In protest of the governor’s support for a far-reaching anti-abortion bill, Kansas women have taken to GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s Facebook page to criticize his position. The postings mocked Brownback’s seemingly excessive interest in his neighbors’ reproductive and sexual health lives by addressing him as a women?s health expert:
He?s vowed to sign into law the onerous ?No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” ? a bill he freely admits that he has not read ? that would permit doctors to withhold information from patients, force women to hear the fetal heartbeat prior to an abortion procedure, and contains the absolutely bananas provision that would require doctors to lie to women by telling them that abortions would increase the risk of breast cancer.
By Thursday, all of the comments from the “sarcasm bombing” had been scrubbed from Brownback’s Facebook wall, though RH Reality Check grabbed a couple of screenshots of the page:
Virginia Republicans faced similar backlash this week when residents of the state bombarded the Facebook pages of Republicans state Sen. Ryan McDougle — who sponsored the recently passed ultrasound bill — and Del. David Albo (R) with sarcastic posts “detailing anatomical happenings, asking questions and thanking Virginia Senate Republican caucus chairman Ryan McDougle for his concern of women?s health and rights.” Here’s a screenshot of the comments from DailyKos:
Host Charlie Brennan asked the three candidates — businessman John Brunner, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, and Rep. Todd Akin — “What is the federal minimum wage? Would you vote to increase it?” Here are their responses to the first question:
BRENNAN: Okay, do you know what the minimum wage is?
BRUNNER: No sir.
BRENNAN: How about you Sarah Steelman?
STEELMAN: Uh?$7.50 an hour.
BRENNAN: Do you know what the minimum wage is???
AKIN: My guess is its somewhere in the 6 or 7, but I don’t know the exact number right now.??
The federal minimum wage (and Missouri’s minimum wage) is $7.25 per hour. Certainly all three should know the wage level at which four million American workers are at or below. Akin, especially, should know, since in 2007 he voted against raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25.
The candidates’ explanations for not wanting to raise the minimum wage ranged from nonsensical (Brunner said his business gave “better than the minimum benefits”) to extreme, with Akin calling for scrapping the minimum wage altogether. “I don’t think the government should be setting prices on wages in any way shape or form,” said Akin.
Steelman was opposed to raising the minimum wage because she “think[s] it’s high enough as it is.” A person working a minimum-wage job for 40-hour work weeks with no vacation would earn just $15,080 over the course of the year, before taxes.
Perhaps explaining their ignorance of the current minimum wage is the fact that none of the three candidates personally live anywhere near it. Akin owns two homes and receives an annual congressional salary of $174,000. Steelman has donated upwards of $400,000 to her own Senate campaign. Brunner tops them all, sporting a net worth of approximately $100 million.
The Mississippi House passed an anti-immigrant bill on Thursday, putting the state one step closer to having a controversial, Alabama-style immigration policy. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) has endorsed this measure to deal with what he calls the nation’s “massive, uncontrolled? immigration policy,” and will likely sign it if the Senate passes it as well.
Lawmakers took out several controversial provisions before approving the bill 70-47, including one that required schools collect data on a new student’s immigration status and another that allowed officers to ask a person’s immigration status during a traffic stop. After HB 488 had failed at first, a Republican took out a provision that could have let public utilities refuse service to undocumented immigrants — a federal judge recently blocked the same policy in Alabama — so that legislators would approve it. And before debate had started, they stripped a clause that would have allowed police to arrest people for not carrying identification. But the changes were not enough for opponents of the bill, no matter how many times supporters insisted it was a good measure:
House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson, a Braxton Republican, denied opponents’ claims that the measure was racist or immoral, saying it was about enforcing the law. Gipson said he tried to craft a bill that would survive court challenges and allow charity toward migrants.
“It’s about the rule of law,” he told House members. “We want to say you’re welcome here, we just want you to follow the proper procedures, the proper protocols.”
Opponents warned families would be shattered by deportations and that the bill would reinforce outsiders’ stereotypes of Mississippi.
“If we pass this bill, it will set Mississippi back 60 years,” said Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, D-Gulfport. “Let us show America we are not the narrow-minded people they say we are.”
Williams-Barnes is right. No matter how many tweaks legislators make, this is still a bad, discriminatory policy that unfairly targets immigrants. Taking out the absolute worst provisions does not change the fact that this bill is designed to make the lives of undocumented immigrants unbearable in Mississippi so that they’ll leave. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Becky Currie (R), has said the goal of the immigration policy is to ensure that all workers are legal, but she clearly has not learned from Alabama’s mistake.
By making the state hostile to immigrants, Alabama is facing billions in economic losses and thousands of jobs gone. Farmers lost their crops without enough workers, and families have suffered greatly.
If the Mississippi Senate does not pass this immigration bill, then the state has a chance to avoid Alabama’s fate. Because as one immigration advocate asked, “Can Mississippi afford such a law?” The state should not have to learn the answer.
People for the American Way’s Josh Glasstetter has found what seems to be a connection between Invisible Children, the organization responsible for Kony 2012, and Martin Ssempa, a virulently anti-gay pastor in Uganda who advocates for the “Kill the Gays” bill. The link stems from a student group at Grove City College, an evangelical school, that worked with Invisible Children, and through it, Martin Ssempa:
STUDENT 1: A guy named Martin Ssempa came our way, who is a Ugandan-born world leader in the AIDS activism and abstinence education. He came to Grove City College and spoke to us and gave us the plan to send this shipment of ?love? over to Uganda.
STUDENT 2: Martin Ssempa is an amazing man. He just shared a lot about his vision for healing in Africa, particularly in his country.
The connection, if true, is not surprising. Alternet reported earlier this week that Invisible Children receives large sums of money from anti-gay groups linked to Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, The Fellowship Foundation (“The Family”), and Lou Engle’s The Call. While Kony 2012, an exposé on Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony that has been viewed nearly 80 million times on YouTube, is not explicitly anti-gay, it seems clear that Invisible Children is committed to a similar worldview as these other groups.
No doubt, Ssempa’s complete opposition to the separation of church and state aligns with the Christian Dominionist mentality that links the other organizations. He opposes the use of condoms to fight the spread of HIV, promoting instead abstinence-only education, but he is best known for his anti-gay evangelism. Ssempa shows gratuitous gay porn in his presentations, claiming homosexuality is an “abomination” and that all gay men engage in fisting and “anal licking.” Watch him discuss his opposition to homosexuality:
by Glenn Tamblyn, reposted from Skeptical Science
In a previous post we discussed how the argument that the Earth has stopped warming doesn’t make much sense because the people claiming this don’t know how to draw their ‘system boundaries’ correctly – how can you work out whether the Earth is warming if you don’t take account of all the places where it may be warming? And most commentary seems to only focus on surface temperatures. Which is only 3% of the Total Heat Content change.
So in this follow-on we would like to try and convey this warming from all the parts of the climate system in terms that we can all grasp. Grasp at an imaginative and visceral level. Because numbers, no matter how accurate, can be rather dry and hard to digest.
Previously we showed the following diagram from the IPCC’s 2007 AR4 report, highlighting the warming of the atmosphere and how small it was compared to the total warming.
Now we would like to focus on the total figure at the bottom and try to convert that into numbers that we can all get our heads around. To try and make numbers with lots of zeroes meaningful.
The total heat accumulation in the environment from 1961 to 2003 is estimated as 15.9 x 1022 Joules. Got that? Is that clear in your head? Now read on…
Next, this graph from the National Oceanographic Data Centre, looking at Ocean Heat Content in the upper half of the ocean shows the following:
Roughly 5 x 1022 Joules since 2003. Since the IPCC’s graph above up to 2003 shows that most of the energy from global warming is in the oceans, to a first approximation, Ocean Heat Content change since then is going to be close enough to the Total Heat Content change.
So, total heat content change from 1961 to 2011 – 50 years – is approximately 21 x 1022 joules.
(a joule is 1 watt for 1 second. So a 100 watt light bulb will use 100 joules in 1 second)
A BIG number but somewhat unreal. So how much heat is this. What could it do? What is it in the real world, where we don’t routinely look at numbers that big.
This is a rate of heating of 133 Terawatts. Or 0.261 Watts/m2
133 Terrawatts is 2 Hiroshima bombs a second. Continually since 1961.
Over 50 years it could heat around 500 trillion tonnes of water from 0 °C to 100 °C – around 870,000 Sydney Harbours.
If we now add in the heat needed to boil water dry once it has reached 100 °C and apply this to Sydney Harbour we calculate a very simple answer:
It would boil Sydney Harbour dry EVERY 12 HOURS!
One of the worlds great harbours boiling dry twice a day! And this has been happening for the last 50 years.
Imagine. You get up in the morning to go walk the dog before you go to work and there is Sydney Harbour – ferries, yachts, tourists. The Bridge (Australians still sometimes still call it the Coat-Hanger) and the Opera House. When you come home from work that night the ferries and the yachts are all sitting in the mud at the bottom of the now evaporated harbour. And this has been happening twice a day since before the Beatles first started making Hits.
But why don’t we notice this? Because instead of all this heating happening just in Sydney Harbour, this is spread out through out the worlds oceans. And they are huge: 2,300,000 times the size of Sydney Harbour. So heat that boils the harbour would only warm the entire ocean by a fraction of a degree. So we don’t notice it much. Not that it isn’t real, just that we don’t notice it.
And if this much heat had instead gone into just warming the atmosphere – you know, that thing we call Climate – it would have raised Air temperatures by around 42 °C over the last 1/2 Century! When I was in kindergarten, in 1961, a hot day at the beach was 35 °C. Imagine that it was now 77 °C
Where could this heat have come from?
Since the extra heat, mainly in the the oceans is the equivalent of warming the atmophere by 42 °C, if this heat had been extracted from the atmosphere to warm the oceans we would have seen a drop in Air temperatures of a similar scale: ? 40 °C or so of atmospheric cooling. I think we can agree that this hasn’t happened.
Similarly, if freezing of ice & snow was supplying heat that could warm the oceans – hard to imagine what the process might be but theoretically possible so we need to consider it – this would require the freezing of around 12,500 Billion tonnes of extra ice per year. In contrast actually 500 Billion tonnes of ice is melting each year. No, that isn’t the source.
Could it be Geothermal heat – heat coming from inside the Earth?
Sorry, no, that doesn’t work either.
The rate of geothermal flux to the surface, for the entire Earth is around 47 Terawatts. This comes from residual heat remaining from when the Earth was first formed and heat from radioactive decay of minerals within the Earth. And it doesn’t change suddenly. What is sudden? To a geologist, 100,000 years is sudden.
But this flow is only around 1/3rd of what is needed to account for the increase in heat. And since this flux has been very steady for a very long time, it can’t be the source of the change in heat content. Since it has been so constant for so long, the normal geothermal energy flow must be part of the normal heat balance. Therefore to account for the increase in heat content, the global geothermal heat flux would need to have increased by a factor of 4 over the last 1/2 century – 1 normal flow and 3 extra flows.
Suggest an idea like that to any geologist and just watch for the look on their face!
And now we have run out of terrestrial heat sources that might do the job. Since Geothermal Energy is the only energy source on the planet large enough to even conceivably supply this much energy and even it is too small, that leaves only one option left.
An imbalance in the heat flows to and from Space. Nothing else fits the evidence.
Lets be very clear about this: NOTHING ELSE FITS THE EVIDENCE
Not theory, not ideology, not political views, not internal variability, not questions over surface temperature records, not fudged or not fudged data, not hockey sticks or Medieval Warm Periods, or perhaps missing ‘hot-spots’.
The Earth is experiencing an energy imbalance with space!
NOTHING ELSE FITS THE EVIDENCE.
So what are left standing as viable explanations?
Greenhouse Gases and Clouds. Known Greenhouse Effect impacts of the GH gases, and possible changes in cloud behaviour. Exactly where most informed discussion of AGW occurs. The known impacts of GH Gases and the recognised uncertainties over cloud behaviour.
Lets look a little more closely at clouds. Clouds have both a cooling effect and a warming effect, depending on the type of cloud. See here and here. Low level clouds cause some cooling because they tend to reflect sunlight, while high level clouds cause some warming by trapping Infra-Red radiation.
However we can rule out the effect of low level clouds causing changes in reflection of sunlight as a cause. If the warming was because of this we would expect to see that Atmospheric warming would be strongest when the Sun is shining – Daytime & Summer. But its not – see here. Warming is happening just as much or more at Night-time or in Winter. In contrast the GH Effect operates 24/7. So low-level cloud changes can’t be the cause. The evidence just doesn’t fit.
So what we are left with are just 2 possibilities. High level clouds are increasing – relative to low level clouds, because it is the difference between their 2 effects that counts, or the GH gases are causing more of the GH effect.
Add to this that our understanding of the radiative effects of GH gases is based on masses of detailed data and is applied in many fields – Astronomy, Defence, Satellite observations of all types, Meteorology, even designing Micro-wave ovens – oh, and Climate Science.
Whereas the “It’s the clouds” answer requires that certain types of clouds have become more common, but other types haven’t. Without any viable mechanism to explain why.
It has been suggested that Cosmic Rays may influence cloud formation, and this is certainly a possibility although the evidence suggests the effect if it exists isn’t very strong. And this theory is based on Cosmic Ray levels reaching the Earth varying over the 11 year Solar Cycle. So this can’t explain continuous warming over nearly 5 Solar Cycles – there would need to be a long term trend in Cosmic Ray levels which isn’t supported by the observations. And this theory predicts that the changes will occur in low-level clouds and as we discussed earlier, this sort of change is contradicted by the evidence about when the warming is happening.
So, we have a solid understanding of the effect of the GH gases, and clouds need to be doing some surprising flip-flops to be the only possible alternative explanation.
Can we totally rule out cloud flip-flops? No. But what are the odds that masses of detailed data are wrong but instead ‘something else’ is happening. Possible yes. But probable? Likely? No.
All this can be deduced from one simple number – 21 x 1022 – that removes almost all other considerations from the table.
Its GH Gases or high level cloud changes. NOTHING ELSE FITS THE DATA.
When the first analyses of Ocean Heat Content calculated from old temperature data from the oceans where first published in the early 2000′s, they were described as the ‘Smoking Gun’. Because they were. They are the primary observational evidence for Global Warming and the human nature of it.
So think about this the next time you look at a picture of Sydney Harbour. Or any other harbour of your choice.
As it boils dry in your minds eye, ask ‘Why?’. The possible answers to your question are very limited. Very limited indeed.
This piece was originally published at Skeptical Science.
Wisconsin State Senator Pam Galloway, having found herself squarely in the sights of a bitter and hard fought recall campaign, has become the first rat to jump ship rather than face the music. In a variation on the old "resign to spend more time with my family" routine used almost invariably by every political cockroach unable to escape the light of public scrutiny, Senator Galloway said today:
Today I am announcing my retirement from the Wisconsin State Senate. After a great deal of thought and consideration, I've decided to put the needs of my family first. My family has experienced multiple, sudden and serious health issues, which require my full attention. Unfortunately this situation is not compatible with fulfilling my obligations as State Senator or running for re-election at this time.
I thank my colleagues for all their support, and I wish them all the best in their work to rebuild this state. For the sake of the electorate, I hope that better days are ahead for this institution.
I wish Ms. Galloway the best in regard to any health issues being faced by any members of her family but I'm just not buying it as her sole reason for quitting and would bet my best saddle that had she not been the subject of the recall and or had recall supporters been unable to garner the required number of signatures to put the lady's job on the line, the thought of bailing would never have entered her mind, especially given some of the collateral damage that will be inflicted on her party which... as in the case of every radical conservative... has always come before anything else. And let's face it folks, nobody takes themselves off the more than generous Koch funded payroll unless there's something huge about to come out.
Wisconsin state Sen. Pam Galloway (R) is resigning from the chamber today, citing a family health situation. Galloway was one of the targeted incumbents in upcoming recall elections.
This also means that as of now, the Republicans have officially lost their Senate majority, leaving the chamber split 16-16. The recall elections to come will determine who takes the majority.
The recall for her seat, however, is still going ahead as scheduled, though Republicans will have to find a new candidate in what is now the special election for an open seat. The recall rules do provide, however, that her name will not be on the ballot if she resigns this soon.
State Senator Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R), who is also facing a recall, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he was confident Galloway would have won her election.
Uh huh. That's why all those people signed those petitions to require Ms. Galloway AND Mr. Fitzgerald to hump themselves into the court of public opinion and explain to the Wisconsin taxpayers just why they have done the things they've done... both the ones we know about and the ones we don't.
As far as I'm concerned, whether shes just trying to scurry out of the spotlight or not, what she's doing by resigning is a lot more beneficial to the good folks of Wisconsin that electing to brazen it out and try to force themselves down the throats of the people again like Mr. Fitzgerald appears more than ready to do
I seriously doubt that Ms. Galloway will be missed by anyone other than possibly Mr. Fitzgerald and the rest of their democracy destruction crew who will do so if for no other reason than they've lost their ability to arbitrarily inflict stupid crap on the people of their state and especially those who oppose them. In the meantime, congratulations Wisconsin, that's one down. Don't let up on the rest of them.
If turnout in the Republican primary were proportional to the population in Illinois, Mitt Romney would almost certainly win the state - likely by double digits. But it won't be.
Read The Full Article:
While some state polling by PPP indicates that Newt Gingrich dropping out of the race would be a clear benefit for Rick Santorum, Gallup national polling found it would have no significant impact. According to Gallup, 40% of Gingrich supporters' second[...]
Read The Full Article:
The Upside to a Natural Gas Downturn
By Marin Katusa, Casey Research
The energy market is a complex beast, its many parts interconnected through a multitude of linkages. When one part fails, the entire system reacts: certain linkages are burdened with extra stress, while other components sit idle. Only by studying the entire machine can one understand the rippling effects that stem from one change.
With the energy market, the system is made up of various sectors ? oil, natural gas, uranium, coal, and alternative energies ? and the countries that have each of those energy resources. The components are then linked through a long line of forces, including the geographic distributions of supply and demand, international allegiances and . . . → Read More: The Upside to a Natural Gas Downturn
Read The Full Article:
- Illinois congressional primary preview, by David Nir
- The newfound contempt for veteran teachers, by Steve Singiser
- AFL-CIO calls for birth control access, immigration reform, and overturning Citizens United, by Laura Clawson
- Looking under the hood of recent national polls, by DemFromCT
- The Progressive Fight Against The Encroachment Of Religion On Our Secular Government, by Armando
- Sarah Palin's legacy is Mitt Romney's problem, by brooklynbadboy
- Women of color in women's history. Part three: African-Americans, by Denise Oliver Velez
?I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.?