Open Thread

A Second Term

Obama Second Term
Deep breath, no excuses.
Now we play with futures.

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463 replies on “A Second Term”

Ashley Judd Runs 4 Points Behind Mitch McConnell In Kentucky Senate Poll.

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) unpopularity in his home state might leave him susceptible to a 2014 challenge, including a potential Senate bid by actress Ashley Judd, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

Although Kentucky remains deeply Republican, McConnell’s low approval ratings — the worst of any senator nationally, according to PPP — could make him vulnerable. Just 37 percent of Kentucky voters approve of his performance, while 55 percent disapprove.

Can a real Progressive win in the south? This would be a huge win for the Democrats. A Kentucky Progressive for at least 6 years. All the Democrats need is a Tea Party person to knock him off first. A legitimate rape type person. 🙂

More here..

The melting of the permafrost and the prediction of 6 degrees warming is utterly catastrophic. Obama needs to take the lead on this unequivocally –
this could be the time the world comes together to face a shared threat – or completely fucks it.


Yes, it is very depressing. The scale of the problem is staggering.

By 2030, India is projected to be burning as much coal as the US does now.

By 2030, global emissions are projected to rise by between 20 and 30 per cent – in other words, those hoping for a global peak some time in the next few years are deluded.

Adaptation to a four degree temperature rise (let alone six) is not something that is possible, especially given that such a rise is unlikely to be stable.

The two degree target is gone.

Thus, the only rational thing to do is to take all necessary measures to limit warming to around three degrees while preparing for the bad stuff that such a high level of warming will bring.

And ‘all necessary measures’ includes a managed decades long global recession. Consumption must decline, which will mean job losses and thus further consumption decline, a self-reinforcing feedback, until we reach a stabilisation point.

I am hoping that everyone who posts here and who is concerned about climate change is a vegetarian or at least minimises their consumption of meat and milk to one or two servings per week. If you have not made that move yet, I urge you to do so, as meat and dairy account for around 18 per cent of Australian emissions. (And yes, much of it is exported, but still).

Difficult to see anything but a poorer future for my children.

Yes DG-
it is truly terrifying. But apart from personal steps we can all take we need strong leadership at the highest level of governments globally to make any real difference. Immediate investment in renewable energy, the dramatic decline in relying on coal and oil. and planning for the obvious fallout thay we are all going to face ,with even greater impacts on people living in developing nations and island states an inevitability.
we are so utterly in denial on this as a species that we will deserve what we get – but our kids don’t. Nor do the people on this planet who consume so little but will be probably most affected.

McConnell is Least Popular Senator in the Country

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Kentucky finds Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) with a lowly 37% to 55% approval rating, the worst favorable/unfavorable numbers of any senator the country.

Nonetheless, he leads all of the Democrats tested against him in a 2014 race: Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson (D), Attorney General Jack Conway (D), and actress Ashley Judd all trail McConnell by four points, 47% to 43%.

“The reason McConnell does decently well in the head to head match ups despite his poor approval numbers is that even though a lot of Republicans dislike him, most of them would still vote for him in a general election before they would support a Democrat.”


If 10 per cent of Australians reduced their consumption by 10 per cent, that is a one per cent decline. The Australian economy would move towards recession.

I agree that global leadership is required, but I think that only action from below will get that happening. Economic contraction is not something that any politician will willing lead us into. But that is what is necessary. Huge sacrifices need to be made by many people. To prevent climate change, unemployment is going to have to rise, causing immense suffering. This is an impossible message to sell, which is why no-one – not even the Greens – are trying to sell it. Instead, people talk about green jobs and green growth. That is just tinkering around the edges of the problem. The fact is, there will be insufficient jobs in the green economy for the foreseeable future to replace the jobs that need to go in mining and agriculture and forestry (and in tourism, because the airline industry basically needs to be shut down – the planet cannot afford thousands of people travelling to Australia by plane each year).

That is the reality: semi-permanent recession must occur in order to avoid dangerous climate change.

The important wins and loses in the senate that effect the balance.
We loose: Joe Lieberman Ben Nelson 🙂
We gain: Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Mazie Hirono Chris Murphy Angus King (I) 🙂
A sharp left turn.

Hope you have a good quiet Xmas break as i suspect the first sitting of HOR will be fairly hectic in the new year.

John Kerry now seems to have Hillary’s job sown up. The Democrats need to put up a very good candidate for Massachusetts. Maybe fight it on the basis that the Republicans are out to wreck everything Obama and the Democrats do.

Views of the Democratic Party Positive 44% Negative 35%
Views of the Republican Party Positive 30% Negative 45%
Might be handy to fight a bye election on.

18 paddy Spot on paddy. Definitely “Gut wrenching, heartbreaking stuff.” Trouble is, its like here we go again. Will it settle down till the next one? They need to do something fast. But the Repugs are owned by the gun lobby. They have control of congress.

In one year, guns murdered:
17 people in Finland.
35 in Australia.
39 in England and Wales.
60 in Spain.
194 in Germany.
200 in Canada.
9,484 in the USA.
God bless America!

Got married yesterday . Was wonderful .
Read the papers today and we wept.
The Gun Lobby have so much blood on their hands- no doubt they will be calling for teachers to be armed to prevent such horror. Their perversity and stupidity is stunning.

Boehner Proposes Millionaire Tax Hike.

House Speaker John Boehner has proposed allowing tax rates to rise for the wealthiest Americans if President Obama agrees to major entitlement cuts, Politico reports.

“It is the first time Boehner has offered any boost in marginal tax rates for any income group, and it would represent a major concession for the Ohio Republican. Boehner suggested hiking the Bush-era tax rates for top wage earners, including those with annual incomes of $1 million or more annually, beginning Jan. 1.”


Kerry to be Nominated for Secretary of State.

Sources tell ABC News that President Obama has decided that he will nominate Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) to be Secretary of State.

The Week summarizes the case for and against picking Kerry.

I don’t think the Democrats will loose his seat anymore. The school shooting changed all that.

23 Jen

All the best Jen and a big hug from EC as well.

Don’t lock him out in the back shed like that other lady from Wang. :mrgreen:

HUGE hugs and all the best to you both Jen.

I’m presuming you “forgot” to invite Sophie? 👿 :mrgreen:

Final Tally Shows Election Wasn’t Even Close.

Los Angeles Times: “More than five weeks after election day, almost all the presidential votes have been counted. Here’s what the near-final tally reveals: The election really wasn’t close.”

“In the weeks since the election, as states have completed their counts, Obama’s margin has grown steadily. From just over 2 percentage points, it now stands at nearly 4. Rather than worry about the Bush-Kerry precedent, White House aides now brag that Obama seems all but certain to achieve a mark hit by only five others in U.S. history – winning the presidency twice with 51% or more of the popular vote.”

Sometimes it takes a proper writer to sum up a true horror.
Guy Rundle on the Newtown massacre.

In Connecticut, it’s too calm and too practised

The meditative reflection on display after the Newtown massacre seems too polished and well-practised. It’s a particular condition of a more general process — fatalism encroaching on daily life….. more

Excellent follow up piece on the Sandy Hook massacre and the US gun debate in today’s Crikey from Guy Rundle.
A bloody brilliant piece.

Sandy Hook massacre pivot point in wretched gun debate.
With the first funerals from the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre being held today, the gun control debate has started swinging around for the first time in decades. After two days of mourning, small but active protests have begun, with an Occupy-organised crowd marching on the NRA headquarters in DC, Senate majority leader being joined by “Blue Dogs” such as nominal Democrat Joe Manchin from West Virginia in calling for legislative action based on assault weapons……..more

Are you sure you want this?” I asked. “When I’m done, you won’t be able to sit down for weeks.” She nodded. “Okay,” I said, putting the three-piece suite on eBay.

Booker Adviser: ‘The Mayor Intends To Be A Candidate’ For Senate.

A senior adviser to Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) confirmed to TPM Thursday that Booker intends to run for Senate in 2014, even if that means challenging longtime Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in the primary.

The stage appears to be set for Booker’s long-anticipated political ascendance, though it may come in the form of a potentially messy but sure to be closely watched primary.

Booker announced his intentions to “explore” a U.S. Senate run in an op-ed published in the Star-Ledger Thursday.

Great to see new blood for the senate. Senator “Lautenberg’s age could keep him from seeking another term has been tempered by reports that Lautenberg is interested in another run.” 88 is a bit past it I think.

More here…

Even more new blood coming into the senate.

Hanabusa Appointment Would Risk House Seat
In a solidly blue state, a crowded Democratic field is expected for special election; lack of primary could benefit Republicans.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie must pick a successor to the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye from a list of three Democrats submitted by the state party.

His likely choices? Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa or Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

More here…

Cory Booker is the newest hero of the DLC owned Politico website.

The DLC are desperately trying to line up their ducks in order to gain control again post Obama.

Clinton, Rendell, Booker, O’Malley, Schweitzer etc

Maybe they can bring back the great Lanny Davis as their chief spokesman again lol.

Me thinks the progressive genie has been let out of the bottle in the Democratic Party.

Obama’s database is KING….and it is full of Progressives and minorities who will not take kindly to the Party being once more controlled by the DLC.

Is it too early to start looking forward to 2016?

I think the primaries for the Dems and the Repugs will be doozies.

Happy holidays to all youse Ticsters and another big round of applause for Cat Lady for keeping the house tidy for another year.

Well merry Xmas ticsters. Thank goodness I have a deep cellar, well stocked with booze, not guns and ammunition. 👿
May you all have a good one. :mrgreen:

happy festivities Ticsters…
may the coming year be one of hopes fulfilled –
including the demise of Abbott’s reign :mrgreen:


Just thinking that our converstaions began prior to Obi’s election ( the first time :mrgreen: )
And we still push on – best wishes to sll the regulars and a wave to Katielou, Ferny, JV, Flaneur and of course Miss Cat . And the never – forgotten EC
This little island is my oasis

So the repugs will let the global economy sink to save their rich mates paying more tax.

(Happy New Year xxx)

Happy New Year ticsters. Am waiting for Catrina to shout a bottle of bubbly.

Good article from Sis. Just have to make sure Mordors tentacles are kept away.

Well ticsters, it seems I’ve survived the New Year. (just) Despite Miss Cat’s evil bottle of fizz. (yum) So HNY to all. 🙂

So now I see that the Republicans have made a right mess of their “cunning plan” to screw Obi over the fiscal cliff.
The bill’s just passed in Congress 257 to 167.
As John Quiggan noted on twitter.
“Could Repubs have messed this up worse if Axelrod had scripted their moves for them”

On the off chance there might be a US political junkie or two around these parts……This might just be worth a look. 😆

Netflix Original Series House of Cards – Trailer – HD
‘ All 13 episodes arrive February 1
(He he) I particularly enjoyed Netfix’s touching faith, that it’s…..
……only on Netflix . 👿 😆

Re House of Cards – I have the BBC series, of course, and this looks to be a very interesting version also.

Congratulations on an excellent article on climate change by Jen’s sister. I had read it prior to seeing it discussed here and was pleased to read about her protest action.

It is my belief that ground-up action is the only way to beat climate change now. Everyone who believes that climate change is a threat needs to become vegetarian or very close to it and cut down on dairy products significantly. They also need to reduce their consumption generally by 10 per cent.

At some point it might get to the stage where we need to close down the coal industry by civil disobedience. But I am not brave enough to push that hard as yet.

However, I have just put in a submission to the Senate environment committee. Not much but each drop may wear the stone down a little.

There is another scenario, a scenario in which a techical solution emerges that ensures that sometime during the next decade power stations across our planet are simply switched off.

I am very sceptical of solutions like this one. The deployment of them is the issue. How fast can they be built? How costly are they compared to coal power stations? If they are too costly, they will not be built fast enough. What ground based infrastructure will be needed? For power distribution to be efficient on the ground, you would need receivers all over the place – basically everywhere we have a power station now.

We have two decades to turn around the global warming juggernaut. Coal, gas, solar, wind and nuclear slot relatively easily into our current energy system. The coal, gas, solar, wind and nuclear power stations (okay, mainly coal and gas, unfortunately) that are going to be powering India and China in 2030 are being built now.

Techno-optimism is justified in the long-term. But we do not have a long term to prevent climate change.

By mid-century is too late. We are not ready to start building. We cannot rely on technologies that are not ready to deploy now. When he says that it could be done this decade, he means that the technical problems could be solved.

But it would be useful in the long-term.

I will point out that it took solar 60 years to come from the lab to a sizeable fraction of earth’s power generation.

It took nuclear about the same length of time.

It is doubtful that other technologies will move significantly faster than that. We need to deploy what we have now (which is gas in limited numbers, solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and nuclear).

Over the next decade, we will increase our energy production by around 20 per cent. This represents a huge investment in power stations of all kinds. Assuming we then had spaced based solar power available, we would need over the next decade to replace 80 per cent of that (equivalent to 96 per cent of today’s energy supply) and add an additional 20 per cent on top. This is impossible. This is why we need to start now with a 30-year program.

The energy system that humans have built is massive and it has taken us 100 years to build it. We will need at least 30 years to replace it while also significantly adding to it, as it will increase in size by something near 50 per cent in that timeframe.

Human nature being what it is will not allow us to save the planet. I have no idea of the timeframe but…

…When the planet’s time is up…it’ll be up.

Then the next planet in line to be habitable, will habit.

And so on and so on.

That’s as much sense of it that i choose to make.

The climate debate frazzles my brain. I support action by those who know what they are talking about, but beyond that i just try to act sensibly and do what is reasonably recommended.

As David rightly says, you either individually change your lifestyle fairly dramatically and live the credo, or you just support the leaders and ideas people who make the most sense to you and hope for the best.

I fully understand the importance of climate change but my interest and heart is in the social justice, intelligence and the fairness of the now.

More power to those who do, but i choose not to overly engage in the reality and the politics of climate change.


Climate change for me is the ultimate expression of social injustice: those in the wealthy west who have benefitted the most from polluting the atmosphere will suffer the least from its effects. And rich individuals who have profitted from that will suffer least out of those of us in the wealthy west.

Indeed, climate change could see the end of democracy and all the progressive gains made for women, children, gays et cetera could be swept away as strong charismatic leaders get handed power by a desperate populous.

I understand the now thing, though. In many ways, the happiness of those who come after us is in their hands, not ours. We can only save the starfish that are right in front of us here and now.

David, i fully understand your post and the overwhelmingness of the issue.

I just sorta think that because of that overwhelmingness( is this even a word lol) , if you choose to, you can let that one issue dominate your thoughts and actions.

I am pleased and indeed admire, that intelligent people are invested in it as THE issue, but i choose to concentrate more on other fights that i feel deeply about.

BTW, do you think Obama will tackle Climate Change as a signature issue or just tinker?

I was struck that he made a particular mention of the importance in his election night speech. People are saying that immigration will be his signature 2nd term issue but i sorta think that it will evolve naturally now that the Repugs have opened their eyes and smelt the inevitable breeze on that issue.

I’m hoping and thinking that non suppression of voting and climate change will be Obama’s targets.

On reading that back, i think i should have said i HOPE that voter turnout and climate change will be Obama’s targets.

I guess it depends on the 2014 House elections on what can actually be done.


The Democrats will not win the House back in 2014. However, there are two things that Obama can do on climate without the House: he can block the Keystone pipeline and he can protect the EPA. Those two things are nowhere near enough, but they are vital steps. It looks to me as though in the US the people in the strongest position to take action are judges, who have thus far ruled in favour of the EPA taking a tough stand. If that continues – and if Obama protects their funding – the EPA will remain a powerful force.

The Keystone pipeline is a no-brainer.

There are other things that Obama can do, of course, such as doing what he can to halt the massive expansion in gas and oil drilling and exploration in the US. But I doubt that he will do that, unfortunately.

86 David Gould The Democrats need to win by over 7%. Which is not very likely. So I agree with you. I am not sure what the Democrats can do to remedy this situation.

Looks like the needle is stuck in the groove.
Take care all you Mexicans with potential bush fires. Stay safe.

To get an invite to join the Progressive group @ 90 you need a gmail account. Its easy to sign up for one. Google Plus is far more powerful than Facebook in its ability to wield influence and opinion.

Support for Labor surges in latest Newspoll.

Support for Labor has surged to its highest level since the 2010 election, although the Coalition retains a narrow lead over the Government after preferences.

The latest Newspoll, published in today’s The Australian newspaper, shows voter support for Labor has jumped six points to 38 per cent since early December, compared with a two-point drop for the Coalition.

After preferences, the Coalition’s eight-point lead has been whittled back to just two points – 51 per cent to 49 per cent.

Rupert Murdoch does not run this country!

Read more…

97 Thanks Catrina. Gaffy. The fires are going through my home town area. I was born in Maffra 7 miles from Heyfield and Glenmaggie. One of my old school friends drives a bulldozer for the firebreaks. So I hope he is safe. Its not that long since bush fires ravaged exactly the same areas. Roughly 6 years ago. Then the following year floods hit the area because there were no trees around Glenmaggie. Newry and Tinamba were both flooded. Watch out for round 2.
Jen. If I were the Greens I would be hitting the Global Warming/Climate Change scare campaign button. From now to the election. Talk it up.

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