CB’s Daily News Break: A Quake & A Possible Landslide?

Early Wednesday morning a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 170 people and leaving an estimated 15,000 people homeless. Rescuers are currently digging and searching for survivors in the a remote valley in Baluchistan, a province bordering Afghanistan. The worst hit was a British hilltop village of Ziarat and eight surrounding villages. “There is great destruction,” said Ziarat Mayor Dilawar Kakar to Associated Press. “Not a single house is intact.”

With less than a week until the presidential election, many people have decided to vote early. And in key swing states like North Carolina, Nevada and Colorado, the number of Democrats early ballots outweigh Republicans ballots nearly 2 to 1.

So, does the electoral math add up to an Obama landslide? According to the most recent Associated Press-GfK poll, Barack Obama is leading or tied with John McCain in eight key states: Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. This poll also showed Obama winning in states among early voters. Furthermore, “the polling shows Obama holding solid leads in Ohio (seven percentage points), Nevada (12 points), Colorado (9) and Virginia (seven), all red states won by Bush that collectively offer 47 electoral votes.” Based on these results, if Obama wins these four states or a magical combination of two or three of them with significant amount of electoral votes, he would almost certainly become president.

Barack Obama takes his final campaign plea to the airways. Tonight, Obama will go on national TV with a 30-minute infomercial about himself and his campaign. Even with the math beginning to add up on his side, many political strategists wonder if Obama’s infomercial could backfire on him.

And just a day before Obama’s video, CNN’s Campbell Brown reminds the American public that Obama reneged on his campaign finance promise. Obama’s decision to not take public financing allowed him to raise more than $600 million dollars (more than Bush & Kerry raised in 2004) so far, and buy 30 minutes of airtime for his infomercial on five different networks.

Although the presidential race has not been decided, a group of conservatives are discussing the political impact of Gov. Sarah Palin. If McCain and Palin win, she puts social conservatism in the White House. If the Republican ticket loses, she will be a potential presidential candidate in 2012 and leader of the social conservative movement. Is Palin the future of the Republican Party?

Perhaps showing she can strut her own stuff and agenda, Republican vice presidential candidate Palin is in Toledo, Ohio Wednesday speaking on her favorite topic, energy. Palin has called for a “clean break” from the Bush Administration’s energy policies, which she says are too dependent on foreign oil.

And in money news, the Fed is expected to cut the key interest rate by a half-point to help combat the worst financial crisis in 70 years and keep the country out of a deep recession. If the slash happens, the federal funds rate would be lowered to 1 percent. This possible interest rate cut caused European stock markets to trade mostly higher on Wednesday. And the U.S. stock market was slightly higher Wednesday after “one of the biggest single-session gains in history” on Tuesday.

Some good news: gas prices continue to fall. For the past 42 days, gas has steadily fallen to a 3-year low. Gas hasn’t been this low since Aug. 18. 2005.




Caramel Bella’s: The Green Report

The dangers of global warming strike the penguins. According to a recent World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, if the earth’s climate increases by only two degrees Celsius (or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) half to three-quarters of Antarctic penguin colonies could be wiped out or severely harmed. Sadly, a United Nation report predicts the climate change will occur by the end of the century if greenhouse gases aren’t decreased. Poor, poor penguins.

Could greener fuels cause world hunger? A United Nations food agency is asking the same question in its call for a review of biofuel (cleaner, plant-based fuel) subsidies and policies. The examination will look at biofuel’s role in higher food prices and hunger in poor countries. With the biofuel subsidies in place, many farmers plant more crops for fuel than food because it brings in more dough.

Speaking of dough, green technology is where it’s at. Venture capital is pouring into the clean tech industry that focuses on alternative energy, pollution reduction, recycling and conservation. Biotechies and biopharma workers are headed over to the green side. According to VentureSource, venture funding in clean technologies increased from $216 million in 2002 to $2.5 billion last year.

Financial crisis threatens climate change. A lack of credit and limited capital may result in fewer developed countries investing in green initiatives to help poorer countries upgrade to clean energy technology. In an AP interview, Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. climate secretariat summed it up best when he said, “You can’t pick an empty pocket.”

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Bad Economy = Big Book Bucks

Perhaps there is one silver lining on the Wall Street financial crisis. According to a recent Associated Press story, books about America’s big money troubles are making the big bucks.

Nancy Sheppard, the vice president of marketing at Viking publishing told AP: ”When the world seems to be ending, people still turn to books for help.”

Viking published the Amazon best selling Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism by Kevin Phillips. Like the title implies, the book discusses a new phenomenon called “bad money” in which the U.S. is dependent on the global economy and makes a series of risk miscalculations with financial products. Does this sound familiar?

Another Amazon best-seller is Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Her book talks about the economic policy decisions that politicians were able to pull off because of natural disasters, wars or other catastrophic events. Hmmm….

(more…)




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My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.

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