December 5, 2007 archive

Climate Crisis Future: Danger for Democrats

In a previous Kos post as well as on my Dreaming Up Daily, I speculated on the emerging Republican plan for the Climate Crisis. Basically it is to mix denial with assertions of doing something, in order to essentially do nothing (or not enough) to stop greenhouse gas pollution, while waiting to use the opportunity of a climate-related disaster in the U.S. to shift attention to their version of crisis management, which is disaster capitalism.

The Democrats are much different, yet there are also two sets of problems I foresee for them–one of which has pretty much the same result for the future as the Republican plan, and the other involves a lack of preparation for near-term crisis, and how the Republicans are likely to try to take advantage of that.

Crucial to this analysis is my insistence that the Climate Crisis has two very different parts: the threat of truly catastrophic changes in the future if we don’t stop greenhouse pollution now (the “Stop It” component) and the need to address serious problems and disasters that are going to happen in the relatively near future because of climate change–problems it is too late to stop (the “Fix It” component.) Follow for the analysis.

Trying to lie us into war. Again.

Let’s stop parsing and ignoring the very basic heart of the NIE findings, Bush’s and Hadley’s comments over the past couple of days, as well as a number other facts that just so happen to be eerily similar to that other country that starts with the letters “I”, “r” and “a”. It’s the same exact playbook as last time around – make no mistake about it. Except, this time there is one major difference:

This time, they got caught lying.


Four at Four

Some news and open thread.

  1. Welcome to America – Guilty until proven innocent. The Washington Post reports Evidence of innocence rejected at Guantanamo. “Just months after U.S. Army troops whisked a German man from Pakistan to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002, his American captors concluded that he was not a terrorist… But the 19-year-old student was not freed… His attorneys, who sued the Pentagon to gain access to the documents, say that they reflect policies that result in mistreatment of the hundreds of foreigners who have been locked up for years at the controversial prison. The Supreme Court intends to weigh the legitimacy of the military tribunals at a hearing this morning.”

  2. The Hill reports Career foreign service officer targeted by Jack Abramoff. “Jack Abramoff called her the Wicked Witch of the West… And he wanted to burn her. Joan Plaisted, a career foreign service officer, was ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) in 1998, when the island nation hired Abramoff and his firm to battle the United States on a multibillion-dollar aid agreement.” Ambramoff ran a “lobbying campaign to persuade members of Congress to discredit a U.S. diplomat by way of speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives… The campaign was ultimately scuttled when the republic’s president, Imata Kabua, canceled a 1999 visit that was to coincide with the denunciations.” This is a long scummy tale of Abramoff and the Republicans.

  3. According to The New York Times, Nevada cashes in on sales of federal land. “Tens of thousands of acres of federal lands in the Las Vegas area have been sold under an unusual law pushed through Congress nearly a decade ago by the Nevada delegation. The sales have grossed nearly $3 billion and counting. Because of a stipulation created by the Nevada legislators, the money has not been deposited into the general federal Treasury, but rather put in a special Treasury account to be spent almost exclusively in Nevada on a something-for-everyone collection of projects… Critics see it as having created a limitless federal bank account that has encouraged and subsidized unbridled growth at the expense of taxpayers from the 49 other states, all while Nevada continues to draw new residents as a low-tax state disinclined to pay for such projects itself.”

  4. According to the Miami Herald, The governor of Florida’s intervention may help save the manatees. “State wildlife managers, once set to strip the manatee of its ‘endangered’ status, may be poised to order a surprising change of course that would leave the iconic seacows atop Florida’s imperiled species list where they’ve been for decades… But questions from Gov. Charlie Crist appear likely to extend, perhaps indefinitely, a three-month reprieve the commission granted in September when Crist first stepped into the issue… ‘We need to protect these gentle creatures, and I’ve consistently felt that way,’ said Crist, who as a state senator pushed a bill to mandate propeller guards for boats.”

A change of scenery

I spent about a week and a half out of town over the holiday.  Not only was it my first ever paid vacation but it was also my first time visiting Boston.  While I was there I finally had a chance to clear my head and re-evaluate a few things.

So good news everybody!  I’m moving to Boston 🙂

Chavez accepts referendum defeat (or: How not to be a dictator)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hugo Chavez’ defeat in the recent Venezuelan referendum on a package of 69 proposed reforms to the constitution was probably a healthy development for the revolution, although that will largely depend upon how the government deals with it.

Gitmo Argument In SCOTUS Today

Today, the Supreme Court heard cases related to the Guantanamo detention cases.

For background on the issues, see my post here and here.

Quick Poll: Bush vs. Iran

Now that George “War Monger” Bush has put us in our place regarding our Intelligence, the Intelligence Communities Intelligence and his Intelligence on the subject of war with Iran, the question is ….why?

Why, when there is (yet again) no National Security reason to attack Iran, does he ache so to do so? To the point where he once again trotted out the threat of WW3 at a press conference a few months ago when he most likely already knew that they had halted their Nuke program.

I have included three possible answers, leaving out choices like All of the Above, None of the Above, psychological and sexual, I figure those would be too easy…or too popular, and get chosen snarkily. Please choose the one you feel comes closest to the truth.

And of course, feel free to expand on your answer in the comments.

As Rome burns….

Bob Herbert of the New York Times editorialized / reported recently that

a statement prepared for the Democratic majority on the Joint Economic Committee of the House and Senate warns that without a significant change of course in Iraq, the long-term cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [the vast majority of which has gone to Iraq] could head into the vicinity of $3.5 trillion.

in Other news…

Welcome to a weekly roundup of news related to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise “Other” community.

Lots of good reading this week!

  • December 1st was World AIDS Day, a reminder that the epidemic continues unabated through most of the world, new and expensive medicines notwithstanding.  Various activist groups, from the Stonewall Democrats and the National Black Justice Coalition used to the day to note the increasing lack of interest in AIDS activism, but the most stinging indictment came from Charles King, president and CEO of Housing Works (a group that targets HIV/AIDS and homelessness):

    The reality is that AIDS is no longer so much a gay disease in the United States as it is a disease of race and poverty.  And that brings to light a dirty secret about the organized and politically engaged gay community.  We are overwhelmingly white and reasonably well-off, and our movement is almost exclusively about rights for ourselves and people like us.

    Check out the whole speech if you get the chance. (h/t Doug Ireland)

  • Uruguay prepares to legalize civil unions for unmarried couples regardless of gender.  This makes Uruguay the first Latin American country to pass equitable legal protections for both straight and gay couples, which puts them ahead of most of the United States.
  • A gay Muslim activist outs himself at an international conference on HIV in Muslim countries… with surprising results:

    The following morning, the ulama [scholars] had a surprise.

    Conference spokesperson and IRW head of policy Willem van Eekelen read their collective statement, saying that although Islam does not accept homosexuality, Islamic leaders would try to help create an environment in which gay people could approach social workers and find help against AIDS without feeling unsafe.

    “This first time ever that a high-level religious forum has talked, acknowledged and accepted gays,” said AbualSameed.

    “This will open the door to talks with the Muslim gay community and help other gay Muslims to come out in a safer space.”

    Suhail AbualSameed, a Jordanian living in Canada, decided to out himself to counter the harsh language his colleagues used to describe homosexuals: including the old standbys “pervert” and “rapist”.

  • The bureaucratic hell faced by immigrants gets an uglier twist in the case of Hassan Parhizkar, a middle-aged gay Iranian who faces deportation for being the victim of a scam artist.  Worse, Parhizkar’s sexuality guarantees him a hellish return to the country he fled in 1990 specifically because he was outed while a member of the Revolutionary Guard.  Gay City News has the entire story, from Parhizkar’s noncompliance with immigration law due to a con-man posing as an immigration lawyer to the practice of gay witch hunts in the Iranian military.  

    You can also sign an online petition protesting Parhizkar’s impending deportation or contribute to his legal fund (see link above for full details).

More below…

The Shabbes Goy

Reading davidseth  and TiaRachel ‘s lovely essays yesterday sent me on a search to find a little tale my Dad wrote & had published on-line last December. The link from his e-mail no longer worked, so I tried the google. Imagine my surprise to find how it had spread…page after page of sites with his story. I already had permission from Dad to do anything I wanted with it, so I thought this would be the perfect time to share it here, with you.

My Dad is a Great Guy, his experiences varied and many… in a ‘Big Fish’ kind of way. He served in WWII and later became the fencing coach of Columbia University in the 1940’s-50s and was an early advocate of civil rights in sports, eventually retiring to California. Not long ago Columbia University honoured him with a lovely (ceremony-dinner-function-thingey)  More about this can be found at Columbia’s web site, I think.

also in orange


The Shabbes Goy by Joe Velarde — a pleasant read in a troubled world

Pony Party….another Republican creep…

The ex-chief of staff to former Republican Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania was charged Tuesday with allegedly using his wife to accept kickbacks to help a consulting firm get federal funding.

….from the ABC News story

William F. Buckley Interviews Al Gore

William F. Buckley:  We are so delighted to have you here, Mr. Gore.  I seldom see another conservative like myself with maudlin thoughts dressed up in convoluted prose that the Great Unwashed don’t understand.  Your obfuscation of the issues is majestic.  You even managed to be elected president as a [heh heh] Democrat.  Took Scalia to overrule the electorate.  But perhaps you will tell us why, as one of us, you despise environmentalism so much.  Is it because you are looking forward to owning ocean front property in Tennessee?

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