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Roland Burris: ‘Stop the rush to judgment’ — In a fiesty speech today in Chicago, U.S. Sen. Roland Burris defended himself against growing questions and multiple probes about the circumstances surrounding his appointment by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. — “If I had done the things I've …
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
George McGovern To Be Honored At CPAC For ‘Courage Under Fire’ — In August 2008, former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern published an op-ed on the conservative editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal attacking the Employee Free Choice Act.
i wish i wuz not DEDmbye you herd about mee my name was eeCHEEna but no wun new that becus i cudnt tell them my reel name so thay all call me travus. they sayed i was a kind of pepl not like the pepul that had only har on top of there heds i has hare all[...]
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Do you owe back taxes? Sarah Palin does, and she's going to have to pay them. Way back when, there was an issue about whether she should have to pay taxes on the expense money she received FOR LIVING AT HOME. Yes, that's right. Instead of living in the actual state capital of Juneau, Alaska, Sarah lived at home, and charged the state not only for commuting charges, but for a per diem.
Well, it's time to pay the piper. Anchorage Daily News is reporting that:
Gov. Sarah Palin must pay income taxes on thousands of dollars in expense money she received while living at her Wasilla home, under a new determination by state officials.
[...]Palin billed the state for 312 nights spent in her Wasilla home during her first 19 months in office, according to the Washington Post. She received $60 a day tax free, money intended to cover meals and incidentals, while traveling on state business, her travel forms show.[...]
The governor's office wouldn't say this week how much she owes in back taxes for meal money, or whether she intends to continue to receive the per diem allowance. As of December, she was still charging the state for meals and incidentals.
Incidentally, it appears that Mark Begich, along with a bunch of state employees, also owes some back taxes.
The Politico story about the survey said his situation echoed that of Tom Daschle, who had to step down as President Barack Obama's pick for health secretary after revelations about back taxes, including taxes owed for a limo and driver.
"For Politico to say it's the same as Daschle -- that's bunk," Begich said.
THE WEATHER MAKERS: HOW MAN IS CHANGING THE CLIMATE AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR LIFE ON EARTH by Tim Flannery
Reviewed by Thomas Riggins
Lets look at just some of the problems we create by burning coal, according to the scientific evidence in Flannery's book.
There are wee bits of dust and particulate matter that drifts in the atmosphere. They are called aerosols. Coal burning plants in the U.S. now pump so many aerosols into the atmosphere that they kill about 60,000 people per year in this country alone (increased mortality thru lung diseases). Lung cancer rates are higher around areas with coal burning plants.
Aerosols also influence "global dimming." This is a phenomenon whereby
less sunlight can reach the earth. Soot aerosols, along with jet trails, reflect sunlight back into space cooling the earth. But we are putting so much CO2 into the air that the heat being trapped is greater than the heat being reflected into space. Therefore the earth is warming up. The only thing that can prevent an ecological disaster is to start removing CO2 from the air (which we have not figured out how to do in any meaningful way).
If we stopped putting CO2 into the air today the CO2 already there will continue to heat the earth for decades. So, we are facing a big problem.
Here are some interesting statements from Flannery. It seems that if all new greenhouse gasses were immediately stopped from entering the air, the ones already in the air would continue to heat up the planet until 2050 or so. Then the atmosphere would stabilize at a new higher annual temperature. But we are no way near halting our polluting ways! In fact, we should note that "half the energy" we have burned since the beginning of the industrial revolution has been burned in just the last 20 years. So our polluting is becoming more intense.
Here is what we have to do to stabilize the climate around 2100-- we would need to reduce CO2 by 70% of the 1990 level by 2050. Then we would have CO2 at 450 parts per million. Flannery thinks it more realistic to aim at 550 parts per million with climate stabilization "centuries from now." The earth would end up around 5.4 degrees F [or 3 C] hotter by 2100 than it is now.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change says we must prevent "dangerous" climate change. So what constitutes dangerous climate change? It seems the consensus is about 2 degrees C-- anything over that may lead to disaster. So 2C is the most we can stand for, and if we get to work NOW we may still get 3C by 2100, the outlook is not so hot (no pun intended).
"Earth's average temperature," Flannery writes, "is around 59 degrees F, and whether we allow it to rise by a single degree or 5 degrees F will decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of species, and most probably billions of people."
Besides oceans, rain forests and coral reefs, the world's mountains are also experiencing rapid change. You can forget the snows of Kilimanjaro and the glaciers of New Guinea. The CO2 already in the atmosphere has doomed them and they will be gone in just a few decades.
As the earth warms the mountain habitat changes and animals who were lower down on the mountain move to the top while the topmost species go extinct. We are now in the process of losing mountain gorillas, panda bears and many plant species.
Flannery says some species benefit from global warming. The Anopheles mosquito is spreading and the malaria parasites it spreads will soon be infecting "tens of thousands of people without any resistance to the disease."
Obama's stimulus bill, whatever else it does, may be a boon for malaria parasites. It contains one billion dollars for the coal industry to help develop "clean coal" [there is no such animal] which fosters the illusion that we can survive without closing down the coal industry itself.
We can't save everything, but scientists think if we start taking strong action now we will ONLY lose one third of all existing species on earth. If we don't take action, then by 2100 we will have doomed 60% of existing species to extinction. Is burning coal and other fossil fuels really worth it?
Don't think calculations have not been made. Economists working for the UN in conjunction with the World Meteorological Association have done calculations that concluded it was too expensive to really halt climate change. The rich nations will be able to deal with it. The billions of poor in the Third World will be the ones to suffer but, the economists calculated that the life of a poor person was "worth only a fifteenth of that of a rich person." It is just not cost effective, according to them, to try and save the poor. At this point I wish Flannery would refer to Marxism, but alas he seems not to be a Marxist.
More grim news to come!
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Zack Roth looks at the cast of characters in the orbit of Sir Allen Stanford and finds familiar names from other recent scandals popping up again and again -- from Abramoff to Blagojevich.We've also dug up photographs from a 2005 congressional junket to[...]
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Here we go again. We need stability and a few positive surprises before this ship is righted and this downgrade - which will surely be downgraded again - is not helping.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday sharply downgraded its projections for the country's economic performance this year, predicting the economy will actually shrink and unemployment will rise higher.Tell me again why the Democrats are allowing the GOP to give lectures on the economy? This is the GOP's fault and they still can't accept any responsibility let alone a decent idea on how to get us out of this recession
Under the new projections, the unemployment rate will rise to between 8.5 and 8.8 percent this year. The old forecasts, issued in mid-November, predicted the jobless rate would rise to between 7.1 and 7.6 percent.
The Fed also believes the economy will contract this year between 0.5 and 1.3 percent. The old forecast said the economy could shrink by 0.2 percent or expand by 1.1 percent.
The bleaker outlook represents the growing toll of the worst housing, credit and financial crises since the 1930s. All of those negative forces have plunged the nation into a recession, now in its second year.
The Caribbean's seedy underbelly exposed for the world to see.
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The February 18 editions of ABCNews.com's The Note and the Politico's Playbook both highlighted a February 18 Washington Times article titled "Obama has new flag frenzy: White House embraces a backdrop of red, white and blue," with ABC News describing the article as a "Must-Read," and Playbook author Mike Allen writing, "Cable's gonna go cuckoo over this WashTimes A1er." The Times article, however, rehashes several false and baseless claims regarding President Obama's presidential campaign and[...]
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A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Meg White
There are a lot of convincing economists out there calling for nationalizing the U.S. banking industry. Aside from my favorite economist, there's this other Nobel prize-winning economist, this economics journalist, this former economist for J.P. Morgan and dozens more. And what about this professor of economics or these other two?
To be clear, virtually no one is suggesting nationalization as a permanent solution. The government-run banks would eventually be sold off and privatized after being deemed stable enough to attract a fair price.
I realize this isn't a scientific study. And I'm not an economist. But there's something to this sea change.
On ABC's This Week over the weekend, fiscal conservatives Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said we should consider nationalization. Perhaps the most shocking convert so far is former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan. The man Financial Times calls the 'high priest of laisser-faire capitalism' said he now supports nationalizing banks. The question now is who still opposes temporary nationalization of failed banks?Bookmark/Search this post with: buzzflash | delicious | digg | yahoo | technorati Technorati Tags: Analysis bank nationalize bank nationalization obama treasury economy bad bank shareholder asset capital economist