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Archive for July 18th, 2014

Speaker Tells County Commission He’ll Shoot Them

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 18th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Speaker Tells County Commission He’ll Shoot Them
A Miami-Dade County, Fla. resident on Tuesday stepped up to the podium at a county commission meeting and threatened to shoot county officials if they took his house. “My constitution gives me the right to shoot every one of you,” Jose Fernandez said before being taken off by two sergeants-at-arms, who arrested him. Miami-Dade police charged him with 13 felonies for threatening to harm public servants — 12 county commissioners and Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Kia Recalls 52,000 Souls
Kia Motors is recalling nearly 52,000 Soul hatchbacks from the 2014 model year because the steering system may fail, the automaker said in a report posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. The pinion plug on the steering gear assembly had “an improper application of thread-locking adhesive,” Kia said, adding that “the pinion gear may separate from the steering gear assembly, causing the loss of steering, which could result in a crash.” The automaker said it learned of the problem as a result of a warranty claim and that it was not aware of any accidents related to the defect.


Destructive Washington fire empties another town

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 18th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Destructive Washington fire empties another town
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A small north-central Washington town and a nearby hospital have been evacuated ahead of a wind-whipped wildfire that has already burned at least 35 homes, authorities said.


Obama: Don’t fund infrastructure with a “Band-Aid”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 18th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama: Don’t fund infrastructure with a “Band-Aid”
President Obama urges Congress to pass long-term funding for infrastructure improvements instead of just kicking the can down the road with short-term funding solutions.

White House documents shed light on Ginsburg confirmation strategy
?In documents released Friday, Clinton presidency aides detail the challenges of prepping Ruth Bader Ginsburg


NRA Raises Specter Of The Holocaust To Fearmonger About Confiscation Of Firearms

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 18th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

NRA Raises Specter Of The Holocaust To Fearmonger About Confiscation Of Firearms

A new video commentary released by the NRA references the Holocaust and other instances of persecution to advance the baseless claim that “the government is collecting more and more gun registration data which could be used against gun owners in the form of full confiscation.”

The July 18 commentary was published by NRA News and is part of the gun group’s recent efforts to reach a younger, more diverse audience. In the video NRA News commentator Chris Cheng sets up his claim about government-sanctioned gun confiscation by citing recent reports of the persecution of Jewish people in Eastern Ukraine, as well as “what happened to our Jewish friends during World War II”:

CHRIS CHENG: Masked men in Eastern Ukraine recently handed out fliers in front of a synagogue which told Jews to register with pro-Russian militants. I don’t even need to go into detail about world history and what happened to our Jewish friends during World War II. So here’s why government registration of a protected right is a bad thing.


Mrs. Obama’s Operation VA Scandal Distraction

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 18th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Mrs. Obama’s Operation VA Scandal Distraction
Michelle Malkin, RealClearPolitics
Barack and Michelle Obama are quite the diversionary tag-team. He blames everyone else for his problems. She takes credit for progress on his behalf that he doesn’t deserve and distracts public attention from his avalanche of failures with endless feel-good photo-ops. While the shirker in chief golfed and grubbed for money at closed-door celebrity fundraisers this week, his East Wing flak-catcher provided him cunning cover on the still-festering VA scandals. Mrs. Obama flew to Los Angeles to declare a war or something on veterans’ homelessness. At a summit with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti…


Analysis: Assisted dying debate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 18th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Analysis: Assisted dying debate
Reflections on one of the most significant issues facing society

No return to tax and spend – Miliband
Labour leader Ed Miliband is to promise there will be no return to the tax and spend policies of past Labour governments, in a speech later.

Row over ‘pro-EU’ immigration report
A report on immigration has caused a row within government because Conservative ministers believed it was too pro-European, Newsnight learns.


Opinion: The Independence Referendum Is a Test of Scotland’s Confidence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 18th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Opinion: The Independence Referendum Is a Test of Scotland’s Confidence
Whether or not Scots opt for independence in September, the referendum will have changed perceptions of what’s possible.



Opinion: ‘Protecting’ Russians in Ukraine Has Fatal Consequences
The right to protect one’s “people” — where does it end? In blood.



News Analysis: A Push Into Gaza, but the Ground Has Shifted
The landscape differs from previous battles with Hamas, largely because Israel has framed its operations as an effort to eliminate tunnels used to store weapons or stage attacks.




Typhoon Rammasun Hits South China Sea, Killing 55 And Injuring 100

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 18th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Typhoon Rammasun Hits South China Sea, Killing 55 And Injuring 100

Typhoon Rammasun arrived on the southern Chinese island of Hainan on Friday, after cutting northwest through the South China Sea.

The post Typhoon Rammasun Hits South China Sea, Killing 55 And Injuring 100 appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Residents waded through floods as Typhoon Rammasun battered the Philippines on Wednesday.

Residents waded through floods as Typhoon Rammasun battered the Philippines on Wednesday.

CREDIT: AP Photo / Aaron Favila

Typhoon Rammasun arrived on the southern Chinese island of Hainan on Friday, after cutting northwest through the South China Sea, ABC News reports.

As of Friday morning the storm had killed one Hainan resident, adding to the 54 killed when Rammasun swept through the Philippines on Wednesday.

It’s currently the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane, and observatories on Hainan tracked peak sustained winds of 78 miles per hour (mph), with gusts reaching over 100 mph. More than 26,000 people were evacuated from Hainan as authorities closed resorts and ordered tour operations to cease through Saturday afternoon, but China Central Television has reported that 1,300 people are trapped on the island, with rescue work under way.

Rammasun also injured 100 people in the Philippines, and left two bridges and 20 roads impassable thanks to flooding. It’s the strongest typhoon to hit the country since Super Typhoon Haiyan arrived eight months ago.

rammasun

Rammasun is expected to make landfall on the Asian mainland early Saturday, cutting through the southern provinces of China and the northern portion of Vietnam. At that point it will still likely be equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane. The Xinhua News Agency reported that 36 trains in China’s Guangxi region have been suspended in anticipation of the storm’s arrival, along with trains in the Guangdong province, shipping in the region, and ferries going between Hainan and the mainland. Rammasun is expected to bring the mainland heavy rain and tidal surges, and winds that could reach 93 mph.

According to Xinhua, Rammasun is the most powerful storm to hit Hainan in at least nine years, and possibly the most powerful since 1973. Rising sea levels can bring much stronger storm surges during typhoons like these, increasing the damages and impact to coastal areas.

James Reynolds, a freelance journalist and videographer who was in the Philippines when the storm arrived, said on Twitter that Rammasun looked “immensely powerful — one of the strongest I’ve seen in the (South) China Sea for a long time.”

The post Typhoon Rammasun Hits South China Sea, Killing 55 And Injuring 100 appeared first on ThinkProgress.

NOAA State Of The Climate In 2013: ‘Our Planet Is Becoming A Warmer Place’

Tom Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, said that the planetary vital signs reveal, “The planet is changing more rapidly … than in any time of modern civilization.”

The post NOAA State Of The Climate In 2013: ‘Our Planet Is Becoming A Warmer Place’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Heat energy in the top 2,300 feet (700 meters) of the ocean in 2013 compared to the 1993-2013 average. Orange and blue areas show where the upper ocean’s heat storage rose or fell by as much as 5 gigajoules per square meter.

Heat energy in the top 2,300 feet (700 meters) of the ocean in 2013 compared to the 1993-2013 average. Orange and blue areas show where the upper ocean’s heat storage rose or fell by as much as 5 gigajoules per square meter.

CREDIT: NOAA, Larry Belcher, John Lyman

The planet kept warming at an unhealthy pace last year, according to a report by hundreds of the world’s top scientists led by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Tom Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, said that the planetary vital signs documented in this report, “State of the Climate in 2013,” reveal “The planet is changing more rapidly … than in any time of modern civilization.”

One of the most important findings is that “upper ocean heat content has increased significantly over the past two decades”:

ocean heat content

Heat content in the global ocean down to 700 meters (2300 feet) has risen in the past two decades. Via NOAA.

As NOAA explains, the reason ocean heat content is rising is that “Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are preventing heat radiated from Earth’s surface from escaping into space as freely as it used to; most of the excess heat is being stored in the upper ocean.” Why is this so important to our understanding of global warming?

Recent studies estimate that warming of the upper oceans accounts for about 63 percent of the total increase in the amount of stored heat in the climate system from 1971 to 2010, and warming from 700 meters to the ocean floor adds about another 30 percent.

So the place where climate scientists predicted the overwhelming majority of the heat trapped by human emissions would end up is precisely where there has been rapid warming in the past 20 years.

And in case you were wondering what total ocean heat content has looked like in recent decades, NOAA has the chart for you:

ocean heat content

Global ocean heat over the past half century (down to 2000 meters) . Via NOAA.

Here are the highlights of the “State of the Climate in 2013” (emphasis in original):

  • Greenhouse gases continued to climb: Major greenhouse gas concentrations, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide, continued to rise during 2013, once again reaching historic high values. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased by 2.8 ppm in 2013, reaching a global average of 395.3 ppm for the year. At the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the daily concentration of CO2 exceeded 400 ppm on May 9 for the first time since measurements began at the site in 1958. This milestone follows observational sites in the Arctic that observed this CO2 threshold of 400 ppm in spring 2012.
  • Warm temperature trends continued near the Earth’s surface: Four major independent datasets show 2013 was among the warmest years on record, ranking between second and sixth depending upon the dataset used. In the Southern Hemisphere, Australia observed its warmest year on record, while Argentina had its second warmest and New Zealand its third warmest.
  • Sea surface temperatures increased: Four independent datasets indicate that the globally averaged sea surface temperature for 2013 was among the 10 warmest on record. El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-neutral conditions in the eastern central Pacific Ocean and a negative Pacific decadal oscillation pattern in the North Pacific. The North Pacific was record warm for 2013.
  • Sea level continued to rise: Global mean sea level continued to rise during 2013, on pace with a trend of 3.2 ± 0.4 mm per year over the past two decades.
  • The Arctic continued to warm; sea ice extent remained low: The Arctic observed its seventh warmest year since records began in the early 20th century. Record high temperatures were measured at 20-meter depth at permafrost stations in Alaska. Arctic sea ice extent was the sixth lowest since satellite observations began in 1979. All seven lowest sea ice extents on record have occurred in the past seven years.

NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan summed the report up this way, “These findings reinforce what scientists for decades have observed: that our planet is becoming a warmer place.”

The post NOAA State Of The Climate In 2013: ‘Our Planet Is Becoming A Warmer Place’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.


The Garden Where Rough Edges Grow

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 18th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Garden Where Rough Edges Grow
From: StudentNation

Organized by the New Economy Coalition, CommonBound brought together more than 650 activists, academics, and students to discuss what the “new economy” is and share projects that had been working to further its realization.

Were Those Aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 the First Victims of ‘the New Cold War’?
From: Nation in the News

And is the mainstream media doing enough to contextualize the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine?

Fact Sheet: Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Bank On Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act
From: StudentNation

Here is a quick breakdown of the Senate vote on the Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which will alleviate more than $1.2 trillion of debt carried by 40 million. 


Putin, Merkel Leave Obama on Outside

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 18th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Putin, Merkel Leave Obama on Outside
Klaus Larres & Peter Eltsov, Politico
During the Cold War, it was a rare occurrence when the leader of the Soviet Union met with the U.S. president or the West German chancellor. These days hardly a week goes by, it seems, without Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel bumping into each other. The last meeting between the Russian president and German chancellor occurred in Brazil on Sunday at the World Cup final—an event that becomes more and more reminiscent of ancient rituals, such as the Mesoamerican ball game, when sports went hand in hand with high-level politics.

So Sue Me: Republicans Learn to Love Litigation
Jeff Shesol, New Yorker
It is unlikely to end up in Bartlett’s “Familiar Quotations” or carved on the wall of his Presidential library, but “sue me” turns out to be one of the smartest things Barack Obama has said. The President made the offhand comment on July 1st, while discussing his determination to act unilaterally if Congress proved unwilling to coöperate, and it baited Speaker John Boehner into making good on his threat to prepare a lawsuit against Obama for his embrace of executive power.

The IRS Recycled Hard-Drive Coincidence