Fox just released a new presidential poll showing President Obama leading Mitt Romney by 9 points. That's the second poll today and the third in the last two days. The other two (from CNN and Ipsos/Reuters) both had Romney down by 7. Worth noting that[...]
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The Romney campaign, which has apparently exhausted the selectively edited clip of President Obama saying “you didn’t build that,” has seized on a new soundbite to distort. The campaign sent an email blast Thursday afternoon featuring a video of an Obama rally in Colorado from earlier that day and falsely claimed that he wants the government to bail out every industry. ?I Want To Do The Same Thing With Manufacturing Jobs ? In Every Industry,? it read.
The distortion comes from Obama’s speech in Pueblo, Colorado, touting his administration’s successful revival of the auto industry, which came back from the brink of collapse to add thousands of jobs and is now poised for its strongest sales since 2007. Obama said he wanted to help other flagging industries experience the same kind of success. Conservatives, however, are using the clip to make it sound like Obama wants to bail out every industry.
Here is what he actually said:
OBAMA: I said I believe in American workers, I believe in this American industry, and now the American auto industry has come roaring back and GM is number one again. So now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs not just in the auto industry, but in every industry. I don?t want those jobs taking root in places like China. I want them taking root in places like Pueblo.
Just a few months ago, Romney tried to “take a lot of credit” for the auto industry’s rescue. Now, his campaign is warning against boosting similar prosperity in other industries that have suffered in the economic downturn.
The Drudge Report also featured a huge front and center link to a disparaging Politico story, which has since been “updated to reflect the president’s intent to express his support for manufacturing success. An earlier version was unclear about his intent.”
Deliberate misinterpretation is now a standard tactic from the Romney campaign playbook, starting with Romney’s very first ad, which ran a clip of Barack Obama saying, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” Obama was in fact using the quote to criticize his 2008 presidential opponent, John McCain on his refusal to discuss the economic crisis.
Earth’s Northern Hemisphere over the past 30 years has seen more “hot” (orange), “very hot” (red) and “extremely hot” (brown) summers, compared to a base period defined in this study from 1951 to 1980. This visualization shows how the area experiencing “extremely hot” summers grows from nearly nonexistent during the base period to cover 12 percent of land in the Northern Hemisphere by 2011. Watch for the 2011 heat waves in Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico, or the 2010 heat waves the Middle East, Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
By James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy, via NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies
The greatest barrier to public recognition of human-made climate change is probably the natural variability of local climate. How can a person discern long-term climate change, given the notorious variability of local weather and climate from day to day and year to year?
The question is important because actions to stem emissions of gases that cause global warming are unlikely until the public appreciates the significance of global warming and perceives that it will have unacceptable consequences. Thus when nature seemingly provides evidence of climate change it needs to be examined objectively by the public, as well as by scientists.
Therefore it was disappointing that most early media reports on the heat wave, widespread drought, and intense forest fires in the United States in 2012 did not mention or examine the potential connection between these climate events and global warming. Is this reticence justified?
In a new paper (Hansen et al., 2012a), we conclude that such reticence is not justified. The paper attempts to illustrate the data in ways that properly account for climate variability yet are understandable to the public.
We show how the probability of unusually warm seasons is changing, emphasizing summer when the changes have large practical effects. We calculate seasonal-mean temperature anomalies relative to average temperature in the base period 1951-1980. This is an appropriate base period because global temperature was relatively stable and still within the Holocene range to which humanity and other planetary life are adapted (note 1).
We illustrate variability of seasonal temperature in units of standard deviation (?), including comparison with the normal distribution (“bell curve”) that the lay public may appreciate. The probability distribution (frequency of occurrence) of local summer-mean temperature anomalies was close to the normal distribution in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in both hemispheres (Fig. 2). However, in each subsequent decade the distribution shifted toward more positive anomalies, with the positive tail (hot outliers) of the distribution shifting the most.
An important change is the emergence of a subset of the hot category, extremely hot outliers, defined as anomalies exceeding +3?. The frequency of these extreme anomalies is about 0.13% in the normal distribution, and thus in a typical summer in the base period only 0.1-0.2% of the globe is covered by such hot extremes. However, we show that during the past several years the global land area covered by summer temperature anomalies exceeding +3? has averaged about 10%, an increase by more than an order of magnitude compared to the base period. Recent examples of summer temperature anomalies exceeding +3? include the heat wave and drought in Oklahoma, Texas and Mexico in 2011 and a larger region encompassing much of the Middle East, Western Asia and Eastern Europe, including Moscow, in 2010.
The question of whether these extreme hot anomalies are a result of global warming is often answered in the negative, with an alternative interpretation based on meteorological patterns. For example, an unusual atmospheric “blocking” situation resulted in a long-lived high pressure anomaly in the Moscow region in 2010, and a strong La Niña in 2011 may have contributed to the heat and drought situation in the southern United States and Mexico. However, such meteorological patterns are not new and thus as an “explanation” fail to account for the huge increase in the area covered by extreme positive temperature anomalies. Specific meteorological patterns help explain where the high pressure regions that favor high temperature and drought conditions occur in a given summer, but the unusually great temperature extremities and the large area covered by these hot anomalies is a consequence of global warming, which is causing the bell curve to shift to the right (Fig. 2).
Yet the distribution of seasonal temperature anomalies (Fig. 2) also reveals that a significant portion (about 15 percent) of the anomalies are still negative, corresponding to summer-mean temperatures cooler than the average 1951-1980 climate. Thus people should not be surprised by the occasional season that is unusually cool. Cool anomalies as extreme as -2? still occur, because the anomaly distribution has broadened as well as moved to the right. In other words, our climate now encompasses greater extremes.
Our analysis is an empirical approach that avoids use of global climate models, instead using only real world data. Theories for the cause of observed global temperature change are thus separated as an independent matter. However, it is of interest to compare the data with results from climate models that are used to simulate expected global warming due to increasing human-made greenhouse gases.
Indeed, the “climate dice” concept was suggested in conjunction with climate simulations made in the 1980s (Hansen et al., 1988) as a way to describe the stochastic variability of local temperatures, with the implication that the public should recognize the existence of global warming once the dice become sufficiently “loaded” (biased). Specifically, the 10 warmest summers (Jun-Jul-Aug in the Northern Hemisphere) in the 30-year period (1951-1980) were used to define the “hot” summer category, the 10 coolest the “cold” category, and the middle 10 the “average” summer. Thus it was imagined that two sides of a six-sided die were colored red, blue and white for these respective categories. The divisions between “hot” and “average” and between “average” and “cold” occur at +0.43? and -0.43? for a normal distribution.
Temperatures simulated in a global climate model (Hansen et al., 1988) reached a level such that four of the six sides of the climate dice were red in the first decade of the 21st century for greenhouse gas scenario B, which is an accurate approximation of actual greenhouse gas growth (Hansen and Sato 2004; updates are provided by a Columbia Univ. webpage). Observed summer temperature anomalies over global land during the past decade averaged about 75% in the “hot category”, thus midway between four and five sides of the die were red, which is reasonably consistent with expectations.
The relation between the bell curve and climate dice is illustrated in Fig. 3. Extremely hot outliers already occur more frequently than unusually cold seasons. If the march of the bell curve to the right continues unabated, within a few decades even the seasons that were once considered average will cease to occur.
We have shown that the increased frequency of “hot” seasons is a result of global warming. The cause of global warming is a separate matter, but observed global warming is now attributed with high confidence to increasing greenhouse gases (IPCC 2007a).
Both attributions are important. Together they allow us to infer that the area covered by extreme hot anomalies will continue to increase in coming decades and that even more extreme outliers will occur. Indeed, we conclude that the decade-by-decade shift to the right of the temperature anomaly distribution (Fig. 2) will continue, because Earth is now out of energy balance, with more solar energy absorbed than heat radiation emitted to space (Hansen et al., 2011); it is this imbalance that drives the planet to higher temperatures. Even an exceedingly optimistic scenario for fossil fuel emissions reduction, 6%/year beginning in 2013, results in global temperature rising to almost 1.2°C relative to 1880-1920, which compares to a current level ~0.8°C (Hansen et al., 2012b).
Practical effects of increasingly loaded climate dice occur mainly via amplified extremes of Earth’s water cycle. The broadening of the “bell curve” of temperature anomalies is related to interactions of warming with the water cycle. Hot summer anomalies occur when and where weather patterns yield an extended period of high atmospheric pressure. This condition is amplified by global warming and the ubiquitous surface heating due to elevated greenhouse gas levels, thus increasing the chances of an extreme anomaly. Yet global warming also increases atmospheric water vapor overall, causing, at other times or places, more extreme rainfall and floods, consistent with documented changes over Northern Hemisphere land and the tropics (IPCC 2007b).
The (Northern Hemisphere) summer of 2012 is still unfolding. A global map of the anomaly distribution will be provided on aColumbia Univ. webpage) once the data are complete; the data so far suggest that parts of the United States and Asia likely will be in the extreme (+3?) category. One of the consequences of extreme summer heat anomalies is increased area and intensity of wildfires, as shown in Fig. 4. Updates of these data and other climate impacts after the 2012 data are complete will be useful for assessing impacts of continued global warming.
– James Hansen, Makiko Sato, and Reto Ruedy, via NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Educational differences correlate to vast differences in lifespan for both males and females, according to a new research on educational attainment in Health Affairs. White men who drop out of high school live 12.9 years less, on average, than white male college graduates; for women, the gap is 10.4 years. The disparities exist for African Americans and Latinos as well, the research found. The explanation, as the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff notes, is likely due in part to educational effects on health and differing levels of access to quality health care: the unemployment rate for dropouts is three times higher than it is for college graduates, meaning they are less likely to have jobs that provide health care.
David Barton tells Kirk Cameron about how the Founding Fathers wanted bibles in schools
Fake historian David Barton got a bit of what?s been coming to him on Wednesday, when NPR?s ?All Things Considered? turned its polite, soft-spoken, but firmly fact-based attention to the evangelical demagogue beloved of Glenn Beck and former child star Kirk Cameron.
In a segment titled ?The Most Influential Evangelical You?ve Never Heard Of,? Barbara Bradley Hagerty, NPR?s religion correspondent, introduced the ?Prairie Home Companion? and ?Car Talk? crowd to Barton, a self-promoting windbag who specializes in claiming that things he disagrees with are unbiblical. His special obsession is the Founding Fathers, who, he says, were devout Christians who never envisioned anything like a separation of church and state.
Hagerty blogged the segment on NPR?s website. (C&L has bolded the especially good parts for your reading ease):
?You look at Article 3, Section 1, the treason clause,? [Barton] told James Robison on Trinity Broadcast Network. ?Direct quote out of the Bible. You look at Article 2, the quote on the president has to be a native born? That is Deuteronomy 17:15, verbatim. I mean, it drives the secularists nuts because the Bible's all over it! Now we as Christians don't tend to recognize that. We think it's a secular document; we've bought into their lies. It's not.?
We looked up every citation Barton said was from the Bible, but not one of them checked out. Moreover, the Constitution as written in 1787 has no mention of God or religion except to prohibit a religious test for office. The First Amendment does address religion.
[H]istorians say Barton is flat-out wrong in his facts and conclusion.
David Barton is not a historian. He has a bachelor's degree in Christian education from Oral Roberts University and runs a company called WallBuilders in Aledo, Texas. But his vision of a religion-infused America is wildly popular with churches, schools and the GOP, and that makes him a power. He was named one of Time magazine's most influential evangelicals. He was a long-time vice chairman for the Texas Republican Party. He says that he consults for the federal government and state school boards, that he testifies in court as an expert witness, that he gives a breathtaking 400 speeches a year.
As I said, self-promoting windbag.
Fortunately, there are intelligent evangelicals out there who are embarrassed and frustrated by Barton?s prominence. In the wake of the release of his book The Jefferson Lies, a bestseller that that recasts the deist, slave-owning Founding Father as an ultra-Christian champion of civil rights, professors at Christian colleges have amplified their efforts to diminish Barton?s influence.
One of these is Warren Thockmorton, who told ?All Things Considered,?
?Mr. Barton is presenting a Jefferson that modern-day evangelicals could love and identify with. ? The problem with that is, it's not a whole Jefferson; it's not getting him right.?
Throckmorton co-authored Getting Jefferson Right, a book detailing what he says are Barton's distortions. As to Jefferson's faith, Throckmorton says there is no dispute among historians: Jefferson questioned the most basic tenets of Christianity.
?He didn't see Jesus as God,? Throckmorton says. He didn't believe that Jesus performed miracles, he dismissed the Trinity. Throckmorton notes that when Jefferson decided to write his own version of the Gospels, now called the Jefferson Bible, ?he said he was taking ?diamonds as if from a dunghill.? So he picked out the Sermon on the Mount and the golden rule ? those were the ?diamonds.? But the ?dunghill? was the virgin birth, the resurrection of Christ, the Great Commission.?
Hagerty also pointed about ?another ?lie? about Jefferson that Barton sets out to ?debunk.? Barton says Jefferson ? who owned nearly 200 slaves ? was a civil rights visionary.
?Had his plans been followed, Virginia would've ended slavery really early on,? Barton says. ?They would have gone much more toward civil rights. He was not as advanced in his views of slavery as say, John Adams in New England, but he certainly was no racist in that sense.?
Barton quotes Virginia law that he says prohibited Jefferson from freeing his slaves during his lifetime ? but Barton omits the section of the law that says Virginians could free slaves. Confronted by this, Barton says that Jefferson could not afford to free his slaves.
Of late, Barton?s complete disinterest in the difference between fact and ?historical reclamation,? as he calls it, has caused quite a ruckus in my adopted home state of Alabama, where a coterie of Christian nationalists at Alabama Public Television appear to have fired two executives for refusing to broadcast Barton?s pseudo-historical claptrap.
In the wake of the firings, several prominent board members and other officials resigned. A coalition of liberal pastors, along Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (disclosure: I also blog for the SPLC) delivered to APT 114,000 signatures from people who objected to broadcasting Barton?s work on public television.
And on Wednesday, an Alabama state judge ruled that one of the executive may proceed with a lawsuit claiming that the commissioners who fired him violated the state?s open meetings law by discussing his job status behind closed doors.
?As a Christian and a pastor and a father and a grandfather, I?ve always trusted public television to be a source of appropriate entertainment and also reliable information about history and culture,? Rev. Darryl Kiehl of Hoover, Alabama?s Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church told The Birmingham News. ?I am disappointed that APT is even considering broadcasting David Barton?s history of America, what I believe is a biased and misdirected history.?
Here it is, courtesy of the Washington Blade:
?We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.?It's not a done deal yet, they will be working further on it in Detroit this weekend and then present it to delegates in Charlotte.
?We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.?
Republican Party response:
Sometimes?albeit rarely?politics surprises you pleasantly. This is one of those times for me.
The cult of the savvy dismissed Harry Reid's claim that someone told him Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for ten years as just a ploy to focus attention on the non-release of the Republican nominee's tax returns. Surely Romney paid SOME taxes from[...]
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The Energy Report: Bill, Argentina’s government decided to pull Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales’ licenses. Are you concerned that the political climate there will drive away potential investors just when you’ve started recommending projects in the . . . → Read More: It’s Time to Invest in Argentina’s Oil and Gas Plays: Bill Newman
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A great story on the one-cent sales tax referendum can be found in the Coastal Observer. Here's some key points from the article.
- County Council is considering eliminating the impact fee if the sales tax referendum passes and could have the first two readings of such an ordinance approved before Nov. 6.
- Johnny Wright, chairman of the Orangeburg County Council, said voters in his county have approved a third sales tax referendum, even though their second one won?t expire until 2013. ?It?s been a blessing for us,? he said. ?In this economic downturn, without the penny sales tax to help us out, we would be in trouble."
Wright said Orangeburg County and its 17 municipalities formed a partnership to distribute proceeds from the sales tax on a formula based on population. The towns have identified infrastructure needs ? roads, water/sewer and buildings ? that benefit them most. Wright said Orangeburg?s first sales tax produced $68 million by the time it expired in 2004. Its second is on track to bring in $74 million before it expires next year. Estimates for the third round exceed $84 million.
- (Tim) Tilley said the Port of Georgetown has lost business to Virginia Beach, Va., Wilmington, N.C., Savannah, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla.
?We cannot lose an asset that valuable,? he said. ?There are very few locations with a port. It can?t be squandered.?
In case you're interested, you can listen to me and guest host Mike Papantonio talking about climate catastrophe and who's really responsible on this Friday's Thom Hartmann radio show. The show airs live at 3:00 pm EST. The climate segment is scheduled for 3:30 EST. The Thom Hartmann radio link is here. The listen-locally link is here. It looks like there's an outlet in almost every state...