Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’
Update: Hurt has taken the seat for Virginia in the House of Rep.
UPDATE: It is going to be a late night boys and girls. The House and Senate are up for grabs. This race is going to be close, a race that may define the trail our country will take for the next decade. Both the Democrats and Republicans are sweating. Nanci Pelosi looks like she just finished a workout, and it seems as a result of the race she has developed a nervous tick. So far the Republicans have taken Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Alabama, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Vermont, Delaware and Maryland has been snagged by the Democrats. Who will grab the seats necessary to keep power in the Senate? Will the Democrats stop sweating? Will Nervosi Pelosi ever stop with the twitching? Stay tuned for updates to find out.
Caroline Kennedy should not take Senator Hillary Clinton’s senate seat. This is an absurd notion. What experience has she had? She’s a lawyer. Wow that’s something. Oh and she has written books on the Constitution. Who the hell cares what she has written. She has also written numerous books on poetry. She’s really trying to tell me she has the experience to represent the entire state of New York? I’d prefer Obama, although he is going to be the future president, take her place because as a community organizer he has had atleast a little more experience than Caroline Kennedy.
Dear President Elect Barack Obama,
As you take office, among your monumental tasks will be reviving the U.S. economy and fulfilling your pledge to mitigate the global warming crisis. Some economists believe that the current recession will be comparable in severity to the contractions of 1973 and 1981, while other pundits contend it will be the worst economic crisis since the great depression. While global warming doesn’t appear to have the immediate impact of the current economic crisis, our shared earth is sending clear signals that trouble lurks on the horizon. The melting polar ice caps, increase in severe weather patterns and increasing air and water temperatures provide ample empirical evidence that global warming is not just part of a temporary cycle. Just as with the economy, action is needed now. The long-term health of both the economy and environment are critically important to current and future generations of Americans.
At the current time, our nation’s economy is suffering and it is the number one domestic problem facing our country today. As of 2005, the unified federal budget fell from $248 billion to $319 billion. At the end of 2006, this debt amounted to about 37 % of one year’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The American people are suffering from the financial crisis and the resulting decline in home prices, the increase in unemployment, the wild up and down swings of gas prices, and the stress of watching their retirement savings decline sharply as the stock market plummets! Many Americans are losing their houses because the banks were handing out loans which they could not afford. Some homeowners believed that the banks took advantage of them by encouraging people to buy houses which were out of their price range. The banking industry is losing a great deal of money because the people who took bad housing loans are defaulting. The interest rates ballooned on many of these “teaser rate” mortgages and this sudden increase is why many people are losing their homes. Also, as housing prices are falling Americans are having difficulty selling their homes and in many cases the mortgage exceeds the market value of the home.. Since they are falling behind in making their monthly loan payments and cannot sell their house to pay off the loan, they have no choice but to watch the banks foreclose on their homes. Mr. Obama, you need to help the American people keep their homes and just as important ensure that this never happens again. One possible solution would to provide a tax credit for all middle-class homeowners to help ease the mortgage crunch and require the lending institutions to renegotiate the terms of the mortgages to avoid foreclosure. In addition, your administration could crack down on fraudulent lenders and brokers, and at the same time ensure that borrowers have true and complete information about their home loans. Gas prices are another huge concern for Americans and the economy. With gas prices sky rocketing above $4.00 per gallon this past June, many people were finding it difficult to fuel their car even to get to work. Already, more than $500 billion has been drained from the consumers on gas purchases alone. The United States consumes about 20 million barrels of oil products per day, according to the Department of Energy. Some citizens do not even have enough money to spend on other items, such as restaurants, travel, entertainment, car sales, or even car loans. This problem has not only affected people who are buying the gas for their automobiles, but also the businesses who rely upon the consumer for spending. Although the price of gasoline has recently declined, it is predicted that global demand will eventually bring a return to high gasoline prices in America. With the gas prices at $4 a gallon, life after high school will be very difficult for aspiring young adults who are struggling with paying for college tuition and college graduates who are paying back college loans. It will not be surprising that they will struggle trying to purchase basic necessities such as clothing, food, medical care and housing. I know from personal experience how these financial problems are affecting people. I recently obtained my driver’s permit, and I am very excited about driving and having my freedom. The only problem is that I cannot afford gas because the prices are so high for a gallon of gasoline. Even when I go out to eat at restaurants I notice that the food and drink prices have gone up. I am also struggling to find a part-time job after school which could allow me to buy a car, afford the insurance payments and help pay for gas. This has also become an issue because many people are out of work, trying to look for jobs due to the financial crisis and the poor economy. The problem with unemployment in the United States has worsened with day laborers coming across the nation’s southern border illegally and taking many of the blue collar job while many white collar jobs are being outsourced to other countries.
One possible solution to this problem is to stop outsourcing American jobs to other countries such as India or China by providing incentives to companies to keep jobs in America. Your ten-year plan would establish jobs here at home by developing new alternative fuel sources that would lead America to energy independence. Your economic plan should also consider investing in the manufacturing sector to improve efficiency and technology. As you said in your plan you would specify a provision that would boost the renewable energy sector by requiring 25% of American electricity to be derived from renewable resources by 2025. The administration estimates that these various investments will create roughly five million “green” jobs. We need high tech jobs like the ones your plan mentions here in the U.S., allowing our citizens to make a living instead of trying to survive off of welfare. By strengthening our nation, our economy would receive a much needed boost. These jobs are necessary strengthen our economy, our nation and for the United States to remain the world power it is today. I am confident that America will be able to tackle these problems. We have always been able to solve problems in the past, however the economic crisis we are in is starting to resemble that of the Great Depression. Like today, the depression had devastating effects in the developed and developing worlds. International trade was deeply affected, as were personal incomes, tax revenues, prices, and profits. Cities all around the nation were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by 40 to 60 percent. Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sectors such as farming, mining and logging suffered the most. However, even shortly after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, optimism persisted; John D. Rockefeller said that “These are days when many are discouraged. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have come and gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again.”
Another critically important domestic problem facing the United States is Global Warming. There are many things that we can do to fight global warming. In the past few years, there have been various attempts to reverse its effects. This call to action was championed by Al Gore and his book “The Inconvenient Truth”. With this book, Al Gore brought to light the destructive power of global warming and also encouraged companies to investigate and invest in alternative energies. There was renewed interest in the development of solar-powered cars and others that use hydrogen fuel cells. However, if people act like the problem is non-existent, we won’t be able to battle its disastrous effects. Although it is difficult to connect specific weather events to global warming, an increase in global temperatures may in turn cause broader changes, including glacial retreat, Arctic shrinkage, and a rising worldwide sea level. Changes in the amount and pattern of precipitation may result in flooding and drought. There may also be changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as the number and intensity of the hurricanes that have hit the United States over the past few years. Other effects may include changes in agricultural yields, the addition of new trade routes, species extinctions, and increases in the range of disease vectors. Some effects on both the natural environment and human life are, at least in part, already being attributed to global warming. A 2001 report by the IPCC suggests that glacier retreat, ice shelf disruption such as that of the Larsen Ice Shelf, sea level rise, changes in rainfall patterns, and increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, are being attributed in part to global warming. Changes are expected for overall patterns, intensity, and frequencies. Other expected effects include water scarcity in some regions and increased precipitation in others, changes in mountain snowpack, and adverse health effects from warmer temperatures.
It all began with the Industrial Revolution, when we weren’t aware we were polluting the air. The atmosphere has become so polluted, that the ozone layer has started to deteriorate, which has caused the polar ice caps to melt and as a result given a rise in the level of oceans across the world. Mark Twain might as well have been talking about global warming when he famously remarked, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.” For years we have heard so much about the causes of climate change, that we’ve missed the fact that there are simple, practical solutions that can slow this growing problem. Technologies exist today that can cut emissions of heat-trapping gases which make a real difference in the health of our planet. And these solutions will be good for our economy by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and enhancing our energy security. Mr. President Elect, these following five steps are available today and can have an enormous impact on the problem of Global Warming as a whole. The first step is to make better cars and suv’s. Because transportation accounts for nearly 30 percent of U.S. annual CO2 emissions, raising fuel economy is one of the most important things we can do to slow climate change. The technology exists to build cars, minivans, and SUVs that are just as powerful and safe as vehicles on the road today, but get 40 miles per gallon (mpg) or more. Honda and Toyota already have highly fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles on the market that get more than 47 mpg. The second step is to modernize America’s electricity system. More than half of America’s electricity is produced from outdated, coal-burning power plants that dump pollutants and heat-trapping gases into our atmosphere. In fact, power plants are the single largest source of CO2—one-third of the U.S. total. We can reduce our emissions of heat-trapping gasses by establishing a Renewable Electricity Standard that requires utilities to generate 10 percent of our power from clean renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and bioenergy. For example, if we embody T. Boone Pickens plan which calls for a change to wind power, 20% of our energy could be derived from wind alone. The third step would be to increase the energy efficiency in the United States. Like better technology for transportation and power generation, the technology for more efficient motors, appliances, windows, homes, and manufacturing processes is here today. These simple solutions save consumers money and can have an enormous impact on climate change at the same time. New or updated standards are now in place for many major appliances, including clothes washers, dishwashers, water heaters, furnaces, and boilers. According to the U.S. Department of Energy in 2006, new standards that were to be implemented for air conditioners would increase efficiency 23 percent compared with the current standard. The fourth step would be to protect our threatened forests. In addition to sheltering more than half of the planet’s species and providing benefits such as clean drinking water, forests play a critical role in climate change: they store carbon, the base of CO2. When forests are burned, cleared, or otherwise degraded, their stored carbon is released into the atmosphere. Tropical deforestation now accounts for about 20 percent of all human-caused CO2 emissions each year. Here in the United States, we should manage our forests in a way that helps our climate. For instance, the forests of the Pacific Northwest and Southeast could double their storage of carbon if timber managers lengthened the time between harvests and allowed older trees to remain standing. The fifth and final step would be to support American Ingenuity. America has proven that putting together the best minds and the right resources can result in technological breakthroughs that change the course of human history. Federal research money has already played an integral part in our progress in developing renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency. In the past 20 years, the Department of Energy’s efficiency initiatives have saved the country 5.5 quadrillion BTUs of energy and nearly $30 billion in avoided energy costs. Federal research dollars have driven technological advances in fuel cells. This technology, which runs engines on hydrogen fuel and emits only water vapor, is key to moving our transportation system away from the polluting combustion engine and freeing the United States from its oil dependence. While the United States has a clear-cut moral responsibility to lead the way internationally, we also have the financial and technical expertise that will help us reap the economic benefits of new markets for clean technology exports. If, however, we choose to sit on the sidelines as the rest of the world moves ahead, we will lose our competitive advantage to other foreign world powers such as the European Union, China and Japan. Clearly, if we do not do something quickly we will not be able to prevent catastrophic repercussions due to our previous ignorant actions.
Just as with the economy and the overwhelming evidence that Americans are suffering from losing hundreds of thousands of jobs and their homes, global warming, left unchallenged, will have long-lasting, negative consequences for the future of many Americans and generations to come. Many older Americans still remember what it was like to live through the great depression and the financial collapse that preceded it. In some respects, remembering and learning from that previous experience has helped our leaders handle the current financial crisis by recognizing that the government must take steps to mitigate the panic and crisis-mentality that has become common place. On the other hand, the impending crisis from global warming is an event we have not experienced and so there is a tendency for the American people and our leaders to become complacent. It is urgent that through your leadership people open their eyes and become aware that we must take immediate action by making environmental changes on a national level. Mr. President Elect these are the major domestic problems facing our country today and with your help we can overcome them.