I may have to go and help her with GOTV

This is a plea from Michigan – from valued commenter HillaryRettig:

Dear Juicers,

Greetings from southwest Michigan, where the landscape is flat, the people are darned nice, and the football teams and the beer kick ass. (Plus, we just got an Alamo Drafthouse – yeah, us!)
Plus, we progressives have a GREAT candidate, Paul Clements, who’s got a real shot at winning our 6th district House seat next year, unseating the noxious Republican incumbent Fred Upton.
Like many other Repubs, Upton is a former moderate who’s recently swung hard right due to Tea Party Terror Syndrome(tm). You can judge him by his friends/donors, who include all the wrong people: Koch Industries, Halliburton, the Petroleum Marketers Association, and Altria Group (formerly Philip Morris).They love him because of his apparent willingness to do whatever foul thing they ask, be it deny climate change, severely restrict pretty much every non-rich person’s access to health care and preventative medicine, or undermine the Clean Air Act.

You can also judge Upton by his enemies, who include a vast array of unions, women’s groups, human rights groups, and environmental groups. He got “0” ratings from: CWE, AFSME, AAUW, NARAL, Middleclass.org, Alliance for Retired Americans, and Human Rights Campaign; and near-zero or failing ratings from the NEA, National Nurses United, NAACP, and the League of Environmental Voters, among many others. Upton is so, so very bad on environmental issues that the LA Times actually crowned him, “the #1 Enemy of the Planet Earth” in Congress.

Upton’s enemies also include lots of ordinary Michiganders, who are pissed because, despite his assiduous selling out, his record on bringing jobs home is dismal.
One more thing you should know is that Upton’s vulnerable. Paul’s team has run the numbers, and in a conservative-leaning district that nevertheless went decisively for Obama in 2008, this race is definitely winnable. And the Wingnuts are kindly helping us out by giving Upton a battle on his right flank.
The very worst thing about Upton is that he’s chair of the House’s powerful Energy and Commerce Committee—Henry Waxman’s old committee! As such, he’s had the opportunity to do real harm–and will continue to do harm until we get rid of him.

*Here he is, looking pretty smug and safe in that chair! Also: what’s wrong with his eye? Is that a wink?

fred upton winker

As a child of privilege—Upton is an heir to the Whirlpool appliance fortune—who went almost directly into politics after college, and who now spends nearly all his time promoting the interests of corrupt corporations, Fred Upton embodies everything that’s wrong with the system.
Fortunately, Michigan’s got a GREAT alternative in Paul Clements. Think of him as the Luke Skywalker to Upton’s Emperor Palpatine.

* no winking at wealthy donors going on here:

Paul Clements

Now, as an economist and professor of political science at Western Michigan University, Paul’s research specialty is—get this!—evaluating the effectiveness of social programs. In other words, he’s an expert on effectiveness and accountability—two elements sorely lacking in our current Congress.
Of course, Paul is also a super nice guy and a great progressive, who will advocate for all the right things. He recently brought environmental activist Bill McKibben to speak at WMU.
So, c’mon, Juicers: jedi up and donate to Paul’s campaign! Think how good it’s going to feel, next November, when we send “Emperor” Upton packing, and replace him with someone who cares both about people and good governance.
Shout Out to Howie Klein at DownWithTyranny, who has also done a terrific job documenting Upton’s many malevolences.

I admire what she’s doing here because it is difficult to remove an incumbent (but so much fun to win!) so help her (and all of us) out if you can.

The Fugue Playing Behind Obama’s Climate Speech — Or Swampland in Florida…

…is looking to be an even worse investment than legend would have it.

The Republican Party may not believe in global warming, but those realists with money on the line clearly do.  As reported by Alistair Gray and Pilita Clark in the Financial Times blog, Alphaville, it’s getting harder — and may soon become impossible — to insure areas vulnerable to sea level rise:

Parts of the UK and the US state of Florida were already facing “a risk environment that is uninsurable”, said the global insurance industry trade body, the Geneva Association.

That’s close to all I can quote from the piece under the FT’s copyright/use policies, but you get the idea.  This is at least part of the backdrop to President Obama’s (to me) very significant speech today.  Digging a little deeper into the report the FT cites [PDF], you can see why:

Recently, improved observational records and the increased length of reliable time series have provided new evidence of the degree of global ocean warming and the distribution of energy within the ocean (e.g. Levitus et al., 2012). A positive temperature trend in the ocean is now detectable and has already changed selected but relevant metrics for extreme events away from what we have observed in the past (e.g. Elsner, 2008)…

There is a significant upward trend in the insured losses caused by the extreme weather events discussed in Chapter 2. [Tropical cylones.; extra-tropical cyclones; convective storms]…This is true for primary insurance, which is impacted by an increasing attritional loss burden caused by severe local weather events, as well as for reinsurance losses caused by large scale catastrophic extreme events.*


And the money quote: Read more

Mid-day Open Thread

The Manning Court-Martial is currently ongoing.

The SCOTUS has denied certoriari in Behenna v US.  You can read the CAAF ruling in US v Behenna here.

SSG Robert Bales has plead guilty to all charges, save one charge of Obstruction of Justice in the murder of 16 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children in their sleep.  He is currently undergoing a Care inquiry (a providence hearing) to ensure that his pleas are full, knowing, and intentional, in order to satisfy UCMJ requirements and by so doing foreclose most avenues of appeal.

The weather here in OK has been very rainy. Three years worth of drought has essentially been (temporarily, at least) wiped away in two weeks.  While climate scientists are mostly hesitant to say that global climate change has contributed to our recent weather woes, primarily because they haven’t really studied the interaction of GCC and tornado creation, it seems to me that there may be something to the theory, when we had two EF5 storms within a 20-mile area within a two week period.