“Innovations in Energy” by Mark Fiore. Thank you to Earl for pointing this out.
The New York Sun reports today that Rupert Murdoch once “said he didn’t see what the Palestinians’ problem was.” His son, James, took issue with his father and argued “that they were kicked out of their homes and had nowhere to live.”
Maya MacGuineas and Adam Caruso make the familiar (yet correct!) argument for a carbon tax. Except they don’t actually favor a carbon tax:
The new tax shouldn’t be a pure “carbon tax,” which would saddle coal-based energy production with steep price increases while allowing us to maintain our national addiction to oil with little abatement. Rather, a comprehensive energy tax ought to discourage in a relatively uniform way the use of all energy sources that contribute to global warming.
I don’t get that at all. If an electric car drawing its electricity from a natural gas power plant (say) contributes to global warming, but does so to a much lower extent than does a car with an internal combustion engine burning liquid coal, surely this difference should be reflected in our tax policy. Our current energy mix is so carbon intensive that there are plenty of technologies that would both “contribute to global warming” and also constitutes progress toward reducing carbon emissions. One wants a tax that rewards such technologies, but rewards them less than even cleaner ones. That means a government-auction of emissions permits, or a simple carbon tax. What’s the advantage of the alternative? It’s a bit more friendly to coal companies that’ll fight you to the death anyway?
Today, the House passed a bill stating “it is the policy of the United States not to establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing a permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq.” Speaker Pelosi explained that “today’s vote can again make clear to the President, to the Administration, to the American people, to the people in the Middle East, to the people in Iraq — that the American people are opposed to a permanent military presence in Iraq.” Watch Pelosi’s floor speech:
The Gavel has more.
UPDATE: Read Rep. Barbara Lee’s statement here.
Earlier this month, President Bush affirmed his commitment to his escalation plan, stating, “I’m going to remind the people in the audience today that troop levels will be decided by our commanders on the ground, not by political figures in Washington, D.C.”
But the DC Examiner reports today that “a bunch of arm chair generals in Washington” from the American Enterprise Institute “almost single handedly convinced the White House to change its strategy” in weekend meetings last December. The AEI escalation plan reportedly “won out over plans from the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command”:
They banded together at AEI headquarters in downtown Washington early last December and hammered out the surge plan during a weekend session. It called for two major initiatives to defeat the insurgency: reinforcing the troops and restoring security to Iraqi neighborhoods. Then came trips to the White House by AEI military historian Frederick Kagan, retired Army Gen. John Keane and other surge proponents.
More and more officials began attending the sessions. Even Vice President Dick Cheney came. “We took the results of our planning session immediately to people in the administration,” said AEI analyst Thomas Donnelly, a surge planner. “It became sort of a magnet for movers and shakers in the White House.” Donnelly said the AEI approach won out over plans from the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command.
The Examiner adds that AEI still retains a strong influence on the Iraq war, as Keane (ret.) is an adviser to Petraeus and Kagan left for Iraq this past week.
In 2006, President Bush was debating a new strategy in Iraq and expressed that he was open to outside advice on troop levels. “I’m going to rely upon General Casey,” Bush said of then-Multinational Force commander when asked about his new strategy. But Casey pressed Bush not to increase troop levels, along with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were unanimously opposed to the escalation. In response, Bush replaced Casey with Gen. David Petraeus.
“It was kind of the 11th hour, 59th minute,” an AEI analyst said of its escalation plan. Unfortunately, a hasty, last minute plan beat the advice of Bush’s own commanders.
The Army Times reports that “the Army has ordered 1,106 soldiers, former recruiters, away from their current assignments and back to recruiting duty starting on Friday.” The Army issued the order because it is “having significant difficulties getting new recruits because of the unpopularity of the Iraq War.”
If you assume that people are reading the entire article rather than just scanning the headlines and reading a few graphs, then Jim Ruttenberg and Mark Mazzetti have an excellent piece about the administration’s claims about Al-Qaeda in Iraq’s relationship to the terrorist group that attacked us on 9/11 and how those claims significantly distort our best understanding of the issue. On the other hand, a person who just read the headline and then got bored after four or five grafs is going to walk away having missed all the excellent analysis.
I don’t blame the reporters for this, as such. They’ve taken the relevant facts and properly assembled them into inverted pyramid format — and that’s their job. But canny politicians have just gotten way too good at manipulating the media’s conventions. There needs to be a way of writing this kind of story such that the incentives actually work against making these kind of misleading claims.
In a 22-17 vote, the House Judiciary Committee approved “a Resolution and Report Recommending to the House of Representatives that Former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten be cited for Contempt of Congress.” The AP reports, “a vote by the full House would most likely happen after Congress’ August recess.”
UPDATE: The Gavel has updates from the hearing.
UPDATE II: Tony Snow calls the citations “pathetic.”
When I wrote yesterday about Muhammed Fadlallah’s blogging I described him as Hezbollah’s leader, which is wrong. Hassan Nasrallah is the top guy in Hezbollah. Fadlallah is often described as the “spiritual leader” of Hezbollah but what exactly this entails is a bit unclear. Some folks are indicating to me that he’s distanced himself from Hezbollah in recent years, and in general he doesn’t seem to be involved in the operational direction of the organization — he’s primarily a theologian and religious figure rather than a political leader as such.
The Butlerian Jihad, as everyone knows, is directed against “thinking machines” — i.e., artificial intelligence — not radical life-extending technologies. Indeed, the precious melange spice found only on Arakis is a radical life-extending technology and obviously the Jihad doesn’t have a problem with that.