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Army Sgt. Ryan Pitts receives Medal of Honor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Army Sgt. Ryan Pitts receives Medal of Honor
President Obama awarded Pitts the nation’s highest recognition for his outstanding heroism in one of the bloodiest battles of the War in Afghanistan

Obama administration has been warned of rise in child migrants since 2012
Despite several indications the increase in children crossing the border was a growing problem, the administration did not take aggressive steps to slow the flow

Vladimir Putin criticized as “thug” after shootdown of civilian airliner
Russian president under increasing pressure to respond as evidence mounts that his country played role in missile strike against Malaysia Airlines Flight 17


Glenn Beck Compares Common Core To Slavery

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Glenn Beck Compares Common Core To Slavery

From the July 21 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Sean Hannity Show:

Previously: 

Fox Hosts Glenn Beck To Plug His Anti-Common Core Movie

The 8 Most Ridiculous Attacks On Public Education In Glenn Beck’s New Book

Beck: “Thought Police” Prevent Me From Saying ‘Fag The New Nigger’


Cuomo Holds 37-Point Lead in Re-election Race

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Cuomo Holds 37-Point Lead in Re-election Race
Adam O’Neal, RealClearPolitics
With less than four months until Election Day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a massive lead over his potential Republican opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Cuomo garners 60 percent of the vote to Astorino’s 23 percent, according to a new Sienna College survey. The same poll showed a similar result last month. Not surprisingly, 59 percent of Empire State voters believe “Cuomo has made New York a better place to live.” Just 15 percent say the opposite, and 21 percent don’t believe there has been a noticeable change. The first-term…

The Choice of Cleveland
David Shribman, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — The Republicans have made a choice, and it’s the last easy one they will have for the next 23 months. They will hold their national political convention in Cleveland. The last time they went to Cleveland, the Republicans faced a small insurgency. The establishment candidate was Gov. Alf Landon of Kansas, an oil millionaire who was genial and wry and, as a pillar of the Topeka business community, not much of a threatening figure to anybody. The insurgent was Sen. William Borah of Idaho, an isolationist and colorful progressive known more for what he opposed than for…


Osborne to announce £18m funding

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Osborne to announce £18m funding
Chancellor George Osborne will announce £18m of funding for business projects he says could help create 30,000 jobs in the Glasgow area.

VIDEO: Mayor: Not helpful for me in my role
The banking scandals in recent years are “not helpful for me in my role”, says the Lord Mayor of London.

Key moments in Griffin’s leadership
High and lows of Nick Griffin’s leadership


Enforcement is the solution to gun violence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Enforcement is the solution to gun violence
Chicago ranks as one of the lowest cities for the number of federal prosecutions of firearm abusers.

The Big Fix: Corralling Carbon Before It Belches From Stack

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Big Fix: Corralling Carbon Before It Belches From Stack
Many scientists say capturing the carbon that spews from power plants and locking it away is necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change.






To Talk With Hamas, U.S. Needs Help From a Testy Trio of Nations
Secretary of State John Kerry will be leaning heavily on Egypt, Turkey and Qatar — which have deep divisions over the Islamic movement — to help broker a cease-fire as quickly as possible.






Sinosphere Blog: Campaign Tries Tapping Into Hong Kong’s ‘Silent Majority’
A campaign aiming to deter a mass protest by those who favor a more direct election of Hong Kong’s top leader collected 380,000 signatures in its first two days.







Chilling Map Shows Boston With A 7.5-Foot Coastal Flood

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Chilling Map Shows Boston With A 7.5-Foot Coastal Flood

City planners are grappling with many of the threats and possibilities for mitigating them, from streets that can double as canals to underground cisterns and floating buildings.

The post Chilling Map Shows Boston With A 7.5-Foot Coastal Flood appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston, Massachusetts.

CREDIT: Shutterstock

Flooding from sea level rise is threatening to wash away many of Boston’s historical buildings and archaeological sites, according to WGBH News.

In 2012, the city was spared when Hurricane Sandy turned west and slammed into New York instead. But the close call sparked a May conference of experts and stakeholders to consider what would have happened if Sandy had hit Boston. What they discovered was that historic sites like Faneuil Hall and the Blackstone Block of colonial streets — which sit within the city’s 100-year tidal flood zone — would already have been flooded three times since Sandy if storms had hit during high tide instead of low. A May report by the Union of Concerned Scientists noted both sites as some of the most at-risk in the entire country thanks to increased flooding from climate change and sea level rise.

The group also reported that since 1921, Boston has 20 instances of high tides with waves 3.5 feet taller than normal. Half of those instances hit within the last decade.

“When you start thinking about where the ocean is going to come in and how big the ocean is, and you start thinking about how the water will flow, you realize that these beautiful old buildings are right at the forefront of this issue,” said Boston Environment Commissioner Nancy Girard.

The Boston Harbor Association, which provided the May conference with many of its numbers, also released a report with an interactive map that tracks flooding in the city according to 5-foot and 7.5 foot coastal floods.

Nor does the problem end with the historic sites themselves; the ground under Faneuil Hall was once a wharf that was filled in with trash and covered with dirt to extend the land. That buried garbage is now an archaeological goldmine providing insight into life in 1700s Boston. Now it’s in danger of being covered by water. Boston’s city archaeologist Joe Bagely told WGBH News that at least 100 other lesser-known archaeological sites across Boston are also in danger of being washed away, including troves of Native American artifacts out on the Boston Harbor islands.

A Boston symposium in April, co-hosted by Sasaki Associates and Boston Architectural College, addressed many of the same issues. The gathering occurred in conjunction with a museum exhibit that produced a similar interactive map, and focused on the need to address sea level rise and flooding as a risk management issue, especially over the longer time scales faced by property owners and their insurers. (Property developers, by contrast, tend to get their money back over a relatively short period and move on to the next project.) That means building infrastructure in anticipation of storms that will hit once every 100 years or even once every 1,000 years.

Elizabeth S. Padjen over at Landscape Architecture Magazine reported that the symposium addressed ideas ranging from rebuilding certain streets and alleys to function as ad hoc canals when the floods come — an idea also considered by the May conference — to underground cisterns, foldable parks, floating buildings and absorbent streets.

Nor does the threat of floods in Boston come solely from the ocean. According to the National Climate Assessment, the northeast of the country is one area where climate change is likely to significantly increase precipitation. The area has already seen a 71 percent rise since 1958.

Along with New York City and Philadelphia, Boston also has some of the oldest water infrastructure ion the country. As a result, the city’s stormwater and wastewater is all still handled by the same pipe network, meaning downpours threaten the city’s health with backed up sewage as well as with the damage from flooding.

A 2013 study in Nature ranked Boston the eighth most at-risk for flooding of all the country’s major coastal metropolitan areas, facing $237 million worth of possible damage.

The post Chilling Map Shows Boston With A 7.5-Foot Coastal Flood appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Planet’s Hottest June On Record Follows Hottest May

NOAA reports that the warmest May on record has been followed by the hottest June on record. In fact, the last time the Earth experienced a June with below-average global temperatures, Gerald Ford was President!

The post Planet’s Hottest June On Record Follows Hottest May appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Last month was the warmest June since records began being kept in 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported Monday. That follows the warmest May on record.

land and sea surface temperature

Land and sea surface temperature percentiles in June 2014. Hot spots in red.

CREDIT: NOAA

As the map shows, the oceans were particularly warm. In fact, NOAA reports:

The June global sea surface temperature was 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), the highest for June on record and the highest departure from average for any month.

Another worrisome piece of news from NOAA: “Parts of Greenland were record warm during June. According to the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), Kangerlussuaq in southwestern Greenland recorded its record highest maximum June temperature of 23.2°C (73.8°F) on June 15.” If we don’t reverse emissions trends ASAP, then it’s a question of when, not if, the Greenland ice sheet passes the point of no return for catastrophic, irreversible melt.

NOAA’s report matches that of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) which said that last month was the hottest June on record. They had previously reported it was the hottest May on record. NASA has reported it was the third warmest June on record in their dataset, but the hottest May on record.

These records all occurred despite the fact we’re still waiting for the start of El Niño. It is usually the combination of the underlying long-term warming trend and the regional El Niño warming pattern that leads to new global temperature records.

According to NOAA, “The last below-average global temperature for June was June 1976 and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985.” In other words, the last time the Earth experienced a June with below-average global temperatures, Gerald Ford was President!

June2014NOAA

As an aside, if you are wondering why temperatures declined from 1880 to 1912, a primary reason was an an unusual spate of major volcanic eruptions from 1875 to 1912, including the 1883 Krakatau eruption, which was the biggest volcanic explosion ever observed. Climate and volcano expert Alan Robock discusses the cooling effect from big volcanoes here. It was not until the 1963 Agung eruption, which “produced the largest stratospheric dust veil in more than 50 years” in the Northern Hemisphere, that major volcanic activity resumed.

So, barring a major volcanic eruption in the near future, It seems all but certain more records will be broken in the coming months, as global warming combines with an emerging El Niño — whose chance of forming NOAA puts at “about 70% during the Northern Hemisphere summer” and “close to 80% during the fall and early winter.”

The post Planet’s Hottest June On Record Follows Hottest May appeared first on ThinkProgress.


How Should Obama Deal With a World Engulfed in War?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

How Should Obama Deal With a World Engulfed in War?
From: Bob Dreyfuss

It isn't just a coincidence that the entire world seems to be at war at once. President Obama needs an army—of diplomats. 

Despite Scandals, Christie Gets Good Press in Iowa
From: The Christie Watch

The New Jersey governor is crossing his fingers and hoping that scandals at home don’t blow up in his face.

Blinded Me with Balance: How the US Media Get Science Coverage Wrong (& How They Can Get It Right)
From: Eric Alterman

Eric on this week's concerts and Reed on the media’s coverage of climate change. 

Scientist and Activist Committed to Ending AIDS Perishes on Flight MH17
From: Christopher Hayes

Dr. Joep Lange believed that if he could gather the necessary political resources, he could help erradicate the AIDS epidemic wihtin a generation. He perished tragically on his way to a conference where he planned to share his vision. 

Right-Wing Media: Forget Putin, Blame Obama
From: Leslie Savan

After the Malaysian plane crash, they want to know, Why can’t Obama be more like Reagan? Or Samantha Power?


America’s Lost Oomph

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

America’s Lost Oomph

Hillary Clinton Is Probably Finished
Robert Merry, Washington Times
Hillary Clinton isn’t likely ever to become president of the United States. In fact, there is a greater possibility than is generally recognized by the Washington cognoscenti that she won’t even run. If she does, though, the barriers she faces will prove overwhelming. Her 2008 campaign was her last good shot for the office, and she failed. Since then, numerous developments have conspired steadily to diminish her prospects. Those prospects are now near zero.

It’s Not Kerry’s Fault the World Blew Up Last Week
Josh Keating, Slate

Tunnels Matter More Than Rockets to Hamas
Michael Mukasey, WSJ
Early in the current clash between Hamas and Israel, much of the drama was in the air. The Palestinian terrorist group launched hundreds of rockets at Israel, and Israel responded by knocking down rockets in the sky with its Iron Dome defense system and by bombing the rocket-launch sites in Gaza. But the real story has been underground. Hamas’s tunnels into Israel are potentially much more dangerous than its random rocket barrages.


Florida Boy, 4, Killed by Pit Bulls

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 20th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Florida Boy, 4, Killed by Pit Bulls
A 4-year-old boy was killed Saturday night when he was mauled by two pit bulls who escaped a crate at his uncle’s home in Riverview, Florida. Logan Shepard was left alone with the dogs in the family room while adults and his 15-year-old cousin talked in another part of the house. They heard screams and found the boy in the front yard with the dogs over him.

Mob Attacks Israeli Deputy Mayor at Peace Rally
The deputy mayor of Haefa, Israel, and his son were beaten Saturday when right-wing activists attacked left-wingers protesting Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. The right-wing activists had gathered in the area, burned a Palestinian flag and shouted “Death to Arabs.” Deputy Mayor Suhail Assad and his adult son were beaten by a mob after they discussed among themselves whether the son, who was wearing a red shirt, was an Arab. Protesters against the war carried Palestinian flags and red flags, shouting slogans such as “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”