Jeb Bush quits board posts ahead of possible White House run: Washington Post

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-12-2014-05-2008

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Former Florida governor Jeb Bush addresses the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington(Reuters) – Potential U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has resigned from all of his corporate and non-profit board member positions, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, as the former Florida governor explores a run for the White House. The Post, citing a statement emailed to the paper by one of Bush's aides late on New Year's Eve, said he even stepped down from the board of his education foundation. …

Ringing in 2015!

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-12-2014-05-2008

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Fireworks

It’s time to start ringing in the new year! So hurry up and get that resolution made (that you’re going to break by this time tomorrow).

Happy New Year to all!

Democrat tipped blogger about Republican lawmaker meeting with white nationalists

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-12-2014-05-2008

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Newly elected House Majority Whip Scalise speaks to the media as Speaker of the House Boehner listens on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Jonathan Kaminsky NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – The campaign manager of a Democrat who challenged U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana tipped off a blogger that the Republican lawmaker had spoken to a white supremacist group in 2002. However, Democrat Gilda Reed did not expose the meeting during the 2008 special election for the House seat because she believed it would not sway the district’s conservative electorate. “I felt strongly that it would not have walked,? Reed told Reuters on Wednesday. "I was running in a district with a lot of bigots. …

Former Alaska Senator Gravel named chief executive of cannabis products company

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-12-2014-05-2008

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Former U.S. senator Gravel talks to demonstrators at their camp at the Lindenplatz square in ZurichBy Steve Quinn JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) – Former U.S. Democratic Senator Mike Gravel, who represented Alaska in the 1970s, said on Wednesday he would head a Nevada company that develops and markets cannabis throat lozenges and other products in states that have taken steps to legalize weed. Gravel, 84, will run KUSH, a subsidiary of publicly traded Cannabis Sativa Inc, where Gravel previously served nine months on the board of directors, the company said in a statement. "We need to decriminalize drugs and treat them as a health problem," Gravel, who lives in California, told Reuters. …

Supreme Court is Going Digital, But Not Completely

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-12-2014-05-2008

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Once the system is operational, all official filings will be available to the public on the court’s website, but the court won’t abandon paper.



The ‘most watched’ Senate races on Daily Kos in 2014

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-12-2014-05-2008

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North Carolina state House speaker Thom Tillis

Thom Tillis (R-NC) won one of the closest U.S. Senate races in 2014. Where did it rank among the most discussed races here at Daily Kos?

Regular readers of Daily Kos and Daily Kos Elections know that, during the 2014 campaign cycle, we instituted a lot of new election-based features. One of them was the incorporation of monthly “power rankings” for the U.S. Senate and the gubernatorial battles.

These power rankings were not, as was often seen elsewhere, a rank-order list of races most likely to flip parties (those, quite frankly, seemed obvious from very early in the cycle). Nor were they a subjective list of favored races among our staff for this reason or another. Rather, it was an attempt to use one subjective measurement (our own Daily Kos Elections race ratings) and two objective criteria (number of times said race was polled, as well as the number of times it appeared in our Daily Digests), to create a top ten list of the races that dominated America’s political conversation.

To close the year, we will look back at a “power ranking” of a different sort. We will look at the ten races that were most dominant in the conversation right here at Daily Kos. The metric here was very simple: a search of the tags employed on any piece, front-paged or otherwise, here at Daily Kos and Daily Kos Elections between January 1 and December 28 (hey—I had to pick a consistent time to close the books).

In a sign of how engaged this community was about the 2014 midterms, a race had to be mentioned in 171 separate diaries/essays to even crack the top ten. Which race was the most “talked about” U.S. Senate race on Daily Kos? Did your state’s Senate race make the cut? Head past the jump to find out.

How well do you know the 2016 GOP presidential field?

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-12-2014-05-2008

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U.S. Republican presidential candidates gather before the start of their debate in Ames, Iowa August 11, 2011. They are (from L to R) Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich. REUTER

Can the 2016 field top the 2012 field? It’s going to be quite a battle.

Sometime early in 2015, a horde of Republicans will stop being coy about their intention to run for president and actually launch campaigns. It’s easy to list some of their names: Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Rick Perry. And if you know the names, chances are you can name something they’re known for—for instance, respectively, bullying traffic jammer, thinks the government shouldn’t be able to make business owners serve black people if they don’t want to, union-busting, “oops.” But there is so much more out there. For one thing, Chris Christie‘s bullying didn’t start with a traffic jam, and it can be awfully hard to remember how many of Scott Walker‘s people have been convicted in a John Doe investigation (the number is six). In addition to that, there are more potential candidates (so many more), and each and every one of them has a record that deserves serious scrutiny.

If you want to know what breed of political nightmare is coming down the pike, American Bridge has got a resource for you in its 2016 scouting report. Nearly 200 pages on 20 candidates, all the way down to hilariously long shots like John Bolton and Ben Carson, the report is a useful reminder of the stuff you might have forgotten about the big names (remember Christie’s travel expenses?) and an introduction to candidates you might not know as well (while a state legislator, Nikki Haley was given a highly paid and ethically questionable job as a hospital fundraiser).

One thing is clear: The 2016 Republican presidential primary is sure to be entertaining. Especially if you like horror movies.

In the news, by the month, in 2014

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-12-2014-05-2008

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Tan labrador with a newspaper in its mouth

Dog bites news …

What people were talking about, month by month, in 2014.

  • January: It began when an email from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s deputy chief of staff was unearthed.

    Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.

    And so, Bridgegate was born.

  • February: Boom:

    The Seattle Seahawks lowered the Legion of Boom on the Denver Broncos, easily rolling to a 43-8 victory in Super Bowl 2014.

    (Confession: I’m a major Seahawks fan, but why not have good news for at least one month?)

  • March: Malaysian Airlines flight 370 disappeared somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing with 239 people on board. When no trace of the plane was found, it caused the traditional media to lose its ever-loving mind.

    CNN’s Don Lemon has been entertaining all sorts of theories about the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, including the chance something “supernatural? happened, but on Wednesday night, he actually asked panelists about the possibility a black hole was involved.

  • April: A conservative hero was born when a racist, deadbeat rancher decided to wage armed resistance against federal agents.

    [Sean] Hannity began his show on Fox last night by promoting a claim from a former Arizona sheriff that federal authorities were planning a midnight raid on Bundy’s ranch. Hannity misidentified the sheriff as being from Nevada, didn’t mention that the sheriff had been out of office for more than a decade, and overlooked the fact that the previous day the sheriff had said he would use his wife and daughters as human shields to protect himself from the federal government, but Hannity’s goal was to entertain his audience by promoting the possibility of an armed conflict between a rancher and the federal government, so he didn’t bother worrying about the details.

Head below the fold for May through December …

Twelve months of Barack Obama

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-12-2014-05-2008

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A look back at some of President Barack Obama’s 2014 photographic highlights, starting with January:

President Barack Obama checks in on First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia as they prepare burritos while volunteering at the DC Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C., on Martin Luther King Day, January 20, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama checks in on First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia as they prepare burritos while volunteering at the DC Central Kitchen in Washington, DC, on Martin Luther King Day, January 20, 2014.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with a worker as he and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx tour the Metro Transit Light Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility in St. Paul, Minn., Feb. 26, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama shakes hands with a worker as he and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx tour the Metro Transit Light Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility in St. Paul, Minn., Feb. 26, 2014.

Come below the fold for March through December.

Reducing heating and cooling costs

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-12-2014-05-2008

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  1. Intro
  2. Reducing electricity consumption I: Lighting
  3. Reducing electricity consumption II: vampire/standby power
  4. Reducing electricity usage III: Major appliances
  5. Renewable energy for the home
  6. Cutting the cord
  7. Reducing heating and cooling costs
  8. Reducing water consumption

Over the last week, we’ve talked about myriad ways to save money and the environment by swapping out lighting, eliminating vampire power, cutting the cord, operating your major appliances more efficiently, and generating your own clean energy.

Today, we’re going to look at how to most efficiently heat and cool your home, because with just a little effort and relatively low investment, you can notch significant savings while lowering your carbon footprint. And as always, I make sure these efficiency upgrades fit within our modern first world lifestyle. Remember my rules:

1. I do what I do to save the world. That’s my top priority, bu t…
2. Saving money is important! The upgrades have to make financial sense.
3. Don’t sacrifice comfort.

I know some of you want to rail against rule #3, outraged that us decadent over-consuming Americans put too heavy a load on our environment. And sure, that is probably true. But people aren’t going to change their lifestyles by bitching at them about it. I consider this approach much more productive: save money, live the lifestyle you want, and woah—bonus!—save the world while you’re at it!

Reality is, this stuff can be addictive. Once you go down the path of efficiency upgrades, you end up wanting to squeeze out new savings. For example, one of my luxuries in life was scalding hot 20-minute showers. Now it wasn’t my first efficiency upgrade, but once I calculated the cost of those showers? Woah. Screw that! They’re now six minutes long. They could be shorter, sure, but that’s still less than 20 minutes.

So here’s my advice to you as you try and convince others to lower their carbon footprint: don’t try to guilt them into changing their behavior, or berate them for it, or be angry about it. None of that will actually change anything. Instead, make it worth their while to live a more efficient lifestyle. Appeal to their pocketbook and make it easy for them to conserve, and that’ll go much further. And never forget the old adage about glass houses. Your efficiency record isn’t perfect. For example, don’t look down on someone for, say, using a dryer if you, say, still eat meat (an environmental nightmare of an industry). Be happy for the good choices that people do make.

So anyway, off that soapbox onto the one I really want to be on today, let’s go below the fold and talk about heating and cooling.