The winner for the third straight year is Massachusetts. As in 2013, it scored 42 points out of a possible 50. And it earned a perfect score for its utility policies and programs. It even includes policies that encourage a reduction in vehicle miles. [...]
?Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in energy efficiency,? says ACEEE. ?The state?s Green Communities Act, passed in 2008, set a long-term framework for energy efficiency as a first-priority resource. With other states close on its heels and committed to improving energy efficiency, Massachusetts will need to continue achieving high levels of savings in the utility sector, commit to continually updating building codes and work to better benchmark energy use in the private sector.? [...]
The study also rated cities, finding Boston to be the leader in its efforts to encourage better energy use. Portland, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Washington, Minneapolis, Chicago and Philadelphia round out the top ten.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008?There Is Just One America:Barack Obama in Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday, was making his closing argument, offering his vision of one America and affirming his view that we are all in this together: With the challenges and crises we face right now, we cannot afford to divide this country by race or class or region; by who we are or what policies we support. There are no real or fake parts of this country. We are not separated by the pro-America and anti-America parts of this nation - we all love this country, no matter where we live or where we come from. It's amazing?despite all of McCain's "Country First" bluster, it's actually Barack Obama who seems to have a better understanding of the great promise of this nation. Tweet of the Day On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Emerging details from yesterday's attack in Ottawa. At least some air-dropped US weapons fell into ISIS hands. Neighbors battle over concealed carry on the way to school. And Armando can't stand it that no one seems to properly understand the nature of constitutional rights. The warrior cop supply chain makes you feel oh so safe. "The Criminalization of Schooling" raises some interesting & disparate points. Historical background on privatized prisons & revenue-driven courts: thief-takers. Sarah Palin's SarahPAC is still a champion middle-weight grifter. High Impact Posts. Top Comments
By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal
Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.
Dodd-Frank Spawns Software to Comprehend Dodd-Frank (Marketplace)
Sabri Ben-Achour speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal and others about the complexity of the Volcker Rule. Mike says the scrutiny of the courts has created much of that complexity.There are also a great many gray areas and exceptions for when activities are allowed or not allowed, says Mike Konczal, a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute.
?Volcker and Dodd-Frank wanted to make sure that banks could still do what we want them to do ? interact with clients, do market making, buy and sell things for their clients ? and what happens is a lot of that activity kind of blurs with proprietary trading,? he says. Another reason the rules have become complicated is that, simply put, a lot of people have sued. The rules have had to become extra detailed to pass scrutiny.
"These rules from Dodd-Frank have come under extensive criticism in the courts,? says Konczal. ?We want that kind of scrutiny it?s important to have it, but it?s become so obsessive and so burdensome that it?s actually made the rules a lot clunkier than they need to be.?
Follow below the fold for more.
Fox News has finally found a kind of election spending it finds worthy of comment. We're talking, naturally, about spending by teachers unions. "The teachers unions are on track to spend a record amount this cycle," Fox's Martha McCallum informed viewers, "with one union shelling out more in contributions than they have"?and here she began strenuously gesturing with a pointed finger?"ever spent before." McCallum then turned to correspondent Mike Emanuel for an answer to that very Foxy question "North Carolina is a key race that could decide the balance of power. What are the teachers unions doing there?"
The answer: "The National Education Association super PAC has spent about $3 million on ads blaming Republican Tillis for making class sizes bigger and for reduced art and sports programs." Oooh. How dare they?
The segment's tone of alarm and novelty?the eyebrows raised at the notion of unions spending millions of dollars on elections?does not extend to Fox News coverage of Republican spending, of course:With its focus on teachers unions, Fox conveniently left out the spending from outside groups that totals nearly three times more. For example, the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the Koch brothers has poured in at least $8.3 million in ad money. At least $6 million has come from groups linked to conservative Karl Rove, a Fox News contributor. I guess if you never report on and even actively downplay the money Republican groups are spending, your viewers will be amazed to hear how much unions are spending. Typical Fox News, in other words. No matter what Fox News says, Democrats need help fighting the Koch brothers-Karl Rove ad avalanche. Please chip in $3 to elect more and better Democrats. Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. Here's hoping these unions are putting as much or more effort into mobilizing teachers to vote?and getting teachers to mobilize their friends and neighbors to vote?as they are money into advertising.
? IA-Sen: The pro-GOP U.S. Chamber of Commerce has usually produced decent ads starring a Red State-friendly celebrity (see their KY-Sen one below). But this new one has one of the stupidest commercials I've seen in a very long time. It stars a chicken and hits Democrat Bruce Braley with something called "the chicken dance." It's hard to describe it: This is an ad you just have to see to believe.
On the other side, NextGen Climate spends $147,000. Presumably, none of that money went to the chicken dance.
Head below the fold for a poultry-free roundup of ads from races across the country
Bruce Rauner, chairman of R8 Capital Partners and the former chairman of the private equity firm GTCR, based in Chicago, is running on his business record as the Republican candidate to unseat Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. He's supposed to be one of those "job creators" so deserving of huge tax breaks the Republicans are always talking about. So this should have been a real softball debate question for him: "Mr. Rauner, can you give us specific examples, maybe one or two, of successful companies owned by you that actually have created jobs in the state of Illinois, and how are you going to use that experience to attract businesses into the state and actually create jobs in Illinois?"
His reply:We've built one of the most respected, most successful investment companies in America at my firm. We've helped create hundreds of successful businesses. Well, then. Here's moderator No. 2: "Yeah, I have a follow up, actually, to Erica's question. You never gave us an example of a company?one specific example over those 32 years?where you created any jobs." The reply? Rauner: I'd encourage you to come to the website for my old firm. There are hundreds and hundreds of companies there, many of them have gone public?.
Moderator #2: But you don't remember any?
Rauner: ?the point is there are so many.And out of those hundreds and hundreds he can't point to a single one that created just one job? Seems like if you're a job creator, you'd have binders full of examples of the job=creating you did, examples right at the ready for what is going to be the inevitable debate question. Let's elect some Democratic governors with true jobs agendas. Your $3 will help. Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. Seems like Rauner might be a bit of a fraud on that whole job-creating thing. That's not too much of a shocker though. This isn't a guy who cares particularly about workers. He wants "right to work" zones?designated areas where businesses can avoid taxes and regulations that, you know, protect workers. He's also gotten in some political trouble for saying Illinois should reduce its minimum wage, a position he's been backpedalling from for months now.
Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.
Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.
A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".
Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla
Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and 350.org all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.
Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit
Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement
The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.
The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.
Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.
Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia
Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.
Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International
Climate Negotiations are over for another year with little progress in Doha by any one's measure as the scientific statements on climate change and the impacts we are already feeling as evidenced in record Arctic melting, and extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, and Cyclone Evan in the South Pacific are growing much stronger.
Some of the latest scientific research shows:Sea Level rising 60% faster than IPCC projectionsMethane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping pointCollapse of Siberia's Coastline is Releasing Huge Amounts of CO2Greenland Ice sheet suffers unprecedented surface meltIndian Monsoon more likely to fail as global warming acceleratesSouthern Ocean warming impact on Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability and sea level rise
Photos: Photos by World Resources Institute | Photos by Oxfam | The Verb: Climate March in Doha | The Verb: COP18 Actions Related: Deep emissions cuts urged at climate summit | Towards a Grand Compromise in the Climate Negotiations | COP18, another 'Conference of Polluters' | An open letter to governments and their negotiators | Climate compensation row at Doha | Forest Groups Protest False Solutions | IPCC's Planned Obsolescence: Fifth Assessment Report Will Ignore Crucial Permafrost Carbon Feedback! | Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point