September 27, 2012
Global warming emerges as a very important issue for undecided voters despite the fact environmental issues have been held underwater this election cycle by a right wing tidal wave of campaign cash. According to a recent poll by Climate Change Communication, 61% of Undecideds “say it will be one of several important issues determining their vote for President. Only 32% of likely Romney voters say it will be one of the “important issues” determining their vote.”
The federal regulator most responsible for this area of public policy is the US Environmental Protection Agency. Voters who care about global warming need to pay attention to the record of Republican leaders in Congress and the White House with respect to the EPA. Past performance predicts future results. Read the rest of this entry »
September 12, 2012
I’ve been spending a lot of time in airports lately as a retail traveler. A lot of time waiting in lines to pass through TSA security checkpoints. Time watching a heavy-handed, cumbersome, Department of Motor Vehicles mentality that is the insistent marker of TSA checkpoints.
It is time to change how Americans are being herded into a national security landscape on the retail level, that seems hopelessly driven by a down-market bureaucracy. Read the rest of this entry »
November 5, 2010
(Counterpunch) In The New York Times, Tom Friedman reports from India and a conversation with a local entrepreneur, “After asking for an explanation of the Tea Party’s politics, Gupta remarked: “Where is the American dream? Where is the optimism?” To help answer those questions, watch the CBS 60 Minutes Segment on the people of Newton, Iowa. The landscape of Newton stands for hundreds of thousands of American communities that were shaped from mom-and-pop stores and businesses serving industry to franchises of corporations serving other service-oriented corporations, using economies of scale to obliterate cultural differences. Newton, Iowa is not so different from anywhere else, after all is said and done: scared, in debt, and shell-shocked how fast 40 years of American prosperity ended.
Read the rest of this entry »
April 23, 2009
(Counterpunch) When Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner spoke to the Economic Club in Washington yesterday and said the United States bears a substantial share of responsibility for a global economic crisis and its multi-trillion dollar costs, he might have pointedly singled out the epicenter of the housing market crash– the state of Florida– where the absence of regulations governing financial derivatives matched laws designed to fail: in particular, regulations protecting the public from the excesses of suburban sprawl. Read the rest of this entry »
November 7, 2008
(Counterpunch) The longer America listened to Sarah Palin, the less it liked her a heart beat from the presidency. The antipathy wasn’t just a matter of expensive clothing from Nordstroms or Saks. Ted Stevens, Don Young, Sarah Palin; a majority may not clearly grasp it, but American voters will continue to push back against Alaskan conservatives if and when they reach for the presidency. Read the rest of this entry »
October 27, 2008
(Counterpunch) The Miami Herald Business Section reports, “Planning the cities of the future/ 2050″, through an interview with the president of the Urban Land Institute, Richard M. Rosan. There is a backstory that today’s readers of The Herald are not privy to; that bears repeating for the full context of the Urban Land Institute and its involvement in what could have been a model “city of the future” right here in Miami Dade only a few years ago. The year was 2002. The story was scarcely reported by The Miami Herald … a shame, because without that background information, today’s story marking the conference in Miami of more than 5,000 urban planning professionals, developers, architects and bankers from around the world provides no cautionary note, no benefit of experience, nothing to indicate the “greenwashing” that seeks to white-out the mistakes right here in Miami where greed and corruption met political opportunity in the mid-1990′s and triggered the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
The story begins with powerful interests who had grown wealthy and powerful manipulating Miami Dade county contracts and federal housing dollars. A group, called HABDI, constituted from the board of directors of the Latin Builders Association, tried to seize control of the Homestead Air Force Base after it was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Read the rest of this entry »
September 23, 2008
“We are poor little lambs who have lost our way, Baa, Baa, Baa. We are little black sheep who have gone astray. Baa, baa, baa! Gentlemen songsters off on a spree, damned from here to eternity, God have mercy on such as we. Baa, baa, baa”.
– from the Yale Singing Club, Whiffenpoofs
The “Gentlemen songsters” would be the crowd of wealthy power brokers complicit in the nation’s most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression. Today’s list includes the publisher and executives of the Miami Herald who recently agreed to meet at the Herald offices with the principal developers planning a massive suburban project outside the Miami Dade Urban Development Boundary: Parkland.
According to sources, Ed Easton, Sergio Pino, Armand Guerra, and Tony Seijas of Lennar recently requested and were granted a meeting with the Herald brass– without reporters– to describe the virtues of their massive development (a “green” 16,000 planned community a stone’s throw from Everglades National Park. Read the rest of this entry »
June 13, 2008
Today, the New York Times reports that Christopher J. Ward, former Treasurer, stole $725,000 from The National Republican Congressional Committee. “The thefts are both embarrassing and painful for the committee, which has been struggling to raise money for what is expected to be a tough year …”
Now, where would a senior Republican campaign official get the idea that it was OK to steal $725,000? Read the rest of this entry »
April 25, 2008
“Yale University economist Robert Shiller, pioneer of the widely watched Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, said there’s a good chance housing prices will fall further than the 30 percent drop in the historic depression of the 1930s.”
Business Week, April 22, 2008
“Some experts are saying that home prices and interest rates have indeed reached their lowest, bottoming out!” Lennar spokesperson in The Miami Herald special advertising section, April 25, 2008, “Homes selling at record pace”
“Seeing rates like 1.95 percent when purchasing a home is something truly extraordinary nowadays!” Century Homebuilders in The Miami Herald special advertising section, April 25, 2008, “Local builder makes history by lowering interest rates to 1948 levels”
“Between the incredible fixed-rate financing starting at 2.88 percent and our prices at historic lows, it’s little wonder why our homes are selling virtually as fast as we can write the contracts!” Lennar spokesperson
“Initial construction of U.S. homes fell to a 17-year low in March, a much steeper-than-expected drop, according to a government report released Wednesday.”
CNN “Money,” April 16, 2008
The Miami Herald questioned the value of the civics lesson, yesterday, at County Hall where hundreds of young students, residents, taxpayers and the lobbying class spent hours waiting to voice the support they were encouraged to evince, for breaking through the line on a map separating; open space in Miami from suburbia, the Everglades from infrastructure service areas, and the edge of common sense from its antithesis. Read the rest of this entry »