“The government has missed all 34 deadlines set by Congress for requiring energy-efficiency standards on everything from home appliances to power transformers,” the Government Accountability Office reports. “Two-thirds of the deadlines have yet to be met, although many are more than a decade old. Because of the failures, consumers and corporations stand to pay tens of billions of dollars more for energy than they would have if the deadlines had been met.” Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has details.
Lawrence Eagleburger on the massive 1,000-employee U.S. Embassy in Baghdad: “I defy anyone to tell me how you can use that many people. It is nuts…it’s insane and it’s counterproductive…and it won’t work,” says the Republican former secretary of state and member of the Iraq Study Group. “I’ve been around the State Department long enough to know you can’t run an outfit like that.”
Only 6 people at the embassy speak Arabic.
It’s excellent for relief from a cold-related sore throat, of course. What’s more, unless Ed Kilgore’s summary of Ramesh Ponnuru’s case for John McCain is wildly inaccurate, it seems like a good description of what’s got to be one of the most half-hearted endorsements I’ve ever read. It doesn’t seem to endorse any of McCain’s flirtations with breaking with conservative orthodoxy. Rather, taking the view that Abortion Conquers All and Multiple Choice Mitt’s a joke, Ponnuru argues that McCain’s flirtations with heterodoxy weren’t so bad, he’s promising to be a good rightwinger in the future, and Rudy Giuliani wants to kill your unborn children.
Fair enough, I guess. But still, the primaries are a long way away. You’d think it might be the role of a magazine like National Review to try and promote the fortunes of a proper plain-vanilla conservative Republican. A Jim Gilmore or a Mike Huckabee or whomever. It’s not exactly a rare breed in the country, it’s just that nobody who fits the bill (except for Jeb Bush) has the requisite level of ex ante fame to get buzz. But why be a journalist if not to try and generate buzz about people you think are being unjustly ignored?
Do conservatives understand that given the gross unpopularity of Bush’s military adventures at this point, nominating someone whose main profile as a conservative is grounded in his strong rhetorical support of Bush’s military adventures isn’t going to work out well?
Ari Berman has an article about how Max Baucus pretty much sucks. Ezra Klein likes it. I do, too. The New Republic did a July 2006 editorial on the evils of Baucus. And, of course, way back in February, 2004 I did one of my first print articles for The American Prospect about this.
Yesterday, Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, the Army’s top medical official, was appointed acting head of Walter Reed hospital. As ThinkProgress documented, Kiley has known for years about the neglect and deplorable conditions at Walter Reed. Kiley was personally told about injured veterans who were “languishing and lost on the grounds,” sharing drugs and “drinking themselves to death,” and reportedly did nothing to address the problems. In one stunning case, Kiley took no action when personally informed that a soldier was sleeping in his own urine.
In a statement released moments ago, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) became the first member of Congress to call on the Pentagon to immediately remove Kiley from his post at Walter Reed:
“The Department of Defense needs to make a choice: does it care about our wounded veterans, or does it care about public relations?” Rep. Slaughter said today. “While I was glad to see that initial steps had been taken to change the leadership at Walter Reed, yesterday’s news of Mr. Kiley’s appointment was simply baffling. How can a man who stood by for years while American soldiers suffered needlessly be expected to enact real reforms?”
“The outrage of the American public over the conditions at Walter Reed will not be pacified by simply shuffling the deck,” Rep. Slaughter said. “Secretary Gates must immediately remove from command anyone who allowed its facilities to fall into such a state of disrepair.”
“Our wounded soldiers deserve nothing less than the best health care this country can provide and the best leadership to ensure they receive that care.”
Read the full statement HERE.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and chairwoman of the Committee on House Administration Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA) yesterday wrote to the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. Capitol and urged him to “undertake a ‘Green the Capitol’ initiative to ensure that the House institutes the most up-to-date industry and government standards for green building and green operating procedures.”
A new article in Geophysical Research Letters adds fuel to the fiery debate over the impact of global warming on hurricanes. It was “not able to corroborate the presence of upward trends in hurricane intensity over the past two decades in any basin other than the Atlantic.”
For Americans, the study is cold comfort since Atlantic hurricanes are what hit us. As for hurricanes elsewhere in the world, the study is more problematic. For a cogent discussion of what the study means, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it fits in with other studies, spend some time on realclimate.org and be sure to read all the comments.
This morning on his radio show, Don Imus questioned Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) about his reaction to the conditions at Walter Reed, saying, “If you’re somebody who thought the war was such a wonderful idea, as you did, and continues to support this idiotic exercise…[you] have a special responsibility to know what the hell has happened to these kids.” Lieberman responded, “We all ought to be doing mea culpas. ”
Lieberman also claimed the replacement of Maj. Gen. George Weightman with Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley at Walter Reed was “a good first step.” Imus responded, “It’s an absurd first step. [Weightman] didn’t have anything to do with this. He’s been in charge — that’s a big scapegoat deal and you know that.” Watch it:
Transcript: Read more
“Warner Bros. is developing a feature on the lives of Valerie Plame and Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the married couple drawn into a D.C. firestorm. … WB has secured the life rights of Plame and Wilson. Studio also will use Plame’s memoir, ‘Fair Game,’ if the CIA permits her to publish it.” Co-producer Jerry Zucker: “The biggest element of the movie to us is the story of two people who spent their lives in service of their government, and were then betrayed by that government.”
UPDATE: Keith Olbermann set to interview Plame.
Dana Stevens: “But can we just start with something very basic here? Chaining someone to your radiator is wrong. Depriving a near-naked and recently assaulted stranger of the most basic physical liberty for days on end is a sick, perverse, and cruel thing to do.” That seems right to me.