In a move toward improving the transparency of bills in Congress, PublicMarkup.org has put the original Bush Bailout plan and Senator Chris Dodd’s plan dealing with the same issue up for public view. The public can also comment on the legislation.
Oh, in case you’re wondering – despite having billions of dollars worth of bad assets and paying executives millions of dollars every year, the financial institutions looking for a $700 billion handout is still paying for lobbyists. In the millions this year alone. While families are losing their houses. That’s immoral.
The Republican County Clerk in El Paso is illegally trying to prevent students at Colorado College from voting this November. Why would that be? Could it be that young voters are breaking 65-32 for Obama over McCain? Every vote Bob Balink prevents for Obama and other Democrats is one step closer toward his party’s success. There are 10 days left to register to vote for this year’s election. How many voters will be unable to vote because of this Republican’s immoral efforts?
While the summer season has drawn to a close for the Arctic, thankfully ending the horrible rate of melt this year, the Antarctic’s winter is also ending. This winter wasn’t as good to the sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere as last winter was. The maximum extent was 15 million sq. km, over 1 million sq. km. less than the area last year. It appears Aug. 2008 wasn’t a good year for ice worldwide as the Southern Hemisphere actually lost over 500,000 sq. km. of ice in a two-week time period. August also saw the fastest rate of melt of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. After attaining a +2 million sq. km. anomaly last year, the Southern Hemisphere is lucky to be right at the 1970-2000 mean, and appears to be heading negative as the melt accelerates.
The shuttle mission to Hubble has been delayed by 4 days, from Oct. 10th to the 14th. Most of the delay was caused by Hurricane Ike’s landfall and damage to the Houston, TX area. Atlantis is scheduled to make the trip to Hubble. Endeavour is waiting on a nearby launch pad in the event that Atlantis experiences damage significant enough to prevent a return to Earth. Endeavour is scheduled to make another construction flight to the International Space Station later this year if the rescue mission is unneeded.
A potential lunar colony site has been mapped in 3-D using camera data that wasn’t meant for 3-D. I think Mars exploration and colonies should come first, but recognize the long-term importance of the Moon as well.
Gas shortages are occurring across the southern U.S. A couple of factors are causing this situation. Hurricanes Gustav and Ike shut down drilling and refining infrastructure as well as power delivery systems across the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana and Texas. More disturbing is the following:
In its most recent Weekly Oil Data Review, Barclays Capital pointed out that the U.S. gasoline inventory has reached its lowest level since August 1967, when demand was a little more than half its current level of 9.3 million barrels a day. At 178.7 million barrels, inventories are 21.6 million barrels below their five-year average.
Replacing those inventories isn’t easy either. “Once the refineries get back up and running, they’ll drain the already low crude oil inventories.” Not discussed in the article is the impact of fuel corporations sitting on millions of acres of leased land without drilling. Not discussed in the article is the impact of not building additional refining capacity in the last 30 years, making the drilling issue completely irrelevant. It’s that lack of refining capacity (which are only operating at 67% of capacity right now) that has put a large region of the country in danger of running out of gasoline. If that situation gets worse, food won’t be able to be supplied. Then the anger over Bush’s Wall St. Bailout will seem minor in comparison.