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29 October 2012


Billy T

Will the October jobs report be delayed as well?

Paul Emery

Kind of like George Bush posing for "Mission Accomplished".

Douglas Keachie

Here's your real problem. This needs to be fixed:

If you don't think the parties can play funny games with the elections, then consider hw many of us trusted Lance Armstrong for how long?

"Hope we don 't get fooled again..."

The Electoral College allows for cheap negative advertising to the stupids in just a few states to determine how the President of the United States is elected, and the two big parties like it that way.

End the Electoral College NOW!


Obama is addressing the nation regarding Sandy... punchline, it is Bush and Romney's fault.

Ryan Mount

There are a number of excellent reasons for keeping the Electoral College, as imperfect as it is. The most notable one being that smaller, less populated States would considerably lose out; it keeps urban areas from determining the election outcome.

To that last point, amending the Constitution would be nearly impossible because it would require those smaller States to vote against their self-interest. So abandoning the Electoral College is quite a non-starter, but it makes for great copy and furious arguing during the Presidential election cycle.

I'd like to see Congressional District Electoral voting as opposed to the "winner take all" process we have in the 48 States. It's not hard to argue that a Californian voter is relatively disenfranchised with regards to his/her Presidential vote. Also, The Electoral college in general provides a significant uphill climb for 3rd party candidates.

Douglas Keachie

Keeping the Electoral College is certainly not perfecting a more perfect union. The current process is a farce that favors the existing major parties, and limits political expression to what suits both of them, which is that which those with bucks can buy, with the aim of protecting their bucks alone.

Douglas Keachie

Punchline, the insurance companies believe in climate change, and BTW, why is 2012 Steele Blog silent these days on the issue?


George Rebane

RyanM 1007am - Agreed. Awarding electors by congressional district is preferred for the reasons you state. I think that even third and fourth parties may have a chance then. But what is required first is a new algorithmic way of setting district boundaries that does away with gerrymandering. Such algorithms are available and more can be developed. It is the two party dominance that stands in the way.

PaulE 930am - I think that Obama has put paid to Bush2's 'Mission Accomplished' (which ran only once and was pulled as the post-war strife started) for close to a thousand times now with his 'Osama is dead and the Taliban is on the run' delivery. When you have only one tune then it gets played over and over, even if it is meaningless, and the Taliban is not running but attacking and waiting to retake Afghanistan.

Douglas Keachie

Also concur with Ryan's solution. That would make a huge difference.

George Rebane

Part of Sandy's job is to make covering up ongoing Benghazi developments easier for both the WH and the lamestream. This from the Washington Post blog -


Ryan Mount

Isn't Sandy whacking mostly Blue States who don't give a crap about Benghazi to begin with?

Or are you saying that Sandy is figuratively sucking the air out of the room which would have been used for other media stories like Benghazi?

Douglas Keachie

Freak storm or highly wildly unpredictable weather as predicted by most climate change models? Vote like your subway system depends on it.

George Rebane

RyanM 1202pm - "figuratively" my butt; Sandy will dominate the national lamestream for as long as it helps Obama. And as DougK points out, the perfect storm will also be milked as further confirmation of AGW which will have its usual politicized tie-ins.

Ryan Mount

Ok, literally then. :-)

Let's watch the polls over the next couple of days. And watch who the major candidates try and leverage this storm for political gain. Obama probably has the most to gain by appearing Presidential and all "executive-like." But I'm not sure by how much. With regards to the Grenada-esque distraction (Sandy is an act of Nature, the invasion of Grenada was an act of War, for the record) and cover it will provide for Obama? I dunno. But Sandy has proven one thing to me: people are far more dangerous than a Frankenstorm given the empty shelves at east coast stores.

The Benghazi issue has sadly jumped the shark with most voters by now. Democrats never thought much of it, Republicans are still fuming (I'm with GOP on this one) and swing voters (can I call them swingers?) are back watching Dr. Oz and Weather updates. I don't expect to see much movement in the polling in the next week or so.

And while I thought it impossible just a few months ago that Obama could be defeated, it seems more and more like that with each passing day. But the wildcard in my opinion seems to be the ephemeral mood of the swing-state voter as they walking into the booth. I have this suspicion that they may pull a Reagan-Democrat maneuver and say at the last minute, "I've had enough of this*" and vote for Romney, giving him a significant percentage point win.

As Micheal Moore said after the first debate, "better get used to saying President Romney."

*whatever "this" is

Billy T

First, the Electoral College was designed by the founders to make politicians campaign all across the nation, not just the densely populated urban sewer rat mazes. Seems to backfire. Just campaign in Ohio and a couple of more states and you win the whole shebang.

After Bush beat Gore, the Electoral College debate came up again with the libbies crying foul. End it, don't mend it! I had to educate them on who supported it (folks like George Washington) and without the Electoral College ole Honest Abe would not have been our 16th President. People who cry free speech and claim their "rights" the loudest are ironically the most uninformed about our history and the US Constitution. Puzzling.

Anybody know if Hurricane 1 Sandy is a male or female name? If female, reminds me of the classic lame horror movie "Attack Of The 50 Ft Woman". Sandy's sum of her little storms are worse than her/his individual parts. Go figure.

4 died on the planned attack on B. Obama was campaigning in Vegas. He has learned. He has cancelled all campaign appearances and cut off access to reporters. He will wait this storm out as well. The sum of Obama's storms are worse than the individual parts.

I have to hand it to Obama. He finally came out and said it at his last campaign stump. He said "don't vote for me on what I have done, vote for be on what I am going to do." That was his 2008 theme in a nutshell. Problem is I fear what he is going to do more than what he has done.

Russ Steele


The insurance companies are interested in the human caused global warming for the same reason that ENRON was interested in energy deregulation and global warming. It was an/ is a opportunity to scam the public. If you disagree, prove your case. The warming stopped 16 years ago.

Here is Denver Post OP/ED by Roger Pielike Jr. with some facts:

Earlier this week, Munich Re, a large German reinsurance company, fueled this debate with a report claiming that it has identified "the first climate change footprint in the data from natural catastrophes" in the damage caused by thunderstorms in the United States since 1980. USA Today put the claim on steroids by announcing on its front page, "Climate change behind rise in weather disasters."

A big problem with the claim by Munich Re and its amplification by the media is that neither squares with the actual science of climate change and disasters.

Along with colleagues around the world, I've been studying climate change and disasters for almost 20 years, and we just had a scientific paper accepted for publication this week on damage from U.S. tornadoes since 1950. What we found may surprise you: Over the past six decades, tornado damage has declined after accounting for development that has put more property into harm's way.

Researchers have similar conclusions for other phenomena around the world, ranging from typhoons in China, bushfires in Australia, and windstorms in Europe. After adjusting for patterns of development, over the long-term there is no climate change signal — no "footprint" — of increasing damage from extreme events either globally or in particular regions.

What about the United States? Flooding has not increased over the past century, nor have landfalling hurricanes. Remarkably, the U.S. is currently experiencing the longest-ever recorded period with no strikes of a Category 3 or stronger hurricane. The major 2012 drought obscures the fact that the U.S. has seen a decline in drought over the past century.

Such scientific findings are so robust that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded earlier this year that over the long-term, damage from extreme events has not been attributed to climate change, whether from natural or human causes.

So if the science is so clear on this subject, why then are companies and campaigners, abetted by a willing media, engaged in spreading misinformation?

The debate over climate change is well known for excesses on all sides. Those who claim that the issue is a hoax actually have a lot in common with those who see climate change in every weather extreme. The logic behind such tactics is apparently that a sufficiently scared public will support the political program of those doing the scaring.

Read more: Guest Commentary: Climate spin is rampant - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_21752735/climate-spin-is-

Douglas Keachie

How many storms like this in a row would affect your conclusions?

George Rebane

DougK 327pm - the only conclusion that could be drawn from the examination of time series frequency data of a given class of event is the probability that a given event (or set of events) was generated by the same underlying process that gave rise to the historical data window from which the assumed (a priori) rate was derived. There will be no information available from "how many storms in a row" that will affect a conclusion about AGW, one way or another. Such a conclusion will require information that is exogenous to rate data.

Only naifs, light thinkers, and people unclear on the concept are persuaded otherwise.

Billy T

Doug, the 40's and especially the 50's had storms like this off the Eastern Seaboard. They called it the Newfoundland Effect. Warm hurricanes spinning in a counter-clockwise direction meeting a Nor'easter. This one happens to hit at high tide, joined by the storm from the west that just pounded Washington State and Montana last week with high winds and cold temps. The one in the late 40's took out almost every boardwalk and pier from New Jersey to Maine. A hurricane like Sandy devastated the region in New England in the early 60's. In fact, because of storms like Sandy and the frequency of them in the 50's is why the age of most of the boardwalks and piers are dated to that era, including numerous sea walls. Parts of the New Jersey boardwalks were found across the bay and others wound up at the end of inlets. Nothing to see here, moving on.

Billy T

Tornado touches down in Browns Valley last week. Is it weather, Man Made Global Wigwam, or are the Russians messing with our weather again? Maybe its them black helicopters up to their mischief. Bet it was them same devilish shady characters that set the Chevron Refinery on fire. I bet it was caused by the KKK. There outa be a law.

Douglas Keachie

Nucky Thompson would have blamed it on the Jews and Blacks and Italians.

Billy T

According to CNN, 5,600,000 folks without power. Expect a surge in births just before the 4th of July, 2013.

Steve Frisch

You can bet that if Sandy were a person she would be voting for President Obama! She does not really want to leave our coast in a shambles, but she just can;t help it.

She can't help it because climate change is changing the weather. The evidence is clear that although individual weather events can rarely be tied to climate change, the overarching risk of and cost of each individual event is rising, precipitously...no pun intended. The past few years have been marked by unusually severe extreme weather characteristic of climate change. Global warming puts more energy into storms. Climate change loads storms, including hurricanes, with extra rainfall, making flooding more likely. Storm surge now rides on sea levels that have risen over the last century due to global warming, amplifying flooding losses where the surge strikes. Each storm is another piece of evidence that from a purely economic and risk management perspective we need to care about climate change.

Sandy is part of the larger trend. Right now, In the Northeast United States, sea levels are rising up to four times faster than the global average, making this area more vulnerable to storm surge and flooding. Multiple high tides drive flooding fueled by a triple climate whammy: storm surge from a storm kept alive due to elevated sea surface temperatures; sea level rise driven by global warming; and extra heavy rains due to the extra rainfall loaded into the storm by climate change. This should be no surprise, sea surface temperatures along the Northeast U.S. coast were about 5°F above average for this time of year, which helped keep Sandy powered up and loaded with moisture, fueling heavy rain. September had the second highest global ocean temperatures on record.

Climate change is stacking the deck, making this kind of event more likely to occur, and will only get worse unless we take serious steps to mitigate and adapt. The effect will be seen as drought, fire, flood, and other extreme weather events. No region of the country is immune, and some will be hit much harder than others....and you can all stick you heads in the metaphorical sand....but you will pay the price in higher food and fuel prices, property damage, health care costs, and emergency and disaster response....

One can belief the Russ's and Georges's of the world, or one can trust the evidence of their experience and their eyes...329 straight months of record high global temperatures, measurable sea rise, increased risk of drought, increased damage from hurricane and storm, melting glaciers, measurable increases in CO2 in the atmosphere.....

While Rome burns and Russ and George try to convince you to be part of the violin concerto, insurance companies are counting the risks, measuring their exposure and increasing their rates; the Pentagon is planning for climate refugees; and Saudi Arabia is shifting to renewable energy..........


People tend to blame the politicians of both parties for being in bed with the oil barons, but in reality it is the people who grouse at the gas pumps and expect the lights to come on when you hit the switch who are in league with fossil fuels. The politicans understand that to accomplish the radical changover to renewables, they will have to raise energy costs across the board, and shut down mining and most industries that rely on cheap power, all in the hope that such draconian measures will reverse what man and mama nature has already set in motion.

Russ Steele

Steven@06:54 Unadulterated bunk!

It is going to take some time to dissect this bunk science your are unloading from your manure spreader. Lets get started. You wrote:

Sandy is part of the larger trend. Right now, In the Northeast United States, sea levels are rising up to four times faster than the global average, making this area more vulnerable to storm surge and flooding.

Here are the facts in east coast sea level rise, which cannot be tied to global warming, which paused 16 years ago. Globally the rate of sea level rise is decelerating, see references at bottom of post.
The 60-year oscillation will, however, change our interpretation of the trends when estimated over periods less than 1-cycle of the oscillation. Although several studies have suggested the recent change in trends of global [e.g., Merrifield et al., 2009] or regional [e.g., Sallenger et al., 2012] sea level rise reflects an acceleration, this must be re-examined in light of a possible 60-year fluctuation. While technically correct that the sea level is accelerating in the sense that recent rates are higher than the long-term rate, there have been previous periods were the rate was decelerating, and the rates along the Northeast U.S. coast have what appears to be a 60-year period [Figure 4 of Sallenger et al., 2012], which is consistent with our observations of sea level variability at New York City and Baltimore. Until we understand whether the multi decadal variations in sea level reflect distinct inflexion points or a 60-year oscillation and whether there is a [Global Mean Sea Level, GMSL] signature, one should be cautious about computations of acceleration in sea level records unless they are longer than two cycles of the oscillation or at least account for the possibility of a 60-year oscillation in their model. This especially applies to interpretation of acceleration in GMSL using only the 20-year record of from satellite altimetry and to evaluations of short records of mean sea level from individual gauges.

The bottom line is this: the more people look for the anticipated acceleration in the rate of sea level rise, the less evidence they seem to find in support of it. All the while, we eat into the 21st century with a rate of sea level rise not much different from that experienced during the 20th century—and one which was hardly catastrophic, readily proven by a simple look around.
Chambers, D., M.A. Merrifield, and R. S. Nerem, 2012. Is there a 60-year oscillation in global mean sea level? Geophysical Research Letters, doi:1029/2012GL052885, in press.

Wada, Y., et al., 2012. Past and future contribution of global groundwater depletion to sea-level rise. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L09402, doi:10.1029/2012GL051230.

You will find an extensive discussion, with graphics and analysis of the rapid sea level rise in the East Coast here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/01/part-2-of-on-sallenger-et-al-2012-hotspot-of-accelerated-sea-level-rise-on-the-atlantic-coast-of-north-america/

Get back to us after doing your home work.

Billy T

Expect more storms like this in the next few years. Warming Atlantic Ocean and a cooling Pacific Ocean. Similar to the 1955 storms that hit back to back. It will take a few years or so to get back to the 1970's model the short sighted use to say this has never happened before. Don't think electric cars and solar panels will make weather patterns do what we want them to.


David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog "Upside of Sandy for Obama: chance to look presidential. Downside: supporters kept from polls by looting opportunities."

Russ Steele

Steven, more debunking. At 06:54 you wrote:

Climate change loads storms, including hurricanes, with extra rainfall, making flooding more likely.
Media release from the American Geophysical Union on October 29, 2012:
Global precipitation variability decreased from 1940 to 2009
One of the strongly held assumptions of climate change is that the variability of precipitation will grow with an increase in temperature. Storms will become heavier but less frequent. Flash floods and droughts will increase. Regions that see extensive rainfall will get even more while arid regions will dry out. These projections stem from the way temperature affects precipitation patterns in global models.
However, drawing on seven databases representing global monthly mean precipitation values, Sun et al. find that from 1940 to 2009 global overland precipitation variability actually decreased. [My emphasis added.]
So, climate change did not load the atmosphere with more moisture, creating more rain fall, more floods. Where do you get your facts?

Russ Steele

No block to foreign money – not even from dead terrorists

Details HERE.

Now if this was a Republican, would our local left be over the top and lame stream press going berserk! Yes, but all we hear are the crickets, it is a Democrat!

Billt T

Will wonders never cease. Only man made global warming could turn a tropical storm into a blizzard. Its a bloody miracle I tell you, a bloody miracle.

Russ Steele

Steven@06:54 Some more insight to your climate change claims:

NOAA's Martin Hoerling rejects 'Frankenstorm' climate link: 'This is not some spell conjured upon us by great external forces....unless you believe in the monster flicks of Universal Studios fame!' 
Meteorologist Hoerling of NOAA: 'The immediate cause is most likely little more than the coincidental alignment of a tropical storm with an extratropical storm. Both frequent W. Atlantic in Oct....nothing unusual with that'

'Nor have there been indications of a change in their statistical behavior over this region in recent decades'

George Rebane

Russ 230pm - After walking through a puddle without your shoes to make a point, I think you're showing your wet socks to someone who fervently believes that such evidence does not apply to his messiah.

Todd Juvinall

Romney kicking butt in early voting.


Russ Steele

Steven, HERE is more evidence that Clmate Change is not influencing hurricanes. Check out the graphic and tell me how that climate change is creating more powerful hurricanes.




Paul Emery

Sure George, let's blast Obama and bring back Brownie to supervise Sandy response.

George Rebane

PaulE 1122am - I believe you're again expecting federal benefices where none exist - FEMA is not supervising any overall response to Sandy. It is the state governors that are supervising their states' emergency responses.

Although Obama did get a photo op with Gov Christie who, along with other governors and mayors, is grateful for the feds declaring states of emergency all over the place, thereby releasing any available federal aid and low interest loans.

Paul Emery

Who could have guessed that the October Surprise would have come from a Republican gooing over the great job Obama has done in this crisis.

"The president has been outstanding in this and so have the folks at FEMA" Gov. Christie

Compare that with the obviously staged Romney relief effort at a campaign rally and you'll agree that this election is over. To quote Todd "What a hoot" Obama would have won anyway but this seals the deal for sure.

George Rebane

Has anyone kept count of PaulE's "this election is over" prognostications over the last, say, six months? Both sides could have saved almost $2B. ;-)

Russ Steele

Everyone needs to read this including Paul:


Paul Emery

I'm so confident that Obama's going to win I already spent my winnings on a down payment on a
Save the Whales doughboy pool for next summer. The staging on Romney's Sandy relief event is just hitting the tube. It seems the campaign bought $5000 worth of stuff and distributed it to look like it was a spontaneous event for a photo op.

"Mitt Romney was really concerned that his "Storm Relief Event" in Kettering, Ohio yesterday would look like a dud, so he and his team stocked their donation tables with $5,000 worth of supplies at Walmart. The props, according to Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins, were things like granola bars, canned food, and diapers which were strategically placed to make sure that the photographs taken at Romney's "Storm Relief" campaign didn't a show very un-busy, un-stocked relief table (what else do you expect when you give people short notice to donate their canned goods?).


Paul Emery


Your link didn't work

billy t

Glad I got my room months ago. The unwashed masses can go to Atlantic City or Coney Island and wash up in the ocean for all I care. What a bunch of whiners. Move over urban rats, the runners are coming.



I guess the Repubbys don't want to act in RE climate change in time to keep their grandkids from considering them to be damn fools, maybe they'll react fast enough to keep their great grandkids from calling them damn fools.

Paul Emery

This election will likely go to Obama for the following reasons according to Nate Silver. Pretty simple.

"Mr. Obama is leading in the polls of Ohio and other states that would suffice for him to win 270 electoral votes, and by a margin that has historically translated into victory a fairly high percentage of the time.

The argument that Mr. Obama isn’t the favorite is the one that requires more finesse. If you take the polls at face value, then the popular vote might be a tossup, but the Electoral College favors Mr. Obama."


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