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Left In Lowell » Obama Administration

Left In Lowell

Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs

2013 Candidate Questionnaire Responses!

April 18, 2013


by at 3:47 pm.

FERC had a brainfart.

The cub reporter quickly blurted out the bits his Editor want to float:

“We find that the proposed pneumatic crest gate system can be installed without unacceptably altering the dam or adversely affecting the park and historic districts,” FERC wrote in its ruling. “The crest gate system will also provide important benefits to recreation, fish passage, dam and worker safety, and project generation, and will help alleviate upstream backwater and flooding effects to the maximum extent possible.”

Of course, there are little gems stashed in the “Order Amending License.” (h/t Corey Sciuto)

Project Economics
47. The licensees’ proposal to install an inflatable crest gate system has an estimated capital cost of $5,980,000. This capital cost results in an average, annualized cost of $956,000. We estimate that the annual cost to operate the system would be minimal.

48. Operation of an inflatable crest gate system instead of flashboards could enable the project to generate more power, because the gates could be reinflated relatively soon after high flows. In contrast, the flashboards would be washed out for an estimated three months. The licensees estimate that project operation with the inflatable crest gates would result in an increase in annual generation of approximately 8,000 megwatt hours (MWh). Using a regional estimated alternative energy value of $38.74/MWh, as determined from the Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook for 2012, this additional generation would be valued at $310,000 annually. Therefore, the net cost of the licensee’s proposed action, including total capital costs and generation benefits, would be approximately $646,000 annually.

49. Although our analysis shows that the cost of installing the crest gates would exceed the value of the increased generation, it is the applicant who must decide whether to accept this license amendment and any financial risk that entails.
(bold mine)

There is a lot to digest. Please give it a go, then chime in here.

PS. We are about to find out, if the Dept. of Interior folks are willing to take it to the next level. The Dept. of the Interior(Parks) has a brand new Secretary and Energy(FERC) is due to get a new Secretary. So, leadership may come from the locals until Obama’s Cabinet members can find their way around. This matter may be determined by which Department has better insulated its ‘Legal Eagles’ from sequestration. :v\

March 22, 2013

Gov. Patrick Pitches His Budget on LTC

by at 8:46 pm.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the Governor’s proposal by MassBudget.org.


July 24, 2012

Updated: Romney’s Rant Wrong - Case Closed

by at 7:12 am.

The conservative folks in America have been making quite a bit of hay with this quote by President Obama:

If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

In an effort to distract from the refusal of Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns, the GOP noise machine has focused on the quote above, flogging it like the proverbial dead horse.

So convinced in the focus group tested power of this meme, the Romney campaign crafted this TV ad:

“My father’s hands didn’t build this company? My hands didn’t build this company? My son’s hands aren’t building this company? … President Obama, you’re killing us out here. Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it?”

The problem is ….

July 4, 2012

Updated Twice: Crushing Right Wing BS

by at 1:09 pm.


This goes out to Mike Hayden, a loyal follower.

June 30, 2012


by at 2:13 pm.




June 28, 2012

Open Thread: Mandate Edition

by at 10:46 am.

Update: “Those who have sought to demonize health reform need to put an end to their scare tactics. This needs to begin a new day, where the test is not what you can oppose but what you can propose.” - John Kerry

At a press conference held on March 6, 2006, Mitt Romney said he’s “very pleased with” the individual mandate.


June 5, 2012

“Actionable Intelligence”

by at 6:19 pm.

Pardon me while I spike the ball. This is a (another) “Huah” moment. Ne Desit Virtus (”Let Valor Not Fail”)

Senior al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan on Monday, US officials say.
Abu Yahya al-Libi, variously described as daring and charismatic, was becoming a familiar face to the jihadist movement through his appearances on the internet.

American counter-terror analysts have long argued that killing individual al-Qaeda leaders degrades the organisation by forcing the promotion of less experienced operatives. Drone strikes, they say, make al-Qaeda look vulnerable and undermine its global standing.

Behind the drone operations, of course, lies an unseen intelligence operation which fed US commanders knowledge of Libi’s whereabouts. We can’t know how that worked, but we can speculate that it involved the use of satellites and drones to track militants, listening stations to intercept their communications and agents on the ground to provide first-hand information.

The reach and apparent effectiveness of US intelligence in the region may well be as of much concern to al-Qaeda’s leadership as the death of their comrade.

Washington believes that following Osama Bin Laden’s death last year, Libi, an Islamic scholar from Libya, became al-Qaeda’s second-in-command after Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahiri.

If I’m gloating, it’s not as a soldier. It’s as an “Obama Democrat.”

Don’t be a chickenhawk! Vote Democrat in 2012.

July 13, 2011

Open Thread: Jitters Edition

by at 7:11 am.

Video update: Aaron Sorkin’s Crystal Ball? Is it creepy or are the GOPers just this lame?

“Frankly, your speaker has it. Am I dealing with him, or am I dealing with you?”

Taegan Goddard, a national blogger type, puts out a bit on the current debt ceiling/deficit talks that strike me. For those following, House Majority Leader and young gun Eric Cantor has aggressively asserted himself in the current talks being held at the White House. The whole thing struck me as odd, because it is Obama that should be the young petulant one in the room. pssst. I heard he is a ….radical.

Anyways, the 2010 election is not likely to redefine decades of brokering between the two political parties. So, why is the gristled John Boehner making a hole and making it wide for Cantor?

April 18, 2011

Shedd Park Daydreams

by at 3:52 pm.

I’d like to give a shout out to all my tea partying pals. I hope you told the birthers to go pound sand.

I digress:
Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is stepping up his call for Congress to let the Bush-era tax cuts lapse.

In an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Greenspan used his strongest words yet to urge lawmakers to let them expire. The risk of a U.S. debt crisis, he said, is just too big. Mr. Greenspan, who retired from the Federal Reserve in 2006, had endorsed the cuts back in 2001 championed by then-President George W. Bush.

“This crisis is so imminent and so difficult that I think we have to allow the so-called Bush tax cuts all to expire. That is a very big number,” he said, referring to how much the U.S. government could save from letting income taxes go back up to levels last seen under former President Bill Clinton. -snip

Of course, we know that POTUS will poo poo this to some degree ’cause he has his very own ‘read my lips’-esque campaign speak that draws a line at $250,000+/-. So, there is that.

Data, being ambivalent, only offers this guidance: Top 1% pay 28% of federal income taxes, and earn 23% of all income.

And finally, where is the rally that squawks about the $880/month I’m dolling out for crappy health insurance we can’t afford to use? Can I see a single payer plan that would spike my taxes by $5000? I’d be saving money then.

December 9, 2010

Lucy, Hold the Football Again!

by at 9:09 am.

Obama just lost us Social Security.

That’s what they could say ten years from now when the Republicans have dismantled the program like they have been trying to do for over 70 years. What the wingers couldn’t do for all that time, Obama has done for them. He has truly begun the undermining of this popular “third rail” of American politics. Republicans are salivating over the battle. Via FireDogLake, HuffPo’s Ryan Grim got Republican leaders on the record saying exactly what you’d expect them to say (bold mine):

Republicans acknowledged that the expiration of the tax holiday will be treated as a tax increase. “Once something like this goes into place, a year from now, when it expires, it’ll be portrayed as a tax increase,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). So in a body like Congress, precedents matter and this is setting a precedent. I think that certainly is going to create some problems down the road if it passes.”

Given that Congress, under Democratic control, can’t gather itself to let tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire, members of both parties are convinced that letting the payroll tax rate revert back to its current spot will be near impossible.

“Once you bring a rate down, if it goes back up, people will feel that. They’ll feel their paycheck being less and that argument” — that letting it expire amounts to a tax hike — “eventually is bound to be made,” said Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.).

“There’s always a tendency to continue those things… Once something comes in, it’s very difficult to change it,” said Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio.) He then volunteered, without prompting, that “It would be detrimental to the Social Security system, especially when it’s in bad shape.”

We all know this is going to be the way it goes down. There will be a one year extension next year, since the political season’ll be heating up, and then another, and another, maybe longer one. One way or the other, the FICA tax cut will be permanent. Then comes the SS and Medicare “crisis” that this will create. Republicans will say that since neither is solvent any longer, benefits will have to be cut, the age of SS will have to go up, less will have to be paid out. This is, of course, right as the Baby Boomers are retiring, making it even more dire.

There’s an easy answer to this of course. Make the FICA tax cut permanent, but raise the ceiling of wages that FICA affects to $200K, or $250K. But this will not happen, because it should have happened several times already, and Democrats are effing wusses and can’t get it done, even with big majorities in Congress and the White House.

So, kiss your retirement plans goodbye, my friends. Forget about having quality health care in your later years and certainly, don’t rely on Democrats to save your ass, either.

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