* BLUE DOGS MAKE THEIR MARK ON THE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Allen Boyd (D-FL) and his fellow Blue Dogs today praised the passage of Blue Dog-endorsed provisions included in the House rules package. Chief among these provisions, pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules mark the first, and most important, step to getting our country back on track fiscally and reigning in our national debt, now rapidly approaching $9 trillion.
The Blue Dog Coalition has long advocated a return to PAYGO spending, which expired in 2002. In the 1990s, with PAYGO rules on the books, our government’s budget deficits diminished and we recorded budget surpluses both in 1999 and 2000.
“Today is an exciting day for the Blue Dog Coalition,” said Congressman Boyd, Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration. “PAYGO worked in the past, and it will work again. With the Blue Dogs leading the charge, the Democratic-controlled Congress has demonstrated their strong commitment to fiscal responsibility and subsequently, a strong commitment to the future of our children, our grandchildren, and our great nation.”
The House rules package also requires full transparency and justification of all earmarks. This provision, in addition to PAYGO, is included in the Blue Dog 12 Point Plan, which was developed in 2005 to end the nation's addiction to deficit spending.
“The passage of the Blue Dog-endorsed provisions shows that the Blue Dogs have enhanced the Democratic agenda and will be a strong voice for fiscal responsibility in the new Congress,” Boyd stated. “However, our work is far from over. Today’s victory is simply the first step to balancing our budget and curbing our out-of-control national debt.”
Congressman Allen Boyd is a fifth generation farmer and Army veteran from Monticello, Florida, beginning his sixth term representing Florida’s 2nd Congressional District. In addition to his work on the Blue Dog Coalition, Congressman Boyd serves on the House Appropriations Committee and co-chairs the Congressional Rural Caucus.
* MODERATE STYLE AND WORKING CLASS ROOTS GIVE EDGE TO EDWARDS
DURHAM, N.C. (AScribe Newswire) -- John Edwards' role as the leading moderate among Democrats who are expected to run for president gives him an advantage with voters, says a Duke University political scientist who specializes in African-American and Southern politics.
"As it stands now, he appears to be the candidate who is positioned more at the center of the party, and I think that's where most of the base is, where the majority of the country is," says Kerry L. Haynie, associate chair of the political science department. "He's well-positioned. Can he take advantage of the position? That's the question."
Haynie also says the former vice-presidential candidate's decision to announce "a grass-roots, ground-up campaign" in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans is an effective strategy.
"I think it's very effective, and I think it reflects who he really is. He's from humble beginnings, a working class background," Haynie says. Edwards, who became a multimillionaire trial lawyer, is the son of a textile mill worker.
"His wealth is self-made, and exemplifies the American dream of becoming successful through hard work. We don't mind wealth if it's made the old-fashioned way -- if you earn it."
* A SECOND LOOK AT NUCLEAR POWER
Proposals to build nuclear power plants have often met opposition from environmental and progressive organizations, however, a growing number of green-minded activists are reconsidering their past objections to nukes.
The Lakeland (FL) Ledger reported on 12/22/06:
"In an article he wrote for Technology Review last year, Stewart Brand, a founder of the Whole Earth Catalogue, argued: "Everything must be done to increase energy efficiency and decarbonize energy production," including development of renewable energy sources like solar, wind and bio mass."
"But add them all up," Brand continued, "and it's just a fraction of enough. … The only technology ready to fill the gap and stop the carbon dioxide loading is nuclear power." http://tinyurl.com/wtky2
In another sign of a shift in attitudes toward nukes, the Progressive Policy Institute endorsed increased use of nuclear plants in "A Progressive Energy Platform" released last October. http://tinyurl.com/y2lqyy
According to the report entitled, "A Progressive Energy Platform,” which was released in mid-October, “Nuclear power holds a great potential to be an integral part of the diversified energy portfolio for America. It produces no greenhouse gas emissions, so it can help clean up the air and combat climate change. And, new plant designs promise to produce power more safely and economically than first-generation facilities.”
Even the founder of Greenpeace Patrick Moore is now making the case for going nuclear http://tinyurl.com/qa6rn If our nation is to gain energy independence, we must expand use of nuclear power and biofuels.