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liberal N proud

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Member since: Sun Aug 8, 2004, 01:54 PM
Number of posts: 52,992

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America Is the Developed World's Second Most Ignorant Country

A couple of days ago Vox ran a story about a new Ipsos-MORI poll showing that Americans think the unemployment rate right now is an astonishing 32 percent—higher than during the Great Depression. The correct answer, of course, is about 6 percent. And this is not just a harmless bit of ignorance, like not being able to find Uruguay on a map. "It matters," we're told, "because the degree to which people perceive problems guides how they make political decisions."

My first thought when I saw this is the same one I have a lot: how has this changed over time? After all, if Americans always think the unemployment rate is way higher than it is, then it doesn't mean much. But I couldn't find any previous polling data on this. I made a few desultory attempts in between football games this weekend, but came up empty.

Luckily, John Sides is a stronger man than me, and also more familiar with the past literature on this stuff. It turns out there's not very much to look at, actually, but what there is suggests that this Ipsos-MORI poll is a weird outlier. Generally, speaking, most people do know roughly what the unemployment rate is:

In this 1986 article....two-thirds, stated that the unemployment rate was 10 percent, 11 percent, or 12 percent — a substantial degree of accuracy.


In this 2014 article....approximately 40-50 percent of respondents could estimate this rate within 1 percentage point.

In this 2014 article....most respondents gave fairly accurate estimates — which is reflected in the median.
Posted by liberal N proud | Mon Nov 17, 2014, 03:03 PM (12 replies)

The US Will See 50 Percent More Lightning Strikes, Thanks to Global Warming

By now we're familiar with some of the scarier potential impacts of climate change: Floods, fires, stronger hurricanes, violent conflicts. Well, here's a new one to add to your nightmares. Lightning strikes in the continental United States will increase roughly 12 percent for every degree Celsius of global warming, a study published today in Science finds. If warming continues unchecked, that could translate into a 50 percent increase in lightning by the end of the century—three strikes then for every two strikes now. (On average, there are currently about 25 million strikes per year.)

Does this mean an increase your odds of getting struck by lightning? Technically yes, I guess, but I wouldn't worry about that. Instead, the increase matters because lightning strikes are the principle cause of wildfires, which are already predicted to become more severe due to global warming. In one 24-hour period in August, lightning in Northern California started 34 wildfires. The study doesn't make any specific predictions about wildfire activity, but knowing about future lightning conditions is an important part of that equation.

This study presents a new proxy for lightning—a proxy that author David Romps of the University of California-Berkeley thinks is much stronger than any of the previous ones. It's actually a combination of two proxies: precipitation and "CAPE," a standard measure of the kinetic energy clouds hold as they rise in the atmosphere. Lightning is the product of electrical charges caused by ice particles of different densities colliding in clouds, so Romps chose factors that would be necessary for lightning to occur: Enough precipitation to form ice, and enough upward energy to keep the ice suspended.

Taken together, those proxies accurately predicted 77 percent of actual lightning strikes observed in the US in 2011 by a national web of electromagnetic sensors. That result, Romps said, is a sign that these proxies are "doing a remarkably good job" of representing lightning patterns.

Posted by liberal N proud | Fri Nov 14, 2014, 07:38 AM (4 replies)

This Cheat Sheet Will Make You Win Every Climate Argument


Of course this assumes you can talk to the right winger and that you can change the mind of a right winger.

Posted by liberal N proud | Wed Nov 12, 2014, 10:59 PM (4 replies)

Effect of Voter Turnout

Colorado Ousts Pro-Gun Republicans, Showing Effect of Turnout

DENVER — After two Colorado lawmakers who supported strict new gun-control laws were voted out of office in a special recall election last year, the National Rifle Association and its allies celebrated their huge win in the battle over gun laws in state capitols. But that particular victory did not last.

Even as Coloradans elected a Republican senator for the first time in a dozen years and handed Republicans control of one chamber of the state legislature, voters did an abrupt about-face when it came to the recalls. The two pro-gun Republicans elected during the recalls were handily beaten this month by Democratic candidates — one of whom once worked for the gun-control group founded by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City.

“It was vindicating,” said Angela Giron, who lost her State Senate seat in the old steel town of Pueblo in the September 2013 recalls, which also took down the Democratic president of Colorado’s Senate, John Morse.


Democrats have to get people to the polls. I always have this thought, Don't ask who they support, just get EVERYONE to the polls. The result will be blue!
Posted by liberal N proud | Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:29 AM (0 replies)

The Koch 130 - How the billionaire brothers have spread their web of influence across every sector o

In 1958, Fred Koch, the founder of the Midwestern oil and cattle ranching empire that would become Koch Industries, became a charter member of the John Birch Society, the fiercely anti-communist organization whose members believed Soviet influence was infecting all aspects of American society. The Birchers attempted to place their weight on "the political scales…as fast and as far" as they could, but their movement was quickly sidelined to the ideological fringe. Two of Fred's four sons, Charles and David, have carried forward the conservative torch, and they have succeeded where their father and his allies failed. Their father's company, meanwhile, has grown into a multibillion-dollar conglomerate that is the second-largest private corporation in the country.

Though the Koch surname has become synonymous with political spending, the family's philanthropy has flowed to a wide range of causes. A significant portion has gone to think tanks and policy institutes that advance the brothers' free-market beliefs. And Charles Koch has lavished millions on universities to bolster their study and teaching of this school of economics. But Koch contributions have also established cancer research centers, funded ballets and preserved cultural institutions, and provided grants and scholarships to students.

This project, an effort to track the breadth of the Kochs' philanthropic influence, builds on several years of reporting (which culminated in Dan Schulman's book, Sons of Wichita, and our cover story "Koch vs. Koch"), news stories, as well as data from tax filings and the organizations' websites. (See more about our methodology below.) What follows is by no means exhaustive.


Posted by liberal N proud | Sun Nov 9, 2014, 07:58 PM (3 replies)

10 Poverty Myths, Busted

1. Absent dads are the problem. Sixty percent of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily.

2. Single moms are the problem. Only 9 percent of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child's first five years.

3. Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47 percent of the federal budget.

Read the Rest:
Posted by liberal N proud | Sun Nov 9, 2014, 01:05 PM (3 replies)

The opposite of Progressive is regressive

We are about to go backward, how far back is hard to say, but I am guessing with the love affair the republicans have with Reagan, we will regress to the 80's.

Posted by liberal N proud | Sat Nov 8, 2014, 08:42 AM (4 replies)

Over the course of the next two years, the media will be telling that this is the end for Democrats

They will paint the picture that the Democratic party is finished with a doomsday scenario for the liberals.

This will be their game plan ahead of the 2016 elections.

Posted by liberal N proud | Wed Nov 5, 2014, 03:06 PM (0 replies)

Don’t be an “Escalefter”

Escalefter n. person who stands on the left side of the escalator when (s)he should be standing on the right.

The same people who are driving on the left side of the 4 lane highway I suspect!

Posted by liberal N proud | Tue Nov 4, 2014, 06:28 PM (0 replies)

A man's right to change diapers is on the ballot in North Dakota?


North Dakota measure 6 would "create a presumption that each parent is a fit parent and entitled to be awarded equal parental rights and responsibilities by a court unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary." In plain English: It's one of the first major legislative pushes by the emerging men's rights movement. The proposal, which failed in 2006, has the backing of groups like the National Coalition for Men and a A Voice for Men (which cut an ad in support). The measure had the support of 44 percent of voters in October, short of the 50 percent it needs to pass.

This and other weird initiatives on the ballot today around the nation here: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/midterm-elections-bears-booze-cash-weed-congress

Can you catch a bear with a doughnut?

Posted by liberal N proud | Tue Nov 4, 2014, 03:53 PM (74 replies)
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