Saturday, January 17, 2015

Obama Skyrockets As More Americans Approve Than Disapprove Of The President

obama-fist

President Obama’s job approval rating continues to skyrocket as a new Gallup poll has found that more Americans approve than disapprove to the president.

According to the Gallup Daily Tracking poll, President Obama’s job approval rating is a net (+1) as 48% of Americans approve of the job that the president is doing while 47% disapprove. The most recent result is the first time since September 2013 that the president’s Gallup job approval rating has been higher than his disapproval rating. The president’s approval rating has been on a steady rise over the past month. It is clear that the perception of the president’s job performance is changing.

Here is Obama’s approval trendline via Gallup:

obama-gallup-trendline





The Gallup data is backed up by a recent CBS News poll that showed the president’s job approval rating surging to a twelve month high, and back on even ground at 46%-46%. President Obama’s approval also reached a 20 month high in the latest CNN/ORC poll.

The momentum has become undeniable. President Obama is the rare second term president who is gaining in popularity. Obama’s approval rating turnaround makes a lot of sense because unlike most presidents: Barack Obama inherited an economic crisis when he came into office. As the economy has improved, the president’s job approval rating has improved. With gas prices plunging at a record pace, the American people see tangible signs that the economy has improved. Hiring is up, gas prices are down, and President Obama is getting the credit. 

Republicans, who were hoping for Obama fatigue before the 2016 election are getting the exact opposite as the President has acted on his own to remind millions of people why they voted twice for him. Republicans may have taken the majority in Congress, but it is President Obama who is on the rise.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Via Kacem El Ghazzali / FB:

 
 

We are heartbroken today. Saudi Arabia has carried out the first 50 of 1,000 lashes against a liberal blogger, Raif Badawi, for "insulting Islam". As Charlie Hebdo has proved this week, images can be powerful. We believe Raif and the king Abudullah should be pictured together as often as possible. Please share this link and image. The world must know his name and the shame of Saudi Arabia. 


#FreeRaif #RaifBadawi

That Was Easy: In Just 60 Years, Neoliberal Capitalism Has Nearly Broken Planet Earth

 That Was Easy: In Just 60 Years, Neoliberal Capitalism Has Nearly Broken Planet Earth
by Jon Queally
Humanity's rapacious growth and accelerated energy needs over the last generation—particularly fed by an economic system that demands increasing levels of consumption and inputs of natural resources—are fast driving planetary systems towards their breaking point, according to a new pair of related studies.

Via Food Inc / FB:


Via JMG: 2014: The Hottest Year On Record



 
Via the Washington Post:
It is official: According to both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the year 2014 was the hottest ever measured, based on records going back to the year 1880. It now surpasses all past scorchers, including 1998, 2005, and 2010. Indeed, except for 1998, says NASA, the 10 hottest years recorded have all occurred since the year 2000. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the new record is that it occurred even though 2014 was not an El Niño year, of the sort that usually powers the already up-trending global average temperature to new highs. The two agencies released a joint announcement this morning, following a careful collaborative effort in which experts closely compared analyses. Last year, NASA and NOAA also collaborated on an analysis of 2013, which wasn't as warm but still ranks within the top 10 hottest years on record.
An atmospheric scientist weighs in:
“If you are younger than 29-years old, you haven’t lived in a month that was cooler than the 20th century average. That’s a new normal that is a result of human activities on top of the natural varying climate that has global temperature trends moving very quickly towards a 1-2 C increase. While that may sound insignificant, it’s best to think of it as the difference between a low-grade fever and one just a few degrees higher that can have an impact on the body.”

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Thinkprogress.org: 2014 Is The Hottest Year On Record, Breaking 2005 And 2010 Highs


"2014 Is The Hottest Year On Record, Breaking 2005 And 2010 Highs"
decadal-NOAA
Global Temperature Anomalies since 1880, with Decadal Averages
(decades are defined as the years xxx0-xxx9). Click to enlarge. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officially declared 2014 the hottest year in 134 years of record keeping.

NOAA reported that this was the hottest December on record and that 2014 as a whole was 1.24°F (0.69°C) above the 20th century average: “This was the highest among all years in the 1880-2014 record, surpassing the previous records of 2005 and 2010 by 0.07°F (0.04°C).”

As the NOAA data makes clear, human-caused global warming has seen no “hiatus.” In fact, as the top figure shows, the decade of the 2010s is on track to be the hottest decade on record. The 1980s were the hottest decade on record at the time. Then they were beat by 1990s, which in turn were beat by the 2000s for the title of hottest decade. Each decade this century is likely to be the hottest on record — unless we slash carbon pollution ASAP.

“This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades,” said Dr. Gavin Schmidt director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, which tracks global temps. “While the ranking of individual years can be affected by chaotic weather patterns, the long-term trends are attributable to drivers of climate change that right now are dominated by human emissions of greenhouse gases.”

“The globe is warmer now than it has been in the last 100 years and more likely in at least 5,000 years,” said Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis. “Any wisps of doubt that human activities are at fault are now gone with the wind.”

 NASA posted this background video on “2014: Warmest Year On Record”

The Japan Meteorological Agency had previously announced 2014 was the hottest year in more than 120 years of record-keeping — by far. The World Meteorological Organization WMO had said a month ago that 2014 was on track to be hottest year on record (different climate-tracking groups around the world use slightly different data sets).

The United States saw the second-warmest December on record, the 34th warmest year on record, and helped create its “most severe drought in the last 1200 years.

It’s doubly impressive 2014 set the record for hottest year since we’re still waiting for the start of El Niño.

Global temperature records are usually set when the long-term warming trend combines with the regional El Niño warming pattern. But human-caused carbon pollution has pushed atmospheric CO2 to levels not seen for millions of years, when the Earth was considerably hotter and sea levels up to 100 feet higher.


“The record temperatures underscore the undeniable fact that we are witnessing, before our eyes, the effects of human-caused climate change,” said leading climatologist Michael Mann. “It is exceptionally unlikely that we would be seeing a record year, during a record warm decade, during a multidecadal period of warmth that appears to be unrivaled over at least the past millennium, were it not for the rising levels of planet-warming gases produced by fossil fuel burning.”

Dr. Marshall Shepherd, who was President of the American Meteorological Society in 2013, said of this NOAA-NASA Report:
“If you are younger than 29 years old, you haven’t lived in a month that was cooler than the 20th century average. That’s a new normal that is a result of human activities on top of the natural varying climate that has global temperature trends moving very quickly towards a 1-2 C increase. While that may sound insignificant, it’s best to think of it as the difference between a low-grade fever and one just a few degrees higher that can have an impact on the body.
And, of course, if we don’t act quickly to cut carbon pollution, then we’ll ultimately get a 4°C to 5°C (7F to 9F) warming or higher over the next century, a fever that would ravage modern human civilization as we know it today.

While blasts of cold temperature in parts of the United States received considerable attention this fall and winter, the “second warmest December [on record] boosted 2014 to 34th warmest year for contiguous U.S.” in 120 years of record-keeping, as NOAA reported.

That means in the United States, “the temperature exceeded the 20th Century average for the 18th consecutive year.” While the Midwest was cooler than normal, California, Arizona, Nevada, and Alaska all experienced their hottest year on record. In fact, the Golden State shattered its old record by a remarkable of 2.3°F.

CA-US-annual temps

When the earth sets a record for the hottest year, large parts of it also blow out previous records. NOAA reports:
Record warmth was spread around the world, including Far East Russia into western Alaska, the western United States, parts of interior South America most of Europe stretching into northern Africa, parts of eastern and western coastal Australia, much of the northeastern Pacific around the Gulf of Alaska, the central to western equatorial Pacific, large swaths of northwestern and southeastern Atlantic, most of the Norwegian Sea, and parts of the central to southern Indian Ocean.
Europe was the hottest it’s been in 500 years. One new analysis concluded “global warming has made a temperature anomaly like the one observed in 2014 in Europe at least 80 times more likely.” 

Australia broke heat records across the continent (for the second year running). Back in January, “temperatures soared higher than 120°F (49°C).” 

Much of Siberia “defrosted in spring and early summer under temperatures more than 9°F (5°C) above its 1981 to 2010 average.” This is the region’s second blazingly hot summer in a row. 

Scientists now think the huge crater discovered this year in the area “was probably caused by thawing permafrost.” If such hot Siberian summers continue, permafrost will thaw and release its vast amount of heat-trapping carbon even sooner than expected.

Make the jump here to read the full article

Jeremy Scahill's pot-shot at TV "terrorism" experts


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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Despite Obama’s National Economic Success Republican State Economies Are Failing

GOP-fail

It is too bad that during campaigning for the 2014 midterm elections, many Democratic candidates ran away from President Obama’s economic achievements and did their level best to be Republicans. Yesterday the President briefly touched on his successful economic record that Democrats were terrified of and Republicans claimed was a major disaster.  Republicans ran on, and won big with, their claim that the GOP is “the party of solutions” founded on conservative pro-growth economic policies, deregulation, and tax cuts for the rich they claimed were more successful than anything “hapless” Democrats or Obama could ever hope to achieve. This is despite the President’s nearly five-year job growth record, world-leading GDP growth, and increased revenue paying down the nation’s debt at a record pace.
This column has given special attention to the trickle-down economic disaster in Kansas, but plenty of other Republican states’ economies are failing miserably; especially states with Republican governors held up as the model for the nation in hopes of winning the White House and running nation’s economy into the ground. Republicans said throughout 2014 that Democrats and the President consistently offer up “ineffective economic policies” responsible for the President’s failed economic policies leading to increased income inequality plaguing the poor and middle class. Republicans have no interest in addressing income inequality according to red states with failing economies due to their storied “pro-growth agenda” of tax cuts for the rich and corporations.
In New Jersey, Chris Christie campaigned on and entered office on a pledge of balancing the state budget and “replenishing the state’s pension program.” Instead, Christie’s “pro-growth agenda” of cutting corporate taxes drastically increased pension liabilities, created Kansas-style revenue shortfalls, and earned the state a record eight credit downgrades; a new mark for a sitting governor. New Jersey is also, like Kansas, lagging the rest of the nation in creating jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and while the national unemployment rate has been steadily dropping, New Jersey’s is growing just over the past year.
To save his failing pro-growth economy, Christie is following Brownback’s lead and cutting employee’s pension-fund payments and delaying property-tax relief for individuals. It has already adversely affected, and caught the attention of, public workers, senior citizens, and middle-class homeowners who likely voted for more trickle-down tax cuts for the rich. Christie’s pro-growth agenda has created a $1.7 billion revenue shortfall this year due to more than $600 million in corporate tax cuts that failed to deliver economic growth, increase revenue, or create job growth.

Christie tripled corporate tax cuts in less than three years with more coming this year and, like Brownback in Kansas and Republicans in Washington, he promised and still claims that more frequent and larger business tax cuts are absolutely necessary to grow the economy, create jobs, and most importantly; “benefit the big corporations.” The only part of Christie’s promise that reached fruition is the benefit to big corporations; the goal of all conservative “pro-growth reforms.”

Despite a flagging economy, poor job growth, revenue shortfalls, and eight credit downgrades, Christie has pledged that he will do nothing to endanger the still-growing corporate tax cuts to save the state’s economy. In fact, even raiding and cutting pension-fund payments is not enough to make up for the growing corporate tax cuts he has no intent of stopping.
In Louisiana, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal’s conservative economic policies have the state facing “a very large shortfall as we go into the spring session of 2015 because we’ve been relying too much on those onetime funds for recurring expenses” according to a fiscally conservative Republican state representative. Brett Geyman said Jindal has relied “too heavily on a non-replenishable pool of “onetime” funds that won’t be available next year.”
The “very large revenue shortfall” is in spite of “the steepest cuts to education ever proposed for the state” that the Republican speaker of the Louisiana House has vowed to block because they “will set us back generations.” The fact that Jindal is still in office is proof enough form semi-intelligent Americans that the state’s education system has already set the state back generations. Jindal claims the steep education cuts are necessary to balance the state’s budget even though with the drastic cuts, the state still faces a substantially large revenue shortfall. Jindal wants to completely eliminate corporate taxes completely and raise them on the bottom 80% of the population; a tactic that will exacerbate the revenue shortfall. However, like New Jersey’s Christie and Kansas’ Brownback claim, eliminating business taxes will be a “great benefit to big corporations.”
Republican Scott Walker of Wisconsin is also facing a “pro-growth agenda” revenue shortfall this year to the tune of $2.2 billion as well as a record “slower than average job and wage growth” compared to the national figures according to a recent analysis. Walker claims the facts are false, and that he will make up the $2.2 billion shortfall by “adjusting funding priorities” that in Republican economic parlance means steep cuts to domestic programs and pension payments. Walker already cut taxes for the rich and funded them partially with Medicaid cuts and still; the state faces a 2.2 billion revenue shortfall.
What is telling in all these Republican economic failures is that the national economy is and has been steadily growing, job growth is at record pace, manufacturing is growing, and gas prices are falling. There is a reason why these, and other, Republican-led states are not enjoying the same growth and recovery as the rest of the nation and it is down to the Republican ‘pro-growth agenda’ of tax cuts for the rich and corporations and cuts to pensions and domestic programs that help drive the economy whether at the state or federal level.
Democrats who ran away from the President’s economic record were fools, and voters in economically-failed red states were morons for either electing or re-electing ‘pro-growth’ Republicans who are not only decimating their state economies, they are dragging down the national economy as well. The real obscenity is that Democratic states are stuck bailing out the idiots in red states who continue electing Republicans who have no other intent than advancing their failed pro-growth agenda on the national level.

Via Better Off Damned / FB:


Via FB:


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Via JMG: Teabaggers Get Busy In The House


The 114th Congress took office this week and the Tea Things wasted no time in introducing a barrage of batshittery. Here are just a few items that I've pulled from the House site.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) introduced a resolution to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment, which authorizes Congress to levy income tax.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) introduced a resolution that would authorize Congress to sue to the president for "actions inconsistent" with his duties regarding immigration laws.

Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) introduced a resolution that would authorize the House to sue any member of the executive branch who "oversteps their authority" regarding immigration laws.

Rep. Robert Anderholt (R-AL) introduced a resolution that would repeal any executive order regarding immigration reform and "restore" such actions to the federal legislature.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced a resolution that would "terminate" the Internal Revenue Code.

Rep. Andy Barre (R-KY) introduced a resolution that would limit members of the Senate to serving two consecutive terms and limit members of the House to serving six consecutive terms.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) introduced a resolution that would make it a felony punishable by five years in prison to perform an abortion on a woman carrying a "pain-capable" fetus.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) introduced a resolution to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (How many times have they tried this? Thirty? Forty?)

Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) introduced a resolution that would raise the threshold for classification as a full-time worker from 30 hours per week to 40 hours per week, which would mean the end of mandated health insurance for everybody who works fewer than 40 hours.

As for the Democrats, the most interesting item they've put forward so far is the resolution from (non-voting) Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), which would "provide for the admission of the state of New Columbia to the Union."


Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: GRAPHIC: Immigrant Enterprise In USA


 
Source: Wall Street Journal.
Reposted from Joe Jervis

VIA Being Liberal / FB:





Via JMG: POLL: Europeans Tend To Overestimate Local Muslim Populations



 
Per this Economist graphic, polled Europeans tend to wildly overestimate the percentage of Muslims in their nation. The French, for example, told pollsters that their country is about 31% Muslim. The actual figure is 8%. Similarly, a 2011 Gallup poll showed Americans tend to believe that 25% of the country is LGBT.


Reposted from Joe Jervis   

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Via FB:


Via Daily Kos: Earth Tilts On Axis: More Americans Opting To Self-Label As "Liberals"


A hearty good morning to my fellow self identifying Liberals! 

The day seems to be coming when we can emerge from our caves into the sunlight and be welcomed back into society and perhaps even start to throw our weight around!
First, I think it's appropriate to kick off discussion with a relevant quote from the guy who has a pithy bon mot for every occasion - Bill Shakespeare:
"The smallest worm will turn being trodden on, And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood." Henry VI, Part 3
Please forgive me for indulging in a few self-congratulatory chuckles; after years, nay decades, of demonization and belittlement from both parties and the corporate media, the word "liberal" is experiencing an uptick in popularity. According to the Washington Post, the liberal label is getting more and more popular

The poll shows a record low number of Americans now identify as "moderates" -- at least going back to 1992. And perhaps more illustrative, a record high number of Americans identify as "liberal."
Upon further reading one discovers that 44% of the Democratic Party self-describes as "Liberal" and that approximately one quarter of all Americans are now liberals. 

Fiotim: arte para o povo » Galeria de arte itinerante 'Fiotim' vai circular pelo Brasil

Fiotim: arte para o povo » Galeria de arte itinerante 'Fiotim' vai circular pelo Brasil 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

SCHULZ LECTURE 12_13_2014: Human Rights


Via Stacy Parrish Whiteside / FB:



Advices from An Old Farmer
Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.
Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

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Copyright 2011 by Daniel C. Orey All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.