Tuesday, October 04, 2005

ramblins of buddy don: a few quick lanks

tiz a blessin to have blogger wurkin, to have no symptums of migraine, to have a good job, yew name it. even the news is purty innerestin. heres a few stories ye mite have missed.
  • Fossil Fuels Set to Become Relics, Says Research Group:
    Energy drawn from the wind, tide, sun, Earth's heat, and farm waste is poised to begin replacing oil and other fossil fuels, a prominent research group said Wednesday in a wake-up call to industry executives and government officials worldwide.

    "Energy markets are about to experience a seismic shift," Christopher Flavin, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Worldwatch Institute, said in a speech to oil executives and energy ministers in Johannesburg, South Africa, site of the 18th World Petroleum Congress.

    "The question for oil executives is whether you're in the oil business or the energy business."
  • DeLay Is Indicted on Two New Charges; Money Laundering Alleged in Texas:
    A Texas grand jury indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) yesterday for alleged involvement in money laundering related to the 2002 Texas election, raising new and more serious allegations than the conspiracy charge lodged against the former House majority leader last week.

    The surprising new indictments followed by a matter of hours a motion by DeLay's Texas legal defense team to quash last week's charge on grounds that the Texas prosecutor in charge of the case lacked authority to bring it. The lawyers alleged that the crime of conspiracy was not covered by the state election law at the time of the alleged violation.

    Later on Monday, a different grand jury -- which had no prior involvement in the case -- brought the new charges, which roughly match allegations made against two of DeLay's political associates one year ago.
  • Tax-Cut and Spend Republicans:
    As Republicans celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Contract With America, where is the zeal for smaller government that was such a central aspect of the 1994 Republican Revolution?

    In the five years he has been in office, President Bush and the GOP-led Congress have added $1.5 trillion and counting to the federal debt they inherited after Bill Clinton left office. Even many of today's conservative pundits and activists are questioning the party's priorities.

    But does the president deserve all the blame?

    With a large number of Republicans left over from the 1994 revolution, what happened to the zeal for reining in spending?
  • Weak Responses Led To 9/11, Cheney Asserts; Inadequate Retaliation Seen in 7 Cases [no comment -- this aint news, jes a repeat of the same ole same ole]

  • Gulf Firms Losing Cleanup Contracts; Most Money Going Outside Storm's Path:
    Companies outside the three states most affected by Hurricane Katrina have received more than 90 percent of the money from prime federal contracts for recovery and reconstruction of the Gulf Coast, according to an analysis of available government data.

    The analysis by The Washington Post takes into account only the first wave of federal contracts, those that had been entered in detail into government databases as of yesterday. Together they are valued at more than $2 billion. Congress has allocated more than $60 billion for the recovery effort, and the ultimate total is expected to rise far higher.

    But already the trend toward out-of-state firms is clear, despite pledges by administration officials that federal funds for Katrina relief will become an engine of local economic redevelopment. Among the contracts analyzed, 3.8 percent of the money went to companies that listed an Alabama address, 2.8 percent to firms in Louisiana and just 1.8 percent went for Mississippi contractors. Taken together, that amounts to less than $200 million.

    The lack of contracts for firms in the devastated area has angered local political and business leaders who say they fear that even with the massive commitment of federal money, the region's recovery will be stymied if funds primarily flow into the pockets of large, out-of-state corporations. It has also raised the ire of small-business advocates, who say the government has tilted the playing field against the companies that most desperately need the work.
  • A Specious 'Experiment':
    So now that we have Bennett on the couch, shouldn't we conclude that he mentioned only black children because, perhaps on a subconscious level, he associates "black" with "criminal''?

    That's what it sounds like to me. I grew up in the South in the days when we had to drink at "colored" water fountains and gas stations had separate "colored" restrooms; I know what a real racist is like, and Bennett certainly doesn't fit the description. But that's what's so troubling about his race-specific "thought experiment" -- that such a smart, well-meaning opinion maker would so casually say something that translates, to African American ears, as "blacks are criminals."

    What makes it worse is that his words came in the context of abortion. That Bennett staunchly opposes abortion is beside the point. He should know enough history to understand why black Americans would react strongly when whites start imagining experiments to limit black reproduction. For hundreds of years, this country was obsessed with the supposed menace of black sexuality and fertility. Bennett's remarks have to make you wonder whether that obsession has really vanished or just been deemed off-limits in polite discourse.

    I've heard people argue -- mostly in discussions of affirmative action -- that the nation's problem of racial discrimination has mostly been solved. The issue now is class, they say, not race. I'd like to believe that, but I don't.
  • Big S.U.V.'s Lag in Sales, Hindered by Gas Cost:
    DETROIT, Oct. 3 - The heyday of the giant sport utility vehicle keeps moving farther away as gasoline prices loom larger.

    In September, industrywide sales of large S.U.V.'s were down 43 percent from a year earlier, according to Ward's AutoInfoBank. That is particularly bad news for General Motors and the Ford Motor Company, which are dependent on truck-based S.U.V.'s.
    Last month, G.M.'s overall sales fell 24.2 percent and Ford's declined 20.3 percent, compared with the same month a year earlier.

    In contrast, Japanese carmakers reported increases last month, propelled by passenger cars and smaller S.U.V.'s known as crossover vehicles. Toyota's sales rose 10.3 percent, Honda's increased 11.7 percent and Nissan's, 16.4 percent.
as ye kin see, the furst n last stories is sorta lack bookends. hope yer day goes as good as mine has started!

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