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US Politics

Discussion covering all angles of American politics.
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Eric Logan
Kansas City Shooter Frazier Glenn Miller Was Protected FBI Informant. - http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll...
Kansas City Shooter Frazier Glenn Miller Was Protected FBI Informant.
Frazier Glenn Miller, the 72-year-old suspect in this month’s Kansas City shootings, in which three people were killed, was a well-known anti-Semite and former Ku Klux Klan leader with a long, public history of hate. He was also, ABC News reports today, an FBI informant who struck a deal with authorities in the late 1980s in which he gave up information about fellow white nationalists for a reduced prison sentence, along with protection and a new name upon his release in 1990. - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
IIRC, he turned states evidence in another case to save himself. What a nice man. - MoTO ChilliSauce
IIRC=if I recall correctly, if I remember correctly /acronym // for my own benefit :) - Sean McBride
Is there any reason to believe that he was still under the control of the FBI in 2014? (One can see where you are trying to go with this.) - Sean McBride
I don't know -- you tell me. What is difficult to believe is that the government would have encouraged him to commit this act while permitting him to live. That doesn't make sense. If there was an op in play, Miller could expose it. - Sean McBride
Isn't this case and others like it a form of negotiating with terrorists? He obviously belonged in prison. - Eric Logan
Did you consider the possibility that the targets were either intentional or secretly unhurt? - WJones
But there is no evidence to support that speculation. - Sean McBride
Without evidence, speculations are just speculations. And it doesn't make sense that Miller would survive this incident if it were a government op -- he is a huge loose thread. The more reasonable explanation is that he is a hate-filled drunk who went postal. - Sean McBride
I keep being struck by the enormous gulf between conspiracy research (of the type that Glenn Greenwald has been doing) and conspiracy theorizing. Conspiracy research is carefully grounded in hard facts and solid documents, not speculations. - Sean McBride
One needs solid facts in the Miller case specifically to make a case for conspiracy -- not by analogizing it in a vague way to other cases. - Sean McBride
I remember the victims' families' reactions being compared to S.H. and IIRC police or family statements being very ready. - WJones
You will have to read the websites to trawl for more evidence. - WJones
Conspiracy theorists don't do real history or investigative journalism -- they haven't mastered those crafts -- they should get into the novel-writing trade. - Sean McBride
Suit yourself. I became much more skeptical about official news. - WJones
I will. :) I have seen too much conspiracy nonsense posted on the Internet -- much of it no doubt deliberate disinformation. I stick as much as possible to hard facts when sorting out truth from fiction. (But by no means do I automatically believe official stories.) - Sean McBride
I think S.H. was more interesting. - WJones
An example of the exposure of a real conspiracy: the recent Ukrainian antisemitic leaflets. We know that the leaflets were bogus (but we don't know yet who was behind them). - Sean McBride
What usually cracks open conspiracies: credible documents and/or credible testimony from members of the conspiracy. Think Watergate and Iran-Contra. - Sean McBride
I think this guy was a sponge brain. He didn't even have enough brains to know who his target was. - Chu_
Too much alcohol over too long a time will do that to one. - Sean McBride
sh = sandy hook? - JustTheFactsPlease
Yes. - WJones
Sean McBride
Rand Paul To Neocons: 'Sharpen Your Knives' For The GOP Foreign Policy Fight | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/world...
Rand Paul To Neocons: 'Sharpen Your Knives' For The GOP Foreign Policy Fight | ThinkProgress
"Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) lashed out at neoconservatives on Tuesday for criticizing his efforts to inject a brand of libertarianism into Republican Party foreign policy dogma, telling them that he won’t back down from the internal opposition. “The knives are out for conservatives who dare question unlimited involvement in foreign wars,” Paul wrote in a National Review piece:" - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
"Foreign policy, the interventionist critics claim, has no place for nuance or realism. You are either for us or against us. No middle ground is acceptable. The Wilsonian ideologues must have democracy worldwide now and damn all obstacles to that utopia. I say sharpen your knives, because the battle once begun will not end easily." - Sean McBride
"The fight was rekindled earlier this month when Mother Jones reported that back in 2009, when he was running for the U.S. Senate, Paul didn’t have kind words for neocon icon Dick Cheney, suggesting he may have wanted to invade Iraq for Halliburton’s financial benefit. The neocons didn’t like that. The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens — last seen throwing around the “anti-Semite”... more... - Sean McBride
Eric Logan
Thanks to fracking, U.S. carbon emissions are at the lowest levels in 20 years. - http://www.slate.com/article...
Thanks to fracking, U.S. carbon emissions are at the lowest levels in 20 years.
Weather conditions around the world this summer have provided ample fodder for the global warming debate. Droughts and heat waves are a harbinger of our future, carbon cuts are needed now more than ever, and yet meaningful policies have not been enacted. But, beyond this well-trodden battlefield, something amazing has happened: Carbon-dioxide emissions in the United States have dropped to their lowest level in 20 years. Estimating on the basis of data from the US Energy Information Agency from the first five months of 2012, this year’s expected CO2 emissions have declined by more than 800 million tons, or 14 percent from their peak in 2007. The cause is an unprecedented switch to natural gas, which emits 45 percent less carbon per energy unit. The U.S. used to generate about half its electricity from coal, and roughly 20 percent from gas. Over the past five years, those numbers have changed, first slowly and now dramatically: In April of this year, coal’s share in power generation plummeted to just 32 percent, on par with gas. - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
I'm still opposed to fracking despite the claims of lower CO2 emissions - Greg GuitarBuster
Is it better to pollute the water than the air? - Jenny H. from Android
The EPA is supposed to release a report soon. http://www2.epa.gov/hfstudy - Eric Logan
Amusing since I thought CO2 didn't matter. - Todd Hoff
It matters it's just not the control knob that it was touted to be. I think it's safe to say we don't want to be much above 600 PPM and energy innovation is the answer. - Eric Logan
Fracking is hardly innovation. It's the last gasp of an industry chewing up the world trying to maximize profits. - Todd Hoff
And since co2 now matters, imperfect control knob or not, I guess we should do something about it? - Todd Hoff
Natural gas is supposed to be a bridge fuel. I have concerns about methane and obviously water also. - Eric Logan
I oppose fracking for all the obvious reasons. - Sean McBride
What are the obvious reasons ? If continued carbon "pollution" is truly catastrophic ? - Eric Logan
"Is it better to pollute the water than the air? - Jenny H. from Android" Neither. But if they're polluting the water, they're doing it wrong. They've been fracking since 1949, so you would think they'd know by now. 65 years. They're not supposed to be using the water table or the drinking supply. They're supposed to be using waste water. - MRW_8
International Energy Agency doc on CO2 Emissions. http://www.iea.org/co2high... - MRW_8
OSHA 8-hour limit on CO2 is 5,000 PPM. Submarine is 8,000 PPM. - MRW_8
CO2 Pollution level, dangerous, is 50,000 PPM (5% of atmosphere). - MRW_8
You breathe out 40,000 PPM of CO2 every five seconds of your life. - MRW_8
Unfortunately, that's not the way they use the water in the Barnett shale in Texas. They use fresh water and truck the fracking waste to open pits and injection wells. Not to mention the crappy casing work. - Greg GuitarBuster
Then who the hell is regulating them? They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this. It's like painting baby cribs with lead paint. - MRW_8
The fracking 'waste' is supposed to fill the holes after it squeezes the gas to the surface. - MRW_8
The operators and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality make "There will be Blood' look like a Sunday social. - Greg GuitarBuster
Eric, et al, I think you should read Andy Revkin (Dot Earth: NYT) and a discussion on this very topic today, in fact, tonight. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014... Revkin, rightly so, is doing what I admire: getting someone expert to interpret the single studies for him instead of running around like Chicken... more... - MRW_8
The ultimate "regulators" are the legislators who are doing everything they can to undercut/eliminate funding and staffing to agencies who *should* be doing onsite testing and sampling at these operations (mostly frack sand mining here in Wisconsin, though also some fracking extraction.) And they're the same legislators who, here in Wisconsin, have passed multiple laws limiting or... more... - Jkram|ɯɐɹʞſ
Great points, Jkram|ɯɐɹʞſ. The Oil Sands in Fort McMurray Alberta are so highly regulated that you can get an Environment Canada Widget for your Mac that gives you outdoor day and night air quality. Grant you, the widget itself only gives you a single-digit average of the various air pollutants, but I use it because when I was up there, I was shocked by the provincial measurements kept... more... - MRW_8
If anyone wants the widget: https://www.apple.com/downloa... I use two: Fort McMurray and Montreal PQ for comparison. - MRW_8
Thanks - Eric Logan
Interesting to know, MRW_8. We've got frack sand mining operations popping up everywhere around here because of the type of sand we're sitting on. Some of them are proposed to be sited across from neighborhoods established 40 or 50 years ago. My hometown used to be surrounded by family farms, but now there are 3 frack sand mining operations in close proximity. There have always been... more... - Jkram|ɯɐɹʞſ
Eric Logan
Who decides how consumers should shop? | Federal Trade Commission - http://www.ftc.gov/news-ev...
Who decides how consumers should shop? | Federal Trade Commission
Consumers once shopped predominantly at their local stores; but first mail order catalogs and today the Internet have created new ways to shop for and purchase a wide range of goods and services. Similarly, consumers once arranged for taxis by hailing one from a street corner or by calling a dispatcher; yet today, smartphones and new software applications are shaking up the transportation industry, creating new business opportunities and new services for consumers. In buying cars, however, these new ways to shop may not be available to consumers. For decades, local laws in many states have required consumers to purchase their cars solely from local, independent auto dealers. Removing these regulatory impediments may be essential to allow consumers access to new ways of shopping that have become available in many other industries. This very question has been raised across the country, as a still-young car manufacturer, Tesla, pursues a direct-to-consumer sales strategy that does not... more... - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Sean McBride
Nobody Tell Chris Christie, But Colorado Might Have A Better 'Quality Of Life' Than New Jersey - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014...
Nobody Tell Chris Christie, But Colorado Might Have A Better 'Quality Of Life' Than New Jersey
Compare the vital stats on New Jersey and Colorado. - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
There are too many unflattering photos of Christie floating around. - Sean McBride
Sean McBride
Colorado 2016 poll: Rand Paul beats Hillary Clinton - Jonathan Topaz - POLITICO.com - http://www.politico.com/story...
Colorado 2016 poll: Rand Paul beats Hillary Clinton - Jonathan Topaz - POLITICO.com
"Sen. Rand Paul appears to be the man to beat in Colorado in 2016, a new poll says. Colorado voters would favor the Kentucky Republican over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 48 percent to 43 percent in a potential 2016 presidential race, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll." - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
"Paul also has a higher favorability rating than the other three possible Republican presidential contenders listed in the poll — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush." - Sean McBride
The point is not whether you like or dislike Rand Paul -- the point is, how much political juice does he have? Quite a bit more than many people expected. - Sean McBride
The old and stale factor is going to come into play for Hillary Clinton in a matchup with Paul, just as it did in her matchup with Obama. And Americans are really weary with corrupt nepotism in American politics. - Sean McBride
Sean McBride
Rand Paul slams Cliven Bundy's racist rant - Jonathan Topaz - POLITICO.com - http://www.politico.com/story...
Rand Paul slams Cliven Bundy's racist rant - Jonathan Topaz - POLITICO.com
"Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Dean Heller on Thursday both denounced as “offensive” and “racist” Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s recent comments about African-Americans. “His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him,” Paul said in a statement, according to Business Insider." - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
Sean McBride
Banning Affirmative Action: The California Story | On Point with Tom Ashbrook - http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014...
Banning Affirmative Action: The California Story | On Point with Tom Ashbrook
"The Supreme Court’s ruling that states can ban affirmative action in college admissions is still reverberating this week. Of course, eight states have already done it. California was the first, sixteen years ago. And the California story is eye-opening. In the first year of the ban, black and Latino admission rates plummeted by half. They’re still way down. And Asian-American admissions soared. Way beyond their percentage of the population. Now Asian-Americans are California’s number one opponents of affirmative action." - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
Comment: "I am a WASP American citizen who just got a Masters degree from MIT. If 50% of my class wasn't Asian, then it was 65%. And I'm not talking about kids from Brookline; these kids came directly from China (mostly) who learned their English in high school (you try taking math in Mandarin sometime). Scary smart and hard-working; admirable." - Sean McBride
Berthe
More on Piketty http://thefederalist.com/2014... Is he not more "fringe" than the "Austrian school of economics" that Ron Paul was always linked to?
"Fact is, the tax hikes offered by even the most progressive elected Democrats wouldn’t alter the dynamics of “fairness” in a society with a $16 trillion GDP. To put it into perspective, ending Bush-era cuts may net the treasury $80 billion yearly. If Piketty’s clairvoyance is to be trusted, and I’m assured it can — we will need to transfer trillions of dollars from one class to another just save our society from disaster. And none of this, according to the author, will destroy economic growth." - Berthe
The current Secretary of the Treasury met and chatted with Piketty. - Berthe
Sean McBride
March global warming: The 349th straight month of above-average temperatures. - http://www.slate.com/blogs...
March global warming: The 349th straight month of above-average temperatures.
"Despite United States temperatures ranging from "obnoxiously cold" to "WTF this was supposed to be spring," last month was in fact the fourth-warmest March since 1880 globally, and the 349th-straight month of global temperatures above the 20th-century average for that month. "But I was so cold!" you might be saying. "How can this be, Al Gore?" Apparently the answer involves the fact that there are other countries in the world besides the United States." - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
Eric Logan
Scientists Licking Wounds After Contentious Climate Report Negotiations | Science/AAAS | News - http://news.sciencemag.org/climate...
Scientists Licking Wounds After Contentious Climate Report Negotiations | Science/AAAS | News
It has been more than a week since a U.N. panel released a major report on mitigating climate change, but some scientists who helped write a key summary say they continue to smart from some disconcerting last-minute edits. “We are still shaking,” says Giovanni Baiocchi, an economist at the University of Maryland, College Park, whose work was central to the debates over the summary’s wording. The episode is making some researchers reconsider participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process in the future. - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
“The whole process is kind of unbelievable,” Victor says. As one of the report’s lead authors, he was in the middle of the negotiations. The outcome raises “fundamental questions about whether the IPCC can really do policy-related assessments in areas where the science is most germane to policy,” he writes in an e-mail. “There has always been a tension between the scientific content and... more... - Eric Logan
Eric Logan
Guess Who Makes More Than Bankers–Regulators - WSJ.com - http://online.wsj.com/news...
Guess Who Makes More Than Bankers–Regulators - WSJ.com
Long before George Bailey wrestled with Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life," the public decried the pay of top executives in large financial institutions. Overpaid bank executives are the villains in regulatory morality tales and feed distorted public perceptions about bankers' pay. It is true that the very top bank executives make more in a year than most of us make in a lifetime, but compensation of this magnitude is rare. Most banks in this country are small businesses and pay employees modest salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary of a bank employee was $49,540 in 2012, not much higher than the average annual across all occupations, $45,790. Yet one group in banking stands out as highly paid—federal bank regulators. Before the Dodd-Frank Act, the average employee of a federal bank regulatory agency received 2.3 times the average compensation of a private banker. By 2013 this ratio increased to more than 2.7—and in some cases considerably... more... - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Eric Logan
It’s not every day that an academic work, written by a French economist and published by a university press, is celebrated as a “watershed book,” but this is what commentators are saying about Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century—at least, liberal commentators. The New York Times’s Paul Krugman, among others, has deemed Capital the most important economic book in a decade. Less ideological readers should be more cautious. Piketty’s book is important and deserves respect: his 700-page opus, a decade in the making, brings together an incredible amount of data on the accumulation of capital since the Industrial Revolution. If you want to know, say, the relative income of a landowner in the United States or in France compared with an entrepreneur in the mid-nineteenth century, Piketty has an answer. Piketty also helps explain why the French remember their revolution and the subsequent Napoleonic period fondly: “It was an era of relative high wages for the lower class... more... - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Eric Logan
How Did Canada's Middle Class Get So Rich? - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic - http://www.theatlantic.com/busines...
How Did Canada's Middle Class Get So Rich? - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic
America's middle class has been richest in the world for decades, but as David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy write in the Times' new site The Upshot, we've lost that distinction to our neighbors from the north. Canada is officially home to the richest middle class on the planet, according to figures crunched from the Luxembourg Income Study Database. Here's the last 30 years of America's dwindling income advantage in a handy chart. How did we lose the lead? The authors blame three broad factors: (1) Canada's education attainment is outpacing the U.S. and most of the world; (2) American middle-class market wages aren't keeping up with overall economic growth; and (3) Other governments are doing more to redistribute income to poorer families in other countries, particularly in western and northern Europe. One word that doesn't appear in the article, however, is housing. The U.S. is emerging from a catastrophic collapse of the housing market that obliterated household wealth for millions of... more... - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Eric Logan
Founder of Russia’s “Facebook” says he was ousted, Putin’s men in “complete control” of the site. - http://www.salon.com/2014...
Founder of Russia’s “Facebook” says he was ousted, Putin’s men in “complete control” of the site.
Pavel Durov, the 29-year-old founder of Vkontakte — Russia’s “Facebook” — was fired form the social media site, according to Buzzfeed. “Judging by the news, as a result of my public renunciation last week, today I was fired as general director of VKontakte,” Durov posted to the social media site. He also went onto say that after seven years of relative social media freedom, two of Putin’s right hand men are now in control of Vkontakte. “In this way, today VKontakte goes under the complete control of Igor Sechin and Alisher Usmanov. Probably, in the Russian context, something like this was inevitable, but I’m happy we lasted 7 and a half years. We did a lot. And part of what’s been done can’t be turned back.” According to The Economic Times, Usmanov was named “Russia’s richest tycoon for the third year in a row,” and is worth $18.6 billion. He’s the co-owner of Russia’s largest iron ore mining company, once held 10 percent of (U.S.) Facebook’s shares, and currently owns shares of Russia’s internet group Mail.Ru and the UK soccer team Arsenal. - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
The tsar is back! - Todd Hoff
Steven Perez
Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/climate...
Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels | ThinkProgress
"Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee, the result of a new bill passed by the state legislature and expected to be signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin (R). On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard. “We knew nothing about it and all of a sudden it’s attached to some other bill,” Ctaci Gary, owner of Sun City Oklahoma, told ThinkProgress. “It just appeared out of nowhere.”" - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Interesting. I'm trying to think creatively about how this could backfire on the utilities. - Brian Johns
How stupid. One would think they would be encouraging this. - Eric Logan from FFHound!
The Koch Brothers and ALEC strike again see Salon for more info: The Koch brothers are going after solar panels http://www.salon.com/2014... via @Salon - WarLord
people going 100% off-grid WRT electric utility? how do you charge someone who is no longer a customer? - Big Joe Silence
It looks like more freedom for us. - Todd Hoff
The purpose of the smart grid was to allow energy producers to sell electricity back to the grid. T. Boone Pickens the Oklahoma Oil billionaire has been promoting it for quite awhile. http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan - Eric Logan
YOU'RE DOIN' FINE OKLAHOMA, OKLAHOMA... OKLAHOMA, O FER CRYIN' OUT LOUD! - Jkram|ɯɐɹʞſ from Android
Eric Logan
Math: Your Secret Weapon Against Wall Street and the NSA | Mother Jones - http://www.motherjones.com/environ...
Math: Your Secret Weapon Against Wall Street and the NSA | Mother Jones
As Edward Frenkel sees it, the way we teach math in schools today is about as exciting as watching paint dry. So it's not surprising that when he brings up the fact that he's a mathematician at dinner parties, eyes quickly glaze over. "Most people, unfortunately, have a very bad experience with mathematics," Frenkel says. And no wonder: The math we learn in school is as far from what Frenkel believes is the soul of mathematics as a painted fence is from "The Starry Night" by Van Gogh, Frenkel's favorite painter. The Russian born University of California-Berkeley mathematician, whose day job involves probing the connections between math and quantum physics, wants to change that. Rather than alienating drudgery, Frenkel views math as an "archipelago of knowledge" that's universally available to all of us, and he's been everywhere of late spreading the word. In particular, Frenkel is intent on warning us about how people are constantly using (or misusing) math to get our personal data,... more... - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Mathematics is the study of the higher consciousness. The Map. Frenkel was born in Russia. He is light years ahead of American talent because of how Russia teaches their students. Same with China. And India. I doubt that Americans will be able to claim anything in Maths or Physics by 2050. The US will be the Argentina of North America by then. Dead. Unfortunately. American Millennials... more... - MRW_8
http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos... "Do all mathematicians have an ass that high and tight" - Greg GuitarBuster
Thanks for the link to the Colbert vid. I watched it just to hear that remark. ;-) He was one of Gelfand's students? hmmmn. - MRW_8
Steven Perez
What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days? - Esquire - http://www.esquire.com/blogs...
"Well, allow me to retort, crudely:  fk off, you insufferable foof. Better bloggers than I have spent years -- nay. decades -- cataloguing how swiftly Mr. Brooks can flee from his previously rock-solid convictions the first time the consequences of those convictions go bad and threaten his speaking fees. (His performance in the aftermath of 9/11 and during the run-up to the Iraq War -- which, I presume, proved that C-Plus Augustus had no "manhood problem" which, in Mr. Brooks's world, is measured, drop by drop, by the blood of other people's children -- and then afterwards, when it went sour, and he looked like an idiot, is a masterpiece of intellectual cowardice. It's a wonder there aren't 100 cocks crowing around his house by now.) Pick you metaphor. Ugly by a frog. Arrogant by a Romney, Chaste by a Palin. Having your manhood questioned by a walking bit of tweed like David Brooks is like being called all of these things, and so many more. Come up with your own. Operators are standing by. This is a free call. I mean, Jesus H. Christ on a 10-day contract with the Spurs." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
New York Times' David Brooks Says Obama Has 'A Manhood Problem In The Middle East' | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/world...
New York Times' David Brooks Says Obama Has 'A Manhood Problem In The Middle East' | ThinkProgress
"BROOKS: Basically since Yalta we’ve had an assumption that borders are basically going to be borders and once that comes into question if in Ukraine or in Crimea or anywhere else, then all over the world all bets are off. And let’s face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a — I’ll say it crudely — but a manhood problem in the Middle East. Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad or somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair but certainly in the Middle East there is an assumption that he’s not tough enough." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
I wish Brooks would keep his anxious masculinity to himself. - John (bird whisperer)
Bobo does enjoy stepping in it. - Steven Perez
A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends!!! - عِمرانــ
Eric Logan
James Lovelock reflects on Gaia's legacy : Nature News & Comment - http://www.nature.com/news...
James Lovelock reflects on Gaia's legacy : Nature News & Comment
Is climate change going to be less extreme than you previously thought? The Revenge of Gaia was over the top, but we were all so taken in by the perfect correlation between temperature and CO2 in the ice-core analyses [from the ice-sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, studied since the 1980s]. You could draw a straight line relating temperature and CO2, and it was such a temptation for everyone to say, “Well, with CO2 rising we can say in such and such a year it will be this hot.” It was a mistake we all made. We shouldn’t have forgotten that the system has a lot of inertia and we’re not going to shift it very quickly. The thing we’ve all forgotten is the heat storage of the ocean — it’s a thousand times greater than the atmosphere and the surface. You can’t change that very rapidly. But being an independent scientist, it is much easier to say you made a mistake than if you are a government department or an employee or anything like that. So what will the next 100 years look like? That’s impossible to answer. All I can say is that it will be nowhere as near as bad as the worst-case scenario. - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
After Dry Winter In California, Preparations Begin For Harsh Wildfire Season | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/climate...
After Dry Winter In California, Preparations Begin For Harsh Wildfire Season | ThinkProgress
"It’s been a long, dry winter for California, with record-low snowpack and ideal wildfire conditions to show for it. At the beginning of the month, during the time when snowpack usually peaks, the state snow survey showed it to be at 32 percent of average, one of the lowest years on record. In some areas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains — where snowpack provides crucial water supply over the summer — nearly half the snowpack has melted in just the past week due to soaring temperatures according to reporting done by Andrew Freedman at Mashable." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
The U.S. Isn't Very Good At Preventing Our Food From Making Us Sick | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/health...
The U.S. Isn't Very Good At Preventing Our Food From Making Us Sick | ThinkProgress
The U.S. Isn't Very Good At Preventing Our Food From Making Us Sick | ThinkProgress
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released this year’s food safety report — and while the agency is celebrating some incremental progress in combating foodborne illnesses, it’s clear there’s still much more work that needs to be done. When compared to a 2006-2008 period, the rate of foodborne illnesses in 2013 either increased or stayed about the same for most major disease agents." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Texas Women Just Lost Access To Another Abortion Clinic | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/health...
Texas Women Just Lost Access To Another Abortion Clinic | ThinkProgress
"Texas’ harsh anti-abortion law has claimed another victim, as a clinic in El Paso has been forced to immediately halt its abortion services. The Reproductive Services clinic attempted to seek an injunction against the provision of the law that requires abortion clinics to get admitting privileges from local hospitals — a medically unnecessary requirement that’s often impossible to meet — but a federal judge denied that request." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
High Levels Of Mercury Found In Fish In Remote National Parks | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/climate...
High Levels Of Mercury Found In Fish In Remote National Parks | ThinkProgress
"Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service released a report Thursday that found 5 percent of the freshwater fish sampled in 21 western national parks had levels of mercury that were high enough to trigger toxic responses from the fish themselves, potentially endangering their health and lives. In addition, 35 percent of the fish sampled had enough mercury in them to impact the health of some predatory birds, and 68 percent of fish had mercury levels above the recommended amount for “unlimited consumption” by humans. The researchers said in their report that the levels of mercury in some national parks were alarming because they occurred in small fish — organisms that should have the least amount of mercury in their systems, because the higher fish are on the food chain, the more mercury they’re expected to have. Zion, Capital Reef, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Lake Clark National Parks all contained sites in which most fish exceeded benchmarks for the... more... - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Western Re-Run: Nevada Rancher Versus The Feds | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/climate...
Western Re-Run: Nevada Rancher Versus The Feds | ThinkProgress
"As High Country News reported in a chronology of the Hage case, he inspired other lawsuits and the Nevada ranchers who filed them all lost. Among them was Cliff Gardner from Elko County who fought all the way to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after the Forest Service revoked his grazing permit for abusing public land. Likewise Cliven Bundy, who was first ordered by a federal court to remove his cows from federal lands in 1998. Some of the particulars of all these range war cases differ, but the basics are the same: ranchers who stubbornly insist the federal government doesn’t have the authority to tell them what they can do on public lands, that someone else — the state or the ranchers themselves — actually owns those lands. This notion has been thoroughly discredited over and over again in the courts. The simple fact is, the hundreds of millions of acres managed by agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are owned by the public and how they are... more... - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Poor People's Lives Are Getting Shorter | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/health...
Poor People's Lives Are Getting Shorter | ThinkProgress
Poor People's Lives Are Getting Shorter | ThinkProgress
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"Although life expectancy has been rising for Americans as a whole, the people who live in this country aren’t necessary sharing those gains equally. Wealthy people are enjoying longer lifespans than lower income Americans, according to a new analysis from Brookings Institute researchers, and the gap is threatening to get wider. By the age of 55 years old, the average American man in the richest 10 percent of the county can expect to live another 35 years. But the average man in the poorest 10 percent only has about 24 years left. And the discrepancy is even starker among women, since low-income women’s life expectancy has actually been declining:" - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
South Carolina Mayor With A History Of Anti-Gay Remarks Fires City's First Openly Gay Police Chief | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt...
South Carolina Mayor With A History Of Anti-Gay Remarks Fires City's First Openly Gay Police Chief | ThinkProgress
"Residents of Latta, South Carolina are calling into question the motivations behind Mayor Earl Bullard’s firing of Police Chief Crystal Moore, a 20-year veteran on the town’s police department. Moore was unceremoniously relieved of her duties earlier this week after Bullard handed down a list of seven reprimands. Members of the city council have voiced their support for Moore and are condemning Bullard’s unilateral decision to fire Moore as an act of retribution, or worse: of outright homophobia." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
State Department To Delay Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Until After November | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/climate...
State Department To Delay Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Until After November | ThinkProgress
"The State Department will “extend the government comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline, likely postponing a final decision on the controversial project until after the Nov. 4 midterm elections,” Reuters reported on Friday afternoon. The organization credited the information to a 1:30 call with Congressional staff. The decision of whether or not to approve the northern leg of TransCanada’s pipeline, connecting the tar sands of Alberta to oil refineries and export facilities in Texas, will enter its sixth year in September. State made the decision to give more time for 8 federal agencies to weigh in on the project. This would move the end of the review process, originally scheduled to end in May, to a date “likely” after the 2014 midterm elections, according to the Wall Street Journal. State Department officials cited a February district court decision that struck down a Nebraska law that aimed to put decisionmaking power over the pipeline in the hands of the governor." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
The Long-Term Unemployed Are Stuck Without Work Thanks To Bad Luck | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/economy...
The Long-Term Unemployed Are Stuck Without Work Thanks To Bad Luck | ThinkProgress
"The long-term unemployed have most likely been out of work for so long simply because they had the misfortune of losing a job during a bad economy, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Casselman. His work “shows that by far the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be out of work for a year or more is the state of the economy when he or she loses his or her job,” he writes. This is true for the current recession and for other downturns more broadly. Over the last 15 years, during which they were two recessions, “a one-point increase in the unemployment rate increased an individual’s odds of remaining unemployed for at least a year by about 35 percent,” he finds. If someone loses a job when the unemployment rate is 8 percent or higher, he will be three and a half times more likely to be unemployed for about six months or longer compared to someone who loses her job when the unemployment rate is below 6 percent. Those who lost their jobs during the Great... more... - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
The Imaginary Rule That Keeps Obama's Judges From Being Confirmed | ThinkProgress - http://thinkprogress.org/justice...
The Imaginary Rule That Keeps Obama's Judges From Being Confirmed | ThinkProgress
"The United States Senate is a labyrinth of arcane rules, obscure precedents, and traditions that were invented for an era when senators rode horses and buggies to Washington. There’s a rule that can force the clerk to spend hours reading a 767-page amendment aloud. There’s a another one that lets the minority leader order all committee work to shut down after 2pm. Indeed, even something as basic as a judicial confirmation is drawn out and complex. To confirm a circuit judge, the Senate has to vote on that judge, wait 30 hours, and then vote for her again. And even if someone masters the Senate’s many rules and traditions, they will still encounter roadblocks that are written nowhere in the Senate’s standing rules and that have very little grounding in its history. One of these is a practice that gives each senator the right to veto anyone named to a federal judgeship in their state. Because of this veto, Republican senators can make extortionate demands from President Obama. And they can back those demands up by threatening to hold every judicial vacancy in their state open until Obama leaves office." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
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