two.

... and to get into the spirit of things, here is Randy Newman singing one of my all-time favorites: "Political Science":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGO42gvCSPI

Anonymous said...

There is a very simular situation in England.
The whole rationale of bringing the 2012 Olympic Games to London was supposedly that it would kick-off the 'regeneration' of Stratford, East London (no, not Shakespeare's beautiful and idyllic birthplace in Warwirckshire beside the river Avon, but an out and out sh*thole in London's decaying East End , beside that industrial sewer, the river Lee).
The idea was supposedly that the untold billions (this was before today's recession) poured in would 'create jobs' for the unemployed locals - unemployment is probably as high as 50% of adult males in those parts.
However, it was only after London won the bid did the politicians let slip that under EU competition and labor laws 'ringfencing' construction and other vacancies for the underprivelged indigenes was illegal and subject to massive EU censure and fines.
Hence a Latvian or Bosnian has just as much 'right' to those 'regeneration' jobs as yer typical unemployed East End Bengali.

Sebastian said...

Hey have you seen that new hybrid Tahoe? Or the hybrid Ford Escape? The hybrid Caddy Escalade? Did you know that UPS is testing full sized electric delivery vehicles in Germany?

Have any of you even seen a Tesla?
Did you know that you can charge the new Phoenix electric SUV in 6 hours using a regular wall plug?

Do some of you really think that electric cars will be the new K-car of the 70's? That's fine, because life in a bubble isn't bad for awhile.

Say what you want, but it's coming. No one is going to stop building electric and hybrid cars because of the grid. It will be a reason to fix the grid.

There's a guy who owns a laundromat in one of the Chicago suburbs that generates over 50% of his hot water and 35% of his electric from solar panels installed on the roof of his building. There's an apartment building the wife and I are looking to buy that uses solar for their hot water as well.

It's not coming in as neat and clean as a Tom DeLay approved piece of legislation, but it's coming.

Check out autoblog green, tree hugger and green cars. Good sites. Seeking Alpha has good analysis of the day-to-day on the industry as well.