Now, you can access both the video AND the presentations (both HTML and PDF) here. In fact, going through the presentations while playing the video will really bring you up to speed on what is happening now — and what is likely to happen in the future — for both Arctic Sea Ice, the great ice sheets, and sea level rise.
I’m heading off to the airport and I’m going to be gone for a few days in Amsterdam to participate in the Op zoek naar progressief Amerika conference put together by the Wiardi Beckman Stichting, a think tank affiliated with the Dutch Labor Party. Blogging will continue, but what with the time zones and all posts may pop up at weird times.
As New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani “billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons.” Politico reports:
The documents, obtained by Politico under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, show that the mayoral costs had nothing to do with the functions of the little-known city offices that defrayed his tabs, including agencies responsible for regulating loft apartments, aiding the disabled and providing lawyers for indigent defendants. [...]
When the city’s fiscal monitor asked for an explanation, Giuliani’s aides refused, citing “security,” said Jeff Simmons, a spokesman for the city comptroller.
But American Express bills and travel documents obtained by Politico suggest another reason City Hall may have considered the documents sensitive: They detail three summers of visits to Southampton, the Long Island town where Nathan had an apartment.
Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV) said he’s not particularly interested in having Bush come to his district to campaign for him. “I think it depends on the time of the year, when it is,” Porter said tepidly, before briefly pausing to remind everyone, “The president is the president of the United States. I don’t always agree with him, but I’m also in a campaign.” The Las Vegas Sun’s Jon Ralson writes, “Stirring endorsement, that is, eh? It depends on the time of year? Yes, wouldn’t want the president to wilt in the summer heat, so that’s out. And in the fall, well, you never know where I might be then, right in the heat of the campaign, so I probably wouldn’t invite him.”
McCain Abandons ‘South Korea Model,’ Says ‘Nature Of Society In Iraq’ Will Force ‘Eventual Withdrawal’
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has long supported a 50-year troop presence in Iraq — or the “South Korea model” — set forth by President Bush and Gen. Petraeus. “We have had troops in South Korea for 60 years and nobody minds,” he said in June. On the Charlie Rose Show in August, McCain said the Korea model was “exactly” the right idea.
Yesterday on Charlie Rose, McCain changed his position, arguing that the Korea-like presence is not an “analogy” he would use for Iraq. Recognizing the “nature of the society in Iraq,” McCain suggested that Iraqi opposition to a permanent U.S. occupation may make the South Korea model implausible:
ROSE: Do you think that this — Korea, South Korea is an analogy of where Iraq might be, not in terms of their economic success but in terms of an American presence over the next, say, 20, 25 years, that we will have a significant amount of troops there?
MCCAIN: I don’t think so.
ROSE: Even if there are no casualties?
MCCAIN: No. But I can see an American presence for a while. But eventually I think because of the nature of the society in Iraq and the religious aspects of it that America eventually withdraws.
In the heat of his presidential run, McCain seems to be tacitly acknowledging that “the nature of society in Iraq” is unlikely to support a Korea-like presence, and the U.S. will therefore have to “eventually withdraw.” But in the meantime, McCain couldn’t care less what the Iraqis want.
UPDATE: Last night, McCain also alleged he was “the only one that spoke strongly against” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s strategy.
Earlier this month, ThinkProgress noted that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly had reignited his annual conniption fit over a perceived “War on Christmas,” taking aim at the Fort Collins, CO City Council’s consideration of a plan to eschew publicly-funded displays of traditional Christmas decorations. Last week, the council voted to continue using traditional decorations. Now O’Reilly is gloating, calling it “a great victory” in his War:
BILL O’REILLY: Also in Fort Collins, Colorado, the anti-Christmas task force, which recommended banning traditional decorations on public property has been rebuffed. The folks said no. …It’s a great victory.
This month, as violence has dropped a bit in Iraq, military commanders and other Iraq experts have been hesitant to begin declaring victory, saying instead that the “positive” momentum is “not yet irreversible” and Iraq is “going nowhere” in “political terms.”
But Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who traveled to Iraq for the Thanksgiving holiday, have been much less cautious in their public statements and have all but declared victory.
On Sunday, McCain told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that “we’ve succeeded militarily” in Iraq. A day later, Lieberman appeared on Fox News, confidently bellowing that “we are winning” because “we have made progress” in “one of the most remarkable turnarounds in modern military history.” Watch it:
There is no denying that in recent months violence has declined in Iraq — weekly attacks have dropped “to the lowest level since January 2006” and “the death toll for American troops” in October fell to “the lowest level since March 2006.” But the situation is still grim. With more than a month left, 2007 is already “the deadliest year of the war for United States troops” yet.
“Unlike US estimates, Iraqi statistics do not show a drop in the level of violence in the Baghdad area.” In the past two days alone, at least 35 “people were killed or found dead” across the country, underlining Iraq’s fragile state and the still ever-present propensity for it to relapse into violence.
But it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the potentially tenuous nature of Iraq’s lull in violence hasn’t stopped perma-hawks like McCain and Lieberman from declaring success. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time the two senators have done such a thing in four and a half years of war:
- “Let there be no doubt: victory can be our only exit strategy. We are winning in Iraq.” — Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) [11/5/2003]
- “This is a mission accomplished. They know how much influence Saddam Hussein had on the Iraqi people, how much more difficult it made to get their cooperation.” — Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) [This Week, ABC, 12/14/03]
- I “can report real progress there… Progress is visible and practical… Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes we do.” — Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) [11/29/2005]
“The last two weeks have been critically important and I believe may be seen as a turning point in the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism.” — Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) [12/17/2005]
Though McCain likes to tout how sober and serious he is about the war, he’s had difficulty following his own advice. In 2006, he disparaged hasty proclamations like “stuff happens, mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders” as amongst “the biggest mistakes” in prosecuting the war.
As they’ve done time and time again, McCain and Lieberman are rushing to declare “we are winning” in order to blindly support Bush’s policies in Iraq.
Amount it has cost the RNC to recover missing e-mails sent by Karl Rove and other White House aides on political e-mail accounts. House investigators have charged the RNC with overseeing the “extensive destruction” of these e-mails, which may have violated the Presidential Records Act. The $250,000 has gone to former FBI agents hired to retrieve the lost e-mails and to lawyers hired to defend the RNC.
Sure there is, but with these guys, he knows so little about foreign policy he confuses terrorists cells and organizations with countries. There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq before this war. Al-Qaeda became a Bush-fulfilling prophecy. It didn’t exist until Bush went to war. Even our own intelligence community says that. But these guys buy into this silliness that if you don’t fight them in Baghdad you’re going to fight them in Boston. Give me a break.
I know my man Ezra Klein’s been touting Biden as a potential Veep pick for his attack dogging skills, which seems like a pretty poor idea to me (one needs a VP who understands that the Presidential candidate is supposed to do the bulk of the talking…) but this is good stuff.
Tonight at 8 pm EST, CNN will air a Republican presidential debate, live from St. Petersburg, FL. A full-page advertisement in today’s Washington Post states that the debate is being sponsored by the “clean coal” industry:
View the full page ad HERE.
Sponsorship of tonight’s debate appears aimed at influencing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R), who is leading a “crusade against coal.” Crist has unveiled a plan to reduce his state’s carbon dioxide emissions by replacing coal plants with solar thermal power plants. He has also canceled plans to build new coal plants that were pushed by his predecessor, Jeb Bush.
In early October, when Tampa Electric shelved plans to build a $2-billion power plant, Crist applauded the move:
“I am not a fan of coal,” he reiterated. He pointed to the expansion of nuclear power, as well as recently announced solar and biomass projects, as examples of clean, reliable, affordable energy.
“There’s a lot of different ways to skin the cat and still provide the energy that Floridians need and deserve without harming Florida in the process,” Crist said.
This CNN debate isn’t the first sponsored by the coal industry. On Nov. 15, it also sponsored the Democratic debate in Las Vegas, NV, which featured a similar full-page ad in The New York Times. The move appeared to be an attempt to pressure Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who has stood firmly against the construction of three proposed major coal-fired power plants in his home state.
UPDATE: ThinkProgress spoke to a Google representative who confirmed that having the coal industry sponsor the debate was a “CNN decision.” Google played no role in acquiring or approving the sponsorship.