Archive for December 12, 2010

Climate Progress – NASA explains how Europe can be so cold amidst the hottest November and hottest year on record

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

From Climate Progress:

NASA explains how Europe can be so cold amidst the hottest November and hottest year on record

December 12, 2010

How did we get record-breaking November warmth in the middle of a strong La Niña that would normally cool global temperatures (as it did in the fall of 1998, see lower right figure, blue line)?  Is the answer the Arctic sea ice death spiral 2010?  And is the loss of Arctic sea ice also responsible for the frigid European temperatures?

NASA’s James Hansen, Reto Ruedy, Makiko Sato and Ken Lo answer these questions in “2010 — Global Temperature and Europe’s Frigid Air,” which I repost below with the original figures:

Figure 1 - Global maps of temperature anomaly. See caption

Figure 1: (a) January-November surface air temperature anomaly in GISS analysis, (b) November 2010 anomaly using only data from meteorological stations and Antarctic research stations, with the radius of influence of a station limited to 250 km to better reveal maximum anomalies.

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Susie Madrak – Obama To Hold CEO Summit Wednesday; Execs To Present Their Very Reasonable Demands For Ransom

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

From Crooks and Liars:

Obama To Hold CEO Summit Wednesday; Execs To Present Their Very Reasonable Demands For Ransom

By Susie Madrak

Posted: 12 Dec 2010 07:00 AM PST

So corporations sense vulnerability and they’re going to ask for the moon — basically, they want to run untaxed, unregulated businesses with few (if any) legal obligations to the people who still work for them. Oh, and they want “austerity” for the working classes. (Don’t worry, Obama will fight hard to protect us!) There, that’s settled!

Now perhaps the president can convene a one-day summit of the unemployed and the working poor to ask them what they think, for a change:

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama will convene a one-day summit of corporate chief executives Wednesday as part of a renewed White House effort to build support among business leaders for his economic agenda.

Executives from Google, Cisco Systems, Inc., Facebook Inc., International Business Machines Corp., American Express Co., The Dow Chemical Co. and Pepsico Inc. have been invited to the Wednesday meeting at Blair House, adjacent to the White House, to discuss trade, tax, regulatory issues and the deficit.

The administration wants to persuade U.S. companies to unleash some of the $1.93 trillion in cash and other liquid assets they’re hoarding in their treasuries. Cash as a share of total assets is at the highest level it’s been in a half-century, the Federal Reserve said last week. Mr. Obama wants the nation’s biggest companies to invest that money in expansion and new hires in the U.S.

Ideas for overhauling the tax code and cutting the deficit will be a substantial part of the Wednesday discussion, Presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett said, as would ideas for “a balanced approach to regulations—to promote economic growth and give business regulatory certainty and predictability while providing safety for the American people,” she said.

Last summer, former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel pushed for a review of rules affecting business hiring, but ran into stiff resistance from some members of the president’s political team.

“Regulations have been a fault-line with business, so compromise on them would be a very welcome change,” said Johanna Schneider, executive director of the Business Roundtable, composed of chief executives from the nation’s biggest multinationals.

Mr. Obama has met with chief executives since the start of his administration, but some who attended those meetings have complained that he didn’t take their views into account in policies that resulted. Corporate leaders have expressed dismay at Mr. Obama’s sometimes sharp criticism of multi-national corporations, and his administration’s regulatory and tax policies, such as a proposal to raise taxes on income corporations earn overseas.

Business executives say they sense a difference in the approach taken by Mr. Obama since Democrats got trounced in the November congressional elections. Recent administration compromises on trade and taxes have encouraged business leaders.

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James Dean: Life and Career Documentary Directed by Robert Altman – The James Dean Story (1957)

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Iran-Contra Hearings Day 7: Robert McFarlane Testimony (1987)

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Egyptian Elections Elaborate Political Theater

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Firedoglake – A Sellout (or Three) Too Far? Obama’s 2012 Support Collapsing in Wake of Latest Betrayals

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

From Firedoglake:

A Sellout (or Three) Too Far? Obama’s 2012 Support Collapsing in Wake of Latest Betrayals

By: Phoenix Woman Sunday December 12, 2010 6:37 am

In the wake of last month’s elections, polling showed that a non-trivial portion of Americans aren’t too crazy about Republicans or Democrats, but feel that since the Democrats and Obama didn’t keep their promises, there was no reason to care, much less vote.

Obama’s response: Pull a Bill Clinton and tack to the right — and betray the people who voted for him in 2008 over and over and over again.

Oddly enough, this didn’t cause Americans to flock to his side. In fact, the opposite has occurred — he’s now so unpopular that Mitt Romney, the least-teabaggerish of the GOP contenders and the likely winner of the 2012 Republican nomination for president — would beat him if the election were held today:

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Washington’s Blog – The Economy Cannot Recover Until the Big Banks Are Broken Up

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

From Washington’s Blog:

The Economy Cannot Recover Until the Big Banks Are Broken Up

A lot of people still haven’t heard that the economy cannot recover until the big banks are broken up.

In fact, virtually all independent economists and financial experts are calling for the big banks to be broken up, including:

  • Dean and professor of finance and economics at Columbia Business School, and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, R. Glenn Hubbard
  • The leading monetary economist and co-author with Milton Friedman of the leading treatise on the Great Depression, Anna Schwartz
  • Economics professor and senior regulator during the S & L crisis, William K. Black
  • Professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the Chicago Booth School of Business, Luigi Zingales

Why do these experts say the giant banks need to be broken up?

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