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Talking Ass-Weasel, Kilmeade, Still Saying Energy Bill "Going to Cost Taxpayer $1,241 a Year"

Monday, June 29, 2009


Fox News' Talking Monkey, Kilmeade, Still Lying About Spanish Green Jobs Study


CBS Jumps a Whale Shark

By DarkSyde
Daily Kos

There are plenty of instances in the traditional media of honest mistakes or just plain sloppy journalism when it comes to science reporting. Then there are times when the only explanation is naked complicity in spreading disinformation. CBS has clearly crossed the line into the latter, by reporting the EPA suppressed information questioning the validity of anthropogenic global warming, to a degree that should leave any premium news organization embarrassed. We’re not going to award CBS traffic for this travesty (It’s linked with some additional info here) but some background on the report that was supposedly repressed can be found here:
It turns out that the report, written by Alan Carlin and John Davidson of the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics, is drawn heavily from the contrarian blogosphere, especially Ken Gregory of the Calgary-based "astroturf" group Friends of Science. And in one case, a lengthy "analysis" of a recent peer-reviewed paper has been lifted, without attribution, straight out of World Climate Report, the climate "news" blog run by uber-contrarian Pat Michaels.
Just for starters, the contrarian report that CBS accuses the EPA of 'suppressing' revives the old zombie lie that a warming sun is to blame for global warming, except when it's not, then the earth is actually cooling. There’s no need to point out that the sun, the most studied object in the universe after earth itself, shows no signs of doing anything of the sort, nor is there any point in presenting data showing unequivocally that the earth is not cooling unless one conveniently cherry picks an interval right after the hottest year on record. Because -- now follow along Republican boys and girls -- the sun can’t be the cause of global warming on a cooling earth. The rest of the so-called suppressed report is just as bad if not worse. Excluding nonsense heavily plagiarized from energy industry front groups is not an example of suppression. It’s an example of rightful rejection....(Remainder.)


Time for Iron Man

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
The Washington Post

Every general studies the mistakes of the last war, and President Obama's style has been much influenced by the difficulties of Bill Clinton's presidency.

In particular, Obama has shied away from handing Congress his own plans on "stone tablets," a phrase much loved by senior adviser David Axelrod, and instead allowed it room to legislate.

The president has won a lot, including a decent stimulus bill and laws on children's health coverage, tobacco regulation and employment discrimination that, in less exciting times, would have been seen as landmarks. But the stimulus bill was neither as good nor as large as it might have been, and Obama is still dealing with the problems created by the legislative train wreck over his Guantanamo policies.

And then there's his centerpiece campaign to reform the health-care system.

Obama's initial approach of laying out principles and giving Congress latitude was the right response to Clinton's mistake of offering a detailed proposal, only to see it mocked and rejected. Yet two big problems confront health-care reform that only Obama's intervention can solve.

The first is the absence of substantial Republican support for comprehensive change. Max Baucus, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has done everything short of making ethanol a reimbursable prescription drug to win the heart of his good Republican friend from Iowa, Chuck Grassley....(Remainder.)


And the Fag was Still There

By Mr. Fish
LA Weekly


Hannity Continues to Push Debunked Cap-and-Trade Cost Figure

By Media Matters

During the June 26 edition of his Fox News program, referring to the American Clean Energy and Security Act -- which passed the House earlier that day -- Sean Hannity stated: "Most Americans don't know that we're going to lose two-and-a-half million new jobs and that your electricity bills, as a result of this vote tonight, will go up maybe as high as $3,000 per family." But the $3,000 per family figure -- which Hannity has cited before -- is based on Republicans' distortion of a 2007 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has been discredited by one of the study's authors. In contrast to the figure Hannity cited, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in a June 19 analysis of the version of the bill that passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee that in 2020, the bill would have an average cost of $175 per household per year. And the EPA estimated in a June 23 analysis of the bill that the average cost to households averaged over the years 2010 to 2050 will be between $80 and $111.

According to a May 28 article, "Leading Republicans are claiming that President Obama's proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions would cost households as much as $3,100 per year. The Republican National Committee calls it a 'massive national energy tax.' But the $3,100 figure is a misrepresentation of both Obama's proposal and the study from which the number is derived."

From the article:
How do Republicans figure American households will be out $3,100? The figure is based in part on a 2007 study by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. The study estimated that a cap-and-trade market for 2015 would be worth $366 billion in revenue. Republicans, figuring that that amount would be passed from the energy companies to consumers, calculated the average cost per household by dividing $366 billion by 117 million households (a population of 300 million divided into households of 2.56 persons) to get $3,128, or roughly $3,100.

However, one of the authors of the MIT study disputes that figure....



Why the GOP Can't Sink Sotomayor

With Senate confirmation practically a lock, big business plays nice with the likely next justice.

By Stephanie Mencimer
Mother Jones

For the past month, Republicans have done their best to tar and feather President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor. There's been talk-radio griping about her now-infamous "wise Latina" speech, charges of reverse racism, and lots of disparaging of "empathy" for the little people. But despite all the bluster, the GOP has secured just three known votes against Obama's nominee to replace retiring Justice David Souter, and they come from the party's far-right fringe: Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). That's not much of an army for a confirmation battle.

Some conservatives seem perplexed that their attacks haven't inflicted more damage. But they shouldn't be. One revealing clue came in an endorsement last week, when Mother Jones reported that former Clinton special prosecutor Kenneth Starr had endorsed Sotomayor. Starr is a die-hard conservative and towering icon of the religious right. But in his legal practice, he often represents business interests—a major GOP constituency that often trumps the party's fealty to its evangelical wing. With Democrats in control of the Senate, the GOP just doesn't have the numbers to keep Sotomayor off the bench (barring pubic-hair-on-the-Coke-can-type allegations or other emerging scandals). Regardless of how the base views her opinions on abortion or the death penalty, anyone who might have an issue before the court is loath to antagonize a woman who'll likely be deciding their cases.

Starr himself has a pending Supreme Court case that Sotomayor will hear next term if she's confirmed. He represents a group called the Free Enterprise Fund, which has sued a nonprofit board created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to beef up corporate accounting standards. The suit alleges that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is unconstitutional because, among other things, it violates the separation of powers doctrine. If Starr wins, the suit could potentially impede the Securities and Exchange Commission's ability to take action against accounting firms—and force Congress to overhaul the entire act, which is deeply unpopular on Wall Street. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the suit in 2008 in a 2-to-1 decision. But the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the matter next term, and Starr is no dummy. He certainly doesn't want to alienate Sotomayor by publicly opposing her. But he also has a lot to gain by endearing himself to the novice justice with a generous public endorsement....(Remainder.)


Betraying the Planet

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times

So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research.

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course.

Thus researchers at M.I.T., who were previously predicting a temperature rise of a little more than 4 degrees by the end of this century, are now predicting a rise of more than 9 degrees. Why? Global greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster than expected; some mitigating factors, like absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans, are turning out to be weaker than hoped; and there’s growing evidence that climate change is self-reinforcing — that, for example, rising temperatures will cause some arctic tundra to defrost, releasing even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere....(Remainder.)


Guns, America & Nazi Germany

By Bruce Ticket
The Smirking Chimp

James W. von Brunn must think that murdering a black Protestant security guard like Stephen T. Johns, as alleged by authorities, was worth taking a few bullets and forcing the estrangement of his 32-year-old son.

Jews and African Americans came together at a church in Fort Washington, Md., to mourn Johns’ death, which left a son without a father, a wife without a husband and a mother without a son.

Johns’s death at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on June 10 was preceded in less than a week by two other politically-charged killings, the shooting deaths of abortion-physician Dr. George Tiller and a soldier, William Long, 24, outside a recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark., allegedly by Carlos Bledsoe, a Muslim who abhorred military actions in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The question of gun control enters the picture. Advocates for gun control have clamored for stricter laws for years as the bodies piled up. Gun control laws might not have helped to prevent Johns’s death since the alleged murder weapon could not be traced due to its age, at least 70 years. Such laws probably would have helped prevent most murders and injuries caused by firearms.

How hard is it to figure out our problem? Lunatics throughout this country have easy access to firearms. Unstable people have the opportunity to kill at will. As a society, we must be just as crazy to allow it.

That said, what makes America of 2009 any different from Nazi Germany?...(Remainder.)


O’Reilly Sleight Of Hand On Sanford Affair: Make The Story About Liberal Viciousness, Ignore The Open Questions

By Ellen
News Hounds

The O'Reilly Factor took a break from the nearly non-stop Michael Jackson coverage Friday night (6/26/09) on Fox to spend three segments accusing Democrats, liberals, and the left, of "celebrating" Gov. Mark Sanford's (R-SC) fall from grace. Cleverly avoiding the substantive issues that surround Sanford's admission that he's been having an affair: his failure to arrange for someone else to be in charge while he was MIA, his hypocrisy as a supposed family values conservative, and his use of public funds to visit his mistress in Argentina, Bill O'Reilly, Karl Rove (videos below) and Bernard Goldberg repeatedly smeared their fellow Americans who happen to be Democrats and then accused THEM of being vicious. It was hard not to see it as a deliberate diversion from the sorry state of affairs (pun intended) otherwise known as the Republican Party. Unless it was a deliberate diversion from the continuing outcry against Bill O'Reilly's persistent attacks on abortion doctor George Tiller, later gunned down by an anti-abortion extremist, about which O'Reilly is obviously still smarting (from the attacks on him, that is, not Tiller's death). With video.

As soon as he heard the news of Sanford's affair, O'Reilly said, "I knew some on the left would celebrate because the governor's a conservative Republican." O'Reilly generously acknowledged that "reveling in the pain of others" is not limited to liberals and Democrats "but the far left has been especially vicious lately." I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that "lately" means since Dr. Tiller was killed and the world started scrutinizing O'Reilly's years-long campaign to destroy him.

O'Reilly went on to make the laughable claim, "The right has been fairly restrained about the John Edwards situation... Here at Fox News we reported the Edwards affair but did not dwell on it. Or celebrate it." That must depend on what the definition of "dwell" is. Because Hannity & Colmes, alone, spent one entire show on the subject (I didn't see any of FNC's prime time shows spending that much time on Sanford who, unlike Edwards, is still in office). And O'Reilly, himself, while proclaiming that he did not "relish this," used the occasion of Edwards' affair to air every other "very accurate" grievance O'Reilly had against Edwards and vowed to find out who sat on the story for several months. Funny, I didn't see any such journalistic spunk over the unanswered questions related to the Sanford case. In fact, I have seen no journalistic spunk at all about Sanford's downfall.

As an example of the left supposedly "celebrating" Sanford's fall, O'Reilly played a clip of Democratic strategist Paul Begala saying, "I'm sick of getting lectures from Republicans that I'm not a good husband, I'm not a good Christian, I'm not a good patriot. They ought to cut that crap and do their real job and stop lecturing the rest of us about gay rights and sex..."...(Remainder.)


Scientists Study Foes' Ways at Creation "Museum"

Not surprisingly, the visitors object to depictions of evolution.

By Jeffrey McMurray
Associated Press via MSNBC

PETERSBURG, Kentucky - In one of the largest gatherings of critics since the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky opened two years ago, six dozen paleontologists in the area for a conference this week took a field trip to get a glimpse of the marketing tactics used by the other side of the evolution debate.

Paleontologists spend their careers studying evolution, and here they were visiting a place where nearly every room is dedicated to disproving it through Creationism, a fundamentalist Christian belief based on a literal interpretation of the Bible that contends God created the universe just a few thousand years ago.

"The real purpose of the museum visit is to give some of my colleagues an opportunity to sense how they're being portrayed," said Arnold Miller, a professor of paleontology at the University of Cincinnati, which is hosting the conference. "They're being demonized, I feel, in this museum as people who are responsible for all the ills of society."
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Miller and other paleontologists object to numerous other aspects of the museum they say imply science is doing more harm than good.

For example, multiple rooms are devoted to the great flood, which a strict biblical interpretation might explain was a rebuke for questioning God. The implication, some of the paleontologists say, is that their studies concluding Earth is millions of years old — not thousands as creationists claim — must pose a similar threat to mankind.

Scientists also disagree with the depiction of Noah's ark itself. Inside a miniature ark is a compartment holding two small dinosaurs, living alongside the monkeys, cows and other animals....(Remainder.)


And If Anyone Knows a Pile of Shit When He Sees It, It's John Boehner

"I'm a sad clown."
By watertiger

Irony just called and is more than a little pissed off it keeps getting abused by Republicans:
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) had a few choice words about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) landmark climate-change bill after its passage Friday.

When asked why he read portions of the cap-and-trade bill on the floor Friday night, Boehner told The Hill, "
Hey, people deserve to know what's in this pile of s--t."
As we all know, the Republicans spent the last eight years doing nothing but passing legislation that benefited the American people, not lobbyists and corporations, and gave the bills enough time for honest and spirited debate on the House floor so that everyone had the opportunity to read the bills before they voted on them.


Don't get me wrong -- the bill that was passed on Friday night leaves a metric assload to be desired. But this pretty much sums up Boehner's position:
[O]ne Democratic aide quipped, "What do you expect from a guy who thinks global warming is caused by cow manure?"


Spies In the Classroom: The Government Is Running a Secretive Intelligence Recruitment Program in Schools

The "Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program" may become a permanent budget item, making universities unwitting agents of state intelligence.

By David Price
CounterPunch via AlterNet

As the continuities and disjunctures between the Bush and Obama administrations come into focus it becomes increasingly clear that while Obama’s domestic agenda has some identifiable breaks with Bush’s, at its core, the new administration remains committed to staying the course of American militarization. Now we have an articulate, nuanced president who supports elements of progressive domestic policies, can even comfortably say the phrase LGBT in public speeches, while funding military programs at alarming levels and continuing the Bush administration’s military and intelligence invasion of what used to be civilian life.

The latest manifestation of this continuity came last week when Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence, announced plans to transform the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program (PRISP) from a pilot project into a permanent budget item. Blair also announced plans to establish a “Reserve Officers' Training Corps” to train unidentified future intelligence officers in US college classrooms. Like students receiving PRISP funds, the identities of students participating in these programs would not be known to professors, university administrators or fellow students -- in effect, these future intelligence analysts and agents would conduct their first covert missions in our university classrooms.

Four years ago I wrote a series of CounterPunch exposés on the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program (PRISP), then a pilot project funded under section 318 of the 2004 Intelligence Authorization Act. PRISP links undergraduate and graduate students with US security and intelligence agencies like the NSA or CIA, and unannounced to universities, professors or fellow-students, PRISP-students enter American university campuses, classrooms, laboratories and professor’s offices without disclosing links to these agencies. PRISP was originally conceived by anthropologist Felix Moos, long a proponent of using anthropological knowledge in waging of counterinsurgency campaigns -- an area of growing interest to the Obama administration as it prepares for prolonged soft power counterinsurgency campaigns in Afghanistan....(Remainder.)


WaPo Reporter to HuffPo Blogger: "You're Such a D**k"

By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank and Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney got into a tense confrontation on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday over the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s decision to take a question from Pitney during a press conference last Tuesday.

According to Pitney, shortly after the segment aired, Milbank leaned into Pitney’s ear and whispered, “You’re such a dick.”

The controversy centers around President Obama’s desire to take a question from the Iranian public during a press conference last week.

It was clear in that conference that Obama knew Pitney was going to ask a question on behalf of an Iranian citizen. And — as Milbank pointed out during the CNN discussion — Pitney had, in fact, declared the night before that Obama planned to call on him, and that he — Pitney — was soliciting questions from Iranians for the president.

The incident ruffled many feathers in the Washington media establishment. On CNN, Milbank took Pitney to task on the issue, accusing the Huffington Post blogger of “working in collusion” with the White House.

“The White House should not be calling somebody the night before and saying, ‘We are going to call on you if you ask a question on a particular subject, asked in a particular way’,” Milbank said.

Pitney retorted that the issue was one of “jealousy” on the part of Washington’s reporters, implying that the traditional media are resentful of the arrival of Internet-based news services and blogs....(Remainder.)


How a Loophole Benefits GE in Bank Rescue

Industrial Giant Becomes Top Recipient in Debt-Guarantee Program

General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey Immelt, center, is applauded by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm during a news conference Friday, June 26, 2009, in Birmingham, Mich. Immelt announced GE will build a $100 million manufacturing technology center in Michigan that will eventually employ more than 1,100 workers. At right is Ed Montgomery, President Barack Obama's director of recovery for auto communities and workers. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
By Jeff Gerth and Brady Dennis
ProPublica and The Washington Post

General Electric, the world's largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government's key rescue programs for banks.

At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.

The company did not initially qualify for the program, under which the government sought to unfreeze credit markets by guaranteeing debt sold by banking firms. But regulators soon loosened the eligibility requirements, in part because of behind-the-scenes appeals from GE.

As a result, GE has joined major banks collectively saving billions of dollars by raising money for their operations at lower interest rates. Public records show that GE Capital, the company's massive financing arm, has issued nearly a quarter of the $340 billion in debt backed by the program, which is known as the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, or TLGP. The government's actions have been "powerful and helpful" to the company, GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt acknowledged in December.

GE's finance arm is not classified as a bank. Rather, it worked its way into the rescue program by owning two relatively small Utah banking institutions, illustrating how the loopholes in the U.S. regulatory system are manifest in the government's historic intervention in the financial crisis....(Remainder.)



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