Glenn Reynolds once again busts out the passive voice stab-in-the-back. Note also the hilarious idea that something might happen “if things go badly in Iraq” as if at the moment everything’s going swimmingly.
But going from coal to fuel is viewed, said the Center for American Progress’s Joe Romm, as “phenomenally expensive, and using a huge amount of water and releasing an enormous amount of greenhouse gases.”
The Politico gets the story right: If you’re going to capture and store carbon, you should make zero-carbon electricity, not high-carbon diesel fuel.
Former chief judge of the FISA Court Royce Lamberth “took a swipe Saturday at the administration’s recently halted domestic spying program”:
Lamberth declined to say whether he believes the National Security Agency’s wiretap program was illegal.
But he said he has “never seen a better way” to conduct domestic spying than under the national security court created by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The court secretly approves warrants for wiretaps and searches in counterterrorism and espionage investigations.
“I’ve seen a proposal for a worse way,” Lamberth said. “That’s what the president did with the NSA program.”
Backing him up, the Cambridge academic Priyamvada Gopal has jeered that Rushdie thinks “humane values, tolerance and freedom are fundamentally Western ideas.”
Even here, though, if you go back to Gopal’s original piece in context, his argument isn’t an apologia for the fatwa against Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses. Rather, Gopal’s argument is that that Rushdie, the one who believed “It was necessary to critique tyrannical forces in both west and non-west, to recognise them as twinned and to pronounce a plague on both their houses” has sold out. Now, “Vociferously supporting the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq on “humane” grounds, condemning criticism of the war on terror as ‘petulant anti-Americanism’ and above all, aligning tyranny and violence solely with Islam, Rushdie has abdicated his own understanding of the novelist’s task as ‘giving the lie to official facts.’”
On the left, but not fashionable academics, Hari also has the goods on George Galloway and Lord Ahmed.
In a comprehensive report this week, Rolling Stone magazine investigates the Bush administration’s “secret campaign to deny global warming.” The article documents the administration’s repeated attempts to use “cooked intelligence,” stay beholden to big industry interests, and stifle internal dissent on climate change.
The report highlights Dick Cheney’s surreptitious role in developing Bush’s pro-industry climate agenda, arguing Cheney took “full advantage of the president’s cluelessness” on climate change. Rolling Stone argues Bush played along with Cheney’s arm-twisting, which culminated most recently in his decision to bypass the G8 climate resolution. Some hey highlights from the article:
Cheney personally stalled Bush’s campaign pledge to regulate global warming:
In September 2000, Bush pledged to place caps on carbon emissions. In response, Cheney armed the White House Committee on Environmental Quality with industry heavyweights. Thereafter, “a CEQ memo concluded Bush’s promise to regulate CO2 ‘did not fully reflect the president’s position’ and that ‘it would be premature at this time to propose any specific policy or approach aimed at addressing global warming.’” The authors stated that “the current state of scientific knowledge about causes of and solutions to global warming is inconclusive.”
Cheney appointee dismissed administration’s own warnings of global warming:
A 2002 Environmental Protection Agency report detailed “far-reaching effects that global warming will inflict” and “for the first time mostly blames human actions for recent global warming.” In response, a “horrified” Cheney appointee, Philip Cooney, wrote a letter to the New York Times “denying” that the paper marked any shift in Bush’s stance.
The letter written by Cooney and edited by Karl Rove – insisted that Bush’s climate change policy “reinforces” the “significant scientific uncertainties” present in climate change science. Soon after, Bush publicly dismissed the EPA report, saying it had been “put out by the bureaucracy.”
Cheney stovepiped disreputable climate change studies denying global warming:
“The most egregious example of cooked intelligence” occurred when Cooney promoted a study “which purported to show that the twentieth century was not unusually warm,” authored by a group funded by Exxon-Mobil. The paper was considered “fundamentally flawed and should never have been published,” according to the journal’s editors.
“The study gave Cheney’s office the quasi-plausible refutation of climate science it was waiting for…the administration continues to hold up the discredited study as a counterweight to the IPCC‘s scientific, peer-reviewed findings on global warming.” Testifying before Congress in March 2007, White House science adviser Jim Connaughton hailed the study as a “new and major piece of science.”
Despite Cheney derailing Bush’s own campaign promises, the report makes clear that the president has done nothing to decrease the influence of an official who, as recently as February 2007, stated “there does not appear to be a consensus” that global warming is caused by man.
Next week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will make his first-ever visit to Seattle as attorney general. While there, he will deliver a 45-minute speech “on the Justice Department’s efforts to protect intellectual property and combat cybercrime.”
The speech, which is free and open to the public, was organized by TechNet Northwest. It is also being sponsored and promoted by the most prominent creationism advocacy organization in the country: the Discovery Institute.
One of the Institute’s main goals is to replace evolutionary science in public schools with “intelligent design”:
The Discovery Institute has quietly positioned itself as the most effective and politically savvy group pushing a religious agenda in America’s public school science classes. [...]
The Institute enthusiastically endorses what law professor and ID champion Philip Johnson calls the “wedge” strategy. The plan is straightforward: use intelligent design as a wedge to undermine evolution with scientific-sounding arguments and thereby advance a conservative religious-political agenda.
The institute’s main financial backer, savings and loan heir Howard Ahmanson, spent 20 years on the board of the Chalcedon Foundation, “a theocratic outfit that advocates the replacement of American civil law with biblical law.”
Discovery’s attacks on evolution have been discredited by leading scientists. The National Academy of Sciences, “the nation’s most prestigious scientific organization,” declares evolution “one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have.” President Bush’s science adviser John Marburger calls it “the cornerstone of modern biology.”
While it’s unclear what interest the Institue has in promoting a Gonzales speech on intellectual property rights and cybercrime, there’s no doubt that they would like to curry his favor in order to get “the Justice Department to support legal efforts to change” public school curriculum to include “intelligent design.”
Wall Street Journal (subs. req’d): Democrats Achieve “Sweeping” Energy Legislation. “The Senate, voting 65-27, approved sweeping energy legislation that would increase fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles, provide tax incentives for development of alternative fuels and require far greater use of ethanol and other so-called renewable automotive fuels…The measure was on hold for hours last night as supporters rounded up senators, many of whom had already left their Capitol offices for the day. Early in the evening, senators on a quick voice vote approved higher automobile fuel-economy standards, an important step toward the first increases in more than two decades and a major defeat for
New York Times: Democrats fight off push by car manufacturers, achieve victory. “The Senate passed a broad energy bill late Thursday that would, among other things, require the first big increase in fuel mileage requirements for passenger cars in more than two decades. The vote, 65 to 27, was a major defeat for car manufacturers, which had fought for a much smaller increase in fuel economy standards and is expected to keep fighting as the House takes up the issue.”
Jim Henley takes a closer look at Mitt Romney’s PowerPoint of Terror and the results aren’t very pretty. It turns out, for example, that Switzerland isn’t under assault by terror groups looking to restore the Caliphate and “defeat the Modernity.”
I don’t understand this either.
I see where John Edwards’ defenders against yesterday’s New York Times story on his anti-poverty foundation — see Ezra Klein and Steven White are coming from — there’s nothing very scandalous here. In particular, there’s nothing at all here that’s scandalous if you’re an even mildly cynical political sophisticate, since it was always clear if you were paying attention that Edwards’ outfit existed, in part, to test the viability of a 2008 presidential bid.
The story does, however, highlight that the flipside of the Edwards campaign’s heavy focus on policy has been that it’s been unusually light on narrative. Edwards standard pitch doesn’t much of a story about his personal and political evolution over the past three or four years which is a situation that sets himself up for various charges of being a phony. Most people I know — myself included — don’t really care about “authenticity” in this sense and are much more interested in the policy agenda Edwards has adopted than the precise question of why he’s adopted it. But, of course, politics doesn’t work that way and lots of people do want at least a veneer of authenticity. This strikes me as a problem that’s pretty easy to address, but it’ll have to be addressed.