Missed Obama’s Economic Recovery Speech Tuesday? Find it here!

If you happened to miss President Obama’s speech last Tuesday, please check out the video below. In his joint session of Congress address, he offered a plan for economic recovery that included a focus on energy, healthcare and education. Check out his speech below!

CB’s Green Report: Obama’s Greenies

Just what we need, a new energy and environmental team. According to Wednesday’s New York Times, Obama’s transition officials said he has selected several key members of this team. For the Secretary of Energy position, Obama has chosen Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Stephen Chu, who also serves as the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. And officials stated he will chose Los Angeles’ deputy mayor for energy and environment, Nancy Sutley, to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Obama’s officials sound as though his selections for head of the Environmental Protection Agency and climate czar are a bit less certain. He has supposedly selected Lisa P. Jackson, New Jersey’s former commissioner of Environmental Protection. If confirmed, Jackson would be the first African American to head the U.S. E.P.A.

And it appears as though Obama’s going to give the top White House position on climate and energy policy to President Bill Clinton’s E.P.A. administrator, Carol M. Browner. If Obama selects Browner, who was an Al Gore follower, she is assumed to have support from several key members of Congress like Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and Representative “Henry A. Waxman of California, who will be the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Senator Barbara Boxer of California, who is returning as chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.” Hopefully, Obama’s choices will work out well because he has a tough road ahead to meet his goal of reducing global warming emissions and creating more “green” jobs.

Can you believe there are E.P.A. fugitives? Well, believe it! The Environmental Protection Agency has a web site that list all of the fugitives sought by its Criminal Investigation Division. Are you wondering what gets you on the environmental bad guys list? The site gives a case summary and how to report information about them in case you see one. It’s like America’s Most Wanted for environmental criminals. (I can hear the theme song playing. “Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad Boys. Bad Boys.”) Surprisingly, Bush and members of his administration are not listed.

This report wouldn’t be complete without green gifts for the holidays. CleanTechnica has a list of the 8 Best Green Gadget Gifts. Some of the items include a power strip that tells you the energy efficiency of your appliances with a numerical reading, and a wind-powered electronics charger. These are just a few of the gifts. Pretty cool stuff for the greenie in your life.

Note: Also featured on Pop + Politics

Caramel Bella’s Green Report: Is America a Bunch of Green Backsliders?

Now that gas and oil prices drop, will America keep its push to “go green?” A recent NPR article investigates whether American energy consumers will revert back to their old, gas guzzling, non-recyclable ways with low oil prices.

Speaking of fossil fuels, a new study by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council claims the world could be free of fossil fuels completely by 2090. What would it take? Only trillions of dollars worth of investments in renewable energy and a worldwide support, that’s all.

Google going Green? Google’s CEO, Eric E. Schmidt, joined forces with GE’s CEO, Jeffrey R. Immelt, to announce their “green” collaboration effort to generate renewable electricity. Additionally, Google’s nonprofit arm, Google.org, has already invested in clean energy startups like harnessing wind power with kites.

Ready for your next all-electric car? Well, chances are you might have to wait until 2012. The recent 2008 Paris Motor Show revealed the new generation of electric cars. It featured the electric Chevrolet Volt, gas-electric hybrids like 2009 Honda Insight. However, the show stopper was the 2012 Volage electric car by Venturi, Monaco’s only automaker. In addition to the Volage, Venturi also makes the Fetish, an all-electric, 2-seat sports car, available in 2009. Both the Volage and Fetish sell for a hefty price, $500,000 and $400,000 respectively. Hmm.. how’s that gasoline or hybrid car looking?


CB’s Daily News Break: A Quake & A Possible Landslide?

Early Wednesday morning a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 170 people and leaving an estimated 15,000 people homeless. Rescuers are currently digging and searching for survivors in the a remote valley in Baluchistan, a province bordering Afghanistan. The worst hit was a British hilltop village of Ziarat and eight surrounding villages. “There is great destruction,” said Ziarat Mayor Dilawar Kakar to Associated Press. “Not a single house is intact.”

With less than a week until the presidential election, many people have decided to vote early. And in key swing states like North Carolina, Nevada and Colorado, the number of Democrats early ballots outweigh Republicans ballots nearly 2 to 1.

So, does the electoral math add up to an Obama landslide? According to the most recent Associated Press-GfK poll, Barack Obama is leading or tied with John McCain in eight key states: Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. This poll also showed Obama winning in states among early voters. Furthermore, “the polling shows Obama holding solid leads in Ohio (seven percentage points), Nevada (12 points), Colorado (9) and Virginia (seven), all red states won by Bush that collectively offer 47 electoral votes.” Based on these results, if Obama wins these four states or a magical combination of two or three of them with significant amount of electoral votes, he would almost certainly become president.

Barack Obama takes his final campaign plea to the airways. Tonight, Obama will go on national TV with a 30-minute infomercial about himself and his campaign. Even with the math beginning to add up on his side, many political strategists wonder if Obama’s infomercial could backfire on him.

And just a day before Obama’s video, CNN’s Campbell Brown reminds the American public that Obama reneged on his campaign finance promise. Obama’s decision to not take public financing allowed him to raise more than $600 million dollars (more than Bush & Kerry raised in 2004) so far, and buy 30 minutes of airtime for his infomercial on five different networks.

Although the presidential race has not been decided, a group of conservatives are discussing the political impact of Gov. Sarah Palin. If McCain and Palin win, she puts social conservatism in the White House. If the Republican ticket loses, she will be a potential presidential candidate in 2012 and leader of the social conservative movement. Is Palin the future of the Republican Party?

Perhaps showing she can strut her own stuff and agenda, Republican vice presidential candidate Palin is in Toledo, Ohio Wednesday speaking on her favorite topic, energy. Palin has called for a “clean break” from the Bush Administration’s energy policies, which she says are too dependent on foreign oil.

And in money news, the Fed is expected to cut the key interest rate by a half-point to help combat the worst financial crisis in 70 years and keep the country out of a deep recession. If the slash happens, the federal funds rate would be lowered to 1 percent. This possible interest rate cut caused European stock markets to trade mostly higher on Wednesday. And the U.S. stock market was slightly higher Wednesday after “one of the biggest single-session gains in history” on Tuesday.

Some good news: gas prices continue to fall. For the past 42 days, gas has steadily fallen to a 3-year low. Gas hasn’t been this low since Aug. 18. 2005.

2008 Environmental Scorecard Reveals Obama & McCain’s Dismal Greenie Voting Record

Last Friday, the League of Conservation Voters released their 2008 annual environmental scorecard, which shows how Congressional members voted on key energy and environmental issues. Presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, both scored low ratings on this report.

Politico reported that Sen. Barack Obama only voted pro-environment 18 percent of the time in 2008. Sen. John McCain scored a dismal zero because he missed every environmental vote (note: no vote = negative vote). Obama’s voting record dropped considerably from its 67% percent rating last year. No surprise to many greenies, this is Mac’s second year with the league’s lowest ratings.

Both Senators missed a lot of votes because of time spent campaigning for president. McCain didn’t vote at all and Obama only voted twice this year. The League reported that Obama’s votes for offshore drilling and environmental funding were in favor of the environment.

League president Gene Karpinski told Politico:

“Even under the tremendous pressure of a national campaign, Senator Obama returned to Washington to support the environment in a dozen key votes in the last two years. Sen. McCain … skipped every major environmental vote of the 110th Congress, including a bill to repeal billions in taxpayer handouts to Big Oil and to invest in clean, renewable energy. That measure failed by one vote: John McCain’s.”


High Fuel Costs + Lots of Travelers = Unhappy Airline Travels

If you want to feel the effects of the economy without driving your car, try flying the friendly skies.

The increasing fuel costs have hit America’s airlines pretty hard. Yesterday morning, on my way to Denver for the Democratic National Convention, I experienced the airline woes and U.S. economic troubles firsthand. The storm began upon my arrival at Los Angeles International Airport around 7:15 a.m. for an 8:45 a.m. flight. I was following the standard time allowances – 1 hour and ½ for domestic flights. My arrival was met with a snake-like line that emptied out of the United Airlines check-in area into the street, where passengers were getting dropped off. I immediately sensed trouble. I was up against the 45-minute cut-off for getting your bags checked-in. So, I stood and stood and stood. And I watched the clock tick away my entire 45 minutes before the 8:00 a.m. time limit to check my bags.

At first I couldn’t understand why United’s check-in lines were so long and their agents were so unhelpful. Where did the customer service go? Why didn’t any of the agents care if I was going to miss my flight? For that matter, why didn’t any of the agents worry about the mile long line of passengers about to miss their flights?

Why? The current economics of airline travel created this entire monster. The high fuel charges faced by the airline industry have been passed on to the customer in a very inefficient way.

To begin with, United Airlines now requires $15 for the first checked bag and $25 for the second bag. (I stopped looking at the prices after the second bag.) And if your dear bag or bags should weigh over 50 pounds, you, my fellow passenger, are looking at another $125 charge for an overweight bag. Yikes. These new costs, created to help United offset their increasing fuel expenses, were the cause of most passengers missing their flights and standing in long check-in lines. Each customer, even those with an electronic ticket, were forced to stand in lengthy lines to pay for their baggage at the counter. Several passengers were seen transferring packed items to additional luggage or trash bags to avoid overweight charges. In short, it was an inefficient zoo!

The long wait to check-in led to many customers missing their flights and lost baggage. Due to my bag missing the cut-off window, I was placed on standby for the next flight. My plight was a shared one. More than 50 people were on standby for the following flight. Some less fortunate travelers were still on standby from flights on Sunday.

Although I arrived in Denver yesterday, the process getting there wasn’t a pleasant one. I endured long lines, baggage costs, sub par customer service, and spending more time at the airport waiting to fly standby than on the plane.

But I’m here in Denver now and off to cover and explore the Democratic National Convention 2008 activities. And I am looking forward to hearing the Dems’ approach to the economic problems, especially oil troubles, we are facing.


a weary Caramel Bella

Paris Hilton responds to McCain ad..with her own!

Is the best energy policy coming from Paris Hilton? Hilton has responded to her unauthorized appearance in John McCain’s recent attack ad against Obama, which featured her and Britney Spears. In the ad, McCain calls Obama a celebrity and questions his ability to lead.


Hilton, upset about being featured in the tv ad, decided to craft her own response. She might possibly have the best energy plan out there – drilling, alternative energy development and nuclear power.  Take a listen. Hilton for VP, anyone?


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my luvs

My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

Things that work my nerves

Bad drivers, cranky and moody people, lack of sleep, crime, filth

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.



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