From The Huffington Post….by way of Charlie Peters…

October 27, 2008

An Abdication in Detroit

Carl Pope, Huffington Post, July 6, 2006

San Francisco — Last week, the Ford Motor Company joined the parade of stunningly hypocritical auto manufacturers by announcing that it was abandoning its goal of selling 250,000 hybrid vehicles per year by the end of the decade. Instead, Ford joined other automakers in promising to make 2 million flexible fuel vehicles. “In a joint letter sent Wednesday to members of Congress, General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler AG announced a new promise to double annual production of vehicles that run on alternative fuels, to 2 million per year.” Congress promptly responded to the announcement by refusing, once again, to increase fuel economy standards.

But the auto industry knows that making two million “flexible-fuelled vehicles” won’t dent our dependence on oil. First, the “alternative fuel” they are touting is a mix of gasoline and ethanol called E85, because it is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Regular cars can, and often do, burn ethanol-gasoline mixes that are up to 10 percent ethanol already — so the real difference with E85 sounds like it might be an impressive 75 percent.

But the reality is far different. First, it takes a fair amount of fossil fuels to make ethanol — diesel fuel for tractors to grow the corn and transport it, natural gas to make fertilizer for it, and gas or (worse) coal to distill it. But this doesn’t matter so much, because 99 percent of these flexible fuel vehicles never see a drop of E85 but run on gas instead. That’s according to a March 2002 study by the Bush Administration.

Since there are fewer than 700 gas stations selling E85, out of 176,000 stations in the U.S., these flexible fuel vehicles will mainly burn the same gasoline that the rest of the fleet does. For example, within 25 miles of my home there are NO gas stations selling E85 to the public! So, the actual savings from this big new auto industry commitment will certainly be trivial at best. Unfortunately, it gets worse.

The auto industry gets bogus fuel economy “credits” for selling flexible fuel vehicles, as if these vehicles were actually all burning ethanol-based fuel. As a result, U.S. gas consumption is actually going to go UP as a result of the auto industry’s latest maneuver. The Bush Administration’s study estimated that the combination of the fuel economy loophole and failure of 99 percent of the flexible fuel vehicles to use E85 would result in an increase in U.S. oil dependence of 17 billion gallons by 2008. On the other hand, we could easily reduce consumption by 50 percent by using more-efficient vehicle technology, the solution that Congress — and the auto industry — just rejected. ed. note: Did you notice the recent spike in food prices? These are connected folks.

Again, William Clay Ford and the rest of the auto know these numbers. This is not something someone just dug out. They don’t care.

If we really want to kick our oil addiction, we’re going to have to do it from the grass-roots up. That’s why the Sierra Club has just launched “Smart Energy Summer” — a campaign to connect Americans with the real solutions to our energy and global warming problems — ones that our leaders know about, but just won’t embrace.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-pope/an-abdication-in-detroit_b_24523.html

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Do You Ever Wonder Why the Roads in Your Town are Turning into Gravel?

August 17, 2008

Wonder no more. It’s because ‘some people’ are not paying their fair share of the cost of government. Otherwise known as taxes. I know this story has been in the corporatist press but I thought this post:

Based on IRS records, a recent GAO report indicates that many corporations claimed to owe $0 in U.S. taxes from 1998 – 2005: roughly 28%-53% of large foreign-controlled and 23%-38% of large U.S.-controlled corporations. [The GAO considers a "large" corporation one with at least $250 million in assets or $50 million in gross receipts.

From NoQuarter had a lot more detail and so link to it.

There is a growing opportunity for those of us who are economically literate, a tiny minority, to take back the high ground in the never ending debate about taxes, government and what should be done by same. The ‘conservative’ shills who’ve been preaching the Friedman Lunacy for decades are gob-smacked that the ‘trickle down’ theory has at last been proved to be the utter bullshit that it is. There is a desperate air of ‘now what do we do…’  as the third artificial bubble of ‘asset building’, housing, pops following  the dot.com bubble and ‘financialization’ coming from the morons such as Greenspan who’ve been ‘supervising ‘ our economy. As Ol’ Shakespeare opined, ‘The truth will out…’ and now folks are waking up to the realization that while their real income has declined every year since Nixon under the Republican fantasy machine corporations and very wealthy individuals merely extract whatever amounts of cash they need from the U.S. Treasury, that’s us Homer, in the form of  taxes not paid.

This report points a finger at why you, yeah you Homer, ‘can’t’ have healthcare, good schools, well-maintained roads, safe food and on and on…. The next time some low-info fool tells you, ‘Oh, we can’t afford that…’ about some needed social program tell them the following:

‘Of course we can afford that. If corporations and the uber-rich would pay their fair share of taxes instead of bribing Congress to give them a free pass we’d’ have plenty of money to take care of the real, immediate needs of our society.’

And if they start bloviating tell them this:

‘Surely you are not advocating that some, particularly those best able to pay, should be excused from their social obligation to pay their fair share of the costs they helped create are you?’

More on how your are being screwed solely because you are NOT rich in future posts.


I’ve taken to adding a little couplet…with apologies to A. Pope to my comments….

June 1, 2008

..made in the threads. It goes like this:

Think for yourself.
Don’t believe everything you hear
.

And frankly was intended as a gentle way to get Obamafans to do just what the words say. But in all fairness….

There are quite a few folks out there who could profit a great deal by taking my advice.

If you do check this out be sure and read the comments and yet more ReThuglican tax cant and how it works will become clear to you.

And if you think because you have a TeeBee and can afford to drink all the beer you want then please…..

Move along, nothing to see here.


Elizabeth Edwards Favors Hillary’s Health Plan.

March 31, 2008

From NoQuarter we have:

Los Angeles Times, March 31, 2008

[Elizabeth] Edwards said she favored Hillary Rodham Clinton’s healthcare plan over Barack Obama’s.

Read the whole post by SusanUnPC here……….

And Barry?

I wouldn’t be holding my breathe on that Edwards endorsement. At least one Edwards has got your number…and she don’t like it.


A post by Brad DeLong which I feel deserves wider attention…

March 30, 2008

……….it’s about the economy but do not let your eyes glaze over. If you do not want to be living in a cardboard reefer box or have all your offspring camping out in the garage you’d better start paying attention because things are gonna start getting stickier staring right now.

The opening quote:

Steps that can safeguard America’s economy: Neither US financial institutions nor the economy are likely to suffer from a lack of central bank liquidity provision. New lending facilities are coming along almost weekly, the safety net has been expanded to include non-bank primary dealers, the Fed has demonstrated a willingness to take on directly the most problematic parts of Bear Stearns’ balance sheet, and the Fed funds rate has been reduced by 200 basis points within 7 weeks…. [P]rocesses are in motion that may lead to new demands for more than $1,000bn in mortgages, directly or indirectly. Recent regulatory actions will enable Federal Home Loan Banks along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the government-sponsored enterprises) to purchase more than an additional $300bn in mortgage-backed securities… legislation to reduce foreclosures being pushed by Senator Christopher Dodd and Representative Barney Frank could result in the federal government purchasing or providing guarantees that enable the purchase of several hundred billion dollars worth of mortgages.’

Big damn numbers flying around here but not totally out of control. Please read the rest here and consider staying on top of this story with us and as always contacting your representatives about this. Here’s Dodd’s webpage and Barney Frank’s is here. Feel free to manipulate your ZIP codes and do whatever else you need to do to get through to these folks.

They work for us, as long as we got the vote and the bucks to fund their opponents, and they should never be allowed to forget that.


Vote NO on Proposition 98 – Vote YES on Proposition 99 (Update)

March 29, 2008

UPDATE by adragonfly 3/26/08

It is important to vote on June 3, 2008 on these two critical propositions that will directly effect every renter in California – including mobile home owners who “rent” the land their mobile home sits on.

VOTE NO on Prop 98: The California Property Owner & Farmland Protection Act (CPOFPA being called ‘the hidden agenda’ proposition) is being promoted as an eminent domain proposition only ( the right of a government to take, or to authorize the taking of private property for public use.) HOWEVER, there is a ‘hidden agenda’ in this initiative to abolish rent control and gut the laws that protect renters in California . The LARGEST SUPPORTERS (BY DONATIONS) ARE THE MOBILE HOME PARK OWNERS at 44%, APARTMENT OWNERS at 41% (a total of 85%!), and misc donations.

It is documented that the Western Manufactured Housing Communities have donated over $155,000 to Prop 98 (more as of 3/26/08), and the major mobilehome management companies (including Sierra Corporate Management) have donated as well. (I obtained the above statistics from Bicker, Castillo, & Fairbanks .) This gives us an idea how important this is to them to get Prop 98 passed. VOTE NO on PROP 98. IT IS NOT IN OUR BEST INTERESTS!

NO on PROP 98:
– Masquerades as Eminent Domain reform
– Carries hidden agenda of eliminating rent control upon resale
– Destroys value of mobile homes
– Allows park owner initiated condo conversions of MHPs
– Outlaws local affordable housing ‘inclusionary’
zoning requirements
– Contains poorly drafted provisions that could stop future water projects
– AND destroy local land-use planning and erode environmental protections.

As of 3/10/08 Tenants Together ( a statewide organization supporting tenant rights) publishes: “Today, Prop 98 will be sent to the printer with a ballot title that omits any reference to the fact that Proposition 98 prohibits rent control in California . Although Attorney General Jerry Brown acknowledges that banning rent control is a key feature of Prop 98, he refuses to put the words ‘rent control’ in the title of the ballot measure, a decision that has prompted outrage among California tenant advocates.”

To give you an idea on how important is is to vote NO on Prop 98, these are only some of the organizations supporting NO on Prop 98: AARP, California Alliance for Retired Americans, Senior Action Network, CA Police Chiefs/ Fire Chiefs Assoc, League of CA Homeowners, GSMOL, COMOCAL, numerous county mobilehome associations including Nevada Co, CA Chamber of Commerce, Western Growers Assoc, CA Teachers Assoc, Housing CA, CA Coalition of Rural Housing, Coalition of Economic Survival, Tenants Together, Housing Justice Campaign, National Wildlife Assoc, SIERRA CLUB, CA Council of Land Trusts, Audubon CA, Assoc for CA Water Agencies, LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS of CA, WESTERN CENTER ON LAW AND POVERTY, Progressive Jewish Alliance, Americans for Democratic Action, Pride at Work SFO, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), NATIONAL ASSOC OF HISPANIC ASSOC, LEAGUE OF CA CITIES, CA Redelopment Association.

YES on PROP 99 (Home Owner’s Protection Act (HOPA)
– A grass-roots effort with well over 1 million signatures to qualify a ‘clean’ eminent domain proposition on the June 3rd ballot. This is supported by GSMOL, Comocal, Neighborhood Friends, the League of California Cities, and many senior and advocate organizations. My opinion is this, it’s not perfect but it is better than anything we have in place now.

IMPORTANT: IF BOTH PASS, THE ONE WITH THE MOST VOTES WINS – so NO on PROP 98, YES on 99


VOTE NO on PROP 98 – VOTE YES on PROP 99

March 4, 2008

by adragonfly

It is important to vote on June 3, 2008 on these two critical propositions that will directly affect any renter in California – including mobile home owners who “rent” the land their mobile home sits on.

VOTE NO on Prop 98: The California Property Owner & Farmland Protection Act (CPOFPA) is being promoted as an eminent domain proposition only ( the right of a government to take, or to authorize the taking of private property for public use.) HOWEVER, there is a ‘hidden agenda’ in this initiative to abolish rent control and gut the laws that protect renters in California. It is being supported by the Howard Jarvis Tax Association, and the LARGEST SUPPORTER (BY DONATIONS) ARE THE MOBILE HOME PARK OWNERS at 44%, Apartment Owners at 41% (a total of 85%!), Calif. Farm Bureau at 10%, and misc donations.

It is documented that the Western Manufactured Housing Communities donated $154,020.71 to Prop 98, and the management company, Sierra Corporate Management has donated at least $35,000 that has been tracked so far. (I obtained the above statistics from Bicker, Castillo, & Fairbanks.) This gives us an idea how important this is to them to get Prop 98 passed. VOTE NO on PROP 98. IT IS NOT IN OUR BEST INTERESTS!

NO on PROP 98:

– Masquerades as Eminent Domain reform
– Carries hidden agenda of eliminating rent control upon resale
– Destroys value of mobile homes
– Allows park owner initiated condo conversions of MHPs
– Outlaws local affordable housing ‘inclusionary’ zoning requirements
– Contains poorly drafted provisions that could stop future water projects
– AND destroy local land-use planning and erode environmental protections.

YES on PROP 99 (Homeowner’s Protection Act – HOPA):

– A grass-roots effort with well over 1 million signatures to qualify a ‘clean’ eminent domain proposition on the June 3rd ballot. This is supported by GSMOL, Comocal, Neighborhood Friends, the League of California Cities, and many senior organizations. My opinion is this, it’s not perfect but it is better than anything we have in place now.

IMPORTANT: IF BOTH PASS, THE ONE WITH THE MOST VOTES WINS –
So NO on PROP 98, YES on 99

NEWS UPDATE!

Members of the NO on 98/YES on 99 coalition, which includes the Coalition for Economic Survival, have just filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Co. Superior Court, asking a judge to change the official title of Prop 98 to include mention of the measure’s rent control provisions!