We are the 99%

October 20, 2014

And Now...A Message From The Pentagon

A few days ago the Post-Gazette editorial board published this:
Conservative members of Congress may not be ready to acknowledge the reality of climate change, but the Pentagon sees it for what it is — a threat to national security.

On Monday, the Pentagon issued a report assessing the immediate dangers of climate change.
And here's the report itself.

And this is from Secretary Hagel's forward:
The responsibility of the Department of Defense is the security of our country. That requires thinking ahead and planning for a wide range of contingencies.

Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.
And so on.

While the other, smaller, and far more ideological (in this case rightwing) paper in town, the Tribune-Review did reprint this AP piece that said:
The report — described as a Pentagon road map — identifies four things that it says will affect the military: rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more extreme weather and rising sea levels. It calls on the department and the military services to identify more specific concerns, including possible effects on the more than 7,000 bases and facilities, and to start putting plans in place to deal with them.

More broadly, the report warns that as temperatures rise and severe weather increases, food, water and electricity shortages could cause instability in many countries, spreading disease, causing mass migration and opening the door for extremists to take advantage of fractures in unstable countries.
However, our friends on the Trib's editorial board are still looking to disprove the science with this:
Wattsupwiththat.com , which bills itself as “the world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change,” says the water temperature of the Great Lakes is more than 6 degrees colder than last year at this time and 3 degrees colder than normal. Experts say should the trend continue, the lakes could freeze over earlier. And that could impair Great Lakes shipping. This global warming stuff is getting ridiculous.
So, I guess, because a rightwing science denying website says the Great Lakes are warmer this year than last year the Pentagon has to be wrong,

Hmm...ponder that for a bit because that's what the braintrust wants you to believe.

October 19, 2014

Corbett Replaces Photoshopped Web Site Image with New Reality-based Image

As you've surely all heard by now, PA Governor Tom Corbett was caught with a Photoshopped stock image of a smiling black woman standing next to him as the footer on his campaign web site:

 After the ensuing brouhaha, the image was replaced with one that better reflects the reality of the support for his campaign:

Well it has in my head anyway.

Here's the real replacement in case you're interested:

October 18, 2014

More On Corbett's Desperation And Deceit

Yesterday, I posted this.

This morning I discovered that factcheck.org had already taken a look at the TV ad.  And what did they find?  Take a look:
We’ve noticed that the most deceitful attack ads often come from candidates who are most desperate. For example, consider the claim by Pennsylvania’s unpopular Republican Gov. Tom Corbett that his opponent “is promising to raise middle-class taxes,” when in fact Democratic nominee Tom Wolf promises to cut them. [Emphasis added.]
Yea. It doesn't get much better for the Corbett Tom.
Wolf has proposed increasing the state’s income tax — but only for those making more than roughly $70,000 to $90,000 per year for individuals, or more than $140,000 to $180,000 for married couples. For the large majority of Pennsylvanians, whose incomes fall below those levels, Wolf proposes to reduce or eliminate the income tax. [Emphasis added.]
After pointing out that the Corbett Campaign is claiming that Wolf is being dishonest, Factcheck corrects:
But it is Corbett who’s being dishonest here. He knows exactly what Wolf is proposing, because he was standing only a few feet away from him during an Oct. 8 debate in which Wolf sketched out his plan.

Wolf said (starting at about 23 minutes into the recording): “If you are in the seventy to ninety thousand dollar range as an individual — and you can double that if you are married — you should not pay any more in taxes. And people making below that will get a break. That’s my goal.”
So whenever you see the TV ad you can know for sure that it's a lie.  The Corbett Campaign is lying to you whenever they show it to you.

Tom Corbett: Desperate and Dishonest.

October 17, 2014

The Desperate Corbett Campaign

How else can you explain such a fleeting connection with the truth?

I've seen this ad on my TV a few times (as I am sure you all have):

But did you know that it's all based on a smeary lie?

Look at the image.  It reads, "Wolf calls for income tax increase" and references that to PoliticsPA.

But when you actually go to PoliticsPA looking for a mention of Wolf increasing the income tax, you'll find this piece.  In it, it reads:
The Democratic nominee’s proposed budget would also adjust the state’s 43 year old income tax. If elected, he plans to shift more of the financial burden onto citizens in the higher income brackets. He also plans to relieve more low-income households of their tax burden through a “universal exemption.”

Wolf sees his plan as fair, and he hopes that it will lessen the burden on those who he deems as the middle class; households with annual incomes between $70,000 and $90,000. [Emphasis added.]
And yet the first line of the ad claims that "Tom Wolf is going to raise the income tax on middle class families." You can't get much more dishonest than that.

The interesting part about all this is that while the (at best) misleading Corbett ad references PoliticsPA on the tax increase, all the information above is actually found at (now wait for it), PoliticsPA.

If Corbett had better ideas than Wolf, he'd be spending his money telling us all about them.  Instead he's using his money to mislead the electorate, the people he hopes will vote for him.  Can't get much more desperate than that.

And then there's the photoshopping.  (PoliticsPA led me to Buzzfeed on this):
A black woman smiling in the background of a group picture that appears at the bottom of every page of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s campaign website is actually a stock image, photshopped in.
What, they can't find an actual picture of the Governor speaking with actual African-Americans to use on the campaign website?

October 16, 2014

Dear Russell Brand, If not voting is the answer, why is it exactly what the GOP wants?

I have, on occasion, enjoyed Russell Brand's humor, but I've had it up to here with his appearing on every talk show urging people not to vote. I'll take Rotten over Brand on this one.

(via Facebook)

October 12, 2014

The Tribune-Review Misguides Its Readers On Climate Change. Again.

Today, the editorial board of the The Tribune-Review added this sentence to its Sunday Pops page:
Scholars at the Heartland Institute report that the global mean surface temperature of the Earth has not risen now for 18 straight years. We report, you deride — the climate-cluckers. [Bolding in Original.]
The implication is clear: no more warming!  But look closer at the sentence - "global mean surface temperature" has not risen.  Is the mean surface temperature the only way to gauge global warming?

No, it isn't.  But we've been down this road before, haven't we?

So, with your indulgence, O Gentle Reader, I'd like to trace this story through the climate denier distortion machine.  First we look to Heartland.  What do they say about this?

We get a clue from this page:
According to satellite data released this month by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), which provides data used by NASA, NOAA, and the National Science Foundation, the global mean surface temperature has not risen for 18 consecutive years. This extends the so-called “pause” in global warming to a new record, one not predicted by the climate models of the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Ah. Now we have a NASA source for the data - Remote Sensing Systems. More on that in a bit.  But if you look at the title of that page, it's obvious that it's a follow up to an earlier page - it's a "comment on" sort of thing.

Here's the original "reporting" at Heartland:
According to Professor John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama/Huntsville, October 1 marked the 18th anniversary of no warming as measured by Earth’s climate satellite system. Despite a continued and marked rise in emissions and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, Earth’s temperature has plateaued for the past 18 years.

Christy told CNS News, “That’s basically a fact. There’s not much to comment on.”
(There's a link to this CNS News piece on Christy at the bottom of the page.)  So wait, so this isn't from Heartland?  It's only passing through the Conservative/Libertarian think tank from another right wing "news" source?  Why didn't the Tribune-Review tell us that?

Do I need to mention that CNS News is owned by the Media Research Council and about the financial links between the late Richard Mellon Scaife and his Tribune-Review and his stake in MRC/CNS News?

But besides all that (which frankly is enough to erase any credibility the braintrust has in this matter), what does Remote Sensing Systems actually have to say about the global mean surface temperatures?

Take a look. Here's how they summarize their findings:
  • Over the past 35 years, the troposphere has warmed significantly. The global average temperature has risen at an average rate of about 0.13 degrees Kelvin per decade (0.23 degrees F per decade).
  • Climate models cannot explain this warming if human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are not included as input to the model simulation.
  • he spatial pattern of warming is consistent with human-induced warming. See Santer et al 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012 for more about the detection and attribution of human induced changes in atmospheric temperature using MSU/AMSU data.[Link in Original]
Then they add their "But...:
  • The troposphere has not warmed as fast as almost all climate models predict.
Wait. Not warmed as fast?  But Heartland said that according to RSS data, the warming stopped!  The Trib braintrust dutifully echoed and amplified Heartland and said it "hasn't risen" in 18 years!  But the folks they're all telling us about told a different story, didn't they?

Interesting how that happens in the well funded right wing news/noise machine, huh?

Meanwhile the warming's still going on - in the oceans and not on the surface.

October 8, 2014

No Warming Since 1998?

Here's some more evidence that the "no warming since there's been no warming since 1998" myth really needs to be put to sleep:
The combined average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces for August 2014 was record high for the month, at 0.75°C (1.35°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F), topping the previous record set in 1998.
The global land surface temperature was 0.99°C (1.78°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F), the second highest on record for August, behind 1998.
For the ocean, the August global sea surface temperature was 0.65°C (1.17°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.4°F). This record high departure from average not only beats the previous August record set in 2005 by 0.08°C (0.14°F), but also beats the previous all-time record set just two months ago in June 2014 by 0.03°C (0.05°F).
The combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for the June–August period was also record high for this period, at 0.71°C (1.28°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), beating the previous record set in 1998.
Then there's the art:

See that black line?  That's this year so far.  Third highest of the five highest on record.