Author Archive | susie

Public Option

I wonder if he’s right:

The Senate has the 50 votes necessary to pass a public health insurance option using the budget reconciliation process, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Thursday.

Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist” who supports the government-run plan, urged President Barack Obama to push for the public option even though the possibility of passing it appeared to die this week.

“I think we do have 50 votes in the Senate for a public option and frankly I don’t know why the president has not put it in and I hope that we can inject it,” Sanders said on MSNBC. “I think it’s a very important part of healthcare reform.”

It’s not clear if Sanders’s remarks will encourage leaders to take up the public option, but they will surely give hope to his liberal supporters who have put pressure on Congress to pass a public plan.

The White House and Democratic leaders on Tuesday threw cold water on the possibility of pushing the proposal through, saying that there is not enough support in Congress to do so.

Weather Report

Now they’ve lowered the forecast to 6-10 inches, and it won’t really snow until late tonight. We’ve had flurries all day and the snow’s not even sticking yet, though all the schools were closed today. But the wind is really starting to kick up.

Here’s a picture of my street now, almost completely clear of snow (the patch of snow left on my front lawn was three feet high a few days ago). Tomorrow? Who knows!

Oy

So my sister has pneumonia, my oldest brother’s in the hospital after a perforated appendix and my aunt’s in the hospital with heart problems.

What a week!

Useful Tip

Here’s something I’ve learned the hard way: When you have a lot of snow mixed with rain, leave your driver’s side door unlocked. You might not be able to unlock it later.

Union for the Unemployed

This is a really good idea and I hope people sign on: (h/t Matt & John)

It’s been only a month that a union for the unemployed has come into existence through an ingenious grassroots organizing campaign. In case you haven’t heard about it, the union’s name is “UR Union of the Unemployed” or its nickname, “UCubed,” because of its unique method of organizing.

UCubed is the brain-child of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), whose leaders feel that the millions of unemployed workers need a union of their own to join in the struggle for massive jobs programs.

The idea is that if millions of jobless join together and act as an organization, they are more likely to get Congress and the White House to provide the jobs that are urgently needed. They can also apply pressure for health insurance coverage, unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits and food stamps. An unemployed worker is virtually helpless if he or she has to act alone.

Joining a Cube is as simple as it is important. (Please check the union web site.). Six people who live in the same zip code address can form a Ucube. Nine such UCubes make a neighborhood. Three neighborhood UCubes form a power block that cntains 162 activists. Politicians cannot easily ignore a multitude of power blocks, nor can merchants avoid them.

Nope

I’m absolutely thrilled that the good people of Vermont who organized the opposition to this plant were so successful, since the plant was leaking radioactive tritium into the water.

However, Vermont still has to figure out how it’s going to replace that energy:

The Vermont Senate blocked efforts by Entergy Corp. to win a 20-year license renewal for its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, an action that could encourage opponents of nuclear energy in other states.

The Senate vote, which was 26 to four, marks the first time a license renewal has been thwarted, and it sets the stage for the plant’s closure by 2012, when the license expires.

The vote was striking because the state relies on the plant for a third of its electricity. In the past, license renewals have been routine, allowing energy companies to squeeze more life out of aging plants. To date, the NRC has renewed 59 reactor licenses, and 19 are pending.

The vote, which reflected fears about safety after leaks of radioactive tritium were discovered at the plant last year, is a blow to Entergy, which had planned to spin off six reactors, including Vermont Yankee, into the nation’s first stand-alone nuclear power company, to be called Enexus Energy Corp.

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