My critique of malaria paper, media coverage STILL holds up
The main subjects of my recent analysis — The non-hype about climate change (and malaria) — have chosen either to support my key conclusions or not refute them.
The main subjects of my recent analysis — The non-hype about climate change (and malaria) — have chosen either to support my key conclusions or not refute them.
Moments ago, following a pair of meetings with advocates, the White House issued a statement in support of attaching an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would repeal the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy this year but delay implementation until President Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen certify the Pentagon’s review of the policy.
The statement came just hours after Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) — the chief sponsor of repeal legislation in the House — wrote a letter to the administration asking its “input” on an amendment that “put a process in place to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, once the working group has completed its review.” Under the proposal, Congress would repeal the statute this year, but the current military policy would remain in place until officials certified the results of the study. Servicemembers could presumably be discharged under the more lenient guidelines enforcing the ban released by Gates in March. [Read the full letter HERE].
In its response, the administration finally backed what repeal advocates have previously described as the delay-implementation strategy [Read the full letter HERE]:
While ideally the Department of Defense Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of Repeal of 10 U.S.C. § 654 would be completed before the Congress takes any legislative action…the Administration is of the view that the proposed amendment meets the concerns raised by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The proposed amendment will allow for completion of the Comprehensive Review, enable the Department of Defense to assess the results of the review, and ensure that the implementation of the repeal is consistent with standards of military readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention. The amendment will also guarantee that the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations needed to successfully implement the repeal…the Administration therefore supports the proposed amendment.
While there appear to be enough votes to pass repeal in the House, advocates are most concerned about attracting the 15 votes needed to attach the amendment to the defense authorization bill in the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is scheduled to begin marking up the measure tomorrow. Votes on both measures have been tentatively scheduled for Thursday.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), the third-ranking House Republican, “promised unified GOP opposition to lifting the ban.” “The American people don’t want the American military to be used to advance a liberal political agenda. And House Republicans will stand on that principle,” he said.
Read the legislative text of the amendment HERE:
(c) NO IMMEDIATE EFFECT ON CURRENT POLICY.—
Section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect until such time that all of the requirements and certifications required by subsection (b) are met. If these requirements and certifications are not met, section 654
6 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect.
The big climate news up north is the Arctic double stunner: Sea ice extent (area) is now below 2007 levels, while the even more important metric of ice volume hit a record low for March (according to the Polar Science Center).
Last week, following Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s speech before Congress, many conservatives blasted Calderon for slamming Arizona’s new immigration law and “meddling” in U.S. politics. “It’s about us. It’s about our citizenry,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “I just think that’s a line I would prefer that he did not cross. He went farther than I’m comfortable with,” stated Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). A statement released by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) read, “It’s unfortunate and disappointing the president of Mexico chose to criticize the state of Arizona by weighing in on a U.S. domestic policy issue during a trip that was meant to reaffirm the unique relationship between our two countries.” However, Calderon isn’t the first international figure to voice his concerns over the law. In fact, he joins a loud chorus of global leaders who have criticized the drastic measures that Arizona is taking to lock out undocumented immigrants:
CENTRAL AMERICA: The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry issued a press release soon after Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB-1070 into law, deploring the measure and expressing the government’s “deep concern” for the threat it represents to basic justice. The new government of Honduras also condemned the law. “Honduras considers that the passing of the law is the wrong step and does nothing to resolve the core problems behind of illegal immigration,” said Minister of the Presidency María Antonieta Guillén. Officials in El Salvador urged its citizens to avoid traveling to Arizona, and in Nicaragua, officials called on the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations (UN) “to take the necessary measures to safeguard the rights of the Hispanic population.”
SOUTH AMERICA: The Chilean Secretary of OAS, José Miguel Insulza, responded to Nicaragua’s request by expressing “the concern of the OAS, its Secretary General, the countries of the hemisphere and the Latin American community with the passage of a law in a state of the United States that we consider to be discriminatory against immigrants, and in particular against a population of such origin that lives in this country.” Heads of state and foreign ministers of the 12-member Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) slammed SB-1070, stating that it encourages “discretional detention of people based on racial, ethnic, phenotypic, language and migratory status reasons under the questionable concept of ‘reasonable doubt.’”
EUROPE: After reviewing the law, UN experts based in Geneva, Switzerland stated that SB-1070 could violate international standards that are binding in the United States. “A disturbing pattern of legislative activity hostile to ethnic minorities and immigrants has been established with the adoption of an immigration law that may allow for police action targeting individuals on the basis of their perceived ethnic origin,” the experts said. Amnesty International, whose headquarters is based in London, agreed, calling the law “cruel and misguided” and in violation of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
AFRICA: South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu has been an outspoken critic of Arizona’s immigration law. “Abominations such as apartheid do not start with an entire population suddenly becoming inhumane. They start here. They start with generalizing unwanted characteristics across an entire segment of a population,” wrote Tutu. “A solution that degrades innocent people, or that makes anyone with broken English a suspect, is not a solution.”
When it comes down to it, Arizonans may not care about what the international community has to say about its controversial new law, but global leaders have every right to care about what might happen to their countrymen and woman who visit, live, or travel through their state. In the end, it’s not meddling, it’s diplomacy with a stick.
By Matt Zeitlin
You are local news, I’m 60 Minutes:
- Dylan Matthews makes the good point that the possibilities for progressive policy making were much wider in the 1970s.
- More evidence that Martin Heidegger was a virulent Nazi and that Emmanuel Faye is a sloppy writer.
- At National Review, one can make an argument from authority on the effects of contraception citing Raquel Welch.
- Crime down despite economic downturn.
- More griping about the U.S. pavilion at the World Expo
- I can’t find it on TNR‘s website, but this is Leon Wieseltier from 2002: “Solidarity must not come at the cost of clarity. Only a fool could believe that the Passover massacre was a prelude to the extermination of the Jews of Israel; a fool, or a person with a particular point of view about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If you think that the Passover massacre was like Kristallnacht, then you must also think that there cannot be a political solution to the conflict, and that the Palestinians have no legitimate rights or legitimate claims upon any part of the land, and that there must never be a Palestinian state, and that force is all that will ever avail Israel.”
Speaking on Fox News this morning, former GOP House Majority Leader and Tea Party profiteer Dick Armey falsely claimed that Republican Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul’s opposition to the federal ban on whites’-only lunch counters is something much more benign:
ARMEY: [H]e says I am for the civil rights amendment; I am for civil rights. But had I been in the Senate, I would have examined the constitutional issues related to some provisions of the act. Is a senator not supposed to examine the constitutional provisions of a complex law under consideration?
KILMEADE: Right. Gotcha.
ARMEY: Now, the fact of the matter is the guy’s getting, he’s getting harangued unreasonably for what is in fact the reasonable expression of I would have done my duty as an elected senator had I been in the Senate at that time.
For the record, Armey’s claim that Paul was merely explaining that he would examine a law for constitutional problems before supporting it is false. In Paul’s lengthy interview with Rachel Maddow, he stated that he supports only “nine out of ten” parts of the Civil Rights Act, and that he would “modify” the law to accommodate his opposition to the provisions governing private actors. Lest there be any doubt about Paul’s opposition to laws prohibiting discrimination by private institutions, in a 2002 letter to the editor Paul unambiguously stated that a “free society” will maintain “the distinction between private and public property” by “abid[ing] unofficial, private discrimination — even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin.”
Even if his claims about Paul’s views were accurate, Armey’s statement that there are “constitutional issues” with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only places him in the lunatic fringe today, it also represented a fringe view when the Act became law more than 45 years ago.
President Johnson signed the Act into law on July 2, 1964. Less than six months later — a shockingly fast pace for major litigation — the Supreme Court handed down two unanimous decisions upholding the law against constitutional challenges. Likewise, outside of the eleven former Confederate states — where opposition to the Act was driven entirely by support for segregation — over 90 percent of Congress voted in favor of the law. A tiny handful of non-Jim Crow members of Congress did raise constitutional concerns about the law, but these fringe lawmakers cut against the unanimous view of the Supreme Court and the nearly-unanimous views of non-southern lawmakers.
It’s not clear whether Armey is referring to the non-Southerners crankish objections or the objections of unreconstructed Southern racists when he cites “constitutional issues” with the Civil Rights Act. Either way, Armey’s views would have put him well outside the mainstream even in 1964.
By Matthew Yglesias
It’s impossible to come to China and not be struck by the rapid pace at which infrastructure is advancing. Shanghai is criss-crossed by a series of new looking elevated highways that the city will almost certainly regret in 20 years, as well as by an impressively large Metro system that, as illustrated below, has grown at a pace that’s completely inconceivable for an American city:
One’s thoughts immediate to turn into the ways that the Chinese political system facilitates such actions—no need to worry about NIMBYs or environmental impact reviews here. But there’s also of course the question of money. China spent something like 7 percent of GDP on infrastructure back before the recession and boosted that to 10 percent more recently. The United States simply doesn’t try to invest on this scale. But that’s not because we don’t have the resources to do it. Our overall spending on the military in dollar terms is higher than what China spends on infrastructure, and it’s much higher on a per capita basis. And what we spend on health care for old people dwarfs anything China does in that regard. We, in other words, are perfectly capable of mobilizing major public resources for major public purposes, we just choose to do it for different things.
And to an extent that’s defensible—we don’t have the kind of infrastructure needs that China has. But still there’s such a thing as return on investment and that applies to the public sector as well to the private. Plonking down huge sums of cash on military adventures and maintaining the capacity for future hypothetical military adventures is not doing much to boost the forward-looking prospects for the country.
In his commencement address to graduating West Point cadets on Saturday, the President outlined his upcoming national security strategy that is focused on international cooperation to meet the nation’s security challenges. He also praised American troops for their performance in Iraq. “A lesser Army might have seen its spirit broken,” he said, adding that “through their competence and creativity and courage, we are poised to end our combat mission in Iraq this summer.” At that point, cadets and the audience applauded for at least 12 seconds (starting at roughly the 10:24 mark here). However, as Michael Moore observed, video from the speech on FoxNews.com edits out that applause entirely, making it appear as if Obama is bizarrely staring silently for a long period of time. The audio is cut (starting at the 0:44 mark) for the 12 seconds of applause, and then skips to another part of the speech. Watch it (the first clip is from FoxNews.com, the second clip is from WhiteHouse.gov):
Media Matters’ Jamison Foser asks, “Now, maybe Fox didn’t intentionally remove the audience applause. Maybe Fox’s video used a direct feed from Obama’s microphone, and it simply didn’t pick up audience noise. But if Fox didn’t intentionally try to make Obama look silly, why did it choose a 2-minute clip — out of a 32-minute speech — that portrayed Obama looking silently around the room, seemingly for no reason?”
The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld is reporting that the White House, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and gay activists have reached an agreement to support legislation that would repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) this year, but delay implementation until President Obama, Gates, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen certify the results of a year-long Pentagon review scheduled to be released in December:
According to one person familiar with the White House meeting, the proposal that is being considered would repeal the current statute this year, but implementation of repeal would not take place until after completion of the Pentagon’s working group study in December. Further, repeal would require certification from President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs Chair Admiral Mike Mullen that the new law will not have a negative impact on readiness, recruitment, retention and other key factors that affect the military.
The language would not include a nondiscrimination policy but rather will return authority for open service by gays and lesbians back to the Pentagon.
Activists hope that Gates’ support for the new strategy — he has previously warned Congress against repealing the ban before the military completed its review — could win over enough moderate Democrats and Republicans (Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is said to be “neutral” on the issue but “moving in the right direction“) on the Senate Armed Services Committee to attach the provision to the defense authorization bill in the Senate Armed Services Committee. That vote, along with a vote on repeal in the House, are tentatively scheduled for Thursday.
Once Obama, Gates, and Mullen certify the results of the Pentagon study late this year or early next year, the legislation will trigger repeal and institute a new non-discrimination policy. Ironically, when the United States adopted ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in October of 1993, lawmakers relied on a similar strategy, passing the policy in Congress before the Pentagon issued rules on how to implement it.
Asked about the negotiations during today’s press briefing, Robert Gibbs said, “Obviously it’s likely that Congress is going to act this week. If they decide to do that, we’ll certainly examine what those efforts are.” Gibbs also suggested that the White House had called the meeting.
CNN’s Dana Bash just reported that Robert Gates could issue his support for the delay-implementation strategy later today.
White House senior advisor David Axelrod has not been viewed as a friend to climate legislation by enviros.
Indeed, I’ve been told by multiple sources he is one of the reasons why high-level administration figures so rarely talk about the threat of global warming. Sadly, he is among those who have been duped by bad polling analysis into thinking it is not a winning issue.
So his remarks today are somewhat heartening: