“The Australian government on Tuesday announced plans to phase out incandescent light bulbs and replace them with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs across the country.” Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull predicted the new restrictions “could reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tons by 2012 and cut household power bills by up to 66 percent.”
Irony is no stranger to our posts derived from the U.S. Drought Monitor, and again, this case is no exception.
The monitor reveals severe to extreme drought covering most of the state of Wyoming (for at least the last three months), the home of none other than Vice President Dick Cheney.
Cheney represented Wyoming for just over a decade on Capitol Hill (in the House) and his career is sturdily rooted in the coal and petroleum businesses he backed in Wyoming, before becoming CEO of Halliburton.
In some form or another, Cheney has contributed his share of greenhouse gases, to say the least. If only he would realize how his actions and policies have threatened his community with longer and stronger droughts.
In today’s press briefing, a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Tony Snow about the Washington Post’s two-part series over the weekend, highlighting the Walter Reed hospital’s dilapidated conditions. Snow stated that “the president certainly has been aware of the conditions in the wards where he has visited, and visited regularly.” Snow also affirmed that the administration was aware of Walter Reed’s conditions “before the articles appeared in the paper.” Watch it:
The Army began repairs on the facilities yesterday, only after the media reports and intense public criticism. Apparently, Bush is fine with U.S. troops living in squalid conditions — as long as no one else knows about it.
(The Progress Report has more on the state of veterans under the Bush administration. Read it and sign up to receive the newsletter HERE.)
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Dana Priest and Anne Hull of the Washington Post revealed over the weekend that Walter Reed hospital, once perceived as the “crown jewel of military medicine,” has become “something else entirely — a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients.” Priest and Hull snuck in and out of the Walter Reed facilities over the course of four months without the knowledge or permission of hospital officials. They said they wanted to bypass the hospital’s “very well-oiled public relations machine.” Some examples of what they saw:
– The “legions” of injured soldiers housed at the facility “take up every available bed on post and spill into dozens of nearby hotels and apartments leased by the Army.”
– Building 18 “has been plagued with mold, leaky plumbing and a broken elevator.”
– “The wounded manage other wounded. Soldiers dealing with psychological disorders of their own have been put in charge of others at risk of suicide.”
– “Disengaged clerks, unqualified platoon sergeants and overworked case managers fumble with simple needs.”
Last night on PBS Newshour, Priest admitted Walter Reed’s dilapidated condition was “surprising” to her. “We think that the American — we know that the American people support the troops, no matter what they think of the war,” Priest said. “And so, when we started hearing these stories of neglect, and in some cases indifference, it was unbelievable.”
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U.S. News reports: “The White House is still holding out hope that it will have a chance to name a third justice to the Supreme Court and cement its conservative tilt for generations to come. ‘We need one more on the Supreme Court,’” said a Bush insider. The source added, “That will be the battle royal.”
Top House conservatives have teamed up with right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt and other bloggers to launch a campaign attacking Rep. John Murtha’s (D-PA) new Iraq plan, which would attach measures to a defense spending bill requiring that all U.S. forces sent to Iraq are well-trained and well-equipped.
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) is “leading the effort” to force a House vote on a “binding measure to prevent cutting or restricting money for the war.” During last week’s Iraq debate, Johnson attacked Iraq war critics relentlessly:
Debating non-binding resolutions aimed at earning political points only destroys morale, stymies success, and emboldens the enemy.
The grim reality is that this House measure is the first step to cutting funding of the troops…Just ask John Murtha about his “slow-bleed” plan that hamstrings our troops in harm’s way.
I wholeheartedly support withholding funds… Although it is a drastic step and ties the President’s hands, I do not feel like we have any other choice. The President has tied our hands, gone against the wishes of the American people, and this is the last best way I know how to show my respect for our American servicemen and women. They are helpless, following orders. But we, we are in a position to stop this terrible mistake before it happens.
“Hundreds of gay couples were granted the same legal rights, if not the title, as married couples Monday as New Jersey became the third state to offer civil unions.” Steven Goldstein and Daniel Gross, partners for 15 years, were the first couple to be joined in civil union. Watch it:
It turns out that the cable I use to connect my digital camera to my computer can also be used to recharge my Razr by using it to connect the phone to my laptop. So if that works, then how come Canon doesn’t make it so that the Camera battery can be recharged this way as well? When traveling, it’s always nice to minimize the number of discreet power items you need to take with you and risk losing.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 today that civilian courts no longer have the authority to consider whether the military is illegally holding foreigners. The court refused arguments that the court-stripping provision of the Military Commissions Act was unconstitutional. “The ruling is all but certain to be appealed to the Supreme Court.”
UPDATE: A copy of the court’s opinion can be found here.
Last night on Fox News’s Hannity and Colmes, right-wing radio host Neal Boortz claimed that teachers unions are “destroying a generation” and are “much more dangerous than al Qaeda.” He stated, “Look, Al Qaeda, they could bring in a nuke into this country and kill 100,000 people with a well-placed nuke somewhere. Ok. We would recover from that. It would be a terrible tragedy, but the teachers unions in this country can destroy a generation.” Sean Hannity agreed, noting, “They are ruining our school system.” Watch it:
The National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, represents more than 2.7 million of America’s teachers and educators. In 2004, then Secretary of Education Rod Paige similarly called the NEA a “terrorist organization.” NEA responded to Paige’s remarks, saying it is “morally repugnant to equate those who teach America’s children with terrorists.”
(HT: News Hounds)
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