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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 4,607

Journal Archives

Its the energy supply, Stupid ...

The world is on track for dangerous climate change, having nearly lost room for further pollution in the mix of gases that make up the atmosphere. Despite a rise in clean, renewable energy supplies in certain countries, and a partial shift from coal to natural gas in others, global greenhouse gas pollution continues to rise—and at an increasing pace in the most recent years.

"Economic and population growth are drivers for emissions and they have outpaced the improvements of energy efficiency," said Ottmar Edenhofer, economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and co-chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Edenhofer spoke at an April 13 press conference in Berlin, where IPCC's Working Group III released its report on the subject of how to mitigate the climate problem.

Nations worldwide have to make major change in energy supply, soon, if they are to restrain climate change to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, Edenhofer and others said. That is a threshhold beyond which serious harm is likely to occur to human civilization as well as the natural world, by the IPCC and other's scientific judgment.

Geoengineering will probably also be required to solve the planet’s global warming pollution problem, Edenhofer and the report noted. The world will also need a crash course in technologies to capture carbon dioxide—the primary greenhouse gas— from the atmosphere to restrain global warming. Without such CCS hopes of restraining climate change to no more than 2 degrees C warming are "no longer feasible," Edenhofer argued. "In the end, two degrees means the phase out of fossil fuels without CCS entirely in the next few decades."


The Global Banking Game Is Rigged, and the FDIC Is Suing

Taxpayers are paying billions of dollars for a swindle pulled off by the world’s biggest banks, using a form of derivative called interest-rate swaps; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has now joined a chorus of litigants suing over it. According to an SEIU report:

Derivatives . . . have turned into a windfall for banks and a nightmare for taxpayers. . . . While banks are still collecting fixed rates of 3 to 6 percent, they are now regularly paying public entities as little as a tenth of one percent on the outstanding bonds, with rates expected to remain low in the future. Over the life of the deals, banks are now projected to collect billions more than they pay state and local governments – an outcome which amounts to a second bailout for banks, this one paid directly out of state and local budgets.

It is not just that local governments, universities and pension funds made a bad bet on these swaps. The game itself was rigged, as explained below. The FDIC is now suing in civil court for damages and punitive damages, a lead that other injured local governments and agencies would be well-advised to follow. But they need to hurry, because time on the statute of limitations is running out.

The Largest Cartel in World History

On March 14, 2014, the FDIC filed suit for LIBOR-rigging against sixteen of the world’s largest banks – including the three largest US banks (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup), the three largest UK banks, the largest German bank, the largest Japanese bank, and several of the largest Swiss banks. Bill Black, professor of law and economics and a former bank fraud investigator, calls them “the largest cartel in world history, by at least three and probably four orders of magnitude.”


Classic Deflection by the 1%ers ....


Look for an Ozone Health Advisory soon ...


Inaction = Chaos ...


It has to be extremely difficult holding a conversation today as a Republicant ....

CBO: Affordable Care Act getting even more affordable

Critics of the Affordable Care Act no longer want to talk about enrollment totals, which is understandable to the extent that the latest ACA enrollment figures look quite good. Instead, many Republicans have gone back to some old favorites: “Obamacare” is causing premiums to spike; the nation can’t afford the system; it will bankrupt us all; we’re all doomed, etc.

I can only imagine how frustrating it must be lately to be an opponent of this law.
The most expensive provisions of Obamacare will cost taxpayers about $100 billion less than expected, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday.

CBO also said it doesn’t expect big premium increases next year for insurance plans sold through the health care law’s exchanges.

In its latest analysis, CBO said the law’s coverage provisions – a narrow part of the law that includes only certain policies – will cost the government $36 billion this year, which is $5 billion less than CBO’s previous estimate. Over the next decade, the provisions will cost about $1.4 trillion – roughly $104 billion less than CBO last estimated.


"If you have a Boehner lasting more than 23 years, seek immediate medical attention"

This is the teabagger running for Boehners job .... http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/boehner-primary-challenger-s-ad-is-a-joke-about-boners-20140414

The circular firing squad is getting bigger ...

Today’s SpaceX launch will see the first attempt at landing its booster

Source: Arstechnica


The latest SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station is set to lift off at 6pm US Eastern Time today. The Falcon 9 launch vehicle will be sending a Dragon capsule into orbit to bring over 5,000 lbs of supplies and science experiments to the ISS. If all goes according to plan, the Dragon will rendezvous with the Station early Wednesday morning (also US Eastern).

This is SpaceX's third resupply mission, so parts of the liftoff and rendezvous are likely to be routine. Lately, however, SpaceX has been doing interesting things with its Falcon boosters after payload separation. Back in September, the Falcon flipped around in flight and fired its engines to reverse direction, the first step toward a controlled return to the atmosphere.

This time around, the company is planning on expanding on that test. "During today’s launch SpaceX will attempt to recover the first stage of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle as part of SpaceX’s reusability program," a SpaceX spokesperson told Ars. "It’s important to note this is not a primary mission objective and the probability of recovering the first stage is low, maybe 30-40 percent."

The attempt will see the Falcon repeat the flip-and-burn that slows it for reentry and then ignite a single engine to slow it during its descent. During this burn, the legs that may eventually allow it to land safely will be deployed to test their effect on the aerodynamics of the descent. In this case, the Falcon will land in the water, so the legs won't be involved in an actual touchdown. The long-term goal, however, is to land Falcons on land and send them back to space multiple times, a process that should greatly reduce launch costs.

Read more: http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/04/todays-spacex-launch-will-see-the-first-attempt-at-landing-its-booster/

Mike Huckabee, Asshole of the Day for April 13, 2014


For the last 5 years there has been a neverending pattern of conservatives clutching their pearls and crying tyranny. Often it can be something like spying on American citizens and they cry out that Obama has destroyed American freedom, even though, as in the case of Sean Hannity, the program started under Bush and Hannity was a very vocal supporter of the program under Bush.

But invocations of tyranny are usually limited to past tyrants like Stalin or Hitler, not current ones. And for good reason— current tyrants still continue to do horrible things that would make the speaker look ridiculous. Apparently Mike Huckabee hasn’t figured this part out though, since he’s now on record comparing the US to North Korea:

"I’m beginning to think theres more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States."

The context for this quote is from going to the airport and having to deal with the TSA security. Here’s more:

“When I go to the airport, I have to get in the surrender position, people put hands all over me, and I have to provide photo ID and a couple of different forms and prove that I really am not going to terrorize the airplane – but if I want to go vote I don’t need a thing,” he continued, according to MSNBC.


The 'culture of shut up' is sometimes just rude people who disagree

Last week, I made a shocking discovery: some leftwing activists have developed a sinister new superpower that enables them to control other people’s actions by brainwaves alone. Their first victim was Brendan Eich, appointed then un-appointed as head of Mozilla, after his financial support for the campaign against gay marriage (and in support of Pat Buchanan) came to light. To outsiders like me, it seemed as if a high-profile firm had made a decision about its leadership; that its employees and users had engaged in vigorous debate about that decision; and that the company had decided to reverse it.

But it turned out that opponents of Eich’s new role hadn’t just been voicing their opinions. Somehow, by means I’ve yet to understand, they’d forced him to resign. That was the phrase used again and again, including in a piece entitled The Culture of Shut Up, by the former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, with which the internet declared itself richly pleased. “We need to stop telling each other to shut up. We need to get comfortable with the reality that no one is going to shut up,” Lovett wrote, correctly. But he didn’t mean that Eich’s raucous critics should be tolerated. He meant that the Culture of Shut Up had silenced Eich, by forcing him to resign. And not just Eich. Lovett listed many more victims, including celebrity chef-and-alleged-racist Paula Deen and Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, who, I’m told, is a man on a television show who is cross about gays.

And all that happened before Brandeis University bunglingly offered then withdrew an honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Oh, man.

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