The President’s debt commission is proposing an additional tax that would raise the price another 15 cents. In this economy drivers are hurting, but as Bill Whitaker, so are the roads. Watch this video to learn about the choices facing Congress regarding the national debt. (12/2/10 CBSNewsOnline)
1. What according to the video is the transportation challenge facing the nation? What are the three choices available to deal with this challenge?
2. What is the effect of driving less on transportation funding? Why the short fall in the gas tax revenue?
Posted in Congress, Economic Policy, Energy Policy, Public Transportation, Science and Technology, Taxes, The Economy, The Environment, The Media, The Recession, Unemployment, Videos
Skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles of faith of the Tea Party movement. Is climate change real or a myth? Do political parties differ in their opinion on global warming? This article sheds light on the controversy surrounding global warming. (10/20/10 New York Times, John M. Broder) … Read Article
1. Why does Mr. Young the Indiana Republican nominee for Congress oppose cap and trade, the Obama administration’s policy to combat global warming?
2. What is the stance of FreedomWorks on climate change?
In one of our recent polls, we asked MPSL students if the nation today is better prepared to handle a disaster similar to Hurricane Katrina. The result: about 7% of the students responding said they strongly agree that the nation is better prepared; about 41% agree; about 40% said they disagree; while about 13% strongly disagree. In a similar nationwide poll by CBS News, 34% of Americans think the federal government is adequately prepared to deal with another Hurricane similar to Katrina; 59% think the federal government is not adequately prepared; while 7% is unsure.
Five years after Hurricane Katrina most Americans say the nation is not better prepared for natural disaster. What do you think?
It is now five years since Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans and while the city is in some senses still rebuilding, for tourists it is stronger than ever. What does post-Katrina New Orleans look like? What has changed and what remains the same? (8/28/10 ABC News, Scott Mayerowitz) … Read Article
1. What impact did Katrina have on the tourism industry in New Orleans?
2. How has Katrina affected the population of New Orleans?
BP hopes to keep using its giant cork to block oil from reaching the Gulf of Mexico until they plug the blown out well permanently. As AP’s Haven Daley reports, business owners and visitors are starting to get their lives back to normal. (7/18/10 The Associated Press)
1. Discuss the immediate effect of the new cap on the oil well on businesses and tourists in the Gulf Coast.
2. Discuss BP’s effort to plug the blown out well permanently.
Who knew the lightweight disposable sacks, which millions of shoppers use every day to lug home groceries and take-out, could help states bring in much needed revenue. (7/4/10 ABC News, Alissa Figueroa) … Read Article
1. “…the more significant result … is that plastic bag use decreased sevenfold in the city after… implementation” of the tax. Discuss the potential unintended consequence of the plastic bag tax reflected in this statement.
2. A plastic bag tax versus a plastic bag ban. Discuss the implications of these two different policies.
For the United States, big dreams and the confidence they inspire have always produced big deeds — the creation of a new nation, the taming of a wild frontier, the building of an industrial giant and the ascent of a superpower. The question now is, does this “American spirit” still exist in the face of the oil spill disaster? (7/4/10 Associated Press, Peter Prengaman) … Read Article
1. Discuss the concept of “the American DNA” as evoked in the article.
2. Frustrated Americans are quick to assign specific blame to both BP and the federal government. Discuss how Americans assign the blame.
With the BP oil slick closing in on coastlines from Louisiana to Florida, owners of vacation rental properties are bracing for an unsteady summer season. (6/6/10 ABC News, Clark Fouraker)… Read Article
1. “Property managers on the Gulf coast aren’t letting their customers run east without a fight.” Discuss the measures taken by vacation rental managers to attract customers.
2. What did Amy Baker say about predicting the economic damage from the oil?
In a recent poll, we asked MPSL students their opinion on BP’s CEO taking time off for leisure. The result: about 45% of respondents think it was inappropriate for Tony Hayward to take time off for leisure in the midst of the oil spill disaster; about 46% think it is not inappropriate; while about 9% is not sure whether it is inappropriate for BP’s CEO to take time off for leisure. Results were retrieved on 6/28/10, 8:00 PM PST.
BP’s CEO Tony Hayward drew some sharp criticisms for taking time off for leisure in the midst of the oil spill disaster. What do you think?
President Obama used his first speech from the Oval Office to push for clean energy. (6/16/10 CBSNewsOnline, Chip Reid).
1. According to the CBS reporter, the President tried to use his speech to move from defense to offense. Discuss how.
2. Discuss how the oil flow has increased since the riser pipe was cut.