We now get to return to one of DCW's favorite topics: Hurricanes and conventions. We've been talking about it for years (here, here, here, here, here and here). With a reminder that if you ruled out any city that might get hit by a hurricane (Tampa, Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Miami, Miami, Miami, and even New York, Boston and Philly) and earthquakes (SF, LA), you wouldn't have many options left, not to mention that even St. Paul got impacted by a hurricane in the south, we have wondered what was the probability that Tampa would get hit by a hurricane during convention week.
In 2010, I made a barely educated guess of once every 200 years, or 0.5%.
In May, we noted:
Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center in Miami puts the chances of a hurricane hitting the Tampa Bay area during August at about 2 to 3 percent.For any given week in August, the chance may be one-half of 1 percent
And now we have one of the top hurricane specialists in the country, Dr. Jeff Masters, founder of WeatherUnderground:
Given that there have been two mass evacuations of Tampa during the past 25 years during the peak three-month period of hurricane season--August, September, and October--history suggests that the odds of a mass evacuation order being given during the 4-day period that the Republican National Convention is in town are probably around 0.2%.
Any tropical waves which might develop into hurricanes that could hit Tampa during the convention would have to come off the coast of Africa next week. Looking at the latest 16-day forecast from the GFS, all of the tropical waves coming off of Africa next week are predicted to exit too far north to make the long crossing of the Atlantic and threaten the Gulf Coast. While something could develop in the Gulf of Mexico from the remains of an old cold front, it is rare for such storms to grow strong enough to deserve mass evacuations. So far, early signs point to a hurricane-free Republican National Convention at the end of August.
0.5%, 0.5% and 0.2%. Pretty low (and a pretty good estimate from me in 2010!)
Masters has more on Tampa's hurricane history, including major storms in 1848 and 1921.
Here is a picture of the Willis Tower in Chicago. This picture is from this afternoon, The Willis Tower is the black building. It is the tallest building in Chicago and one of the tallest buildings in the world. You can go up on top of it and look around. The Willis Tower is the [...]
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Vice President Joe Biden told senior patrons at a restaurant today that there would be no changes to Social Security under an Obama-Biden Presidency, a guarantee that may force the top of the ticket to speak on this and other social insurance programs.[...]
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Here is a picture from the lobby of the Chicago Tribune building in Downtown Chicago. I took this picture this afternoon. I enjoyed this big map of our hemisphere.
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After months of leaving practically every element of his policy proposals on the level of abstraction, Mitt Romney has finally offered a bit of clarity. According to his policy director, a President Romney would overturn all of the cuts to Medicare included in the Affordable Care Act, a figure that initially totaled $500 billion but has increased to $700 billion in the three years since the bill became a law. The bulk of these cuts are noncontroversial?Paul Ryan's budget, notably, maintains them?and they don't harm seniors' care one bit, despite Romney's wild claims. But hey, any chance to fear-monger with old white folks about that scary man in the White House, right? As our own Jamelle Bouie wrote today, Romney needs to win a large majority of the elderly vote if he hopes to win in November.
What would it mean to leave Medicare untouched? Ezra Klein dug into the implications of Romney's promise, combined with his other budget plans. You will be shocked, no doubt, to learn that the numbers don't come close to adding up. The Republican nominee has vowed to keep defense spending at 4 percent of GDP while capping all spending at 20 percent of GDP, while leaving both Medicare and Social Security untouched. Per a study by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, that would mean all other aspects of the federal budget would have to be slashed by 40 percent in 2016. That jumps to 57 percent cuts by 2022. Sure, those are average estimations and since Romney has been a cheapskate with details he might spare veteran benefits while decimating environmental projections. But until he offers some specifics, it seems fair to imagine a Romney presidency would do a clean 40 percent slice and dice.
Klein argues that Romney's budget proposal should be treated as fantasy. "That?s not even remotely plausible," he writes. "The consequences would be catastrophic. The outcry would be deafening. And Romney has shown no stomach for selling such severe cuts." It's certainly true that the public would revolt as practically every government service disappeared. But if this is the platform Romney wants to run on, shouldn't it be treated in serious terms, rather than dismissing it as empty talk? After all, Romney doubled down on draconian measures when he selected Paul Ryan as his running mate. Thought games trying to discern the "real Romney" are a waste of time; the press needs to take him at his word when he says he wants to gut all spending outside the military and entitlements. There should be no question that Romney would run a red line through everything if it were solely up to him and his new partner in fiscal crime.
"The polite way to say why I didn?t have expectations is that I?m an African-American, northeastern Democrat in a safe state. Maybe if I was a Latino from Nevada or San Antonio (laughs)."
?Cory Booker, explaining why he doesn't have a headlining role at the National Democratic Convention
Maybe Ohio Senator Rob Portman wouldn't have been such a terrible choice for Mitt Romney. In a new Public Policy Polling survey, Obama has a slight 48-45 percent edge over Romney. That's close, but things don't look so good for Romney when you dig into the numbers: Forty-one percent approve of Romney, while 52 percent have negative views of the GOP candidate. They aren't particularly enamored with Romney's new running mate, either: Just 34 percent of Ohioans held favorable thoughts about Paul Ryan, compared to 33 percent who disapproved of the new VP contender.
For more polling information, go to The Prospect?s 2012 election map.Mitt RomneyThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsPratt?Romney familyLatter Day Saint movementBain CapitalRomneyGeorge W. RomneyPublic image of Mitt RomneyPoliticsBusiness
That's Paul Krugman, writing from an undisclosed location (vacation). Emphasis and paragraphing mine:So, let me clarify what I believe is really going on in the choice of Paul Ryan as VP nominee. It is not about satisfying the conservative base, which was motivated anyway by Obama-hatred; it is not about refocusing on the issues, because R&R are both determined to avoid providing any of...
One of the leaders of Hungary’s openly anti-Semitic Jobbik Party recently found out that his grandparents were victims of anti-Semitism. Csanad Szegedi has long served in a party that openly refers to Israeli Jews as “lice-infested, dirty murderers.” And though he was raised Presbyterian, he recently discovered that his mother’s parents were Jewish holocaust survivors. A recording that surfaced earlier this year captures Szegedi being told of his Jewish ancestry. His reaction is full of surprise, but then he promptly tries to bribe the person who told him into keeping the information secret. In June, Szegedi acknowledged his ancestry for the first time. He also stepped down from his party, citing his bribery attempts, not his Jewish heritage.
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Video: David Barton tells Glenn Beck that the Smithsonian is lying about Jefferson?s beliefs
David Barton wants a do-over.
The imaginative pseudo-historian, whose aptly-titled book The Jefferson Lies was pulled last week after publisher Thomas Nelson ?lost confidence in the book?s details,? told Glenn Beck?s ?The Blaze? that he wants to revise his book, fixing some errors and adding evidence to ?disprove? the claims of his critics:
Barton seemed anything but shaken by the controversy when he spoke via telephone with The Blaze. He freely answered questions about the controversy and explained that he?s prepared to respond to some of the critiques, while dismissing what he believes is an ?elevated level of hostility that?s not really rational in many ways.?
While he stands by his central arguments about Jefferson, Barton isn?t pretending to be immune from error. The historian said that the book has already gone through three or four printings and that there have been word and text changes based on spelling or grammar errors along the way. Also, he addressed a willingness to amend historical items, should they be pointed out and proven wrong by other academics.
?Our policy from day one on every book we?ve done [is] that if someone shows us valid things to change, we?ll change them,? Barton said.
Well, here are a couple of ?valid things? he may wish to look into. The Jefferson Lies, which a May poll by the History News Network was voted the ?least credible book in history?, characterizes Jefferson ? a slave-owner and deist who famously questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ ? as an ultra-Christian champion of civil rights.
And WWJ[efferson]D about Barton?s continued efforts to recast him as a Christian hardliner?
Let?s take a gander at some of the man?s own words on the subject of lies and the lying liars who tell them. In an 1800 letter responding to a friend?s warning that Philadelphia clergy were attacking Jefferson for his unorthodox beliefs, Jefferson wrote,
The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes, & they [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: & enough too in their opinion, & this is the cause of their printing lying pamphlets against me. . .
Today marks the 77th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act into law, creating arguably America’s most successful social program. “We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age,” FDR said on that day.
Today, as this table from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows, Social Security is keeping more than 20 million Americans out of poverty:
As CBPP’s Kathy Ruffing noted, Social Security is “the single most important source of income for its elderly beneficiaries, contributing on average two-thirds of income for recipients over age 65. For more than one-third of them, Social Security constitutes 90 percent or more of income…Without Social Security, nearly half of elderly Americans would live below the official poverty level; instead, fewer than 10 percent do.”
Conservatives — aided by a media content to misinform about the program’s finances — love scaremongering about Social Security, despite the fact that it is exceedingly easy to secure its solvency for decades to come. Any talk of cutting its benefits ignores the very real impact that it has on elderly, disabled, and young Americans.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has stated the rumor that WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange has been granted asylum is false. Using his Twitter account, he declared, "There is still no decision. I hope Foreign Ministry report."[...]
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