Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Daily Strike-2/16/10-Getting Nuclear

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. The political world is still reacting to the retirement of Democratic Senator Evan Bayh (IN). I'll just say, read my previous entry. I don't like that guy at all.

ENERGY: The President gave a speech on clean energy today at a local union hall in Maryland. The key tenet of his speech was a proposal to build two new nuclear power plants with $8 billion in government loan guarantees. Environmentalists have long been opposed to the use of nuclear energy, and the Republicans have consistently talked about nuclear energy as a way to increase our energy independence. The President's speech today tried to bridge those views. Obama talked about how nuclear power produces very low emissions, and can be a key tool in addressing climate change. This announcement would seem to be an olive branch to Republicans. Republican outsiders liked former Rep. Joe Scarborough effusively praised the President after he made this announcement. Obama also announced new efforts to spur growth in wind and solar energy as well.

It would be ok for President Obama offer a nuclear energy olive branch if he got assurances from Republicans that they would support cap-and-trade or a carbon tax. We all know that is not going to happen. I'm tired of Democrats making concessions without getting anything in return. That's not a good way to act when you're in the majority.

In fact, the Democrats have done that repeatedly on health care. We gave up the public option, we added provisions related to tort reform. By the time the Senate voted on final passage, the bill was completely stripped down from its original version. Yet all of these efforts yielded Republican votes. President Obama and Democrats must learn to be more effective deal-makers if they are going to have any legislative successes this year.

DEFICIT COMMISSION: On Thursday, the President will announce the creation of a deficit reduction panel. The panel will submit its recommendations to Congress, supposedly. The reason the President has to create this commission by executive order is because a similar provision was defeated in the United States Senate. Former White House Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton, Erskine Bowles, and former Republican Senate Whip Alan Simpson (WY) will chair and co-chair the committee. We'll have more on this commission after the announcement on Thursday.

That is it for tonight. See you tomorrow!

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