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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election was about Economy, NOT about Rejection of Progressive Issues; The Republicans/Tea Party Don't Understand Constitution; Earth Will Take 100,000 Years to Recover from Climate Change

- Your Vote, Your Economy-Why Today’s Election Matters to Your Pocketbook Election Day is finally here, and control of the House and the Senate hangs in the balance. The differences between parties could not be more stark. Republicans have promised to repeal health care reform and slash government spending for social programs, all while preserving tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Some of the more radical ideas bandied about this election season—by conservative candidates with a decent shot at winning—include privatizing social security and eliminating the Department of Education.

- The Tea Party Constitution Versus the Thomas Jefferson Constitution So it should be understood that O'Donnell, Miller, Angle, Buck, Johnson and the rest of the Tea Partisans who might be senators are not talking about the Constitution as it was written or as the founders intended it. Rather, they are talking about the Constitution as they would like to see it rewritten and reinterpreted—with the help of the most activist Supreme Court in American history. While their intents are radical, their prospects must be seen in light of the fact that Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative majority have already reinterpreted the First Amendment's free speech protection in a manner that extends the natural rights that the founders reserved for human beings to multinational corporations.

- Lessons of the Blue Dog Blowout Today's New York Times has analysis from [conservative Democrat] Evan Bayh, a retiring centrist/moderate/presidential aspirant, which was obviously penned before polls closed in order to make it to press. "We were too deferential to our most zealous supporters," he bemoans, (huh?), and Democrats "over-interpreted our mandate."  Bayh's solution is to focus more on GOP priorities like tax reform, government spending freezes and entitlement cuts. Third Way, a think tank that was literally founded to push Democrats to the center, has been pushing a similar line this week.

It is truly bizarre, because on Tuesday, voters rejected the very Blue Dog Democrats [conservative democrats] who have been following that exact approach.

- Economy, Not Healthcare or Deficits, Drove Midterm Vote Boehner’s wrong about what voters have repudiated, and his party’s primary accomplishment this election is having made its precarious dance with the tea party all the more dangerous. Voters who identified themselves as “moderates” stuck by Democrats—there just weren’t enough of them at the polls. And the independents who pushed Republicans over the top weren’t nearly as interested in supporting the GOP’s empty ideas as they were in rejecting the president’s leadership.

Exit polls showed that voters across the political spectrum cast ballots based on the economy. Not health care reform or the deficit or immigration or any of the GOP’s favorite tropes, but the economy [ironically, an economy that republican policy destroyed!].

Earth Will Take 100,000 Years to Recover from Global Warming Say Geologists
The Earth will take 100,000 years to recover from global warming if mankind continues to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, geologists have warned.
by Louise Gray
Published on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 by The Telegraph/UK

A conference organised by the Geological Society in London this week will bring together scientists from around the world to look at how the world coped with climate change in the past.

[Professor Jim Zachos, of the University of California, said continuing to pump out greenhouse gases at the current rate will cause a more rapid temperature rise than at any other time in history and could cause "mass extinction of species".(photo by Flickr user AZRainman)]Professor Jim Zachos, of the University of California, said continuing to pump out greenhouse gases at the current rate will cause a more rapid temperature rise than at any other time in history and could cause "mass extinction of species".(photo by Flickr user AZRainman)
By studying rock sediments from millions of years ago geologists have been able to model how increases in greenhouse gases led to temperature change and extinction of species.

Professor Jim Zachos, of the University of California, said that 55 million years ago volcanic activity caused around 4,500 gigatons of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere over thousands of years.
This caused the planet to warm by 6C (10.8F), forcing whole ecosystems, including early mammals, to adapt, migrate or die out in certain areas.

Prof Zachos said that if the world continues to pump out greenhouse gases at the current rate, around 5,000 gigatons of greenhouse gases will be released into the atmosphere over a few hundred years.

He said this will cause a more rapid temperature rise that at any other time in history and could cause "mass extinction of species".

"The impacts will be pretty severe compared to 55 million years ago in terms of evolution of this planet," he said.

The Geological Society warned that it could take the Earth 100,000 years to recover.
A statement read: "The geological evidence from the 55 million year event and from earlier warming episodes suggests that such an addition [a massive increase in greenhouse gases caused by the activities of mankind] is likely to raise average global temperatures by at least 5 to 6C, and possibly more, and that recovery of the Earth's climate in the absence of mitigation measures could take 100,000 years or more. Numerical models of the climate system support such an interpretation. In the light of the evidence presented here it is reasonable to conclude that emitting further large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over time is likely to be unwise, uncomfortable though that fact may be."