By Doug Porter
Another month has passed and another temperature record for the planet was set.
Results published on the NASA database yesterday indicated July 2016 was the 10th month in a row to break monthly temperature records, a measure obtained by combining sea-surface temperatures and air temperatures on land.
David Karoly, a climate scientist from the University of Melbourne, told The Guardian this latest data means 2016 is “virtually certain” to be the hottest year on record.
That string was caused by a combination of global warming and El Niño, which spreads warm water across the Pacific, giving a boost to global temperatures.
Karoly pointed out that Nasa’s baseline temperatures, which new measurements are compared against, already included about 0.5C of warming in global temperatures. That meant July was about 1.3C warmer than the pre-industrial average.
Karoly said about 0.2C of that anomaly was likely due to the El Niño, leaving about 1.1C mostly due to human-induced climate change.
Burn, Baby, Burn!
Speaking of climate change, the Koch brothers rolled out their latest effort to muddle the discussion with the launch of Fueling US Forward this past weekend.
It’s their mission to rebrand fossil fuels, focusing on the “positive” sides of oil, gas and coal.
From Sharon Kelly at DeSmogBlog
For its part, Fueling US Forward wants to talk not about statistics, facts and figures, but to reach people’s emotions.
“We’ve got to take this to the emotional and personal level,” Mr. Drevna, a former DC lobbyist and Sunoco executive, told the crowd. “Oil and natural gas, they’re not the fuels of the past and maybe the present or a necessary evil. They are the future.”
In Peter Stone’s investigation for Huffington Post, many familiar with the early workings of the project that would grow into Fueling US Forward described it as an effort to bolster public opinion of fossil fuels and to combat electric vehicles.
Dumanis’ Straw Money
Circumstantial evidence implicating County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis continues to surface at the trial of Mexican businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura. He’s accused–along with three codefendants–of conspiring to illegally donate nearly $600,000 into San Diego political campaigns.
Prosecutors are claiming that 25% of contributions received by Dumanis during her failed 2012 mayoral campaign came via straw donors funded by Azano.
The District Attorney has disavowed any knowledge of the scheme, portraying herself as the victim in statements to the press.
Amita Sharma at KPBS relayed the latest damning testimony, along with some further investigation:
The figure was even higher on a single day in December 2011, the same month prosecutors have said Dumanis went to Azano’s house looking for “crucial financing.”
KPBS matched the initials of alleged straw donors contained in court documents with Dumanis’ campaign disclosures and San Diego Ethics Commission records. KPBS found that 26 of the 61 donations — or 43 percent of the contributions she received that day — were from straw givers allegedly financed by Azano. The donors included a gas station manager, a homemaker and a grandmother with dementia. All gave the maximum amount of $500.
“It’s not a good fact for Ms. Dumanis, that’s for sure,” said Rob Marasco, a former federal prosecutor in San Diego. “Straw donor after straw donor. It certainly would make a prosecutor question and investigate further how directly involved she was in these types of contributions.”
Also, on that same day — Dec. 29, 2011 — an additional 14 donations came into Dumanis’ campaign from people tied to towing companies that have been investigated by the San Diego Ethics Commission for straw giving. The commission would not say whether the companies had been investigated for donations made on that particular day.
News of the Trump
The Orange County Register reports that Riverside County has come in from the Dark Side.
For the first time in recent memory and perhaps history, the number of registered Democratic voters in Riverside County outnumbers the ranks of registered Republican voters…
…It’s the first time in at least 17 years that Democrats have held an edge in voter registration in the county, according to Registrar Rebecca Spencer. The state’s online voter registration records go back to 1999.
The shift is part of Democratic gains throughout parts of Southern California that were once GOP strongholds. Democrats surpassed Republicans in San Diego County in 2009 and while Republicans still prevail in Orange County, the margin has shrunken to 5.4 percentage points — a steady decline from the all-time high of 22 points in 1990.
Double Vision on the Ballot
Donald Trump’s name will appear on California general election ballots as the nominee of two political parties, according to The Los Angeles Times. The ultra-conservative American Independence Party endorsed the GOP nominee as their standard bearer at their convention in Sacremento this past weekend.
“We are the demographic that Trump is appealing to,” said Markham Robinson, the secretary of the American Independent Party of California. “We are heeding the voice of our voters…”
The party, headquartered in Robinson’s Solano County home, has more registered voters than all of California’s other minor parties combined. But an investigation by The Times in April found a number of voters who thought they were registered as a nonpartisan “independent” and had mistakenly selected the AIP when filling out their registration card.
An exclusive poll of AIP voters conducted for The Times found 73% of those surveyed had no idea they were registered with an actual party, and a subsequent review of state voter registration records found that included a number of Hollywood celebrities.
Too many Georges. Contrary to what it says in today’s Politico California Playbook, the AIP was not founded by Democrat George McGovern. It was the political vehicle for former Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s Presidential campaigns.
Final thought: I’ll consider Donald Trump’s proposed ideological test for immigrants if the candidate is willing to go on TV and ace the civics portion of the naturalization test required of all applicants for US citizenship.
Or better yet, let’s see him go head-to-head with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Wednesday, August 17th: Homeless Awareness Day
Tomorrow’s SD Free Press is going to be something special. We’re joining with other media outlets throughout San Diego in promoting Homeless Awareness Day. All our stories (and there will be a lot of them!) will be shedding light on the subject at hand.
You can do your part by helping to spread the word by sharing these stories on social media. And, if you feel so moved, email them to your city councilperson, county supervisor or mayor.
On This Day: 1858 – A telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to President Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable. 1937 – Congress passed the National Apprenticeship Act, establishing a national advisory committee to research and draft regulations establishing minimum standards for apprenticeship programs. It was later amended to permit the Labor Department to issue regulations protecting the health, safety and general welfare of apprentices, and to encourage the use of contracts in their hiring and employment. 1977 – Elvis Presley died at the age of 42 in Memphis.
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