• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Catscatscats on It’s a beautiful day in the ne…
    Kathleen A Wynne on More Intensity
    lililam on More Intensity
    bellecat on It’s a beautiful day in the ne…
    William on More Intensity
    centaur on More Intensity
    tamens on It’s a beautiful day in the ne…
    Kathleen A Wynne on More Intensity
    William on It’s a beautiful day in the ne…
    HerstoryRepeating on More Intensity
    HerstoryRepeating on It’s a beautiful day in the ne…
    Catscatscats on More Intensity
    riverdaughter on More Intensity
    Kathleen A Wynne on More Intensity
    Catscatscats on It’s a beautiful day in the ne…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Toward A Land Ethic
      **GUEST POST By Eric Anderson** If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are. — Wendell Berry I’ve thought a lot about immigration in my time, and confess, I’ve never thought very highly of it. Which, of late, seems to be an extremely unpopular position among liberals. But it’s not that […]
  • Top Posts

Scientists study effect of zombie attack.


Seriously. Would I joke about something like this? From the BBC:

If zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively.

That is the conclusion of a mathematical exercise carried out by researchers in Canada.

They say only frequent counter-attacks with increasing force would eradicate the fictional creatures.

The scientific paper is published in a book – Infectious Diseases Modelling Research Progress.

Canada has beer and snow. If I was them I would ignore the zombies and worry about illegal aliens from the south, especially as global warming kicks in.

This is an open thread.


UPDATE:

This screencap from Memeorandum is PRICELESS:


zombies2


Please Digg!!! Tweet!!! Share!!!!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

This is how the world ends

Not with a financial collapse. Not with death by insurance company. Those are all just human disasters. We hear them loud and clear, but they drown out the faint thrumming which is the hoofbeats of all four horsemen of the Apocalypse. They’re coming up way too fast for us. This is the worst news out there:

BBC | Methane seeps from Arctic sea bed

Scientists … have evidence that the powerful greenhouse gas methane is escaping from the Arctic sea bed. …

As temperatures rise, the sea bed grows warmer and frozen water crystals in the sediment break down, allowing methane trapped inside them to escape.

The research team found that more than 250 plumes of methane bubbles are rising from the sea bed off Norway. …

Writing in Geophysical Research Letters, the team says the methane was rising from an area of sea bed off West Spitsbergen, from depths between 150 and 400m.

The gas is normally trapped as “methane hydrate” in sediment under the ocean floor.

“Methane hydrate” is an ice-like substance composed of water and methane which is stable under conditions of high pressure and low temperature.

As temperatures rise, the hydrate breaks down. So this new evidence shows that methane is stable at water depths greater than 400m off Spitsbergen.

However data collected over 30 years shows it was then stable at water depths as shallow as 360m.

Ocean has warmed

Temperature records show that this area of the ocean has warmed by 1C during the same period. …

Their most significant finding is that climate change means the gas is being released from more and deeper areas of the Arctic ocean. …

The team found that most of the methane is being dissolved into the seawater and did not detect evidence of the gas breaking the surface of the ocean and getting into the atmosphere.

They stress that this does not mean that the gas does not enter the atmosphere. They point out that the methane seeps are unpredictable and erratic in quantity, size and duration. …

Most of the methane reacts with the oxygen in the water to form carbon dioxide, another greenhouse gas. In sea water, this forms carbonic acid which adds to ocean acidification, with consequent problems for biodiversity.

Graham Westbrook, lead author and professor of geophysics at the University of Birmingham said: “If this process becomes widespread along Arctic continental margins, tens of megatonnes of methane a year – equivalent to 5-10% of the total amount released globally by natural sources, could be released into the ocean.”

Can you say “feedback loop”? Or, to be more precise, “vicious circle”? This is what everyone who understands the situation has been dreading.

At some point — you never know when until it happens — it won’t just be us belching out greenhouse gases. So far, if we’d only stopped belching, that would have been the end of it. The greenhouse gases would have gradually been recycled out of the atmosphere and the climate could have returned to normal.

But the next phase is that the whole planet starts emitting extra CO2 and extra methane because it’s warmer. That makes it even warmer. That makes the planet emit even more greenhouse gases.

At that point we can stop our own idiocy cold … and it won’t make much difference. When the permafrost in the Arctic tundras melts, it releases greenhouse gases. When the ocean warms, it releases greenhouse gases. Molecule per molecule, methane is about eight times stronger as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The best we can hope at that point is most of it will turn into CO2 in the ocean, and acidify that instead.

The grim news is that we’ve reached that point. The permafrost is melting (pdf). The shallower methane hydrates are bubbling up. Ocean circulation rates are changing. (There is variation.)

I’m beginning to think the saddest words a human being can say are, “I do not envy the young.”

Please Digg!!!! Share!!! Tweet!!!

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

Buy a clue, Ezra


Ezra Klein in today’s WaPo:

Monday was the day of the liberal revolt on health-care reform. If you want a nice round-up of the commentary, see Mike Allen. What’s been striking, however, is the implicit argument that this is somehow a simple failure of liberal will. Rachel Maddow called it “a collapse of political ambition.” The problem, she said, is that “Democrats are too scared of their own shadow to use the majority the American people elected them to in November to actually pass something they said they favored.”

[…]

The problem, I think, is that there is a tendency to understand heath-care reform as an equal negotiation in which all sides want a deal, and you can game out various bargaining stratagems. But health-care reform is not a negotiation. It’s a campaign. Reformers wants a deal, even as some differ on its precise shape. The opposition wants to kill the deal entirely. And that gives the opponents a lot more power to say “no.” “No” isn’t their fallback position. It’s their position. The supporters — if they’re not sociopaths of some sort — actually do want to extend health-care coverage to 40 million people and regulate the insurance industry and create out-of-pocket caps and make life better for millions and millions of people. That makes it hard to say “no.” Being a decent person turns out to be a terrible weakness. And the pressure is even greater because the history of this stuff is that you don’t get a deal at the end of the day. Failure isn’t an unlikely outcome. It’s the default.

No, no, no ,no, no, NO!

Ezra just doesn’t get it:

FAILURE IS A FEATURE NOT A BUG!

Follow the money Mr. Klein. Which candidate got the most money from the health insurance industry and Big Pharma last year? Which party got the most money from the health insurance industry and Big Pharma last year?


Open Secret


What do you think the health insurance industry and Big Pharma were paying for? (Hint: It wasn’t to buy us all ponies)

As they say in Chicago, “An honest politician stays bought.”


Please Digg!!! Share!!! Tweet!!!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

Your Breakfast Read, Tuesday Edition

FUBAR

Oh! I should have known. It’s all 11-dimensional chess.
Obama’s healthcare trade-off

By dropping his insistence on a public insurance option, President Obama angered some of his most loyal supporters but sharply improved the odds of passing a far-reaching healthcare overhaul.

Three cheers for the real Democrats.
Liberals revolt over public option

A group of left-leaning House Democrats tells POLITICO that a bill without a public option simply won’t win enough votes in their caucus – a sentiment that raises fresh questions about the prospects to enact sweeping health care reform this year.

“A bill without a public option won’t pass the House,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a member of Energy & Commerce Health subcommittee. “Not only are they weakening their proposal, but they are also weakening their hand. This is legislative subtraction by subtraction.”

Privately, the leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus sent the same message to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who said Sunday that a public plan is “not the essential element” of comprehensive reform.

Are these guys just fooling with us now?

Senate Democrats Call Public Option Essential

Several leading Democrats voiced concern Monday about an apparent White House shift on health-care reform, objecting to signals from senior administration officials that they would abandon the idea of a government-run insurance plan if it lacked the backing to pass Congress.

Memo to Democrats: Republicans don’t want ANY type of health care reform. It’s not about how you call it or how you structure it. They WILL sabotage it, with the same argument they always use. You think by renouncing a true reform and opting for “a co-op plan” you’ll appease them and even get them on board? Think again. And wait until serial liar Betsy McCaughey gets hold of that plan too.
Republicans: A Co-op Plan Is Government-Run Health Care

The RNC forwarded a press release/research memo to reporters today claiming that a “‘public option’ by any other name is still government health care.”


Politics

Clinton Puts Spotlight On Women’s Issues

She plans to press governments on abuses of women’s rights and make women more central in U.S. aid programs.

But her efforts go beyond the marble halls of government and show how she is redefining the role of secretary of state. Her trips are packed with town hall meetings and visits to micro-credit projects and women’s dinners. Ever the politician, she is using her star power to boost women who could be her allies.

“It’s just a constant effort to elevate people who, in their societies, may not even be known by their own leaders,” Clinton said in an interview. “My coming gives them a platform, which then gives us the chance to try and change the priorities of the governments.”

Is it just another 11-dimensional chess? We are getting used to it.
Obama ’supports repeal’ of same-sex marriage ban, lawyers say

The Obama administration sent mixed signals on same sex-marriage Monday, frustrating both sides of the contentious issue.

In a legal brief filed Monday, Justice Department lawyers asserted that the administration “does not support” a law that limits the federal definition of marriage to heterosexual couples, calling it “discriminatory” and saying that the administration “supports its repeal.”

Yet in that same brief, Justice Department lawyers ask a judge to throw out a lawsuit against the that very same law, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Israelis sour on Rahm Emanuel

An observant Jew with deep ties to Israel, Emanuel is viewed as something of a native son, his rise through the ranks of American politics celebrated by Israelis who reveled in details such as his childhood summers spent in Israel and his volunteer stint during the first Gulf War in an Israeli military program for civilians.

When Emanuel was tapped to be Obama’s chief of staff, a headline in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz kvelled “Obama’s first pick: Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff,” while the Jewish news service JTA went with “Rahm Emanuel: attack dog, policy wonk, committed Jew.”

But in a dramatic emotional shift, Israelis have become increasingly disenchanted with Emanuel, and the disappointment is especially intense on the Israeli right, which supports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his opposition to Obama’s call for ceasing settlement activity.


Economy Watch

Regulators Were Told of Stanford Fraud, Investors Say

Investors who lost their savings in certificates of deposit issued by the Antiguan bank of R. Allen Stanford told a Congressional panel Monday that federal regulators had ignored warnings as early as 2003 that the bank’s finances were questionable.

“These agencies along with Stanford have robbed me of my American dream,” Craig Nelson, a 55-year-old resident of Magnolia Springs, Ala., testified at a Senate Banking Committee field hearing.

“I feel the U.S. government is responsible for my loss,” Mr. Nelson said, words that earned a standing ovation from the audience of more than 250 Stanford investors in a crowded auditorium.

It’s not just greed that drives top bankers

The culture of the City and Wall Street – and increasingly big business – is about more than bald numbers. It is also about arrogance – the belief, for example, among Enron executives, that they were “the smartest guys in the room”. Paying vast sums, out of kilter with value created, feeds this attitude and distorts judgment on what’s best for the company.

Why be so modest with our money? Hey, we give AIG $100 billion in March to spend as they wish.
New Chief at A.I.G. to Be Paid at Least $7 Million a Year

How much will it cost the American International Group to keep its chief executive to help stabilize the troubled insurer? At least $7 million a year.

World markets recover poise after big sell-off


Op-ed Columns

Don’t tell it to Right-wing demagogues.
Free-Market Death Panels

“Death panels”? I’ll tell you about death panels. My husband faced one some years ago, and it didn’t involve any government bureaucrat. It was run by our private insurer, the sort of corporate entity that foes of health care reform say will give you anything you want.

Bob Herbert has been on a roll lately. What is he on?
This Is Reform?

It’s never a contest when the interests of big business are pitted against the public interest. So if we manage to get health care “reform” this time around it will be the kind of reform that benefits the very people who have given us a failed system, and thus made reform so necessary.

Robert Kuttner wonders where the Liberal protesters are.
Obama Keeps Progressives Silent on Health Care

Something is severely off when economically stressed Americans confront members of Congress about “death panels” in the Obama health plan. The rumors, fanned by talk radio with a little help from Republicans, are false and even delusional. Yet the anger, if misdirected, is genuine.

People should be plenty angry about their jobs and their mortgages and their health insurance. With health care, however, virtually all of the fears attributed to the Obama health reform efforts more accurately describe the existing private system.

It is private insurance companies that ration care by deciding what is covered and what is not. Private plans limit which doctor and hospital you can use, define “preexisting conditions” and make insurance unaffordable for tens of millions. For many, all this can cause suffering and sometimes even death. Our one oasis of socialized medicine, Medicare, has the most choice and the least exclusion.

For Afghan Women, Rights Again at Risk

When the United States and its allies went to war against the Taliban after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, “liberating the women of Afghanistan” was often cited as one of the reasons to seek “regime change.” More than seven years later, however, the situation for Afghan women remains dire.

The views expressed in this column are solely those of Richard Cohen
What Is ‘Palinism?’

The former governor’s claims are either boldly demagogic or just plain loopy, but will any Republican stand up to her?


Around The Nation

Is this the new favorite leisure now? And why is the Secret Service allowing this?
Twelve Carry Guns — Including Assault Rifle — Outside Obama Event

About 12 people were carrying guns, including at least one semi-automatic assault rifle, outside a building where President Obama was speaking today.

No one was arrested outside the VFW National Convention in Phoenix, according to the Associated Press, where hundreds of people demonstrated both for and against health care reform.

Is this going to be fun or just bizarre? Maybe both.
Tom DeLay joins ‘Dancing With the Stars’ cast

In a move startling even by the outlandish standards of reality television, “Dancing With the Stars” announced Monday that former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay — a pugnacious politician under indictment for alleged money-laundering — will be a contestant in the upcoming season.

Have you seen some strange spending on your credit card lately?
3 Indicted in Theft of 130 Million Card Numbers

In an indictment, the Justice Department said that Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami and two unnamed Russian conspirators made off with more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers from late 2006 to early 2008.

Prosecutors called it the largest case of computer crime and identity theft ever prosecuted. According to the government, the culprits infiltrated the computer networks of Heartland Payment Systems, a payment processor in Princeton, N.J.; 7-Eleven; Hannaford Brothers, a regional supermarket chain; and two unnamed national retailers.

Mrs Sanford takes her turn. (At the microphone)
Notes on a Scandal

“[M]y husband has got some issues that he needs to work on, about happiness and what happiness means. You wish it wouldn’t come to a crisis like this, but I think when a lot of men get to this midpoint in life, they start asking questions that they probably should have asked a long time ago.” A former investment banker and a stay-at-home, full-time mother, Sanford doesn’t share her husband’s angst. “Midlife aging is different for men than for women,” she says. “Mark is worried about what his next job is. He worries about making money, running for office again, his legacy. I know my legacy is my children. I don’t worry about that.”

Shouldn’t we seriously consider a moratorium on all these executions?
Supreme Court Orders New Look at Death Row Case

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a federal trial court in Georgia to consider the case of Troy Davis, who is on death row in state prison there for the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer. The case has attracted international attention, and 27 former prosecutors and judges had filed a brief supporting Mr. Davis.

Seven of the witnesses against Mr. Davis have recanted, and several people have implicated the prosecution’s main witness as the actual killer of the officer, Mark MacPhail.


Around The World

There is no equivocation here: We are completely withdrawing form Iraq.
US troops to return to Iraq despite Barack Obama’s withdrawal plan

The US military plans to send thousands of American soldiers back to the oil-rich north of Iraq to prevent a civil war between Arabs and Kurds.

The emergency move, which partially reverses a recent drawing- down, is the first major sign that President Obama’s withdrawal plan may not work. He wants all US combat troops out of Iraq within 12 months.

Pakistan Captures Taliban Spokesman

Security forces captured the Pakistani Taliban’s top spokesman in an operation near the Afghan border, a government official said Tuesday, dealing another blow to the militants following the reported killing of their leader earlier this month.

Please Digg!!! Tweet!!! Share!!!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine