Weekend wound-up

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Robin Hayes is no doubt spending the weekend wondering how the heck a mild-mannered school teacher from Biscoe is going to kick his fanny this fall. Tough tomatoes, Mr. Hayes. If you had served the people of your district instead of King George for the past seven years, you wouldn't have this problem.

The nonpartisan political analysts have changed Hayes' rematch with Biscoe schoolteacher Larry Kissell from "Leans Republican" to "Toss Up."

Give 'em hell, Larry.


Speaking of elections

It's mind-boggling what some candidates will do when faced with a tough re-election challenge.

She had her eureka moment more than a year ago, after poring over the science about climate change and coming to the conclusion that the Earth definitely is getting warmer.

A whole year ago? More like one month ago ... when Kay Hagan won the Democratic primary.

Eureka moment?


Your challenger has pulled up beside you in the polls. You have no idea why because if it doesn't have anything to do with immigration, you have no idea what's been going on in your state for the last six long years. So, what would any politically minded Bush apologist in the Senate do? Change your tune on everything and wait to see what the papers like!!!

She suddenly changes her tune, gets out a map, finds the state Mother's old house is in, and starts doing a few of the things she should have been doing for the last six years. Great.

Seriously, waking up in mid-2008 and saying, "Hey, our climate is getting warmer!" cannot in any way be called a Eureka moment. It is 2008 and 99.999% of scientists and 80% (hopefully) of average Americans have conceded that yes, Dick Cheney was wrong, again. The earth is really getting warmer. This is NOT a Eureka moment. It's an "ok, FINE! you were right" moment.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Dang it.

Now I'm going to have to go read more to figure out what the heck the dang bill says and who supports it and who doesn't. I wasn't really looking for extra work today, James. Days like this I really wish I had a bigger brain and could read faster.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

The neo environmentalists

Aside from the fact that Cap and Trade provides a whole new market for greedy investors, it will also give emitters a cheaper alternative than actually taking steps to curb emissions. For many, it will be the choice between a $7.00 per ton "credit", or spending $25.00 per ton to reengineer or incorporate new technologies to actually bring down their emissions.

On an international scale, Cap and Trade has had questionable results, and now the U.N.'s incentive program appears to be deeply flawed (I'll try to link later). I heard a story on the BBC yesterday about an Indian company that produces coolant for refrigerators and emits HFCs(?) in the process. The U.N. is awarding this company something like 48 million per year because they greatly reduced their emissions, but they were going to do that anyway.

Currently these incentives represent over half of the revenue this company brings in annually, and it will reach half a billion total before it ceases.

Seems like if they were going to do it anyway

they shouldn't qualify for the incentive money. Kinda kills the concept of "incentive" all together and turns it into a give-away.

Thanks, SC. It's suddenly making perfect sense why Liddy Dole is falling for it. I heard "caps and trade" and thought of the Edwards plan and thought, "Good. Finally." Looks like i might have terribly misunderstood the whole thing.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

In theory, it's not a horrible idea.

Monies collected from (initial sales of) carbon credits are then used to fund research and implementation of much cleaner technology. So, while many of these companies are not actually reducing their emissions, they are offsetting them by paying for cleaner stuff.

But the devil is in the details, and this system is way too easy to manipulate to the point that the offsetting never really takes place, and progress (once again) takes a backseat to profits.

So.. in essence...

A company doesn't have to be environmentally conscious or even responsible, as long as they pay someone else to be?

Isn't that it?

Pretty much. But that's to be expected,

because the driving force behind (successful) business is to keep costs from surpassing revenues.

The whole idea behind legislation like this is the realization that industry (as a whole) will never voluntarily sacrifice profits to protect the environment. Some will, and you'll see them used as examples by those who abhor government regulation. But they're a distinct minority, and we don't have a century to wait for this kind of ethic to grow "stylish". So it has to be incentivised to actually work.

But Cap and Trade is not the way to go. I'll let Chris Dodd explain a better way:

The idea is simple. We already know how much carbon is emitted from the burning of various fossil fuels, and we already collect the data we need to figure out how much to tax each sale of fossil fuels. As such, all that we would need to do to impose a carbon tax is set a price for a ton of carbon. That price would increase over time, leading to decreased carbon emissions as the cost of using dirty fossil fuels overtakes the cost of investing in clean, renewable technologies.

I know ``new taxes'' have been anathema to American politics for years. But a carbon tax eliminates the last incentive there is to pollute because it is cheaper.

A carbon tax would reduce carbon emissions much more efficiently than a cap-and-trade program. The Congressional Budget Office said as much, finding that ``available research suggests that in the near term, the net benefits ..... of a tax could be roughly five times greater than the net benefits of an inflexible cap.

Put another way, a given long-term emission-reduction target could be met by a tax at a fraction of the cost of an inflexible cap-and-trade program.''

Why? Because a tax provides the kind of long-term predictability for the price of emissions a carbon allowance would not. It allows companies to more effectively plan over the long-term how they could most cost-effectively reduce emissions.

Additionally, a carbon tax could be much more easily administered and overseen than a cap-and-trade program because the administrative infrastructure already exists to levy taxes on the upstream sources of fossil fuels, with their carbon contents known quantities as well.

Unlike cap and trade, which would require a complex new administrative structure to oversee and regulate the carbon market, we don't have to start from scratch.

And he gets two blue stars for this:

Lastly, I want to say a word about public transportation which falls within the jurisdiction of the Banking Committee. Given that the transportation sector is responsible for a third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, clearly we need to direct significant resources toward public transit, which reduces the number of cars on the road.

21 out 27 Toss-Ups are GOP held seats

According to Cook Political Report. In addition to moving NC-08 to toss-up, they also moved IL-10 (another rematach from 2006, Dan Seals v. incumbent Mark Kirk), CO-4 (Musgrave) and OH-01 (Chabot) and a couple others from "Lean GOP" to "Toss-Up."

N&O fires a pea-shooter across the lottery bow

It's better than nothing, but it could have been WAY better ... by calling on the legislature to reconsider the entire lottery scheme, not just the details around the edges. Folks will say, "no way they'll reconsider" but I say it doesn't hurt to push the point anyway.

Colon tours

in Raleigh. Not sure if this is an exact replica, but how many inflatable colons do you figure are on the market these days?


Inflatable Colon... :: drools ::

Has anyone else noticed that the US Air Force had a meltdown

this week? washington post reports Top Two Air Force Officials Ousted
Failures in Oversight Of Nuclear Arms Cited

The departures of Wynne and Moseley cap a disastrous period for the Air Force, one that has included a bomber wing inadvertently flying nuclear warheads over the continental United States, the mistaken and long-unnoticed transfer of secret nuclear-related materials to Taiwan, and a corrupt $50 million contract for a Thunderbirds air show that went to a company owned by a retired four-star general and a civilian friend of senior Air Force leaders.

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

Nature mimics technology

I hope this link will work.

That should fix it. My son Steven showed this to me this afternoon, and I had to post it here. :)

I just had a wave of deja vu hit me. Has somebody already posted this in the past? James?

How weird is that?

I had to hear that camera-winding sound and the chainsaw several times, and I'm still at a loss as to how the bird can do that. :o

Not posted by me

though I did have an amazing experience with these birds in Australia about ten years ago. The "camera" noise (speed shutter) was truly remarkable.

Then there's this bird called the "bell bird" that sounds, well, like a crystal bell. It is one of the sweetest sounds you'd ever want to hear. We heard both on a camping trip in the Snowy Mountains, where we also saw our a kookaburra, emu and more magpies than you can shake a stick at.

It was god

working through the Huckster's magic hands. Trust me. Pittenger now has the Big Guy on his side.

Hey! Arrest that man! He is choking the dude with his Napkin?

Mike Huckabee saved Robert Pittenger's life

using the Heimlich maneuver at lunch according to The Guardian.*Betsy Muse

More BS from the myth promoters of Religious Republicanism. Where the Beef Robert? I can hear it now! "Huckabee save my life and he can save John McCain too"!


Which means Pittenger - the man who wants to be Lt. Gov.

Was greeting people, smiling big, talking and laughing with food in his mouth. Real class.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


Good one.

I've always questioned...

...the ability of a Repug to walk and chew at the same time.