TCU’s move to Big East latest setback for BCS bashers – USA Today

November 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

New York Daily News
TCU's move to Big East latest setback for BCS bashers
USA Today
Opponents of the Bowl Championship Series will likely still point to the fairness factor if unbeaten TCU is left out of the national championship game this season. But, there's little doubt it's been a bad 72 hours for BCS bashers.
TCU move to Big East has major impactFOXSports.com
Leaping Frogs will feel at home in faraway Big EastCBSSports.com
Big East Expansion About to Leave Basketball BehindFanHouse
Wall Street Journal –FOX CT –Fort Worth Star Telegram
all 913 news articles »

Sports – Google News

Jazz move the ball, then rally to erase Clippers 109-97 – Salt Lake Tribune

November 28, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

TSN
Jazz move the ball, then rally to erase Clippers 109-97
Salt Lake Tribune
Galloping down the court, the lanky Jazz center sent a soft touch pass to Earl Watson. Watson responded with a quick touch pass of his own. Then Elson twisted his body, outmaneuvered Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin,
Griffin registers 35-14-7 in loss to Jazzmsnbc.com
Recap: LA Clippers vs. UtahMiamiHerald.com
Williams leads Jazz to 109-97 win over ClippersAtlanta Journal Constitution
UPI.com –ESPN
all 191 news articles »

Sports – Google News

Rep. Inslee attacks anti-innovation GOP: Move to clean energy “or China is going to eat our lunch”

November 27, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

INSLEE: The fact of the matter is, if we’re going to grow our economy, if we are going to seize the jobs of the next century, we have to get busy focusing our national debate and our national investment on the new clean energy technologies, or China is going to eat our lunch.

China right now is preparing to roll out electric cars, lithium ion batteries, solar cells, cellulosic ethanol. This is where the future of energy is. We’ve a finite resource in oil, just like we had a finite resource in whale oil, and we made a transition. And we have to really focus our national energies in a bipartisan way, I would hope, on finding our way to compete with China to really build new energy sources of the future.

That’s Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) on Fox News Thursday.  ThinkProgress has the story and video in this cross-post:

In an interview that aired last night on Fox News, Sarah Palin pushed the GOP’s anti-innovation meme and attacked those in Congress who oppose drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Palin called them “extreme politicians over on the left who want to buy into” arguments against drilling from “extreme environmentalists.” The former GOP half-term Alaska governor argued that the U.S. needs “to drill and fill up the pipeline again.”

But in a separate interview later in the program, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) noted that drilling in the Arctic refuge really won’t solve America’s energy problems, won’t have much impact on the price of gasoline, and most importantly, moves the United States away from the direction of moving to a clean energy economy. Then, appearing to borrow a phrase from his GOP colleague Rep. Bob Inglis (SC), Inslee noted that China will outpace the U.S. if it doesn’t focus more on a clean energy economy:

Not only is Inslee correct that oil drilling in the Arctic refuge will have little impact on the American economy, but he’s also right that when in comes to clean energy production, China “is going to eat our lunch.” The New York Times reported earlier this year that China is the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels and new report out last month found that China “is a surprise leader in clean energy efforts“:

“The Chinese leadership have made a strategic decision that they missed out on the last two industrial revolutions and they don’t want to miss out on the third one,” said Erwin Jackson, director of the Climate Institute, of China’s “surprising” dominance.

“They are now commanding the largest market share of clean energy investment at a global level as a result,” Jackson told AFP.

China’s investment in clean energy topped 35 billion US dollars in 2009 compared with 11 billion in Britain and 18 billion in the United States, and Jackson said it was set to increase tenfold over the next decade.

“The race toward a clean-energy future is underway, and those nations that lead will reap enormous economic benefits,” CAP’s Kate Gordon noted in a report on clean energy this year, adding that “[b]y 2020, clean energy will be one of the world’s biggest industries, totaling as much as $ 2.3 trillion” and that China “has made a serious commitment to building that revolution with low-carbon, low-waste technologies and infrastructure.”

Ben Armbruster, ThinkProgress

Related Posts:

Climate Progress

TRENDING: Rove calls Palin move ‘smart’

November 27, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(CNN) – Karl Rove, also known as “the architect” of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, is calling Sarah Palin’s upcoming Iowa book stops “a smart thing to do.”

“That’s a pretty smart move if you’re thinking about running for president,” Rove said Friday on Fox News.

The former Alaska governor on Saturday will make the first of two stops in Iowa, the site of the first presidential primary contest, to promote her new book “America by Heart.”

Rove, who served as Deputy Chief of Staff under former President Bush, said the new book “gives her an excuse to be there as something other than a candidate, which is really important.”

Bush won the Iowa caucus in 2000 and 2004, and Rove said Hawkeye State residents are not likely to support a candidate based on campaign ads or celebrity.

“One of the keys for Iowa is they want to see you up close and personal,” Rove said. “They may want to see you several times before they decide whether or not they’ll support you in the caucuses.”

But Rove also acknowledged that this is just the beginning of the long run for the White House.

“She’s got a problem with independents and a problem with Democrats,” Rove said. “Over the course of the next year, like all of the Republican candidates, she’s got to demonstrate that she’s got an ability to unify the Republicans and reach outside the Republican ranks.”

Palin is currently on a 16-stop book tour that ends December 3 with a visit to South Carolina, another important state for potential candidates in 2012.


CNN Political Ticker

Rep. Inslee Attacks Anti-Innovation GOP: Move To Clean Energy ‘Or China Is Going To Eat Our Lunch’

November 26, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In an interview that aired last night on Fox News, Sarah Palin pushed the GOP’s anti-innovation meme and attacked those in Congress who oppose drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Palin called them “extreme politicians over on the left who want to buy into” arguments against drilling from “extreme environmentalists.” The former GOP half-term Alaska governor argued that the U.S. needs “to drill and fill up the pipeline again.”

But in a separate interview later in the program, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) noted that drilling in the Arctic refuge really won’t solve America’s energy problems, won’t have much impact on the price of gasoline, and most importantly, moves the United States away from the direction of moving to a clean energy economy. Then, appearing to borrow a phrase from his GOP colleague Rep. Bob Inglis (SC), Inslee noted that China will outpace the U.S. if it doesn’t focus more on a clean energy economy:

INSLEE: The fact of the matter is, if we’re going to grow our economy, if we are going to seize the jobs of the next century, we have to get busy focusing our national debate and our national investment on the new clean energy technologies, or China is going to eat our lunch.

China right now is preparing to roll out electric cars, lithium ion batteries, solar cells, cellulosic ethanol. This is where the future of energy is. We’ve a finite resource in oil, just like we had a finite resource in whale oil, and we made a transition. And we have to really focus our national energies in a bipartisan way, I would hope, on finding our way to compete with China to really build new energy sources of the future.

Watch it:

Not only is Inslee correct that oil drilling in the Arctic refuge will have little impact on the American economy, but he’s also right that when in comes to clean energy production, China “is going to eat our lunch.” The New York Times reported earlier this year that China is the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels and new report out last month found that China “is a surprise leader in clean energy efforts“:

“The Chinese leadership have made a strategic decision that they missed out on the last two industrial revolutions and they don’t want to miss out on the third one,” said Erwin Jackson, director of the Climate Institute, of China’s “surprising” dominance.

“They are now commanding the largest market share of clean energy investment at a global level as a result,” Jackson told AFP.

China’s investment in clean energy topped 35 billion US dollars in 2009 compared with 11 billion in Britain and 18 billion in the United States, and Jackson said it was set to increase tenfold over the next decade.

“The race toward a clean-energy future is underway, and those nations that lead will reap enormous economic benefits,” CAP’s Kate Gordon noted in a report on clean energy this year, adding that “[b]y 2020, clean energy will be one of the world’s biggest industries, totaling as much as $ 2.3 trillion” and that China “has made a serious commitment to building that revolution with low-carbon, low-waste technologies and infrastructure.”

ThinkProgress

Boehner Makes His First Move to Repeal ObamaCare

November 19, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Filing an amicus brief supporting repeal of Obamacare shows that Boehner got the message from the election.
American Thinker Blog

No Surprise: Kyl Plays Hard To Get On New START, Time To Move On And Vote

November 16, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Anyone who thought Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) would just throw up his hands and yell – yes, I support START! – was always living in dream land. Yet, upon Kyl’s release of a timid statement that says he doesn’t think a vote can get done in the lame duck session, reporters have scrambled to pen stories claiming that START is now unlikely to happen. But Kyl’s statement — which still refuses to take a position on the treaty, but typically calls for more delays — actually makes Kyl less relevant. It’s not about deal making with Kyl anymore, it is about the willingness of the White House and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) to force a vote on START. Reid, not Kyl, controls the Senate calendar, after all.

Throughout the START process, Kyl has been a force for delay and obstruction. Last summer, Kyl was whining immensely that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) was rushing the process and that a committee vote should not happen until after the August recess. After the SFRC delayed, Kyl spoke to Reuters who paraphrased Kyl:

It could be difficult to satisfy his [Kyl’s] demands before November and thus the vote on New START might need to take place during the lame duck session if the Senate wants to vote on the treaty this year.

After Sen. Kerry (D-MA) delayed the SFRC vote, I wrote at the time disapprovingly:

Delaying the vote, may have made sure that Senator Kerry and the Administration couldn’t be accused of “rushing” the process, but in the end it probably only strengthened Kyl’s hand and got him closer to his goal of blocking the treaty this year. In the end, the only way the treaty probably gets passed this year is if the Obama administration and the Senate leadership call Kyl out and force a vote.

But Kyl kept moving the goal posts. In September, after the SFRC did hold its vote, Kyl and Senate Republicans argued that having a vote before the election was impossible because it would politicize the process and that a vote should happen after the election. Time Magazine quoted an anonymous Senate Republican Aide who said:

This notion that [ratification] is going to happen before November is completely absurd… It reeks of politics.

Predictably, now that the election has passed, Kyl and Republicans say there isn’t enough time in the Senate calendar. Well, there would be plenty of time in the Senate calendar if Senate Republicans agreed to not needlessly stall the process. But Kyl’s statement essentially threatens to do exactly that –- to attempt to run out the clock on the Senate session and force Reid to forgo bringing up the treaty. He threatened the same thing last summer.

But the ball is no longer in Kyl’s court. The question is now will Reid and the White House give up and say there isn’t enough time for START or will they make the time and force a vote.

Perhaps, if a vote is forced, Kyl will lead a mass Republican boycott, in which pro-START Senators vote no out of party loyalty. That is a risk. But if Kyl is actually willing to vote no on the treaty in the lame duck, than he is in all likelihood not going to push for ratification in the new Senate, making the treaty all but dead anyway. Forcing a vote is also less risky than starting the ratification process from scratch and leaving the treaty in the hands of the next Senate. So essentially, what Kyl says or doesn’t say in the next few weeks shouldn’t change the calculus on whether or not to hold a vote.

Wonk Room

Murkowski: If DeMint wants to make peace with me, he can make the first move

November 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Oh my.


The bit about DeMint comes at the end of the clip, after she spends a few minutes dumping on Joe Miller for frivolous ballot challenges. Not shown: Murky predictably rushing to the defense of earmarks when questioned about DeMint’s proposed ban. Pork is, after all, the raison d’etre for her candidacy (apart from holding onto […]

Read this post »

Hot Air » Top Picks

As HAMP Struggles, Borrowers Move Into Significantly Worse Private Mortgage Modification Programs

November 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Back in April, Andrew Jakabovics and I reported that Bank of America was siphoning borrowers into its own private mortgage modification program before determining whether those borrowers qualify for the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), in clear violation of the bank’s HAMP contract with Treasury. And as it turns out, according to an investigation by ProPublica, this and other in-house modification programs run by the nation’s biggest banks are a substantively worse deal for borrowers than government supported programs:

A ProPublica analysis of regulators’ data shows that, compared to modifications in the government program, banks’ own modifications are less likely to reduce interest rates, less likely to defer principal and more likely to actually increase monthly payments. […]

ProPublica’s analysis found that almost 80 percent of the government modifications reduced monthly payments by more than 20 percent, whereas fewer than 40 percent of proprietary modifications made such reductions. Fifteen percent of proprietary modifications actually increase the monthly payments, typically because the modifications added past-due interest and other fees to the loan’s principal.

HAMP has been a pretty big flop, with only $ 600 million of the $ 50 billion dedicated to the program actually getting out the door, and with more borrowers getting dropped from the program than successfully receive a permanent mortgage modification. But private modifications are clearly a bad deal, particularly if they are actually increasing the monthly amount a borrower owes! And as HAMP has failed to get off the ground, borrowers have found themselves sucked into private modifications, for lack of better options.

Private modifications currently outnumber government modifications four to one, which is just one more reason that the administration needs to be looking at ways to streamline HAMP and get more borrowers through the program successfully. The Center for American Progress, for instance, has proposed allowing housing counselors to approve HAMP modifications, and if the bank doesn’t challenge the modification in three months, it automatically becomes permanent. This would help eliminate a lot of the foot-dragging in which the banks currently engage when it comes to HAMP.

Another idea for preventing foreclosures is ramping up automatic foreclosure mediation programs, which have been successful across the country. Mediation — which means that a bank must actually meet with a borrower, face-to-face, to make one last-ditch effort at striking a deal before a foreclosure is finalized — been keeping borrowers out of foreclosure in Philadelphia, Connecticut, Maryland and New York. Alon Cohen has laid out a set of best practices for mediation programs here.

Wonk Room

Move Over, Ellen: Or Black Guys Can’t Dance

November 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Barack and Michelle's appearance at a Diwali event gets remixed:

How the AP reported the scene:

He appeared to resist when students from Holy Name High School in Mumbai approached. Eventually, Obama gave in, got up and strutted his stuff, too. He jumped around a little and made awkward sawing movements with his arms.





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