Rising tides… 31 July 2009Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
Hampton beach New Hampshire… sand sculpting…
From Maine to Florida, the Atlantic seaboard has experienced higher tides than expected this summer. At their peak in mid-June, the tides at some locations outstripped predictions by two feet.
The change has come too fast to be attributed to melting ice sheets or anything quite that dramatic, and it’s a puzzle for scientists who’ve never seen anything quite like it.
“The ocean is dynamic. It’s not uncommon to have anomalies like this but the breadth and the intensity and duration were unique,” said Mike Szabados, director of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s tide and current program.
The unexpected tidal surge is subsiding, has reduced its reach from the entire coast, and is now concentrated just in the mid-Atlantic states.
NOAA is rushing to study the data in an effort to understand what happened. Szabados’ office is already putting the finishing touches on a report that will be released next month on the wind and current patterns that appear to be correlated with the tidal surge.
Szabados said that two main factors appear to have contributed to the extra high tides. First, there were steady winds out of the northeast throughout this anomaly. Second, the ocean current running from Florida up along the coast weakened. While the associations between these phenomena and the tides are provocactive, it’s too early to tell how fully they explain this unexpected tidal event. ….
Call Obama. It’s his problem.
[A]merica, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.
The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.
UPDATE, 7:38 pm on the Pacific Ocean…
From the Press Gag-gle today…………
Q Back to today’s news, on clunkers — the problem as I understand — I talked to some state auto dealership associations which represent numerous dealerships. According to talking to some of these folks, what’s been a success so far is creating demand. But what has not been successful is trying to get the claims from the dealers to the government for the money that they’ve had to expend to buyers. In other words, they’re saying they’re going on the computer system and trying to submit the claims and are getting kicked off from the system a third of the way, and this is happening apparently all week, all around the country, in different dealerships. They’ve put this money out. They’re hearing that the system or the program has been suspended —
MR. GIBBS: Well, the program hasn’t been suspended. Let’s —
Q It was last night. So they’re worried — but they’re worried about getting their money back, because they’ve put out hundreds of thousands of dollars if they’re a large dealership. If they’re capital-weak, then that could be a real problem. What’s being done to fix that?
MR. GIBBS: Well, first and foremost, the program, as we said last night, was not suspended. And as I said this morning, the program was not suspended. The administration is comfortable and confident that the previous money that was allocated through the supplemental appropriations is enough to cover those transactions and to continue operating the program.
We think the program has been so successful that the President and staff here talked with Capitol Hill about extending that program — I know some of that request came — members of the Michigan delegation were very interested in that last night, and the House has voted to add an additional — or to move $2 billion from the Recovery Act energy efficiency programs into additional money for the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles.
I’m sure they’re looking at whatever problems the site may be having. Obviously with something that’s enormously popular there may be traffic problems on the computers. But we’re confident, and I think dealers can be confident, that the money is there to reimburse them for the rebates and the incentives that have drawn thousands and thousands of customers that haven’t been there for quite some time into their showrooms to purchase cars. [we’re all so confident! —Mcat]
Q It seems, though, that what may have prompted whatever happened last night — I think it was the Transportation Department’s statement or calls to members of Congress — I think — what I’m hearing is that what prompted that was that the government began to wonder if they had any idea how much they were on the hook for, basically.
MR. GIBBS: Well, again, as I talked to our guys here today, there were surveys by the dealers association. They felt that the obligations were getting toward the upper band of money that had been allocated. We feel confident, which is why I said so this morning, that there is enough money — but to extend a popular program that we think is having, again, benefit for many involved, that moving that money from the recovery to this makes a lot of sense.
Look, I’ll tell this to dealers: Again, we feel confident, I think they can feel confident heading into the weekend, and hopefully if we can get the Senate to act, I think it’s likely — more likely that it’s going to be the beginning of next week. But I think they can feel confident heading into the weekend with a strong bipartisan vote in the House for additional money to ensure the continuation of the program. [still confident! Really confident! —Mcat]
Q Robert, isn’t there a — excuse me, but isn’t there a chance of an interruption, though, before the Senate acts?
MR. GIBBS: An interruption — again, we feel comfortable that there’s money to cover the transactions and we’re hopeful that the program, because it’s popular, because we think it is having such an important impact, will be extended even further.
Q So if there’s a run on dealerships between now and the weekend —
MR. GIBBS: “It’s a Wonderful Life” on GM dealers — we’re coming to get our — look, we hope a lot of people go this weekend to look at buying a new car. We think that’s, again, we think that incentives are good for them, we think they’re good for the economy, and we feel confident that there’s money to cover those transactions.
Q Thank you, Robert.
pass the beer… 30 July 2009Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, AFRICOM, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, la vie en rose.
The floating stage on Lake Constance in Bregenz as seen in Quantum of Solace. Above, the stage that appeared in the film was created for Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Tosca” in 2007… [GETTY]
… so did the boychicks look each other in the eye?
I read they were joined by Biden, who, in my opinion, IS a racist – in that classic old Pennsylvania way, with white ethnic Catholic thrown in…. Maybe, as they sweltered in what I read was a steamy Washington day, they talked of the never very successful Rose Garden, put in by Jacqueline. Planted in a less than fortuitous spot, or so rosiers say.
From Politico’s Whiteboard:
OBAMA: “I am thankful to Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley for joining me at the White House this evening for a friendly, thoughtful conversation. Even before we sat down for the beer, I learned that the two gentlemen spent some time together listening to one another, which is a testament to them. I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart. I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode.”
We can consider ourselves “taught”. Thank you, Mr Obama!, we can cry in unison. (Anyone ever notice old student evals of Professor Obama surface? They did for the Unibomber, as he had taught at some university in the mists of time. But not for Obama, that I noticed.)
I think “crappy nothingness” was achieved here… and is a good take away ”lesson”. Pencils down, books closed. Carry on.
I feel like the one in the middle… 29 July 2009Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
Four snowy owl hatchlings sit in a basket at Geiselwind leisure park in Germany [EPA]
A little under the weather here, tho buoyed by a soft rain that fell in the city last night, a somewhat rare event for us in the summertime… I will let the hatchlings in Geiselwind carry the day….
ephemera 28 July 2009Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Afghanistan War, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, WAR!.
Fighting the tide: the large-scale sand artworks of San Francisco artist Andres Amador. He is currently planning to seek out new beaches around the world in which he can produce his work [BARCROFT MEDIA]
The Telegraph also had an article on him:
… as it happens there are at least two people in the Bay Area who work in this fragile, temporary art. Tossing starfish back into the sea, in a way….
Somehow connected to beach ephemera, Amy had on several people from the Olympia / Bellingham WA area, ones involved in the years’ long protests at Fort Lewis and other mil bases, protest against the Stryker Brigade deployments..
Thru FOIA they learned they were infiltrated by a mil person from Fort Lewis.
[I]t’s really like in January 1970. Christopher Pyle, who was a former US Army intelligence officer, revealed in Washington Monthly that there was an extraordinary program of spying by the Army on political protest groups. And he said that—well, what was written in the New York Times was that the Army detectives would attend some of these events, but the majority of material that they gathered was from police departments, local governments and the FBI. And at that time, they had a special teletype, pre-internet, that connected the Army nationwide and where the police could load up their information on this stuff. They also published a small book that was a blacklist, which is similar now to the terrorist watch list, where the police share information about activists with maybe no criminal basis whatsoever.
And at the time, in January 1970, Pyle said that there was a hope to link the teletype systems to computerized databanks in Baltimore, Maryland, which, of course, is the general area of the National Security Agency, which does most of the spying for—it’s supposed to be foreign, but apparently they do domestic spying, as well.
So this now, what we have here—and after these revelations, there was a Church Committee. There was a great deal of investigating that went on. And while a lot of it was covered up, the military was pushed back for a while on this front. But because now we have the capability of gathering an extraordinary amount of information and holding onto it and sharing it, through the internet and through other means, we really have this 1970s problem amped up on steroids, twenty-first-century-style. And this had been going on for a while.
Something terrible has been going on in the Pacific Northwest in terms of police spying. There are other documents that had been revealed—the Tacoma police, Homeland Security, meetings, minutes. And you can see that one of the essential problems with this kind of model and the fusion center model is that in the same meeting, they’re talking about a Grannies Against the War group handing out fliers at the local mall, and they’re talking about new information about what al-Qaeda is going to do. It’s a model that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, and it’s a model that’s based really on hysteria.
When you see those pictures that were just shown on the screen, pictures of people with no weapons standing in the middle of a road with giant Army vehicles in front of them, you know, it’s clear that the protest is of a symbolic nature. There’s no violence involved on the part of the activists. It’s a traditional sit-in type of protest. The idea that the Army, the Navy and the Marines would become hysterical at this threat, I mean, it is the Army, it’s the Navy, it’s the Marines. And when—that’s the reason the Army shouldn’t be involved in this, because the job of an army—and they’ll tell you this—is to kill people and break things.
The motto of the Stryker Brigade Combat Team that’s housed at Fort Lewis, that this force protection cell was trying to protect, their motto is “strike and destroy.” They’re really built for one thing, and it’s certainly not policing. It’s certainly not dealing with community activist groups, Grannies Against the War, or local activists in Olympia. …snip…
Carry on America. ‘ Til the skeleton of what ever might have been drops into the dust.
Love to know… 27 July 2009Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
Parakeets on a bird feeder in a London garden. Around 90% of the UK’s population of wild parakeets are believed to live in the London area. It is feared that the parakeets, which nest in holes and crevices in trees, may displace British species such as woodpeckers and starlings [Phil Cole/Getty Images]
Love to know.. what the one on the right is saying… Maybe: Margaret! Who do you think you are? I wanted that corn kernel, I know there are thousands in the feeder but I wanted that ONE!… what do you think you are, a princess?
These pictures of wild parakeets visiting garden feeders (and it may be one garden where the pics are taken, for all I know) are popping up in the UK photo galleries.
Beats the nattering of pols. Which will only get worse as we slide on the grease into an election season. No, no!, say it is not so!
UPDATE, 5:14 on the Pacific Ocean
Not sure who asked this as I took it from the WH released transcript that Political Wire carries.. but so fucking mealy mouthed.
Q Robert, following up with the President on health care last week in the news conference, he was asked about the negotiations on C-SPAN and he said — his response in part was that —
MR. GIBBS: Are you pitching this for CNN or — (laughter) —
Q Well, I was hoping that maybe we could talk about that after this briefing. (Laughter.) But in all seriousness, at the news conference, the President’s response on C-SPAN was that the sort of opening ceremonies of the debate were on C-SPAN when you had some of the players — but that’s not really what the President promised. In August, in Virginia, I think it was, he had a campaign event and he said, “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table” — have doctors, nurses, hospitals, insurance companies, drug companies, you get the idea. He went on further. What went wrong?
MR. GIBBS: Well, Ed, I appreciate that we’ve done a postmortem now that the entire process is over, but given the earlier questions we’ve got a long way to go —
Q It’s not a postmortem; it’s from the opening ceremonies until now. There’s been a lot of negotiations and it has not been the way the President promised.
MR. GIBBS: Well, I can’t speak for the committee process on Capitol Hill. I’m sure you’ve got calls in —
Q But it’s the President of the United States, this is his initiative and he made this promise as a candidate. Why does he not follow through?
MR. GIBBS: The President feels very comfortable with the amount of transparency that we’ve had. The President feels — we’ve done any number of events on this. We’ve shown who’s been in here to talk to the White House. And I wouldn’t shut the door on something happening further.
Q Okay, last thing on this is — which is — he was also asked, as part of that question about the health care executives and lobbyists who were at the White House, about the records of that. And he noted accurately that it had been released shortly before the news conference. Why did it take a group like CREW, the watchdog group, to complain about this for you to release the names of those people, when you talk about transparency?
The President — you put out a schedule every night saying the President is having these meetings tomorrow. Why were those meetings not released in real-time during this debate, as it was played out?
MR. GIBBS: Ed, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Everything that we do at the White House isn’t on the daily guidance.
Q Okay. But this is a big debate that the President, as a candidate, said it’s going to be open and transparent. We didn’t set the standard. The President set the standard. He said —
MR. GIBBS: I feel like you should swear me in.
Q Well, because you keep kind of pushing it off with a joke or something. I’m trying to get a serious question. He made this promise.
MR. GIBBS: Right. Again, Ed, the President feels very comfortable with his level of transparency, which is why you have those names.
Mush. In a bowl with a spoon
hand to hand 26 July 2009Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
A close-up shot of the paw of an orphaned white wombat at the Maryknoll wildlife shelter in Melbourne, Australia [Jane Ollerenshaw/Rex Features]
Pictures like this, with another mortal hand raised, just blow me away. Where DO the creationists, ID creeps and ‘God did it in 7 days’, or 5000 years or we predated the dinosaurs.. or whatever other slobber those loons get off on, where do they get off?
Look at that hand. (Actually I think it is a foot, but same diff…😉 )
In the pink… in the drink… 25 July 2009Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, la vie en rose.
A flamingo drinks water at Erfurt zoo, central Germany Picture: AP
From another sweet animal gallery at Telegraph, including a minute hedgehog, a new born…rescued by a care shelter called…. St Tiggywinkles.
There is a religion, with saints called Tiggywinkles, that I could get behind.
Smiles on wheels… 25 July 2009Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
Crank it up and roll it out. I wonder, what is next?
Whelmed Nation. 23 July 2009Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
Still whelmed, overwhelmed… I see Angelina Jolie is in Iraq. Sure to help! Speech at the Council on Foreign Relations upon her return. Apparently Michael Jackson met his “secret love child” at a Tunisian hotel. I can see MJ stories going on ’til the end of this century, two more stories popped up just while I was at the Telegraph…. And… the Henry Louis Gates unfortunate meeting with Cambridge cops – Harvard Campus Police were there as well – has more chapters than the The Holy Bible. I think we will b beaten to death with these bible stories as well… after all, God is in the mix!
I am sure the puffins are gossiping… I’d love to hear what they are saying, for a change…
Quite white… 23 July 2009Posted by marisacat in Divertissements.
A rare white turtle which was found at the riverside of Yellow River in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. The turtle weighs about 6.5 kg and is 40 cm long
I did not find much on the white turtle, not even a press attribution for the photographs, other than it appeared in the Photos of the Day at the Telegraph, so I suppose the pictures were just taken by whomever, whereever s/he is…
just this from The London Paper, full text:
IT MAY look more like your Christmas turkey just before it goes into the oven, but this milky white creature is actually a rare white turtle.
The creature, whose creamy colour is offset by a few hints of pink, was discovered by the bank of the Yellow River in Henan province, China.
White turtles have a special place in Chinese culture, as the classic novel Journey from the West features an entity from Heaven who is turned into one of the animals after performing ill deeds.
However, unlike the character in the tale, this white turtle won’t be ferrying any people across rivers: it is just 40cm long and weighs only 6.5kg.
Still, it’s a shell of a story.
But he caught my eye, as I thought of him (or her) just lazing along by the Yellow River, ’til found. And then, no longer on his own, by the river banks.