Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) reiterated on Sunday that he won't support additional disaster relief funding without spending cuts elsewhere -- even after tornadoes ripped apart his own state last week.
"We've created kind of a predicate, that you don't have to be responsible for what goes on in your state," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation" while discussing the success Oklahoma has had in using state and private funds after the tornadoes.
Coburn said he doesn't oppose any federal money going toward the state, however.
"Big storms like [Hurricane] Sandy, or like this tornado -- there's certain things that we can't do that we need the federal government to do," he said.
The Oklahoma senator has been consistently opposed to disaster funding without offsets, but some expected that to change in the wake of the devastation to his state. But Coburn's office quickly confirmed after the tornado that he would not be supporting disaster aid without offsetting the spending.
Maybe we can cut teachers who saved those kids' lives.
Maybe we can cut first responders who rushed toward the tragedy with their unique skills, bravery, and selflessness.
If he's so principled, he can identify the programs and personnel that should be cut in his home state to offset aid to his fellow citizens.
Some call it "principle". I call it a betrayal of the founding principles of this nation and the Christianity they claim to believe in.
More than a quarter of Washington's 7,840 bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
Shoring up all these bridges would be a major investment of mostly blue collar manpower. And as it turns out, the country has a desperate need for jobs, especially ones that don't require a college degree.
It would take a perverse, malevolent government not to take the opportunity to fit those two puzzle pieces together. Wouldn't it?
Oh boy, the gun nuts are going to hate all these multi-denominational pastors, diverse religions, foreign language prayers mourning the loss, and our nation's first Two-term, African-American Democratic President Barack Obama.
Much of a finger-shaped parish southeast of New Orleans was still covered with floodwater Sunday and more than 200,000 people across Louisiana still didn't have any power, five days after Isaac ravaged the state. Thousands of evacuees remained at shelters or bunked with friends or relatives.
Heckuva Job Brownie lives on......and how's the free market doing?
Entergy, which provides power to most of the people who lost it, was under fire over the weekend from local government officials for what they said was a slow pace of restoration.
Jefferson Parish President John Young said widespread outages were hampering businesses' recovery from the storm and he would ask the state Public Service Commission to investigate.
Entergy spokesman Chanel Lagarde noted that Isaac had lingered over the state after Tuesday's landfall and said Friday was the first day the corporation could get restoration efforts into high gear.
Inside the control room of the Eisenhower Tunnel, dozens of employees monitor more than thirty large screens, keeping watch on a throughway that, since its historic construction in 1973, has allowed hundreds of millions of cars to drive straight across the Continental Divide.
At 11,155 feet above sea level, the 1.7-mile tunnel is the highest of its kind in the world - something that drivers notice right away as they chug uphill on either side or crunch their brakes on the way down.
"It's a critical link from the east slope to the west slope, and has made huge differences for people in the way that they can access recreation and all that the mountains have to offer," says Mike Salamon, who has worked as a superintendent at the tunnel, sixty miles west of Denver, for 35 years.
The numbers prove it.
Since March 1973 through July 2012, exactly 304,794,917 vehicles have passed through the tunnel, and the rate is twice today what it was thirty years ago. On average, more than ten million cars pass through each year, or an average of 30,000 a day (sometimes it seems like they're all there at once). And although ski-season traffic gets the most attention because of traffic jams and bad weather, usage is usually highest in the summer.
Plans for a tunnel under the Continental Divide date back to the 1860s, but it wasn't until a century later, in 1968, that the technology and funding was created to make construction possible.
The $116.9 million effort, which began that year, employed thousands of people who worked 24 hours a day, six days a week. When it was done, people no longer had to take the twisting 9.5-mile route along U.S. 6 over the 11,992-foot-high Loveland Pass, but could use the new I-70 instead.
A project that calls for a 120-mile, high-speed transit system to be built on Interstate 70 between Jefferson County and the Eagle County Airport is certain to attract top thinkers - and the biggest dreamers - both foreign and domestic.
That includes Texas businessman Robert Pulliam, who doesn't believe high-speed rail will solve the traffic woes along the corridor.
A rail line is a key part of a Colorado Department of Transportation package of transportation solutions for I-70, which, if implemented, could cost more than $10 billion.
[T]he Glenwood Canyon project, completed in the 1970s, is a template for the type of original thinking that a tubular rail system could bring to the I-70 mountain corridor.
I agree with Nike: Just Do It. The economic and social benefits will far outweigh the costs, no matter what the naysayers say....
Ignoring a federal judge's injunction, Scranton, Pennsylvania moved ahead with its plan to reduce the pay of city workers to the federal minimum wage starting Friday. Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty claims the city is broke and that the minimum wage payments are all it can possibly pay, the Scranton Times Tribune reports:
Amid Scranton's ever-deepening financial crisis, Mayor Chris Doherty said his administration is going forward with a plan to unilaterally slash the pay of 398 workers to the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour with today's payroll, insisting it is all the city can afford.
That will likely earn administration officials an appointment with Judge Michael Barrasse, who granted the city's police, fire and public works unions a special injunction temporarily barring the administration from imposing the pay cuts after a brief hearing Thursday.
Rosen hates unions, though he may be in AFTRA for his job, so he'll applaud the screws being turned in Scranton. What the anti-tax, anti-union, anti-government crowd never takes into account is that these are the people who arrest criminals, keep your house and business from burning down, and make sure your streets are paved and your sewers aren't backing up into your basement.
But when you live in a million-dollar gated community you don't have to worry about such things, do you?
Imagine a scene from a movie. Above the little town the dam looms in the pouring rain. Ominous thunder crackles through the clouds and we see waves lapping over the top of the earth structure, more and more water pours overtop the dam. Cut to another shot, some overworked public service employee (who has had his collective bargaining rights removed but stays on the job out of loyalty to the public) speaks into a cell phone "I tell ya Dan, this dam can't last! You have to get the governor on the horn and order an evacuation."
A particularly large flash of lightning illuminates the dam above him, and he see the edifice crumbling and millions of gallons of water starting to pour out toward the unsuspecting town. With his last breath he says "I warned them we had to repair it! I warned them, why wouldn't they listen?"
The Washington Post's Robert J. Samuelson takes the Op-Ed pages of his paper to hammer the president's high speed rail initiative today. What has Mr. Samuelson's undies in a twist? Basically a Catch-22 that he constructs by ignoring two of the central fact about rail in the United States.
You see Mr. Samuelson is upset that the 53 billion dollar, ten year, program would build a lot of new tracks that the states would have to pay to maintain and would then lose the states money, exacerbating their budget woes. I know I say this all the time, but it bears saying all the time, conservative arguments are often true, as far as they go, and this one is no exception.
You see Amtrak does lose money. It's prices are high compared to flying and it does often take longer. But what Samuelson ignores is that the biggest problem Amtrak has is that it does not own the tracks it operates on. The scheduling of the trains is at the mercy of the Rail Road companies who make much more money hauling their own loads than letting a passenger service operate on the limited amount of track available.
The other component of that is the fact that while cities have grown considerably in the last 50 years the amount of track has not. Many of the tracks are now in places where they can not be expanded or most importantly for high speed rail, straightened. Without making changes to this infra structure we can not get above the very low average speed of 45 miles an hour for rail transport of people or goods.
Mr. Samuelson argues that the long term goal of a massive nationwide high speed system with a price tag of 500 billion over 25 years (yeah he is bitching about 16 billion a year in a project that would cost in total just under what we spend on defense in a single year) would take money away from other funding priorities, like schools, cops and you guessed it defense!
Home-furnishings retailer Ikea said Tuesday it plans to install a solar array on the roof of its store under construction in Centennial. Pending governmental permits, installation of solar panels will begin next month, with completion by grand opening in the fall. REC Solar will design, build and install the 60,000-square-foot solar-energy system, consisting of 2,212 panels that will produce approximately 740,000 kilowatt- hours of electricity annually, the equivalent to reducing 586 tons of carbon dioxide. It will also integrate a geothermal component as part of its heating/cooling system.
Yes, the not-nearly-as-free-as-Republicans-woud-have-it Market is working well here. But I also feel IKEA is setting a huge positive example and will force local governments and energy suppliers to respond in kind.
Yesterday, I expressed my heartfelt disappointment in Sen. Bennet's unwarranted slapdown of President Obama's call for additional stimulus spending. While Sen. Bennet has problems with the $50 billion of the plan to start laying a financial foundation to address our country's crumbling infrastructure because of mythical debt stress, he apparently has no problems with giving corporations $300 billion in unneeded tax breaks.
Fresh off getting a boost from President Obama to win his Democratic Primary race, Sen. Michael Bennet has chosen to tack to the right in order to ... well, I'm not quite sure. How many Republican and Unaffiliated votes will he need to defeat Ken Buck in less than two months? Because acquiring those votes are about the only goal I can think of when I read that Bennet will not support part of that same President's plan for additional economic stimulus.
The worst part is Sen. Bennet rejected the wrong part of the stimulus plan. And even by supporting the part that I assume his staff is telling him will appeal to Republicans isn't and won't actually make him appealing to those Republicans.
Sen. Michael Bennet rejected the idea Wednesday of a new $50 billion stimulus package focused on U.S. infrastructure projects, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama's effort to rally Democrats around a cohesive economic plan.