Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19

While Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was leading a press conference Wednesday to condemn the administration's lack of transparency regarding the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, it turns out he could have been attending a classified briefing on the subject.

In an audio recording later on, McCain gets testy after being questioned by CNN Capitol Hill producer Ted Barrett about missing a classified briefing on the Benghazi attack.

This is probably the most bizarre and ghoulish part of the Christian evangelical culture in the US: hoping not just for political defeat but for the complete destruction of the country in order to teach a lesson. Take Franklin Graham, for instance. His Obama Derangement Syndrome is full-blown:

Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse. And maybe at that point, maybe people will again begin to call upon the name of almighty God.

This goes back to what I've been saying now is the chief goal of the GOP at this point: to relentlessly punish the coalition that President Obama built in order to try to split it, to force it to break through applied Stockholm Syndrome. Graham's words go right into this. It serves the GOP's purpose: "our kind" will be spared, "those people" will be punished. From Mitt Romney's "gifts" comments all the way on down, the GOP is now looking to knock the blocks out from under the Democratic Big Tent platform. They're targeting the Voting Rights Act, going after contraception and Planned Parenthood funding, still dragging their feet on immigration and marriage equality. They know that if the Dems get proper credit for those, the Republicans are done.
Before it was about sabotaging the country to win. Now it's about sabotaging the country for revenge.
During his testimony on Thursday, David Petraeus shot holes in Pepaw McCain's Benghazi-Rice conspiracy theory. McCain thinks Susan Rice is "not very bright," you see, because she shared CIA-approved talking points about the Benghazi attack when she did the Sunday News show circuit the weekend after the attack.

Yes, that's right—As it so happens, the CIA approved Rice's comments; and for anyone with a brain, that should put to bed the "Is Susan Rice History's Greatest Monster" question.

But not for Pepaw. He is doubling down. This morning on Face the Nation, Pepaw grunted that not only does he oppose Susan Rice as potential nominee for Secretary of State, he opposes all nominations for the post, period. No one can be secretary of state until John McCain gets some answers, dammit! Answers that he could have gotten had he not been busy holding a press conference complaining about how no one will give him any answers at the same time he should have beeen attending a hearing to get the answers he demanded. Answers that he already has because David Petraeus testified that Pepaw McCain and Lindsay Graham should STFU already. Answers that other Republican assclowns have already accepted.


SCHIEFFER: Until then, you will remain opposed to her nomination?

MCCAIN: Under the present circumstances, until we find out all the information as to what happened, I don't think you would want to support any nominee right now. Because this is very very serious and it has even larger implications than the deaths of 4 Americans. It really goes to the heart of this whole light foot print policy that this administration is pursuing.


Please block all of President Obama's nominations, because what we need right now as the clusterfuck in the Middle East becomes more fuck-laden, is for a bitter old man who still can't believe he lost to That One to block the nomination of a new Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton.

Somebody get the man a butterscotch pudding. This crisis could use more butterscotch pudding. And perhaps a well-placed kick to the shins.


From Senator Elizabeth Warren:

On the first day of the new session in January, the Senate will have a unique opportunity to change the filibuster rule with a simple majority vote, rather than the normal two-thirds vote. The change can be modest: If someone objects to a bill or a nomination in the United States Senate, they should have to stand on the floor of the chamber and defend their opposition. No more ducking responsibility for bringing the work of this country to a dead stop.

I've joined Senator Jeff Merkley and four other senators to fight for this reform on Day One. Will you join us? Sign Senator Merkley's petition now.

Senate Republicans have used the filibuster 380 times since the Democrats took over the majority in 2006. We've seen filibusters to block judicial nominations, jobs bills, campaign finance transparency, ending Big Oil subsidies—you name it, there's been a filibuster.

We've seen filibusters of bills and nominations that ultimately passed with 90 or more votes. Why filibuster something that has that kind of support? Just to slow down the process and keep the Senate from working.

I saw the impact of these filibusters at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Forty-five senators pledged to filibuster any nominee to head that new consumer agency, regardless of that person's qualifications. After I left the agency, they tried to hold Richard Cordray's nomination vote hostage unless the Senate would agree to weaken the agency and limit its ability to hold Wall Street banks and credit card companies accountable.

That's not open debate—that's paralyzing progress….

The other Senators sponsoring the petition are Jeff Merkley (OR), Tom Udall (NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Tom Harkin (IA-Sen), Amy Klobuchar (MN-Sen), and Jeanne Shaheen (NH).


Charlotte Allen, writing in the LA Times has a plan so crazy that it just might work:

The Republican Party has been doing a lot of hand-wringing and finger-pointing since the presidential election. Half the conservative columnists and bloggers say the GOP lost because it overemphasized social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. The other half says the party didn't emphasize them enough. And everyone denounces Project ORCA, the campaign's attempt to turn out voters via technology.

But I've got a suggestion for cutting short the GOP angst: Sarah Palin for president in 2016.

You think I'm joking? Think again.

Yes. This is a marvelous idea. I support it fully.
Hell, why not Victoria Jackson as Palin's running mate?
Somebody make this happen.

I guess our war is going OK so far:

4:25 P.M. U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking in Thailand, says he firmly supports Israel's right to protect itself, but that it would be "preferable" to avoid a ground invasion in Gaza: "Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired onto its territory. If that can be accomplished without the ramping up of military activity in Gaza – that's preferable. That's not just preferable for the people of Gaza. It's also preferable for Israelis, because if Israeli troops are in Gaza, they're much more at risk of fatalities or being wounded. We're going to have to see what kind of progress we can make in the next 24, 36, 48 hours".

He might have meant diplomatic progress, but it's pretty clear that Israel can do whatever the fuck they want and it's "our" war.

The death toll is 87 to 3.


By 2100, the world could heat up by 4 degrees Celsius, or 7.2 Fahrenheit. That could have a disastrous effect worldwide. But, according to a new report from the World Bank, such warming would be particularly damaging to the poorest, least prepared countries.

In "Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided," the World Bank points out that, "the poor will suffer the most" with rising temperatures. It outlines exactly how "devastating" effects of a 4 degree change are worst for poorer areas:

  • Extreme heat waves, that without global warming would be expected to occur once in several hundred years, will be experienced during almost all summer months in many regions. The effects would not be evenly distributed. The largest warming would be exptected to occur over land and range from 4° C to 10° C. Increases of 6° C or more in average monthly summer temperatures would be expected in the Mediterranean, North Africa, Middle East and parts of the United States.
  • Sea level-rise by 0.5 to 1 meter by 2100 is likely, with higher levels also possible. Some of the most highly vulnerable cities are located in Mozambique, Madagascar, Mexico, Venezuela, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
  • The most vulnerable regions are in the tropics, sub-tropics and towards the poles, where multiple impacts are likely to come together.
  • Agriculture, water resources, human health, biodiversity and ecosystem services are likely to be severely impacted. This could lead to large-scale displacement of populations and consequences for human security and economic and trade systems.
  • Many small islands may not be able to sustain their populations.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told reporters Friday, "We will never end poverty if we don't tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today." And it's true: Countries that are poorer and less technologically advanced will surely suffer the worst consequences of climate change, as evidenced by the way such areas are hit by natural disasters.

But warming can, in fact, be slowed. The World Bank report estimates that we can globally lower the estimated rise — though not eliminated entirely — to 2 degrees Celsius if countries work harder to staunch the flow of carbon into the atmosphere. That requires participation from the largest global leaders, who are often the worst emitters of carbon, to work on the issue, even if the effects on such economic powerhouses are relatively small compared to the poorer, less powerful countries that would bear the burden of a warming planet.

At least someone is doing something about it:

Last year, the Bank doubled its funding for countries seeking to adapt to climate change, and now operates $7.2 billion in climate investment funds in 48 countries.

But here in America — one of the top producers of carbon emissions — we'd rather have our gigantic SUVs and our equally gigantic slabs of beef. Sure, we'll weep and pray and donate whenever the TV shows us rock stars singing sad songs about the latest disaster, but will we ever change?


Poor Dumb Oklahoma Humiliates Itself Again, Sets It In Stone


Flooding danger puts Sacramento at risk of a disaster worse than Sandy. Aside from New Orleans, Sacramento has the greatest flood risk of any major urban area in America, and a levee breach in Sacramento could cause many deaths and cripple the economy for 1.4 million people in the metro area who depend to some degree on the city of Sacramento staying dry - sacramento bee


Hey guys, remember that time when unwed mother and ethics-challenged shill for hire Maggie Gallagher founded the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to demonize LGBT people in California as part of efforts to pass Proposition 8, and claiming that the vast majority of American opposed marriage equality? Me Neither!, and it seems neither do the vast majority of Americans: contributions to NOM declined by about a third, and of the remaining contributions 75% of them came from two donors. (Human Rights Campaign)


No comments: