Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer may run for Congress in his hometown district in New York.
The irony never ends.
While outgoing Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK) is the Congress’s lead climate change Denier, climate change has fueled record wildfires and drought in Sen. Inhofe’s homestate of Oklahoma.
For a visual, check out the U.S. Drought Monitor, which shows the northern part of Oklahoma currently experiencing the most severe levels of drought in the U.S. (with the darker the colors the more severe the drought). Also note that nearly all of Oklahoma is at least experiencing “abnormally dry”(yellow) conditions. [You can click on any region and then any state to see more detail.]
Note also the widespread drought affecting the backyard of the President, the country’s leading global warming Denier.
At the last EPW hearing on climate change and media coverage, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) questioned the U.S. policy on climate change by asking if a fire sparked, who would wait to see the damage before moving to put it out. Well, apparently Sen. Inhofe would.
“Frankly, I don’t believe that more troops is the answer for Iraq. It’s a civil war and America should not be policing a Sunni-Shia conflict,” incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) writes. “I do not support an escalation of the conflict. I support finding a way to bring our troops home and would look at any plan that gave a roadmap to this goal.”
Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) issued a letter to constituents earlier this month in which he declares, “I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States” if we do not adopt “strict immigration policies.” The letter was inadvertently sent to a local progressive activist, who shared it with the C-Ville Weekly newspaper.
In the letter, Goode references the election of Muslim Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), and warns “American citizens” to “wake up” or “there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office”:
I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.
At another point in the letter, Goode describes telling a “Muslim student” who “came by my office” that the Koran will never be hung on his office wall:
The Ten Commandments and “In God We Trust” are on the wall in my office. A Muslim student came by the office and asked why I did not have anything on my wall about the Koran. My response was clear, “As long as I have the honor of representing the citizens of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, The Koran is not going to be on the wall of my office.”
Goode’s bigoted views are no secret, and he uses them to justify more than his hardline immigration policy. Earlier this year, he announced that he opposed increasing the minimum wage because it would “be a magnet for illegal aliens to come to this country. We do not need a strong magnet to lure illegals here.”
Dave Weigel has a neat op-ed in The LA Times on the American right’s new dystopian literature:
Two years from now, terrorists under the banner of the “Progressive Restoration” will take over Manhattan in a larger attempt to overthrow the government. Thirteen years later, President Chelsea Clinton and Vice President Michael Moore will haul out the good White House china for Osama bin Laden’s state visit. By fiddling with your radio, you may be able to catch an underground broadcast by Sean Hannity. If you own a radio, that is; folks living in states that are under Sharia law won’t even be that lucky.
These aren’t my fantasies or nightmares. All of these vignettes are ripped from science fiction thrillers that have hit shelves in just the last 18 months. Sharia comes to the United States in Robert Ferrigno’s potboiler, “Prayers for the Assassin.” In Joel C. Rosenberg’s “Last Jihad” trilogy, a steel-spined U.S. president nukes Baghdad, then combats a Russo-Iranian axis, all in fulfillment of Scripture (or so we’re told in the nail-biting third book, “The Ezekiel Option”). Hannity and his stone-jawed sidekick, G. Gordon Liddy, battle the Clinton restoration in Mike Mackey and Donny Lin’s comic book, “Liberality for All.” The Second American Civil War is breaking out in Orson Scott Card’s “Empire” (book out now, video game on the way).
Dave regards this as sillly and implausible. Glenn Reynolds sticks up for silly implausibility and explains that “Dystopias — like utopias — are there to make a point, not a prediction.” I actually have a ton to say about this but the post keeps getting too long.
(The U.S. current account deficit widened to a record $225.6 billion in the third quarter, officials announced yesterday. Below, American Progress Senior Economist Christian Weller explains why it matters.)
The greatest current threat to our standard of living is the current account deficit, which now stands at a whopping $225.6 billion in just the third quarter of 2006. This is the equivalent of 6.8 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP). Current account deficits above 5 percent flash a threat level of “red” to economists.
The current account is the broadest measure of our international transactions. It includes, among other, smaller items, exports and imports, as well as the interest U.S. residents earn on their investments abroad, minus the interest paid on debt that U.S. residents owe to the rest of the world.
For most of the past three decades, the current account was in the deficit, largely because imports were larger than exports. Now, we also pay more in interest to the rest of the world than we earn on our assets abroad, adding to the deficit. Read more
During today’s press briefing, the media devoted most of its attention to the skin cancer tumor First Lady Laura Bush recently had removed. Reporters were critical of Mrs. Bush’s decision to not publicize her condition initially, asking Press Secretary Tony Snow why she “didn’t feel any obligation as a person of public status to talk about this” and arguing that she should now become an advocate for preventative care against skin cancer.
In fact, the White House press corps asked more questions about Laura Bush’s skin condition than they did about any other issue:
22: Number of questions on Laura Bush’s skin cancer.
18: Number of questions on Iraq.
3: Number of questions on Iran.
1: Number of questions on North Korea.
Highlights of reporters’ questions from the briefing:
Q Tony, can you tell us about Mrs. Bush’s skin cancer? How is she doing? And how was the decision reached not to disclose this publicly until questions were asked?
Q She is often an advocate for women’s health in the area of breast cancer or heart disease, advocating screenings, preventative care. Is she likely to talk about skin cancer in that way?
Q And she didn’t feel any obligation as a person of public status to talk about this?
Q Going back to Mrs. Bush, it seems that there are two things going on, in terms of not informing the public and the press. Which was it, was it that it was medical privacy that was the reason for not informing us, or was it that it was no big deal?
Mrs. Bush’s decision not to reveal the details of her skin condition is hardly a matter worthy of intense public scrutiny, especially when there are so many issues of real significance that the media could be covering.
Percent of Americans who support escalating the war in Iraq by adding at least 20,000 additional U.S. forces, according to a CNN poll.
Australia, the only major industrialized country other than the U.S. to reject the Kyoto Protocol, is facing its worst drought in 1000 years. As ClimateProgress notes, global warming “has also taken its toll on the economy, significantly slowing Australia’s growth since so much of the country’s GDP relies on agriculture.”
Allen Iverson will head to Denver in exchange for Andre Miller, Joe Smith (and his expiring contract), and the Nuggets’ two first-round draft picks in 2007, though if I’m reading this right they’re not likely to be especially high draft picks. Obviously, this deal has one kind of meaning for the duration of ‘Melo’s suspension, when Iverson will be something like his replacement, and another meaning when they’re playing alongside each other.
Obviously, I checked, and Iverson’s a somewhat more efficient shooter than Miller (though a significantly worse rebounder) so there you have it. On a slightly skeptical note, the obvious flaw in the pre-trade Denver offense was a lack of three point shooting, which Iverson doesn’t really address. From the standpoint of someone who likes the Nuggets’ unorthodox approach to the game, however, this would seem to make Denver more Denver than after — fast-paced, slashing, etc. One query is whether Karl will have the stones to try an ultra-small Iverson-Boykins back court at all. I dunno. Have at it. Does this make Denver a contender?
UPDATE: I guess I forgot to remark on Philly getting so little in exchange. Presumably Denver will make the playoffs with this post-trade roster and the other pick Philly’s getting is from Dallas if I understand correctly, so it’s not as if the Sixers have positioned themselves to put Greg Oden, Joakim Noah, and Kevin Durant alongside Miller next year. Then again, they were sort of backed into a corner.