The AP reports, “The ferocity of the battles in Baalbek and across southern Lebanon on Tuesday, the determination of the Israelis to keep fighting and the minimal diplomatic progress toward a cease-fire all indicate the 3-week-old war is more likely to escalate than end soon.”
The Senate voted 71-25 today to open up eight million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and natural gas drilling. The area will provide all of 47 days worth of oil and four months worth of natural gas. Between 1980 and 1999, three million gallons of oil spilled from offshore drilling operations in the Gulf — that’s 150,000 gallons a year.
“Marine Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus, 28, died Saturday in the province of Al Anbar,” according to the Department of Defense. Baucus said his family is “devastated by the loss.”
This week, the Young America’s Foundation is hosting the National Conservative Student Conference.
ThinkProgress reported recently that YAF’s spokesman Jason Mattera (who describes himself as “the surprisingly fresh face of conservatism“) had denied a request by a representative of our sister organization, Campus Progress, to cover the event. From Mattera’s email:
Our event is open to real members of the press. You will not receive press credentials. My advice for you is to watch it on C-SPAN. If you have a problem with that decision, you can complain to the Foundation’s media department spokesman. Oh wait”¦that’s”¦me. :)
Mattera’s reaction was criticised around the web — including by fellow conservatives at National Review, who acknowledged that they had received press credentials for Campus Progress’ annual conference. Apparently Mattera didn’t care. Yesterday, he tracked down and ejected Conor Clarke, one of the lone progressive journalists covering the event for the Washington Monthly:
I was approached by YAF’s spokesman, Jason Mattera, on my way to see Newt Gingrich. “Who do you work for?” Mattera demanded, with a touch of petulance. “The Washington Monthly,” I told him. “Are you writing for anyone else?” “I’m blogging for Campus Progress.”
And that did the trick. “There’s the elevator,” Mattera pointed. “I can have one of my interns push the down button.” But it didn’t end there. What happened to the vaunted marketplace of ideas, I asked. The openness and exchange?
When Clarke asked why he was being ejected, Mattera responded, “Because I said so.” He then admitted, “If you were with The National Review, I’d get you a seat right up front and have one of my interns give you a nice massage, and grab you a cup of Sunkist.”
Read the rest of Clarke’s piece HERE.
20,000 Iraqis “fled their homes to escape sectarian violence” in just the last 10 days, the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration announced yesterday. “In some cases, typed notes ordering people to leave within 48 hours have been left with a bullet taped to the page.”
A study published in the journal Science questioning the link between increased hurricane strength and global warming was quickly seized upon by Matt Drudge and the right-wing blogosphere as evidence the dangers of global warming are over-hyped.
Time for a reality check. The author of the study, Christopher Landsea, does “not dispute global warming was occurring or that it could influence hurricanes.” Rather, Landsea argues that pre-1990 data on hurricane strength is unreliable, so it can’t be used to construct multi-decade trends in hurricane strength. These findings are preliminary and the author of the major study Landsea criticizes, M.I.T. scientist Kerry Emanuel, disputes them.
But ultimately, it doesn’t matter much whether Landsea is right or not about hurricane intensity data. Other major studies have established the link between global warming and hurricane strength by relying on different data. Bill Chameides, Chief Scientist at Environmental Defense, elaborates on this point, using a study that relies on ocean temperature:
[Landsea's study] from a public policy perspective has been made largely moot by the work of Trenberth and Shea, published in June 2006 in Geophysical Research Letters. They showed that 50 percent of the extremely warm temperatures of the North Atlantic Ocean in the summer of 2005 that spawned the record-breaking 2005 hurricane season was caused by global warming. [Release, 7/31/06]
The global warming deniers should put the cork back in their champagne.
National Review now: not so much.
“The ‘Swift Boat’ veterans who grabbed national headlines in 2004″ are back, and their new target is Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). “Armed as a new group — Veterans for the Truth — they’re bringing their campaign to ‘Redeploy John Murtha From Congress’ to his backyard.”
Malkin: Outrage About Qana ‘Manufactured,’ ‘If It’s Not Qana, It’s Something Else…It’s Beauty Pageants’
Last night on The O’Reilly Factor, Michelle Malkin said anger in the Arab world about the tragedy at Qana — where at least 56 innocent civilians, including 37 children, were killed — was “manufactured.” Malkin called it “the jihad du jour” that “members of the religion of perpetual outrage are always ginning up.” She added, “If it’s not Qana, it’s something else. … It’s Gitmo, Abu Ghraib. It’s beauty pageants.” Watch it:
Transcript: Read more
which left dozens of Lebanese dead, including many children: “[U]ntil those civilians start paying a price for propping up these kinds of regimes, it’s not going to end, folks.” Billmon finds that Limbaugh isn’t the only believer in collective punishment.