They expect the new lamps to both save money and also to help address the problem of too much night light. There is a movement in many European towns to reduce energy costs by stopping night lights at a certain hour and this would help by turning the lights on briefly for humans, but then turning off again. The idea is somewhat like apartment hallways in France though you won't have to press a button every ten minutes. I also like that they are actively trying to reduce light pollution. If only they could start doing something about the annoying, lawnmower-like noise of cheap motorcycles and scooters.
Installed on a 500-metre section of pavement last weekend, the lampposts double the strength of the light they cast when they detect human body heat. Ten seconds later they revert to normal.
"It's a prototype. Nothing like this exists anywhere in the world. We pretty much built the technology ourselves," said Alexandre Marciel, the deputy mayor in charge of works, highways, sanitation and lighting.
The aim is to cut energy consumption by around 50%, first on the busy street which runs between a sports stadium and university halls, then more widely. If it is a success, it will be rolled out across the city of around 450,000 people, France's fourth largest.
Yay, there is much rejoicing. Unfortunately I'm not really sure what I'm rejoicing about. We've had all this nebulous terminology that is been bouncing around the airwaves. I don't know what a public option is? I guess, more precisely, I don't know what they mean by public option.
Let's back up a little bit. Let's look at one of the goals that I set out for healthcare reform (portability, cost-effective, efficient). In order to deliver cost-effective health care, we need to do something to control costs. One way to control costs eliminate health insurance altogether. This will save Americans billions of dollars which currently go to a 30% overhead that we see with private insurance. This would be the most progressive option. Democrats took this off the table before the discussion began. Therefore, as a fallback measure, the government would provide a plan that would compete with private plans for people who are not already covered. In my mind, this would include employees of small businesses who cannot currently afford health insurance. This is kind of a sticky point. Republicans don't want small business to flock to the public option. Personally, I think that this would be great for small business. It would help lower their operating costs and allow them to spend more money investing in their employees and their business. The other thing, that many people on Capitol Hill are not talking about, is whether the public option will be able to negotiate pharmaceutical prices and prices for medical devices. Again, this is a sticking point for Republicans and blue dog Democrats. As far as I can tell, none of this is been clarified for Senator Harry Reid's announcement.
A public option that is not allowed to negotiate drug prices in the prices for medical devices, will be a sinkhole for our taxpayer dollars. We might as well just give these companies money.
Robert Gibbs provided the following statement on behalf of the White House in response to Reid's announcement:
"The President congratulates Senator Reid and Chairmen Baucus and Dodd for their hard work on health insurance reform. Thanks to their efforts, we?re closer than we?ve ever been to solving this decades-old problem. And while much work remains, the President is pleased that at the progress that Congress has made. He?s also pleased that the Senate has decided to include a public option for health coverage, in this case with an allowance for states to opt out. As he said to Congress and the nation in September, he supports the public option because it has the potential to play an essential role in holding insurance companies accountable through choice and competition."
"As we?ve gone through this process, I?ve concluded, with the support of the White House and Senators Baucus and Dodd, that the best way forward is to include a public option with an opt-out provision for states."
(From the Secret World Live disc.) In the '80s and '90s I did a fair amount of music writing as a freelancer, and in that time I saw probably over a hundred concerts, including a lot of great grunge shows in the '90s. Still, seeing Peter Gabriel on the '93 Secret World Tour -- he played locally at the Tacoma Dome, but the show looked identical to the one captured here, in Italy -- remains probably my favorite. Gabriel's songs mean a lot to me personally ("In Your Eyes" was "our song" when my wife and I were dating), but the show was just riveting, and the talent (Youssou N'dor, Paula Cole, Tony Levin) was awesome. I also have a cool big-disc 45 of this song, which included an extended version that included the line poem at the end ("Accepting all I've done and said ..."), which does not appear on the album version, but is included here. Of course, on this song, even in the live performance, you can't help being reminded of Lloyd Dobler standing outside Diane Court's window with his music blaster.
So the public option lives, and President Snowe wails in disbelief - Wa-HOO!...
On Friday, apparently the campaigns of America celebrated my mother's birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom) by giving me more time to call her...by making absolutely no news whatsoever.
Today, however, was a little bit different. Almost a dozen polls were released today, as well as a heaping helping of campaign news. A veritable buffet plate of political news, so let's get right to it:
NJ-Gov: Suffolk Gives Corzine Big Lead, PPP Teases Otherwise
Anyone looking for definitive tea leaves from the polling data in the tight race for Governor of New Jersey may find it wanting this week. It looked like we had a definitive move this morning, when Suffolk University released a poll with Jon Corzine staked to a nine-point lead (42-33-7) over Republican Chris Christie. This was quite a departure from previous surveys (which have been in a much narrower range, with either candidate typically leading by three or less). So much so, in fact, that another pollster (Patrick Murray at Monmouth University) blogged about what he perceived to be possible errors in the Suffolk poll. Furthermore, Tom Jensen at PPP seems to hint at their blog that Daggett might be hurting Corzine more than Christie at this point, an apparent sign that PPP will show Christie in the lead. If your head is not spinning yet, it probably should. A wild week is apparently in the offing here.
VA-Gov: New WaPo Poll Shows McDonnell Maintains Solid Lead
It is small comfort for Democrats in Virginia, but new numbers out today from the Washington Post show a consistent lead for Republican Bob McDonnell, rather than the widening lead that had been shown in many polls over the last two weeks. WaPo has the GOP nominee staked to an eleven-point edge (55-44) over Democrat Creigh Deeds. Meanwhile, in other campaign news, Tom Jensen tweeted over the weekend that their numbers in Virginia are "about the same as last week." Last week, PPP showed McDonnell leading Deeds by a dozen points (52-40).
NY-23: CfG Poll Claims Hoffman In Front; GOP In 3rd Place
Seeing how this Basswood Research poll was conducted on behalf of the right-wing, Hoffman-lovin' Club For Growth, take this data with as much salt as you feel is appropriate. The CfG is claiming that their candidate, Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, has the lead in the special election in NY-23 with 31% of the vote. The CfG poll has Democrat Bill Owens running in second position at 27% of the vote, with Republican DeDe Scozzafava running in a distant third place at 20% of the vote. In other NY-23 news, the marriage between the far-right Club For Growth and the top names in the Republican Party is almost fully consummated. Today, it is so-called "mainstream" Republican Tim Pawlenty, the Governor of Minnesota, who is forsaking the Republican nominee in order to kowtow to the right-wing. This, of course, the most clear evidence yet that Pawlenty is planning a run for President in 2012.
ELECTION 2009: More 11/3 Polls Released With Just 8 Days To Go
Aside from the two gubernatorial races and the special election to replace Republican John McHugh in NY-23, there are a number of other races with new data over the weekend. A new poll out of the New York Mayoral Election shows that the gazillions of dollars being spent by Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg is apparently paying off: he now leads Democrat Bill Thompson by eighteen points (53-35). Meanwhile, in Maine, a new poll from SMS Research (which has done some work in Maine in the past) shows that 42% of folks Down East support Question 1 (the anti-marriage equality initiative), while 53% are opposed. This is an improvement over last week's numbers by PPP, which had the question deadlocked at 48%. Finally, SurveyUSA polls the Atlanta Mayoral race, and finds city councilwoman Mary Norwood (46%) close to avoiding a runoff in her bid for the mayoralty. State Senator Kasim Reed runs a distant second (26%).
MA-Sen: Coakley Has Solid Lead In New Poll
A new public poll (albeit by an entity--Western New England College--that I have not seen much polling from) gives Democratic state Attorney General a sizeable advantage in both the primary and general elections that will be coming in the next few months to replace the late Senator Edward Kennedy. Coakley (37%) has a solid lead in the Democratic primary over businessman Steve Pagliuca (14%) and Congressman Michael Capuano (13%). The general election appears to be close to a formality--Coakley has a twenty-six point lead over Republican state senator Scott Brown. The primary is in December, with the general election in mid-January.
FL-Sen: Pro-Crist Poll Seeks to Counter Recent Polling
After polls in the last week by Rasmussen and the Florida Chamber of Commerce seemed to imply that Republican Governor Charlie Crist was losing his shield of inevitability in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in the Sunshine State, a friendly interest group trotted out a slightly dusty poll (conducted two weeks ago) showing a huge Crist lead and staggeringly high favorability for the Governor. The poll, conducted for the Police Benevolent Association by McLaughlin and Associates, gave Crist a 53-29 lead (roughly ten points wider than the margins in either poll last week). It also gave Crist a stratospheric 67% job approval rating.
MA-Gov: Deval Patrick Unloved, But Leading By Double Digits Anyway
Here is a curious set of data, from the always prolific crew over at Rasmussen Reports. They report in a poll released today that a near-majority (49%) of Massachusetts voters do not want Democratic incumbent Deval Patrick to seek re-election as Governor of the state. That being said, they also find that a split opposition (state treasurer Tim Cahill, a former Democrat, is seeking office as an Independent) is giving Patrick a solid shot at re-election. Against health care executive Charlie Baker, Patrick leads with 34%, with 24% for Baker and 23% for Cahill. Against 2006 candidate Christy Mihos, the margins are almost identical (34-23-23).
MI-Gov: Generic Poll Shows Toss-Up in Big 2010 Gubernatorial Race
Seeing how the fields have yet to shake out (particularly on the Republican side), Rasmussen (as they did in Illinois last week) elects to throw out a generic ballot test for Governor of Michigan. They find the Democrats trailing by a single point (37-36) to the GOP. This is actually better for the Democrats than most of the recent surveys, which have had likely Democratic nominee John Cherry (the state's Lt. Governor) getting thumped by leading GOP cnadidates.
IN OTHER NEWS....
"It was sent as a courtesy -- Giuliani says he's 'friends' with Cuomo -- and as a warning that the former presidential candidate would face a brutal and, according to a dozen recent polls, losing battle against the highly popular attorney general."
So, which happens first--Rudy bowing out of the Governor's race, or Cuomo bowing into the Governor's race?
The imagery?s grown so stark
the tempo its fury,
violence, its stroke,
all quickened, loud.
We?ve left the injured bound
and buried, where screams
pierce like whispers.
Gone is our awareness,
emptied like God in our prayers.
Our courage to defeat it
hangs in the air like a paper kite
set aloft as if to stay;
sandcastles and daydreams have more
sky than our spirit.
We?ve built worlds in our thoughts
only to destroy forests and oceans
filled with our uncertain faces.
All the while our fists have been busy
finding flesh to unwrap.
O! These images weep!
What noises are we painting
that haven?t already failed
to pierce heaven?
© 2009 mrp/thepoetryman
You are not alone.
You are not to blame.
You do not deserve to be abused.
All of you know how much needs to be done to take meaningful steps to end domestic violence and sexual assault. We need tough law enforcement, aggressive prosecutions, effective prevention programs and available shelters for families in distress. Most importantly, we need to insure that more people know and understand that domestic violence is not a private matter. It is a critical national problem that affects us all -- in every community, in every work place and in every school.
Just as she was getting ready for her cotillion, Senator Snowe gets shut down.[...]
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Fred Thompson cuts a TV ad for right-wing dream candidate Doug Hoffman in NY-23 special election. "America is in trouble. When your grandchildren ask you why you didn't do something [to save America], be able to tell them you voted for Doug[...]
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October 27, 2009 U.S. Dollar Soars as Equity Markets Get Hammered The U.S. Dollar soared on Monday as weakness in the stock market triggered a…
From the Associated Press: Along a curve of desert highway near the gated home of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, mechanic Bill Johnson is struggling to keep his checkbook balanced. With Nevada's economy poisoned by recession and the nation's[...]
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