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Archive for December 10th, 2009

Pentagon’s Advice to Traumatized Veterans: Think Happy Thoughts!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Pentagon’s Advice to Traumatized Veterans: Think Happy Thoughts!
Hey, all you quitters and whiners: If it’s bad and it hurts, you have to try harder, have faith, and above all, think positive!

Hey, all you quitters and whiners: If it’s bad and it hurts, you have to try harder, have faith, and above all, think positive!

12 Crazy Futuristic Water Buildings That May Help Humans Survive Climate Change Catastrophe
Twelve prototype habitats are making a convincing argument for mankind’s offshore living.

Twelve prototype habitats are making a convincing argument for mankind's offshore living.

Texas Populist Jim Hightower Makes Progressive ‘Hall of Fame,’ as Nation Magazine Gathering Grapples with Conflicted Feelings about President Obama
A year after the President’s inauguration, much of the giddiness surrounding Obama has dissipated.

A year after the President's inauguration, much of the giddiness surrounding Obama has dissipated.


Misunderstanding July 2011?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Misunderstanding July 2011?
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) is speaking at Brookings today on the Obama administration’s course in Afghanistan. His speech, while largely supportive of the frame that Obama has brought to the challenge — a narrowed mission, discussion…


AfghanistanCarl LevinUnited States Senate Committee on Armed ServicesObama administrationAsia

The Green Bank And Green Jobs
I’m the co-chair of the Coalition for the Green Bank. Here’s a white paper on the project we produced for the president’s Jobs Summit. I wanted to share it with the TPM audience. Let us know what you think….



White paperBusinessFinancial ServicesBanking ServicesBanks and Institutions

Brussels And Jerusalem
The European Union, arguably the most important political achievement of our lifetime, is unarguably among the most underestimated, especially when its foreign ministers come together to debate common approaches to global problems–and doubly so when the problem at hand is…


Israel-PalestineMiddle EastWarfare and ConflictEast JerusalemIsrael


Washington Post Promotes Palin?s Denialist Op-Ed By Putting Science In Scare Quotes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Washington Post Promotes Palin?s Denialist Op-Ed By Putting Science In Scare Quotes
As The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder notes, “Once again, the Washington Post has given Sarah Palin the chance to harness herself to the political story of the hour” by publishing her op-ed today urging President Obama to boycott the Copenhagen climate change conference because of the exaggerated controversy over the “Climategate” hacked e-mails. On its homepage, […]

Washington Post puts science in scare quotes.As The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder notes, “Once again, the Washington Post has given Sarah Palin the chance to harness herself to the political story of the hour” by publishing her op-ed today urging President Obama to boycott the Copenhagen climate change conference because of the exaggerated controversy over the “Climategate” hacked e-mails. On its homepage, the Post promotes Palin’s op-ed, which is largely a redux of one of her Facebook posts, by putting science in scare quotes.

Palin claims that the e-mails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia show that “leading climate ‘experts’ deliberately destroyed records” and “manipulated data to ‘hide the decline’ in global temperatures.” Climate Progress’ Joe Romm points out that the e-mails “don’t reveal that” while Tim Limbert notes that a Washington Post story linked in Palin’s op-ed undermines her assertion of “manipulated data.”

Palin’s op-ed, however, does reveal just how deep into climate denialism she has delved. While claiming that she does not “deny the reality of some changes in climate,” Palin casts doubt on the science of global warming:

But while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can’t say with assurance that man’s activities cause weather changes. We can say, however, that any potential benefits of proposed emissions reduction policies are far outweighed by their economic costs.

Though Palin recently told Rush Limbaugh that changes in the climate were “cyclical” and she didn’t “attribute all the changes to man’s activities,” she told CBS’ News’ Katie Couric during the presidential campaign that she did believe humans contributed to climate change:

Couric: Is it man-made, though in your view?

Palin: You know there are – there are man’s activities that can be contributed to the issues that we’re dealing with now, these impacts. I’m not going to solely blame all of man’s activities on changes in climate. Because the world’s weather patterns are cyclical. And over history we have seen change there. But kind of doesn’t matter at this point, as we debate what caused it. The point is: it’s real; we need to do something about it.

Indeed, during the vice presidential debate Palin even said she supported capping carbon emissions. But now that she’s unattached to a candidate proposing a cap-and-trade system — from which he has also backtracked — Palin has reverted to her original denialism and the Washington Post has repeatedly given her space to air her falsehood-filled attacks on efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Beck: We Should ?Just Abolish Medicare?
Yesterday, Senate Democrats working on health care reform reached a compromise on the public option that will create a network of nonprofit insurers and allow Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare. The right has hypocritically opposed a government-run public-option while simultaneously defending Medicare. On his radio show today, […]

Glenn Beck Yesterday, Senate Democrats working on health care reform reached a compromise on the public option that will create a network of nonprofit insurers and allow Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare. The right has hypocritically opposed a government-run public-option while simultaneously defending Medicare. On his radio show today, Fox News host Glenn Beck called Medicare what it is — a “government-run health care plan.”

Beck attacked the new compromise and proposed a simple solution of his own — “abolish Medicare”:

CO-HOST: This is unbelievable, because the whole thing with the public option, is we were saying this is going to be like Medicare, they just want to make a big — make another Medicare program. And then they said no, public option is just competition.

BECK: And, wait wait wait. And I also said why don’t you just abolish Medicare, because it’s so wildly corrupt and out of control. It’s so inefficient, it is so bad and there’s $47 billion in suspected wrong payments, okay, in Medicare. So what are they saying — now remember, what we’re going to do — the compromise is we’re going to expand Medicare. That way there won’t be a public option, we’ll just — which doesn’t make any sense — we’re going to expand Medicare.

Listen:

Medicare is actually more efficient than private health insurance and would be better at controlling costs than weaker public option plans. And while Republicans strongly opposed Medicare when it was created under President Johnson, it has become popular over time. When Rep. Anthony Wiener (D-NY) introduced an amendment to eliminate Medicare in July — urging conservatives to “put-up or shut-up” about their objection to government-run health care. Not a single member of Congress voted in favor.

Moreover, Medicare is hugely successful. Before it came into being, more than one in four seniors lacked health care and a third lived in poverty. Now every American over 65 has access to quality care. A Commonwealth Fund study found that people with Medicare “report fewer problems obtaining medical care, and less financial hardship due to medical bills, and higher overall satisfaction with their coverage,” compared to people with employer-provided care. 56 percent of Medicare beneficiaries rate their coverage a 9 or 10 on a scale of 10 while only 40 percent with private insurance do so.


S.C. lawmakers decide against impeachment of Gov. Sanford

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

S.C. lawmakers decide against impeachment of Gov. Sanford
South Carolina lawmakers investigating Gov. Mark Sanford voted Wednesday not to impeach the embattled Republican for his use of state-sponsored travel and for abandoning his official duties this summer when he secretly visited his Argentine mistress.

Politics Digest: South Carolina lawmakers vote not to impeach Governor Mark Sanford
South Carolina lawmakers investigating Gov. Mark Sanford voted Wednesday not to impeach the embattled Republican for his use of state-sponsored travel and for abandoning his official duties this summer when he secretly visited his mistress in Argentina.

Senate Democrats largely support health-care deal that drops public option
Senate Democrats on Wednesday largely embraced a compromise that dropped a “public option” from health-care legislation, setting aside their concerns about aspects of the consensus plan in the hopes that the deal hatched by negotiators would serve as a rallying point in their push for the passage of…

Posting of TSA manual leads to personnel actions
The Department of Homeland Security has initiated unspecified actions against personnel involved in the bungled online posting this spring of a government document that revealed airport screening secrets, Secretary Janet Napolitano told senators Wednesday.


Senate deal on public option draws praise from Obama
President Obama praised Senate Democrats on Wednesday for producing “a creative new framework” to provide coverage to uninsured Americans without relying on a government insurance option.


‘Science’ Responds to Climategate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 10th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

‘Science’ Responds to Climategate
Clive Crook, The Atlantic
« Obama's Brookings speech on jobs | Main | Some links » 08 Dec 2009 04:29 pmThe response of the climate-science establishment to Climategate has been disappointing if predictable. The guild mentality has come to the fore. Campaigns are under way to defend the integrity of science from a scurrilous smear campaign. The message is simple: you are either with us or you are a barbarian.The first line of response to the leaked or hacked emails, you recall, was to say that they showed science going on as usual–even science at its best, some…

Obama’s FDR Moment
Harold Meyerson, Washington Post
With a sweeping bow to reality, President Obama unveiled his second economic stimulus program on Tuesday. He didn't call it that, of course, since “stimulus” has become taboo, but the proposals he sketched will considerably amplify the government's efforts to combat the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.The key elements of the plan are a series of tax breaks and, conceivably, redirected TARP funds for small business and a doubling-down of the federal investment in infrastructure. By placing such a heavy emphasis on aid to small business, Obama is…

Going Cheney on Climate
Thomas Friedman, New York Times
In 2006, Ron Suskind published “The One Percent Doctrine,” a book about the U.S. war on terrorists after 9/11. The title was drawn from an assessment by then-Vice President Dick Cheney, who, in the face of concerns that a Pakistani scientist was offering nuclear-weapons expertise to Al Qaeda, reportedly declared: “If there’s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping Al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response.” Cheney contended that the U.S. had to confront a very new type of threat: a…

Peril in Pakistan