“A comparison of peoples’ views in 34 countries finds that the United States ranks near the bottom when it comes to public acceptance of evolution. Only Turkey ranked lower.” One major factor: politics. “Major political parties in the United States are more willing to make opposition to evolution a prominent part of their campaigns to garner conservative votes””something that does not happen in Europe or Japan.”
the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology,” the AP reports. “Congressional leaders rejected the idea, the latest in a series of steps by the Homeland Security Department that has left lawmakers and some of the department’s own experts questioning the commitment to create better anti-terror technologies.”
Today on CNN Headline News, anchor Chuck Roberts discussed the impact of the foiled British terror plot with Hotline senior editor John Mercurio. Roberts asked Mercurio, “How does this factor into the Lieberman/Lamont contest? And might some argue, as some have, that Lamont is the al Qaeda candidate?” Watch it:
Vice President Cheney said some pretty outrageous things about the impact of Lamont’s victory on terrorists. But even Cheney didn’t call Lamont “the al Qaeda candidate” That’s a Chuck Roberts original.
“France and the United States reached agreement on Friday on a draft resolution aimed at halting the bloodshed in Lebanon and Israel.” A Security Council vote is expected later today.
UPDATE: Israel launches ground offensive: “Israel began an expanded ground offensive today in southern Lebanon after expressing dissatisfaction over an emerging cease-fire deal, government officials said.”
UPDATE II: The U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Israel for “massive bombardment of Lebanese civilian populations” and “systematic” human rights violations, and decided to send a commission to investigate. The resolution contained no mention of Hezbollah.
Conservatives have “seized on the arrests of terrorism suspects in Britain yesterday to bolster a White House campaign to turn national security issues to their advantage.”
But as White House officials have admitted — and news reports have verified — the Bush administration apparently had little to do with foiling the potential “second September 11.”
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff:
Well, we think the British succeeded in disrupting the plot. And there’s no question the focal point of the operational activity was in Britain. “¦ Now we really took a lot of our cue from them because they had the boots on ground. They had the firsthand knowledge. [8/10/06]
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:
Today’s announcement is a true testament to the hundreds of hours of patient work by British authorities. [Gonzales, 8/10/06]
[Conservative lawmakers] largely praised the administration’s response, although it appeared British authorities had thwarted the plot with minimal involvement by the United States. [8/10/06]
CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux:
[W]e have learned that President Bush first learned about this developing terrorist plot on Sunday. That is when he had a video conference call with Prime Minister Blair. [8/10/06]
The actual White House record is nothing to brag about. The former 9/11 Commission gave the administration “dismal” grades on homeland security in its latest report card, including an “F” for failures to improve aviation security. Commissioner James Thompson, the former governor of Illinois, “warned in particular of the failure to protect against terrorists smuggling a bomb onboard a plane.”
“I don’t take anything he says seriously anymore,” Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) said yesterday. “I think that he has been a very counterproductive, even destructive, force in our country and I am very disheartened by the failure of leadership from the president and vice president.”
9/11 Commissioner: Terror Plot Shows Danger of Putting ‘All Our Intelligence and Military Resources in Iraq’
This morning on CNN, former 9/11 commissioner Tim Roemer argued that the recent terror plot in Britain illustrated why we need to direct resources from Iraq to the global terrorist threat. Roemer said, “It’s very important that we don’t put all our intelligence and military resources in Iraq and take our eye off the ball in other places in the world.”
He also emphasized that “it’s very important that we capture Osama Bin Laden” because Bin Laden is producing “CNN quality tapes” and “communicating with hundreds of millions of potential jihadist and trying to get them to sign up.” Watch it:
Full transcript: Read more
In an otherwise informative and well-written article on local climate action, “Cities, States Aren’t Waiting For U.S. Action on Climate,” Post reporter Juliet Eilperin gets the lead paragraph wrong:
With Washington lawmakers deadlocked on how best to curb global warming, state and local officials across the country are adopting ambitious policies and forming international alliances aimed at reducing greenhouse gases.
Washington lawmakers are NOT deadlocked on how best to curb global warming. Most Democrats and a few Republicans want to take action to curb global warming. President George W. Bush and the congressional leadership want to take no action.
For instance, as Think Progress posted last week, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) said that if Republicans remain in power after the November elections, Congress won’t “do anything meaningful” on climate.
Or consider the Senate. The bill from John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) that would put an absolute cap on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions received just 38 votes in the summer of 2005. John Shanahan, senior Counsel to Senate Environment Committee chair James Inhofe (R-OK), said in February 2006:
Call me crazy, but I don’t see what kind of sense a ban on liquid travel on airplanes is. To be sure, letting people carry soda or shampoo onto an airplane could (apparently) allow them to conceal an explosive. And a bomb going off on an airplane would be a very bad thing. But by the same token, a bomb going off on a crowded Metro or Armtrak car would be quite bad. Hell, a bomb going off on a crowded airport security line snaking back and forth as everyone waits to have their bags searched for offending liquids woud be really point. At some point, common sense needs to kick in.
President Bush’s approval rating has “dropped to 33, matching his low in May,” according to an AP-Ipsos poll. The majority of people who voted for Bush in 2004 (57 percent) disapprove of the job he is doing.
Greenland’s icecap “is melting faster than ever before on record, and the pace is speeding year by year,” new data shows. “The consequence is already evident in a small but ominous rise in sea levels around the world, a pace that is also accelerating.”
Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) once called using national security issues for political purposes “just unacceptable and in my opinion un-American.” Yesterday he said that a timeline for Iraq redeployment (backed by 57 percent of Americans) “will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again.”
Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Charlie Melancon (D-LA) have written to FEMA about a report that 94 percent of emergency housing trailers for Katrina victims “contain hazardous levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.”