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In this morning's weekly address, President-Elect Obama promised to roll out the biggest investment in public infrastructure since the federal highway system of the 1950's was undertaken. In addition to roads and bridges, the new administration will upgrade public schools, build out broadband, make public buildings energy efficient and modernize medical record-keeping.

Good morning.

Yesterday, we received another painful reminder of the serious economic challenge our country is facing when we learned that 533,000 jobs were lost in November alone, the single worst month of job loss in over three decades. That puts the total number of jobs lost in this recession at nearly 2 million.

But this isn’t about numbers. It’s about each of the families those numbers represent. It’s about the rising unease and frustration that so many of you are feeling during this holiday season. Will you be able to put your kids through college? Will you be able to afford health care? Will you be able to retire with dignity and security? Will your job or your husband’s job or your daughter’s job be the next one cut?

These are the questions that keep so many Americans awake at night. But it is not the first time these questions have been asked. We have faced difficult times before, times when our economic destiny seemed to be slipping out of our hands. And at each moment, we have risen to meet the challenge, as one people united by a sense of common purpose. And I know that Americans can rise to the moment once again.

But we need action – and action now. That is why I have asked my economic team to develop an economic recovery plan for both Wall Street and Main Street that will help save or create at least two and a half million jobs, while rebuilding our infrastructure, improving our schools, reducing our dependence on oil, and saving billions of dollars.

We won’t do it the old Washington way. We won’t just throw money at the problem. We’ll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve – by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world.

Today, I am announcing a few key parts of my plan. First, we will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.

Second, we will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.

Third, my economic recovery plan will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen.  We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.

As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway. It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President – because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.

In addition to connecting our libraries and schools to the internet, we must also ensure that our hospitals are connected to each other through the internet. That is why the economic recovery plan I’m proposing will help modernize our health care system – and that won’t just save jobs, it will save lives. We will make sure that every doctor’s office and hospital in this country is using cutting edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each year.

These are a few parts of the economic recovery plan that I will be rolling out in the coming weeks. When Congress reconvenes in January, I look forward to working with them to pass a plan immediately. We need to act with the urgency this moment demands to save or create at least two and a half million jobs so that the nearly two million Americans who’ve lost them know that they have a future. And that’s exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States.

Thanks for listening.

Aside from the commitment to what sounds like a great progressive stimulus plan, one sentence struck me: Will your job or your husband’s job or your daughter’s job be the next one cut?. Read that closely. In a speech about universal fears and hardship, he is addressing his primary listeners as women. Never have I heard sentence construction like that from a president -- women addressed directly in a non-"women's issues" setting as legitimate, fully fledged and very concerned and invested breadwinners. The effect is stunning.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:45 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I received an e-mail from Michael Moore (34+ / 0-)

    suggesting that the big 3 bailout should stipulate that  the automakers also begin manufacturing modern commuter trains. I thought that that would be a very worthwhile infrastructure investment.

    •  I am sure that trains will be part of the mix (14+ / 0-)

      in the overall economic recovery package but starting that will take many months.  Obama aims to start getting America ready to work in a matter of less than 6 months.

      "USE IT OR LOSE IT"!

      "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

      by Drdemocrat on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:50:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope so, (14+ / 0-)

        as this is very short on detail (which is expected at this point). I would LOVE to see a massive investment in public transportation. Finally move us in a more civilized direction.

        Rise like lions after slumber in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many - they are few.

        by cruz on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:54:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Joe (12+ / 0-)

        Mr. Biden...Paging Joe Biden...Amtrak is now ready for an upgrade!

        •  I heard from his number two in NH (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          behan

          that one of Biden's conditions for joining the ticket was a MAJOR upgrade to the Amtrak system, i.e., like French and Japanese sophisticated trains and train tracks.  This would require something like a tenfold increase in Amtrak funding.

          Obama agreed.

          No excuses for not enacting a Universal Health care bill, Obama. None. Please don't use the new huge deficit as an excuse to put it off so it never gets done.

          by BoyBlue on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 03:38:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not so sure.... (10+ / 0-)

        Lots of mention of highways in Obama's speech, no mention of rails.

        Here in central Oklahoma, we're involved in a long battle to prevent trucking interests and the (very trucking friendly) Oklahoma Department of Transportation from rerouting a highway in a way that, quite conveniently, tears out the heart of our state's old rail infrastructure.  (You can find more information about this particular fight here and here.)

        At any rate, rail and highways are, at least in the short run, competing not complementary interests.  And demands to "use or lose" highway funds, at least in a state like mine, amount to demands to simply lose rail infrastructure.

        This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

        by GreenSooner on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:27:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, trains are not often included... (8+ / 0-)

          and are overshadowed by road investment.

          Any infrastructure investment plan should include not only regional public transportation, but also plans for a dedicated passenger rail system.

          Right now, passenger trains rely heavily on freight raillines.  Freight trains passing through on those lines generally have a higher priority than passenger trains, which must wait for the freight cars to pass.  This cause significant delays, which can discourage ridership.  Who wants to pay thecost of a train ticket when you can't be sure you'll get there on time.

          Amtrak needs the kind of government support the airlines get, and it needs to have control of its own line in order to reduce delays and increase efficiency.

        •  They should be complementary (6+ / 0-)

          Use the rails for the long haul shipments from the Coasts (East, West, South) and then shorter-haul trucks to pick up the freight at specific depots and transport it throughout the region. More efficient and also safer; shorter runs allow for more rested drivers with less pressure to get from Point A to Point B in a specific time period.

          "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

          by Cali Scribe on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:49:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I keep hearing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Overhead Wire

        Raods and bridges, roads and bridges, roads and bridges...as if that's all we need and everything will be alright. Yes, I know Obama has mentioned rail and I hear it more frequently now, but how about saying "rail, transit, roads and bridges" for once?

        Also, don't confuse true high speed rail with other forms of intercity rail transportation. True HSR---think of the 200 mph French TGV---requires all-new infrastructure and that means years of planning. It compares in scale to the Interstate Highway system. You won't get a quick return on that investment, even tho it should be made.

        In the meantime, there are a LOT of things we could be doing RIGHT NOW. Things like repairing Amtrak's out of service fleet to help handle the demand they now have. Things like using abandoned auto plants to remanufacture hundreds of old passenger cars to meet demand or to build new cars. Things like upgrading existing tracks for higher speeds/capacity. Things like rebuilding the inadequate, dilapidated train stations across the country.

        You get the idea.

      •  We Californians have approved a ................. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        behan

        .....proposition for a high speed rail syatem on Nov. 4 and are hell-bent ready to move on it pending on some financial assistance from Washington.  This system will connect Califoria's major metro areas from San Diego to the SF Bay Area and Sacromento.  

        This high-speed rail system should greatly relieve the extremely congested air corridor between the Bay area and LA which is said to be the second busiest in the country with the NY-DC corridor being the busiest.  Just as with the "Right Coast" corridor the "Left Coast" corridor serves mostly commuters commuting between California's major metro areas during the work week.    

    •  Teachers, more teachers/smaller class size (15+ / 0-)

      Our state has kids graduating with teaching certificates that can't get a job while our schools continue to raise class size.  

      They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20 ~~ Dennis Kucinich

      by dkmich on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:52:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Better standardized methods for autism (6+ / 0-)

        and special needs students. Right now this varies far too much from district to district and state to state...with the increasing number of diagnoses of autism being made, this should be a priority.

        "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

        by grannyhelen on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:59:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Teachers are the infrastructure of schools (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Naniboujou

        but if the federal government provides money to keep them employed, the states will simply reduce their own expenditures and use the money somewhere else.

        Don't be afraid to go into debt for healthcare, education and public works and services. Go to Dover, even if only once.

        by algebrateacher on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:29:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And I don't need computers in my classroom! (10+ / 0-)

        I need another Special Education teacher available to help my students.

        I need another Mathematics teacher available so that my class size (forty plus) can go down.

        I need another full-time school counselor available to help with students with problems.

        I need a basic skills teacher to help with my eighth graders who cannot add, subtract, multiply or divide but are expected to succeed at Algebra.

        Don't be afraid to go into debt for healthcare, education and public works and services. Go to Dover, even if only once.

        by algebrateacher on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:37:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  huge pet peeve of mine (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          behan, algebrateacher, BrighidG

          related but slightly different... the uni i just graduated from has begun putting up giant lcd flat screens in areas where nobody will watch them. not only that, but theyre always muted with no access to the controls. hundreds of thousands of dollars on this crap, and its still horribly ranked for such a big school (LSU)

        •  Our school has a lot of computers already (3+ / 0-)

          And we have one teacher who is actually getting his students to use the computers in an academic fashion.  He does not run the computer lab, but outfitted his classroom with cast off computers that were on their way to the dump having been replaced by newer models.

          He's doing his own technical support, partly because he can, partly because we lost our technology coordinator and have no funds to hire a replacement.  

          We also have students who cannot multiply or divide (most of our students have that adding and subtracting thing down) but most cannot measure, so their idea of number is limited to things they can count and zero is not included.  Makes learning even algebraic concepts a problem.  

          We have finessed our need for special education teachers by "mainstreaming" our resource students, without really having a model for providing them the services they need to succeed.  The district's guidance boils down to, "Don't just stand there, do something" unless the something involves pulling the students out of the general ed classroom.

          We certainly could use a couple more Math, History, Science and Language Arts teachers to cut everyone's class sizes down to a manageable number of students (roughly 20) as well as a dozen more elective teachers to take the load off the Band teacher and the art teacher.  We used to teach cooking, sewing, wood shop, electronics, printing, ceramics, typing, basic computer programming, and gardening, but those have all shut down, and we are left with band, music, art, cheerleading, drama and plastics.  And we are one of the lucky schools, to have so much left, but the few electives that remain are packed beyond reasonable room capacity.

          Argh.  Don't get me started.

          Build more classrooms.  Hire more teachers.  Throwing money at technology is a sure fire way to encourage a feeding frenzy among the vultures of academia, little of which will help students learn.

    •  Ford Motor received hundreds of millions of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      L0kI, behan, dkmich, littlenomad

      dollars after Pearl Harbor to retool for the manufacture of thousands of bombers.  I just read about this in Scott Berg's life of Lindbergh.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:02:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it also would be rather late impacting (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      L0kI, mainefem, MPociask

      Retooling takes time, but even more so is the time needed to determine, design, and acquire land for the systems.  Big public works don't have much happening job-wise for years after they get turned on, sometimes a decade or more.  This makes them not as useful for solving the current economic situation, as jobs are needed within the next 6 months, and for helping the automakers, who would find it difficult to operate product lines that would see little sales for years.

    •  commuter trains and high speed rail (7+ / 0-)

      would be great.

      I am of the opinion that it should also stipulate that no jobs for the big 3 will be sent outside of the USA borders.  If they are going to fire American workers in order to cut costs, than they do not need to be hiring workers outside the United states.

      "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore." -Carly Fiorina CEO, Hewlett-Packard

      by baffled on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:46:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. Light rail etc is a great idea (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      L0kI, behan

      I heard him talk about this on Larry King a few weeks ago. We need a modern rail system, built state-by-state, like Eurail. Amtrak is a joke.

    •  Have to wonder now ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      behan

      ... if an emphasis on highways and trucking rather than rail is part of the plan to revitalize the U.S. auto industry -- lots more fuel efficient trucks and electric cars.

      And will the coal industry allow us to upgrade our trains? Or might they have a veto?

  •  On the Situation Room on CNN yesterday (22+ / 0-)

    they talked about the fact that states have infrastructure projects that are ready to go and could be implemented in a matter of a month or two and would create 1.8 million jobs.  Perhaps that is what Obama is talking about.

    Also, now is the time to change our economy to a greeen economy and I am sure that Obama's economic team is working hard on that as well.

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:49:01 AM PST

  •  This is tremendous ... (13+ / 0-)

    and we should (a) be supporting and (b) working hard to make it even better.

    This is the opportunity to set the stage for a much better nation (and globe). To use crisis as opportunity.  

    Change ... we can believe in and continue to help make reality.

  •  Installing more efficient light bulbs? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rick, Blutodog, Grindstone, raf, imbolc52

    Are you kidding?

    I'm sorry, but how about f*cking putting up solar panels?

    I don't want to rain on the parade here - it's important to announce this plan, and it's desperately needed - but that just sounds like a joke to me.

    I think we could also shoot much higher than 2.5 million jobs, but again, this is better than nothing.

    Rise like lions after slumber in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many - they are few.

    by cruz on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:50:35 AM PST

    •  well we need the bulbs (13+ / 0-)

      even with the solar panels.  jees.

      "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

      by fernan47 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:53:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask

        ...but we're talking about someone who is supposed to have vision, here.

        Upon reflection, my comment might be a bit harsh, but when I read that I just thought "My God, that's what you decided to include in the speech?"

        Rise like lions after slumber in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many - they are few.

        by cruz on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:55:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  first things first (8+ / 0-)

          Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

          by bumblebums on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:01:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hey at least he didn't say we need to go shopping (7+ / 0-)

          I'll gaurantee you the idiot in the WH still thinks that's the way to solve all problems.

          " In our every deliberation,we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations" From the great law of the Iroquois confederacy.

          by flatford39 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:04:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Heard some Repub on tv saying (6+ / 0-)

            that if you're really strapped, you might consider lowering or eliminating your 401k contributions.
            Maybe I should consider asking my housekeepers to take over the laundry too, eh?  That way I could "downsize" my labor costs.  Oh, and I suppose I could switch to domestic wines with dinner..it would be tough, but such times call for sacrifice.  
            These guys urgently need to spend a month or so out here in the real world.  

        •  he's also (9+ / 0-)

          talking about upgrading heating plants, that could have some solar in the mix, but I'm also not sure the solar panels at this stage can power a large downtown office building or even all of its hot water needs.  That's my ignorance showing as to what it technologically possible, but I haven't gotten the feeling that small arrays were that powerful yet.  And not every federal building is in prime solar energy territory.

          This guy is a pragmatist, he's talking, I can do this in couple months type stuff now, I am sure there are bigger and better plans too, but planning a rail system, getting the land and building it won't provide jobs tomorrow except for a few engineers.  

          Heat plants, light bulbs, sealing windows give blue collar people, union people, jobs tomorrow.

          •  Getting people to start thinking about (11+ / 0-)

            energy and start in small ways  that are absolutely doable is the genius of this man.  I think it was incredibly smart of him to include light bulbs.  The vast majority of Americans take for granted the energy we use every day.  As a family who has literally started with light bulbs as energy saving behavior I can tell you that it builds a sense of self-efficacy and leads one to think about the larger issue.

            •  agree (6+ / 0-)

              Fluorescents/LEDs are like the gateway drug of energy efficiency.  You look at the energy bill the next month, see the change, and wonder "I wonder what else is out there I can do?"  

              Before long, you are insulating your windows in winter, unplugging appliances when they are not being used (such as computers), buying energy star appliances when you are replacing them, and seriously thinking about where your energy is coming from.

              It makes a difference.

              "The future will not belong to the cynics. The future will not belong to those who stand on the sidelines"-Paul Wellstone

              by Sauceman on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:44:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fluorescents make noise (0+ / 0-)

                Have you noticed that flourescent bulbs make noise? If I can hear that sound -- and find it annoying -- just imagine what that sound is doing to our pets! So I am not sure flourescent bulbs are the answer. Kind of reminds me of the low-flow toilets that you have to flush more than once.

            •  Water conservation needed too. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              juslikagrzly

              I think we need to get people thinking about all of the household water we waste, too. And so needlessly. We could recycle some of what goes down the drain. We could collect rainwater for our lawns. We could have instant hot water. If we were just a little thoughtful, think of how much energy we could save?

          •  I disagree (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Grindstone, Scott Wood, fernan47

            Who will light bulbs give jobs to?  The federal government will put in a large one-time order to GE, presumably, for a whole bunch of CFLs.  GE may need to hire some more factory workers, or there factory may be so automated already that they simply need to order more raw resources to turn into light bulbs.  

            Installing a new light-bulb(or insulation) doesn't take a new union job - but even assuming they hire good union electricians to install every single new light bulb in every federal building, I haven't seen any evidence that this would lead to an expansion in the electrician trade.

            However, installing new solar panels on the roof of every appropriate federal building would have a huge effect on jobs.  Solar panel factories would have to expand to handle the demand.  Expansion would lead to a reduction in cost, putting solar panels in the price range of more ordinary Americans(hopefully helped by a generous tax credit).

            Of course, all that solar energy would go to waste without a new, smart electrical grid, which would allow the government and homeowners to sell back any excess power they generate.  A new national electrical grid would create tens of thousands of jobs - and would also have the nice side effect of letting us transfer energy from one region of the country to another.  In addition to no more rolling black outs, this would enable the create of huge wind farms in the Wind Belt - more new jobs, and a greener economy.

            As far as a new rail network, that would also begin to create jobs tomorrow.  A new rail network means new locomotives, new passenger cars, new rolling stock, lots and lots and lots of new actual rails - this is stuff that could be started immediately with a federal government commitment to building a new rail network.  Those are good, union, manufacturing jobs, and would but America back in the business of making stuff, instead of borrowing money to buy stuff.  In addition, the work of acquiring land, given sufficient motivation, is something that can go quite quickly - it is one of the powers given in the Constitution.  

        •  It reaches the most people in the most (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mainefem

          readily tangible way. More people who are not ahead of the curve on conservation (like you) need to realize the cost benifit of it. And more people, like you, will push for more.

          Maybe you could offer a helpful alternative with your critisism.

          Moving on, finally.

          by fisheye on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:40:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You start small (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mainefem, coolsub, riptide

          I think we need to remember that we are highly informed on many, many topics here at DKos.  Most of America is not.  Many Americans will probably say what you've alluded to - lightbulbs will save me money - bullsh*t.  Make sure my car's tires are properly inflated will save me money - bullsh*t, is that the best you can come up with?

          If we can get people to adopt small things which will give them nearly instant results, then we may just be able to get some of them to adopt bigger ideas down the road.

          That doesn't mean we wait for the rest of the country to catch up, but we have to remember he is going to be the President for all the people.  I think this address is solid and it gives me hope.  I sent it to my s-i-l so she can fax it to my brother - an over the road trucker of 40 years who can't afford to move his truck because of fuel prices, work is drying up.  He needs to hear what Obama has on his agenda.  Maybe, just maybe, he'll feel a little hope and that's enough for me.

          Peace.

    •  You have to start somewhere (15+ / 0-)

      and changing lightbulbs may also require changing fixtures.

      It takes time to put up solar panels - but you can change lightbulbs in minutes, and that gets you energy savings immediately.

    •  More energy effecient light bulbs is low hanging (15+ / 0-)

      fruit. They save money and it's relatively cheap and easy to do.

      This is part of a whole strategy to make buildings more energy effecient, so don't whig out too much.

      "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

      by grannyhelen on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:54:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Green economy? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry too say the phrase "green economy" is IMHO nothing more then political hot air. if we could harness all the hot air about the so called green economy we'd actually have one.

      "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

      by Blutodog on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:54:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hang on (21+ / 0-)

      Obama has spoken repeatedly about using solar technology on federal buildings. The lightbulb issue might seem trivial to you but it is something that can be immediately done and its effect will be instantaneous. Do you remember the tire gauge issue that the repugs mocked, only for experts to subsequently come out with some stunning statistics to prove Obama right. You know some solutions are actually very simple: changing light bulbs.

      "Scandals don't stay underground like cassava: they always come out" -- Ewe Proverb

      by zizi on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:55:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope he makes it happen. (0+ / 0-)

        Why he decided to include this instead of the solar panels is what is puzzling.

        Good point about the tire gauges.

        Rise like lions after slumber in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many - they are few.

        by cruz on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:56:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  but (11+ / 0-)

          He said these were a very few elements of an economic pan that he will roll out in the coming weeks. As someone said upthread perhaps one of the shifts in discourse is to break government action into doable parts and communicated plainly. Make the solution seem obvious. That is the trick to changing public attitudes from apathy to action. Perhaps your reaction is exactly the point being made: we can change a great deal because they are that simple to do.

          "Scandals don't stay underground like cassava: they always come out" -- Ewe Proverb

          by zizi on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:00:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe Americans will start feeling like a team (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DSC on the Plateau, mainefem

            As someone said upthread perhaps one of the shifts in discourse is to break government action into doable parts and communicated plainly. Make the solution seem obvious. That is the trick to changing public attitudes from apathy to action.

            Yes, zizi, your point deserves reiteration. Obama speaks simply and clearly, and he consistently repeats his goals and plans, thus making our path clear.  I honestly believe this man can convince Americans we are all working together to achieve good things for our nation and each other.

        •  Right now solar PV is more a warm&fuzzy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SciVo

          solar electricity is expensive, still above 20 cents per kilowatt-hour.  Utility scale wind is about 1/3 that, coal and nuclear 1/5, even natural gas burning turbines are only about 1/2 as expensive.

          You're setting yourself up for political problems when you advocate spending tax dollars on the most expensive alternative, and not even the less expensive of the 'green' choices.

          This isn't simply an issue of scale of production, current demand for silicon is (or was pre-meltdown) outstripping the supply and had pushed prices considerably. Alternative technologies aren't really here yet, try buying a panel based on them, and most depend on rather rare metals that have seen prices spikes in the last several years.

          Solar for water and room heating makes sense, the technology is well established and uses most of the solar flux. But electricity from photovoltaics is more symbolic and public opinion shifting than being smart economics right now.

        •  Because of the cost factor in the context (0+ / 0-)

          of economic need.

          Moving on, finally.

          by fisheye on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:42:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Obama has talked about solar panels (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, sherlyle

      in the past as well as windmill farms.  I think you need to be patient.  I am absolutely sure that all of this is being flushed out right now.

      Remember Obama's FANTASTIC ad during the Olympics in which ex auto workers could be hired to put solar panels.

      "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

      by Drdemocrat on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:09:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's 3 million light bulbs.. (5+ / 0-)

      that ain't small potatotes!

    •  That's just a start (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem

      We get started with what we can do now, then expand it by Obama's second term. And it sets an example for those who can't go the whole way out -- apartment dwellers have little input into energy policy in their complexes, but we've installed CFLs in all the sockets that can take them (only place we're using regular light bulbs is a lamp that won't hold a CFL for some reason, and the little light above the stove. We even found globe-shaped CFLs that work great in the outlets in the bathroom. :)

      You do what you can, where you are -- and you've got to start somewhere.

      "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:30:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah McCain tried to belittle (5+ / 0-)

      Obama's tire inflation anecdote too. How silly and insignificant conservation awareness is. Why even bother spreading the notion?

      Moving on, finally.

      by fisheye on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:34:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Conservation before power supply (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SciVo

      The wisest choice to where to put your first dollars, every time.

      This is not what I thought I'd be when I grew up.

      by itzik shpitzik on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:14:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Name this quote! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, carmenjones, sesquitastic

      I don't consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, "You know, this is a stupid question, but let me ... answer it." So when Brian Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that you've done [that's green], and I say, you know, "Well, I planted a bunch of trees." And he says, "I'm talking about personal." What I'm thinking in my head is, "Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's because of something collective."

      That was Barack Obama preparing for a debate. He already knows that changing light bulbs isn't enough by itself. It was a communication strategy -- an example that much of his audience has personally experienced the benefits of.

      I want to live in a civilization.

      by SciVo on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:45:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  light bulbs (0+ / 0-)

      He's probably not talking about light bulbs in the same way you do in your home. In buildings and schools (think gyms) there is a lot of lighting that is incredibly wasteful in terms of energy. It isn't a token gesture.

    •  i can't believe i'm doing this, but (0+ / 0-)

      i'll throw some bible at you

      prove you can do well with a little and you'll be given more responsibility

      something like that

      Obama isn't George Bush

      he's not going to act like he's king

      he's going to take steps that succeed

      and win over more and more people

      so that he can keep taking bigger steps

      with growing support

      from people who hopefully not just approve but start to participate

      like he said... he doesn't just want a 50+1 participation

      he wants 85%

      when 85% are on the band wagon

      imagine what can be done

      and how long it will last beyond his 2 terms

      Why so serious? Let's put a smile on that face.

      by AntonBursch on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 12:55:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It sounds French (14+ / 0-)

    replacing actual infrastructure? Caring about what kind of schools you have? AND putting people back to work? Who aren't bankers or traders or lawyers?

    Pfffft. UnAmerican. Certainly unGOP.

    No turkeys were slaughtered in the making of this comment.

    by TimeZoned on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:51:38 AM PST

    •  Nous, Les Francaises, aimons Barack Obama! (8+ / 0-)

      Cette une genie de government!
      Un Loi, une Foi, Un Obama!
      Vive Le Obama!

      "I shall never surrender or retreat." --Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis

      by badger1968 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:57:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you don't understand infrastructure (5+ / 0-)

      lawyers and professionals make a ton out of infrastructure, bankers increase lines of credit to business with guaranteed federal contracts, that's why its the win/win darling of the left and right leaning economists right now.

      •  Which is why there was so much of it (0+ / 0-)

        the past eight years?

        I didn't say that lawyers and bankers aren't involved, I said (snarked) that proposing putting other workers back to work as well is something unlike the current climate, for the past decade or more.

        If you think that ONLY bankers and lawyers and administrators are involved with infrastructure projects, then I'm definitely going to stay off of the bridges and roads they put together. Using scotch tape and staples.

        No turkeys were slaughtered in the making of this comment.

        by TimeZoned on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:19:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the last eight years (0+ / 0-)

          wasn't about reality.  It was about creating money out of thin air for a very tiny minority.  But in real economies with sustainable growth, that only lasts so long.

          Why do you think Obama had so many lawyers voting for him?

          •  So you've lost me again (0+ / 0-)

            the last eight years is what I was contrasting it to.

            I think you're criticizing something, but I'm not sure you actually read my post. That's just my opinion of course.

            I said "it sounds French" because I live there and we could use some of the way things are done, i.e. money spent by the government to help society rather than just the rich. There are problems in France of course, and they're struggling, somewhat in the other direction. Balance is what's needed, and we've slid so far to the right in these sorts of things that this sort of proposal is exactly what's needed.

            I didn't say that no bankers are involved, I said that it's new to propose anything that benefits anyone BUT bankers and etc. Reading it again might help.

            No turkeys were slaughtered in the making of this comment.

            by TimeZoned on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:37:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  you sees (0+ / 0-)

              to imply I have to limit my comments or thinking to your preconceptions or assumptions behind your comments. But I can have a different set of priorites for my thoughts,  doesn't make them worse, better or whatever, but I don't  have to think as you do, my point is that infrastructure isn't favored only because it helps real people besides bankers and lawyers.  It wins because the rich get richer, but everyone also gets something out of it.

              You have your view, I have a view that its being advanced for more reasons than your reason.

              You want to see it as right v. left, civic responsibility vs. personal greed.  All worthy points.  I like to think of it in terms of what works long term without the labels that tend to divide.

              I like to think that Obama's promise to measure success by practical numbers means he's looking more for what works for this crisis, than what fits an ideological mold.  In the long run, that tends to be the ideologically right thing.  

              Its my opinion,  you have yours, I don't have to agree, disagree, parrot what you said, or refrain from saying something.   Neither do you.  

              •  Of course not but we're debating (0+ / 0-)

                you see a problem with that, I don't.

                If you raise a fairly direct criticism of someone's post and then can't back it up when challenged, just retreating to "Hey we don't have to agree" seems kind of weak. But yes, you certainly have every right to it.

                my point is that infrastructure isn't favored only because it helps real people besides bankers and lawyers.

                Again, who said that it is? You're arguing with someone, but it's not me.

                No turkeys were slaughtered in the making of this comment.

                by TimeZoned on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:56:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  no (0+ / 0-)

                  you took offense at the phrase you don't understand infrastructure.

                  I'm saying that if infrastructure didn't benefit the rich, the professionals, the lawyers and the bankers, it wouldn't be number one out of the gate for mentions on economic recovery, it wouldn't be the current darling spending project of the right and left.

                  Its not about civic responsibility.  It is about a different vision of what grows an economy better, but it never lets personal greed and self interest get very far away from the basic capitalist roots.

                  Its another place where progressives or those leaning left towards more socialist thought are going to be disappointed, or suprised when Obama fails them.

                  •  And here's where I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                    Its not about civic responsibility.  It is about a different vision of what grows an economy better, but it never lets personal greed and self interest get very far away from the basic capitalist roots.

                    It is about civic responsibility, in the sense that I don't see the contradiction between that and your second sentence. Are you saying that if it's good for people AND grows the economy, then it's flawed?

                    Again, you're simply putting words in my mouth, that somehow I wrote that the only interest is social well-being. It's possible this is because I was referencing France, and you may have a misunderstanding of how Socialist things are there right now. Which is to say, not very.

                    That's a long discussion though and I have to go.

                    No turkeys were slaughtered in the making of this comment.

                    by TimeZoned on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:16:31 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  France is not (0+ / 0-)

                      a hangup of mine.   There are good and bad things about France, just as anyplace.

                      I am saying that your comment struck my as too idealistic about motives for infrastructure.  Maybe you didn't mean it the way I took it, but I don't think the way I read it is outside of your actual words.

                      I am merely suggesting that the motives are as base for this decision as any other, civic responsibility wasn't a very major one at all.  You keep saying you didn't mean only, I keep saying don't even think primarily.

                      •  No I'm saying (0+ / 0-)

                        look, how unusual, someone is actually thinking about more than the stock market and oil companies.

                        The idea that this kind of "civic responsibility" and what's good for more professional classes must and should be separate is the one we disagree on.

                        Ciao,

                        No turkeys were slaughtered in the making of this comment.

                        by TimeZoned on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:34:05 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Long term v. short term thinking (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mainefem, TimeZoned, jfromga

                is perhaps more of an apt comparison.

                The past 8 years has been a celebration of short-term thinking -- "what's in it for me now?" That's why we're stuck in Iraq -- Bush and his folks could only see the short-term possibility of getting rid of Saddam Hussein, but not the long-term reality of what happens to the country after you have that vacuum at the top; what's going to fill it? Ditto with Katrina -- you had the half-assed short-term response, but no long-term plans to rebuild the region and to strengthen the levees to prevent a repeat years down the road.

                Obama, on the other hand, is taking the long-term approach -- and he's not rolling out his entire 4-year plan because he understands that situations can change.

                "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

                by Cali Scribe on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:10:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Completely agree (0+ / 0-)

                  but I'd go further: the idea that "long-term" and "civic responsibility" are at odds is a mystery notion to me.

                  Maybe that's what puzzles so many I see complaining already about Obama, this idea that doing what's best for the majority of citizens is naturally opposed to what's good for the economy.

                  It's not just long-term versus short-term though, it's what KIND of society we have. We've teetered into a two-tiered society and that's not the kind of country I want, nor is it healthy, as we've just seen.

                  I think Americans don't have a clear idea about that balance anymore, it may take some time to remember what it's like.

                  No turkeys were slaughtered in the making of this comment.

                  by TimeZoned on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:25:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  PS (0+ / 0-)

          professionals are engineers, architects, etc.

          Obviously construction companies, from top brass to the people working on the road, all their clerical staff, etc., do well too.

    •  First they get rid of Freedom Fries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TimeZoned

      Now this.  Next thing you know, they'll start trying to help people get health care.  

      The country is going to he**.

      Congress repealed Glass-Steagall w/a veto-proof majority. Stop blaming Clinton.

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:27:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i want a wind turbine and solar panels (6+ / 0-)

    for my home.

    this is what we should retool for.  then we can plug our electric cars into our off the grid power.

    that an other technological innovations are absolutely necessary for us to come out of this.

    great and simple ideas that just need courage and creativity.

    "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

    by fernan47 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:51:55 AM PST

    •  I want rebates (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MA Liberal, mainefem, fernan47

      and big ones, for replacing gas guzzlers. If you've got an old car, and you junk it and register something newer, you get a good sized rebate - almost enough to pay for a safer and more efficient used car.

      That would get a lot of those old clunkers off the road. And they NEED to be off the road.

      And it would get a lot of people into safer cars.

      •  okay, maybe (0+ / 0-)

        but my car is 17 years old and i fill up the tank less than once a month.  i have no intention of trading it in for garbage.

        gas could go to $8 a gallon and i would still barely feel it at the pump.

        now i would feel it everywhere else unless we get off gasoline altogether.

        so i am not sure putting a bunch of new detroit cars on the road is all that wise.

        i would much rather they retool to produce wind turbines, trains, alternative energy vehicles than put a bunch of dubiously engineered stuff on the road.

        "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

        by fernan47 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:00:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't HAVE to trade it in (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cali Scribe, mellowwild

          if you don't want to. But if you're driving around in a 1980s car, you probably don't have some of the newer safety features, and could possibly get better mileage in a newer car.

          But again, nothing would FORCE you to trade it in. However, if you WANT to, you'd get a rebate.

          My bet is a lot of people would want to...and that a lot of those old cars aren't kept up as well as they could be.

          •  i get 28 mpg (0+ / 0-)

            and drive little.  it is an acura integra and is irreplaceable and never breaks down.  i don't have air bags, etc. but that is the only downside to this marvelous car that paid for itself three times in what i saved on it.

            "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

            by fernan47 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:28:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Barney Frank wasn't yapping his mouth (9+ / 0-)

    about Obama yesterday as he had done on Thursday.  I wonder if Obama sent Rahmbo to Barney Frank and told him to STFU for Obama is on the case.

    The media will play up ANY sign that there is Demcratic discordance so it's best to deal with stuff this behind closed doors.  Democrats need to be united right now.

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:52:52 AM PST

    •  If Emanual did (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fisheye

      then all I can say is, blessed be the Rahmbo. Ever since Frank made an ass of himself by getting into a shouting match with O'Reilly a while back, I have had very little patience with him. Someone has needed to tell him to STFU.

      "Your world's no wider than your hatred of his" - Elliott Smith

      by croyal on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:21:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish him well (4+ / 0-)

    Let's all hope that such a project works better then Roosevelt's attempts at ending the Great depression did. By 1937 things were almost as bad as 32.
    If he wants to get the economy ( the private one) going he could start by slashing defense by 20% and using that $$ too finance health care for everyone. This would do more then all the make work projects put together. The sad truth is the WAR economy is KILLING everything else.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:53:16 AM PST

  •  It's nice to have a grown up in charge. : ) eom (10+ / 0-)

    "I shall never surrender or retreat." --Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis

    by badger1968 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:54:06 AM PST

  •  Not a word about New Orleans? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, Hirodog, leonard145b

    Large parts of the city still lie in ruins.  The levees have not been rebuilt or strengthened except in a few places.  Hundreds of thousands of New Orleanians are still in exile (La. used to be a blue state!).  Obama used New Orleans repeatedly as an example of where government failed.  Why not use some money to restore a great American city to viability?

    I will be HUGELY disappointed if he fails to make some commitment to a really NECESSARY infrastructure project.

    •  well doesn't the general infrastructure (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, txdemfem, leonard145b

      project already include new orleans by definition?  he can't go into detail in a message like this.

      "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

      by fernan47 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:56:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. He talked about bridges and roads. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mainefem, Hirodog, leonard145b

        New Orleans needs billions for levee construction and billions more to help wiped-out homeowners who were misled by crooked insurance agents.  When I bought my house in N.O. the insurance agent tried to TALK ME OUT OF buying Federal flood insurance.  He just didnt want to do the paperwork.  Hundreds of thousands are in the same boat, and have never been made whole.

      •  so now he has to mention (11+ / 0-)

        every disaster left by Bush in a three minute address or he's a disappointment.

        All through the campaign he's promised real help to New Orleans.  I don't think he intends to forget.  But right now people all over are also reacting in fear and the whole economy is crashing.  So if he spent three minutes talking about New Orleans, or squeezed out national oriented comments to make a mention, people would also wonder about whether he understands the current depths to which the economy has fallen.

        He can't mention each individual pet project in a three minute address.

        •  New Orleans is NOT an (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask

          "individual pet project," it is a national disaster and shame, and it helped Obama and the Democrats get elected.  Rectifying the damage there should be a top national priority.  John Edwards understood this.  I hope Obama does.

          •  Yes it is (0+ / 0-)

            Obama actually has lots of pet projects.  I think they all matter to him.  But he's not doing a comedy routine where he squeezes in ten thousand words a minute.

            And really, mentioning John Edwards, that may be something that matters to you, but he made himself an irrelevancy for the near future by his own actions.  So nothing persuasive about mentioning him to me.

            •  So John Edwards' extramarital affair (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              carllaw

              means that everything he ever thought, was, or stood for no longer matters?

              •  no (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                one of 8, pateTX

                I said he temporarily made himself irrelevant, there is no authority in the real world to be gained by mentioning his name, because he for the short term has no political authority and precious little moral authority to throw into the mix.  He is having to take a low profile because of his action.  Its a practical effect of a public relations disaster.

                While I may not care about his personal life, reality means that he is not persuasive, he's not setting agendas, he's not driving political discourse right now.

                So you won't convince me personally about changing Obama's priorities by mentioning Edwards, because its meaningless because Edwards won't have much pull right now on Obama's priorities.

                •  Wow, guess Obama (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  carllaw

                  will only take good ideas from faithful husbands who are currently popular, then.

                  •  pretty much (0+ / 0-)

                    he will, which is to say, if any of his people, regardless of marital status, gender or sexual orientation, get caught up in public scandal that undermines their effectiveness, regardless of their ideological purity on policy, they'll be dead to him and tossed overboard.

                    In the end, he's still a Chicago politician, someone supposedly very gifted at politics. No drama Obama won't disappear entirely just because he's elected. We can only hope he takes well to governance.

            •  everybody is so trigger happy and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              txdemfem

              negative!!  I was a staunch Edwards supporter and I didn't mean the New Orleans was a pet project!!! For crying out loud!!!!  Just that those sorts of specifics do not go in a message of this short nature.

              LOL.  after eight years of the bush, everyone is soooo hypercritical.

              this is what we want folks.  it ain't gonna come out of his mouth fully formed like a pretty picture.

              "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

              by fernan47 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:33:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Give all the issues with NO public schools, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mellowwild

      they ought to qualify for a lot of assistance under that plank.

    •  Sry but New Orleans is not alone. (0+ / 0-)

      Moving on, finally.

      by fisheye on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:10:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Name me another American city (0+ / 0-)

        destroyed by the negligence and incompetence of the Army Corps of Engineers, a Federal agency.  New Orleans is a unique case.

        •  these disasters are waiting to happen (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fisheye

          all over the usa.  Sacramento would be a worst disaster than New Orleans should the levels break during one of their yearly storms.  Much, much worse.

          "When Obama speaks, Angels orgasm" Jon Stewart, 2008

          by fernan47 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:34:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I can name dozens (0+ / 0-)

          of urban areas destroyed with government negligence and incompetence with out the assistance of a class 5 hurricane, which deserve equal consideration.

          You gonna blame the government for natural disasters or their reaction to them. Because mother nature will eventually beat what ever preventative measures are taken to safeguard and under sea level city on the coast.

          Moving on, finally.

          by fisheye on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:36:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please just (0+ / 0-)

            name one CAUSED by the negligence of the Corps.  Just one.

            The flooding of New Orleans, as proved by the Corps' own report, was a result of faulty construction and design of levees, not a Cat 5 Hurricane.  Katrina was Cat 3 when it brushed by N.O.  The levees were supposed to hold, they failed, and that was the government's fault.  (A whole city had been built based on government guarantee of the levees)

  •  Yeh! Investing Wins vs Spending (15+ / 0-)

    Keep it up, Obama.  You're doin' great.

    Keep using the word Investing and cut the word Spending from the vocabulary.  Because, according to the privatizers, Government Spending is Wasteful.  They'll have a more difficult time attacking Government Investment, and it's far easier for us to promote.

    Invest, Renew, Invent, Save, Recover.  No use of the word spend.

    Small, yet awesome.

    The hopeful depend on a world without end, whatever the hopeless may say. --Rush

    by Leftcandid on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:55:50 AM PST

  •  1 month and 2 weeks to go... (10+ / 0-)

    Really like the commitment to giving everyone access to Broadband and it's really shameful being ranked 15th in the World...

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."-- Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)

    by ebbinflo on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:56:02 AM PST

  •  This is a home run (14+ / 0-)

    Our freeways haven't been modernized in a generation, with falling bridges and congested gridlock.  Our rail system, particularly light and commuter rail is a joke.  

    Your cell phone will work better in Bahrain or Germany than in the United States. Broadband access is slower in the United States than in 14 other countries.  

    This speech is a most welcome sign that things are going to get better.

  •  Obama needs to aim to create 4-5 million jobs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, leonard145b, MPociask

    in the next 2 years.  He needs to aim MUCH MUCH MUCH higher on his job creation.

    I think that job creation and changing our econmy to a green economy should be PRIORITY NUMBER 1. IMO, tax cuts for the middle class can wait and instead focus on jobs.  Gas prices have dramatically decreased in the past couple of months which in effect IS a tax cut.  Economists believe that in the next couple of months, gas will be $1 a gallon.

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 06:57:55 AM PST

    •  a dollar a gallon (0+ / 0-)

      is probaly a very mixed blessing.  Obama needs to keep everyone's feet to the fire on converting energy sources at that kind of pricing.

      Plus if the oil nations aren't making money, who do we borrow from?

    •  If he sets expectations low though (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, txdemfem, carmenjones

      when he exceeds them it'll make him look that much better -- "Wow, Obama said he'd create 2.5 million jobs but instead he created 5 million!"

      That 2.5 million may just be the baseline -- not the top line.

      "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:25:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  but jobs do trickle down (0+ / 0-)

      for every worker on the construction jobs or data processing jobs getting the medical records online you get at least one service job

      pizza parlours are filled with softball teams again, and more beer truck deliveries, and amusement park visits, birthday gifts are given, dry cleaning is done, and home maintenance jobs undertaken

      once people start breathing again, I don't think (hope) they will go back to their oblivious behavior, but a $1 per gallon gas tax to be triggered whenever oil is under $50 per barrel to be dedicated to mass transit would be a fine idea

      I'd love to see a high speed rail "golden spike" connecting NYC to LA by 2012. That would be a great "Yes WE Can" moment.

  •  Women...? (8+ / 0-)

    I'm curious, is there a breakdown of where all these job losses are coming from, demographic wise?

    Could it be disproportionately coming from women?

    Strange, but refreshing to hear a President willing to speak to everyone in the country.

    "Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." ~Voltaire

    by The BBQ Chicken Madness on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:00:01 AM PST

  •  your husband's job (9+ / 0-)

    Why, pray tell, do you infer that the listener must thus be a woman?

    Plenty of men with husbands out there ...

    (;-)

    Yes, I concur, a very impressive construction. Even more than you knew!

  •  Actually not surprised about addressing women (5+ / 0-)

    Before he was a politician, he was a lawyer and a law professor.  Interestingly enough, many law texts now use her/she as the default gender when describing situations and fact patterns.

    It may almost be second nature to him by now.

    •  Interesting. Still, good call on O's part. eom (0+ / 0-)
    •  I caught the phrasing, too. I'm wondering (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, i like bbq, AdamC NY, mellowwild

      what he's hearing about post-election support demographics. I don't think it's only because of default gender. Obama is very careful about the words he uses.

      "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

      by TheWesternSun on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:07:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree that's he's careful, but it also may just (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheWesternSun

        be his own personal default setting at this point.

      •  In this case it's the fastest option (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mainefem, TheWesternSun

        Because as he says 'your job' he refers to all of the employed, and 'your husband's job' he speaks to housewives who are watching.  But the effect when read together side by side is an obvious female default in gender, which could be a sign of things to come.

        Heck, I won't mind the Democrats being called the 'mommy party', and addressing the nation as a lady first and formost, as long as mommies and sisters and daughters use their superior voting power to keep responsible government in control.

        America is a work in Progress.

        by sydiot on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:26:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not necessarily addressing audience as women (0+ / 0-)

      It could be the opposite. He could be addressing an old-fashioned audience:

      Protect your Job (if you are a man)
      Your Husband's Job (if you are a married woman)
      Your Daughter's job (If you are the parent of a single young woman working in the steno pool until she gets married. The young women in the work force were always the first to be laid off in a recession.)

      Not necessarily a feminist sort of framing. It is something FDR could have said in 1932.

  •  Anyone else notice (10+ / 0-)

    There were books close by?

    ;)

    A WH with books, at last!

    Sorry but, I dind't count Laura's collection of Barbara Cartland's romances as books.

    Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others. ~Virginia Woolf

    by LaFeminista on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:01:19 AM PST

  •  Use it or lose it devised with IL in mind? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe, flatford39, wondering if

    Illinois, under the misrule of Governor Blagojevich and his few remaining legislative allies such as Emil Jones, has failed to pass a capital bill for five years.  They keep getting extensions on not losing federal money but time is fast running out on that -- they have to pass local matching funds now.  This to me is a clear message to our dysfunctional leadership in Springfield.  Question I have is whether Blago will back off his no-new-taxes pledge.  To pay for an infrastructure bill, it's either that, or else Blago's preference of massively increasing gambling.

    •  Remember the BIG DIG? (0+ / 0-)

      The Big Dig is STILL being finished up and lingered long after the Eisenhower highway system was finished.  It was 90% funded by federal funds because it was the end of the Mass Pike (I-90).  

      God bless Tip O'Neill.

      America is a work in Progress.

      by sydiot on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:33:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yea.. ouch... wish he hadn't announced... (0+ / 0-)

    I know he needed to because of pressure from a lot of people... but, now the opposition is going to play games with it.

    Today, I am announcing a few key parts of my plan. First, we will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.

    Some of those new jobs better include people to make sure that this isn't just a bunch of administrators going, "Oh give the janitor a few green light bulbs to put in the hallways and work on a couple of rooms and use the rest of the money for Judge so and so's new chair!"

    Second, we will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.

    Yea, I can see the riders being attached now. Anti-abortion ads, no money unless some yahoo Senator gets a highway named after him, or, and I loved this one the first time out, no money unless you raise the age of drinking laws in your state. (Actually I wasn't bothered by it, I got grandfathered in so I could still drink at 19, and didn't like beer I found out so it was a waste of energy).

    The next though... yea, ouch...

    Third, my economic recovery plan will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen.  We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.

    As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway. It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President – because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.

    Here comes the bandwagon of anti-education people, most people call them Creationists because that's the wedge they use now to get into the classrooms. They'll all be screaming about how the Internet is for Porn, (Completely dissing the capability to block such sites on school computers), how Obama is trying to bring even MORE sex into the class rooms, and amazingly... they might even bring up their ow-- errr... sites that promote hate in the country!

    Don't get me wrong, I loved it. Inspiring as hell... now this has to be when the Democrats step up and say... "No it's going to pass, or we tell the nation that you want to turn us all into idiots to keep the country under your dictatorial control."

    To have faith in the power of a human being is no crime. The crime is to have no faith in your fellow human being.

    by RElland on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:03:12 AM PST

    •  Yeah, better to keep it a secret? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Into The Stars, littlenomad

      Sorry, I'm having trouble reconciling "wish he hadn't announced" and "don't get me wrong, I loved it".

      Maybe I misread something. It was a long post.

      No turkeys were slaughtered in the making of this comment.

      by TimeZoned on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:13:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No... I love his oratorical style (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TimeZoned

        When he talks like this, he's a wonder to listen to.
        I just wish he could've kept some of the details quiet until after January 20th. Sorry, I should have been more clear on that, it does come off wrong.

        To have faith in the power of a human being is no crime. The crime is to have no faith in your fellow human being.

        by RElland on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:23:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  who gives (7+ / 0-)

      a shit about wingnuts when a house and food are getting to be worries for a significant portion of the population.  The past election showed that those fears don't stack up well against more legitimate fears of unemployment, being homeless, and not having food.

      What has kept democrats from doing what was right recently is fear that people would not support them.  Well, right now the support is there.

      In fact, come one wing nuts, make fun of this, and see Faux News ratings drop some more, and some more talking heads withdraw from radio, see the rethug party approval ratings dip even lower.   Please, please don't throw me into that briar patch.

      •  That's you. (0+ / 0-)

        That is not the sheep we have currently, and will have in the next Congress and Senate who go, "Oh no, please don't hurt me or my chances of winning!"

        To have faith in the power of a human being is no crime. The crime is to have no faith in your fellow human being.

        by RElland on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:24:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the difference (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          txdemfem

          between them and me, is I already realize that Obama has 100% control of a fundraising/information structure that determines the democrats who rise and fall in the party and who gets elected in the next cycles.  I said along time ago I hope he uses it for good, because it represents an enormous amount of power.  And presuming his high approval ratings hold as he walks into office, saying no to his immediate requests isn't going to work.  In six months it may be a different story if nothing is looking good.

          I think the democrats in Congress are going to find out about new rules.

        •  Well, it's easier to have a spine (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mainefem, jfromga

          when you know the guy in the White House will back you up -- must be frustrating to work on bills that are just going to be vetoed by the Village Idiot. If you know that your program has got a good chance of support from the dude in charge, you're going to be more enthusiastic.

          "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

          by Cali Scribe on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:37:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I like it (6+ / 0-)

    I like it alot.

    How many ways is this guy setting the standard for the future?  Leadership by example.  Imagine that.

    "They want to win, at any price. So, you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -Steve Gilliard.

    by demkat620 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:04:49 AM PST

  •  "This is the United States of America" Obama: (6+ / 0-)

    women addressed directly in a non-"women's issues" setting as legitimate, fully fledged and very concerned and invested breadwinners. The effect is stunning.

    I'm using my quiet voice

    by caps lock on on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:05:02 AM PST

  •  The medical records technology upgrade is great (7+ / 0-)

    Sounds similar to the legislation proposed by Sen. Clinton in 2005.

    Health Technology to Enhance Quality Act of 2005

    It never got out of Congress, though.

  •  I too noticed that Obama was aiming this to women (10+ / 0-)

    I found that very refreshing.  Women are the backbone of families and deal with things like grocery bills, etc.

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:05:42 AM PST

  •  I am politically har right now... (0+ / 0-)

    Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.

    by Aqualad08 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:06:07 AM PST

  •  Overlooking Rail, Mass Transit and Waterways (6+ / 0-)

    If we are to make the industrial heartland economically viable again, we must widen the St. Lawrence Seaway to accomodate the massive container ships that now dominate gloabl trade, but we must do it in a manner that protects the Great Lakes from invasive species.

    We must also dual and triple track our rail networks and begin to make the grades capable of supporting high speed rail.

    Finally, simply fixing the crumbling infrastructure without expanding or upgrading it's capacity is only a bandaid.  Traffic would remain a problem in many cities.  We need massive investment in mass transit.

    Please Mr. Obama, look at these when you talk of investing in infrastructure, rather than just fixing the broken system we have.

    "It stinks." - Jay Sherman

    by angry liberaltarian on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:07:11 AM PST

    •  This is the immdedaite economic recovery plan (7+ / 0-)

      This is for the immediate 6 months to stem the jobs bleeding.If you read his long term plans mass transit is on there.

      "Scandals don't stay underground like cassava: they always come out" -- Ewe Proverb

      by zizi on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:13:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know about your state (0+ / 0-)

      but mine just passed legislation for light rail between the major hubs of Southeast Michigan.  Auto land. Between Detroit and it's northern Suburbs and to Ann Arbor.

      Along with a stack of infrastructure plans sitting on the shelf this legislation for permitting mass transit projects is anticipating Federal finances.

      The significance of passing a mass transit project in Metro Detroit can not be overstated. But considering the status of the Big 3's political clout right now. Well, it's all coming together.

      I'm glad Obama put State government innitiative on the line. Use it or lose it. He's saying localities better be ready to help them selves, and not be looking to the Fed to do all the work for them. Community focused.

      Moving on, finally.

      by fisheye on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:52:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it was only a 5 minute address (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      txdemfem

      fer cryin' out loud, he didn't try to shove every project and budget and list every transportation upgrade into it, just broad strokes that will be filled in later.

      When he spoke of upgrading federal buildings, and just mentioned light bulbs and heating systems, I immediately thought of putting up solar panels for heating water in office buildings. Many older buildings use boilers and hot-water radiators, which can be converted to using solar-heated fluids pretty easily. If they can use solar tech in Germany during the winter, we can use it in Boston too. Even in areas where solar panels would not be efficient in winter, they would be operational for spring, summer and fall. Think of that, the possibility of significantly reducing energy consumption for a building where 3K people work 10 hours a day for many months of the year by using one or more solar heating systems, for water heating or heating the building.

      Plenty of time to work out details and projects for the long-term. But right now, I'm sure there's a dozen infrastructure projects in your city/county/state, from upgrading 50 year old bridges to building a new water treatment plant to building more public transport that could be started within a few months. (Ah, will I see the 2nd Ave line built in NYC in my lifetime? Will PNM and our state government finally build out a power transmission system that would allow us to power the state and add to the region grid? The plans are there, the budgets worked out for all these projects, just need the funding to get them going.

      Today we got a framework that we are expected to help fill in. We got a few weeks before the new Congress convenes and starts creating the bills that will fund and give approval to these stimulus/infrastructure projects. Let's continue our work of finding/creating what we will support and promote and push our representatives as part of the solutions we need for our economy, our neighbors, our kids and our planet.

  •  Form of address--wow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, i like bbq, sydiot

    The only other public figures who deliberately addressed themselves to women who come to mind just now were Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. (who insisted on "she" as his pronoun of choice) and George Bernard Shaw ("The Intelligent Woman's Guide to"...oh, no, I better not say the rest of the title 'cuz Big Bill will find my address and send the police tremble tremble).

  •  Use The Defense Production Act To Revive Big 3 (5+ / 0-)

    In times of war and emergency the President can mobilize American industry like we did in ww2 when Detroit made tanks and bombers.

    This time hae them make rail cars and wind turbines. Set the turbines up on the lakeshore to power the factories.

    Take the money from the defense department because they have failed to deliver the oil.

  •  Inclusive language - Obama gets it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catfood, mainefem, i like bbq, mellowwild

    I went to a relatively conservative Catholic uni that, for all their issues with being consistent on social justice issues (you know the song), they at least understood why we should make an effort to use inclusive language. If you want people to listen and be engaged with what you're saying, you have to address them with respect, sensitivity and awareness of their individuality, and not assume they assume you're talking to them.  Cheers for liberal arts education.

    "Your world's no wider than your hatred of his" - Elliott Smith

    by croyal on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:10:03 AM PST

  •  fresh (8+ / 0-)

    I thought I loved listening to Obama the campaigner.  I am getting a preview of what I'm going to love about President Obama.  School buildings!!  I am blown away by our President talking about school buildings.  I work in an old school.  My district has many, many old schools.  It's  exciting to hear the President acknowledge that the BUILDING is important too.  It's exciting to hear a message of support for schools rather than one of stern warning, as in the past - "your kids will pass these nimrod tests or you won't get your money.  If your school struggling, we'll help you struggle more and make it harder for you."  

    This is new.  This is fresh.

  •  He should revitalize the WPA... (0+ / 0-)

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:12:14 AM PST

  •  What about the sewers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, post rational

    we have a serious bill coming due on sewer systems throughout this country...it's the sort of thing communities never want to pay for, and voters don't want to think about. Here in MN a neighborhing suburb of mine had it's biggest street collapse into a sinkhole because of a 50-year-old sewer system.

    I was hoping that would be part of it, but perhaps it can be a second wave effort if the first wave isn't enough.

  •  SUPPORT A GAS TAX (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, fisheye, abraxas, gerbilmark

    The price of gas is falling and will encourage people to drive too much and to keep their SUVs.  We need a gas tax in order to pay for some of this stuff...

    I wrote my Congresswoman and told her that I want to see a gas tax.  If we don't have one we'll fall into our old habits and the planet can't afford it.

    •  It's only low due to the global recession (0+ / 0-)

      which is affecting whether or not people can afford to drive in other ways. It'll head back up as soon as people start driving lots again.

      •  Still, think (0+ / 0-)

        what a tax of 0.25 dollars per gallon could raise.  Say there are 300 million gallons sold per day (I've read that there are more, but this is a low estimate).  That would be $75 million per day - that becomes 27 billion per year.  Nearly twice what Obama proposed for the annual expenditure on green industry.  If you like, we can offset this by tax credits for hybrid vehicles and other appropriate incentives.  For example, we could give tax credits to businesses and homes that insulate peropely.

        We need to pay for all of this stuff somehow!

  •  Great Expectations! (5+ / 0-)

    And if this man can deliver, we will have ourselves a new Lincoln.

    It's not just change that we are seeking, it's an entire new way of looking at things that we are seeking.

    Very few times before, has so much been expected from one man.  Let's hope he is up to the challenge.

    " ... or a baby's arm holding an apple!"

    by Lavocat on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:16:09 AM PST

  •  This is change (4+ / 0-)

    Lots of definitions of change have been talked about since the election. To me, the change Obama talked about during the campaign meant less about the faces of his Administration and more about how the government operates and the priorities of the president. And, even if I don't like some of the faces he has chosen, I am optimistic about his goal of providing real change we can believe in.

    "...the greatest tragedy...is not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." MLK, Jr.

    by royce on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:16:39 AM PST

  •  Obama needs to devote some money... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga

    to internet security:

    By JOHN MARKOFF
    Published: December 5, 2008
    SAN FRANCISCO — Internet security is broken, and nobody seems to know quite how to fix it.

    Despite the efforts of the computer security industry and a half-decade struggle by Microsoft to protect its Windows operating system, malicious software is spreading faster than ever. The so-called malware surreptitiously takes over a PC and then uses that computer to spread more malware to other machines exponentially. Computer scientists and security researchers acknowledge they cannot get ahead of the onslaught.

    As more business and social life has moved onto the Web, criminals thriving on an underground economy of credit card thefts, bank fraud and other scams rob computer users of an estimated $100 billion a year, according to a conservative estimate by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. A Russian company that sells fake antivirus software that actually takes over a computer pays its illicit distributors as much as $5 million a year.

    With vast resources from stolen credit card and other financial information, the cyberattackers are handily winning a technology arms race.

    “Right now the bad guys are improving more quickly than the good guys,” said Patrick Lincoln, director of the computer science laboratory at SRI International, a science and technology research group.

    The financial collapse of today might look like good times if internet security disappears.

  •  about damn time... (6+ / 0-)

    Never have I heard sentence construction like that from a president -- women addressed directly in a non-"women's issues" setting as legitimate, fully fledged and very concerned and invested breadwinners.

    Women are the backbone of this country, and, might I say, the world. Without us, NOTHING gets done - at home or at work. I know, makes me sound like some harpie, right? But think about it - who in YOUR home makes sure everything gets done?
    (and kudos to the guys here who do understand.)
    It is my contention that there will never be peace in the world until ALL women are given their due - here and across the world. No more burkhas, no more being treated as property, no more second class citizens. We are just as bit as good and valuable to this world as any man. And if men across the world can come to grips with that, great things can happen.

    Electing conservatives is like hiring a carpenter who thinks hammers are evil.

    by MA Liberal on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:19:57 AM PST

  •  Household alternative energy incentives (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, maizenblue

    I just bought a house.  Why are solar panels so damned expensive?!  We need federal financing plans to incentivize long term energy improvements.  It takes 15 - 20 years to recoup the investment at today's market rates.  How can I invest so much money in such a project if I don't know if I'll be living in the same house 10 years from now?  And what is the incentive for landlords who don't pay for the energy bills at their houses?  We have to revolutionize these short term energy incentives.

    •  solar panels are expensive because (4+ / 0-)

      they cost a lot to make.  Silcion cost money to make and fabricate, then more to assemble into arrays and package.  The demand for silicon for photovoltaic cells has pushed the prices up as it outstripped production capacity.

      Solar generated electricity cost three times as much as utility scale wind farm electricity, because of those high costs.  Concentrated solar thermal power is cheaper than PV and quickly decreasing in price.  Utility scale CSP also has the advantage that it is closer to being baseload power than most other renewable sources.

      Subsidies don't decrease that cost, they just give you the money now and then take it back in taxes over a number of years.  Subsidies are good for jump-starting a technology, but current solar PV is fairly well established; it's been worked on for a half century after all.  R&D grants and loans for new technologies, and subsidies for the early commercialization of those technologies would make sense, but you'll not see products next year.

      •  Your wrong - see Nanosolar (0+ / 0-)

        Less than $1.00/watt.  And can be as low as 30 cents/watt with mass production. Case closed.  We need go MASSIVE solar now!

        http://www.nanosolar.com/

        •  case open - buy one and show it to me (0+ / 0-)

          you're linking to company PR stuff, a privately held company that has been seeking funding.  If Halliburton or Montasanto gave out a press release telling how wonderful their new service or product was, would you simply accept it?

          Nanosolar uses CIGS, indium and gallium are fairly rare and going up in price.  Massive solar based on them could push their prices so high as to cut that investment in PV solar off.  Can't really say, because Nanosolar gives out few technical details.

          our first 100,000 panels are set to go into a very small number of private commercial installations where we deploy them in fenced or otherwise secured environments.

          Focusing on a small number of non-public deployments simply makes everything easier for us to manage initially. Plus, this also has the benefit of allowing us to secure an additional period of proprietary protection for all of our new product features.

          They look good in their PR, but until they are actually selling their panels on the open market, and/or release more technical details on their product, I'm not accepting them as a real solution.

          Flat panel solar PV is the least desirable of the renewables, as it has the poorest capacity factor - 0.15 in Massachusetts to 0.21 in parts of the SW desert.  Wind farms run 0.3 to 0.4 with some newer ones pushing towards 0.5.  Concentrated solar thermal can hit a capacity factor of over 0.95, large storage volume gives it the ability to go past unity to storing power for more than a day.  Past a certain degree of build-up, flat panel PV requires a lot of storage of noonday electricity for off hours use if it is to be the primary energy source.

    •  solar hot water (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NMRed, pontechango

      Before you get photovoltaic panels, which you should only do for the principle of it, not economics, heat your water with solar. Especially if you're building or renovating, solar hot water is competitive with other ways of heating water.

      This is not what I thought I'd be when I grew up.

      by itzik shpitzik on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:57:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  sexism (0+ / 0-)

    Being female centric is no better than being male centric.  It would be better to be gender neutral--so change might also require a new dictionary.
    BTW, speaking of words, let's rehabilitate "liberal," progressive is a poor substitute--shrinking from the bullshit slung by St Ronnie.  Say it loud--I'm a liberal, and I'm proud.

  •  Sounds great. (0+ / 0-)

    This is probably a dumb question, but we do we always need to wait for a national economic emergency of some sort to invest in our country's infrastructure?  I realize that we can't always go into massive debt, but it seems that we are anyway, and yet our infrastructure is terribe in many ways.  I know there will be simple GOP vs Democrat explanations here, but I have to believe its deeper than that.  Our roads should already be good, our schools already superior, or buildings already green, etc.  Where do we normally spend all of the money we generate with taxes, or don't we generate enough?  

  •  He knows women manage household finances (7+ / 0-)

    in most families, and as single heads of their own households, most financially vulnerable. They're often the ones most worried about economic problems.

    Its good to hear a Democrat finally begin to address women voters and validate their importance.

    Congress repealed Glass-Steagall w/a veto-proof majority. Stop blaming Clinton.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:25:30 AM PST

  •  While I appreciate the sentiments behind (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fisheye, samalex

    all the comments that begin with "Obama needs to" or some other closely related construction, it appears that we all have either PTSD or two-year old syndrome.  We're either experiencing flashbacks of the lies we've told for years, or we're expecting everything NOW.

    •  People are hurting (0+ / 0-)

      Sooner would be better than later, but I bet the American public will give him at least 3 years just to show some improvement.  Just to prove things have turned the corner.

      Short of that, getting re-elected will be next to impossible.

      •  3 months. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        juslikagrzly

        We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.

        What states are gonna stall on Federal money?

        Moving on, finally.

        by fisheye on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:01:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Karl Rove (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NMRed, Pohjola, sherlyle, txdemfem, mellowwild

    and the Bush Administration saw the Iraq war as an opportunity to keep Americans in a state of perpetual fear, to make the Republican Party a dictorship, and to divide us as a people.

    Obama sees the economic crisis as a chance to help improve the lives of Americans, bring the country together, and develop its infrastructure for years and years to come.

    I was heartened to hear Obama talk about helping Americans and helping a person like me, who was just recently laid off, to get back to work.

    What a difference, and what a time I chose to become an American! I voted for the very first time in my life ever, and it was for this man, whoop!!

    I hope that we can all do our little part to help this administration achieve these goals.

    OT: I saw a repeat of Letterman last night with Obama, he was great. He was still a nominee then. He talked about bringing the country together, he talked about Africa, my part of the world. I was impressed with something he talked about: the rogue governments in Africa, the ones that rule with impunity and cheat the little people of their basic livelihoods, while they horde millions in swiss banks. He said those governments, if America has to help them will be looked at very closely. They will no longer get money without any accountability. I loved that. In Liberia in 1980, I remember Ronald Reagan giving Charles Doe, the sargeant who led a bloody coup, more than $500,000, the most money Liberia has ever gotten from the states -- and it was all to buy arms. It was the beginning of an event that would lead Liberia to nearly two decades of civil war.

    "If we do what we must do," as Obama said in his 2004 speech, America will rise again, and I truly believe this.

  •  Rapidity of projects (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem

    Having witnessed the snail's pace of many building projects, I hope enough manpower and equipment allocation will be directed at implementing a fast track timeline. I see new buildings that take years to build and think back that the Empire State Bldg was done in 13 months, 15 days.

    The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71

    by BOHICA on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:31:57 AM PST

  •  YES! Money directly for The People, not Wll Strt! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mellowwild
  •  Automating Medical Information is a Great Idea... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice

    But, who is going to do the work. Insurance companies are moving as many jobs as possible overseas and the data as well. My guess is that most of the work on this piece of Obama's stimulus plan will not be done in the U.S..
    I have not heard one word about outsourcing in all of the discussions about the recovery. Nor have I heard anything about what is going to be done with the HB-1 and L-1 visa programs which bring temporary workers into the country.
    A way must be found to bring as many of the outsourced jobs back as possible and the elimination or severe limitations of the HB-1 and L-1 visa programs if we are to succeed in rebuilding our economy.    

  •  terrorist fist bump (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, AsianAfricanAmerican

    I ever get within range, I am so gonna share  a terrorist fist bump with this guy. I'm thinking the 2012 campaign in Iowa will be my chance.

  •  Sadly, the most important infrastructure (3+ / 0-)

    investment (IMO) is not on his list of priorities.  It's the only thing I've submitted input regarding on change.gov.  It's a electrical Smart Grid.  Possibly, he and his advisors don't think the technology is there yet.  I think it should be national priority number one.  Without it, we cannot even hope to move away from dirty energy sources.  Pretty much all current renewables are localized and variable in their output over time.  A Smart Grid is necessary to make them economically and practically viable.  It is the investment that we NEED to make, right now if possible.

    The festive scenes of liberation that Dick Cheney had once imagined for Iraq were finally taking place -- in cities all over America -- Frank Rich

    by Mother of Zeus on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 07:42:51 AM PST

  •  Barack Obama knows who votes in greater numbers: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, i like bbq

    he is addressing his primary listeners as women

    He's so smart sometimes I feel like he's just toying with us, making us wait for him to take over Presidentin'.

  •  Power Grid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    barath, Buffalo Girl

    What happened to the idea of a national interstate power grid infrastructure project, a la the interstate highway system.  Would also connect to areas that could produce wind power - but currently cannot connect to the grid so not being built.  Would reduce risks of future regional blackouts - because a connected grid could draw upon far away resources.  Will result in lots of NIMBY (not in my back yard) complaints - PA's U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is one complaining - but we have to do this if we are to achieve energy independence.

    •  I was JUST going to post THIS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barath

      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID
      SMART GRID

      Please, everybody should write change.gov to ask for this to be included. I did already, gonna do it again.

    •  Grid Investment vs Conservation (0+ / 0-)

      Unless we seriously reduce consumption, we cannot build our way out of our energy problems with renewables. Obama is right on target that our first dollars must be directed at serious conservation and efficiency-- more jobs immediately available to more people with presently available skills, and immediate pocket book savings on energy costs.

      There is a bit of pie in the sky about the grid-- first about the feasibility of transmitting energy from one end of the country to the other, and second about what is involved in terms of cost and massive environmental impact of new corridors. That's not to say it shouldn't be done, but we really need to dramatically bend the curve on consumption if renewabl conversion is going to work.

      This is not what I thought I'd be when I grew up.

      by itzik shpitzik on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:09:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Weirdly circular (0+ / 0-)

    Why do we need new school buildings - as opposed to more teachers - so that students can grow up to build new school buildings.

    Why do we need better roads - as opposed to electric cars - so that people can drive to their jobs building roads.

    Why do we need hospital records software - as opposed to more doctors and research - to give people jobs so they can afford hospitals.

    Why do we need more internet access - as opposed to building an internet that actually does something other than advertisements and selling junk - so people can have jobs to afford internet access.

  •  Regarding this... (0+ / 0-)

    Third, my economic recovery plan will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen.  We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.

    One thing that this administration should look into is using public education to push for healthy lifestyle for all kids and teens, so that they can maintain a heathly life style throughout their adulthood.

    This can be done by upgrading not just computer system -- which I think is also very important.  This requires overhaul of the physical education system.  All schools should have state-of-the-art gyms, free for the kids who attend those schools, of course, and the upgrade of the gyms should include in-house health care professionals who have the ability to chart the progress and provide advise and consent on all things related to a healthy life style, with people such as nutritionists, nurses, and perhaps even recent doctors who have finished their rotations, or perhaps they can work stints at public schools as part of their rotations.

    The upgraded gyms should be open to the public who pay tax into that school system with a subsidized rate of perhaps $10-20 per month.  The membership would include acccess to all the in-house healthcare professionls.

    This would accomplish couple of things.  First, as stated, it would provide kids and teens an incentive to develop and keep a healthy lifestyle which they will take into adulthood, second, local residents of the school district will have a major incentive to develop a healthier lifestyle because of the reduced rate and perhaps, like me, get benefits from the school system not provided if they don't have children who attend the schools, and last but not least, provide the district, neighborhood, and general local with good jobs and good pay.  As for the local gyms that may be affected, many are major chains who would be forced to be more competetive and may work out synergetic outcome by partnering up with the school district.

    Whatever they decide, I think this adminstration should be very ambitious.

    •  I agree, open up the gyms (0+ / 0-)

      My school has YMCA basketball in it many nights but it is located clear at the other end of the building away from parking areas and it's very dark walking in.  We are still years out from having a dedicated gym (ie one that is not also the lunchroom and music production room)

  •  How heteronormative of you! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    noabsolutes, Black Knight

    Maybe he was addressing married gay couples.

    /tease

    I want to live in a civilization.

    by SciVo on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:17:04 AM PST

  •  He added "son's" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, My Spin, SciVo

    You said:

    ...one sentence struck me: Will your job or your husband’s job or your daughter’s job be the next one cut?. Read that closely. In a speech about universal fears and hardship, he is addressing his primary listeners as women. Never have I heard sentence construction like that from a president -- women addressed directly in a non-"women's issues" setting as legitimate, fully fledged and very concerned and invested breadwinners. The effect is stunning.

     But when Obama read the speech, he said:

    Will your job or your husband’s job or your daughter’s OR SON'S job be the next one cut?.

    He apparently added "or son's" on the fly, deviating from the prepared text on the teleprompter.  Interesting.  I'd like to know the back story about how that developed.

    "Investigative reporting is not stenography", Maureen Dowd, Oct. 22, 2005

    by Jackson on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:25:45 AM PST

  •  One of the things that won me over (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, i like bbq, carmenjones

    was that Obama consistently included and addressed women in his vision for America, not as an addendum, or as soccer moms, but as one of the cornerstones of a healthy society.  He seems very openly comfortable with strong women, and I'm sure that's because he was raised by two strong women.  I feel he has tremendous respect for women, and the strength of women.  I see that in the way he treats his wife and his daughters.  Lots of men are like this, but we haven't seen it reflected in the body politic as strongly as this before.

  •  Will these jobs employ American workers? (0+ / 0-)

    Curious if there will be a provision that the jobs created to rebuild the infrastructure will employ Americans and not open to H1B visa holders or illegal immigrants?

    One of the saddest moments for me was when Katrina hit and SO many of the displaced poor in New Orleans had NO work, the companies who were rebuilding brought in undocumented workers (25%) and paid them rather than New Orleans' residents.

    http://blog.aflcio.org/...

    (And before I get SLAMMED for this, yes-those workers were exploited)

    http://www.epluribusmedia.org/donate.htm

    by Soma on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:36:45 AM PST

  •  And thanks to thirty years deferred maintenance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem

    we've got plenty of shit to rebuild.  Roads, bridges, schools, airports, public buildings of all sorts save stadia, which we've kept up on pretty good.....

  •  After the past 8 years of hearing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq

    presidential addresses that were loaded with disrespect and deception, I especially liked hearing Obama say, "And that's exactly what I intend to do....".

    Another nice touch - I received a post card yesterday from Obama for America thanking me for supporting the campaign! :)

  •  Not. Big. Enough. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ

    What he says here is smart.  

    But it's not yet transformative.

    Good government, good health care, and good transportation are all preconditions that a booming economy requires.  Or maybe they're benefits that flow from a booming economy.  Or most likely, they're both.

    But a booming economy requires an engine.  With manufacturing all but gone and software winding down, Obama needs to help America jump with both feet on the thing that will reverse the fundamental flow of wealth from outwards back to inwards and rebuild the foundation of prosperity at the bottom rather than the top.  (We need to rediscover that prosperity is a pyramid that sits on its base, not hangs from its tip.)

    I'm not 100% positive what the engine of the new economy will be, but I suspect it's clean energy.  That's the next moon shot.  The question is can we still catch up?  And after that, can we begin to lead?

    Hey, Wolf. DailyKos is the Best Political Team on the planet.

    by Alden on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 08:57:03 AM PST

    •  It's not really up to him (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alden

      I agree, this is weak tea for what the U.S. is facing.  But he does have to contend with psycho Repubs and spineless Dems.  I just hope what he's saying now is the opening bid, and not his final offer.

    •  It does sound a lot like the "sidewalks" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alden

      version of infrastructure that's been talked about on this page. Along with getting state and local infrastructure projects off the backburner, I think a lot of this spending will go into repairing rather than expanding our infrastructure. Which is vital, in the short term. Both are necessary, in the long term, but he might take a while to get us to high speed rail and a new electric grid. I'm still rooting for those, though.

      President-elect Barack Obama.

      by noabsolutes on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 09:26:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Say what you will, that man (0+ / 0-)

    is our first feminist President. He did surprise me in one way-- I thought the first black President would be a Republican-- but this is to be expected.

    Now if only we can get him to make his federal healthcare plan to cover the uninsured  part of the stimulus package...

    President-elect Barack Obama.

    by noabsolutes on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 09:24:16 AM PST

  •  He says daughters and SONS in speech. (0+ / 0-)

    If you listen to the speech and follow the transcript, he says "daughters and sons" whereas in the transcript he say "daughters" only.

    Sorry if this has been mentioned already.

  •  Obama -- Can He Escape Being FDR II? (0+ / 0-)

    Should he want to escape, or should he pursue that presidential model?

    Job creation is what his stimulus package is about.  Job preservation is what the automakers' bailout is about.

    "It's the economy, stupid," is rightly being refined to "It's unemployment, stupid." Which is a good thing, since unemployment and unemployment projections are the worst seen in most of our lifetimes.

    Employers cut payrolls last month at the fastest pace in 34 years as the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent, the highest level since 1993. The 533,000 drop brought cumulative job losses this year to 1.91 million, the Labor Department said yesterday in Washington.  Bloomberg

    They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

    by Limelite on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 09:28:10 AM PST

  •  I love this guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    txdemfem

    and I will be proud to say, 30 years hence (if I live that long) that I voted and campaigned for him, and helped him bring this country back from the brink of economic destruction.  He asked, and we responded.  Out of many, we are one nation.

    "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation.

    by Uncle Moji on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 09:28:40 AM PST

  •  Hard to know where to begin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prognosticator

    We will make sure that every doctor’s office and hospital in this country is using cutting edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each year.

    "Save billions of dollars each year."
    Who is going to save those billions?  Will that savings be passed onto the consumers of healthcare insurance where we'll see a decrease in premiums and copays?

    "cut red tape"
    What red tape is he talking about?  A big red tape that I know of is the HMOs requiring "referrals."  

    Lastly, why make it a priority for every doctor and hospital to use cutting edge technology?  How about making the priority affordable healthcare available to all Americans?  Then we can work on that "cutting technology" which will be even more up to date by the time everyone can afford healthcare.

  •  "The effect is stunning" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, NoVAVoter

    Aside from the commitment to what sounds like a great progressive stimulus plan, one sentence struck me: Will your job or your husband’s job or your daughter’s job be the next one cut?. Read that closely. In a speech about universal fears and hardship, he is addressing his primary listeners as women. Never have I heard sentence construction like that from a president -- women addressed directly in a non-"women's issues" setting as legitimate, fully fledged and very concerned and invested breadwinners. The effect is stunning.

    Isn't it refreshing that we'll soon have a President who can stun us with something other than his obtuseness, or his mispronunciation?  What's more, I think Barack will continue to stun us even after the comparison with his predecessor has worn off.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 09:34:35 AM PST

  •  Um. Water and sewer systems? (0+ / 0-)

    If you can't see it, it's not important?

    It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. -- Thomas Jefferson

    by AtlantaJan on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 09:35:16 AM PST

  •  INFRASTRUCTURE versus TAX REBATES (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gfields1026

    Obama needs to stimulate the economy.

    He knows that the 2008 tax rebate ($600/tax payer) was a bust.

    He knows that one way to get a GOOD stimulus is to put people to work and the multiplier effect will create many more jobs.  But what kind of jobs do you want to create.  Infrastructure is the answer because it can have ALL levels of workers from the ditch digger to the white collar guy using a computer.

    ps. I gave my $600 to Obama.  Did that stimulate the economy?

  •  Wonderful. (0+ / 0-)

    Love it.  I can't even imagine where McCain would be now....

    PRESIDENT. BARACK. OBAMA.

    by ThaliaR on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 10:15:40 AM PST

  •  no high speed trains? (0+ / 0-)

    what about high speed trains connecting every major city in the country?

  •  The gender use is a college prof thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, BrighidG
    I've seen a lot of undergrad college professors do that - use female as the default gender in an example or construction.  It tends to throw off classes who are used to only hearing otherwise.

    Having a smart prez will be good.

    •  we aren't so easily fooled (0+ / 0-)

      People aren't that naive. Construction jobs are male dominated and in much of the country are now done by non-legal residents. Just try to hire a laborer or someone who does drywall that doesn't speak Spanish in CA, Texas NY or most large cities.

      Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the enemy, but to win his friendship and understanding." -- 1958 MLK

      by Cascadia on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 01:11:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's window background and set (0+ / 0-)

    My first post - woohoo!

    I hope I'm not turning into a paranoid, but the first thing I noticed and liked on this thread was that Obama has moved to a different window to use as a backdrop.  The last time I saw one of these pictures he was in front of a window with a tall office building in the background only a block or so away. My worry was that some nut could identify that office building, find some way to get in, and position himself on the right floor at the right time with a high powered rifle.

    Better yet, I hope the image in the window is just digitally added onto a blue screen backdrop.  

  •  I never doubted (0+ / 0-)

    that President Obama  (boy does that feel good to type) would be doing the right thing.

    No more Republican trickle down nonsense. Bold action when bold action is needed. And being that I work in a hospital IT department, the promise of federal dollars to help automate medical records will make a big, big difference.

    I know we're still going to be dealing with the thick-headed "supply siders" from the right, but I think they're mostly going to be crawling back under the rocks from which they came.  For now their day is done and help is on the way. It's sure starting to feel like the sun's going to be coming up soon!

  •  Jobs for who? Construction = men. Sexist? (0+ / 0-)

    I am curious what the breakdown is between the type of jobs we are going to invest in. Why is a construction job more highly valued then nursing or teaching or social service jobs? Is the multiplier somehow more?

    I used the word "sexist" as a hot button word to get the conversation going a little bit but honestly it does like an old outdated (40's) "sexist" response to stimulate the economy by building things versus investing in our health care and school systems. I am not suggesting Obama is the least bit sexist simply that this plan seems to benefit more traditional male dominated industries (auto, construction, etc).

    Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the enemy, but to win his friendship and understanding." -- 1958 MLK

    by Cascadia on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 01:09:07 PM PST

    •  construction jobs... (0+ / 0-)

      Construction jobs are the ones most impacted by the bursting of the housing bubble--both building of new homes and renovating of older homes for resale (or upgrading that was so often paid for by home equity loans).

      My friend's husband lost his job last year after a 20-year career as a cabinetmaker, since there's no longer a market for new or renovated kitchens. When he was trying to find a new job, every single other cabinetmaking or construction company in his and all surrounding towns told him they had laid off most of their workforce or had totally gone out of business. At the unemployment office, he was constantly running into dozens of other men he knew from these other companies who also were looking for construction work.

      After 9 months on unemployment and food stamps, he's now working at a job cleaning swimming pools, and they've fallen way behind on their mortgage payments and are close to being foreclosed on. He and all the other cabinetmakers, builders, painters, and others who worked on homes during the housing bubble make up one of the largest (if not THE largest) sectors of unemployment in his area (and probably most places). He and his former coworkers would all be thrilled to get jobs doing this new construction work.

  •  Men losing jobs - changed my mind (0+ / 0-)

    Okay I retract my prior post.. Apparently men are losing more jobs then women or the industries they are in are so it is okay to invest in jobs that benefit them more.

    I just found this on the Boston Globe..

    Men are losing jobs at far greater rates than women as the industries they dominate, such as manufacturing, construction, and investment services, are hardest hit by the downturn. Some 1.1 million fewer men are working in the United States than there were a year ago, according to the Labor Department. By contrast, 12,000 more women are working.

    Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the enemy, but to win his friendship and understanding." -- 1958 MLK

    by Cascadia on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 01:15:45 PM PST

  •  OK, you take a high speed train to (0+ / 0-)

    Cincinnati or Atlanta or Detroit or wherever... how do you get around once you're there? These cities are post automobile cities and unless there is an equally impressive public train/subway system located in all cities like this it doesn't do you much good to show up only to be stranded on foot.  

  •  Made me cry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, Patricia Bruner

    That one line Susan pointed out is the same one I noticed the most. I don't believe I have ever seen a politician who is this natural in including women, both in his speech and his appointments. He's not the first president we've had who was raised by a single mom, but he's definitely the first who has understood that the world is not just made of men. Thank you, Pres-Elect Obama, and thank you SusanG.

  •  Important Question, please anyone respond (0+ / 0-)

    Ok, so I have a long history of working for various jobs as a laborer..construction, blasting, landscape, framing and what not.  Right now I deliver mattresses and my hours have been cut from 40 hours to 14 hours a week.

    I want to be a part of this rebuilding of america.  What can people best suggest as a way to get in on the action.  Try applying for a job in certain industries now?  DOT, amtrak, construction companies?

    Better DEAD than red!

    by AfroPonix on Sat Dec 06, 2008 at 02:51:31 PM PST

  •  What? Only highways? (0+ / 0-)

    While I agree with Mr, Obama's main thrust, I'm disappointed that he only talked about rebuilding highways when he discussed transportation infrastructure. The building of the high-capacity Interstate highway system in the 1950s was probably one of the most egregious misapplication of government money in the history of the world. What we got for the money was over-dependence on the automobile for passenger transportation and the 18-wheel tractor-trailer for freight.  This has led directly to global warming, air pollution, the insecurity of a depleting fuel supply, and our disastrous military adventures in oil-rich countries.

    Yes, a lot of money needs to be spent to fix broken highways, and, especially, crumbling bridges, but nothing should be spent on increasing capacity.  And from the point of view of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reductions, capacity needs to be expanded for our rail system.  That's a harder political nut to crack becuase the rail infrastructure is private property, but surely some kind of public-private partnership can be worked out that gives the freight railroads the opportunity for increased business while giving the public sector some say in using the track for business with less chance of short term profits (such as passenger service).  

    Forget High Speed Rail for the moment.  We need to reinvest in "Classic Rail." As James Howard Kunstler has pointed out, our railroad system would embarrass a Third-World country.  At the minimum, we should have double-track electrified main-line corridors roughly parallel to the major Interstate highway corridors.  Most of the rights of way exist, it's more a matter of adding tracks and installing electric power lines.  (Electric power has the advantage of being able to be generated from a variety of sources, and has lower emissions than diesel, aside from allowing higher speed operation).

    We also need to clear the bottlenecks in the system.  Anyone who has ever ridden the Capitol Limited as it passes through Toldeo knows about the belays from freight congestion.  Or look at this report about the rail system in Baltimore:

    http://www.fra.dot.gov/...
    http://www.fra.dot.gov/...

    All rail freight up and down the east coast runs trough as single track tunnel built in the 1870s with a steep grade that goes right under downtown Baltimore.  In 2001 a train fire disrupted service for months.

    And there are lots more bottlenecks like that.

    Another transportation infrastructure need is with the inland waterways.  Barge transport is the most energy-efficient you can get, especially for bulk commodities  -- The National Watewrways foundation will be happy to show you the benefits:

    http://www.nationalwaterwaysfoundati...

    Lots of locks and dams on the inland waterways need fixing and possibly capacity expansion.

    What bothers me about the emphasis on highways is that the money will be spent on sprawl-inducing capacity expansion in the wrong places.  Even today I see examples of ill-concieved hioghway construction projects:

    1. The Pennsylvania Turnpike between the Ohio Line and Exit 10 (New Castle, PA) is being widened from 4 lanes to 6 lanes.  Why?  I drive that section regularly, and it's a section only used by through traffic and never has traffic that can't be handled by the current 4 lanes.  Sure, the bridges were crumbling and the roadbed needed fixing, but why the capacity expansion?
    1. The bridge over the Potomac on Maryland Route 34 between Sharpsburg, MD and Shepherdstown, WV. Yeah, the bridge needed to be replaced, but why did they need to put in a 4 lane bridge when a 2 lane bridge can handle the existing traffic perfectly well.  I suspect the state DOT expected a sprawl build-out in the area.  We should not be enabling such a thing, and Federal money should not be spent on such projects. (To be fair, I noticed this item during a road trip back in 2004, so perhaps the current management is not to blame.)
    1. An urban, suburban, or exurban limited access divided highway in Texas.  I love Texas, but I hate those @^%@$^$#$@!!  4 extra lanes of "frontage roads" they universally build with every freeway in the state.  The seem to serve no purpose but to provide access for developers to build on every square millimeter of land that fronts on the interstate.  Of course, the strip malls might have road access but the motorist, unless they are a local who has lived there for some time, cannot actually figure out how to drive to the strip malls.  So even as sprawl, they are a total failure, except, of course to the developer who has made his profit and moved on to the next project.  In general, Texas freeways tend to be gold-plated monstrosities that cost much more than they need to.

    I'm hoping that the only reason that Mr. Obama didn't say much about investing in other transportation modes is to avoid political hassles from wingnuts who have irrational conniptions about any sort of public sector support of things like rail.  In fact, some of the wingnuts have conniptions about private sector investment in rail, they think it's an outmoded form of transport like the horse and buggy.  But they're wrong, it's the auto and plane that need to be deemphasized -- and I suspect that we might even see a modest revival of animal traction for certain transportation functions.

  •  I wonder if there will be any money left (0+ / 0-)

    to implement any of this at the rate the corporations are cleaning out public monies.

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