As late as 1960, the Gallup organization estimated, Richard M. Nixon, the Republican candidate, drew one-third of the black vote in his race against John F. Kennedy. In 1964 the bottom fell out for Republicans, to 6 percent of the black vote, after the presidential candidate Barry Goldwater opposed Mr. Johnson’s landmark civil rights bill.
That constituency has proved impervious to Republican outreach ever since. And with Hispanics, Republicans have recent evidence of the consequence of emotionally charged immigration fights. “They keep coming,” began a 1994 TV ad for Gov. Pete Wilson of California, a Republican, showing illegal immigrants running across the Mexican border as the governor he pledged to deny them state services. It helped galvanize white voters for the embattled Mr. Wilson, who won re-election. But his support among Hispanics plummeted to 25 percent from 47 percent four years earlier.
No Republican has won a presidential or Senate race in California since. The Democratic advantage grew even as polls showed that Latinos’ ideological views were little different from those of other California voters. That underscores the challenge facing Republicans who seek to use taxes or cultural conservatism to court Hispanics while talking tough on immigration.
Pelican Landing - a Brown Pelican maneuvers to land on a Los Cabos beach on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico:
The House passed a bipartisan package on Wednesday intended to up energy efficiency in homes and federal agencies. The legislation, authored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.), aims to boost energy conservation with a program called Tenant Star, which provides incentives to landlords and tenants who up their energy savings. The package, which passed 375-36, also promotes energy efficiency in federal agencies under a provision added by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)
"I have long believed that energy efficiency is an area of common ground in this divided Congress,” Welch said during floor debate Tuesday on the bill. “Saving energy creates jobs, saves money and improves the environment. We have disagreements on the causes of climate change and the best fuel mix to meet America’s energy demands, but we can all agree that using less is more," he said.
Welch’s bill overlaps with the Senate’s energy efficiency bill, co-authored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Welch believes the passage of the energy-efficiency package in the House “provides a clear path to conference,” with the Shaheen-Portman efficiency legislation, according to an aide. Shaheen and Portman reintroduced a new, refined bill last week, after an earlier version stalled in September, when debates about the Affordable Care Act and the Keystone XL pipeline sidetracked the legislation.
In the Eastern United States, El Niño is most closely associated with a quieter Atlantic hurricane season, according to Nick Troiano, a long-range meteorologist with WeatherWorks. “It creates cooler temperatures in the Atlantic and generally more wind shear,” he said. “Those conditions help inhibit major tropical development.” But he cautioned that quieter doesn’t mean silent.
“If you remember Hurricane Andrew, that occurred in a year when there was a strong El Niño,” he said. “There were only seven storms that season, but that was one of them, and that was one of the costliest storms in history. It just skews your probability (of a hurricane affecting the United States) a little bit less.”
Depending on its strength, El Niño can also have varying impacts on New Jersey’s winters. A weak-to-moderate El Niño, based on the past, would be more worrisome for winter weary residents of New Jersey. It tends to force the southern jet stream farther north, allowing it to more easily interact with the polar jet stream to our north, a process called phasing. Put simply, it can be the recipe for major coastal storms. “It’s really sort of the perfect balance,” Troiano said. “You often have just enough cold air in place to produce wintry precipitation.”
A strong El Niño, by contrast, tends to push the southern stream even farther north, and with it, milder air. Some of the most snow-barren winters in the northeast have occurred during these winters. “If it’s a very strong El Niño it can dominate everything,” said David Robinson, the state climatologist at Rutgers University.
Ever since NASA retired its space shuttle program in 2011, the only way to get up to the International Space Station is on a Russian Soyuz. That’s why the six humans currently orbiting in space—including two Americans and three Russians—might be paying attention to what’s happening on earth two hundred miles below.
As tensions run high between the U.S. and Russia over the situation in Ukraine, geopolitics may find its way into space again. Over at the blog Looking Up, Duncan Geere has written an excellent piece laying out possible astro-political scenarios in space.
While all-out war remains unlikely, astronauts could become a point of leverage for Vladimir Putin in a larger conflict. “It’s not inconceivable that the International Space Station may play some part in this — either by denying the U.S. the use of Soyuz, or simply by charging exorbitant amounts for it,” Geere writes.
With ISS trips planned years in advance, there are only ten Soyuz launches scheduled from now until 2016. In addition, NASA has to be granted special exemptions to the Iran North Korea Syria Nonproliferation Act, which normally prohibits the U.S. from buying space-related goods and services from Russia while it’s selling nuclear technology to Iran. NASA’s exemption expires in 2016, and, if the relationship between the U.S. and Russia worsens, this could become a tougher sell.
Here’s how The Nation described Chris Christie’s speech at CPAC yesterday:
The hard-right audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was expected to give Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey and not exactly the Tea Party’s friend, a cool reception on Thursday. … But, confounding expectations, Christie entered the hall…to rousing applause, whoops and hollers and a lengthy standing ovation.
And here’s how The New Republic interpreted the same event:
- "Christie can no longer hold a crowd—even a skeptical one—in thrall with the sheer force of his big personality…"
- "It was a severely chastened Christie who took the podium…"
- "He dutifully ticked through praise of other Republican governors—his mention of Wisconsin’s Scott Walker got more applause than just about anything else he said."
- "With the voracious, crowd-pleasing, mythical beast caged, what does Christie offer?"
So either the crowd whooped it up when Christie approached the podium or they sat on their hands. Either Christie is soaring back to the top of the GOP field after the George Washington Bridge scandal nearly sank him or he’s a pathetic shadow of his former self, pretending that he’s still got some momentum behind him.
The truth is probably that a conservative politician received a warm reception when he gave a conservative speech at a conservative political conference. And the truth is that nobody has any idea who will emerge victorious in the 2016 Republican primaries so the pundits might want to cease their highly subjective guesswork.
The gap between how foreigners view Russia and how Russians view themselves is wide and as old as the country itself.
Russian photographer Valeriy Klamm felt that foreign photojournalists who came to work in his country arrive with the pictures they want to send back home already in their head: Bleak images of a cold and desolate place where autocrats lord over drunks.
Klamm, himself, had never photographed much outside of his home city of Novosibirsk, where nearly 2 million people live on the banks of the Ob River in the middle of Siberia.
But in 2000, he started to visit these small towns, camera in hand. He began to ask his photographer friends, both foreign and local, to share images of simple life the rural Russian villages that dot the vast expanse from Europe to the Pacific Ocean.
And in 2009, Klamm started “Birthmarks on the Map,” a collective photo project and website that collects these images in one place.
Photo Credit: Fyodor Telkov, Yekaterinburg, Valeriy Klamm, Novosibirsk, Igor Lagunov, Magnitigorsk
Sula dactylatra (Sulidae)
A yak (B. grunniens) at Letdar on the Annapurna Circuit in the Annapurna mountain range of central Nepal. Mostly domesticated, these long-haired bovids are found throughout the Himalayan Letdar on the Annapurna Circuit region of south Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Mongolia and Russia.
(photo by Travelwayoflife) (via: Wikipedia)
A polar bear stretches out on the ice in Hudson Bay, Canada, raising his arms above his head and lying flat on his back. The polar bears gather on the west side of Hudson Bay, Canada during October and November, in anticipation of the freeze-up of the Bay. Picture: Dennis Minty/HotSpot Media (via Pictures of the day: 25 February 2014 - Telegraph)
Biola Jeje, 22, graduated Brooklyn College last May with a degree in political science and a mission: Force lawmakers to address the $1.2 trillion student debt crisis.
“It’s unfair that it’s happening to us, and we’re even being sort of blamed for the amount of debt that we’re being put in,” she said from the offices of New York Students Rising, where she serves as statewide coordinator.
Jeje left college with $9,500 in student loans, less than half the $29,400 national average for four-year college graduates. She and her fellow activists are mobilizing support to march on Albany, New York state’s capital, to deliver a message to legislators.
(Photo: Jeremy Hogan/Bloomington Herald-Times/AP Photo)