The purpose of having regulatory authority within the administration is that the legislature does not have the time or expertise to do it. The legislature writes broad policy into law, and the administration works out and implements the details.
Putting the administration on a short leash rejects the separation of powers, cripples the regulatory function, inflates hyper-partisanship, and increases the cost while decreasing the effectiveness of government. This, of course, is what the GOP wants. By crippling the government’s ability to protect the lives and rights of living people, they give a free hand to the predators and polluter who support them. The anarchy they seek favors the powerful and the dangerous.
This is deeply damaging to the country.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
- House Republicans’ Labor Budget Cuts Rules That Protect Rooftop Workers From Falling, Coal Miners From Coal Dust (laurieanichols.wordpress.com)
Regulation is as necessary as traffic law. While I have seen some silly traffic laws, I don’t think that any responsible person would propose getting rid of all traffic law as a consequence.
Every regulation is a reminder that businesses bear no responsibility toward the public good. That responsibility lies with the people, through their official instrument: the government.
A bad regulation is a regulation that fails to protect the public interest. A regulation is not properly measured by if or how much it impedes commerce, but whether or not that impediment promotes or fails to promote the general welfare.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
This Bill has already failed, but it illustrates how the priorities of the republicans stray from the priorities of the country. It also serves as a commentary on the technical competence of knee-jerk legislation.
[Congressional Bills 112th Congress][From the U.S. Government Printing Office][H.R. 2417 Introduced in House (IH)]112th CONGRESS1st SessionH. R. 2417To repeal certain amendments to the Energy Policy and Conservation Actwith respect to lighting energy efficiency, and for other purposes._______________________________________________________________________IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESJuly 6, 2011Mr. Barton of Texas (for himself, Mr. Akin, Mr. McClintock, Mr. Flores,Mr. Hultgren, Mr. Turner, Mr. Wolf, Mrs. Lummis, Mrs. Capito, Mr.Scalise, Mr. McKinley, Mr. Burgess, Mrs. Blackburn, Mr. Goodlatte, Mr.Poe of Texas, and Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas) introduced thefollowing bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy andCommerce_______________________________________________________________________A BILLTo repeal certain amendments to the Energy Policy and Conservation Actwith respect to lighting energy efficiency, and for other purposes.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of theUnited States of America in Congress assembled,SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.This Act may be cited as the “Better Use of Light Bulbs Act”.SEC. 2. LIGHTING ENERGY EFFICIENCY.(a) In General.–Sections 321 and 322 of the Energy Independenceand Security Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-140) are repealed.(b) Application.–The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C.6201 et seq.) shall be applied and administered as if sections 321 and322 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (and theamendments made by those sections) had not been enacted.SEC. 3. MERCURY-CONTAINING LIGHTING.No Federal, State, or local requirement or standard regardingenergy efficient lighting shall be effective to the extent that therequirement or standard can be satisfied only by installing or usinglamps containing mercury.SEC. 4. STATE REGULATION.No State or local regulation, or revision thereof, concerning theenergy efficiency or energy use of medium screw base general serviceincandescent lamps shall be effective.SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.In this Act, the terms “general service incandescent lamp”,“lamp”, and “medium screw base” have the meanings given those termspursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6201 etseq.), as applied and administered pursuant to section 2.<all>
- With the development of full-spectrum LED lights, this section is rendered useless. LED lights can meet any requirement of standard that florescent lights could. The exception would be for ballast requirements that have nothing to do with bulb choice.
- Supposed protection from mercury in the bulbs (less than a thermometer’s worth) would be more than offset by the extra coal ash generated. Coal ash contains mercury, some of which goes into the air. Light bulbs containing mercury must be recycled, they cannot be put in the trash. The whole mercury-in-landfill argument is false.
- It explicitly prohibits state or local government from setting a higher standard. Setting a minimum national standard is one thing, preventing the states from improving on it is another thing entirely.
“There’s a massive misperception that incandescents are going away quickly,” said Chris Calwell, a researcher with Ecos Consulting who studies the bulb market. “There have been more incandescent innovations in the last three years than in the last two decades.”
“Due to the 2007 federal energy bill that phases out inefficient incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012, we are finally seeing a race” to develop more efficient ones, said Noah Horowitz, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
By Mr. BARTON of Texas:H.R. 2417.Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant to the following:This bill is enacted pursuant to the power granted to Congress under Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution.
[The Congress shall have Power] “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”
[The Congress shall have Power] “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”
- Rep. Rush Holt: Shining Light on the BULB Act (huffingtonpost.com)
- BULB act sheds light on the politics of the new Republican Party (thehill.com)
- Why Fighting Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs Is So Stupid (ecocentric.blogs.time.com)
- dirty electricity and unhealthy CFL light bulbs (ees2001.wordpress.com)
The campaign to promote corn ethanol drove up the price of corn, which benefited the corn farmers. It also encouraged new businesses and job creation, as well as diluting our dependence on oil for transportation.
But at a price…
As demand for corn skyrocketed, the price also rose. Because the price went up, more fields were planted with corn. More corn fields meant less fields devoted to other grains, which led to low supply and high prices for other grains. That raised the price of foods derived from grains and food animals fed on grains.
In short, it drove up the price of food. Worldwide.
What would I do?
1) Cap corn ethanol at 10% mixture.
2) Keep subsidies for small “blenders”, but greatly reduce or eliminate subsidies for the rest. (research would be required to determine a proper threshold.) Betraying the small startups would hurt the government’s ability to lead the economy into the future instead of letting it decline in the past.
3) Bring oil speculation back into regulated markets, where they belong. I would tax windfall profits of oil speculators by at least 50% – their pursuit of profits severely hurts the economy.
3a) If (3) is not feasible, then bypass the market entirely by having the federal government buy directly from the producer on contract and sell at a slight profit to the domestic market. This is probably the best option for the country (and the world).
And the Koch brothers? They are the evil behind the high price of oil speculation. They’ll survive:
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Republican Georgia state legislator Bobby Franklin thinks that driver’s licenses impose undue restrictions on the right of citizens to travel. So he’s proposed legislation to stop the state from issuing them.
That’s not the only eyebrow raising legislation Franklin has introduced: he’s also proposed bills requiring the exclusive use of gold and silver as tender in payment of debts by or to the state; a bill seeking to eliminate crop management regulations; another bill banning forced vaccinations; a bill to stop the collection of the Georgia income tax; another to stop all property taxes and yet another to end eminent domain.
He has also sought to abolish the State Road and Tollway Authority, the Department of Health and Human Services and any social services Georgia provides.
In one bill that reads as his philosophical statement on the roots of government, Franklin laments the fall of religious and family authority. The bill — called the “Life, Liberty, and Property Restoration Act” — begins by acknowledging the existence of “an almighty, everlasting, creator God, the God of the Bible, the only God there is.” The bill then notes that God created “four, not one spheres of government”: self-government, family government, church government, and finally “the fourth, and least” — civil government.
I think that the last election may have brought batshit conservatism to critical mass.
This guy is in desperate need of deprogramming. He seems to have lost all understanding of how society works. It takes a real conservative to elect someone who has completely abandoned the Constitution even though he had to have sworn allegiance to it before taking his elected office.
His legislation is an insult to the dreams and hard work of the founding fathers, and the sacrifice of all those who gave their lives in the creation and defense if this country.
Georgia Republican: Nobody Should Need A Driver’s License
- Legislature to look at driver’s license regulations (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Unintended Consequences: Drivers License Edition (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Legislature push for proof of legal residency in granting driver’s licenses (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Gessler pushes for citizenship proof when voters register – Denver Post (news.google.com)
The more that Corporate America can reach across the border for cheap labor, unprotected resources, and tax shelters, the more they insulate themselves from the American people and the American economy.
The more their interests come in conflict with the interests of the American people, and therefore conflict with government for the people.
It is disturbing to see how many support what are effectively foreign interests instead of the interests of the country. Some are already owned by Corporate America. Others aspire to join them – but with only 4% upward economic mobility, it is generally a vain hope.
Government is the tool we the people have to oppose the otherwise overwhelming power of big business. It is no surprise that they go to any lengths to take that tool away from us.
The working class are the ones who truly need to take back the country.
Take it back from the oligarchs and corporatists.
Take it back from the theocrats and propagandists.
Take it back from fear, prejudice, and ignorance.
Take it back to government of the people, by the people and for the people, because we the people are the ones who ultimately bear the burdens of failure – every failure, regardless of source.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Three years ago I wanted limits placed on how much the ARMs could reset in a year, in an effort to slow the foreclosures and collapse of real estate prices. I wanted the courts to sort the schemers from the dupes for the same reason.
Republicans would have none of it. They cried sanctity of contract, though these were fraudulently made and deserving of review by the courts. Contracts were sacred (except union contracts) regardless of the harm to the economy. And harm there was.
The financial sector has so badly botched mortgages that sorting it out through due process would take so long that it would freeze the market to the point of another recession. And yet, the banks have earned the losses they are trying so hard to pass on the their victims. Nor can main street absorb any more fiscal abuse if the economy is to recover.
The financial sector has become it’s own worst enemy, and no friend to the economy. They created this recession, and they are not done screwing up. They cannot prove ownership of mortgages or the right to foreclose in untold instances.
Prudent risk and due diligence have given way to unrepentant avarice. Have we reached the time for moral hazard?
They deserve to fail, but they are not the only ones who would pay for their failure.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
- Banks Basically Let Any Old Person Give Homeowners the Boot (observer.com)
- The Basics: Foreclosures: A Paperwork Fiasco (nytimes.com)
- Federal Housing Probe On Target But Should Examine Loan Modifications, Investigation of Loan Origination Practices That Led To Economic Collapse (prweb.com)
- Foreclosure Crisis May Well Be Catastrophic in Any Case (emptywheel.firedoglake.com)
- Who Loses in a Foreclosure Moratorium? (money.usnews.com)
- You: Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Demand Recourse (nytimes.com)
We have become a nation divided by ideology. Community vs individualism. Pride and honor vs avarice and power. Perseverance vs instant gratification. Federalism vs Confederacy. Republic vs Corporatocracy.
Capitalism has not only reached across the border, it has straddled it. The economic model of a national economy is fundamentally broken. American workers and American corporations do not function in the same economy. That has to be fixed before we can prosper again.
Capitalism is not a form of government, no matter how many people try to make it one. It is a culture of competing and conflicting self-interests, not leadership. Under the domination of conservatism, we surrendered the initiative to others. The future went from 10 years (Space Race) to 3 months as we became fixated on quarterly profits. Economic myopia.
We need to develop new industries and oil independence, but conservatives resist. For 10 years, we tried the conservative approach in it’s extreme. Environmental law, anti-trust law, regulation, and budgetary restraint were all sacrificed in the name of conservative-style economic growth. And what did we get for it? Private sector job growth in decline for 10 years. Bush43 created only 3m net jobs, the worst performance on record. Wages stagnated, fraud flourished, the economy weakened and inevitably fell into recession.
We have a private sector that cannot get out of it’s own way. Banks rushing to foreclose on properties they cannot prove they have a legal right to foreclose on, using bogus documentation, driving down the value of the property they are ceasing – trampling due process and individual rights in the process.
If we are to recover from this recession, if we are to create meaningful numbers of new jobs, we need new industries and modern infrastructure. We need to recognize the limitations of capitalism, and adapt accordingly.
- “Johnston: Scary New Wage Data” and related posts (taxprof.typepad.com)
- Mitchell Bard: A Short and Clear Guide to What a Midterm Vote Really Means (huffingtonpost.com)
- Millionaires on Unemployment? There Must Be a Better Way (dailyfinance.com)
- Why growth still feels like recession | Dean Baker (guardian.co.uk)
- Obama’s New Villain (thedailybeast.com)
- Ben Nelson’s misplaced priorities (washingtonmonthly.com)
This law is too broad in that it makes no exception for internal transfer opportunities. As written, it could be interpreted to prohibit efforts to retain existing workers through internal placement.
This law could also be leveraged to downsize higher-paid employees and then hire lower-paid replacements.
I like the basic idea, but when I look at a law, I look for how it could be misunderstood or abused. Ambiguities and generalities are generally bad.
An Act concerning employment discrimination and supplementing Title 34 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. No employer or employer’s agent, representative, or designee shall publish, in print or on the Internet, an advertisement for any job vacancy that contains one or more of the following:
a. Any provision stating or suggesting that the qualifications for a job include current employment;
b. Any provision stating or suggesting that the employer or employer’s agent, representative, or designee will not consider or review an application for employment submitted by any job applicant currently unemployed; or
c. Any provision stating or suggesting that the employer or employer’s agent, representative, or designee will only consider or review applications for employment submitted by job applicants who are currently employed.
2. Any employer who violates this act shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation, collectible by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development in a summary proceeding pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill prohibits an employer or employer’s agent, representative, or designee to publish, in print or on the Internet, an advertisement for any job vacancy that prohibits, announces or suggests that unemployed individuals need not apply for a job vacancy. The bill provides for the imposition of civil penalties, for a violation of the bill, in an amount not to exceed $5,000 for the first violation, or $10,000 for each subsequent violation, collectible by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.
I worked for a large company for many years, and transferred internally on several occasions. Such transfers promote job stability and reduce training costs, both of which are desirable. If the law stated that external candidates cannot be required to have a current job, then that would be a different story.
Just shuffling people from one company to another does not increase employment. I hope the tax holiday for new hires is limited to hiring the unemployed. There should be an increase in head count involved.
- Mott’s Strike Settled: Workers Returning to Apple Sauce Factory (www.pbs.org/newshour/)
- Ill. Penalizes Employers Who Shortchange Workers (abcnews.go.com)
- Let’s Make It Illegal for Employers to Discriminate Against the Unemployed (uspoverty.change.org)
- This Week In Jobless Discrimination: Unemployed Applicants Might ‘Be Tempted To Steal’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Equal Employment commission files sex, age discrimination suit against Port Authority (nj.com)
Zhuubaajie: You are quite mistaken. As a specific example, Japanese semiconductor manufacturers dumped (sold below cost) memory chips in the US until the American computer memory industry failed. Now we cannot make electronics, including military electronics, without importing memory from Asia. The idea that the market determines the price is only valid when there is fair competition, which does not apply to China. Not just the fabrication, but the design of processors already has one foot out the door. Won’t that be fun when we become nothing more than salesmen in the entire electronics industry.
Nor does your alleged “golden age” hold water. Cheap imports coupled with mega-mergers and job exporting drove a period of stagnant wages that deflated the purchasing power of Main Street and created vulnerability to teaser-rate mortgages and liar loans. It drove home equity loans and high credit card debt that culminated in a national saving rate below $0 in 2006 and economic collapse starting in 2007.
Upward economic mobility has remained below 4% since 1980. Private sector job creation under Bush43 was the worst on record.
The exodus of wealth in the form of massive trade deficits have done more to weaken our economy than even budget deficits. We are well on the way to becoming a third-world economy.
The economic model of a national economy is fundamentally broken. American workers and American corporations do not function in the same economy. That has to be fixed before we can prosper again.
More on Green Energy
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost