Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hottest November Ever


The globally averaged temperature for November 2013 was the warmest for November since record keeping began in the late 19th century, and was the 345th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

..."I'm just gettin warmed up!" -- Mother Nature

BOHICA, Jersey shore

According to a new study, the New Jersey shore will likely see a sea level rise of about 1.5 feet by 2050, and about 3.5 feet by 2100, at least a foot higher than the average global sea level rise over the rest of the century. Using a middle-range scenario for future sea level rise, the study found that by 2050, flooding caused by a 10-year storm, which has a 10 percent probability of occurring each year, would exceed all historic storms in Atlantic City.


 ..."I'm just gettin warmed up!" -- Mother Nature


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Gerrymandering and extremism

The House is supposedly the chamber with proportional representation yet the GOP holds a very large majority despite having polled over a million votes less than the loyal opposition. This is a very obvious symptom of the gerrymandering elephant in the room. The less obvious symptom is the extremism that safe-seat gerrymandering promotes: Only 64 of the 435 House races were decided within a 10 percentage-point margin. Of all incumbents vying to retain their seats in the general election, just 21 were defeated. (By comparison, 79 House races had margins of victory less than 10 percent in 2010 and 54 incumbents lost.) Meaning most races were decided in the primaries. And we've what happens to moderates in primaries, especially in the Tea Party era GOP. Until you rip redistricting from the grasp of politicians, gerrymandered extremist politics will be the rule, not the exception. http://www.governing.com/blogs/by-the-numbers/redistricting-gerrymandering-effect-2012-congressional-elections.html ... "The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place, we are entering a period of consequences." - Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fiscal Impasse 101

The Morning Plum: The GOP’s self-defeating strategy in fiscal fight
The real reason for the fiscal impasse is hiding right there in plain sight, and it can be summed up in two sentences:

1) Obama can’t sell entitlement cuts to his base, or indeed Democrats in general, without Republicans agreeing to new revenues, and has offered them a straightforward compromise — one that would anger the base on both sides — based on the premise that total victory for the GOP is not an acceptable or realistic outcome.

2) Republican leaders can’t even begin to acknowledge that Obama has offered them a real compromise, because they can’t sell their base on the idea that the President is being flexible, let alone get them to seriously entertain accepting any compromise with him, because the base sees total victory over Obama as the only acceptable outcome.

In essence, a variety of political constraints prevent Republican leaders from acknowledging the reality of the situation. That makes any reality-based dialog impossible. The press has largely failed to reckon with this basic disconnect, which is why the discussion continues to spin its wheels around irrelevant questions, such as whether the president’s outreach is “sincere” enough, as if hurt feelings have anything at all to do with the stalemate, or whether Democrats have gone quite far enough with their offer to Republicans, when the latter won’t even say whether there’s any compromise they could accept.

...rinse, repeat

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Republican gerrymandering makes the difference in the House

Dana Milbank: Republican gerrymandering makes the difference in the House - The Washington Post
The final results from the November election were completed Friday, and they show that Democratic candidates for the House outpolled Republicans nationwide by nearly 1.4 million votes and more than a full percentage point — a greater margin than the preliminary figures showed in November. And that’s just the beginning of it: A new analysis finds that even if Democratic congressional candidates won the popular vote by seven percentage points nationwide, they still would not have gained control of the House.