In a surprise move, looks like Baron Davis is going to sign with the LA Clippers. My understanding is that this means Elton Brand would have to take a small paycut for the Clippers to resign him, but if they can work out a deal that’s a pretty damn solid inside-outside duo.
Last night, CNN’s Larry King Live stacked its show with oil, coal, and nuclear apologists. One of the show’s guests — prominent libertarian pundit John Stossel — said of Big Oil: “I think these oil companies are heroes.” Watch it:
The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson reveals CNN’s pro-energy industry bias.
Last month, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) said on the House floor, “We ought to be saying the energy companies are our friends.”
The Crypt reports that the video of an appearance by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on the Fox Business Network has gone viral on YouTube, attracting over 270,000 views and earning a spot on the site’s “most viewed” list. In the interview, Reid emphatically states, “Coal makes us sick.” Watch it:
Conservatives are “sending around the video as part of an effort to make Democrats appear out of touch on the need to produce more energy and drill more oil wells.” But of course, Reid is telling the obvious truth — coal is dirty. According to the American Lung Association, 24,000 people a year die prematurely because of pollution from coal-fired power plants. And every year 38,000 heart attacks, 12,000 hospital admissions and an additional 550,000 asthma attacks result from power plant pollution.
Just yesterday, a Georgia judge ruled that a proposed coal-fired plant could not be built in the state unless its carbon dioxide emissions are limited.
In a speech before the National Sheriffs’ Association today, John McCain tried to pin the Supreme Court’s decision on child rapists to Barack Obama, even though Obama has said he disagreed with the decision. McCain’s argument was essentially that Obama’s ideal Supreme Court justice would take the position that Obama disagrees with:
MCCAIN: My opponent may not care for this particular decision, but it was exactly the kind of opinion we could expect from an Obama Court.
McCain has said his “model” Supreme Court justices are John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Is McCain is now willing to adopt all these right-wing justices’ opinions as his own? Roberts and Alito are at odds with McCain on the only two important issues where he claims to break with the right-wing:
– Environment: McCain has stated he wants to tackle global warming. In Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the court ruled that the EPA must reconsider its decision not to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants. The case was decided 5-4, with Roberts and Alito dissenting.
– Campaign Finance: McCain’s name is on the most important campaign finance law in 30 years. But in Davis v. Federal Election Commission (FEC), the court overturned the ‘millionaire’ amendment to the campaign finance law McCain-Feingold. The case was decided 5-4, with Roberts and Alito in the majority. The Alito opinion in Davis provides some hints that “major shifts in constitutional understands about campaign finance restrictions will follow from this new opinion.”
In short, McCain has made clear he would appoint nominees at odds with two of the central positions he claims to take — two positions that are at the core of McCain’s claim to be a “moderate.”
A report by the Center for American Progress outlines other areas where a new appointee could signal a great shift in the court.
– Lee Fang
I’m not going to blog anything at the moment on the panel Ross moderate on “is higher education for everyone” since I think there’s going to be embeddable video soon and I’ll save my remarks for then. That said, I found it kind of hilarious that amidst the opulence of the festival and the high-tech wonder of multiple digital video cameras recording the proceedings was a . . . cassette tape deck, a technology that I thought had been reconciled to the ash-heap of history some time ago.
Photo by Matthew Yglesias, available under a Creative Commons license
Conservative Radio Host: On Failed Hunt For Bin Laden, McCain Represents ‘Continuation Of Bush Policy’
Yesterday, conservative radio host Michael Smerconish sat in for Bill O’Reilly to host the Radio Factor. He opened the show by discussing yesterday’s front-page New York Times story detailing “how the White House shifted its sights, beginning in 2002, from counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to preparations for the war in Iraq.”
Smerconish ripped into Bush for the “national disgrace” of leaving the deaths of September 11, 2001, unresolved. Then he declared Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to be “representative of a continuation of the current Bush policy” — a fact that may present “a break point” between himself and the Republican party in the upcoming election:
To the extent that John McCain is representative of a continuation of the current Bush policy, I think it’s a huge impediment to his campaign for President of the United States. And I told him so. My feelings about this issue are so strenuous, are so strong, that it may represent a break point between yours truly and the Republican party in terms of the candidate on the top of the ticket. … I have never voted for a Democrat for President. I could do it on the strength of this issue alone because of my disagreement with the Administration and my fear that John McCain represents more of the same.
Smerconish warned his listeners, “I’m going to tell you something else many of you are not going to want to hear,” namely, “We’ve squandered resources in Iraq.” He added, “To my ear John McCain represents more of the same on this issue.” Listen to it:
The right-wing is already outraged over Smerconish’s apostasy. Newsbusters derided his indication that he may vote for a Democrat, asking “what kind of a Republican would consider voting for someone to the left of Barbara Boxer on abortion,” and “who would leave the Iraqi people to the tender mercies of al Qaeda…?”
When he interviewed McCain earlier this month, Smerconish told him his “vote was in play.”
Transcript: Read more
Hersh: Cheney ‘Privately’ Says He Prefers U.S. — Not Israel — Strike Iran Because ‘We’ll Get Blamed Anyway’
Earlier this week, in an article called “Preparing the Battlefield,” the New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh reported that late last year, “Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran.” On MSNBC today, Andrea Mitchell asked Hersh if the U.S. was “planning military action” against Iran or “planning to support Israeli military action?”
“Oh, you know, how the hell do I know,” replied Hersh. “What I can tell you is we’re loaded for bear. And we’ve been looking at it for three years.” He then said that Vice President Dick Cheney “privately” is against an Israeli attack because the U.S. will “be blamed anyway”:
HERSH: If Israel goes — I’ll tell you what Cheney’s says privately, and whether or not you, how I know this is, — what he says privately is, “we can’t let Israel go because, first of all, they don’t have the firepower, we do. We have much more firepower. And secondly, if they go, we’ll be blamed anyway.”
Asked by Mitchell if that meant Cheney wanted the U.S. involved, Hersh replied, “there you go.” Watch it:
Though Hersh says Cheney only conveys this view “privately,” he has made a similar argument at least once before in public. On Jan. 20, 2005, Cheney went on the “Imus in the Morning” show and discussed another Hersh article about U.S. war posture towards Iran.
“Why don’t we make Israel do it?” asked Imus. “We don’t want a war in the Middle East, if we can avoid it,” replied Cheney. But, he said, “Israel might do it without being asked,” leaving the world to clean up “the diplomatic mess afterwards”:
IMUS: Why don’t we make Israel do it?
CHENEY: Well, one of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked, that if, in fact, the Israelis became convinced the Iranians had significant nuclear capability, given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards.
Asked by Mitchell if it was “possible this would happen before the election,” Hersh said he didn’t think so, but that what he thinks “means nothing” because “this could happen tomorrow, the president could have a bad hair day and say, ‘to hell with it, let’s go.’”
Transcript: Read more
Continuing with my Shelby Steele blogging, he went into what I thought was a really unfair attack on Barack Obama, drawing an invidious comparison between Obama and John McCain and Hillary Clinton on the grounds that we don’t really know who he is. Instead, says Steele, Obama is running on a vague sense that he’s a talented politician and a black guy. At first I thought he was going to take this in an unverifiably airy direction, but then he specifically said of McCain that if he’s elected “we know what road that guy’s going to go down” whereas we don’t know the same for Obama.
Now of course it’s possible — likely, even — that many Americans don’t know what road Obama would go down as president. But he’s unveiled a fairly detailed policy record, and assembled a fairly consistent record in public life. It’s John McCain, by contrast, who was against the Bush tax cuts before he was against them it’s McCain who sponsored an immigration reform bill and then said he would have written against it. It’s McCain who wants credit for tackling climate change but opposes all legislation aimed at curbing carbon emissions. It’s McCain who’s trying to run on an appealing biography while leaving cloudy impressions of his policy agenda.
Peter Scoblic points out that the Non-Proliferation Treaty is 40 years old today and argues that it’s more vital today than ever before. I agree.
In his congressional testimony last week, former Justice Department official and torture architect John Yoo sought to discredit torture critic Philippe Sands by suggesting that Sands had lied to a House subcommittee about interviewing him. In fact, Sands never made any such claim. Today, MoJo blog reports that Sands has written a letter to Yoo in an “attempt to clear the air”:
I have always been careful to be as accurate as I can, and I do not believe that I indicated to the Sub-Committee that I had interviewed you for the book. … It does not indicate that I interviewed you for the book, and there is no other point in my testimony in which I so indicated. [...]
I hope you will forgive me for having troubled you with this point. I would not have done so but for the fact that Representative King appears to have concluded that I made “a false statement” to the Committee, and your exchange with him has caused me to receive a number of enquiries by email, raising issues of integrity or veracity.
Sands asks Yoo to “clear up the misperception” with Rep. Steven King (R-IA), who said that Sands’s allegedly false statement cast doubt on the claims in his book.