Monthly archive: November 2010
Check out this article in the NYT about an energy self-sufficient sports stadium. While there may be things to admire about the project, a couple of greenwashing points:
1) There’s no way those turbines and the solar panels they show will put out the peak load of the stadium (think about how much stadium lighting draws). When they say “self-sufficient” in energy they mean they’ll put as much in the grid as they take out, overall. Not so hard for a stadium…which is unoccupied most of the time.
2) Major bogus architect greenwashing: check out the fictional triangular solar panels in the photo! You can’t cut a stock solar panel to get the shape you want; it actually needs a certain number of solar cells hooked up in series to produce the design panel voltage. While certain triangular solar panels do exist, they have fixed shapes and anemic lower voltages that won’t match this system. These ain’t gingerbread man cookies you can just bite the head off, folks.
To say that the recent election was disheartening for those on the left is a broad understatement. I wish that we could just blame the Democratic Party’s incompetence or the evil corporations deep pockets but I think alas, too many Americans really believe the shit they see on Fox and end up wanting to be led by Tea Party wack-jobs.
So what can someone on the left do now? What should Obama do?
1. Keep the Tea Party wackos in the fight – Focus on the populist issue of Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and get both Michael Moore and the Tea Party out there screaming at politicians, both Democrat and Republican, to do something about it, Now! “Main Street not Wall Street!” “No Jobs – No Votes!” If we don’t see progress on the economy then we’ll vote this batch of yahoos out too. That will keep the Republicans from just hunkering down as the party of gridlock and force them to engage on the issue. And if the economy improves, Obama can take credit. If it doesn’t, he’d probably get voted out anyway because people blame the President no matter whose fault it is.
2. Extend the Tax Cuts but Give It All to the Middle Class – The Republicans want to extend the Bush Tax cuts because they claim tax cuts are good for the economy (mostly its a ‘starve the beast’ philosophy but its the spin that matters in elections). Obama already wants to extend them for those making under $250,000/year. He should compromise with the Republicans and say, “Fine you want that money back in people’s pockets. We’ll take the total amount of the Bush tax cuts and extend em, but still give it to people making under $250,000/year.” They will of course respond with “socialism”, “class warfare”, etc. but if the Dems and the left get out there and scream “Main Street not Wall Street” and “No handouts to the Rich” louder it just might work. I never have understood how the right can get the masses rallying around programs that only benefit the very wealthy while also claiming that the left are elitist. We’ve got to stop letting them get away with that.
3. Health Care Reform – The Republicans want to repeal or defund Health Care Reform. Progressives need to get out there and protest in person at their representatives offices. Remember how much press those Tea Party screamers got? This is our turn. “Hands off our Health Care!” Show up waving hospital bills and insurance denials. Get in their faces and don’t back down. Remember that a majority of American’s want health care reform – make sure that the Republicans don’t forget that fact.
4. Climate Change – OK we are probably just screwed here as far as any comprehensive action. The best we can hope for is to avoid having a Republican hosted circus of congressional hearings where they trot out all the denialists. If they try – go back to #1 and tell them to quit wasting our time and focus on Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! In the mean time maybe Obama can push through some bill that gets some support for renewables, a smart-grid, and energy independence that will help create some Jobs. The rest will have to be done at the EPA and State level.
5. Bailout Money - First step – get it all back. I’m not sure how but by the next campaign season, Obama’s got to get every penny of that bailout repaid to the Government. Then make sure that everyone knows that it was Bush and the Republicans who got us into the mess and then bailed out Wall Street, while its Obama who cleaned things up and got our money back. If that doesn’t play well in Peoria I don’t know what will.
I could go on about foreclosures, education reform, wall street regulation, and the deficit, but frankly its all about the economy and jobs and then whatever spin gets the most airtime.
Now is the time to get out there and get our voices heard and make sure the politicians know that the left has screaming wack-jobs too and we know how to use them.
If you need some motivation just think “President Palin”.