13 Republican Climate Deniers Who Want to Be President


This is some important information for those on the fence trying to figure out who to choose as the next Republican Presidential candidate in 2016…

Mother Jones

This story originally appeared on Grist and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

It’s hard to believe, surveying the GOP field of possible presidential nominees, but back in 2008 the parties were not that far apart on climate change. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, backed cap-and-trade for carbon emissions. After joining his ticket, so did Sarah Palin. But back then, lots of Republicans and conservatives also supported an individual mandate to buy health insurance. The Republican Party of 2008 was a big enough tent to include people who admitted demonstrable problems existed and supported free-market-oriented solutions. Not anymore. The rise of the Tea Party movement and the rightward shift of the Republican base and the politicians who pander to it put an end to all that. Whoever is the Republican nominee for president in 2016, it’s a safe bet that he—and yes, it will be a he, as all the leading contenders are male—will oppose taking any action on climate change. Chances are that he won’t even admit it exists.

The Republicans basically fall into four categories: (1) Flat-Earthers, who deny the existence of manmade climate change; (2) Born-Again Flat-Earthers, who do the same, but who had admitted climate change exists back before President Obama took office; (3) Do-Nothings, who sort of admit the reality of climate change but oppose actually taking any steps to prevent it; and (4) Dodgers, who have avoided saying whether they believe climate change is happening, and who also don’t want to take any steps to alleviate it. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fall into the latter category. The Do-Nothings are blue and purple state governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio. In a sign of how far rightward Republicans have moved since 2008, these are actually the guys who are trying to position themselves as relatively moderate and pragmatic. The Born-Agains are Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Both are staunch conservatives but only partial wingnuts. Back when that meant believing in climate change, they did, but they have since followed their base into fantasyland. Everyone else is an outright denier and always has been.

Here’s our full breakdown of all 13 of the top potential hopefuls, including their lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters if they served in Congress. No, we did not include Donald Trump even though he would probably lead in the polls if he ran. And alas, we cannot predict who might be the next Herman Cain. MaybePapa John? If he, or any other pizza moguls, run, we’ll add an update.

Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida

Category: Flat-Earther

While President George W. Bush never did anything about global warming, his brother goes further, by not even admitting it exists. In 2009, Jeb Bush toldEsquire, “I’m a skeptic. I’m not a scientist. I think the science has been politicized. I would be very wary of hollowing out our industrial base even further… It may be only partially man-made. It may not be warming by the way. The last six years we’ve actually had mean temperatures that are cooler. I think we need to be very cautious before we dramatically alter who we are as a nation because of it.” Last year, he talked about how generating power with natural gas instead of coal would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but he avoided actually saying the C-word or mentioning why reducing emissions would be a good thing.

Notable quote: “I think global warming may be real.… It is not unanimous among scientists that it is disproportionately manmade. What I get a little tired of on the left is this idea that somehow science has decided all this so you can’t have a view.” (2011)

Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey

Category: Do-Nothing

Compared to all of his competitors, Christie’s position on climate change is refreshingly reality-based. In 2011, he said: “There’s undeniable data that CO2 levels and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are increasing. This decade, average temperatures have been rising. Temperature changes are affecting weather patterns and our climate…when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts.” Other than the fact that he understated the scientific consensus—it’s more like 97 or 98 percent—there isn’t much to find fault with there. But if you think that means Christie will back action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, think again. On the same day he made those comments, he withdrew New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program for Northeastern energy utilities, complaining that it was “nothing more than a tax on electricity.” He also rolled back his state’s renewable energy goal, from 30 percent by 2021 to 22.5 percent. And the Christie administration conspicuously does not mention climate change in the context of Sandy recovery.

Notable quote: “I haven’t been shown any definitive proof yet that [climate change] is what caused [Sandy]. And this is just, listen, this is a distraction. I’ve got a place to rebuild here and people want to talk to me about esoteric theories.” (2013)

Ted Cruz, senator from Texas

Category: Flat-Earther

Cruz—a high school valedictorian, Princeton alum, and editor of the Harvard Law Review—is supposed to be smart. His grasp of climate science, however, leaves much to be desired. In a February interview with CNN, Cruz deployed classic, bogus GOP talking points about climate change. “The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened,” said Cruz. “You know, back in the ’70s—I remember the ’70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded.” There has, in fact, been global warming in the last 15 years. And it is not true that in the 1970s “everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem.”

Notable quote: “Climate change, as they have defined it, can never be disproved, because whether it gets hotter or whether it gets colder, whatever happens, they’ll say, well, it’s changing, so it proves our theory.” (2014)

LCV score: 15 percent

Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas

Category: Born-Again Flat-Earther

In 2007, when all the cool kids were for cap-and-trade, so was Huckabee. He said, “One thing that all of us have a responsibility to do is recognize that climate change is here, it’s real.… I also support cap-and-trade of carbon emissions. And I was disappointed that the Senate rejected a carbon counting system to measure the sources of emissions, because that would have been the first and the most important step toward implementing true cap-and-trade.” But Huckabee totally flip-flopped after the rise of the Tea Party and anti-Obamaism reshaped the GOP. In 2010, he even denied that he ever had supported cap-and-trade. “This kind of mandatory energy policy would have a horrible impact on this nation’s job market,” he wrote in a blog post. “I never did support and never would support it—period.” By 2013, he was hosting climate-denier-in-chief Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on his radio show to spread falsehoods. Among the ones Huck contributed himself: “When I was in college, all the literature at that time from the scientific community said that we were going to freeze to death.”

Notable quote: “The volcano that erupted over in Northern Europe [in 2010] actually poured more CO2 into the air in that single act of nature than all of humans have in something like the past 100 years.” (2013) Actually, no, it didn’t.)

Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana

Category: Dodger

Jindal was supposed to be the great hope of smart Republicans. He majored in biology at Brown, was a Rhodes scholar, and he famously declared, “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party.” But he’s done his fair share of dumbing down the GOP. As Brown biology professor Kenneth R. Miller wrote in Slate, “In [Jindal's] rise to prominence in Louisiana, he made a bargain with the religious right and compromised science and science education for the children of his state.” He signed into law the Louisiana Science Education Act, which “allows ‘supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials’ to be brought into classrooms to support the ‘open and objective discussion’ of certain ‘scientific theories,'” such as evolution and climate change. In other words, he’s promoting creationism and climate change denialism in public schools. Still, Jindal has never come out and stated whether he accepts climate science.

Notable quote, on EPA’s proposal to regulate CO2 from power plants: “This is such a dangerous overreach in terms of the potential threat to our economy and our ability to restore those manufacturing jobs, I absolutely do think litigation needs to be on the table.” (2014)

LCV score: 6 percent

John Kasich, governor of Ohio

Category: Do-Nothing

In what passes for moderation in today’s GOP, Kasich actually acknowledges the existence of global warming. That doesn’t mean he wants to do much about it. “I happen to believe there is a problem with climate change. I don’t want to overreact to it, I can’t measure it all, but I respect the creation that the Lord has given us and I want to make sure we protect it,” Kasich said in 2012 at an energy conference hosted by The Hill. Ohio is rich in coal and heavily dependent on it for energy, and Kasich pledged to keep it that way, touting the promise of ever-elusive “clean coal.” In comments to reporters after that 2012 event, Kasich said he opposes EPA regulation of coal-fired power plants’ CO2 emissions: “I believe there is something to [climate change], but to be unilaterally doing everything here while China and India are belching and putting us in a noncompetitive position isn’t good.” Still, give him credit for evolving; in 2008, he claimed, “Global warming is cyclical, and the focus of a ferocious debate.”

Notable quote: “I am just saying that I am concerned about it, but I am not laying awake at night worrying the sky is falling.” (2012)

LCV score: 27 percent

Rand Paul, senator from Kentucky

Category: Flat-Earther

What makes Paul so scary is that he actually believes the crazy things he says. When your average Republican talks about small government, you know it’s all just code for “protecting the currently wealthy and their businesses.” So, if you could convince most GOP politicians that it’s in their political interest to take action on climate change, they could be moved. Paul isn’t like that. He is actually committed to his far-right, small-government ideology. He doesn’t even think, for example, that the federal government has the power to force businesses to racially integrate. So of course he doesn’t support action to address climate change, and he never will. When he’s trying to sound more mainstream, he says climate science is “not conclusive“; at other times, he caricatures the science of climate change to try to discredit it.

Notable quote: “If you listen to the hysterics…,you would think that the Statue of Liberty will shortly be under water and the polar bears are all drowning, and that we’re dying from pollution. It’s absolutely and utterly untrue.” (2011)

LCV score: 11 percent

Mike Pence, governor of Indiana

Category: Flat-Earther

Pence is an ultra-conservative who does not much care for environmental regulation. He also remains unconvinced that the Earth is warming. “In the mainstream media, there is a denial of the growing skepticism in the scientific community on global warming,” Pence claimed in a 2009 interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. It is not clear what “growing skepticism” he was referring to. In the same interview, Pence refused to say if he believes in evolution but implied that he does not.

Notable quote: “I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming.” (2009)

LCV score: 4 percent


Rick Perry

Rick Perry, governor of Texas

Category: Flat-Earther

Perry is no one’s idea of a man of science or an intellectual, not even his supporters’. Texas political insiders call him “Bush without the brains.” At Texas A&M, he got mostly Cs and Ds, even in gym, and an F in organic chemistry. When drought parched Texas in 2011, Perry’s solution was to call for three days of prayer for rain. Remarkably enough, that didn’t work. Perry, who is extremely close with polluters who donate to his campaigns, simply invents facts to suit his conviction that climate change isn’t happening. In 2011, he said, “I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.” The Washington Post fact-checker debunked this claim. Perry’s 2012 presidential run was disastrous, in part because he proved himself too dumbeven for Republican primary voters, which is sort of like being too white for Iceland. And yet, he is making noises about running again. And since Republican primary voters seem to get dumber with each election cycle, he could be a contender this time.

Notable quote: “I don’t believe man-made global warming is settled in science enough.” (2011)

Marco Rubio, senator from Florida

Category: Born-Again Flat-Earther

Like a lot of ambitious Republicans, Rubio tacitly accepted the science of climate change back in 2007. He talked up renewable energy and referred to global warming as one of the reasons to embrace it. By 2009, he had seen the error of his ways, saying, “There’s a significant scientific dispute” about climate change. By 2010, he was using his Republican primary opponent Charlie Crist‘s belief in “man-made global warming” as an attack line. In May 2014, Rubio made an inept effort to deny climate science, saying, “Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to manmade activities.” Ah, merely “a handful of decades of research.” That’s nothing, right? After getting a lot of blowback for those comments, he tried to clarify and just dug himself in deeper.

Notable quote: “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.” (2014)

LCV score: 11 percent

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan, U.S. rep from Wisconsin

Category: Flat-Earther

Climate change can be a tough issue for someone who wants to present himself as a wonk, as Ryan so very badly does. To just ignore the science is to risk looking dumb. So, for Ryan, opposition to climate regulation is more about his intense opposition to economic regulation more generally. He constantly asserts that climate regulations, for example, would impose an enormous cost on our economy. Insofar as he discusses the underlying science of climate change, though, he tries to cast doubt on it, using a combination of phony concern for scientific accuracy and an even phonier regular-Midwestern-guy shtick. In a 2009op-ed, he devoted several paragraphs to the trumped-up scandal at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and suggested that climate change should be a low priority for Wisconsinites because it snows in their state in the winter, writing: “Unilateral economic restraint in the name of fighting global warming has been a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow.” In July, while refusing to discuss the science of climate change, Ryan asserted that the EPA’s proposed power plant regulations are “obnoxious.” “I think they’re exceeding their authority and I think they kill jobs,” he said.

Notable quote: “[T]here is growing disagreement among scientists about climate change and its causes.” (2010)  LCV score: 13 percent


Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania

Category: Flat-Earther

As you might expect from a religious extremist who once compared homosexuality to “man on dog,” Santorum’s beliefs on climate change are unapologetically ignorant. At least he can boast of having been consistent. As Politico noted of Santorum in 2011, “Unlike Romney and some of the other GOP presidential candidates, the former senator has never backed cap-and-trade legislation or other mandatory policies to curb greenhouse gases.” Santorum attacked Romney for admitting that climate change was happening, calling it “junk science” that was invented by liberals to gain greater control over the economy. And his May 2014 book calls climate change a “hyped-up crisis.”

Notable quote: “I for one never bought the hoax. I for one understand just from science that there are one hundred factors that influence the climate. To suggest that one minor factor of which man’s contribution is a minor factor in the minor factor is the determining ingredient in the sauce that affects the entire global warming and cooling is just absurd on its face.” (2012)

LCV score: 10 percent

Scott Walker

Eric Brown/Flickr

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin

Category: Dodger

Walker is a favorite of the Koch brothers—he notoriously kissed ass during a call with a prankster pretending to be David Koch. The oil oligarchs like him because he opposes governmental regulations, except for when the regulation stymies clean energy. Walker imposed regulations to keep wind turbines further away from homes and signed a pledge never to pass a carbon tax. He has also raised money for the Heartland Institute, an organization that spreads climate misinformation. But he’s never actually said whether he accepts climate science.

Notable quote, criticizing his gubernatorial opponent for pushing climate legislation: “Governor [Jim] Doyle [D] has put his trust in international politicians, bureaucrats, celebrities and discredited scientists to replace the real manufacturing jobs Wisconsin is losing every day.” (2009)


Holder meets Michael Brown’s parents

Getty Images

I can hear the right-wing freak-out now.  It’s going to be loud

The Hill

Attorney General Eric Holder met with the parents of Michael Brown Wednesday afternoon at the Eagleton federal courthouse in downtown St. Louis.

They met at the office of the U.S. attorney investigating the Aug. 9 shooting of the African-American teenager, whose death at the hands of police has sparked riots.

Holder also met with Sen. Claire McCaskill, who has huddled in recent days with community leaders in Ferguson, where the shooting took place. Reps. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) joined the meeting along with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

Blunt has pressed Holder to allow state and local officials to complete their investigation of the shooting.

Holder has said the Justice Department will conduct a separate investigation of possible civil rights violations by Ferguson police.

Brown’s family has asked Clay to speak along with Rev. Al Sharpton at the funeral planned for Monday morning at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

Holder left the courthouse in an entourage of black SUVs. He is scheduled to fly back to Washington with Clay Wednesday evening.

This post was updated at 9:15 p.m. 

Cop Ray Albers In Ferguson To Protestors: ‘I Will F**king Kill You’ (VIDEO)

This one has to go on the main section of TFC.   H/t: LTL

The Huffington Post

UPDATE 9:26 P.M.: Police Chief Aaron Jimenez has confirmed with The Huffington Post that the officer making threats in videos shot by protestors is Lieutenant Ray Albers.

UPDATE 5:16 P.M. : The St. Ann Police Department has released a statement saying the officer involved in threatening protestors has been “suspended indefinitely.”



Video taken Tuesday night during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, show an officer pointing his weapon at civilians, shouting: “I will fucking kill you.”

Two separate videos uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday show the officer pointing a rifle at protestors.

“Gun raised, gun raised and pointed,” a protestor shouts out, alerting others as the officer approaches closer.

“My hands are up,” another protestor says.

“I will fucking kill you, get back!” the officer shouts.

Another protestor asks for the officer to identify himself.

“What’s your name, sir?” he asks.

“Go fuck yourself,” the officer replies.

In another video, protestors can be heard shouting at the officer to lower his weapon. At least one other cop can be seen trying to deescalate the situation by placing his hand on the weapon to lower it.

The officer, who has not yet been identified, can be seen wearing a St. Ann Police Department badge. Phone calls to the department were not immediately returned.


10 things you need to know today: August 21, 2014

Holder meets with Captain Ron Johnson in Ferguson.

Holder meets with Captain Ron Johnson in Ferguson. (Getty Images)

The Week

Obama vows justice after ISIS beheading, Holder promises a fair investigation in Ferguson, and more

1. Obama vows justice for James Foley
President Obama on Wednesday called the beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by an Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist “an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world,” and vowed “to see that justice is done.” The White House confirmed the authenticity of an online video clip showing the murder. The Pentagon said U.S. commandos had tried this summer to rescue Foley and other journalists kidnapped in Syria. [Los Angeles Times, ABC News]


2. Holder arrives in Ferguson promising a fair investigation of Brown shooting
Attorney General Eric Holder arrived Wednesday in Ferguson, Missouri, and promised a fair investigation of the killing of unarmed black teen Michael Brown by a white police officer. The shooting set off 12 days of racially charged protests, both peaceful and violent. A St. Louis County grand jury began hearing evidence in the case on Wednesday. Demonstrators outside the county justice building called for the appointment of a special prosecutor. [The Christian Science Monitor]


3. Justices block gay marriages in Virginia until a final ruling on the state’s ban
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed an appeals court ruling striking down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban. The decision came less than 24 hours before gay and lesbian couples would have been able to start applying for marriage licenses. The ruling has no effect on the outcome of the case, but, like a similar order delaying gay marriages in Utah, it blocks gay marriages until all appeals are exhausted. [Reuters]


4. Soldiers and residents clash after Liberia slum quarantined over Ebola
Liberia quarantined a Monrovia slum known as West Point to contain the Ebola outbreak, triggering violent clashes with angry residents. Hundreds of men charged barbed-wire barricades in an attempt to break out. Soldiers responded by shooting live rounds to keep the neighborhood’s 50,000 residents inside. The outbreak in West Africa — the worst ever — has killed at least 1,350 people. [The New York Times]


5. Fed hints it might let interest rates rise sooner than anticipated
Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting suggest the central bank is considering raising interest rates sooner than expected due to improving jobs data and rising inflation, which is nearing the Fed’s two-percent target. The minutes, released Wednesday, indicated that the Fed’s leaders remain divided, but acknowledge that pressure is rising to let rates rise. “Change is in the air,” one analyst said. [Los Angeles Times]


6. Tsarnaev friend plans to plead guilty to obstruction of justice
A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev plans to plead guilty to obstruction of justice charges, the man’s attorney said Wednesday. Dias Kadyrbayev is accused of removing a backpack, which contained fireworks, and a computer from Tsarnaev’s dorm room after the 2013 bombing, which killed three people and wounded more than 200. The lawyer, Robert Stahl, said Kadyrbayev would make the plea change Thursday. [CNN]


7. Perry pleads not guilty to abuse-of-power charges
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) pleaded not guilty to charges that he abused his power by vetoing funding for anti-corruption prosecutors, according to court documents posted online Wednesday. A grand jury indicted Perry for allegedly using the veto to try to force out a Democratic prosecutor in charge of the anti-corruption unit after she resisted his call to resign after her conviction for drunken driving. [Austin American-Statesman]


8. Gaza airstrike kills three Hamas commanders
An Israeli airstrike killed three senior Hamas military commanders in the Gaza Strip on Thursday as hostilities intensified following the unraveling of a cease-fire and peace talks. The commanders — Mohammed Abu Shamala, Mohammed Barhoum, and Raed al-Attar — died in a blast that killed six people in the town of Rafah. Israel said Palestinian militants had fired 213 rockets into Israel since the talks collapsed Tuesday. [BBC News]


9. SeaWorld agrees to stop putting trainers in the water at killer whale shows
SeaWorld has decided not to appeal a ruling ordering it to stop putting trainers in the water during its killer whale shows. A federal appeals court in April upheld a citation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration accusing SeaWorld of putting the trainers in danger. OSHA spent six months investigating the theme parks after the 2010 death of Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by an orca. [Orlando Sentinel]


10. In ice-bucket challenge video, ex-pro football player reveals he has ALS
Former Tennessee Titans linebacker Tim Shaw revealed Wednesday that he has ALS in a video showing him taking the ice-bucket challenge to raise money for research of the incurable and fatal neurodegenerative disease. The challenge has gone viral, with celebrities from former president George W. Bush to NBA star LeBron James dousing themselves with ice water to raise awareness about ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. [Reuters]

WATCH: Cop Aims Rifle at Ferguson Protestors, Yells ‘I Will F*cking Kill You!’

 This one is rather dynamic: An out of control officer caught on camera threatening protesters…


In video uploaded to YouTube Tuesday night, a police officer can be seen stalking the middle of a Ferguson street, waving his rifle at protestors. When several onlookers in his line of fire, one of whom was livestreaming the protests, insisted that their hands were up, he shouted, “I will fucking kill you. Get back!”

When the officer was asked his name, he replied “Go fuck yourself,” and is referred to for the rest of the video as “Officer Go Fuck Yourself.”

Eventually another officer appeared and led him away. “He had to be told by another officer to stop pointing his gun,” said someone off-camera.

Watch the footage below:

10 things you need to know today: August 20, 2014

Foley in November 2012. 

Foley in November 2012. (AP Photo/Nicole Tung, freejamesfoley.org)

The Week

The Gaza cease-fire unravels, ISIS beheads a kidnapped American photojournalist, and more

1. Gaza cease-fire collapses and Israel brings home its negotiators
The truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed on Tuesday. Palestinians fired rockets into southern Israel from Gaza. Israel responded with airstrikes that targeted a Hamas commander and killed three people, according to Gaza health officials. The violence began eight hours before the 24-hour extension of the truce, which was intended to give negotiators in Egypt time to hammer out a long-term peace. Israel called its negotiators home. [Reuters]


2. ISIS releases video showing journalist’s apparent beheading
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria posted a video online Tuesday purportedly showing a militant beheading American freelance photojournalist James Wright Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria on Thanksgiving 2012. Later, the killer threatens to execute another journalist, Steven Joel Soltoff, unless the U.S. stops airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. The White House said intelligence officials were working to determine whether the video was authentic. [NBC News]


3. Perry turns himself in to face abuse-of-power charge
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) made a brief appearance Tuesday at the Travis County Courthouse to bebooked on charges of abusing his power by vetoing funding for anti-corruption prosecutors. Perry called last week’s indictment by a grand jury in liberal Austin “an attack on the constitutional powers of the office of governor.” He cut the funding after a Democratic prosecutor refused to resign after a drunken driving arrest. [New York Daily News]


4. St. Louis police kill man wielding a knife, adding to Ferguson tensions
As unrest over a fatal police shooting continued in nearby Ferguson, St. Louis police officers shot and killed an emotionally disturbed 23-year-old black man on Tuesday after he approached them brandishing a knife. Police and witnesses gave similar accounts, saying the man had argued with people inside the Six Stars Market before confronting officers outside. In Ferguson, police reported less violence late Tuesday and early Wednesday than the night before. [The New York Times]


5. Details emerge on Google’s YouTube subscription music service plans
Google plans to launch an ad-free subscription-based YouTube music service called YouTube Music Key, according to the blog Androidpolice.com. The company will offer a 30-day free trial with subscriptions for the service running $9.99 per month, the blog said, citing leaked screenshots. Eugene Munster, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, said such a move is risky, because a paid YouTube service “seems a little bit out of their character.” [Androidpolice.com, Techcrunch]


6. Harshest drought conditions spread in California
“Severe” drought covers 99.8 percent of California, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitorreport. The state has held steady for the last two weeks — in May, 100 percent of the state was in “severe” drought. That does not mean relief has arrived — 82 percent of the state is in “extreme” drought, up from 77 percent in May, and 58.4 percent is in the harshest category — “exceptional” drought — up from 25 percent. [U.S. Drought Monitor, Los Angeles Times]


7. Three of Pope Francis’ relatives die in car wreck
Three relatives of Pope Francis were killed Tuesday in a car crash in Argentina. A fourth — Emanuel Bergoglio, the 38-year-old son of a brother of the pope — was hospitalized with extensive injuries. Bergoglio’s wife, Valeria Carmona, and two children, ages 8 months and 2 years, died before reaching a hospital. A spokesman said Pope Francis asked “all who share in his grief to unite with him in prayer.” [The Associated Press]


8. Protesters march on Parliament in Pakistan
Thousands of protesters marched on Pakistan’s Parliament building in Islamabad on Tuesday, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The protest was led by former international cricket star Imran Khan and cleric Tahir ul-Qadri. Khan accuses Sharif of rigging elections last year. The protests increased already intense pressure on a government struggling to contend with high unemployment and a Taliban insurgency. [Reuters]


9. Apple shares rise as enthusiasm builds for next month’s iPhone 6 launch
Apple stock on Tuesday shot to its highest close ever (after adjusting for a 7-to-1 June stock split) as investors eagerly anticipated the iPhone 6 launch on Sept. 9. The company’s shares gained 1.4 percent to end the trading day at $100.53, slightly better than the previous record set two years ago, just before the iPhone 5’s debut. [CNET]


10. Former Obama aide Plouffe joins Uber
On-demand car service Uber has hired David Plouffe, once a top adviser to President Obama, to help the startup company develop its political and branding strategy. Plouffe called Uber potentially a “once-in-a-decade if not once-in-a-generation company” with a shot at taking on the “taxi industry cartel.” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said Tuesday that Plouffe would be a key player in the company’s global growth. [The Huffington Post]

Senator Claire McCaskill & Governor Jay Nixon All the Citzens of Missouri are your Constituents-This Includes Ferguson!


This guy is in serious denial about the events going on in Ferguson…

Originally posted on 3CHICSPOLITICO:

If it’s true Darren Wilson is testifying before the Grand jury today, and AG Holder is rolling into town Wednesday, it’s becoming clearer now why Governor Nixon ordered the National Guard in Ferguson.

Q&A: The Michael Brown shooting is going before a grand jury. Here’s how it will work.

Is Darren Wilson’s going to walk? The citizens of Ferguson DO NOT TRUST their local PD or local government. It’s all a dance & pony show from the leaders, starting with the mayor of Ferguson and past elected officials.

These are the folks you’re voting into office. Please remember this in November.

First Ward, Councilwoman Fran Grecco
From Ferguson Cop Embroiled in a Brutality Suit to City Councilwoman


Mayor Knowles “I don’t know NOTHIN’ ‘BOUT NO TROUBLES IN FERGUSON!

“There’s 22,000 residents in our community,” Knowles told MSNBC Tuesday. “This has affected about a half-mile strip of street in our community,”…

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David Letterman …. a tribute to an old friend!!


I’m going to miss Robin Williams’ genius. He was simply the best of the best in his field.

Originally posted on It Is What It Is:


~~August 20, 2014~~


Letterman said he “had no idea that the man was in pain”

Letterman showed clips from Williams’ appearances on his show, saying he’d been friends with Williams for 38 years. Among the clips The Late Show trotted out: a young Letterman’s cameo on Mork & Mindy.

“What I will add here is that, beyond being a very talented man and a good friend and a gentleman, I am sorry I, like everybody else, had no idea that the man was in pain and the man was suffering,” Letterman said.


Letterman’s show was on break the week when Williams died, so this was his first episode to address his friend’s passing. Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers all honored Williams in tributes of their own last week.


“Two things would happen, because Robin was on the program,” Letterman told his audience. “One, I didn’t have…

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Oklahoma Gets Hit With 20 Earthquakes In One Day

In this Nov, 6, 2011 photo, Chad Devereaux examines bricks that fell from three sides of his in-laws home in Sparks, Okla., following two earthquakes that hit the area in less than 24 hours.

In this Nov, 6, 2011 photo, Chad Devereaux examines bricks that fell from three sides of his in-laws home in Sparks, Okla., following two earthquakes that hit the area in less than 24 hours. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/SUE OGROCKI

The first question that comes to mind is:  Were there as many (if any) earthquakes before fracking became so prevalent in Oklahoma?  Most companies and Oklahoma officials deny that there’s any correlation for a number of reasons, the main one being profit above all else…

Think Progress

Oklahoma’s Geology Survey recorded an unprecedented 20 small earthquakes across the state on Tuesday, highlighting the dramatic increase of seismic activity that has occurred there as the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing — otherwise known as fracking — has spread across the state.

Though 18 out of the 20 earthquakes that occurred Tuesday were below Magnitude 3, rendering them mostly imperceptible, the largest one registered as a 4.3 near Guthrie, a city of more than 10,000 residents. And while U.S. Geological Survey scientists have said that Oklahoma is historically known as “earthquake country,” they also warn that quakes have been steadily on the rise; from 1978 until 2008, the average rate of earthquakes registering a magnitude of 3.0 or more was only two per year.

“No documented cases of induced seismicity have ever come close to the current earthquake rates or the area over which the earthquakes are occurring,” the Oklahoma Geology Survey said in a recent presentation addressing the alarming increase in quakes. By “induced seismicity,” the OGS is referring to minor earthquakes that are caused by human activity, whether that be fracking, mass removal mining, reservoir impoundment, or geothermal production — anything that could disrupt existing fault lines.



One of the most researched human activities that could be causing the dramatic increase in earthquakes is fracking. The process that could be causing the quakes is not the fuel extraction itself, but a process called “wastewater injection,” in which companies take the leftover water used to frack natural gas wells and inject it deep into the ground. Scientists increasingly believe that the large amount of water that is injected into the ground after a well is fracked can change the state of stress on existing fault lines to the point of failure, causing earthquakes.

Cornell University geophysics professor Katie Keranen is the latest researcher to produce a scientific study showing a probable connection between earthquakes wastewater injection, finding in July that the more than 2,500 small earthquakes that have hit Oklahoma in the past five years can be linked to it. Keranen’s study analyzed four prolific wastewater disposal wells in southeast Oklahoma City, which collectively inject approximately four million barrels of wastewater into the ground each month. The research showed that fluid from those wells was migrating along fault lines for miles, and Keranen’s team determined the migration was likely responsible for earthquakes occurring as far as 22 miles away.

The link between earthquakes and wastewater injection from fracking is not definitive. As Jennifer Dlouhy in Fuel Fix notes, the research lacks necessary data on sub-surface pressure, which is rarely accessible.

The OGS says that as it is now, the chances of a large, damaging earthquake happening in Oklahoma are small. However, some scientists have warned that seismic activity stands to get stronger and more dangerous as fracking increases.

“I think ultimately, as fluids propagate and cover a larger space, the likelihood that it could find a larger fault and generate larger seismic events goes up,” Western University earth sciences professor Gail Atkinson said at a Seismological Society of America conference in May.

As of publication Wednesday, five more earthquakes had already occurred in Oklahoma, three of which registered on or above the 3.0 magnitude mark.


The Huffington Post

In his new book, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) recounts shaking his head in frustration last fall as fellow Republicans sought to use a government shutdown as leverage to gut Obamacare.

“It was a suicide mission,” Ryan writes in The Way Forward, his memoir released Tuesday. “This can’t be the full measure of our party and our movement. If it is, we’re dead and the country is lost.”

Reflecting on the shutdown that Newt Gingrich had led in 1995, Ryan wrote of his worry about repeated missteps: “I saw the damage it did. We couldn’t afford to take a hit like that again — not for a strategy that had no hope of advancing our core principles.”

As is often the case with political memoirs, however, the actual history was far more complicated. Ryan’s office told HuffPost that his co-authorship of an eventual budget deal with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) proves he was against the shutdown.

“Chairman Ryan voted several times both to avoid the shutdown and to restart funding for various parts of the government during the shutdown,” Ryan spokesman Brian Bolduc said in an email.

But during the October 2013 standoff, Ryan didn’t seem like a lawmaker nervous about damaging the party or movement. Instead, he was often obstructive.

In the days after the shutdown began, the House Budget Committee chair advocated tying the government shutdown fight to the federal government’s looming credit default — an idea that only raised the stakes of negotiations and ensured the shutdown would last at least another two weeks. In an Oct. 8 Wall Street Journal op-ed, he suggested reforming entitlements in exchange for raising discretionary spending levels.

Tea Party types weren’t thrilled with the idea since it left intact the president’s health care law, which had been the shutdown’s raison d’etre. But reaction from the press corps was mixed. Some reporters hailed Ryan for starting a dialogue between House Republicans and the White House. Others saw it as a thinly disguised play for conservative policy reforms.

Either way, the shutdown continued. And in the subsequent days, Ryan dug in. The Washington Post reported on Oct. 12 that in a closed-door meeting, he railed against a bipartisan Senate deal to reopen the government, “saying the House could not accept either a debt-limit bill or a government-funding measure that would delay the next fight until the new year.”

“According to two Republicans familiar with the exchange,” the Post reported, “Ryan argued that the House would need those deadlines as ‘leverage’ for delaying the health-care law’s individual mandate and adding a ‘conscience clause’ — allowing employers and insurers to opt out of birth-control coverage if they find it objectionable on moral or religious grounds — and mentioned tax and entitlement goals Ryan had focused on in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.”

With days to go before the debt limit deadline was breached, House Republican leadership ultimately found themselves in a horrible jam, with the public blaming them for keeping the government closed and hurting the economy. Senate Republicans swooped in with a bill to reopen the government, raise the debt limit and provide a framework for future budget talks.

If, as he suggested in his book, Ryan thought the whole episode had been a stain on the GOP’s brand, it would seem logical that he would have jumped to support the one piece of legislation left to end the standoff. But when that Senate bill came to the House floor, he was one of 144 Republicans members who voted no. The bill passed with Democratic support.

“To pay our bills today — and to make sure we can pay our bills tomorrow — we must make a down payment on the debt,” he said. “Today’s legislation won’t help us reduce our fast-growing debt. In fact, it could extend the debt ceiling well into next year, further delaying any action. In my judgment, this isn’t a breakthrough. We’re just kicking the can down the road.”

After the stopgap bill reopened the government, Ryan negotiated a longer-term budget deal with Murray that removed the specter of another government shutdown. That deal actually raised spending levels from sequester levels, though it extended the sequester’s 2 percent cuts to Medicare providers by two years. It included none of the entitlement reforms that Ryan had suggested in his Wall Street Journal op-ed.