Wednesday, January 23, 2008

House Fails to Override Health Bill Veto

This demonstrates once and for all Bush's lack of concern for the people of America:

For the second time in three months, the House failed Wednesday to override President Bush's veto of a bill that would greatly increase spending on a popular children's health insurance program.

Democratic leaders fell 15 votes shy of obtaining the two-thirds majority needed for an override. The final vote was 260-152, with 42 Republicans siding with Democrats.

The result was expected, even as override supporters pointed to the slowing economy as another reason to spend another $35 billion on the State Children's Health Insurance Program over the next five years.

[...]The legislation that Bush vetoed would have increased enrollment in the children's health program from 6 million to 10 million over the coming five years. The revenue needed for that enrollment increase would come from a 61-cent increase in the federal excise tax on a pack of cigarettes, as well as comparable tax increases on other tobacco products.

[...]The president's second veto occurred in December. He said the bill encouraged too many families to replace private insurance with government-subsidized health coverage. He vetoed a similar bill in October. Democratic leaders then fell 13 votes short in their attempt to override that particular veto, so they actually lost ground Wednesday.

The children's health program serves families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance.

Drought Could Force Nuke-Plant Shutdowns

This is another reason why nuclear power is not a viable source of energy:

Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate.

Utility officials say such shutdowns probably wouldn't result in blackouts. But they could lead to shockingly higher electric bills for millions of Southerners, because the region's utilities may be forced to buy expensive replacement power from other energy companies.

Already, there has been one brief, drought-related shutdown, at a reactor in Alabama over the summer.

"Water is the nuclear industry's Achilles' heel," said Jim Warren, executive director of N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, an environmental group critical of nuclear power. "You need a lot of water to operate nuclear plants." He added: "This is becoming a crisis."

An Associated Press analysis of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors found that 24 are in areas experiencing the most severe levels of drought. All but two are built on the shores of lakes and rivers and rely on submerged intake pipes to draw billions of gallons of water for use in cooling and condensing steam after it has turned the plants' turbines.

Because of the yearlong dry spell gripping the region, the water levels on those lakes and rivers are getting close to the minimums set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Over the next several months, the water could drop below the intake pipes altogether. Or the shallow water could become too hot under the sun to use as coolant.

Most Americans believe U.S. economy in decline: Zogby

The American people know better than the politicians what's really going on. That is why the American people must come up with a solution. Thus the need for TPP:

Most Americans believe their country's economy is in decline and that its cities are experiencing economic troubles on a variety of fronts, according to a Zogby International Poll released Wednesday.

Americans also count five economic issues among the top 10 problems cities face, said John Zogby, speaking at a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which sponsored the poll. These include affordable housing, the housing market, local job development, health care and property taxes.

But they are also worried about their individual well-being, the survey of 32,085 people found.

More than two-thirds of respondents said they get less spending power from their paychecks than they did five years ago, and more than a quarter say unemployment has risen in their cities in the past five years.

- Read more of the poll results...

Maureen Dowd: Two Against One

Famed columnist, Maureen Dowd, does it. This time she exposes the Clintonian dirty campaigning tactics:

If Bill Clinton has to trash his legacy to protect his legacy, so be it. If he has to put a dagger through the heart of hope to give Hillary hope, so be it.

If he has to preside in this state as the former first black president stopping the would-be first black president, so be it.

The Clintons — or “the 2-headed monster,” as the The New York Post dubbed the tag team that clawed out wins in New Hampshire and Nevada — always go where they need to go, no matter the collateral damage. Even if the damage is to themselves and their party.

Bill’s transition from elder statesman, leader of his party and bipartisan ambassador to ward heeler and hatchet man has been seamless — and seamy.

[...] Bad Bill had been roughing up Obama so much that Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina suggested that he might want to “chill.” On a conference call with reporters yesterday, the former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a national co-chairman of the Obama campaign, tut-tutted that the “incredible distortions” of the political beast were “not keeping with the image of a former president.”

Jonathan Alter reported in Newsweek that Senator Edward Kennedy and Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman and former Clinton aide, have heatedly told Bill “that he needs to change his tone and stop attacking Senator Barack Obama.”

- Read the entire article...