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Archive for September 5th, 2011

Late, Late Night FDL: Keep On Keeping On

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Late, Late Night FDL: Keep On Keeping On
Curtis Mayfield – Keep On Keeping On

Curtis Mayfield – Keep On Keeping On

What’s on your mind tonite…?

Early Morning Swim

 

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It figures
At least one news organization is trying to be a “news” organization.

photo via paperghost at flickr.com

Nearly a decade before there was one legitimate news organization — ignored in the cacophony of a world of Villagers like Fred Hiatt — who showed the Bush Administration  overplaying the facts supporting military action against Iraq.   That organization was McClatchy (then Knight-Ridder).

Move to the present day and the current non-stop Republican talking point that “regulation” prevents small businesses from creating jobs (almost as much [almost] as rich people losing some of their tax cuts).

And here comes McClatchy exposing it as the lie it is — what do small business owners think of regulation?

None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it. Some pointed to the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its grim aftermath

And, of course, they are correct.

Which means, the White House will do what the Republicans want any time now.


Libya: Here We Go Again

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Libya: Here We Go Again
I know enough of Libya, a country I covered for many years as the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, to assure you that the chaos and bloodletting have only begun.

By Chris Hedges

I know enough of Libya, a country I covered for many years as the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, to assure you that the chaos and bloodletting have only begun.


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Tea Party Protesters Rail Against Romney

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Tea Party Protesters Rail Against Romney
About 25 members and activists of assorted Tea Party organizations in New Hampshire held a counter-demonstration on Sunday, before the appearance of former Massachusetts Gov….

Robert Kuttner: Black and Bleak
What a terrible irony this Labor Day that under America’s first African-American president, black unemployment has risen to its highest level since the early Reagan years, and decades of black progress on homeownership have been wiped out. He needs to help the African-American community by bringing new hope and leadership to all of America, black and white, red states and blue. So far, he has done neither. Sometimes, it takes a fighter to produce unity.

Daniel Hough Jones: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: a Correctable Flaw in his Thinking
This email was sent to Howard Schultz in response to his invitation to attend a telephone conference he has arranged for next Tuesday: Dear Howard,…

James P. Hoffa: Good Jobs
Labor unions raise workers’ wages, give them a voice on the job and protect them from financial and medical insecurity. They help turn a job…


Steven Seagal And Arpaio Deputies Sued For Killing Puppy During Tank Raid On AZ Man’s Home

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Steven Seagal And Arpaio Deputies Sued For Killing Puppy During Tank Raid On AZ Man’s Home
Actor and “Lawman” Steven Seagal is being sued for conducting a raid on an Arizona man’s home alongside deputies of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which allegedly resulted in the accidental death of the man’s puppy.

FEC Rules Gabby Giffords Can Use Campaign Funds To Secure Home
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) can use campaign funds to make home improvements that would enhance her security, the Federal Election Commission ruled Thursday.


Wis. Justice Prosser Recuses Self In Case Involving His Recount Attorney
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has recused himself from a prominent case on campaign-finance regulations that is coming before the court, in the wake of objections that he would have a potential conflict of interest — because the lead attorney for the Tea Party groups challenging the regulations, Jim Troupis, was just recently Prosser’s own attorney in the recount of his very close re-election campaign.


The Two-Headed Thing with One Brain

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

The Two-Headed Thing with One Brain


Will Prop. 8 End California’s Democracy?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Will Prop. 8 End California’s Democracy?
This week’s upcoming hearing is not about marriage equality, but about the role of special interests and the wealthy in our democracy.

Six Hours With the Poverty Tour
Tavis Smiley and Cornel West launched their "Poverty Tour" in early August. Was it a much-needed reminder of the pervasiveness of poverty in America or just grandstanding?

Why Obama’s Beltway Apologists are Letting Us Down
Progressive defenders of Obama need to stop trying to discredit critics like Drew Westen and be honest with Americans about the President and our politics.

North Dakota Fights Wall Street’s Influence With a State Bank
What can we learn from North Dakota’s economy? Plenty, and it starts with its unique state bank.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Presented By:

The Capitalist Crack-Up
Fitzgerald, by then deep into an inglorious relationship with Gin Rickeys, was lucid enough, in 1936, to explain that “all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work – the…


Labor Day 2040: Endless Summer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Labor Day 2040: Endless Summer
Who ever would’ve guessed that there would be a Labor Day card for global warming.  But that is what SomeEcards are for: But “The Onion” of e-card companies makes a serious point:  In the not-too-distant future, people are going to be amazed that anybody ever thought Labor Day signified the unofficial end of summer.  As […]

Who ever would’ve guessed that there would be a Labor Day card for global warming.  But that is what SomeEcards are for:

But “The Onion” of e-card companies makes a serious point:  In the not-too-distant future, people are going to be amazed that anybody ever thought Labor Day signified the unofficial end of summer.  As Climate Progress discussed in “Mother Nature is Just Getting Warmed Up” in June:

Stanford climate scientists forecast permanently hotter summers

The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, according to a new climate study by Stanford University scientists….

“According to our projections, large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years,” said the study’s lead author, Noah Diffenbaugh.

And this could happen even sooner since, “actual GHG emissions over the early 21st century have exceeded those projected in the SRES scenario used here, suggesting that our results could provide a conservative projection of the timing of permanent emergence of an unprecedented heat regime.”

In a terrific presentation from last year, Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe has a figure of what staying on the business as usual emissions path (A1F1 or 1000 ppm) would mean (derived from the NOAA-led report):

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Yes, absent a sharp and deep reduction in national and global emissions, by century’s end, Kansas (!) could well be above 100°F for three full months.  Labor Day will mean a return to those pleasant mid-to-upper 90s!

It truly will be an endless summer over much of Texas and Arizona and the Central Valley of California.  Not only will it be hot, but it will be very, very dry very, very soon:

drought map 2 2030-2039

The maps use a common measure, the Palmer Drought Severity Index, which assigns positive numbers when conditions are unusually wet for a particular region, and negative numbers when conditions are unusually dry. A reading of -4 or below is considered extreme drought.  More details on this figure are here.

The PDSI in the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl apparently spiked very briefly to -6, but otherwise rarely exceeded -3 for the decade (see here).  So the numbers projected by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are already near catastrophic by the 2030s.  And they are beyond catastrophic by the 2060s (see New study puts the ‘hell’ in Hell and High Water).

The NCAR study warned, “The United States and many other heavily populated countries face a growing threat of severe and prolonged drought in coming decadespossibly reaching a scale in some regions by the end of the century that has rarely, if ever, been observed in modern times.

This drying creates a vicious circle.  The heat dries out the land.  Then Dust-Bowlification exacerbates the warming because when large tracts of land are dry, the warming doesn’t go into evaporating moisture from the soil, but into heating up land.  It bakes.  That’s why, for instance, the U.S. set so many temperature records in the 1930s Dust Bowl.  And it’s why in July 2011, drought-stricken Oklahoma saw the highest average temperature of any state in the continental United States for any month since statewide average temperature records began in 1895.

It’ll be a hellish summer for much of the West by mid-century — see Climate change expected to sharply increase Western wildfire burn area — as much as 175% by the 2050.

Here’s the grim wildfire projection from a presentation made by the President’s science adviser Dr. John Holdren in Oslo last year:

If you’re wondering what the worst-case might look like, then the UK Met Office has what you are looking for: Catastrophic climate change, 13-18°F over most of U.S. and 27°F in the Arctic, could happen in 50 years, but “we do have time to stop it if we cut greenhouse gas emissions soon.”

This is the “plausible worst case scenario” for around 2060 from the Met Office that occurs in 10% of model runs of high emissions with the carbon cycle feedbacks [temperature in degrees Celsius, multiple by 1.8 for Fahrenheit]:

Now that is an endless global summer.

Related Post:

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A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Americans live in an era of endless war

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Americans live in an era of endless war

This is the American era of endless war.

To grasp its sweep, it helps to visit Fort Campbell, Ky., where the Army will soon open a $31 million complex for wounded troops and those whose bodies are breaking down after a decade of deployments.

The Warrior Transition Battalion complex boasts the only four-story structure on the base, which at 105,000 acres is more than twice the size of Washington, D.C. The imposing brick-and-glass building towers over architecture from earlier wars.

Read full article >>

Obama sees hurricane damage firsthand in New Jersey, says Washington will help town rebuild

PATERSON, N.J. — President Barack Obama stood on a bridge overlooking the rain-swollen and fast-rushing Passaic River in Paterson, New Jersey’s third-largest city, and said Sunday the federal government would work to rebuild towns recovering from Hurricane Irene’s wrath.

The Passaic, which had washed over the bridge, swept through the once-booming factory town of 150,000, flooding the downtown area and forcing hundreds to evacuate. More than 100 people had to be rescued from the rising waters after the storm.

Read full article >>

After 9/11, security guard on high alert at golf course

“One,” Chris Stegherr says as he breaks his staring contest with a young doe.

He’s alone out here along the Potomac River, the only light a pure white gleam of moonshine, occasionally augmented by the flashlight he keeps on his black security belt, next to his Glock 9mm, Mace and handcuffs. His mission, as he calls it, is to watch, to be here if something bad happens, to patrol these 600 acres of manicured land with the same hypervigilance he once displayed as a Marine stationed in Iraq.

Stegherr’s battle zone now is a Loudoun County golf course that hugs an especially quiet stretch of the Potomac River. He earns $16 an hour guarding Trump National Golf Club, where members pay $75,000 just to join.

Read full article >>

Democrats in Congress gird for fight over highway funding

Democrats are preparing to wage a major Capitol Hill battle over highway funding this week — a fight that even they admit might not be necessary.

They launched a series of preemptive strikes last week intended to deter House Republicans from the same sort of political maneuvering that resulted in a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration last month.

While Republicans have given no indication they plan to use similar tactics in extending funding for all surface transportation programs, the Democratic fears are another measure of how deep and bitter the partisan divide has become.

Read full article >>


The Republic of Anti-Israel

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2011 4:33 am by HL

The Republic of Anti-Israel
David Warren, Ottawa Citizen
We are waiting patiently, as the fuse burns down on another Middle Eastern powder keg. On Sept. 20, as the next United Nations session opens, Mahmoud Abbas will present a declaration of statehood to the General Assembly, on behalf of the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank. Though unilateral, it will be welcomed by a voting majority which includes all the dictatorships of the Muslim world and Africa.Full membership in the UN requires the sanction of the Security Council, where there is an American veto. That will almost certainly be exercised, even by the Obama administration. But for all…

Palin Still Coy on Presidential Run
Erik Wasson, The Hill
The audience at the Iowa Tea Party of America rally on Saturday chanted “Run Sarah, Run!” but former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin still won't say if she will be a candidate for president.Palin instead unleashed an attack on “corporate crony capitalism” which she says has flourished under President Obama. She raised asked the audience to question the current GOP presidential candidates about their donors and what they expect in return for election. 

Jobs Crisis: The U.S. Economic Picture Is Worsening