Looks like Alberto Gonzalez is on the way out. Among the potential replacements “George J. Terwilliger III, a former deputy attorney general and acting attorney general who was a leader of Bush’s legal team during the Florida election recount.” I hope he doesn’t get the nomination, and I hope if he does get the nomination, the confirmation process is smooth. I, for one, absolutely refuse to be placed in a situation where I may need to speak the words “George J. Terwilliger III” out loud in a professional context. If the man gets himself a less ridiculous name, he may have a bright future in politics.
Al Gore is testifying on Capitol Hill twice on Wednesday–before John Dingell’s House Energy and Commerce Committee and Barbara Boxer’s Senate Environment Committee. According to the Drudge Report (link
may only be was temporary),
Proposed questions for Gore, which are circulating behind-the-scenes, have been obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT — question that could lead Gore scrambling for answers!
Here are the questions, which would not cause a fifth grader to scramble, but I am flattered to make the list:
Mr. Gore: You have said several times that we have 10 years to act to stave off global warming. Was that 10 years from the first time you said that or 10 years from now? We just wanted to get a firm date from you that we can hold you to.
ANSWER: We have 10 years from NOW to start acting, if we are to avoid catastrophic warming. For two decades I have been saying we need to act, but it is only because we have delayed for so long that we now have only 10 years to start acting.
Mr. Gore: Joseph Romm, the executive director for the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, has said we must build 700 large nuclear plants to stave off climate change. Where do you stand on the need for nuclear energy?
ANSWER: If you have read Dr. Romm’s book, Hell and High Water, then you know he writes:
“The nation needs to put in place mandatory carbon dioxide controls. If a significant price for carbon makes nuclear attractive to utilities and financiers, and if the plants meet the necessary safety and environmental codes, and if the country can finally agree on a place to put the nuclear waste, then new nuclear plants may well make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in this country.”
Compared to most Americans, Californians emit under one third the carbon dioxide emissions per kilowatt-hour consumed while paying the same annual bill, and they do so while getting a lower share of their power from nuclear energy. “That’s why federal electricity policy should focus on establishing a price for carbon dioxide, promoting energy-efficiency, cogeneration, and renewable energy, and accelerating coal gasification together with carbon capture and storage. Those strategies can take us as far as we need to go on emissions reductions in the utility sector for the next few decades.”
That view seems entirely reasonable to me.
Mr. Gore: Do you think the earth is significantly overpopulated and that is a major contributor to your view of climate change. (If yes, what do you think is a sustainable population for the planet?)
Mr. Gore: How can you continue to claim that global warming on Earth is primarily caused by mankind when other planets (Mars, Jupiter and Pluto) with no confirmed life forms and certainly no man-made industrial greenhouse gas emissions also show signs of global warming? Wouldn’t it make more sense that the sun is responsible for warming since it is the common denominator?
The question is not factually based.
ABC News reports:
New e-mails released this evening by the Justice Department reveal the depth of White House involvement in the discussions to fire eight U.S. attorneys last year. The thousands of pages of e-mails suggest the White House was involved in the plan from the beginning.
The e-mails detail conversations about attorneys targeted for dismissal. There are no e-mails from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who reportedly does not use e-mail, though the Justice Department says messages show some indication that Gonzales’ former chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, kept the attorney general apprised.
The House Judiciary Committee website is likely to have some of the emails in PDF form available tonight.
UPDATE: U.S. News reports: “One day after Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty testified on Capitol Hill about the reasons eight U.S. attorneys were summarily fired, a Justice Department spokesman…sent an E-mail to Gonzales’ chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, and spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos saying Gonzales was unhappy with McNulty’s testimony regarding why U.S. attorney Bud Cummins of Arkansas had been let go. That E-mail is what is causing the most concern at the Justice Department.” During his hearing, McNulty had agreed that Cummins was fired even though “he had done nothing wrong” and was simply making way for Rove protege Tim Griffin.
UPDATE II: Justice Dept. official: “You have no idea how bad it is here.“
Today on MSNBC, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) declared that he is searching for a political party that is “very strong and muscular on foreign and defense policy.” Anchor Nora O’Donnell responded, “But, Senator, arguably there’s not one Democratic presidential candidate that is espousing that particular position, right?” Lieberman said, “So far, you’re right.” Watch it:
All of the current Democratic presidential candidates want to sharply reduce or eliminate the U.S. presence in Iraq. Even Republican candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and potential candidate Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) support pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. That is strong and muscular — redeployment will refocus America’s security posture on combating global terrorist networks and the war in Afghanistan. It will restore our military and address the current readiness crisis. It will take away a prime rallying cry for extremists, shore up America’s image abroad, and free up billions of dollars for critical homeland security and domestic needs.
The problem is that Lieberman doesn’t want a strong foreign policy. He wants a belligerent one.
Transcript: Read more
Michael Kinsley is a brilliant writer who, unfortunately, has spawning about four dozen unbearable second-rate imitators. Sometimes, though, it’s like he’s playing a second-rate imitator of himself: “I’m sorry, but I just can’t see how firing eight can be heinous but firing 93 is perfectly OK. Nor can I see—if the issue is neutral justice—how firing someone from your own party is worse than firing someone from the other party.” I can’t imagine that Kinsley can’t actually see the difference here. The issue, obviously, isn’t the crude quantity of firings, but the nature of the firings.
and Gonzales’ deputy Paul McNulty is almost certain to resign, The Politico reports:
Republican officials operating at the behest of the White House have begun seeking a possible successor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose support among GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has collapsed…
Among the names floated Monday by administration officials are Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and White House anti-terrorism coordinator Frances Townsend. Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson is a White House prospect. So is former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson, but sources were unsure whether he would want the job.
Republican sources also disclosed that it is now a virtual certainty that Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty, whose incomplete and inaccurate congressional testimony about the prosecutors helped precipitate the crisis, will also resign shortly. Officials were debating whether Gonzales and McNulty should depart at the same time or whether McNulty should go a day or two after Gonzales.
UPDATE: Fox News’ Major Garrett reports: “Several GOP [congressional] sources told Fox tonight: Gonzales is the President’s friend and his problem, and that they will waste no political capital defending him.”
Climate change is a likely contributer to phenomenal megafires that are “impossible to extinguish short of rain or divine intervention” and that have only really appeared in the last few years.
While they have burned all over the globe, Australia has paid particular attention. For years, Australia has experienced severe drought that has forced them to rethink their water management and policies (or lack thereof) addressing global warming. Now, they have to rethink how they have historically handled wildfires.
One official fears that may mean breaking policies intended to protect the forests. Certainly, as global warming intensifies and impacts more, environmental solutions will have to get creative.
Take, for example, the latest from NOAA: Incident Meteorologists who have traveled to support the Australian Bureau of Meteorology fight against the wildfires, which have killed at least a dozen people and hundreds of farm animals.
It appears as though we are willing to forge an international partnership to treat the symptoms. Now we must do the same to treat the disease.
Today on his Fox News show, host Neil Cavuto did a segment on “something you are not hearing” — how many Iraqis are “thanking” the United States for “liberating” Iraq:
Cavuto’s segment and his guests do not represent the majority of Iraqis. According to a new BBC/ABC News poll, just 18 percent of Iraqis now have confidence in the U.S.-led coalition troops and nearly 90 percent “say they live in fear that the violence ravaging their country will strike themselves and the people with whom they live.” Other poll highlights:
“was a disaster.” FAIR documents “some of the worst moments in journalism, from the fall of 2002 and into the early weeks of the Iraq War.” A few highlights from the report:
September 8, 2002
–Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller co-author the article “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts” on the front page of the New York Times.
October 9, 2002
–Kenneth Pollack, the influential and heavily cited war advocate at the Brookings Institution, appears on the Oprah show to discuss the impending war. “Does he have the ability to attack us here in the United States?” Oprah Winfrey asks. “He certainly does,” Pollack explains.
December 12, 2002
–The Washington Post runs a front-page article by Barton Gellman headlined, “U.S. Suspects Al-Qaeda Got Nerve Agent From Iraqis; Analysts: Chemical May Be VX, and Was Smuggled Via Turkey.”
February 25, 2003
–MSNBC cancels Donahue, its top-rated show and a rare oasis of war skepticism in the mainstream media.
March 18, 2003
–Bill O’Reilly makes a promise on ABC’s Good Morning America: “If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it’s clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush Administration again, all right?”
President Bush originally had no plans to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war today. But at the last minute, he cobbled together a quick speech — stressing the “good progress” being made in Iraq and warning that there will still be “bad days” ahead — that ended up being nothing more than a recycling of old talking points.
On good days, bad days:
March 19, 2007: “There will be good days, and there will be bad days ahead.” [Link]
March 19, 2006:Dec. 7, 2005: “There will be good days and there will be bad days.” [Link] March 19, 2004:Sept. 25, 2004: “There will be good days and there will be difficult days.” [Link]
March 19, 2007: “There’s been good progress.” [Link]
March 19, 2006: “I’m encouraged by the progress.” [Link]
March 19, 2005: “Iraq’s progress toward political freedom has opened a new phase of our work there.” [Link]
Bush continues to stay the course on talking points.
(HT: Hotline Last Call)