“YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY” to feature Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Alec Baldwin as first-person narrators on the ground; series also to be executive produced by “60 Minutes” veterans Joel Bach & David Gelber.
I could not be more excited to announce the upcoming Showtime TV event, “Years of Living Dangerously,” a 6- to 8-part documentary series focusing on climate change, impacts and solutions.
I am the Technical Advisor for the first-of-its-kind series, which means I help advise the producers which scientists and experts they should talk to on a given story. Ultimately I’ll be looking out for any technical mistakes in the final product — which is set to air in late summer or fall 2013 — although we are assembling a science advisory board of A-list climatologists to help in that regard.
The talent that has been put together for this effort is amazing. The former “60 Minutes” producers who are exec-producing and co-exec-producing have a combined 18 Emmys! I’ve gotten to know Gelber and Bach — and they are both first rate. The print journalists involved have a combined 5 Pulitzers.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course, is the former Republican governor of California who enacted the nation’s most sweeping climate law, which mandates deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. James Cameron needs no introduction, but I can tell you that not only is he one of the most creative and imaginative people I’ve ever met, but he is also deeply passionate and knowledgeable about climate change.
Here is the Showtime release, with more background on the project and the participants:
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver announced last week that they are separating after 25 years of marriage due to Schwarzenegger’s revelation that he fathered a child with the family’s maid a decade ago. In response, Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist, Fox News correspondent, and the coauthor of Glenn Beck’s self-help book, penned a column on Fox’s website titled, “Why Maria Shriver Should Take Arnold Schwarzenegger Back.”
In it, Ablow suggests that Shriver has no cause to divorce Schwarzenegger over his infidelity because she knew should have known she was getting in to when she married him. Indeed, he claims that infidelity is never a good reason to end a marriage. And while failing to acknowledge any responsibility on Schwarzenegger’s part, Ablow fixates on what Shriver did or didn’t know — even suggesting that she take a polygraph test — and insinuating that Shriver needs psychotherapy. In essence, Ablow finds grave personal fault in her decision not to be a diligent political wife and “stand by her man”:
I doubt it can come as a complete shock to Ms. Shriver and I believe it need not signal the end of her marriage…Infidelity on the part of a husband or wife is not a reason to erase one’s marital vows.[...]
At any point in the last 25 years I would venture that a polygraph examination may well have revealedthat Ms. Shriver knew in her heart of hearts that her husband had been unfaithful and was likely to be unfaithful in the future. For reasons known only to her (or which might only be revealed to her in psychotherapy) she decided to build and maintain a family with him, anyhow.[...]
Prescription from this doctor: With Arnold looking weak right now, rather than strong, Maria has a chance to have and to hold her husband as never before.
In a follow-up interview on Fox News, Ablow reiterated, “I don’t think infidelity should ever signal the end of a marriage,” and argued that Shriver should try to salvage the marriage. Oddly, throughout the interview Ablow and the host seemed most concerned that Schwarzenegger didn’t cheat with someone more attractive.Watch it:
Since there were so many signs of her husband’s philandering ways, Ablow seems to argue, Shriver has no one to blame but herself.
The offensive suggestion that a woman who chooses not to follow the well-worn script of devoted political spouse is somehow psychologically impaired and in need of therapy is, unfortunately, par for the course for Ablow. He is often called upon by conservative outlets to provide spurious medical “expertise” and colorful psychological commentary. He was recently mocked by comedian Jon Stewart for his reaction to a manufactured conservative controversy surrounding a J. Crew ad that pictured a mother laughing with her young son, who had his toenails painted. Ablow accused the mother, J. Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons, of “psychological sterilization” and intentionally launching “an attack on masculinity” with the ad. He also advised that she set aside money for therapy for her son.
Ablow is described in his column and interview as a “member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.” One hates to see the B-Team.
In an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) said he believes politicians in Washington need to fight the “rich people that have polluted the world” and defend climate action, as California is now doing. Schwarzenegger has joined with California’s cleantech community, the climate movement, and economic justice groups to “wipe out Proposition 23″ — the oil-funded initiative to kill the state’s landmark global warming legislation, AB 32. He believes that politicians who support our soldiers who are “risking their lives to defend this country” should “stand up against the oil companies.” Those who have instead conceded to the flood of dirty cash from polluters — at least $69.5 million in ads alone this year — are “disgusting” “wimps”:
What would help is if we are now successful in beating back the Texan oil companies, the same players that have been there for decades ruining everything. You know, trying to get rid of our light rail in 45 cities. And so now the important thing is we push back, wipe out Proposition 23. And in doing that, it will be one of the first times in a long time where oil companies — rich people that have polluted the world, who have enriched themselves in doing that — have been pushed back. And it will be that momentum.
We need to go to Washington and say, “Look what happened. You, because oil companies have spent money against you, they have threatened you, you backed off the energy policy and the environmental policy in Washington.” What wimps. No guts. I mean, here, you idolize and always celebrate the great warriors, our soldiers, our men and women who go to Iraq and Afghanistan, and they’re risking their lives to defend this country, and you’re not even willing to stand up against the oil companies? I say, “That’s disgusting.” You promised the people you’d represent them. You didn’t promise the people you’d represent the oil companies and the special interests.
Today is the deadline for California to join the anti-gay groups appealing Judge Vaughn Walker’s opinion striking down Proposition 8, and both Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) have indicated that the state will not do so. Prop 8′s supporters, however, think they have an ace in the hole — the state’s Lt. Governor:
A group of conservative leaders led by former attorney general candidate John Eastman have asked to meet with Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado to discuss his support of an appeal in a federal court suit regarding Proposition 8.
While the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled a December hearing of a lower court’s decision overturning the voter approved initiative, there is some question whether the proponents of the measure have standing to argue the case before the court. The Attorney General and the Governor clearly have authority to file the appeal. But, both Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger have refused to do so based on their personal opposition to Proposition 8.
“But Abel Maldonado is a supporter of Proposition 8 and hopefully more willing to honor the obligations of his office than the current Attorney General has been” says Eastman. “Importantly, while the Governor is traveling outside of the State, all of the rights and responsibilities of the office of Governor rest with Mr. Maldonado.”
Eastman, who is best know for inventing wildlywrong theories of the Constitution supporting right-wing policy goals, is uncharacteristically correct about Lt. Gov. Maldonado’s temporary authority. Under the California Constitution, “The Lieutenant Governor shall act as Governor during the impeachment, absence from the State, or other temporary disability of the Governor or of a Governor-elect who fails to take office.” Thus, because Schwarzenegger is currently on business in China, Maldonado does have the authority to file an appeal that the governor objects to.
It’s difficult to imagine that Maldonado would actually do such a thing, however. For one thing, he presently has much more important matters to deal with. Not long after Schwarzenegger left for China, a massive gas explosion occurred in San Bruno, California. As the state’s acting governor, Maldonado has been quite busy dealing with this tragic development.
Moreover, filing an appeal that Schwarzenegger has consistently and publicly opposed would be nothing less than a declaration of war against the highest ranking official in his state. If the governor had to fear that every time he left the state his decisions would be overruled by Maldonado, Schwarzenegger would be discouraged from traveling outside of the state even when it was in California’s interests for him to do so. Simply put, it makes no sense to have crucial policy decisions rest upon where Gov. Schwarzenegger happens to be sleeping tonight.
Nevertheless, the anti-gay activists offer one entirely cynical reason for Maldonado to abuse his temporary powers as acting governor: the upcoming election. As one anti-gay activist puts it, “more than a few conservatives are still angry with the Lieutenant Governor for votes while he was in the California Legislature. The simple act of filing this appeal could wipe away many bad memories.”
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger joked that he was afraid of being deported in Arizona during a commencement speech he delivered Monday at Emory University in Atlanta.
Schwarzenegger’s office provided a copy of his prepared remarks and confirmed he made the Arizona joke. “I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend,” Schwarzenegger said. “But with my accent I was afraid they would try to deport me.”
Schwarzenegger had previously attacked the Arizona law and called for comprehensive immigration reform during an appearance on Jay Leno. “Let me just say that I, as governor here, I would never do that in California,” he told the host. “[The] federal government does not get their act together and have immigration reform so that we know who is in this country, how many people are in this country, do the background checks, let people come in legally and work here because we need the workers, and all the people cross legally and do everything in a legal way.”
Throughout the economic recession, anti-immigrant groups have been eager to blame California’s budget woes on the state’s undocumented immigrants. However, yesterday, in an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) denied these accusations. While recognizing that undocumented immigration does pose some costs to the state, Schwarzenegger reiterated that the recession that California is experiencing is the result of a larger economic downturn, not immigration. And while the anti-immigrant crowd is quick to cite California’s economic troubles as a reason to clamp down on immigration, Schwarzenegger supports a more open policy that gives immigrants an opportunity to contribute to the state of California:
SCHWARZENEGGER: The fact of the matter is yes, it does create an extra burden on our economy and also on our budget situation. But, at the same time, that is not the reason why we have an economic downturn. This just was a crash that happened world-wide, it happened in all different countries all over the world. [...]
VAN SUSTEREN: Is immigration a factor in this state — I mean, what would you do about illegal immigration?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I’ve said many times we need immigration reform…we’ve got to go and make a decision so that people can come to this country legitimately, rather than having quotas there. Because we need the farm workers, we need the construction workers, we need people to do certain jobs that maybe we cannot fill otherwise. So I think we ought to provide that.
Schwarzenegger also appeared critical of those who are holding back immigration reform:
SCHWARZENEGGER: So, there are kinds of things like this that we ought to do in immigration reform and it ought to be done now. We should not every two years say: “this is not the right time,” “it is an election year,” “I think we should postpone it until next year.” It will never get done this way and we will always live in this kind of chaos. It’s living in denial basically, like ignoring that we have this major problem and people are coming across the border.
Schwarzenegger also pointed out that it’s “irresponsible” to welcome foreign students to study in the U.S. and then require them to leave once they are finished with their education. “I think they should stay here, they should work here, and they should take that knowledge that they have gained in California and put it to good use for California,” said Schwarzenegger.
A study by Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California found that immigration reform would increase California’s “state and local tax base by about $350 million in the short run.” A separate study by Raul Hinojosa of the University of California, Los Angeles similarly found that immigration reform which includes a path legalization could generate at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years.
Today on ABC’s This Week, host Terry Moran noted the Republican Party’s staunch opposition to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Congress passed last year and added that “it was summed up by Mitt Romney at the CPAC convention this week.” “[President Obama] scared employers,” Romney said. “So jobs were scarce. His nearly trillion dollar stimulus created not one net new job in the private sector.”
Responding to Romney, Republican California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called out the GOP hypocrisy:
SCHWARZENEGGER: I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around pushing back on the stimulus money and saying this doesn’t create any new jobs. Then they go out and they do the photo ops and they’re posing with the big check and they say, “Isn’t this great?”
Schwarzenegger then railed against his GOP colleagues for playing politics with the stimulus bill and attacked them for claiming it didn’t create jobs:
SCHWARZENEGGER: Anyone that says it hasn’t created a job, they should talk to the 150,000 people that have been getting jobs in California.
MORAN: In the private sector?
SCHWARZENEGGER: In the private sector and from the public sector. … So I’m happy that we got this money. I’m happy that we have put 150,000 people to work and there will be more people that are put to work because of it.
Throughout the past year, many GOP members of Congress who voted against the stimulus have beentoutingthe money it delivered to their states or districts. And in a new research report released last week, ThinkProgress found that over half of the Republican caucus — 110 lawmakers from the House and Senate — are guilty of this stimulus hypocrisy.
The likelihood that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R-CA) recent vulgar hidden message was inadvertent is about one in a trillion, according to a Wonk Room analysis. In a recent message announcing a veto of a bill sponsored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano — who had earlier told the governor to “kiss my gay ass” — the first letters in each line of the two paragraphs spelled out “Fuck You,” with that capitalization. The governor’s press secretary claimed it was just a “weird coincidence“:
Schwarzenegger’s press secretary, Aaron McLear, insisted Tuesday it was simply a “weird coincidence.” He sent us veto messages the governor sent out in the past with linguistic lineups such as “soap” and “poet,” which he said were also unintended.
Ignoring the likelihood of the paragraphs breaking into the correct 4-3 lines necessary for “Fuck You” and the likelihood of the capitalization being inadvertently correct, the probability of that particular phrase is approximately one in a trillion.
This is considerably smaller than the likelihood of the vulgarity appearing if the distribution of first letters were even, which is 1 in 10 billion (26^-7 = 1.25e-10).
If word distribution were based on the frequency of first letters in a common word dictionary [3esl.txt], then the likelihood of randomly spelling out the particular phrase would be one in a trillion (1.19e-12).
However, that ignores the distribution of word frequency in speech — words beginning with “t” (e.g. “the”, “that”) appear much more often than any other. Calculating first-letter frequencies from a 30,000-word concordance of recent speeches by Schwarzenegger (removing instances of “Thank you”), we still find the likelihood of the phrase in question randomly appearing to be one in a trillion (8.8e-13), in line with our less well-designed estimate.
Now, the likelihood that some phrase would be spelled out? Ignoring letter distribution, there’s about a 0.3% chance any four letter string is a common English word, and a 3% chance any three letter string is a common English word. The specific likelihood of the words “soap” and “poet” appearing, for example, given the Schwarzenegger speeches, is one in 100,000 — much greater than the one in 10 million shot of “fuck” appearing.
As letter distribution would make the appearance of common words more likely (e.g. “teas”), the probability of some two-word combination appearing is on the order of two percent. The likelihood of it making any sense, of course, is smaller. A more accurate estimation is left to the reader.
How likely is one in a trillion? To give a sense of scale, one trillion is about 10 to 20 times the number of human beings who have ever lived on the planet. For a person to speak a trillion words, you’d have to live for 400,000 years. About 20 trillion words are spoken every day on the planet. You would need to search through about the number of books in seven Libraries of Congress to find a book that randomly had Schwarzenegger’s phrase going down one of its pages.
The California Assembly and Senate recently unanimously approved Assembly Bill 1176 to help the port of San Francisco with financing issues. But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has decided to veto the legislation, sending a letter to the state Assembly chastising them for focusing on “unnecessary bills.” The San Francisco Bay Guardian also notes a second, more direct, message hidden in Schwarzenegger’s missive — contained in the first letter of each line:
The author of the Assembly Bill 1176 is Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who recently shouted out “You lie!” to Schwarzenegger at a public event. Schwarzenegger’s office, however, is insisting that the letter’s coded message was just “a strange coincidence.” “When you do so many vetoes, that’s bound to happen,” said the governor’s spokesman.
iamwil says: “Hey state Assembly, are you ready to Jumble ? ! ?”
Congress and the Bush administration are currently considering whether to spend $25 billion to rescue Detroit automakers. The proposal has generally been met with stiff resistance from conservatives, who have increasingly been pinning all the blame for the crisis in Detroit on labor unions:
Sen. Jim DeMint: “Some auto manufacturers are struggling because of a bad business structure with high unionized labor costs and burdensome federal regulations. Taxpayers did not create these problems and they should not be forced to pay for them.”
Sen. Jon Kyl: “For years they’ve been sick. They have a bad business model. They have contracts negotiated with the United Auto Workers that impose huge costs.The average hourly cost per worker in this country is about $28.48. For these auto makers, it’s $73. And for the Japanese auto companies working here in the United States, it’s $48.”
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: “You know, if you pay the auto workers or the benefits and all of those things, are maybe too high. … We have, like, in America, you sell a car, and you have $2,000 of each car just goes to benefits. So I think that there’s a way of reducing all of that, make them more fiscally responsible.”
Watch a compilation:
Unions do not deserve the blame placed on them by the right wing. In fact, unions have repeatedly madeconcessions to auto executives over recent years. Contrary to Kyl’s claim, new auto employees earn $25.65 an hour.
Financial firms AIG, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns did not have unionized workers but still suffered economic collapses. Frozen credit markets and a spiraling recession were major contributors to Detroit’s current state. Today, the Center for American Progress urged Congress “to support legislation to grant a $25 billion bridge loan to the U.S. auto companies to ensure that they avoid bankruptcy” provided the automakers provide health and retirement security and invest in clean technology.