Scientists Warn of Major Earthquakes in Northern California

A geological study conducted by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and San Francisco State University is warning that four fault segments running beneath Northern California or nearby are primed for an earthquake of 6.8 magnitude or more. 

The faults are the Green Valley fault between Napa and Fairfield, which underlies areas near key dams and aqueducts, and could manifest a magnitude 7.1 earthquake; the northern Calaveras and Hayward faults in the east San Francisco Bay Area; and the Rodgers Creek fault that lies north of San Francisco.

The study was published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, according to the AP. James Lienkaemper, the lead author noted that water supplies throughout the state rely on the man-made water route connecting the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, and an earthquake on the Green Valley fault would threaten that. The last occurrence of a temblor on that fault came in the 1600s.

The San Andreas fault system underlies all four fault segments; the San Andreas fault divides California between its western half, which moves northwest 2 inches a year, from the eastern half of the state.

Of the 1,250 miles making up the five major branches of the San Andreas fault, about two-thirds feature fault creep, tiny movements that release strain on the faults. (If there is no fault creep, the fault is estimated to be locked, and a candidate for an earthquake from the resultant stress.)

The largest magnitude earthquake in Northern California in 25 years struck Aug. 24 in Napa, a 6.0 magnitude temblor. According to seismologists, seven temblors of 7.3 magnitude or more have struck in the state since the 1800s.




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Report: Officials Haven’t Tested Whether Coughing, Sneezing Can Spread Ebola

Experts have reportedly not tested whether Ebola patients can infect others by coughing or sneezing even as one of the top experts on the particular strain of Ebola that has ravaged West Africa believes the virus is “primed” to go airborne.

Dr. David Sanders, a Purdue University biology professor who “has been studying the virus since 2003 – specifically how this particular Zaire strain of Ebola enters human cells,” told The Indy Channel (rtv6 ABC) that the Ebola virus “can enter the lung from the airway side” and is “primed to have respiratory transmission.”

“We need to be taking this into consideration,” Sanders said. “What if? This is not a crazy, ‘What if?’ This is not a wild, ‘What if?'”

According to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report, “in August, researchers in West Africa, Europe and the United States sequenced the genomes of Ebola virus isolated from dozens of patients and found it acquired mutations as it spread,” but “they did not test whether those genetic changes affect its ability to infect and survive.”

Charles Bailey, executive director of the National Center of Biodefense and Infectious Diseases at George Mason University, told the outlet, “Is a mutation capable of making it airborne transmissible? Nobody knows.” He also reportedly “said that…  concentrated aerosols of Ebola have shown the ability to infect” in experiments with monkeys.

“That experiment hasn’t been done yet,” Bailey said. “If there was no concern about aerosol transmission, then why are people wearing masks? There’s no absolutes.”

This weekend, a nurse at the Texas hospital that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian immigrant who died last week after becoming the first person on American soil to be diagnosed with Ebola, was diagnosed with Ebola. She became the first person on American soil to get Ebola via person-to-person transmission even though she wore full protective gear at the hospital. Officials are trying to determine how she contracted the virus. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has sent mixed messages on the threat of airborne transmission, denying that that Ebola could be transmitted through the air before saying airborne transfer of Ebola is possible but unlikely.

“It’s a virus that doesn’t spread through the air, and that we do know how to control,” CDC Director Tom Friedan recently said during a press briefing. “We do know how to stop it.” Officials later conceded that mutations could make the virus airborne though continuing to stress that it was unlikely. 

As the Dallas Morning News noted, a CDC poster also states, “You can’t get Ebola through air.” But on the CDC’s website, it states that Ebola could possibly be transmitted by sneezing our coughing. 

“Although coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola, if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease,” the website says.

Anthony Banbury, the United Nation’s Ebola chief, “has said there is a ‘nightmare’ prospect the deadly disease will become airborne if it continues infecting new hosts,” as the Daily Mail noted.

“It is a nightmare scenario, and unlikely, but it can’t be ruled out,” Banbury said.




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ABC News: President Obama Has Been to Zero Campaign Events This Cycle

Editor’s Note: ABC News published an astonishing admission today, revealing that President Barack Obama has not attended a single public campaign event for a Democratic candidate as the party heads into a white-hot election season. 

Just three weeks to go until the midterm elections and with control of the Senate hanging in the balance, candidates are scrambling toward the finish line.

One key figure, however, has been largely absent: President Obama.

President Obama has appeared at zero public campaign events this cycle, opting instead to tap into his fundraising prowess to boost Democratic candidates behind closed-doors.

Obama’s absence on the trail underscores how the president has become a political liability for many candidates. With his approval rating down in the dumps, a personal visit from Obama would likely hurt rather than help his party’s cause in the hotly contested states.

Obama is expected to step-up his public presence on the campaign trail in these final weeks, but likely only in deep blue states. He will attend his first public campaign rally for a candidate this Wednesday when he stumps for Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy. 

It’s not unheard of for the president to be scarce in the run-up to the midterms. President George W. Bush headlined 15 rallies in 2006, but they were all in the final weeks, according to Brendan Doherty, professor of political science at the US Naval Academy and author of “The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign.”

Not only is the president a persona non grata on the trail, Democratic candidates are going to great lengths to avoid being even remotely associated with him.

Read the rest of the story here. 




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Democrats Down To Blaming Pollsters

Facing a tough election with an unpopular Democrat in the White House and an already less than motivated base, Democrats have now taken to blaming pollsters, a move that may be one part wishful thinking and twpo parts trying to keep even their more true believing base in place for November.

Democrats who do not want their party faithful to lose hope — particularly in a midterm election that will be largely decided on voter turnout — are taking aim at the pollsters, arguing that they are underestimating the party’s chances in November.

It appears to boil down to, who are you going to believe, those lying pollsters, or is it your lying eyes … telling you that after six years of Democrat policies driven by Obama’s White House, things don’t seem to be going as well as many voters want them to be as we approach the mid-term elections.

“Polling has become politicized like everything else in the current environment,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a Boston University professor who specializes in political communication. “The press has become more politicized, the reporting itself has become more politicized, and so, it is to be expected that polling is politicized.” 

Even President Clinton has suggested that the pollsters are getting it wrong, both in terms of the likely results and the assumptions that their projections are based upon.




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Kashkari, Drowning in Polls, ‘Saves’ Boy from Drowning in TV Ad

Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, who is lagging behind incumbent Democrat Jerry Brown by double digits, has taken a rather significant risk in his latest television ad, which portrays a child drowning in a swimming pool. Kashkari enters to rescue the child, whose plight is meant to be a metaphor for children stuck in California’s failing public schools. As the child recovers, head bowed, Kashkari touts his education policy.

The ad is what strategists call a “Hail Mary,” a late move designed to maximize attention at the risk of alienating some voters. Another recent example was Democrat Wendy Davis’s ad in the Texas gubernatorial race, which depicted her disabled opponent as an empty wheelchair. Like Kashkari, Davis is behind in the polls and hoping for a last-minute comeback.

“If if does backfire and Davis wants to run for office in the future, you can rest assured this one will stick with her,” wrote Aaron Blake of the Washington Post, calling her ad “one of the nastiest campaign ads you will ever see.”

The same may hold true for Kashkari, who is thought to be aiming for the 2016 Senate race or a future Cabinet-level appointment. 

 Ironically, Kashkari was touted during the primary as the more genteel GOP alternative, and had warned that his opponent, Tim Donnelly, would embarrass his party as Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) had in 2012.

Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.

Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak




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