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United States - March 6

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US Treasury secretary attacks oil, gas tax breaks

Tom Doggett, Reuters
U.S. oil and natural gas producing companies should not receive federal subsidies in the form of tax breaks because their businesses contribute to global warming, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress on Wednesday.

It was one of the sharpest attacks yet on the oil and gas industry by a top Obama administration official, reinforcing the White House stance that new U.S. energy policy will focus on promoting renewable energy sources like wind and solar power and rely less on traditional fossil fuels like oil as America tackles climate change.
(4 March 2009)



Limbaugh vs. the Front Porch

Rod Dreher, The Front Porch
I am bemused, appalled, and fascinated — more or less at the same time — by the foofarah over Rush Limbaugh’s CPAC speech. His version of conservatism is popular, of course, but is not recognizable as any kind of conservatism worth defending. I did a quick fisking of the Limbaugh address on my Crunchy Con blog, but in brief, the gist of what’s wrong with Limbaughism is that it’s right-wing Rousseauism. That is, he believes that man is born free, but is put in chains by the government. He believes in living without limits is the essence of conservatism, which is just … crazy. If traditional-minded conservatives know anything, it’s that human nature is fallen, and there are natural limits that must be respected. Conservatism is a form of humility. I see none of that in Limbaugh and what he stands for.
(2 March 2009)
Although I haven't been a Republican for 45 years, Rod Dreher's brand of traditional conservativism sounds mighty appealing. It certainly has a lot more intellectual depth than the Rush Limbaugh variety. Besides, Rod has cute kids (see photo at original). -BA



I’m Captain Asphalt

Nicholas Confessore, New York Times
Amid N.Y.’s Budget Crisis, a Scramble to Spend Billions
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... On another is a list of the pools of federal money available to the state: $404 million to weatherize homes, $1 billion for highways and bridges, even $75 million for nuclear waste cleanup.

“It’s better than being on the other side,” said Timothy J. Gilchrist, in between hurried bites of a salad. As the senior adviser for infrastructure and transportation, Mr. Gilchrist was appointed by the governor to oversee the distribution of the federal funds. “I’m Captain Asphalt,” he said.

While the stimulus package includes money that New York and other states can use to close their budget deficits, much of it is reserved for large-scale capital projects, money that must be spent quickly — in some cases in a few months — to help jump-start the economy.

... “The repairing of bridges and building roads are a good thing, and they will help us,” said Steve Levy, the Suffolk County executive, who announced this week that the county could run out of cash by the end of the year. “But they don’t give a county government cash to pay its bills.”
(4 March 2009)
This talks about road construction suddenly being awash in money... no mention of anything green (except $) -LH

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