Today’s announcement by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is an important step forward for our nation and our planet. From now on, future coal- and gas-fired power plants must take responsibility for their global warming pollution by reducing or capturing their overall emissions.
This is a critical achievement for President Barack Obama and his administration. In the face of an intransigent and inactive Congress, the President has made halting the climate crisis a priority. The policies announced today, combined with the rest of the President’s Climate Action Plan, will put us on the path toward solving the climate crisis, but Congress must also soon face the reality of the situation.
Three years ago, Congress failed to put a price on carbon and, in doing so, allowed global warming pollution to continue unabated. We have seen the disturbing consequences that the climate crisis has to offer—from a drought that covered 60% of our nation to Superstorm Sandy which wreaked havoc and cost the taxpayers billions, from wildfires spreading across large areas of the American West to severe flooding in cities all across our country—we have seen what happens when we fail to act. We need a price on carbon. We need it now.
Stories to Watch: 10/7/11
Last time I checked, it was 82 degrees out. Eighty-freakin’-two. I have to grill burgers. I have no choice. Now here’s the news…
It’s come to this; Rick Perry has an ad out attacking Mitt Romney for being concerned about the environment. Perry’s clearly going for the asshole vote — i.e., those people who buy the least fuel efficient vehicles they can find, just to piss Al Gore off.
Speaking of Mittens, he made a foreign policy speech to day that was a hopeless mess of inane and paranoid nonsense.
Steve Benen takes on GOP economic flateartherism; “In the GOP worldview, the economy will improve when hundreds of thousands of public-sector workers lose their jobs. That may sound ridiculous — and it is — but it’s also a central tenet to the Republican employment policy. Remember what House Speaker John Boehner said earlier this year, told that his budget plan would force hundreds of thousands of government employees into unemployment? ‘So be it.’”
Also from Benen; You may have heard that Harry Reid invoked the “nuclear option.” That’s only true if you completely redefine what “nuclear option” means.
The White House responds to Eric Cantor’s assertion that Occupy Wall Street is a “mob,” calling it “hypocrisy unbound.” To fully understand Cantor’s argument, see my handy infographic.
Good news for President Obama; the birthers are still out there, making the right look like a group of idiots and mental patients.
The Obama administration takes Alabama to court, seeking to overturn their insane anti-immigrant law.
Finally, the return of the glitter protest.
Stories to Watch: 9/7/11
Big GOP debate tonight. I, for one, plan to skip it. For one, it’s at the Reagan Library. The last debate there turned into a macabre contest to see who could fit in the dead man’s clothes. Expect “I’m Reagan! No, I’m Reagan!”
For another; all the candidates have basically been in a competition to see who can be the most like the GOP congress. So you know what they’re going to say; tax cuts, regulation, “job creators,” Jesus, wank, wank, wank. I could practically write the transcript right now.
I’ll read about it tomorrow, so I don’t have to suffer through it. Now here’s the news…
Karl Rove thinks Rick Perry’s biggest problem will be the self-inflicted wound caused by his own idiotic book. His views on Social Security, for example, are “toxic in a general election environment and they are also toxic in a Republican primary.”
In way-local news, Wisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan announces he’ll be running for the congressional seat Tammy Baldwin will leave open to run for the US Senate. Liberal as all get out and strongly supported by labor, he’ll probably win it in a walk.
Al Gore’s not real happy with President Obama right now. He shouldn’t be. And neither should you. Gore writes of the president’s abandonment of EPA guidelines for smog, “Instead of relying on science, President Obama appears to have bowed to pressure from polluters who did not want to bear the cost of implementing new restrictions on their harmful pollution — even though economists have shown that the US economy would benefit from the job creating investments associated with implementing the new technology.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists agrees with Gore — Obama’s move was boneheaded. “This delay is shocking,” says UCS Scientific Integrity Program Director Francesca Grifo. “President Obama’s decision will leave us with a rule that flouts the Clean Air Act and ignores science. They’ve allowed politics to trump science at the expense of the American people’s health.”
Greg Sargent reveals one reason why the right plays the victim card so often. The short version is that the base is gullible, thin-skinned, and easily spooked — which translates into a fundraising bonanza every time someone cooks up some new and imaginary offense, plot, or threat. The long version is even worse.
Erick-Erick is frustrated with Sarah Palin’s coquettery. I’ll bet he’ll even take her poster out of his locker at CNN.
Harry Reid plans to put a clean disaster relief bill up for a vote and dare Senate Republicans to join Eric Cantor in holding Irene victims hostage.
Rep. Allen West continues to be a hateful jackass.
Finally, the GOP will not rebut the president’s jobs speech. “The Republicans’ refusal to respond to the president’s proposal on jobs is not only disrespectful to him, but to the American people,” says Nancy Pelosi.
News Roundup for 6/15/11
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, all-American boob
-Headline of the day-
"Rorhabacher: Iraqis ‘Just Aren’t Grateful For What We’ve Done.’"
Danged ingrates. We make up a story to justify blowing the living shit out of their country, kill countless people, and what thanks do we get? Zip. It’s an outrage, I tells ya…
See, all Rep. Dana Rohrabacher wanted from Iraqis was a little recognition — and a whole lot of dough. We’ve been blowing up the place for eight years now and Dana wanted to know when Iraqis were going to pay us back for all the ammo and rebuilding and stuff.
So he went to Iraq to ask the Iraqi Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki just that; when are you guys gonna fork over for all we’ve done for you?
Well, you’d think that Rohrabacher had said something insane, from the way they acted. They told him and a bunch of other Republican congress critters to get the fuck out. No, really. They threw them out of the country — which we won in a war fair and square.
"We spent a trillion dollars trying to free those people from the Saddam Hussein dictatorship and help them build a more democratic society," he said. "Yet now it seems there is no gratitude on the part of the people who now are in charge of the Iraqi government… They just aren’t grateful for what we’ve done… American people gave their lives, their children, and we expended billions of dollars, which now we’re — is hurting our economy." Here we are throwing lives and money and bullets at this country and what do we get out of the deal? Nothin’.
It’s almost as if the whole thing was a big waste of time and money and lives, just like all those hippies said it would be at the beginning.
Damned reality. (ThinkProgress, with video)
-It’s just a game…-
A true-life tale of the greatest existential crisis imaginable.
We are a cruel people… (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)
"Al Gore praises Romney on climate."
And thus was Mittens doomed. (Politico)
Republicans Repeal the Existence of Climate Change
Global warming is just some crap scientists made up to get that sweet, sweet grant money, right? Never mind that this money goes to the research, not the scientists themselves, so researchers would have nothing to gain here; it’s obvious (to Republicans, at least) that scientists are pulling a hoax to get grant money, which allows them to spend their days researching something that doesn’t exist. I guess because it’s fun.
Well, the gravy train stops here. The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday voted climate change out of existence. Problem solved. Add it to the other huge problems facing our nation that the GOP is working hard to solve, like the microscopic fraction of federal money spent on NPR or making sure the words “In God We Trust" are plastered over every blank square inch of America. You know, all that important "fiddling while Rome burns" stuff.
Sean Pool, ClimateProgress:
House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee demonstrated their commitment to science denial yesterday by unanimously voting down three separate amendments offered by Democrats to reaffirm basic facts about climate science. They then unanimously voted to pass the Upton-Inhofe bill to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific endangerment finding on greenhouse pollution.
Let’s be clear. Congress should not attempt to make scientific decisions. The role of Congress is to take the best science and use it to make the best possible policy. The three amendments rejected unanimously by committee Republicans each lays out a fairly basic statement about generally accepted climate science.
Pool makes a good point when he writes, “Congress should not attempt to make scientific decisions.” Michele Bachmann is not the person who should be designing docking clamps for the international space station, for example. We hire people to do that. People who know what the hell they’re talking about. Scientists advise government, by supplying people in government with facts. When government decides to ignore those facts, things don’t go very well.
At this point, it probably pays to point out that — worldwide — the American Republican Party is the only major political party that denies the existence, importance, and severity of global climate change. This is less “fiddling while Rome burns” and more “whistling past the graveyard.” Dealing with climate change will be a big effort — growing bigger the longer we put it off — and, unless it’s war, Republicans don’t go in for big things. Change is antithetical to the Republican mind, which is why the only changes they actually support involve changing things back to the way they used to be. Undoing regulations, striking down Roe v. Wade, returning America to the pre-organized labor days — all cornerstones of GOP philosophy and all involving disassembly. New things are not their friends and the old, pre-progress world — as bad as the sexism, racism, and other bigotries were back then — is always preferable to today.
So global warming must be a hoax, cooked up by Al Gore and crazy environmentalists to soak up that sweet, sweet grant money. Ask any conservative; back in the seventies, scientists used to worry that the Earth was cooling — now they’ve pulled a 180 and are saying it’s warming! Pffft! Silly scientists…
Except, that’s not exactly true. Here’s part of a Frank Capra short from 1958.
So, we can safely assume that roughly five decades of research is all wrong. Why? Because it’s not good news for fossil fuel industries. We could be creating new jobs, new technologies, new industries, and new markets — but only at the expense of old jobs, old technologies, old industries, and old markets. It’s metaphor I’ve used more than once, but the Republican Party is in the hip pocket of the buggywhip industry. Technology must not be allowed to move beyond the horse-draw carriage, because no one will buy buggywhips anymore and that means economic catastrophe for the United States.
I think at this point, it’s clear that the Republican Party has no interest in solving any problems. As Paul Krugman pointed out recently, they’ve completely lost interest in unemployment and jobs. Much more important is fighting pointless, doomed political battles based entirely on ideology and zero facts. Need a job? Hey, we’ll defund NPR for you. That ought to help. Never mind that it’ll never go anywhere or that it’s just a bone to please the teabagger base and the rightwing blogosphere.
And jobs and the green energy sector? Who needs them? We can all make buggywhips. You just wait and see — when the rest of the world realizes that all this global warming stuff is hooey, they’ll come crawling to us looking for coal. Because all those wind turbines and solar cells — all made anywhere but the United States — will magically stop working, I guess.