On Tuesday, the utility Delmarva announced a 25-year contract with Bluewater Wind Delaware, a subsidiary of the Babcock & Brown, to purchase 200 megawatts of power from a wind farm that would be constructed 11.5 miles in the Atlantic off Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach. First power is expected in 2012. The contract locks in the price Delmarva will pay per kilowatt-hour. Bluewater has previously built offshore energy near Denmark.
Speaking today on the Senate floor in favor of the Foreign Service Intelligence Act legislation, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) compared critics of the bill — which include Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV), Chris Dodd (D-CT), and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), among others — to deluded conspiracy theorists. Hatch mocked the what he called “onerous oversight provisions” included in the bill, and said those who raise the specter of unchecked executive wiretapping power “feed the delusions of those who wear tin foil hats around their house and think that 9/11 was an inside job.” Watch it:
Those “onerous” oversight provisions Hatch maligns? A ban on “reverse targeting” of Americans and a new requirement of probable cause for surveillance of Americans abroad.
Today on his radio show, CNN host Glenn Beck expressed his disdain of the recent Supreme Court ruling granting terror suspects the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts, exclaiming that if he were President, he would do away with detaining and prosecuting terrorism suspects altogether. Instead, a President Beck would “shoot them all in the head [if] we think that they are against us.”
BECK: We’re going to shoot them all in the head. If we think that they are against us, we’re going to shoot them and kill them, period. Because that’s the only thing we’ve got going for us is we can put them away and get information. If we can’t put them away and they’re going to use our court system, kill them.
If Beck were President since 9/11, he would have killed many innocent people. Here are some of those held in Guantanamo who have either been cleared of charges or were mistakenly detained. For example:
– The “Tipton Three” who were forced into false confessions and later released.
– Huzaifa Parhat, an ethnic Uighur Chinese national swept up by the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, who was improperly classified as an “enemy combatant.” Parhat has been recommended for release by U.S. officials, while a military tribunal found no evidence that Parhat was a member of any radical group.
– Over 30 former Guantanamo detainees who have already been released.
Not only would such a policy undoubtedly kill innocents, but as former Navy general counsel Alberto Mora has said, the belligerent treatment of terror suspects increases the recruitment of “insurgent fighters into combat.”
– Lee Fang
National Intelligence Council (NIC) chairman Thomas Fingar today told Congress that global warming is expected to “aggravate existing problems such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership and weak political institutions” around the world, which “could increase the pool of potential recruits into terrorist activity.” Fingar’s remarks were based on a new NIC report on the topic, which conservative House members blasted as “a waste of time.”
If you, like me, have ever wondered where all those “Democratic strategist” and “Republican strategist” types who show up on cable networks come from, you won’t want to miss Daniel Libit’s Politico article on the subject. Basically, as you might suspect the whole thing is basically just made-up but all the relevant people are happy enough with the system so it persists.
Belle Waring returns to the United States from Singapore where she lives:
Boy, but America’s infrastructure looks baaad, people. And everything is dirty! The girls were like, what’s wrong with this bridge? (a metal bridge in Jersey leading from the Newark airport to the Holland Tunnel, I don’t know what it’s called). Old metal that’s just black with soot! And graffiti! Man, if I fully acclimatize to the level of cleanliness, safety, and well-built massive public investment projects of Singapore I’ll never be able to move home.
I believe it’s the Pulaski Skyway (pictured above). In part, a country like the United States just isn’t going to be able to compete infrastructure-wise with a newly-prosperous country like Singapore — we have a lot of stuff that’s oldish, but still usable, and shutting it down to fix or replace it would be extremely inconvenient. But it’s also the case that Singapore’s not spending 1 percent of GDP a year on a misguided effort to control Iraq. So, yes, we badly need a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank.
Photo by Flickr user Doc Searls used under a Creative Commons license
Today, Brave New Films launched a “Lieberman Must Go” petition drive. The campaign argues that, because Joe Lieberman has overtly supported and defended President Bush and John McCain’s key policies, he no longer deserves a chairmanship or leadership role in the Senate Democratic Caucus. Watch this video:
Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) unveiled the marketing slogan for his incoherent energy policy — the “Lexington Project.” Seven months ago, he promised he would unveil an energy strategy that “won’t be another grab bag of handouts to this or that industry and a full employment act for lobbyists.” With a campaign run by lobbyists, McCain now has broken that promise.
On November 5, 2007, on the campaign trail in Iowa before the presidential primaries, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) had to come up with an explanation to justify his vigorous opposition to federal subsidies for corn ethanol. He presented himself as ideologically opposed to government spending, saying that he was “proud of the conservative tradition that the government can sometimes best serve the interests of the American people by knowing when to stay out of their way.”
Praising himself for “straight talk” and “being honest,” McCain said he would eventually unveil an “energy strategy” that would break “our reliance on petro-dictators”:
– “I oppose subsidies.”
– “That strategy won’t be another grab bag of handouts to this or that industry and a full employment act for lobbyists.”
– “But it also means no rifle-shot tax breaks for big oil.”
– “It means no line items for hydrogen, no mandates for other renewable fuels, and no big-government debacles like the Dakotas Synfuels plant.”
– “I know that you have heard before that subsidies to oil will be eliminated, only to experience another disappointment.”
Seven months later, the Republican nomination sewn up, McCain has maintained his uncompromising opposition to corn ethanol — but nothing else. In the past few weeks, McCain has unveiled proposals that belie his “straight talk” about energy subsidies, mandates, big-government debacles, tax breaks, and industry handouts.
McCain’s energy plan now calls for a complex array of federal subsidies for nuclear power, coal, offshore oil drilling, low-emission vehicles, wind, hydro and solar power — a sorry parody of progressive policies. The plan calls for government-subsidized experimental coal plants, fuel mandates, and special tax breaks. The plan calls for massive new federal spending initiatives and new commissions to allocate emissions permits worth billions of dollars. In short, it’s exactly the kind of plan he told the voters of Ames, Iowa he would never, ever propose — and exactly the kind of plan he has no record of ever having worked to craft in his twenty-six years in Congress.
The LA Times writes about the Think City a small but functional electric car coming from a Norwegian company. This isn’t going to suit most Americans’ automotive desires, but I think it would be very promising in the European market where a lot of people like little cars that are well-suited to occasional trips through narrow urban streets and small parking spaces. Meanwhile, at least some Americans seem to be buying Smart Cars these days, which are comparable in size to the City, so you could see a niche market for this in the USA which would certainly count as a step in the right direction toward a better transportation future.
In a new Fortune magazine article, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) chief strategist Charlie Black claimed that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be “a big advantage” for their campaign. On Dennis Miller’s radio show today, former top McCain strategist Mike Murphy attempted to explain away the gaffe with a crude joke:
MURPHY: Well, he’s an old friend of mine, so I’ll defend him. I don’t know what happened. I think there must have been tremendous reporter cleavage involved or something.
MURPHY: Charlie got off his focus, he’s a good guy, he’s apologized for it.
In fact, the reporter who wrote the Fortune story was a man — editor at large David Whitford. Despite his friend’s attempts to explain away his mistake, Black has already admitted that his statement was wrong and “inappropriate.”
McCain has distanced himself from Black’s statements, but continues to stand by him. MoveOn is now calling on McCain to “fire Charlie Black once and for all.” Even Murphy, later in the interview, suggested that Black should step down if the story doesn’t go away: “I think he’s gotta look in the mirror and get out the old…sword and make a decision.”
Transcript: Read more