If you're an avid watcher of Junkyard Wars on The Learning Channel, youmight enjoy the following lists:- Why Junkyard Wars is Better than the Iron Chef - Why being on "Junkyard Wars" is better than being on"Survivor" In a completely unsurprising move, GW Bush is cutting spending forrenewable energy and energy conservation/efficiency and concentrating onmaking sure that his buddies can dig more oil and gas out of theground. According to an article in today's San Jose Mercury News, this is the gist ofBush's plan (these arequotes from the article - my commentary follows in italics):- Bush, who says the nation is in an energy crisis, is planning to proposecutting the Department of Energy's renewable fuels and energy-efficiencybudget 30 to 40 percent, according to Energy Department officials and WhiteHouse officials.

That makes sense. Because the nation is in anenergy crisis, we can afford to ignore renewables (which provide anon-negligible amount of CA's power) and to become more wasteful with theenergy that we currently have.

- Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels told Sen. JeffBingaman, D-N.

M., that the cuts were necessary because the president wantedto boost spending on "clean coal" technology to make the workhorsefossil fuel more efficient and less harmful to the environment, according toBingaman. However, the coal technology program that would get the moneyhas produced few usable results and has nearly $600 million in unspentmoney, according to a report a year ago by the congressional GeneralAccounting Office."Clean coal" certainly sounds like anoxymoron to me. And we definitely should keep putting money intoprograms that already have trouble spending the money that they currentlyreceive.

  • Bush's likely $19 billion energy budget would be $700 million less thanthe current budget. The Energy Department's $1.2 billion-a-yearenergy-conservation program has already saved $30 billion and 5.55quadrillion Btus of energy over the past 15 years, according to a 2000department report.

    That $1.2 billion certainly looks like small changecompared to the cost savings over the long term.

Maybe this sort ofaction is what GWB thinks of as "taking a close look" at theproblem. Have you noticed that he never commits to an action during apress conference other than promise to study aproblem "closely," or "take a long look" at a problem, or"take a hard look" at a problem? You can always tell whenhe's really dodging a question because he then responds that he's going to"take a long, hard look" at the problem. You could turn thisinto adrinking game while watching CNN or some other 24-hournews channel:1. Take one drink every time that GWB says his administrationis going to "take a long look" at a problem. Any variationon the phrase, including "a close look" or "look closely atthe problem" also counts. 2. Take two drinks every time GWB muffs a common English word or phrase (Optional - Canshorten game immensely, however). 3. Take three drinks every time GWB personally plans on taking a"long look at a problem" (or some variation, see Rule 1). 4. Finish your drink every time GWB muffs a policy statement such that themeaning is completely reversed. His recent speech to Congress was a greatexample: "Education is not my top priority." As with all drinking games, the winner is the one left standing or who stillhas their original political party affiliation after all others have falleddown or switched parties.