Fossil fuels have very volatile prices. Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, energy efficiency — not so much. So the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources should be holding a hearing on how the climate and clean energy bill — which accelerates the transition to clean energy sources that never run out and that stabilize the energy bills of American taxpayers — decreases voltality.
[Wilson] is an officer and a gentleman and everyone who knows him knows that. … Being a son of the South puts you in a different position when it comes to the Confederate flag. It means something entirely different to the people who have ancestors who fought in the Civil War on the south side of the Mason-Dixon line.
As a state legislator, Wilson was “one of only seven Republicans to go against their own party and vote to keep the Dixie Rebel flag flying over the South Carolina capitol.” Wilson has also been a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, described as a “source of increasingly virulent pro-Confederate, radical right propaganda.”
Rep. Steve King (R-TXIA) isn’t just defending Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) “you lie” outburst, he’s also standing behind Wilson’s decision to vote in favor of keeping the Confederate flag waving above South Carolina’s state Capitol. In an interview this morning on Fox News, King praised Wilson’s moral character and brushed off concerns about the racist connotations that many believe the Confederate flag imparts:
“He is an officer and a gentleman and everyone who knows him knows that…being a son of the South puts you in a different position when it comes to the Confederate flag. It means something entirely different to the people who have ancestors who fought in the Civil War on the south side of the Mason-Dixon line. So I think Maureen Dowd is trying to whip this up and I also know she’s trying to put race into it. I didn’t know what race she was talking about when I first read her line on that.”
It seems that King has forgotten that for many Americans, the Confederate flag represents a lot more than the “War of Northern Agression.” In fact, the decision to fly the Confederate flag over South Carolina’s Capitol was also infused with meaning. While other Southern states took down their rebel flags, an all-white South Carolina legislature fought and won to keep theirs waving above their statehouse as the Civil Rights movement picked up steam in 1962. In 2000, Wilson was one of the seven Republicans who voted to keep it there. During the 2000 fight, one of his fellow legislators — state senator Arthur Ravenel — referred to the NAACP as “the National Association of Retarded People” and later apologized to “retarded people” for associating them with the NAACP. The Confederate flag has since been moved to the Capitol lawn.
Wilson has also been a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, identified as a “source of increasingly virulent pro-Confederate, radical right propaganda.” Maureen Dowd cynically described Wilson as being part of a “loco fringe” that “clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president.”
“Across the country, Americans are experiencing first-hand the impacts of climate change, from growing pressure on water supplies to more intense droughts and fires to rampant bark beetle infestations,” said Salazar. “Because Interior manages one-fifth of our nation’s landmass and 1.7 billion acres on the Outer Continental Shelf it is imperative that we tackle these impacts of a failed and outdated energy policy. This secretarial order is another milestone in our continuing effort to change how Interior does business to respond to the energy and climate challenges of our time.”
The secretarial order signed today at Interior’s command center establishes a framework through which Interior bureaus will coordinate climate change science and resource management strategies. Under the framework:
Borzou Daragahi reports on Grand Ayatollah Ali Montazeri’s latest broadside against the Iranian regime, in which the country’s most prominent clerical dissident called on “senior Shiite Muslim clergy in the Iranian holy cities of Qom and Mashhad as well as the Iraqi shrine city of Najaf and beyond to speak out against the regime.”
In a statement issued today, [Montazeri] said that Iran had become a “military regime” not the Islamic government envisioned at time of the 1979 revolution.
He said it was his fellow clergymen’s “religious duty” to speak out against the the government’s abuses.
“We didn’t want a mere change in title and slogans while the same oppressions and violations of rights continue under the cover of Islamic government,” he said in the statement posted to his website.
The extent of clerical condemnation of the regime’s behavior in the wake of the June presidential elections, which have seriously undermined the government’s claims to uphold just Islamic principles, has been one of the most interesting and important aspects of the protests. Back in July, I spoke with Hamid Dabashi, professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, who stressed how significant it was, both in religious and constitutional terms, that “leading clerics have taken sides with the Green movement.” Because of Supreme Leader Khamenei’s relatively meager scholarly credentials, Dabashi said, he “is not even in position to prevent [other clerics] from passing judgment.” “Khamenei’s official position as Supreme Leader has no bearing on his junior position as a jurist,” said Dabashi. “He’s not in a position to disallow the clerical challenge to his authority.”
A key challenge for the Obama administration as it moves forward with its Iran engagement policy is how to create the political space for Iranians to continue to contest the regime while at the same time addressing the more immediate problems of Iran’s nuclear program and support for terrorism.
According to the data collected, the amount of money spent by national advertisers on Beck’s program per week was at its highest at approximately $1,060,000, for the week ending August 2, 2009. ColorOfChange.org launched their campaign at the end of that week and since then, 62 advertisers have distanced themselves from Beck. Data collected for the week ending September 6, 2009 shows Beck’s estimated ad revenue at $492,000, equal to a loss of $568,000.
“Fox News Channel has consistently claimed they haven’t lost revenue as advertisers abandon Glenn Beck, but the numbers prove otherwise,” said Color of Change Executive Director James Rucker. “Fox News Channel has a limited amount of ad positions. If 62 companies refuse to run ads on two of their 24 hours of programming, they are losing inventory.”
Last week, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly promoted the conspiracy theories of a weatherman who believes “the globe is actually cooling.” O’Reilly’s guest, Accuweather meteorologist Joe Bastardi, scoffed at the connection between global warming and wildfires in California. Bastardi — who has an undergraduate degree in meteorology from 1978 and no other academic credentials — went so far as to claim that “global cooling is actually a cause of drought in California”:
I’m gonna show you the facts over the last two years. California has been very, very dry. Why is that the case? Well, whenever the Pacific Ocean starts cooling, and the global temperatures start to cool, California gets dry. You see this ocean temperature presentation, all this cold water off California means the air sinks over top of California. When it sinks, it dries out, so global cooling is actually a cause of drought in California, which by the way is a dry climate naturally.
The upswelling of cold waters in the eastern Pacific, known as La Nina events (the opposite of El Nino events), is certainly a factor in California’s epic drought and unprecedented wildfires. However, what Bastardi fails to mention is that temperatures have also been unusually warm during the present drought, despite the cold La Nina airmass:
Bastardi’s claim of “global cooling” is completely unsubstantiated. Even with the upwelling of cold water during the La Nina cycle, average ocean temperatures during the “cool” years of 2006-2008 were higher than any year before 1997. It has been the warmest decade for both ocean and land temperatures in recorded history. This summer, the La Nina event was replaced by its counterpart, El Nino, and average sea surface temperatures are now at their highest in recorded history.
Bastardi also showed a graph he purported was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s forecast for global temperatures to “go up, up, up” against actual temperatures “over the last 10 years” supposedly “coming down”:
Fake IPCC Chart Claims ‘Global Cooling’
This graph is from a climate denier conspiracy website, The Next Ice Age Now, whose proprietor Robert Felix believes global warming is actually caused by “underwater volcanism.” The graph cites SPPI — the Science and Public Policy Institute, a fringe climate denier organization. Actual IPCC estimates find measured temperatures over the past decade to be well within the range of the forecasts. Furthermore, the Ice Age Now chart begins in 2001 — not “ten years ago. Because 1999 and 2000 were relatively cool years for this decade (though extremely warm historically), their inclusion in the denier chart would have ruined the “global cooling” claim. Bastardi, like other fringe deniers, is seeing patterns that aren’t there.
In July, O’Reilly mocked “hard core right-wingers who don’t believe in global warming even though the temperature shows that the earth has warmed in the last 30 years, three times faster than the previous hundred,” saying, “you don’t debate that.” Evidently, he’s changed his mind.
Standing proudly on-stage during the rally, FreedomWorks leader Matt Kibbe proclaimed that ABC News was reporting that 1 million to 1.5 million people were in attendance. However, ABC News quickly called Kibbe out for his lies:
At no time did ABC News, or its affiliates, report a number anywhere near as large. ABCNews.com reported an approximate figure of 60,000 to 70,000 protesters, attributed to the Washington, D.C., fire department. In its reports, ABC News Radio described the crowd as “tens of thousands.”
Kibbe also lied and said that the crowd stretched back to the Washington Monument, even though the crowd barely got past 3rd Street (the Washington Monument is at 15th Street). Kibbe’s lies were echoed by much of the right-wing community. Michelle Malkin dutifully enlarged the number of attendees even more, claiming 2,000,000 people were there. As Nate Silver has noted, “That’s not a twofold or threefold exaggeration — it’s roughly a thirtyfold exaggeration.” Conservatives on twitter distributed a fake picture of the rally showing the entire mall filled with people:
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who now competes with Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) as the most popular South Carolina politician of the tea party crowd, took to the stage to endorse Kibbe’s celebratory attitude. Even though polls have been showing public opinion swinging towards increased public approval for the President’s health reforms, DeMint proclaimed victory in defeating health reform. As Politico reported, DeMint announced to the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Waterloo!” ThinkProgress recorded DeMint’s statements at the rally. Watch it:
,Here is video of Kibbe’s bogus claim that the crowd stretches to the Washington Monument. Watch it:
One thing that does always strike me about Rand, however, is that there strikes me as something particularly odd about the Randian tendency to assume that the business executive class generally constitutes the most intelligent segment of society. As if an Albert Einstein is just a kind of middleweight hack but the VP for Marketing at Federal Express is one of ubermenschen.