“Same-sex couples who want to exchange vows in front of Cinderella’s Castle now have the chance. The Walt Disney Co. had limited its Fairy Tale Wedding program to couples with valid marriage licenses, but it is now making ceremonies at its parks available to gay couples as well.”
This week, the option of ignoring global warming was officially relegated to the dustbin of history. First the Supreme Court, and today the international scientific community, said that global warming is a reality impacting our lives today and must be dealt with.
The state of play on global warming is perfectly summed up by the dramatic confrontation between scientists and political apparatchiks late last night over the latest IPCC report. The politicians pushed through slightly wishy-washy language and U.S. delegates rejected suggested wording that parts of North America may suffer ‘severe economic damage’ from warming. But it was the most Pyrrhic of victories – because it was entirely overwhelmed by the larger document that, in dry scientific language, depicts the end of life as we know it. The reality of droughts, water shortages, starvation and flooding facing hundreds of millions of people this century cannot be denied by spin.
Much has been made of the report findings that global warming will hit poor countries the most. But make no mistake, the developed world isn’t spared – and we have more to lose. One especially ominous warning from the report:
It is very likely that globally aggregated figures underestimate the damage costs because they cannot include many non-quantifiable impacts. Taken as a whole, the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time.
Today the international scientific community said that we’re already feeling the impacts of global warming – which is a scary enough headline, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. It is crystal clear that we’re on a path to Planetary Purgatory, with a fate of Hell and High Water unless we change course immediately.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is demanding “clean copies of all documents relating to the U.S. attorneys investigation, including previously produced copies that had portions blacked out and others that may have been withheld.” In a letter to Alberto Gonzales, Leahy and others wrote, “To date, you have not provided any valid legal basis for your redactions, for your limitations on production or for the restrictions you have unilaterally imposed on their public disclosure.”
Huh. It seems obvious to me that a Michael Bloomberg candidacy would draw more votes away from the Democratic candidate than the Republican one, and the answer comes out that way basically no matter how I try to consider the issue. The polling data, however, says otherwise and shows Hillary Clinton easily beating McCain or Giuliani in a three-way but struggling in a head-to-head matchup.
In his debate with Geraldo last night, Bill O’Reilly argued that the deaths of two girls in a drunk-driving accident should be blamed on illegal immigration since the drunk driver was undocumented. But during a press conference, the father of one of the girls “said that making an issue out of immigration loses the focus that the girls were killed by a man that police said was driving drunk. Ray Tranchant said, ‘We need to heal, and to bring immigration, that’s disrespectful to a family who’s just mourning.’”
The Justice Department has faced criticism not only for firing well-respected U.S. attorneys, but also for replacing them with loyal Bushies.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Minnesota demonstrates the havoc that ensues when the Bush administration places politics over justice. Four top staffers to Rachel Paulose, the U.S. attorney in Minnesota, have voluntarily demoted themselves in protest of Paulose’s “highly dictatorial style” of managing. Paulose has also “earned a reputation for quoting Bible verses and dressing down underlings.”
According to news reports, the staffers’ dramatic moves were “intended to send a message to Washington — that 33-year-old Paulose is in over her head.” The Bush administration tried to prevent the resignations by sending a “top justice official to Minneapolis Thursday to mediate the situation. The mediation failed.”
A look at Paulose’s background indicates that she was handpicked by the Justice Department because of her personal connections, rather than her professional qualifications:
She was a special assistant to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, worked as a senior counsel for deputy attorney general Paul McNulty and is best buds with Monica Goodling — the assistant U.S. Attorney who recently took the Fifth rather than testify before Congress.
Add to the suspicions the fact that Minnesota’s former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger stepped down just as the White House was developing its hit list.
Paulose had been in her position for a year as an interim U.S. attorney before she was sworn-in officially last month. She created controversy when her lavish swearing-in ceremony included a professional photographer, a color guard, and a choir.
The Bush administration justified several of its firings of the eight U.S. attorneys by baselessly criticizing their management styles. We await the Justice Department’s response to Paulose.
UPDATE: In a statement Friday, Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse described Paulose as “dedicated to leading an effective U.S. attorneys office in Minnesota and enforcing the laws to ensure public safety. … We are confident during this transition period that the U.S. Attorneys office will remain focused on its law enforcement priorities.”
“Since he’s such a close, personal friend, he’s hurt the President by what he’s doing, he should have the politeness to offer his resignation. I don’t know if he has or not and the President is still holding it, who knows. But I think he’s damaged himself and the President through his actions.” (Via TPM.)
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has been criticizing Rosie O’Donnell over her blog post repeating a 9/11 conspiracy theory.
O’Reilly declared that “you can’t allow” someone to “make anti-American remarks…accusing your own government of murder.” He called claims that the U.S. government acted in a criminal way “irresponsible and dangerous.”
Too bad for O’Reilly, tapes from his days on the
Peabody Award-winning Inside Edition are still floating around.
Watch below as O’Reilly spreads the JFK conspiracy theory that the CIA secretly supported assassin Lee Harvey Oswald:
Transcript: Read more
“A suicide bomber driving a truck loaded with TNT and toxic chlorine gas crashed into a police checkpoint in western Ramadi on Friday, killing at least 27 people and wounding dozens, police in the Anbar provincial capital said.”
Somewhat along the lines of the below, I think Atrios goes awry here:
think there’s something to the various reasons people suggest – she has the highest name recognition, her support reflects the popularity of her husband – but I really think people are probably wrong to think that these are the sole reasons. Clinton has a lot of genuine support which isn’t there simply because of ignorance or nostalgia, and people who don’t want her to be the nominee should come to terms with that if they wish to oppose her/support someone else. I’m not saying that support is fixed, just that believe it or not a lot of people support Clinton because they like her.
And I’m not saying people who support Clinton don’t like her. I’m saying saying they like her because they’re mistaken about her beliefs about American public policy. Most people I’ve interacted with who like Clinton simply deny that she holds the views that it seems to me she does, in fact, hold. Which, as Ryan Lizza reported is the Clinton campaign’s political strategy: “Not that they are trembling in Hillaryland over the fire from the left. The political bet is that, in a presidential campaign, the Democratic base of women, blacks, and labor can be won over in two ways: old-fashioned outreach and stroking by people like Lewis or by the sheer star power of Hillary Clinton.”