It's not only donors dropping out of the process. I believe that this White House has miscalculated the apathy in the mighty middle as well. We saw it here in North Carolina and Amendment One. The votes the anti-Amendment One side was counting on to[...]
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This report was originally published at Climate Central
Global warming isn’t uniform. The continental U.S. has warmed by about 1.3°F over the past 100 years, but the temperature increase hasn?t been the same everywhere: some places have warmed more than others, some less, and some not much at all. Natural variability explains some of the differences, and air pollution with fine aerosols screening incoming solar radiation could also be a factor.
The Temperature Change from 1912-2011:
The Temperature Change since 1970:
Our state-by-state analysis of warming over the past 100 years shows where it warmed the most and where it warmed the least. We found that no matter how much or how little a given state warmed over that 100-year period, the pace of warming in all regions accelerated dramatically starting in the 1970s, coinciding with the time when the effect of greenhouse gases began to overwhelm the other natural and human influences on climate at the global and continental scales.
We looked at average daily temperatures for the continental 48 states from 1912 to the present, and also from 1970 to the present and found:
This piece was originally published at Climate Central and was reprinted with permission.
In a rare “scoop” for an editorial cartoonist today, Matt Bors skewered a little-known National Rifle Association (NRA) program that offers insurance to cover policy holders’ costs should they become embroiled in a legal battle after shooting someone in self-defense.
The insurance — technically endorsed by the NRA and administered by Lockton Affinity exclusively for NRA members — is available as a rider to the “excess personal liability” plan. Here’s how the website advertises the added coverage for self-defense (emphasis in the original):
? Provides coverage up to the limit selected for criminal and civil defense costs.
? Cost of civil suit defense is provided in addition to the limit of liability for bodily injury and property damage.
? Criminal Defense Reimbursement is provided for alleged criminal actions involving self-defense when you are acquitted of such criminal charges or the charges are dropped.
The basic liability plan costs either $47 or $67 annually, for coverage up to $100,000 or $250,000, respectively. Though the coverage amounts stay the same, a policy holder can add the self-defense insurance by paying $118 or $165 for the lesser coverage, or between $187 and $254 for the larger plan. (The discrepancies are due to the different prices for coverage on two different webpages from the insurer.)
The NRA pushed its members in 2005 to support Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law — an exemption from arrest or prosecution in shootings where the police think the act was in self defense. When the law got bad press after police let the man who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin go free, the NRA refused to back down, continuing to support the law’s passage in other states (amid other acts of insensitivity around Martin’s shooting death).
Here’s Matt Bors’s cartoon skewering the insurance program:
JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon told the Senate Banking Committee today that he has not called heightened global banking regulations requiring banks to hold more capital “anti-American.” Dimon did, however, make that exact assertion last September when he claimed that the new global rules were aimed specifically at American banks and were thus “anti-American.”
Dimon denied that he had made the claim in response to a question from New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (D). Dimon said earlier in the hearing that he believes it’s a good thing that banks are more capitalized today than they were ahead the financial crisis. Menendez — who also challenged Dimon on whether the trade that caused JP Morgan’s massive loss had morphed into “Russian roulette” — asked if Dimon therefore regretted calling higher capital requirements anti-American. “No, I don’t think what you said is true,” Dimon replied:
MENENDEZ: When you reduce a hedge, or hedge a hedge, isn?t that really gambling?
DIMON: I don?t believe so, no.
MENENDEZ: So, this transaction that you said morphed, what did it morph into, Russian roulette?
DIMON: It morphed into something that I just can?t justify, that was just too risky for our company. [?]
MENENDEZ: I?ve heard you talk about the ?fortress balance sheet.? And I?m glad to hear you say to Senator Schumer that we should take comfort that banks are more collateralized, but in saying so, one way to think about this is I wonder what your views, do you regret calling the efforts to require banks to hold more money quote ?Un-American? and quote ?putting the nail in our coffin.? Today you cite the fortress balance sheet of your bank as a way to prevent against the challenges, but you railed against us when we were in fact trying to pursue greater capitalization of these banks. Is that a regret you have of those comments then?
DIMON: No, I don?t think what you said is true.
Watch the exchange:
Dimon’s point at the time may have been that the requirements were disproportionately aimed at American banks, but that’s because it was largely big American banks that put the world financial system in jeopardy. The requirements were aimed at JP Morgan, not America, as Matt Yglesias pointed out at the time: “There?s nothing ‘American’ about an ‘American’ bank like JP Morgan that should make us think that a regulation that?s bad for JP Morgan is somehow an attack on ‘America.’”
This week, Ebony magazine’s Marc Lamont Hill asked, “Why aren’t we fighting for CeCe McDonald?” McDonald, a trans woman of color, was out with some friends when they were assaulted with racist and transphobic epithets (“n*ggers,” “faggots,” and “chicks with dicks”) by two white women and a man. One of the women escalated the confrontation physically by striking McDonald with a cocktail glass that punctured her cheek and salivary gland. Fearing for her life, McDonald sought to defend herself, but at the end of the ensuing fight, it was the white man, Dean Schmitz, who was dead. McDonald was arrested, left with little choice but to plead guilty, and ultimately sentenced to 41 months in a men’s prison for second-degree manslaughter.
Hill painstakingly documents the many ways McDonald was unfairly treated from the moment the fight ended through her sentencing last week. Here are some examples from Hill’s retelling:
McDonald’s case exemplifies the worst biases in the criminal justice system, and in particular the many ways the Black trans community is criminalized for their identities, as Hill concludes:
In the final analysis, CeCe McDonald is a transgender Black woman who had the courage to ?stand her ground? and defend herself from a hate attack. As a punishment for surviving, she has been sentenced to 41 months of torture inside of a men?s prison.
Though McDonald’s case is substantially different from Trayvon Martin’s, Hill’s allusion to “stand your ground” laws is a reminder that the criminal justice system continues to disfavor members of minority groups.
There are still ways to help CeCe, such as writing her letters of support or donating to her support fund. The biggest imperative is to share her story and call out the blatant injustices that she has suffered. The Black trans community faces some of the highest rates of discrimination of any population, as documented in a large study last year:
By not identifying and correcting egregious mistakes like those committed against CeCe McDonald, society is doomed to repeat them.
I tend to be pretty lucky around these parts. Occasionally, someone will show up in comments here and complain about the fact that we’re talking about pop culture rather than politics, and y’all will set that person straight. Once in a very little while, a true creep will show up and comment on my looks based on a cartoon of my face, my sex life based on…I’m not even sure what exactly, or fantasize about seeing violence done to me, in which case the banhammer comes out, sometimes before y’all can even run them off. And as a media critic who does a lot of feminist work, I hate the fact that I’m grateful for the fact that I’m not harassed for doing my job.
Which is why I was so angry to hear about what’s happened to Anita Sarkeesian. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with her plight, Sarkeesian wanted to start a project to cover a subject that’s not exactly radical: the portrayal of women in video games. Her YouTube account, in which she explains the project, was flooded with comments equating her to the KKK, calling her a “fucking hypocrite slut,” comparing the project to an act of war, and flagging the video as promoting hatred or violence. Her Wikipedia page was vandalized, her picture replaced with pornographic images, and people tried to get the Kickstarter proposal Sarkeesian was using to raise money to support the project shut down. Fortunately, in this case, despite past issues with harassment victims, it seems like Kickstarter’s been more helpful to Sarkeesian than not.
But the whole incident is a reminder of how deeply some men are invested not simply in the structures that provide them tangible advantages, but in the conventions that let them wallow in culture that indulges their worst, stupidest impulses. And if folks are willing to fight this hard against someone doing criticism of journalism, there are others who will do worse to preserve the laws that give them privilege in the world. Culture in this area, as in so many others, is a canary in a coal mine. And women who complain about online harassment aren’t being oversensitive: they’re trying to stop an ugly cycle before it spirals out of control. Both psychologically and substantively, it’s key to our ability to do our work.
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An openly gay priest on Sunday urged Catholics to go against the Pope's wishes and vote "no" a November ballot measure that would enshrine Minnesota's same sex marriage ban in the state's Constitution.
Father Bob Pierson argued that Paragraph 1782 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church allows Catholics to make their own decisions in cases where their conscience is not in agreement with the church's doctrine.
The priest recalled that a "young theologian" named Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope, used to teach that people should follow their own inner voice.
"Our Holy Father taught in 1967 that we must obey our own conscience, even if it puts us at odds with the Pope," Pierson told the crowd of about 200 Catholics at an event in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina. "I doubt that he knew that he was going to be Pope when he said that."
"As Catholics we must follow our own conscience in making decisions such as how to vote," he continued. "My conscience tells me to vote no on the amendment because I have yet to hear a convincing reason why we need such an amendment to our state constitution. In fact, I believe the church does not have the right to force its moral teaching on others outside the fold."
"Too many of us have been thought to think of God in terms of God's judgement, rather than God's tremendous love and mercy," Pierson explained. "I believe this amendment violates an important principle in Catholic teaching, and that as Catholics, we can vote no."
St. Joseph's Catholic School in Moorhead, Minnesota recently fired Trish Cameron, who had taught there for 11 years, because she disagreed with the church's position on marriage equality.
A survey (PDF) released last week by Public Policy Polling indicated that the measure adding marriage discrimination to the Minnesota Constitution was on track to be defeated, with 49 percent opposed and only 43 percent in favor.
(h/t: The Huffington Post)
Undefeated by Robb Johnson with pictures of the 26/3/11 Anti Cuts march in London. Video by Robb & Arvin Johnson.
Above is a picture I took a few days ago of a piece of public art at Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston. You see in front of the sculpture a sign telling people not to climb the art. I’m not sure why I was a little bit surprised. People are always doing dumb things [...]
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In Rove's world, $10,000 is a small donor.Karl Rove's Super PAC and independent expenditure group announced the next phase of their campaign to put Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate:
Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads announced Wednesday they will spend a combined $4.6 million to run ads on broadcast and cable television in Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Nebraska, Nevada, and Virginia.So far this cycle, Republican-supporting independent groups and Super PACs have blown their Democratic rivals out of the water. As TPM reports:
The hard hitting spots attack Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Heidi Heitkamp, the Democrat's Senate candidate in North Dakota, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who's running for his old seat in Nebraska, Rep. Shelley Berkley, the Democrat's Senate candidate in Nevada, and former Gov. Tim Kaine, the Democrat's candidate in Virginia.
Republican-allied groups like 60 Plus, the Karl Rove-founded American Crossroads and the Chamber of Commerce have spent $36 million in Senate races already. Democratic-supporting groups have spent closer to $12 million.With the new ad buy, Republicans are looking at a nearly 4:1 spending advantage through June, and with Rove's group alone promising $300 million in spending, it could get much worse. The one bit of good news for Democrats is that there's still five months left before election day, and if Democratic allies step up, there is some room to close the gap. In fact, earlier today the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee called on Democrats to do just that:
Democrats are becoming more and more vocal in expressing to their donor base the need to pony up funds to outside spending groups ? the same third-party groups that still make many Democratic supporters cringe. On Tuesday, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee became the latest to tell Democrats to hold their nose and send money ? fast.The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has made similar comments recently and earlier this year the Obama campaign announced its support for the Priorities USA Super PAC which is boosting the Obama campaign. Unfortunately, there's a difference between calling for such donations and actually getting them, and as of now, there is much, much more money on the Republican side, and if things don't change, it will give them a huge advantage in the air wars.
?June, July and August are a critical time,? Guy Cecil, executive director of the DSCC, told TPM. ?We need our side to wake up.?