I'm not worried. The GOP doesn't believe in science, so how can something you don't believe in hurt you?The Republicans can just pass a platform plank saying Isaac doesn't exist.(Interestingly, a hurricane also caused problems for the GOP convention in 2008. But everyone knows the weather has a liberal bias.)
Perhaps the largest convention of climate science deniers in history — otherwise known as the 2012 Republican National Convention — starts Monday in Tampa, Florida. Unfortunately for the GOP, they are in the bull’s-eye of the latest track for tropical storm Isaac: Even worse, Tampa Bay has unique geography that puts it atop the list of U.S. cities most vulnerable to a direct hit from a major hurricane. As meteorologist and former hurricane hunter Jeff Masters explained last week:
About 1/3 of the 4-county Tampa Bay region lies within a flood plain. Over 800,000 people live in evacuation zones for a Category 1 hurricane, and 2 million people live in evacuation zones for a Category 5 hurricane.
Masters points out that in a worst-case scenario, the “Tampa Bay convention center would go under 20 feet of water, and St. Petersburg would become an island, as occurred during the 1848 hurricane”: Minnesota Public Radio chief meteorologist Paul Huttner pointed out today:
“If major evacuations are called for, Tampa’s geography makes it almost impossible to get everybody out of town to safer locations. In fact, possible last hour variations in the eventual track of Isaac may make it impossible to tell residents where to evacuate to.”
That is why the Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn takes any forecast of a major storm headed toward his city very seriously. If Isaac turns out to hurricane and bears down on the GOP convention in Tampa, Buckhorn told CNN, “Absolutely, we’re prepared to call it off”:
Two points on the global warming connection. First, the subject is inevitably going to come up if — as the anniversary of Katrina approaches — we have a hurricane bearing down on a party that in just four years has flipped from running on climate action to running away from climate science (see National Journal: ?The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones?). Second, as Kevin Trenberth, former head of Climate Analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, explained in the journal Climatic Change this year:
The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be?. The air is on average warmer and moister than it was prior to about 1970 and in turn has likely led to a 5?10 % effect on precipitation and storms that is greatly amplified in extremes. The warm moist air is readily advected onto land and caught up in weather systems as part of the hydrological cycle, where it contributes to more intense precipitation events that are widely observed to be occurring.
Global warming fuels more intense deluges from major storms like hurricanes. At the same time, warming-driven sea level rise makes storm surges more destructive. ?More than half the total hurricane damage in the U.S. (normalized for inflation and populations trends) was caused by just five events,? explained MIT hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel in an email to me a few years ago. Trenberth has said that because the extremes are disproportionately more destructive and because manmade warming makes them disproportionately more likely, climate change can become the “straw that breaks the camel’s back.” The irony of a hoard of GOP climate science deniers descending on this climate-endangered city was underscored when the Tampa Bay Tribune published an article Sunday by Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd, president-elect of the American Meteorological Society, on the many serious climate impacts the city faces: Sea level rise, brutal heat waves, ever-worsening deluges and urban flooding, and more intense hurricanes. Because of the combination of these impacts, major conventions are likely to skip the coastal cities of the Gulf during hurricane season in the coming decades. Sea level rise and ever-worsening storms will make the risks too high. And in the second half of the century, temperatures routinely exceeding 100°F in the summer will ruin many southern cities as convention sites. Of course, it’s not too late to avert the worst of climate change, but a certain obstructionist party would have to come to its senses and support preventive action now. That may seem impossible today, but consider the final irony. Here’s what Paul Ryan just said about “your President, or your Congressman, or your Senator” (on a different subject):
What if they knew approximately when it was going to happen, and what if they knew how to prevent it from happening and they had the time to do that but they just decided not to because it wasn’t good politics?
What if? People who live in green houses shouldn’t throw stones. Related Post:
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has flooded the airwaves with advertisements criticizing the Obama administration’s changes to the 1996 welfare reform law, accusing the administration of “gutting welfare reform” and removing the work requirements the law mandates. The ads are blatantly false, a point noted by independent fact-checkers, multiple media outlets, and even the newspaper cited in one of the ads.
This afternoon on CNN, Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer took Romney campaign chairman John Sununu to task over the false ads, reading directly from the Dept. of Health and Human Services directive that outlines the waiver program and the letters from Republican governors who asked for the waivers:
BLITZER: I’ll read to you, governor, the precise language from the Health and Human Services memo outlining what the states who seek this flexibility, and you were once a governor, and I’ll read to you what it says. It says the Department of Health and Human Services will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The secretary will not approve a waiver for an initiative that substantially likely to reduce access for assistance or employment for needy families.
SUNUNU: That’s correct.
BLITZER: They’re not going to approve anything unless it leads to greater opportunities for moving people from welfare to work.
SUNUNU: Look, to quote the president who signed the bill, it depends on what your definition of access is and expands is and background discussions were. The background discussions talked about broadening it to the point where you soften the hard reality of the work requirement. [...]
BLITZER: I don’t know, governor, if you’ve actually read the letters from the governors’ offices from Utah and Nevada, which I have here in front of me.
SUNUNU: I only heard their comments. I have not read their letters.
BLITZER: You should read the letters. Because I’ve read them in depth. [...]
BLITZER: We’ll make sure we’re precise. on this one, governor, on this — hold on a second. Hold on one second. On this one it’s not just CNN. It’s every major fact checking organization out there says he has not — has not gutted, has not gutted by any means the work requirements.
Sununu isn’t the first Republican to struggle to defend the false attacks on television. Last week, MSNBC host Chuck Todd called out Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) for defending the ads. Todd noted the same directives and letters Blitzer cited to make the case, and Branstand was unable to defend Romney’s stance.
The proposed changes, it bears noting, are being made because the 1996 welfare reform law, which celebrated its 16th birthday today, has failed to help many of the neediest Americans. The law may be an “unprecedented success” in the eyes of the Romney campaign, but the reality is that it achieved much of its reductions to welfare by kicking people out of the program, not by getting them jobs.
Following Montgomery and Mahoning counties, Ohio’s Medina County is seeking a way around Secretary of State Jon Husted’s directive banning early voting on weekends. The board of elections voted to ask Husted to modify the directive to allow early voting on Saturdays leading up to November 6. While Montgomery and Mahoning simply voted to hold weekend hours in defiance of the uniform schedule set by the Secretary of State. Medina, unlike the other two counties, leans Republican and voted for McCain in 2008. Elections officials said 7.6 percent of in-person early voters in the county cast ballots on the two Saturdays the board office was open.
As part of its latest round of secret-money attack ads, Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS is running a highly misleading and hypocritical attack spot hitting Democratic Senate nominee and former Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA). The ad, entitled “Cost,” slams Kaine for a comment he made last month that the bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011 “was the right thing to do.” The compromise saved the country from a potentially disastrous default on its national debt.
Republicans insisted that the debt-ceiling adjustment be paired with massive spending cuts. In the ad Crossroads GPS notes that because the spending cuts in the bill include cuts to the Defense budget, Virginia may see significant job losses, claiming:
Kaine called a plan that puts Defense spending at risk “the right thing,” but newspapers report that that plan could cost Virginia 200,000 jobs — second highest in the country — hitting [the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads] regions hardest. That’s Tim Kaine not putting Virginia first. Tell him: support a plan that protects Virginia jobs.
Watch the video:
The ad cites a July Richmond Times-Dispatch article for the Kaine quote in support of the compromise. Unlike the article, the ad does not note that prominent Virginia Republicans also supported the deal, including Gov. Bob McDonnell House Republican Leader Eric Cantor. In fact, six of Virginia’s eight Republican Congressmen voted for the bill containing those budget cuts.
The premise of the ad — that spending cuts cost jobs — flatly contradicts another ad the same group is running against Kaine. Their “Holes” ad attacks criticizes Kaine for being too big a spender and concludes with the tagline: “Tell Tim Kaine taxes & spending don’t create jobs. Push to cut the debt.”
Watch the video:
Either governments spending cuts cost jobs or they don’t. Taken in tandem, these ads almost suggest Crossroads GPS is more concerned with attacking Kaine than with presenting a consistent public policy argument.
Here's a pretty incredible story out of South Florida. David Rivera, a GOP Congressman who already has an impressive history of corruption, paid the bills for a fake Democratic primary candidate for his House seat. There is evidence here of federal[...]
Read The Full Article:
After being roundly criticized for writing an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on education deform, Campbell Brown made an appearance on Morning Joe this morning to discuss the absolute need for disclosure, though it seems she thinks there is one because this is an election year and people are choosing sides.
Maybe I'm just being naďve, but I always thought journalists should disclose direct connections to organizations which are critical of other organizations that journalist is criticizing. When your spouse sits on the board of StudentsFirstNY and is the top staffer assigned to Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan (who happens to have an extreme view on public education and teachers), I would think it's not simply a question of credibility, but also basic journalistic ethics.
To hear Brown tell it in this segment, the criticism she received for Senor's links to StudentsFirstNY and the Romney campaign were nothing more than some left-wing strategy to undo her Very Important Message. She whines about being unable to talk issues on the merits because someone mean will come along and try and undermine her credibility. She likens this to the current campaign discourse (or lack thereof).
BWAHAHAHAHA. Really? Because running out of the gate by saying unions enable sexual abusers is polite, issues-based discourse? Because Mitt Romney intentionally lying about what President Obama said is an invitation to talk issues on the merits? Because maybe knowing what backchannel associations exist is relevant to framing any debate with anyone?
Does it get any more disingenuous than this? When Sam Stein points out that he discloses his wife's association with the Obama Administration, we get a real dose of Campbell coming to Jesus. Begrudgingly. Brown agrees and admits that she "has no doubt that if she wrote about what she was planting in her garden someone would raise their hand and say she's married to a Romney guy." Dawwww, poor Campbell.
I think perhaps the moment that was most revealing came right after that whine, where she said "You can't win if you don't put it out there all the time."
I'm curious. Brown claims to be a journalist. What does it mean when a journalist says "You can't win"?
Granted, she has been writing op-eds. But even op-eds aren't about winning, are they? Aren't they about issues, and the merits of those issues? If they're about winning, then who is she winning for? What marks the end of the race, the finish line, the win?
Romney winning? StudentsFirstNY and Michelle Rhee privatizing New York schools? What is the "win" for Brown?
In the last kerfuffle online and off, Brown intentionally smeared unions with incendiary rhetoric which was intended to turn readers hard against them, calling them enablers of sexual assault. In fact, it wasn't enough for her to write it in the Wall Street Journal. She also called out AFT President Randi Weingarten on Twitter, asking her why the union protects teachers who commit sexual misconduct.
What she didn't mention was her own testimony the week before.
Not everyone who asked to speak was given a chance to. But Brown had been given the top speaking slot on the ?teacher quality? panel with testimony that coupled concern about sex abuse with statistics about low student test scores and college-readiness rates.
The speech she delivered was significantly different.
She had done away with discussion about student performance and added in three examples ? complete with names and salacious details ? of teachers who have not been fired despite being found to have behaved inappropriately.
After the meeting, Brown told GothamSchools why she had revised her testimony.
?I don?t think it was really what they were planning to focus on,? she said. ?But if we?re going to address quality, this certainly falls under it.?
Where was her outrage with StudentsFirstNY, who has their own link to someone accused of sexual assault but who also received the benefit of due process? Evidently due process is fine for Kevin Johnson, but not for any other teacher accused of inappropriate behavior.
It also didn't seem very important to Brown that Kevin Johnson escaped a full investigation because his then-"friend", now-spouse Michelle Rhee actually intervened on Johnson's behalf, vouching for his character as a "good guy." Johnson not only received the benefit of due process, but also the benefit of Rhee's backing. No full investigation, no consequences, nothing really. Why no outrage for that?
I'm not sure what Brown's goal was, other than possibly to rehabilitate her journo credentials or to echo the Romney whine about mean people in politics. But she certainly embodies the typical party-faithful Republican, who points fingers at others for doing what that Republican is doing already.
Disclose away, Campbell. It will certainly neutralize critics upset with your stealth hit, and it will also allow readers to weigh your opinion against your bias, which is what should have been done in the first place.
THE GOP CONVENTION in Tampa could be in for some improvisation.
It’s been 90 years since a major hurricane made a direct hit on Tampa. The last to strike Florida’s west coast was Hurricane Charley, a Category 4 packing 150 mph winds. The Aug. 13, 2004, storm was small yet powerful — and was initially forecast to strike the Tampa Bay area before it turned and slammed Port Charlotte, about 100 miles south
Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at Weatherunderground.com, said long-range storm track predictions five days in advance are notoriously inaccurate, often off an average of 260 miles. But Masters said the climate situation has improved chances that Florida could be in the system’s sights during the GOP event that runs Monday through Thursday.
“It would take a perfect storm of a scenario where a bunch of factors all conspire together,” Masters said. “But we definitely have to watch this one.”
As his health declined, Trinidad could not afford to take time off from his job at a Golden Farm supermarket in Kensington, NY, because his employers did not provide him with any paid sick leave — and by the time he eventually made it to a hospital emergency room, he was told he had advanced stomach cancer. As he underwent chemotherapy, he was unable to miss as much work as his doctors recommended to help facilitate his recovery.
Trinidad — who was also an activist in a local campaign for better working conditions and paid sick days at Golden Farm — was one of the more than one million New Yorkers who are forced to choose between their health and their job when they come down with an illness, underscoring the need for New York City’s proposed paid sick leave bill. The Paid Sick Days Act would set a minimum for paid sick days for the city’s employees, requiring businesses with 20 or more employees to provide at least nine days of annual paid sick leave, and those with 19 or fewer employees to provide at least five. Despite widespread support for the measure, however, Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) is blocking it from coming up for a vote in city council.
To honor Trinidad’s memory and pressure Quinn to reconsider her stance on the Paid Sick Days Act, local clergy members and community activists held a prayer vigil on the steps of the City Hall today at noon. Activists hope Quinn will honor Trinidad’s memory by advancing legislation that could help others in his situation. “Félix didn?t take a day off when he needed chemo because he was afraid of being fired,” Lucas Sánchez of New York Communities for Change explained.
Progressive organizations, including the National Domestic Workers Alliance, have partnered on a petition pressuring Quinn to bring the proposed bill to a vote. Local activism has also sprung up in other cities where paid sick leave is under attack, such as Orange County, Florida, where residents are fighting to get paid sick day legislation on the November ballot despite resistance from the big businesses that oppose it.
Tomorrow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to campaign in Hobbs, New Mexico, where he has said he will be ?describing a comprehensive energy plan.? The speech will be at Watson Truck & Supply, a trucking and oilfield services company in Hobbs that manufacturers drilling rig equipment, provides services for rigs, and hauls heavy equipment.
Interestingly, Watson Truck & Supply benefitted from $400,744 in stimulus funds, those from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act promoted by President Barack Obama that was signed into law in February 2009. As recovery.gov shows, the company was a stimulus vendor hired by the City of Hobbs. It used the funds for the ?purchase of building for transit center?:
This is of particular interest because both Romney and his vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) have strongly criticized the president?s stimulus and its results. Romney has said the president’s energy “vision has failed,” and on the three-year anniversary of the stimulus he released a statement saying “the only thing President Obama’s stimulus has produced is a series of broken promises.”
And it?s not the first time that Romney and Ryan have campaigned with beneficiaries of the stimulus or shown hypocrisy towards it. In June, Romney fundraised at the home of a recipient of stimulus funds. He also bashed the stimulus at a small Ohio college that took $80,000 in stimulus money. And just last week, it was revealed that Ryan helped various constituent groups acquire stimulus funds for bus services, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects while calling the package ?a wasteful spending spree.?
This campaign stop also runs counter to Romney?s consistent attacks on the Obama statement ?you didn?t build that.? Conservatives quickly pounced on the comment as belittling small business owners, whereas the full text of the president?s speech reveals that he was referring to the idea that government has helped successful individuals along the way. Benefits from the stimulus to Watson Truck & Supply is just one example of government support for small business owners.
Various studies have shown that the stimulus actually created millions of jobs and turned the economy around.
Jessica is the Manager of Research and Outreach for the Public Lands Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.