Friday, June 17, 2005

Trade Deficit at New High

Some say that the loss of manufacturing jobs to foreign contries is offset by more exports to those countries. However, if this is the case, why is the trade deficit continuing to rise?

The deficit in the broadest measure of international trade rose to an all-time high of $195.1 billion from January through March of this year as the country sank deeper into debt to Japan, China and other nations.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that the deficit in the current account rose by 3.6 percent from the previous quarterly record, an imbalance of $188.4 billion in the final three months of 2004.

Read Article on Yahoo! Finance

Danforth: Onward, Moderate Christian Soldiers - New York Times

Episcopal minister and former Republican Senator John C. Danforth, in a NY Time Op-Ed, made it clear that culture wars are not between people of faith and nonbelivers. Danforth pointed out that many religious people favor stem cell research and were against government intervention in the Terri Schiavo case.

According to Danforth, "In recent years, conservative Christians have presented themselves as representing the one authentic Christian perspective on politics. With due respect for our conservative friends, equally devout Christians come to very different conclusions."

"Many conservative Christians approach politics with a certainty that they know God's truth, and that they can advance the kingdom of God through governmental action. So they have developed a political agenda that they believe advances God's kingdom, one that includes efforts to 'put God back' into the public square and to pass a constitutional amendment intended to protect marriage from the perceived threat of homosexuality."

Danforth continued: "Moderate Christians are less certain about when and how our beliefs can be translated into statutory form, not because of a lack of faith in God but because of a healthy acknowledgement of the limitations of human beings. Like conservative Christians, we attend church, read the Bible and say our prayers."

In a March 30, 2005 New York Times Op-ed, Danforth said that it was a problem that "a party that has gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement."

Read NYT article

NPR : Taking a Second Look at Nuclear Power

There was a discussion of nuclear power as an alternative to greenhouse gas on NPR's Talk of the Nation this afternoon. Much of the discussion was a debate between Arjun Makhijani of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and Angie Howard , executive vice president, Nuclear Energy Institute.

The atudo for the story will be available after about 6pm ET this evening at NPR's web site.

Tom DeLay Going to the Moon?

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) today said the Science, State, Justice and Commerce spending bill, which includes $16.5 billion for NASA, will continue Congress' work to implement President Bush's bold new vision for space exploration. The bill, which includes far more than space spending, past the House of Representatives by a large, bipartisan vote.

"The return of the shuttle to flight is the first step in a long process that, truth be told, may outlast most of our careers," DeLay said. "We're still years away from the moon, and even further away from Mars, but make no mistake - we're going.

The funding bill passed today sets aside $16.5 billion for NASA, an increase of $275 million above last year's bill and $15 million above the administration's request. In addition to providing the full request for the Space Shuttle program, this legislation funds the president's vision for space exploration at $3.1 billion.

DeLay is known as one of Congress' strongest proponents of space exploration.

While many people, in the face of a record and growing national debt, would like to limit government expense, many of the same people would love to see Tom DeLay travel to the moon or Mars.