HAMMERNEWS- Michael Hammerschlag

Current Political Commentary by journalist Michael Hammerschlag; Thoughts on foreign policy, Republican outrages, liberal strategies, science by 8 year correspondent in Russia/Ukraine over 22 years and longtime commentator; Website: http://HAMMERNEWS.com

Sunday, October 14, 2012



And no message from me would be complete without some harbinger of the coming apocalypse. This is a 88 cannon blast- the remaining sheet is only 25-30% thickness of 30 years ago, so we are now actually seeing the disappearance of 80-90% of the Ice Sheet since then!

Other leading ice scientists this week predicted the complete collapse of sea ice in the Arctic within four years. "The final collapse ... is now happening and will probably be complete by 2015/16," said Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University.

Satellite shows solid ice where floes actually exist, but the picture from the ocean is far different. On an ON POINT show, a woman on science icebreaker that can cut through 1/2M ice (think) says on a trip that made it up to 83 degrees N without finding solid or big enough ice to moor to.. that "We could have made it to the North Pole!"

Why this is so incredibly significant is that it is the worst and most powerful instant feedback loop; shiny ice absorbs 10% of the sun's heat, dark water absorbs maybe 85%, causing an immediate 6-8x increase in warming, and delaying the winter freeze later and later!!

The enormous Arctic melt, esp.in Russian Arctic means Polar bears can't get on the ice till much much later, maybe January this year, without swimming hundreds of miles, where some have drowned. They almost exclusively eat seals that come up through holes in the ice pack, but loose or crumbling ice gives seals too many vantage points for air. A Russian expert expects them to be extinct in decades, but bears are smart- they may find a way to survive on land.. but poaching and hunting is also taking a big toll- the remoteness of the ice is their only salvation. By the way, polar bears are the only animal that will routinely eat you. Ask John Irving.


Late report, but if you haven't see it, Jumpin Joe did well, pummeling the “Big Thinker” the whole time. In the beginning Joe seems to flub and stutter on a couple of lines, but then he recovered. He was pumped up, over-caffeinated some say, and did show disrespect to the Boy Wonder the whole time: laughing, guffawing, interrupting; but the most extreme national member of the Repub Party deserved it in spades. Radish wasted a lot of time at the start on the Benghazi fulfural- a simple 3-day “scandal” that will be moot soon- as I said BO screwed up trying to soft-peddle the obvious terrorism. (Though I remember some journo swearing that there was a major violent protest before the attack 2 weeks ago). And again, as I said, the Repubs cut $150 mil from State Dept security. They set up camera's weirdly- showing them looking in opposite directions, Joe sometimes talking earnestly straight into the camera to the elderly. When Ryan tried to upbraid JJ for interrupting, he came across as a petulant jn. high nerd, and his whole presentation was loaded with lies: 

There were no full breaks, as in collapses, by revoltin Ryan, but he was stunned w Biden gotcha, “Why did you sent me 2 letters asking for Stimulus money?”, and by Radish who pressed him on which deductions he would eliminate to pay for his air budget. “Would you eliminate the mortgage deduction” 2 or 3 times, and Paul just flubbered: “We'll see” or something to that effect. Biden had his talking points, numbers, and tales of humanity prepped and ready and hammered the snot over and over again: "$500 bil goes to the top 120,000 households in the Bush tax cuts, and he wants to give them ANOTHER $500 bil!!"  When Ryan talked up his 20% flat tax cuts and magic funding sources, Joe was unequivocal- “It has never worked!!. Oh, Now you're Jack Kennedy!” Paul did us all a favor by emphasizing how he would outlaw abortion (you could hear another 2% of women fleeing)- now about a 20 point spread between men and women- insane but no matter who the Repub is, men vote like robots for him. Somehow the novelty of 2 Catholic Veeps battling never got to the Catholic Bishops categorically rejecting Ryan's cruel Darwinian budget. Radatz only asked about their abortion stances as Catholics: Biden nailed the right tone, saying he supported his church, but wouldn't presume to force its opinions on others. I've long waited for some liberal to challenge these antediluvians on abortion: “It IS a tragedy! Help me stop it: expand Sex Ed, give people free birth control, day-after pills. Let's cut abortions in half!” Call their no-nothing bluff.

Biden didn't make full use of his closing statement- just saying “You know me, trust me.” , when I would have liked him to repeat: “these people have wanted to destroy SS, Medicare, Medicaid for 50 years... and THIS IS THE GUY THAT WROTE THE PLAN. He's the first one to admit it!!!!

It is still incredible, after Sarah the quitter, that Romney picked this hard-right extremist, as if he had a death wish, or thought it displayed his toughness, instead of recklessness.... but I think it was a father mentor thing- Ryan is some energetic youngster who looks up to the Tin Man, and won't overshadow him, even makes Romney look more natural. The 4rd abominable GOP Veep choice in 5, starting from Quayle, the Dick, Cheney, and Palin. The whole GOP is running from his budget, even if they voted for it.

from pithy Chas Pierce (prod. of Inside Job doc)

----For years, Paul Ryan has been the shining champion of some really terrible ideas, and of a dystopian vision of the political commonwealth in which the poor starve and the elderly die ghastly, impoverished deaths, while all the essential elements of a permanent American oligarchy were put in place. This has garnered him loving notices from a lot of people who should have known better. The ideas he could explain were bad enough, but the profound ignorance he displayed on Thursday night on a number of important questions, including when and where the United States might wind up going to war next, and his blithe dismissal of any demand that he be specific about where he and his running mate are planning to take the country generally, was so positively terrifying that it calls into question Romney's judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all. Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.----

You know what's the difference between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan?
Lipstick. -----

There's no doubt BO will come out swinging in the next debate, and he can do it when he sets his mind to it. Look for Obama's solid 3-5 point lead to come back. The notion that Americans would be even close to electing that cartoon plutocrat though, is deeply distressing- his only constituency should be the top 1%, but we are a shallow people, easily swayed by the latest promise, the newest shiny beads hawked by unscrupulous hucksters.. and there as never been one as untethered and unprincipled as Mitt. In truth, with probably Part 2 of the Recession and the Great Famine coming, the next 4 years could be Hell in Earth for whoever is Prez.


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