On Fox News today, Time’s Mark Halperin said, “The President behind the scenes has told people for months that he thought McCain would be the nominee. Even during some of those dark periods he still thought he could win. And also that McCain would be the best to carry forth his agenda.” Watch it:
The heck with Congress’ big stimulus bill. The way to get the country out of recession — and most people think we’re in one — is to get the country out of Iraq, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.
[J]ust 19 percent of the people surveyed said they planned to go out and spend the money [from the rebate checks in the economic stimulus package]; 45 percent said they’d use it to pay bills. And nearly half said what the government really should do is get out of Iraq.
Forty-eight percent said a pullout would help fix the country’s economic problems “a great deal,” and an additional 20 percent said it would help at least somewhat. Some 43 percent said increasing government spending on health care, education and housing programs would help a great deal; 36 percent said cutting taxes.
Dave Roberts has questions about John McCain and the environment:
Will the media learn from its mistake, or will it give the candidates another free pass on climate? If it does look a little closer, it will find that McCain is no green champion (more on that in a subsequent post). It might even force McCain to put or shut up on this issue — while voters who care about it still have a chance to act on their convictions.
Easy answer: free pass.
But to move beyond media-bashing, one reason George W. Bush was able to get away with climate flim-flam so easily in 2000, was that Al Gore didn’t seriously try to make an issue out of this. His advisors thought they had good reasons to not make a big issue out of global warming. I think they were wrong, but their argument isn’t crazy. And right or wrong, the point is that they had a deliberate strategy. The strategy had some benefits, but it also had some costs. And one cost is that it’s much easier for your opponent to get away with flim-flam when you don’t focus on the issue in question. It would be nice for the media to just kind of do politicians’ job for them, but it doesn’t work like that. When the leading members of the Democratic Party didn’t make a big deal out of the administration’s bogus intelligence claims in 2002, the press didn’t make a big deal out of it either. If the candidate doesn’t make a big deal out of the phoniness of McCain’s environmental agenda, neither will TV news. That’s life.
In remarks yesterday to CPAC, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attacked Democrats for allegedly not recognizing “the threat posed by an Iran with nuclear ambitions,” claiming to know that Iran is pledging to “possess the weapons to advance their malevolent ambitions.”
Speaking at CPAC today, notorious Iran war hawk John Bolton emphasized his support for McCain, saying McCain proved he is “stronger” than the Bush administration with the senator’s statement on Iran. Bolton claims Bush is too “moderate” and has a foreign policy in “freefall” because he has yet to bomb Iran:
I think Senator McCain’s statement here yesterday on how he would handle the Iranian program is stronger than the current Bush administration policy. And thank goodness, because the Bush administration policy now lies on the ocean floor. … I didn’t think the policy the administration was pursuing was robust enough.
Echoing Bolton, this morning, McCain revealed that he was “skeptical” of the recent National Intelligence Estimate, which said that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons production in 2003. “I continue to worry about…Persian domination of the region,” he said.
Bolton also revealed today that McCain covertly pushed his nomination to the United Nations — “a nomination that was held up in Congress over Bolton’s controversial anti-UN statements and policies”:
He was very active behind the scenes…He thought I was the type of ambassador that ought to represent the United States at the United Nations.
John McCain: more hawkish than Bush on Iraq and Iran.
If you only buy one foreign policy book this year, it should obviously be Heads in the Sand by a talented young writer with whom I’m acquainted. But if you buy a second, you could do a lot worse than A.J. Rosmiller’s Still Broken: A Recruit’s Inside Account of Intelligence Failure From Baghdad to the Pentagon. You’ve got some memoir, some policy analysis, and even a touch of action-adventure thrills.
It shows on both a micro and a macro level in what bad shape we are, intelligence-wise. The system doesn’t work, and good intelligence product isn’t getting into the right hands and being acted on in the right way. But what’s more, the system’s driving smart, talented, patriotic, and knowledgeable people right out of the system. AJ’s writing books and blog posts (and going to law school) instead of still working in the IC in part because it’s the kind of screwed-up place that’s driving the best people away rather than pulling them in. So to repeat, pre-order Heads in the Sand but it won’t come for a while, so while you wait pick up a copy of Still Broken (available Tuesday!) and read that.
I haven’t read the book — who has time? Oh, but TV or a YouTube video — well, that’s another matter:
This Sunday, February 10th at 8pm EST on the National Geographic Channel, “Six Degrees Could Change The World,” which offers a hypothetical look at how the world might change, degree by degree, if we don’t curtail our emissions:
At One Degree, the world will experience a new American desert, massive coral bleaching, and lost Australian rainforests.
At Two Degrees, oceanic acidity will rise drastically, India will begin to face extreme Monsoon seasons, and water shortages will spell trouble in China and South America.
At Three Degrees, the Arctic will face 80% ice loss, New York City suffers from flooding, and Southern California will be constantly at risk for fires.
[Actually, the Arctic is already toast unless we reduce temperatures from current levels. And what the heck does he think has been going Southern California in recent years already. As for NYC flooding, that is of a much longer timescale than the other two, so it is confusing to lump them together.]
Ann Coulter is currently speaking to the Young America’s Foundation at the Conservative Political Action Conference, even though organizers refused to “officially” invite her this year. During her speech last year, she directed an anti-gay slur at John Edwards. In the first five minutes of her address today, Coulter again made a similar joke:
CROWD: (Applause) We love you Ann!
COULTER: I should give you an Edwards joke for that. [...]
Hillary wanted [to change her campaign song to] “I am woman,” but it was already taken by Edwards.
A few moments later, Coulter said that the best thing that had ever happened to the campaign of “B. Hussein Obama” was when he was born “half black.”
UPDATE: Media Matters has the video.
WLBT in Mississippi reports that former senator Trent Lott “may go to work as a network political consultant. Lott says he’s being courted by CNN and FOX to do political analysis.” Lott was also recently a guest on MSNBC’s Hardball, discussing his lucrative new lobbying career.
David Shuster: “doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?”
Me: No, it doesn’t seem like that at all. It seems like Hillary Clinton’s adult daughter is campaigning for her in much the way you would expect.
ClimateScienceWatch posted a brief item with a pointer to a one hour lecture titled The American Denial of Global Warming (on youtube). It is well worth watching.
Naomi Oreskes, PhD. is a Historian of Science at UC San Diego. Her recent research has been on the global warming disinformation campaign, and her lecture explains what happened and why.
Professor Oreskes has a B.S. in mining geology and a PhD in the History of Science from Stanford. She is the author of The Rejection of Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science and other books. By researching, writing, and lecturing on the global warming disinformation campaign she is making a valuable contribution to the history of science. She will become the Provost of Sixth College at UC San Diego in July.
The first part of her lecture oulines the history of climate science research (going back to 1850), and the unpoliticized acceptance thereof that lasted until the 1990s. The second part describes the George C. Marshall Institute’s role in creating confusion and politicizing the issue, using tactics from the cigarette wars.
John Mashey has created a guide to the Oreskes lecture to help find specific sections: