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2009 October 10 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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They Don’t Care

Dr. Jeff Masters issues a request to readers: QuikSCAT satellite nearing failure; Congress poised to slash NOAA funding

I urge all of you who value the services provided by the National Weather Service and their parent organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to contact your two Senators and ask them to vote against the Senator Hutchison (R-TX) Amendment #2666 to the Commerce State Justice Appropriations Act for 2010 H.R. 2847. This amendment will be voted on this Tuesday, October 13, by the Senate, and would cut the NOAA budget by $172 million. The funds would be diverted to the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, to increase its budget by 75%. While I’m sure the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program is a worthy program to support, Congress should find a different way to fund this program. NOAA’s total budget is about $4 billion, and the National Weather Service Budget is a little less than $1 billion. The only place where NOAA has the flexibility to absorb the proposed cuts would be in the satellite program. With the QuickSCAT satellite likely to fail in the next few months, and the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite also nearing its demise, the last thing we should be doing is cutting NOAA’s budget in time when our capability to observe the weather from space is suffering from serious degradation.

Kay Bailey Hutchison is running for governor of Texas. The program she wants to fund is used to reimburse state and local lock-ups for holding undocumented immigrants. A large portion will go to Texas.

This action ignores the fact, reported by All Things Considered, Immigration Official: Detention System Must Change . They didn’t ask for more money, because they are redesigning the entire system. The current system is too expensive and ineffective.

When one of the primary tools for forecasting and tracking tropical storms drops out of the sky because the replacement wasn’t funded, Hutchison will blame the Federal government, and never acknowledge her part in preventing a replacement being launched. Like most politicians, she is incapable of thinking beyond the next election.

October 10, 2009   13 Comments

How Bad Is It?

Bill Moyers Journal has a the transcript of a discussion of the current state of crisis featuring Simon Johnson and Marcy Kaptur.

Simon Johnson is a British economist, a former official of the International Monetary Fund, the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management, and one of the founders of the blog, The Baseline Scenario.

Marcy Kaptur is the long-time Congresscritter for northern Ohio, who sits on all the right committees [Appropriations, Budget, etc.] in the House. Her district is one of the most foreclosed areas of the country.

Lambert at Corrente has two Elizabeth Warren videos, in which she explains in her clear professorial style how the economy has been eviscerating the middle-class.

Elizabeth Warren is the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel that is monitoring the bank bailout, as well as the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

October 10, 2009   6 Comments