December 2019

Dam improvements at Pacheco Pass

The nation’s dams are over a half-century old on average. The Pacheco Dam is even older: It was built in 1939.
“There are thousands of people in this country that are living downstream from dams that are probably considered deficient given current safety standards,” Mark Ogden told AP. Ogden is a former Ohio dam safety official who is now a technical specialist with the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, which estimates it would take more than $70 billion to repair and modernize the nation’s more than 90,000 dams.

Which way is Costa going to jump?

Editor's update, 9:26 p.m. -- Rep. Jim Costa said on the floor of the House of Representatives today that he had listened to him constituents and that he had decided to vote for the impeachment of Trump. At the end of his short speech, he made one of the better points made all day: he, Rep. Costa had taken the oath of his office and the president had taken his oath; to live up to his oath, Costa said, he'd have to vote for impeachment because Trump had not lived up to his oath.

Thanks, Congressman Costa

House Republicans' "water-reform" bill

“Reform,” in Rightwingspeak means eliminating public influence on decisions about water in Western states, which, contrary to California Rep. Tom McClintock’s assertion, is scarce, not abundant. Decisions about how water is to be used or left alone require more, not less, public commentary, particularly from groups or individuals arguing on behalf of the environment. HR 6217 seeks to “streamline” water contracts, transfers and other manipulations.

Boyarsky explores with LA laborers the downside of Medicare for All

Should the Democratic Party nominee for president advocate for taking union health benefits away from working people, a move which, incidentally, appears to let public and private corporations with union contracts off the hook for paying union health benefits?

“I don’t have a problem with” Medicare for All, said Rascon, “providing our plans are left alone. Our plans have been going for decades. They do not cost the taxpayer a dollar.”