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Posts from — September 2013

The Unkindest Cut Of All

If you are shopping in most of the larger chain supermarkets in Florida you may notice that certain items have a yellow tag with “WIC” on them. You will see them on the dairy case, the bread shelves, the produce section, but not on processed ‘foods’, snacks, or meat. Those tags identify items that have been approved for Florida’s version of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and are contained in the WIC foods listing [PDF].

This is all real food, with the possible exception of some of the approved cereals, selected by the Department of Health to improve the nutrition of pregnant women, new mothers, and children from birth to age 5. The Wikipedia article notes that the US Department of Agriculture says that the WIC program serves just over half of all infants born in the US.

When the government shuts down, so does this program. They obviously don’t care that they are taking food away from children.

September 30, 2013   6 Comments

As Expected

The Senate has tabled [essentially removed] the House Amendments to the Continuing Resolution, which means they will vote later today on the same resolution they have already sent to House.

It is up to the House, as it always has been.

Boehner can either send the Senate version to the floor for a vote, or the government starts shutting down. It is John Boehner’s choice.

[Note: I found out about this on the BBC, and verified via the Congressional Votes link under Sources in my right side bar. The US media has apparently not noticed yet, as they are busy interviewing House Republicans.]

September 30, 2013   Comments Off on As Expected

Tropical Storm Jerry – Day 3

Tropical Storm JerryPosition: 27.4N 43.8W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: East [090°] near 8 mph [13 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 50 mph [ 85 kph].
Wind Gusts: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 60 miles [ 95 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1005 mb ↓.

Currently about 1300 miles [2095 km] East of Bermuda.

While the intensity of the storm seems settled, the steering isn’t certain on the long term.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 30, 2013   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Jerry – Day 3

The House Is To Blame

The Constitution mandates that spending bills originate in the House of Representatives. The current Congress has had 9 full months to pass the necessary spending bills but they have failed which is why a Continuing Resolution is necessary.

This House only meets three days a week, and has taken recesses that last weeks whenever they feel like it. They have spent less time doing their job than the pre-school students they resemble. Given their lack of productivity taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay them more than minimum wage for the hours they are actually doing the job they were elected to do.

The House hasn’t done its job, and now it wants to extort the Senate and President to take actions they don’t want to take in the same bill that has to be passed to because of the failure by the House.

It is very bad policy to negotiate with extortionists or terrorists.

The entire blame for this mess belongs to the Republicans in the House. They caused the problem, and they are blocking the solution. They want to prove they will shut down the government and they will default on the National Debt unless they get what they want.

September 30, 2013   19 Comments

Tropical Depression Eleven – Day 2

Tropical Depression ElevenPosition: 27.0N 47.0W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: East-Northeast [065°] near 9 mph [15 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 35 mph [ 55 kph].
Wind Gusts: 45 mph [ 70 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1010 mb.

Currently about 1130 miles [1815 km] East-Southeast of Bermuda.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 29, 2013   Comments Off on Tropical Depression Eleven – Day 2

Tropical Depression Eleven

Tropical Depression ElevenPosition: 25.2N 50.2W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: North [010°] near 9 mph [15 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 35 mph [ 55 kph].
Wind Gusts: 45 mph [ 70 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1010 mb.

Currently about 1010 miles [1625 km] East-Southeast of Bermuda.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 28, 2013   Comments Off on Tropical Depression Eleven

On Cruz Control

The House really wants to shut down the government. Instead of defunding the ACA [Obamacare] they now want it postponed for a year, and they want a tax on some medical equipment removed to continue to fund the government.

The Senate is not going to meet again until Monday and they will ship back the same bill they shipped before with neither of these amendments.

The only way of avoiding a shutdown is for Boehner to bring the Senate bill to the floor for a vote after convincing enough Republicans to join with the Democrats to pass it. The whackos will want his scalp if he does it, so he will probably have to lose the Speaker’s gavel if he does it. If he doesn’t do it, he may have a hard time raising money to run for reelection next year.

September 28, 2013   6 Comments

Slow Suicide

The BBC is as good a place as any to read it – IPCC climate report: humans ‘dominant cause’ of warming.

In Juan Cole’s post he makes a point that I have stressed several times to deniers of reality – if you predict the average temperature based on historical data and the known climate cycles, the temperature should be dropping noticeably. Historically we should be experiencing colder temperatures which is why climatologists who based their research on the cyclical nature of earth’s climate were writing about the possibility of another ‘ice age’ back in the 1970s.

What this means is that we have had some luck and are overheating the planet at a time of cooling. Without the cooling cycle we would be even worse off than we are, so it is important to deal with this before solar activity starts up again and adds to the heating.

September 28, 2013   Comments Off on Slow Suicide

No One Needs This

When I looked the USGS Earthquake site this morning I saw that at 2:34AM CDT there was a 6.8 quake/after-shock 96km North-Northeast of Awaran, Pakistan at a depth of 14.8km.

They were just starting to reach some of the more remote areas impacted by the 7.7 quake, and now they get smacked again.

The brain-dead Baluchi rebel groups are attacking relief convoys according to the BBC.

Some estimates of the dead from the original quake have reached over 500 with thousands homeless.

September 28, 2013   Comments Off on No One Needs This

Crash & Burn

They are going to shut down the government and then refuse to raise to debt limit unless they get everything they want. The Tea Party idiotlogues [ideologues without any ideas] don’t understand what is going happen or what it means. They don’t care what happens to the Republican Party, as they think the leadership is composed of sell-outs. They don’t care about Wall Street because they are funded by the Koch Brothers.

The biggest reason I think this is going to happen is that the same people who were certain that Congress would act to prevent sequestration from happening, are certain that that a deal will be struck to avoid these problems.

The only way out is if Boehner brings the Senate version of the continuing resolution up for a vote and Zero mints some coins. I have more confidence in Boehner than Zero taking action.

September 27, 2013   Comments Off on Crash & Burn

Friday Cat Blogging

CC Exposed

Friday Cat Blogging


[Editor: CC is laying in the driveway and showing that she is a mostly white cat with all of the color on the top.]

Friday Ark

September 27, 2013   4 Comments

The Cruz-athon

So Ted Cruz turned CSpan-2 into a cable access channel for 21 hours and that was supposed to prove what?

The Senate wasn’t in session during the infomercial [he asked for money] which is why it was 21 hours, so all that happened is that he wasted taxpayers’ money and prevented the Senate chamber from being cleaned.

This was not comparable to what Wendy Davis did in the Texas Senate when she filibustered another attack on women’s access to healthcare. Ms Davis was required to stand without leaning on anything and remain on topic the entire time. She wasn’t allowed to have someone else stand in for her when she needed a bathroom break, or a stretch, or a snack, she had to do it alone. Cruz read Green Eggs and Ham, had another whacko take over when he needed a break, and wandered all over the map on what he said.

If Cruz wants to filibuster the amendment to remove the language defunding the Affordable Care Act he should have waited until that amendment came up for a vote. He pulled this stunt because he knows that would fail. This was about Ted Cruz and his ambition. He is going to have to grow up a lot to try to fill Wendy Davis’s sneakers because she was acting like a Senator, not a carnival barker.

Update: Digby has a nice example of his own party’s reaction to the nonsense.

September 26, 2013   9 Comments

The Oil Is Still There

CBS has some new findings on the Well from Hell: Researcher: Extent of BP oil spill’s damage to sea-floor life “astounding”

NEW ORLEANS The vast 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill damaged the tiny animals that live on the sea floor for about 57 square miles around the blown-out BP oil well, with severe damage in about nine square miles of that area, says a researcher from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Pollution and damage to animal life was severe nearly two miles from the wellhead and identifiable more than 10 miles away, Paul Montagna wrote in a report published Tuesday in the online journal PLOS One.

Montagna, a professor of ecosystems and modeling, said the refrigerator-cold water a mile beneath the surface means oil takes longer to decay than in shallower waters, where spill recovery has taken years to decades. That means full recovery could take a generation or more, he said in an interview Tuesday.

The ‘tiny animals’ are at the bottom of the food chain. When they die off, everything above them dies off. There is a massive amount of crude oil on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and it wasn’t deposited in a circular pattern around the well site, there were plumes of oil tracked well away from the site.

Not all oil floats to the surface, some of it sinks to the bottom. It is very cold in the deep Gulf which significantly reduces the microbes that can actually eat and convert oil. In the warm and shallow Bay of Campeche the massive oil spill was converted relatively rapidly, but that process is much slower in deep water.

BP responded with typical obfuscation and sputtering.

September 25, 2013   2 Comments

Pakistani Earthquake

The US Geological Survey reported it as a 7.7 quake located 66km North-Northeast of Awaran, in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan at a depth of 20km occurring at 6:29AM CDT yesterday. There have been more than a dozen aftershocks ranging from 5.9 to 4.0 in the area. The ABC has more information and a decent map in their report: Pakistan earthquake death toll rises to 80, as tremor creates a new island in the sea.

The death toll will certainly rise as they reach the isolated communities around the epicenter. Most of the homes are constructed with mud bricks and have probably collapsed in a quake that strong.

Update: the BBC reports that the has climbed to over 300, and predictions that it will be much higher.

September 25, 2013   Comments Off on Pakistani Earthquake