Our round-up of the latest in climate and clean energy. Please post additional links below
The U.S. government is creating a ?boom and bust? in renewable energy investment that threatens to undermine its lead over China, the Pew Charitable Trusts said in a report. Phyllis Cuttino, Pew?s clean energy director, said ?In the absence of long-term policy, it?s hard to see how the U.S. can grow significantly in the future.? [Bloomberg]
In 2011, it was Texas that went up in flames, with a historic drought and searing heat wave leading to the worst wildfire season on record. A year later, another southern state affected by intense drought is bracing for a destructive wildfire season: Florida. [Climate Central]
Scientists studying the environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are raising fresh concerns about the effect of the leaked crude on a range of sea life, from tiny animal plankton to dolphins. [Wall Street Journal]
Fire experts say this year?s drought, low snowpack and record-high temperatures in much of the West portend a dangerous installment of what has become a year-round wildfire threat. [Washington Post]
The Environmental Protection Agency wants cleaner air at national parks across the country, including Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend in Texas. By November, it is supposed to complete a plan that could regulate emissions from dozens of Texas? industrial plants, with the goal of reducing haze at parks. [New York Times]
Climate change is likely to wreak havoc on California?s forests. Extreme weather, wildfires and insect outbreaks will all take a toll. Add to those another looming threat: disease. Forest diseases like Sudden Oak Death, which has infected trees in 14 counties in the state, stand to benefit from the effects of climate change, to the detriment, obviously, of the trees. [National Public Radio]
Rapid climate change and its potential to intensify droughts and floods could threaten Asia’s rice production and pose a significant threat to millions of people across the region, leading climate specialists and agricultural scientists have warned. [Zeenews]
Sea levels in the southwest Pacific started rising drastically in the 1880s, with a notable peak in the 1990s thought to be linked to human-induced climate change, according to a new study. [AFP]
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteThis is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.Find the past "On This Day in History" here.April 13 is the 103rd day of the year (104th in leap years)[...]
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Gun lobbyists and their minions in state legislatures want us to believe that making it legal for people to shoot others because they feel threatened should be called “standing your ground.” A better name would be ?Kill-At- Will,” a more apt description coined by Media Matters Action Network. And those of us who oppose these [...]Related posts:
Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.Leading Off:
? CA-26: Please, please promise me you'll watch to the very end of this ridiculous, crappily-produced television ad (that is actually on the air!) from Republican-turned-independent Linda Parks. I assure you, the last line is very much worth waiting for:
Sebelius says HHS don’t have a backup plan: “HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that it would ‘probably’ be a good idea for the department to have a backup plan in case the Supreme Court strikes down the health reform law, but the department isn?t working on one.” [Politico]
Anti-abortion groups back Romney: The National Right to Life Committee, the nation’s oldest anti-abortion-rights organization, announced their support for Mitt Romney. “It is now time for pro-life Americans to unite behind Mitt Romney,” said Carol Tobias, president of the group. “While some would like to call into question Mitt Romney’s pro-life position, let me state clearly and emphatically, Mitt Romney is pro-life.” [MSNBC]
Catholic bishops issue ‘call to action’ on religious freedom: “All Americans should be “on guard” as the Obama administration threatens religious liberty, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops declared Thursday.” [Healthwatch]
Cuomo signs order to create insurance exchange: “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order for his state to join the 13 others that have established health insurance exchanges.” ?Establishing the health exchange will bring true competition into the healthcare marketplace, driving costs down across the state,? Cuomo said in a news release. [Modern Healthcare]
Nebraska senators vote to restore prenatal coverage: “Close to 70 people gathered on the Capitol steps Wednesday evening to celebrate the passage of a bill that would restore prenatal care to women who lost Medicaid insurance two years ago. But they acknowledged there is more work to do as Gov. Dave Heineman has promised to veto the bill.” [Journal Star]
Welcome to Justiceline, ThinkProgress Justice?s morning round-up of the latest legal news and developments. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @TPJustice.
Occasional Planet: When slaves sued for freedom.
Barkers & Rubes: Dominionism is destroying our society.
Mock, Paper, Scissors: Guide to the VP Sweepstakes.
Finally, a happy-but-cautious Friday the 13th to Churchy LaFemme.
Guest post by Batocchio. Email tips to mbru AT crooksandliars DOT com.
A variety of links to articles/interviews/speeches on current issues that may be of interest.[...]
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Visual source: Newseum
James Downie at The Washington Post on the Romney vs. Rosen dust-up:
To tie so many talking heads who appear on cable every dayto either campaign is a preposterous exercise, and a standard neither side of the political debate should want. If the Obama camp is responsible for Rosen, is Romney responsible for GOP Rep. Allen West?s outrageous accusation that 80 Democrats are communists? Is he responsible for Sherriff Joe Arapaio (Romney?s ?08 Arizona campaign chairman) and his birther conspiracy theories? Absolutely not. If that were the standard, the campaign would just be day after day of candidates disavowing random pundits and supporters? comments. That Republicans feel they have to stoop to this suggests a real desperation. Let?s not let this become the new normal.Now, on to the substantive issues.
David Jackson at USA Today makes a really important point:
Let's get one thing straight: The "Buffett Rule" that President Obama is promoting this week has no chance of passing.Bill Press looks at how Republicans have repudiated Ronald Reagan on taxes:
Even if the Republicans don't block it in the Senate -- and they will -- the GOP-run House will never sign off on the proposal that millionaires and billionaires pay at least the same tax rate as middle-class Americans.
But the issue of higher taxes on the wealthy is very much alive this campaign season, thanks to something that is scheduled to happen after the Nov. 6 election: The expiration of the George W. Bush tax cuts. [...]
White House spokesman Jay Carney cast it as "a choice between investing in education and innovation and infrastructure -- building an economic foundation for the future -- or providing tax benefits to folks who haven't even asked for them." [...] When talk of the Buffett Rule has faded, we'll be hearing about the Bush tax cuts before, during, and after the election.
McConnell and other Republicans also say they could never ask millionaires to pay more because that would violate the spirit of Republican icon Ronald Reagan, which just proves that they don't know Ronald Reagan any better than some evangelists know Jesus.Calvin Woodward at Bloomberg factchecks Romeny's claims that 92% of jobs lost during President Obama's term have been lost by women:
President Reagan, in fact, did not oppose the principle of the Buffett Rule. He was the first to champion it. Speaking at Northside High School in Atlanta, Ga., on June 6, 1985, Reagan vowed to get rid of loopholes that created unfairness in the tax code. "Some of those loopholes were understandable," he acknowledged, "but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary -- and that's crazy!"
A few weeks later, speaking at the White House, Reagan doubled-down on tax fairness, citing a letter he'd received from a wealthy American who, like Buffett, simply by taking advantage of loopholes, was able to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary. "He wrote me the letter to tell me he'd like to come to Washington and testify before Congress as to how that's possible for him to do -- and why it is wrong!"
Again, that was no wild-eyed socialist. That was Ronald Reagan. In keeping with history, President Obama offered this week to change the name of his plan from the Buffett Rule to the "Reagan Rule," if that would make it easier for Republicans to vote for it. But, of course, that wouldn't work. Today's Republicans would rather repudiate Ronald Reagan than cross uber-lobbyist Grover Norquist, who has cowed them all into voting against any new taxes. Reagan was lucky to run for president when he did. He couldn't win a primary in today's Republican Party.
Mitt Romney has come up with an "amazing statistic" and Republicans inside and outside his presidential campaign are doing their utmost to spread it around: "92.3 percent of all the jobs lost during the Obama years have been lost by women."Tina Dupuy at The Statesman Journal says Republicans don't need a war on women, they needed a war on religion to motivate their base:
Amazing it may be. As a meaningful measure of Obama's economic record and its effect on women, though, it is dubious at best.
Romney's math is solid as far as it goes. But more men than women have lost jobs since the recession began -- that's why economists called it a "man-cession."
Their intention was to march two Republican-created boogiemen into a battle that would make the War on Christmas cringe: ObamaCare and ObamaIsAMuslim. The Affordable Care Act stipulates birth control be included in insurance coverage instead of forcing women to pay out of pocket for such medications. This was the shot across the bow for the GOP to start their war. Republican sage, Congressman Darrell Issa, called a bunch of men of faith (yes, all men) to testify to Congress how the provision in the health care law regarding birth control would adversely affect them.Jonathan Alter takes on the Ryan-Romney tax cut plana and demolishes its premise with facts:
Then the right-wing echosphere spent the next week bouncing the sound bite: ?This isn?t about contraception. This is about religious freedom.?
America?s right-wing: Afraid of Muslims, suspicious of Mormons, terrified of atheists and martyrs of religious freedom.
Republicans botched their war on religion with the word ?slut.? Oh and by proposing laws against women getting equal pay, and a right to privacy or recourse if a doctor lies to them.
The new plan offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and approved recently by Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans puts the Republicans on record supporting a federal government that within a decade will consist of little more than national defense, entitlements and interest on the national debt.
Those are largely transfer payments to defense contractors, seniors and bankers. The rest of what the government actually does would be eviscerated, from building roads to environmental protection to medical research.
Ryan has abandoned the Republican fantasy on display during the primaries that cutting liberal spending programs will be enough to restore fiscal sanity. He?d go where the big money is -- entitlement reform -- and also eliminate a series of tax deductions used by the affluent, though in an April 10 editorial board session with Bloomberg View he was still mum on which ones.
In the 1994 investment classic The Warren Buffett Way, author Robert Hagstrom delves into great detail on the stocks that catapulted Buffett's fortune into what it is today. In the chapter describing Berkshire Hathaway's primary holdings, he quotes Buffett as saying "I find that a long-term familiarity with a company and its products is often helpful in evaluating it."
Familiarity, coupled with a great business that does nothing but grow, are two of Buffett's most important investment philosophies.
A holding period that for all effective purposes is "forever," is another of his cornerstones. At StreetAuthority, we refer to such stock holdings as "Forever Stocks," and it's little coincidence that many of the Forever Stocks we recommend happen to . . . → Read More: One of Buffett’s Favorite "Forever Stocks" Just Announced ANOTHER Dividend Increase…
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