There will be a screening of the movie “The War Tapes” in San Francisco at the Castro Theatre on June 26th at 7:30 pm. “The War Tapes,” winner of the prize for best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival, offers a soldier’s-eye view of the Iraq war. The film is based on footage recorded by three members of the New Hampshire Army National Guard who were deployed to Iraq in early 2004. If you’re interested, sign up HERE. Feel free to pass it along to family or friends.
The National Academy of Sciences released an important report yesterday detailing the fact that the Earth’s temperatures in the last few decades have been the warmest in recorded history, raising concern about the impact of global warming. Warming skeptics have responded with their typical denial and spin.
Electricity Daily (sub. req’d), which covers news from the perspective of the electricity industry, reported:
The NAS report casts serious doubts on the conventional scientific wisdom of man-made climate warming, particularly as described by political advocates such as former Vice President Al Gore. “¦ Those who argue that solar activity drives global climate, not CO2, will take heart.
In fact, the report specifically states that “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming.” Moreover, as ThinkProgress noted, the report factored in the natural variations in temperature — volcanic activity, solar radiation, etc. — and concluded that these can’t explain the warming trend.
Another well-known skeptic, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), zeroed in on a study conducted by climatologist Michael Mann that is reviewed in the NAS report. Through his famous “hockey stick” graph, Mann argued that recent years have been the hottest on record in the last millennium. Inhofe responded:
Today’s NAS report reaffirms what I have been saying all along, that Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ is broken.
In fact, the NAS report “largely vindicates” Mann’s central thesis, stating it is “plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th Century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium.” Read more
This morning, the New York Times reported that the Bush administration has concealed a “secret program of combing through a vast international data base containing banking transactions involving thousands of Americans.”
Fox News host Neil Cavuto and his guest, former CIA operative Wayne Simmons, called the Times’s aggressive reporting an attempt to drive-down President Bush’s poll numbers. Watch it:
Full transcript below: Read more
Congressional and administration officials have admitted that “U.S. President George W. Bush and his White House were kept in the dark about the Department of Homeland Security’s grant allocations, even though they included controversial cuts to New York City and Washington, until after the decisions were made.”
From today’s White House press briefing — QUESTION: “As the president begins to do his homework leading up to the Russia trip, what are his current feelings about Putin? Does he remain a trustworthy friend or has he evolved to something else?” SNOW:
“First, he has not ‘begun’ to do his homework.”
UPDATE: Snow’s remark was misinterpreted. In fact, he was arguing that Bush does his homework all the time. Snow said, “First, he has not ‘begun’ to do his homework, he does it all the time, and especially in dealing with Putin and with the Russians.” We regret the error.
“I think the war was a mistake,” said the star of NBC’s The Apprentice. “I would get out of Iraq as soon as possible consistent with the practicalities of a bad situation. “¦ It’s being held together by sugar candy. No matter what happens, I believe Iraq will fall again.”
Last week, the Pentagon “shut down access entirely” to the Guantanamo Bay prison after the suicide deaths of three detainees. Journalists covering the suicides had their clearances revoked and were immediately flown back to the United States, and regular visits between detainees and their lawyers were cancelled. Human rights groups protested:
This press crackdown is the administration’s latest betrayal of fundamental American values. The Bush Administration is afraid of American reporters, afraid of American attorneys and afraid of American laws.
Afraid of American journalists, that is, as long as they’re not from Fox. This morning, Fox News analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano described how the Defense Department had personally invited him on a trip to Guantanamo on Wednesday:
NAPOLITANO: I was doing my radio show with Brian Kilmeade the other day and I get an email from the Defense Department saying, “We have an extra seat on a flight down to Guantanamo, would you like to come?” So, of course, I cleared it all — I cleared it here with our superiors. …
HOST: What’d you see?
NAPOLITANO: Well, we saw everything. … We saw all six camps. … We had FBI interviews, I actually sat down and examined the evidence they’re going to use at trial with prosecutors. It was very detailed.
HOST: That was some kind of access.
NAPOLITANO: It was. It was great.
Napolitano offered his fair and balanced review of conditions at the prison: among other glowing reviews, he claimed it is “now gentle, almost child-like the way they treat the detainees.”
Former Secretary of Defense William Perry is one of America’s great national defense assets. So it is difficult to understand his lapse in judgment in proposing, with Harvard’s Ash Carter, to start a war with North Korea. Perhaps it is an attempt to position themselves to the right of President Bush, but their plan is ill-conceived, factually flimsy, and feeds directly into the crisis atmosphere that dictator Kim Jong-Il wants to create. Their June 22 Washington Post op-ed, commits five basic errors:
1. They exaggerate the threat. Calling North Korea’s test launch an “intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead on U.S. soil” is a huge analytical leap unsupported by any evidence. The last time North Korea fired a long-range missile was in 1998, it went about 1300 kilometers and failed to put its tiny payload into orbit.
2. They adopt the Bush administration’s deeply flawed preventive war strategy. The view that we have to go to war before “the threat has matured” is precisely what sent us into Iraq. The 1998 test was not an imminent threat and this one is no different — certainly not the “race to threaten this country” that the authors suggest.
3. They justify the attack on flimsy intelligence. The very first sentence of the op-ed – “North Korean technicians are reportedly in the final stages of fueling a long-range ballistic missile” — is in error. South Korean intelligence officials, who were the first to report the missile fueling, have now rejected the reports.
In a recent interview, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien asked Bruce Springsteen (aka “The Boss”) about criticism he has received for taking a stand on political issues. Springsteen responded sarcastically, “Yeah, they should let Ann Coulter do it instead.” He added that there are “idiots rambling on on cable television on any given night of the week,” and called the idea that musicians shouldn’t speak up, “insane” and “funny.” Watch it:
O’BRIEN: In 2004 you came out very strongly in support of John Kerry and performed with him – your fellow guitarist, I think is how you introduced him to the crowd. And some people gave you a lot of flack for being a musician who took a political stand. I remember”¦
SPRINGSTEEN: Yeah, they should let Ann Coulter do it instead.
O’BRIEN: There is a whole school of thought, as you well know, that says that musicians – I mean you see it with the Dixie Chicks – you know, go play your music and stop.
SPRINGSTEEN: Well, if you turn it on, present company included, the idiots rambling on on cable television on any given night of the week, and you’re saying that musicians shouldn’t speak up? It’s insane. It’s funny.