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Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office revises death toll down to 24, including 7 children: http://t.co/... #tornado
@TPM via MarketMeSuite

Welcome news amidst tragedy. The next set of questions is about why OK doesn't want to spend the money on proper storm shelters.

Charlie Cook:

The simple fact is that although the Republican sharks are circling, at least so far, there isn’t a trace of blood in the water. A new CNN/ORC survey of 923 Americans this past Friday and Saturday, May 17-18, pegged Obama’s job-approval rating at 53 percent, up a statistically insignificant 2 points since their last poll, April 5-7, which was taken before the Benghazi, IRS, and AP-wiretap stories came to dominate the news and congressional hearing rooms. His disapproval rating was down 2 points since that last survey.
Greg Sargent:
A few of us on the left have been arguing that the current scandal-mania gripping the GOP risks bringing about a rerun of 1998, when the frenzy amid the Monica Lewinsky revelations led the GOP to overreach, resulting in backlash.

Now we have a longtime respected nonpartisan observer, Charlie Cook, arguing that this possibility is very real.

Nate Silver:
There are a lot of theories as to why Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have been unchanged in the wake of these controversies, which some news accounts and many of Mr. Obama’s opponents are describing as scandals. But these analyses may proceed from the wrong premise if they assume that the stories have had no impact. It could be that the controversies are, in fact, putting some downward pressure on Mr. Obama’s approval ratings — but that the losses are offset by improved voter attitudes about the economy.
More politics and policy after the fold.

Brad Plumer:

Just 16 minutes before a gigantic twister first developed near Oklahoma City on Monday, the National Weather Service put out a tornado warning.

The tornado warning issued for the region south of Oklahoma City on Monday, May 20, at 2:46 p.m. (Via Mike Smith)

That doesn’t sound like very much time to get out of the way. For many, it wasn’t: At least 24 people died when the tornado ripped a mile-wide path through the city of Moore, Okla.
But those 16 minutes actually represent an enormous advance for weather science. Back in the 1980s, the average tornado lead time was a scant five minutes. Today, it’s about 13 minutes.

Want to go into decline as a country? Don't spend any money and add a heaping portion of anti-science bias.

NY Times:

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws on a bipartisan vote, sending the most significant immigration policy changes in decades to the full Senate, where the debate is expected to begin next month.
NYT editorial:
The bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday has many serious hurdles ahead. It is the most serious and worthy attempt to fix immigration in a generation, but it cannot help reflecting the poisoned politics of today, with its heavy tilt toward needless border enforcement and a deficiency in equal rights.
Joseph Nye:
Obama's first term was marked by the passage of health care legislation -- unpopular with some, but a historic accomplishment that Democratic presidents have sought since the days of Harry Truman. The Democrats' loss of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections has constrained Obama's ability to advance other transformational efforts on the domestic front, though some believe that, out of self-interest, the Republican Party may still allow bipartisan reform of immigration law during Obama's second term.

The current "scandals" certainly are expensive to Obama in terms of daily distraction and lost political momentum, but if you think you can write off the rest of the Obama presidency, think again. Too often, Washington focuses so myopically on daily political battles that it fails to pay attention to history. The lessons of history tell us: It is too soon to write off Barack Obama.

Too soon? It's idiotic to even suggest it. But then again, pundits never could read polls. See last election.

The Monkey Cage on the political science of Star Trek:

A key dynamic in Star Trek is the tense interdependence between the hot-headed Captain, James Kirk, and his coldly rational second-in-command, Mr. Spock. Separately, Kirk is impetuous and Spock rigidly utilitarian. Good decisions come when they weave their analyses together. Political scientists, following advances in psychology, are newly interested in the interdependence of emotion and reason, edging away from Mr. Spock’s hyper-rational vision of politics toward an understanding of the inextricable linkages between the two modes of choice. Publics vote, political parties select issue positions, and executives make decisions on war and peace under the influence of both emotion and logic. The new Trek continues these debates. Spock, in peril, explains that he does not want to die as a foreshortened life is one that fails to realize its maximum utility, while Kirk channels George W. Bush in being unable to articulate a rationale for a momentous decision other than “gut feeling.”
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Comment Preferences

  •  IRS - so if 2/3 of 'the list' of 'targets' was (28+ / 0-)

    conservative, what was the fraction of applications that were conservative?

    Were 2/3 of all applications conservative?  

    •  How many of them were grifters?.....oops.... (15+ / 0-)

      that's irrelevant and immaterial.

    •  Good question. (4+ / 0-)

      We were told there was a flood of new applications.  Just how many were they and how did they break down?

      Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

      by DRo on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:54:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is what I'd like to know (6+ / 0-)

      Of the groups targeted for extra scrutiny, 2/3 were conservative, so we hear.

      I want to know what % of the applicants were conservative, as well, otherwise the 2/3rds means nothing.

      If there were 3000 applicants and 2300 of them were conservative groups, more than 2/3rds targeted SHOULD BE conservative, right?

      I'm willing to bet that the majority, at least, of these applications were from conservative groups because of the hundreds of tea parties that sprang up - and they were all loosely tied together and astroturfed by a group fully capable of prodding them toward the new tax free designation so donors could be protected as dirty money was laundered through the system.

      I hope the digging has just begun.

      I mean, haven't we seen ALEC handing various state legislators bills to file? Is it really a stretch to think that Dick Armey would go around handing out info packets to tp'ers showing them how to apply?

      •  Of course someone was instructing them (5+ / 0-)

        We don't yet know who, but all these local TP groups didn't suddenly come up with the same strategy independently just by reading the tax code and Citizens United. Neither did the liberal ones, of course.

        What is most important is to keep emphasizing that the principle of screening "social welfare organization" applications to make sure they weren't really political organizing committees under the mask wasn't illegal, unconstitutional, infringement of everyone's rights, etc. etc. -- it was the IRS's job, under the express wording of statutes that Congress enacted. If they had decided to do a thorough extra-special screening of ALL 501c4 applications, using the same questionaire, there would be no problem.  The ONLY legitimate issue is whether the IRS improperly used certain code words in an organization's name or description as triggers for special scrutiny.

        And don't get me started on the double standard where the FBI, NYPD, Homeland Security, etc. etc. applied a completely different standard to anything with the word "Occupy" in it, and no one in Congress or the media feels the need to investigate that (or rant about it).  

      •  more... (7+ / 0-)
        According to the IRS database, there were 1,017 "social welfare organizations" approved for tax-exempt status in 2012. In IRS-speak, that's a 501c(4) organization of classification type 3. Donations to such groups are not tax-deductable, and they are often not required to disclose donors. Of those, 28 have the words "tea party" or "patriots" in their name. Only seven have the word "progress": Louisiana Progress Action Fund Inc., Progress Missouri, Progress Texas, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action Fund, Progressive USA, Progressives United Inc., Progressnow. There are no matches for "liberal" or "Democrat."

        The complete list is at the end of this post. - news.yahoo.com

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:44:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not two thirds, actually about 1/3rd (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, DRo

      According to testimony in front of Issa's committee:

      But Treasury inspector general J. Russell George testified during the hearing that no evidence indicated the additional review of the 300 groups was politically or ideologically motivated. He blamed the incident on mismanagement.

      Of the 298 groups subjected to additional review, 72 were “tea party” groups, 11 were “9/12″ groups and 13 were “patriots” groups, according to the inspector general’s report.

      http://www.rawstory.com/...

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:05:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ny times (28+ / 0-)
    The Web site for the City of Moore, Okla., recommends “that every residence have a storm safe room or an underground cellar.” It says below-ground shelters are the best protection against tornadoes.

    But no local ordinance or building code requires such shelters, either in houses, schools or businesses, and only about 10 percent of homes in Moore have them.

    Nor does the rest of Oklahoma, one of the states in the storm belt called Tornado Alley, require them — despite the annual onslaught of deadly and destructive twisters like the one on Monday, which killed at least 24 people, injured hundreds and eliminated entire neighborhoods.

    It is a familiar story, as well, in places like Joplin, Mo., and across the Great Plains and in the Deep South, where tornadoes are a seasonal threat but government regulation rankles.

    Rankles? Rankles?? How many school children have do needlessly lose their lives over something that 'rankles'?

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:44:05 AM PDT

    •  Florida's building codes saw huge changes... (12+ / 0-)

      ....in weather hardening after Andrew.

      I somehow doubt Oklahoma will do the same thing.

      •  the quote is (18+ / 0-)
        Mike Gilles, a former president of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association, said that he built safe rooms in all his custom homes, and that even many builders who build speculatively now make them standard.

        But asked whether the government should require safe rooms in homes, he said, “Most homebuilders would be against that because we think the market ought to drive what people are putting in the houses, not the government.”

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:48:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Brilliant! (7+ / 0-)

          Don't tread on him or his bidness.

          "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes

          Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

          by OleHippieChick on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:14:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  1% get shelters; 99% get blown away. nt (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sfbob, METAL TREK, vcmvo2, gffish

          Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

          by Terrapin on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:58:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  FEMA gives grants for storm shelters (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Amber6541, SoCalSal

          The two schools in Moore which didn't have safe rooms did not have fatalities.

          Generally, homeowners or government bodies such as school districts put up 25 percent of the costs, and the federal government pitches in the rest. After the 1999 tornadoes, federal money paid for nearly 10,000 new safe rooms across Oklahoma, mostly for private homeowners.

          But the money dries up over time, and there are usually far more applicants than available grants. Federal funding to guard against future disasters is distributed based on the cost of the prior disaster, meaning the money eventually runs out if there haven't been major disasters in an area in recent years.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

          One of the few states to require storm shelters in schools?
          Alabama.

          Alabama is one of the only states that requires new schools to be built with FEMA-approved safe rooms. After a tornado in 2007 killed eight students at the state's Enterprise High School, the legislature passed a requirement that new schools provide safe areas for students.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:20:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oklahoma is the recipient of millions of $$ (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes

            each year from oil companies like Devon and Chesapeake, and I'm not talking about tax money.  They contribute money to community groups and projects, upgrades in infrastructure (particularly in areas near or adjacent to their operations) and statewide collaborative enterprises.

            Considering oil companies are contributors to climate change and therefore storm severity, someone in the "get government off our backs" groups should hit them up for money for community safe rooms - particularly in schools.

            With sixteen minutes or less to get to a shelter, people in OK should really have such a room in their own homes; relying on "the market" to determine who lives and dies leaves out enormous numbers of people who can't afford one or who rent.  I guess the state has determined their freedom from government regulation is more important than the lives of "those" people.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Wed May 22, 2013 at 10:32:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  He's Right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thomask

          Dead people won't drive the market.

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

          by TerryDarc on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:48:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

        how long was it after Andrew was it the GOP weakened those regulations because it made houses more exsensive to build?

      •  More. (9+ / 0-)
        BUILDING CODES AND INSPECTIONS

        "Hurricane Andrew was a big wake-up call," said Bob Keating, community development director for Indian River County. "The changes over the past 20 years have been enormous."

        After the category five storm gutted Homestead and Florida City, the Florida Legislature brought together a panel chaired by former Florida Senate President Philip D. Lewis to study how the state could prepare for another hurricane.

        Among the Lewis Committee's recommendations, said Keating, were a statewide building code and tougher inspections to prevent the kind of shoddy construction that came to pieces in Andrew's winds.

        "The drive-by inspections that came to light after Hurricane Andrew were an indication that it's not just the code that's important, it's making sure the code is enforced," he said.

        John Gonzales, Port St. Lucie's deputy director of public works during Andrew and a current Federal Emergency Management Agency employee, led a team of recovery workers into Miami after the storm hit and saw the result of those lax standards scattered all over the city streets.

        "Most of the homes in Cutler Ridge had barrel tile roofs," he said. "They were supposed to be nailed down — and they weren't cemented, or nailed down or anything. They were just placed up there. And they became missiles."

        The state adopted the Florida Building Code as its first statewide code in 2002, said Keating, requiring new structures be built to withstand hurricane force winds and have shutters or impact-resistant glass to protect openings.

        The effects of building regulations put into place since Andrew, officials said, were visible when hurricanes Frances and Jeanne struck the Treasure Coast in 2004.

        "Experience has shown that those code changes really made a difference," Keating said. "The newer construction fared much better, and that was the case with the 2004 hurricanes."

        In code amendments in 2010, he said, the state increased the wind speed that buildings need to be designed for — in some areas from 140 mph to 160 mph, and in others from 120 mph or 130 mph to 150 mph.

        "Tougher standards went into effect with the Florida Building Code in 2002," he said, "and it's been consistently more rigorous over the past 20 years."

        http://www.abcactionnews.com/...
      •  Some people learn from experience . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, trumpeter

        Some people refuse to!  They are too smart to learn.  "Fool me once, shame on you.  Ain't gonna get fooled again.  I'll just  vote for another Bush."

        People in Oklahoma should be demanding some changes, but most won't.  They don't believe in science and engineering, unfortunately.

        "Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers offering advice to the Republican Party.

        by NM Ray on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:45:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We have 2000 public schools in Oklahoma. (11+ / 0-)

      We have a school system that pays its teachers almost dead last in the nation. Most don't even have daily supplies and paper.

      The high school I graduated from serves 1000, plus 100 or so teachers and admin. Tulsa has about seven or eight high schools just like it.

      I have lived 62 years in Tulsa and have yet to see a school building hit by a tornado.

      I know there's a lot of talk about this. But, realistically, I don't see Oklahoma spending more on their schools, but less. There might be local initiatives to build dozens of big tornado hardened shelters that could protect hundreds of people each.

      I don't see it happening. In fact, I'd rather see that $Billion actually improving the education system in this state.

      "You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody." - my dad

      by briefer on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:54:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The huge issue is retrofitting existing buildings (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, wonmug, SoCalSal

      As we've found with the Americans with Disabilities Act -- it's much easier (though not politically simple) to require new construction (or substantial remodels) to upgrade. Requiring homeowners and public buildings (and private businesses like that 7-11) to immediately invest huge amounts in retrofitting buildings is a very different order of magnitude. (In New England, old houses are very difficult to make barrier-free.) Even putting power lines underground in existing built-up areas, as some have proposed to reduce power outages in blizzards and hurricanes, is extremely expensive and disruptive.

      Frankly, if we were inclined to do this, requiring retrofits for extreme energy efficiency (to try to coax that CO2 level down) would be much higher on my list than trying to protect every building against every possible natural disaster. There has been hurricane/flooding damage in places that were not on anyone's list of high-risk areas (Vermont????). The same is true to some extent of tornado damage (Western Mass.?). With climate change, those occurrences are likely to increase. We maybe need to pay less attention to protecting buildings, and more attention to building community resilience to enable people to survive and rebuild their lives.

      •  The people who originally built downtown (0+ / 0-)

        Oklahoma City were much smarter than the people now in charge.  There is a network of tunnels that connect many of the  downtown buildings and hotels.  They serve to allow people to walk from one building to another to stay out of the weather, and they also act as a tornado shelter for people who work in downtown buildings.  Over the years restaurants and shops have been built in the tunnels, and they serve as exhibit space for artwork.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Wed May 22, 2013 at 11:23:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So now the GOP (5+ / 0-)

      will blame Obama because of the FEMA bureaucratic delay that OK is claiming caused them to give up their bid for money for safe rooms.

      Only the GOP hates FEMA and wishes it would die.  And the GOP doesn't understand the role of government in spurring things like safety by (horrors!) spending.

      The GOP doesn't understand the role of government at all.

      But they will go after the President, claiming that government didn't do something that they don't support in the first place.

      Frankly I can't even fathom where republicans come from anymore.  I mean, while I read all this shit about "libtards" and all that, I just don't see anything the democratic establishment (not remotely liberal anyway) doing anything close to this baldfaced hypocrisy in the name of taking down a president they hate.

      No one calls them on what could end up being the biggest scandal in American history:  the gop selling out an entire nation's security (financial and physical), health, equality and freedom from persecution, happiness . . . future . . . in the name of cynical partisan politics.

      The scope and degree of suffering that they allow and create just to further their agenda with no concern as to how it actually affects anyone out here in reality-land is staggering.

      Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

      by delphine on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:20:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm going to have something more to say on that. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thomask, SoCalSal

      My eyes jumped out of my head when I read that.

  •  Or as Bobby Jindal would say. (17+ / 0-)
    Just 16 minutes before a gigantic twister first developed near Oklahoma City on Monday, the National Weather Service put out a tornado warning.
    "The government spends money on something called tornado warnings, whatever that means...."
  •  Star Trek and Interdependence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KibbutzAmiad

    Or as our "loyal opposition" prefers to view it, absolute "taking" of FREEDOMZ!!!

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:45:31 AM PDT

  •  The average life of a thunderstorm (6+ / 0-)

    is only about 20 minutes. Tornadoes come from thunderstorms, so I'd think that a 16 minute warning is pretty dang good. From this point they'd have to go into predicting the thunderstorm that is going to produce the tornado. Hopefully that is possible.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:46:59 AM PDT

    •  They did exactly that...the governor (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites, skohayes, Amber6541

      Did all the Pre paperwork for a potential disaster on Saturday because of the forecasted high threat of devasting storms.

      Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

      by totallynext on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:05:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She seems pretty competent for a Repub. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        Or maybe I'm just judging her on this one instance and don't know about a whole lot of other craziness.

        •  She's not a teabagger (8+ / 0-)

          but she sure has her moments of crazy. Remember, during the election the "You didn't build that" HORRIFIC SCANDAL"? She said that Oklahoma was founded without help from the government. Wrong.

          The history of my great state of Oklahoma offers a great example of pursuing the American Dream. It was built and settled by pioneers movibe west to seek better lives. During the Great Land Run of 1889, thousands of families rushed to put a stake down on empty plots of land. They built tent cities overnight. They farmed the land and they worked hard. And, in 1897, eight years after the land run, a handful of adventurous pioneers risked their own money — not the federal government's money — to drill Oklahoma's first oil well, the Nellie Johnstone. By doing so, these early-day pioneers changed the future and Oklahoma forever and today Oklahoma is one of the nation's key energy producers and job creators. President Obama wants us to believe that Oklahomans owe that success to the federal government — to the Department Of Energy,to the EPA, to the IRS, or maybe even to him. Mr. President, we know better. As we say in Oklahoma, that dog won't hunt.
          My god, Oklahomans wouldn't even have Oklahoma without the federal government, without the Homestead Act of 1889 or the Railroad Act — both, by the way, achievements of a Republican presidents named Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Harrison. And the land wasn't exactly "empty," Governor. It got emptied by a big-government program called the United States Army. You know what your state would be without the federal government, Governor, without the votes for the legislation from congressmen from the east and north, without the soldiers from New England and the Great Lakes? You know what Oklahoma would be?
          Sand, with a whole lot of pissed-off Native Americans.
          http://www.esquire.com/...

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:27:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It might just be ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... that screaming "IMPEACH!!!" at every turn is a tactic that runs out of energy quickly. There are plenty of things about which to criticize the president.  The wingnuts almost do him a favor with their foolish lines of attack.

    Which side are you on?

    by ThirstyGator on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:52:02 AM PDT

    •  Michelle Bachmann gets impeachment requests (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, Stude Dude, gffish

      from her constituents even in her dreams.

    •  A lot of us have been through this once (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, gffish

      already. All these self righteous outraged Republicans walking around gives me heartburn.
      But they're never going to maintain this for 18 months and most voters don't care that much.
      As one person said on Twitter yesterday, "The haters don't get extra credit because they hate Obama even more this time around."

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:30:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rasmussen (8+ / 0-)

    is showing Obama down significantly, and interestingly, it's the only poll cited on Free Republic.  

    Are we all locked in echo chambers now?  And after the last election, why does Rasmussen still exist?  

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:00:16 AM PDT

  •  Why Build In Tornado Valley Again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSC on the Plateau

    If I was a family living there I would definitely move.  Hurricanes are different than tornados because you can live in a hurricane area but just limit the damage by not living on the water.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:03:05 AM PDT

    •  where do you go? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles

      There are friends and family and a job....would you move due to weather?  Because no matter where you live there is likely to be some risk of weather related crisis.  

      Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

      by KibbutzAmiad on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:11:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  large sections of the planet vacant? (6+ / 0-)

      In order to significantly reduce the risk of human death due to severe weather, you would have to empty out large sections of the planet -- which would then put so much additional stress on the remaining sections that it would probably cause more problems. And where exactly are those risk-free areas? Where do you move to that is "safe" and will remain so over the next 30 years or 50? And can you find a job there, and a house you can afford? And, as one Inuit woman patiently explained to me, even if people are very nice to you, it's not your place, it's not the land where your spirit and your people belong.

      To me it makes more sense to accept that as humans, we live in a natural world that is inherently somewhat risky, and from time to time that risk hits you or someone you know. I haven't looked at the numbers recently, but I'm quite sure fewer people (even cute children) in the US die from tornados and hurricanes than from car crashes, gun accidents, domestic violence, medical negligence, or obesity.

      •  but those numbers are different regionally (0+ / 0-)

        no point in preparing for an ice storm in LA, but CT? we get those.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:47:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Would be nice, if I could afford it, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gffish, Amber6541

      But let's say your house is destroyed. Then you want to move. What about the house? You can't just walk away if you've got a mortgage. I have friends going through this in Atlantic City- their home was destroyed in Sandy (by flooding) and they want to just tear down the existing structure, sell the property and walk away. But the bank at this point won't let them do a short sale, so they're basically trapped at this point.
      By the way, not living on the water doesn't protect you from hurricanes, as many people who live inland in North Carolina can attest. Flooding from heavy rains from hurricanes have hit the western and central part of the state on numerous occasions.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:50:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope that (4+ / 0-)

    Joseph Nye is right, and it's too soon to write off Obama's second term.  But they can't even pass a budget.  What can be done about

    1. living wage jobs
    2. single payer
    3. student debt crisis

    if the right refuses to move on anything, anything that might actually help American working people?

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:03:21 AM PDT

    •  I think immigration reform is the big one. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KibbutzAmiad, skohayes, askew, gffish

      He passes that and he has a major piece of legislation in his second term.

      Not sure much will happen beyond that, except for some executive orders and the inevitable SCOTUS craziness when Ginsburg steps down.

      We need to elect another Dem to give things moving to the Left, even if progress seems too slow.

    •  They treasonously swore not to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KibbutzAmiad, skohayes

      on Inauguration eve.
      Because The Black Guy™.

      "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes

      Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

      by OleHippieChick on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:20:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Both houses of congress have passed budgets, (0+ / 0-)

      but Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell have refused to allow the senate budget to go to conference unless the committee is prohibited from including the debt limit in the final bill.  They want to keep debt limit "negotiations" separate and open to demands for budget cuts.  Since the president has stated that he will not negotiate over raising the debt limit, this will make for some interesting conference committee negotiations (if McConnell even allows conferees to be assigned from the senate) and debt limit talks next fall.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed May 22, 2013 at 12:16:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Obama was a republican and he just had (3+ / 0-)

    Insight that the senator of a state that just got hit by a major disaster provided doctored documents to a congressional witch hunt against him...me thinks there would be some federal response dragging!

    But he's not a republican, and the federal response was there within 12 hrs of the devastation...the communication from other local and state officials has been early and constant and they have all praised that damn socialist for the federal help!

    Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

    by totallynext on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:03:21 AM PDT

    •  Not Rep. James Lankford (OK-District 5). (0+ / 0-)

      He said if congress didn't OK the bill for disaster aid to Oklahoma, the state would get by just fine; they could take care of themselves and would have no trouble funding recovery, and they didn't need the federal government anyway.  Not one word about the president's prompt declaration of emergency or thanks for working with the OK governor to set everything in motion almost immediately.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed May 22, 2013 at 12:30:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I admit, if my tax dollars are going to go to (13+ / 0-)

    rebuilding houses in tornado country, hurricane country, or the ever-flooding Mississippi basin area, then I think we need building codes that reflect the realities of the area and are hardened to withstand such troubles.

    In the long run, that would be cheaper that constantly funding the rebuilding of the bog-standard matchstick wood-frame houses multiple times.

    And they need a safe & secure storage area for household chemicals so that they aren't constantly being washed away also. But then I'm sure that's more "Gummint Reg'lations!"

    The internet is ruled by cat people. Dog people are busy playing outside.

    by Canis Aureus on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:08:13 AM PDT

    •  To a certain extent................ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, ybruti

      I agree with your point. One program that addresses a similar problem is the National Flood Insurance Program.  The NFIP recognizes the futility of rebuilding in the floodplain  in certain cases and provides supplemental insurance for homeowners (most don't know that homeowners insurance does not cover damage from flooding.)  

      The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

      by cazcee on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:30:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People are busy (9+ / 0-)

    and who wants to listen to more "impeachment" hollers from the Republicans? This shit has been going on for 5+ years and the right wing hair on fire has become Charlie Brown teacher background noise. School is ending, holiday weekend, yard needs weeding, Jodi Arias trial is ending (ha!), reality shows are wrapping up their seasons (ha ha!) - we've got better stuff to do. The polls are telling the politicians to STFU and go to work.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:15:25 AM PDT

  •  so once again, it is ok to violate 1st amendment (0+ / 0-)

    protections of press freedom as long as there isn't a political price to pay?

    And when the next Republican president goes after the press, or any other aspect of the 1st amendment in the name of "security" he/she can point to this administration as precedent.

    Nope.  I am not going to cheer his approval ratings, as a matter of fact, it makes me sick that the American people don't care what has happened to our constitutional protections first by Bush and now Obama.

    Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

    by Indiana Bob on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:20:58 AM PDT

    •  I just can't sympathize with the corporate media. (5+ / 0-)

      Sorry. I wish I respected them enough to care. I used to.

      •  The government is not going to go after (0+ / 0-)

        vapid substance-free articles by the MSM (which most of them are).  But the AP and other MSM outlets still do have some that do investigative journalism, and THAT is who are the targets.

        The Administration leaks classified information to reporters who will write friendly puff pieces.  The will prosecute those who expose government bullshit.

        This shit is scary.

        Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

        by Indiana Bob on Wed May 22, 2013 at 07:24:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  there's always something that needs improvement (6+ / 0-)

      it's not a violation of 1st amendment right, and that's the tragedy. it might just be legal.

      I like bringing back the shield laws. I like keeping the topic in perspective.

      Debate Aside, Number of Drone Strikes Drops Sharply

      less outrage, less drama, more deeds. On balance, decent president. Needs improvement in some areas.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:36:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The DOJ just filed a warrant (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        One Opinion

        and said, clear as day it the warrant, that the reporter they wanted for the surveillance committed a crime, thus justifying it.  This is absolutely in contravention to the first amendment.  IT IS NOT A CRIME TO PUBLISH classified (or any) information, it is a crime to leak it, sure.  But what the DOJ is doing the Bush Administration would have had multiple wet dreams about.  If they could have went after every journalist who exposed their bullshit, they would have.  Obama once again is codifying a dangerous policy into the mainstream and because he is "on our team" so we don't care.

        And my outrage is appropriate.  The "deed" is what is already in our first amendment, "Congress shall make no law....", and they haven't.  The President took an oath to honor and defend the Constitution.  I guess they should just get rid of that in the inaugural ceremony.  I will admit that Obama isn't the first one to ignore that oath.

        Here is a the Wash Post article

        Reyes wrote that there was evidence Rosen had broken the law, 'at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator'. That fact distinguishes his case from the probe of the AP, in which the news organization is not the likely target. Using italics for emphasis, Reyes explained how Rosen allegedly used a 'covert communications plan' and quoted from an e-mail exchange between Rosen and Kim that seems to describe a secret system for passing along information. . . . However, it remains an open question whether it's ever illegal, given the First Amendment's protection of press freedom, for a reporter to solicit information. No reporter, including Rosen, has been prosecuted for doing so.

        Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

        by Indiana Bob on Wed May 22, 2013 at 07:40:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If congress is so alarmed about the DOJ (0+ / 0-)

      actions taken against the AP, all they have to do is repeal the portions of the Patriot Act that makes such fishing expeditions through press phone records legal.  

      It might help if the president demanded it, but probably not, and no administration is going to voluntarily give up that kind of power.  

      But no matter, congress would rather rail against the DOJ's actions than take the necessary steps to stop them - including the congressional Democrats.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed May 22, 2013 at 12:58:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One possible explanation as to why the president's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, gffish

    numbers are good is because the electorate has become a more educated group, and not just through the traditional institutions. Far more people have facts at there fingertips, now, should they care one way or another on a given topic.
    The trouble with the world prior to the internet was that there were so many questions; so few instant references. We were all bound to the same "truths" as everyone else via MSM unless we hit the library. No more.
    This contraption that we are typing on contains the sum total of the world's knowledge for all intents and purposes and, apparently, people are getting their moneys worth with a vengence.  

    The Great Awakening Is Afire! Think outside the box or remain mundane.

    by franklyn on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:28:37 AM PDT

  •  That revised death count illustrates how incorrect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sixty Something, gffish

    information can go out, even from official sources, when everyone's desperate for news.
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...
    An early count was 51, and I think the NY Times extrapolated that it might go as high as 90 since a lot of the rubble hadn't yet been searched.

    I don't expect anyone to start talking about "Tornadogate" and asking who knew what and when did they know it, but a lot of the same pressure -- everyone being desperate for news -- applies to Benghazi.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:30:29 AM PDT

  •  Nate Silver's analysis scares me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psnyder, gffish

    Because he says that Obama's good approval numbers are due to the improving economy - that means that the Rs will see that their only chance of 'destroying' Obama is to work harder at wrecking the economy, which they've already shown they have no qualms about doing to help their political standing. These despicable traitors have no depths too low to sink to, so it doesn't look good for the upcoming debt ceiling hostage crisis.

    It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now? - Guerilla Radio, Rage Against The Machine.

    by Fordmandalay on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:51:59 AM PDT

    •  What improving economy? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wonmug

      That's the question I asked myself when I read that analysis. Things may be great for Nate Silver. But at least from where I sit, things ain't so great out here.

      The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

      by psnyder on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:59:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's no longer getting worse (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psnyder, METAL TREK, trumpeter

        Many people have adapted to the new normal (after 5 years, that's what people do). There aren't massive new layoffs every month, which means if you have a job you're not cutting back on spending just in case. Housing prices haven't recovered but in most areas they've stopped plummeting. And the unemployment figures, while still much too high, are gradually going down, though not all of that is due to people finding decent and adequate-paying jobs.

        Are we all doing well? No, obviously not. But we're overall doing a bit less bad than we were in the fall of 2008 and early 2009, and with less fear of falling off a cliff.

  •  Immigration Reform Q (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish

    I read one place before that the main reason why the Democrats agreed to the 13 year length for the "path to citizenship" in the immigration bill is that it allows them to avoid having to include it in budget forecasting--good or bad, it avoids the issue altogether and makes life easier.  Is that correct?  I've never understood why 13 years has gained such universal acceptance because, as I see it, that's way too long, especially for people to be living here and paying taxes but being denied the right to vote and the right to the various social services (e.g. unemployment insurance, earned benefits, etc.)

  •  More politics in new Star Trek (spoilers) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Kirk, with Spock's help, comes to argue for a peaceful Starfleet, based on exploration first, and defense second. Adm. Marcus, Peter Weller's character, argues for a militaristic Starfleet. Guess who wins out & winds up prepping the Enterprise for its first five year mission? :)

    A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

    by METAL TREK on Wed May 22, 2013 at 07:11:04 AM PDT

  •  Building Codes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish

    In California, the building codes require that a house or other building be built to withstand earthquakes.

    Why are not similar requirements built into building codes in Tornado Alley?   Just don't allow buildings to go up without safe rooms that are certified to stand up to at least an EF-5.  Make the requirements more strict for public buildings.  With practice and acceptance, costs go down and everyone is better off.

    (Better yet, build underground - Hobbit Holes).

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:30:03 AM PDT

    •  because they don't want the gummint (0+ / 0-)

      to tell them what to do, according to the published articles.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed May 22, 2013 at 11:03:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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