Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
If you think those who have long challenged the mainstream scientific findings about global warming recognize that the game is over, think again. Yes, 19 million people watched the "Live Earth" concerts last month, titans of corporate
are calling for laws mandating greenhouse cuts, "green" magazines fill newsstands, and the film based on Al Gore's best-selling book, "An Inconvenient Truth," won an Oscar. But outside America Hollywood, and other habitats of the chattering classes, the denial machine is running at full throttle—and continuing to shape both government policy and public opinion. Manhattan
Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds, lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless. "They patterned what they did after the tobacco industry," says former senator Tim Wirth, who spearheaded environmental issues as an undersecretary of State in the
administration. "Both figured, sow enough doubt, call the science uncertain and in dispute. That's had a huge impact on both the public and Congress." Clinton
It was appalling to watch over the last few days as Congress — now led by Democrats — caved in to yet another unnecessary and dangerous expansion of President Bush’s powers, this time to spy on Americans in violation of basic constitutional rights. Many of the 16 Democrats and in the Senate and 41 in the House who voted for the bill said that they had acted in the name of national security, but the only security at play was their job security.
There was plenty of bad behavior. Republicans marched in mindless lockstep with the president. There was double-dealing by the White House. The director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, crossed the line from being a steward of this nation’s security to acting as a White House political operative.
But mostly, the spectacle left us wondering what the Democrats — especially their feckless Senate leaders — plan to do with their majority in Congress if they are too scared of Republican campaign ads to use it to protect the Constitution and restrain an out-of-control president.
Well, it's almost here. Amazing how a Friedman Unit seems like a long period of time and then suddenly it's almost over. I've long documented how the Wise People of Washington were convinced that September was some sort of magic change date on
. I think I even pegged it at 20% chance that they were actually right. But as we know, September will come and go and nothing will change because of cowardly old men with large egos. Iraq
-- ATRIOSHearings weren't much help. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. John Abizaid, Gen. Richard Myers and others all refused to take the blame, going so far as to play dumb and say they didn't remember much about the aftermath of (Pat) Tillman's death. That's quite a stretch, and a total about-face after the Pentagon used Tillman as a PR tool for recruiting. Maybe they have something to hide. Maybe it is in the documents the president refuses to turn over.
It's time for the president to act like the "commander guy" he so often claims he is. He alone has the power to get the facts out about this case by not only releasing all documents pertaining to Tillman, but also by ordering his chief of staff and secretary of defense to find out exactly what happened to Tillman, and put it out there, no matter what the final result is.
-- LYDIA POLGREEN
Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota appears to have had a change of heart about raising the state’s gas tax to pay for transportation needs.-- SUSAN SAULNY and JENNIFER STEINHAUER
If all political factors were equal, organized labor would be endorsing John Edwards for president. More than any of his rivals, the rich trial lawyer with populist instincts has been effectively plucking labor’s heartstrings – coming out early for universal health care, wooing union leaders one by one, walking picket lines, assailing trade deals that appear to favor big corporations at the expense of working stiffs.But while labor’s heart is with Edwards, its head may be elsewhere. Labor is concerned that Edwards might be another Dick Gephardt – in other words, a sentimental favorite who can’t win.
-- DICK POLMAN
In this long, hot campaign season, intimations of sexuality are sprouting like wildflowers along the road to the White House. Not that the commingling of sex and politics is anything new, but for what seems to be the first time in memory, voters are being confronted with questions that don't usually break the surface: Just how sexy is a first lady allowed to be? And what constitutes an appropriate display of affection between candidates and their spouses?
With a nominating field full of older men and younger wives, experts say that a youthful, even sexy wife offers a none-too-subtle message about the vitality of the candidate. . . ."What's going on reflects what's happening in the larger culture, a culture increasingly focused on young, attractive women and blatant sexuality, on display for all to appreciate," said Elizabeth Sherman, a political sociologist and Democrat who is married to former Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma. "The candidate's wife is a strategic asset. How are you going to deploy that asset?"