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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
Number of posts: 40,054

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Despite business opposition, California's cap-and-trade auction starts Wednesday

Despite fierce opposition from much of the business community, California's grand experiment in taming global warming begins in earnest Wednesday. State officials are set to auction tens of millions of dollars' worth of carbon-emission allowances to scores of oil refiners, cement manufacturers and other large industrial polluters.

The computerized auction marks the beginning of California's "cap-and-trade" market. The market is the centerpiece of Assembly Bill 32, the state's 2006 law aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, and Wednesday's kickoff is being closely watched.


Cap and trade will force affected companies to scale back their carbon pollution – or purchase allowances to get into compliance. State officials and environmentalists say the market-based approach gives companies flexibility in how they reduce emissions.

Many affected businesses call it a cleverly disguised tax that will cost them upwards of $1 billion in the first year. The expense will balloon in 2015, when refineries will have to buy more credits to cover greenhouse gases spewed by cars and trucks.


Jerry Brown: California tax vote start of national tax hike sweep

Gov. Jerry Brown said in a television interview this morning that passage of his initiative to raise taxes has national implications, with California at the start of a broader movement to increase taxes on the rich.

"Revenue means taxes, and certainly those who have been blessed the most, who have disproportionately extracted, by whatever skill, more and more from the national wealth, they're going to have to share more of that," Brown said in a taped interview on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley. "And everyone is going to have to realize that building roads is important, investing in schools is important, paying for the national defense is important, biomedical research is important, the space program is an indicator of the world leader - all that takes money."

The Democratic governor's remarks follow passage last week of Proposition 30, his initiative to raise the state sales tax and income taxes on California's highest earners. Brown was governor before when the state passed its landmark tax-limiting measure, Proposition 13, in 1978.

"California was the start of the tax-cut sweep," Crowley said "Do you think California's the start of a tax increase sweep?"
"Yeah, I do," Brown said. "I was here in 1978, when (Proposition 13 backer) Howard Jarvis beat the entire establishment, Republican and Democrat, because the property taxes had just gotten out of control. Now the cutting, the cutting and the deficits are out of control. Our financial health, our credibility ... as a nation that can govern itself, is on the chopping block."

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/11/jerry-brown-california-tax-vote-start-of-national-tax-hike-sweep.html#storylink=cpy

CBS News (yes, really!): The scientific truth about climate change

By CBS' David Pogue:

Here's what we know for sure: The decade beginning in the year 2000 was the hottest decade ever recorded. Arctic ice has melted to its lowest levels in recorded history, and sea levels have risen eight inches since 1870.
So the debate will continue over how fast the Earth is warming and what the effects will be. But on the three key questions, all my experts are unanimous.

Is climate change real? Yes.

Is human activity contributing to it? Yes.

And is there anything we can do about it? Yes.

"We can do a lot. If we decide this is serious, we can avoid most of it," said (Pieter) Tans (chief scientist at NOAA's global monitoring division).


Also, a 9-minute video saying the same thing as the article, but with visuals, stated simply so even Fox News watchers can understand, with a hopeful, "we can change this if we try" ending:


LA Times: Raul Ruiz defeats Mary Bono Mack in Riverside County upset

Raul Ruiz, a Democratic emergency room doctor, eked out a victory over Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Palm Springs) in the race for the 36th Congressional District seat in the Coachella Valley.

The often-caustic political slugfest is the first defeat for Bono Mack in her 14-year political career, which began when she was elected to replace her husband, singer Sonny Bono, in Congress after his death in a skiing accident.
Bono Mack accused Ruiz of being a "radical" for taking part in a Native American protest of Thanksgiving when he was a Harvard medical student in the late 1990s.

Ruiz assailed Bono Mack for supporting the budget plan of GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin; Ruiz said the plan would decimate Medicare. The political parties and outside groups spent more than $3.3 million in the race.


CA-36: Ruiz (D) 48 Mack (R) 42!

A new Lake Research Partners poll of California’s 36th Congressional District (Palm Springs) shows Democrat Dr. Raul Ruiz leading incumbent Republican Mary Bono Mack by 6 points among voters who have already voted and those who are likely to vote combined. Among only voters who have not yet voted, Ruiz leads by 11 points. Republicans are at a slight advantage in party registration, but CA-36 is clearly leaning Democratic this year, with Obama leading Romney by 7 points. Voters increasingly are hearing about Ruiz and his contrasts with Bono Mack are resonating well. The data also indicate that Bono Mack’s attacks on Ruiz have been weak and ineffective.

Go Raul!!

Gov. Christie: Obama deserves "great credit" for storm response

Source: CBSNews.com

"The state of New Jersey took it in the neck worse than any other state," Christie said of the storm's effects. "It's going to take us a while to dig out from under it, but we will dig out from under it," he added.

Christie called the level of cooperation between the local, state and federal governments "excellent" and praised President Obama's involvement. "I was on the phone for the third time yesterday, last night, with the president of the United States. He called me at midnight last night as he was seeing reports," he said before adding that President Obama accelerated the designation of New Jersey as a major disaster area "without the usual red tape."

"The cooperation has been great with FEMA here on the ground and the cooperation from the president of the United States has been outstanding. He deserves great credit," Christie added.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57542354/gov-christie-obama-deserves-great-credit-for-storm-response/?tag=MaxDeep

You couldn't PAY for better press!

HuffPo: As Governor, Mitt Romney Was Slow To Respond To Disasters In His State, Local Critics Say

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney argues that federal disaster response should be handled at the state level, but when disaster struck Massachusetts, he was missing in action, according to some of the state's local politicians.

On Oct. 9, 2005, heavy rain storms caused the Green River to rise to historic levels and begin flooding into Greenfield, Mass. The flooding destroyed a trailer park and demolished swaths of low-income housing. Roads were impassable. The flood waters submerged the town's water treatment plant.

As the rain fell and the Green River rose, Greenfield's then-Mayor Christine Forgey tells The Huffington Post that she did not hear from Romney. About 75 people, including many retirees, lost their homes in the trailer park, she says. Still many more were displaced. Forgey says a resident opened up the high school and used it as a crisis shelter. A radio station launched a food and clothing drive and the Red Cross provided services.

On the first day, Forgey says she did not hear from Romney. Nor the second day. Nor the third. Romney wasn't in Massachusetts when the flood hit, and the emergency did not alter his plans. The Associated Press reported at the time that the governor had been scheduled to speak to an economic club in North Carolina. "If the governor thought for one second he was needed here today, he would be there," a spokesperson told the AP.


Frum: Let's get real about abortions

When Richard Mourdock delivered his notorious answer about rape and abortion, I was sorry that the debate moderator failed to follow up with the next question:

"OK, Mr. Mourdock, you say your principles require a raped woman to carry the rapist's child to term. That's a heavy burden to impose on someone. What would you do for her in return? Would you pay her medical expenses? Compensate her for time lost to work? Would you pay for the child's upbringing? College education?

"If a woman has her credit card stolen, her maximum liability under federal law is $50. Yet on your theory, if she is raped, she must endure not only the trauma of assault, but also accept economic costs of potentially many thousands of dollars. Must that burden also fall on her alone? When we used to draft men into the Army, we gave them veterans' benefits afterward. If the state now intends to conscript women into involuntary childbearing, surely those women deserve at least an equally generous deal?"



Interesting argument for choice geared toward the Republican mindset (money).

Falling pump prices could give Obama a lift

"In a week that saw President Barack Obama poll dead-even with Republican rival Mitt Romney in the race for the White House, it may have been some relief to Democrats that gas prices have shed 17 cents in the last 12 days.

While that could help boost the president's chances for another four-year term (or at least not hurt them), the drop in prices has more to do with luck than with White House energy policy.

After refinery bottlenecks sent prices surging ahead of a seasonal switch from summer to winter gasoline blends, those kinks have been cleared and gasoline has begun flowing smoothly again."


Obama Reelection Odds Increase In Prediction Markets Following Foreign Policy Debate

From HuffPo:

The consensus after Monday night's third and final presidential debate is that Barack Obama was the winner. But the president's victory begs an important question -- does success in Boca Raton, Fla., mean he's more likely to win the election? Will voters care about foreign affairs at a time when things are so rough at home?

According to online prediction markets, which pool conventional wisdom about the probability of future events, voters do care. Numbers compiled by PredictWise, which averages Obama's reelection odds on political betting websites like Intrade, showed that Obama received a bump during Monday night's debate in the likelihood of winning on Nov. 6.

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