- The Washington Times - Friday, January 1, 2010


“The Scriptures refer to reaping the whirlwind. That certainly describes Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson after the first statewide poll since the controversial deal he cut in exchange for his deciding vote on the Senate health care bill,” John Fund writes at OpinionJournal.com.

“A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows that if he were running for re-election today, Mr. Nelson would lose to Nebraska’s GOP Gov. David Heineman by a stunning 61 percent to 30 percent. Only three years ago, Mr. Nelson won his current term with a solid 64 percent of the vote,” Mr. Fund said.

“Clearly, the senator’s fall in public esteem is a direct reaction to his having voted for the health care bill as part of a deal in which Nebraska was exempted from the costs of new federal Medicaid mandates. The ObamaCare bill was already unpopular enough in Nebraska, but became even more so when state residents discovered they would be saddled with it anyway, plus exposed to national ridicule over Mr. Nelson’s sweetheart deal. Now 53 percent strongly oppose the bill, while another 11 percent somewhat oppose it. Only 17 percent favor the deal that Mr. Nelson struck in order to vote for the bill.

“But the poll also shows a path to redemption. Asked how they would vote in the 2012 election if Sen. Nelson changed his vote and prevented the health care bill from becoming law, Nebraska voters give Gov. Heineman a lead of only 47 percent to 37 percent.

” ‘The revote results are nothing short of amazing,’ says Democratic pollster Pat Caddell, who notes that simply reversing his health care vote immediately reduces Mr. Nelson’s deficit by two-thirds. ‘The poll suggests the anger of Nebraska voters is deep and unusually intense, and not likely to dissipate quickly.’

“No doubt it was precisely his concern about the unpopularity of the bill back home that prompted Mr. Nelson to hedge his bets when he announced he would support it - he made clear at the time he might not vote for it again if the final compromise between House and Senate versions tilts too far to the left.”


“Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere,” ScienceDaily.com reports.

“However, some studies have suggested that the ability of oceans and plants to absorb carbon dioxide recently may have begun to decline and that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is therefore beginning to increase,” the Web site said.

“Many climate models also assume that the airborne fraction will increase. Because understanding of the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide is important for predicting future climate change, it is essential to have accurate knowledge of whether that fraction is changing or will change as emissions increase.

“To assess whether the airborne fraction is indeed increasing, Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol reanalyzed available atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and considers the uncertainties in the data.

“In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

“The research is published in Geophysical Research Letters.”


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