It was another balmy, breezy summer day Monday, with a high in San Jose of 79 degrees, far below the record temperature of 97. Oakland was even cooler at 74, and as usual, San Francisco’s high of 70 was cool enough to bring out jackets. But beneath that simmering surface calm, the ground was heating up at a record rate — and the California weather landscape was shifting with it.
Just how fast the state’s climate is changing became apparent Monday when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released figures showing the first six months of this year were the hottest the state has ever recorded — breaking the mark by a single degree after 80 years. That record came hot on the heels of 2013, California’s warmest year ever. And the NOAA figures came just four days after the National Drought Mitigation Center unveiled a map that revealed 81 percent of California is experiencing “extreme drought” conditions.
Watching kite fliers at the waterfront in Martinez, Calif., June 30, 2014. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)
Under normal circumstances, drought and heat aren’t necessarily connected — it can be bone dry even when temperatures are mild — but for the first time in decades, experts theorized that the drought is now affecting how hot it gets.
“When you have these increased temperatures, you have more evaporation, and the plants are transpiring more,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist for the Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska. “The temperature component compounds the dryness component.”
Paul Krugman on the deflating deficit balloon and why the deficit alarmists now mewl instead of roar.
About those projections: The budget office predicts that this year’s federal deficit will be just 2.8 percent of G.D.P., down from 9.8 percent in 2009. It’s true that the fact that we’re still running a deficit means federal debt in dollar terms continues to grow — but the economy is growing too, so the budget office expects the crucial ratio of debt to G.D.P. to remain more or less flat for the next decade.
Things are expected to deteriorate after that, mainly because of the impact of an aging population on Medicare and Social Security. But there has been a dramatic slowdown in the growth of health care costs, which used to play a big role in frightening budget scenarios. As a result, despite aging, debt in 2039 — a quarter-century from now! — is projected to be no higher, as a percentage of G.D.P., than the debt America had at the end of World War II, or that Britain had for much of the 20th century. Oh, and the budget office now expects interest rates to remain fairly low, not much higher than the economy’s rate of growth. This in turn weakens, indeed almost eliminates, the risk of a debt spiral, in which the cost of servicing debt drives debt even higher.
Still, rising debt isn’t good. So what would it take to avoid any rise in the debt ratio? Surprisingly little. The budget office estimates that stabilizing the ratio of debt to G.D.P. at its current level would require spending cuts and/or tax hikes of 1.2 percent of G.D.P. if we started now, or 1.5 percent of G.D.P. if we waited until 2020.
Russia appears to have aided in one of the larger acts of terror since 9/11, but continues to bluster none the less.
Russia presented a combination of conciliation and bluster on Monday over its handling of the downed Malaysia Airlines jet, with President Vladimir V. Putin seemingly probing for a way out of the crisis without appearing to compromise with the West.
On one hand, he offered conciliatory words in a video statement, oddly released in the middle of the night, while the separatists allied with Moscow in southeastern Ukraine released the bodies of the victims and turned over the black box flight recorders from the doomed aircraft to Malaysian officials.
However, two senior military officers forcefully demanded that the United States show publicly any proof that rebels fired the fatal missile, and again suggested that the Ukrainian military shot down the Malaysia Airlines jet despite the fact that Ukraine has not used antiaircraft weapons in the fight along its eastern border.
Apparently the latest thing over Jim Hoft’s The Gateway Pundit blog is to pinpoint and attack any NGO that receives federal grants to care for undocumented immigrant children.
A week ago. Hoft’s “guest blogger” Kristinn Taylor torpedoed a shelter proposed by BCFS, a charitable organization based in San Antonio. Taylor declared, falsely, that BCFS had received a $50 million federal grant to turn a rundown hotel into a “luxury resort” for immigrant children.
BCFS has since abandoned the project in Weslaco, Texas.
Now, Hoft’s latest target is Southwest Key Programs of Austin, which like BCFS, has received federal grants for shelters and programs benefiting children coming over the border with Mexico.
While Hoft himself offered little comment, he posted in its entirety a story by KEYE-TV of San Antonio to let visitors to his site rant about it.
Southwest Key Programs has received nearly $485 million in federal grants (taggs.hhs.gov) since 2004, but to read the comments, you’d swear these people think it’s all a plot by the Democrats and President Barack Obama to win elections.
Idiots don’t seem to realize children can’t vote.
Some sample comments, to give you the flavor.
They are PROFITING from child trafficking! AT OUR EXPENSE!!!
No words, yes, me, as all here know, I have more than my share of comments but
I am at a complete loss for words. Well, one word keeps coming to mind, IMPEACH.
But, I do have to say, Obama knew about this years ago but he didn’t know About Our Veterans and their mistreatment at the VA?
Obama picks and chooses what is important to them, selfishly and maliciously.
“Charities” getting fat off the American taxpayer. This is run by a husband and wife. They spend over $1 million a year lobbying. Sanchez made $278,000 in 2012 ‘caring for the children’. I’m sure he makes much more now with all that extra money Obama is throwing at him.
Arizona 11 electoral votes, Texas 32 electoral votes and Georgia 16 electoral votes. The blueprint for the Democrats to try and flip three solid Republican states. The Democrats are importing lice infested dead beats to these states to flip them by 2016, or by 2020 at the latest.
My dad told me before he died that his fight was overseas during WWII, and my fight would be here at home.
They rant and rave about the government awarding grants to agencies to deal with the immigrant children, but the only alternative they offer is to deport the kids. Who feeds and shelters the children in the meantime?
Russia Today, the Goebbelsian Putinist propaganda channel well-known for its rank dishonesty, has published “10 questions” to Ukraine based on the recent Russian Ministry of Defense press conference. Questions 8 and 9 are as follows:
8. Where did the launcher - from the video circulated by Western media and showing a Buk system being moved allegedly from Ukraine to Russia - come from? As the video was made on the territory controlled by Kiev, where was the launcher being transported?
“I’d like to say that the information we have presented here is based on objective and reliable data from various technical systems - unlike the groundless accusations made against Russia,” said Kartopolov.
9. Where is it right now? Why are some of the missiles missing on the launcher? When was the last time a missile was launched from it?
These question do indeed correspond to the claims made by the MoD officials during the press-conference:
[Chief of Staff of the Main Operations Directorate - deputy chief of The General Staff Andrew Kartapolov:] To conclude it I would like to mention that all the concrete information is based on the objective and reliable dates of the different Russian equipment in contrast to the accusations of the US against us made without any evidence.The good example of such fact is that some mass media showed transportation of the Buk-M1 missile system from Ukrainian to Russian territory.We can clearly see that its frame-up.
These pictures were made in the city of Krasnoarmeisk that is confirmed by a banner situated close to the road. This banner has an address of the car shop situated at the Dnepropetrovskaya, 34.
Since May 11 the Krasnoarmeysk city is under control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
That is why we have some questions.
What kind of launching system is it? Where is it transported? Where is it now? Why is it unloaded completely? What was the last time it launched missiles?
To end my speech I would like to emphasize that the Russian Federation did not deliver to the militants any Buk-M1 missiles systems and other equipment.
There are 2 problems with this claim.
1. It’s not true.
2. It comes from an anonymous viral internet text, most probably distributed by the Kremlin trolls and bots.
Moreover, the claim had been debunked long before the press conference took place. For example, on July 20 an authoritative blogger Anatoly Vorobey analyzed the photo of the same Buk made on July 17, and proved beyond doubt (by way of comparison with other photos) that it was made in Torez, i.e. on the territory held by the “separatists”, and thus couldn’t have been on the Ukrainian-controlled territory the next day (when the video was made). Moreover, the claim that one can read the name of the street on the poster in the video is a direct lie, the text on the video is simply unreadable. But the same ad was found online, and the words are not “Dnepropetrovskaya 34”, but rather “natsionalnyj avtodiler” (“national autodealer”).
So the top Russian MoD experts either fell for an internet lie or knowingly repeated it. Either way, they have no credibility.
And RT’s questions can now be reversed: so what was the Buk (the existence of which the “separatists” and Russian officials strenuously deny, despite the official “separatist” and Russian state news sources having gleefully reported about it at the end of June) was doing on the territory controlled by the “separatists”? Where is one of its missiles? Where was it heading?
Actually we do know the answers to these questions, but it would be interesting to see what new wild excuses the Putinist clowns can come up with.
Shortly after the South Korea ferry Sewol capsized and sank in April, killed more than 300 passengers, South Korean police issued warrants for the arrests of the owners of the ferry line.
Yoo Byung-eun, the head of the family-owned business, promptly went missing.
In June a body was found decomposing in a plum field south of Seoul. Police now say DNA tests identify the remains as Yoo’s.
Besides his ferry business, Yoo is also the head of a church. Police have accused church members of helping Yoo elude captre.
In June, some 6,000 police officers stormed a church complex in Anseong city belonging to Mr Yoo.
Four church followers were detained on charges of assisting his escape and police said they were looking for several more who had helped the billionaire.
Outside the church, supporters held up a large banner that read: “We’ll protect Yoo Byung-eun even if 100,000 church members are all arrested.”
I’m not sure “blunder” is the best word for the decisions Putin has made while in control of Russia, but that’s the term The Star newspaper of Malaysia chose for this report.
PETALING JAYA: In his 15 years at the helm of a new, capitalist Russia, President Vladimir Putin is no stranger to autocratic, if not oppressive and brutal moves to consolidate his grip on power and spread Russia’s influence.
These are just ten blunders Putin has made since taking the reins from Boris Yeltsin in 1999:
#10 is shooting down MH17 over Ukraine. While Russia’s ambassador to Malaysia says the pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine could not possibly have shot down the Malaysian Airlines jet, it seems Malaysians are not biting at that line at all.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment about dead Palestinian children was rightfully condemned, though it became fodder for professional anti-Semites. Greenwald’s latest article for example compared Netanyahu’s comment to a Goebbels quote defending the policy of making Jews wear yellow stars. Which is objectively racist, the US and the EU have classified any comparison of Israel to nazi Germany as anti-Semitic. By doing so the EU and US simply acknowledged the obvious about people who seek to use the genocide of Jews to attack Jews.
Greenwald realized how offensive the comment was and immediately propped up a series of defenses, numbered for reading pleasure. He insisted that to “to compare aspects of A and B is not to posit that A and B are identical” which is irrelevant, a comparison is not the act of arguing that two things are identical. If he compared Obama to an ape that would be racist no matter how many times he insisted that he doesn’t think that Obama is genetically identical to an ape. Greenwald’s comparison is officially racist under two systems, his claim that he doesn’t believe that Israel and nazi Germany are non-identical doesn’t make his article any less racist.
The closest he comes to offering evidence is falling back on his shameful comparison of the Iraq war to nazi invasion of Poland. He insists that “observing that both the U.S. in 2003 and Germany in 1938 launched aggressive wars in direct violation of what were to become the Nuremberg Principles is not to equate the two countries.” Yet thats the only possible reason to make the comparison; there is no common ground between the two invasions and the comparisons ignores more accurate comparisons.
Glenn’s hyperbole is not only anti-Semitic, its ridiculous since by his reasoning that allies were just like the third reich rendering any comparison moot. The allies carpet bombed on a scale dwarfing any 21st century war; if the US or UK in the 1940s were at war with Hamas they would have covered every inch of Gaza in bombs. The allies also invaded nations on false pretenses in pure examples of aggression such as the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.
Greenwald rails against the strawmen that people are “barred from ever citing certain historical examples in order to draw lessons for contemporary conflicts is as dangerous as it is anti-intellectual.” Such a blockade doesn’t exist, people are only criticized for racist hyperbole like using the Holocaust as a weapon against Jews. Though it is truly anti-intellectual to pretend whatever you don’t like is just like nazi Germany ergo you are an anti-fascist hero and that criticism of you is somehow censorship. There is nothing wrong with nazi comparisons if they are accurate, yet states and entities genuinely comparable to nazism fail to illicit Glenn’s condemnation. When it comes to genuine parallels like Hamas’s genocidal intent, DPRK and PRC death camps, Baathism Glenn is either silent or ridicules the notion that such horrors could ever have anything in common with nazism.
Glenn cites his own articles as evidence blurring the line between arrogance and laziness. The articles include a defense of his comparison of the invasion of Iraq to the invasion of Poland, which compares Iraqi Kurds to pro-nazi Sudaten Germans! A comparison as offensive and racist as comparing Saddam to Anne Frank. If we must compare the Iraq war to WWII Iraqi Kurds can only be validly compared to victims of the reich which inspired Baathism. To compare victims of genocide to nazis is depravity that shows Greenwald has no honest interest in “citing certain historical examples in order to draw lessons for contemporary conflicts” he’s more into rewriting it.
On twitter Greenwald provided another example of his anti-Semitism by endorsing a comment arguing that Jews bear collective guilt for Gaza. The commenter said he felt “responsible” for civilian deaths in Palestinian areas because he’s Jewish, collective Jewish guilt is legally classified as anti-Semitism. “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” represents an example of modern day antisemitism, according to the EUMC Working Definition, a concept Glenn promoted and endorsed.
Glenn has previously refused to condemn Assad who is guilty of using a state modeled on European fascism to starve and massacre Palestinians. Why is that Greenwald is only vocal on the subject of dead Palestinians in one area but silent in another area which cannot be used as a cudgel against the US and Israel? The answer is in the question.
You’re probably thinking, of all the assaults on our liberty - our imperial President, Benghazi, and also Benghazi - just how bad can things be?
How about the assault on liberty that is “your exterior doors must match your trim paint color”? Time to water the tree of liberty with some Benjamin Moore HC-120!
Friends, I give to you the gift that keeps on giving: Recharter HOAs.
Have a seat, pour a drink, and prepare to wander down the rathole of insanity.
It’s almost too much crazy to even try to pull-quote, but I’ll try.
HOA rules keep the appeal of neighborhoods uniform. This is socialism.
HOA rules define every aspect of a person’s options. This is totalitarianism.
Uh, ok. Mostly they’re annoying retired people who give me 6 months to ensure my pole beans have been trimmed to the maximum height allowed by the covenants, but, ok, sure the totalitarianism thing, sure.
Though these are mundane issues our right to liberty and private property is guaranteed by our Constitution and cannot be signed away by contract. Therefore, the Association has no right to assume such authority, and to assume that the Association has such authority is extraordinarily arrogant and frightening and should be so for every true American. This is also where our highest moral obligation of protecting and defending the rights of others as we would ourselves becomes paramount.
I mean, other than you signed a contract with them, a contract that no legal authority in history has declared “slavery” or any such thing. You didn’t have to move here.
“The Painter I Hired Now Runs My Life”. Seriously, it says that. A human being wrote that. I can’t even excerpt it.
And on and on and on. It just goes on, down a crazy ouroboros rathole.
To be sure: like I said, our HOA is annoying. Suuuuuuper annoying, as are most. But they are rooted in sanity - keep property values high without requiring government intervention - so we mostly tolerate it.
He comes to every meeting and protests, demanding the HOA board swear fealty to Jesus and the Constitution. Seriously.
(I have long wished to get a little too drunk before an HOA meeting and demand we stop it with the worrying about my goddamned pole beans and instead create some atomic robot supermen to show those uptight assholes in Brambleton who’s the real power in this corner of Loudoun County! And in doing so he’ll give me a knowing wink that he, too, is drunk and attempting performance art.)
Mmmm-hmmm. Now if you’ll excuse me, I wanted to finish my other post explaining how rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God and thus, I can paint my mailbox any goddamned color I wish.
The mom and two teenage boys had already journeyed thousands of miles from El Salvador to the U.S.-Mexico border. They had been apprehended by Border Patrol agents, transported from detention center to detention center.
Then, 10 days after they left San Salvador, they were brought here, to a small room in Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on a July afternoon in Las Cruces.
Here, they meet with a woman who volunteered at the church to help get the family to relatives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“Cómo está?” The volunteer asked.
“Bien,” the older boy replied quietly.
Lawyers visit twice a day to ensure the migrants know their rights — they are free to travel to their families elsewhere in the country, but they must report for court hearings. Bilingual priests are on hand as well to act as counselors.
“It’s been a long journey,” she said. “They’re drained with the atrocities taking place in Central America, on the road.”
After their meal, the migrants filed into rooms to collect hygiene supplies, diapers, clothes and suitcases to store their new belongings. Mothers tried pants and bras on over their clothes, before heading to collect donated hygiene products and towels to shower. Children can choose one toy from a large box of stuffed animals. Another basket holds dozens of donated fake gold earrings for the moms.
They’ve been a hit, volunteer Toni Martinez said.
“It’s the little things they need to help them out, just to make them feel like women,” she said.
Down the hall, volunteers sat at four tables, each with a laptop, cell phone and box of tissues. Migrants visited with the volunteers to call their families across the country and book bus, train and plane tickets there. The relatives will pay for the tickets, so the mode of transportation depends on how much they can spare. Volunteers drive the migrants to the station and the El Paso airport, even escorting them through security.
Looks like they’re using unmarked vehicles to move them around.
Read the whole article here: Las Cruces Church Provides Cot, Clothes, Compassion to About 200 Migrants - Las Cruces Sun-News