Thursday, December 30, 2010

Deficit Hypocrisy

It was not long ago that Republicans succeeded in holding unemployment benefits hostage to a renewal of the high-end Bush-era income tax cuts and — as a little bonus — won deep estate tax cuts for America’s wealthiest heirs. Those cuts will add nearly $140 billion to the deficit in the near term, while doing far less to prod the economy than if the money had been spent more wisely.

That should have been evidence enough that the Republican Party’s one real priority is tax cuts — despite all the talk about deficit reduction and economic growth.

Read the original article here

Simple rebuttals to global warming denier talking points — with links to the full climate science

Progressives should know the most commonly used arguments by the disinformers and doubters — and how to answer them.

You should know as much of the science behind those rebuttals as possible, and a great place to start is BUT most of the time your best response is to give the pithiest response possible, and then refer people to a  specific website  that has a more detailed scientific explanation with links to the original science. That’s because usually those you are talking to are rarely in a position to adjudicate scientific arguments. Indeed, they would probably tune out.  Also, unless you know the science cold, you are as likely as not to make a  misstatement.

Physicist John Cook has done us a great service by posting good one-line responses, which I repost with links below. For instance, if somebody  raises the standard talking point that the climate has changed before, you can say, “Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.” That  it is actually quite similar to my standard response, “The climate changes  when it is forced to change,  and now humans are forcing it to change far more rapidly than in the past”.  Working in the “humans are now the dominant forcing” part is a good idea.

Read the original article here

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Arctic Traveler: Malamute Wheel Dogs

Wheel dogs all have a particular character in common. If they were people in our society, they would be the ones with hearts of gold. They would be the laborers, loggers, miners and frontiersmen. They would be the trailblazers, making life easier for the rest of us. My fondest memories of my wheel dogs are not when they were busting through snowdrifts, blizzards or clawing over torturous mountain passes, but when we were camping. 

We had been traveling for two months, and it was late January. The temperature was unusually mild, about +10F. Traveling by the dim glow of a quarter moon we climbed to the highest point on a mountain pass. I decided to make camp since it was windswept of snow. The bare tundra would be comfortable for the dogs, a break from the usual snow and ice they sleep on every night. After stopping the team, I pulled the picket line out of the sled, strung it across the brown tundra, anchored the ends down with ice hooks and attached the dogs to the line. After feeding them, I set up my tent and settled in for the night. The dogs immediately fell asleep on the soft tundra with full and bulging tummies. I wasn’t far behind them as I dozed off in my tent with the aroma of arctic moss in the air.

Read the original article from Mushing Magazine

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Blizzard: More Signs of Global Warming

It's become as much a winter tradition as eggnog at Christmas and champagne on New Year's Eve — the first major snowstorm of the year bringing out the climate-change skeptics. And the bona fide blizzard that has frozen much of the Northeast just a few days after winter officially began definitely qualifies as major. But while piles of snow blocking your driveway hardly conjure images of a dangerously warming world, it doesn't mean that climate change is a myth. The World Meteorological Organization recently reported that 2010 is almost certainly going to be one of the three warmest years on record, while 2001 to 2010 is already the hottest decade in recorded history. Indeed, according to some scientists, all of these events may actually be connected.

Read the original article

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rush Limbaugh: Democrats Are Terrorists

More malevolent bile from America's biggest right wing windbag. It amazes me that there are folks out there in radio land that actually believe he has any credibility what-so-ever. Do we have that many ignorant, misguided, bigoted sheeple in the U.S? This miscreant is, in the words of Al Franken: "a big, fat idiot".

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Budget Deficit: Whose fault is it anyway?

So it's come down to this. On Saturday, David Stockman, the legendary Reagan budget chief who presided over the Gipper's supply-side tax cuts, announced that the "debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party's embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts." The next day, the former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, who famously helped sell the 2001 Bush tax cuts to Congress, declared them simply "disastrous."
Sadly, Stockman and Greenspan are just about the only voices in the Republican Party speaking the truth about the fiscal devastation wrought by the expiring Bush tax cuts. After all, the national debt tripled under Ronald Reagan, only to double again during the tenure of George W. Bush. And as it turns out, the Bush tax cut windfall for the wealthy accounted for almost half the budget deficits during his presidency and, if made permanent, would contribute more to the U.S. budget deficit than the Obama stimulus, the TARP program, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and revenue lost to the recession - combined. Of course, you'd never know it listening to the leaders of GOP.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Saving Lil' Smokey

What is PDA?

"Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. We seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites—with policies that serve the broad public  interest, not just private interests. As a grassroots PAC operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice, PDA played a key role in the stunning electoral victories of November 2006 and 2008. Our inside/outside strategy is guided by the belief that a lasting majority will require a revitalized Democratic Party built on firm progressive principles."

"For over two decades, the party declined as its leadership listened more to the voices of corporations than those of Americans. PDA strives to rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up—from every congressional district to statewide party structures to the corridors of power in Washington, where we work arm in arm with the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In just five years, PDA and its allies have shaken up the political status quo—on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Medicare for all, voter rights, accountability, and economic and environmental justice." 

"We will reach our goal by working inside the Democratic Party to return it to its roots as the party that represents the workers and the less fortunate, and by building coalitions outside the Democratic Party on shared issues.
By establishing chapters in all 435 congressional districts, we are creating an information and action conduit that allows us to effectively organize in response to or in support of congressional actions.
We work with the Congressional Progressive Caucus to support and bring forward progressive legislation on the core issues identified by our PDA chapters."
I like it.
More info about Progressive Democrats