I posted over here concerning Willard Mitt Romney, and thistells us the following about the all-but-named Repug nominee?
?and I haven?t heard much about Robin Gibb lately ? hope he?s doing as well as can be expected.
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At Climate Progress, Joe Romm critiques a bad headline on a good story:
Headlines are important because research shows that most newspaper readers don?t get much beyond them. And NY Times headlines sweep across the internet through twitter, facebook, news aggregators and search engines. Probably 10 to 50 times as many people see the headlines as read any substantial portion of the story.
So when The New York Times publishes a front-page piece eviscerating Dr. Richard Lindzen and his ?discredited? theory?the NYT?s word?that the cloud feedback could somehow save us from catastrophic global warming, it ought to have a better headline than ?Clouds? Effect on Climate Change Is Last Bastion for Dissenters.?
Even worse, the heavily-trafficked front page of the NY Times website has this teaser for the piece:Again, far more people are going to read this teaser?written by the editors, not the reporter?than actually read the story. What they are going to come away with is the notion that climate skeptics aka deniers aka disinformers have legitimate arguments that might ?save us.?
Obviously nothing could be further from the truth, especially when it comes to the discredited Dr. Lindzen. As the article notes:When Dr. Lindzen first published this theory, in 2001, he said it was supported by satellite records over the Pacific Ocean. But other researchers quickly published work saying that the methods he had used to analyze the data were flawed and that his theory made assumptions that were inconsistent with known facts. Using what they considered more realistic assumptions, they said they could not verify his claims.I get that even the NY Times is under pressure to write headlines that will appeal to the most people, headlines that suggest controversy and dispute. But such headlines are inappropriate for articles whose actual content does not reflect controversy and dispute. It is time for the paper to review its headline policy, at least on climate, and, I think, give reporters some sort of a veto power.
Today, most mainstream researchers consider Dr. Lindzen?s theory discredited. He does not agree, but he has had difficulty establishing his case in the scientific literature. Dr. Lindzen published a paper in 2009 offering more support for his case that the earth?s sensitivity to greenhouse gases is low, but once again scientists identified errors, including a failure to account for known inaccuracies in satellite measurements. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004:
Seymour Hersh asks [How Far Up Does The Responsibility Go? (for Abu Ghraib) in his New Yorker piece. It's a question that has to be answered. So does the question about what we do about it. A slap on the wrist won't do.
Karpinski was rarely seen at the prisons she was supposed to be running, Taguba wrote. He also found a wide range of administrative problems, including some that he considered "without precedent in my military career." The soldiers, he added, were "poorly prepared and untrained . . . prior to deployment, at the mobilization site, upon arrival in theater, and throughout the mission."
General Taguba spent more than four hours interviewing Karpinski, whom he described as extremely emotional: "What I found particularly disturbing in her testimony was her complete unwillingness to either understand or accept that many of the problems inherent in the 800th MP Brigade were caused or exacerbated by poor leadership and the refusal of her command to both establish and enforce basic standards and principles among its soldiers."
This is rapidly becoming an international PR disaster here, here, and here (that last bit about civilians in Fallujah... once you're seen as flouting Geneva conventions, expect criticism about everything else you do, too), not just for Bush (he's disgusted) but for Tony Blair (he's appalled). I will assume it's the military as well who is horrified to hear about this, as are conservatives, as are we. Maybe for the same reasons, maybe not, but no matter.
Okay, but what are they going to do about it? That's where the true test of leadership lies. Put up or shut up, fellas. And quickly. The whole world is watching.
And this would be the anniversary of the day a president (and a "news" network) totally did not ever even think of using the military for political gain.
Tonight is the last night of our Newstalgia Fundraiser. We take the money to the building owner tomorrow and hope for the best. (It costs more to house the recordings and archives of Newstalgia than it does to house a blogger!) Thanks to everyone who has given so far, and if you want to put us over the top, tonight's the night. Every small contribution helps:
Open thread below...
If anyone was expecting President Obama to spike the proverbial football during his address this evening from Afghanistan, they were sorely disappointed. In a sober, 11 minute message, Obama retraced the path that brought the United States to Afghanistan, and outlined the next two years of American policy in the country.
First, he noted the extent to which the United States had mostly achieved its military goals in the country??One year ago, from a base here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden,? the president said. ?The goal I set?to defeat Al Qaeda, and deny it a chance to rebuild?is now within our reach.? From there, he announced a strategic partnership with Afghan President Hamid Karzai that would begin the process of withdrawal for American troops, leading to their complete departure in 2014. Between now and then, the United States?with the help of its NATO allies?would transition responsibility for security to Afghan troops, and step back into a more limited role of training and counterterrorism.
Insofar that they were present, domestic political concerns came in the form of pushback against the criticism?from Mitt Romney and others?that the administration had erred in setting a deadline for withdrawing troops, since the Taliban would then be able to wait out the United States, and avoid concessions. In explaining his decision to set a timetable, Obama noted the extent to which the lack of a timeline had lengthened our time in the country, and robbed our forces of clear strategic aims:
"[O]ur goal is not to build a country in America?s image, or to eradicate every vestige of the Taliban. These objectives would require many more years, many more dollars, and many more American lives. Our goal is to destroy al Qaeda, and we are on a path to do exactly that. Afghans want to fully assert their sovereignty and build a lasting peace. That requires a clear timeline to wind down the war.
As for the politics of this, it?s hard to say for certain how they will play out. The war in Afghanistan isn?t over, but it?s begun to wind down. Troops will come home, and given the degree to which the war is unpopular, it?s possible that Obama will receive a political boost from tonight?s move. At the same time, voters are most concerned with the economy, and while foreign policy successes don?t hurt, it?s not clear that they help either.
If anything, the beginning of the end in Afghanistan will help Obama build his ?leadership? case against Mitt Romney. With the killing of bin Laden, the intervention in Libya, and the gradual end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama has the resume he needs to present himself as a strong and competent manager of the country?s foreign affairs, which in turn, might improve perceptions of his economic management. What?s more, this provides a clear contrast with Romney, who at varying times in the last three years, has opposed each of these moves. At the end of the day, Obama will be able to pose a simple question to the American public??Do you want a president who has brought peace, security, and good relations with our allies, or do you want a president who has called for extending our wars, and starting new ones??
It's May Day, when those of certain faiths celebrate spring with dances round the maypole (a phallic symbol if ever there was one) and jumping over the Beltane fires, along with some other heart-rate raising activities of the fornicatory variety. In[...]
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Title: Love Loves To LoveArtist: Lulu
Tonight's song title is could possibly win the award for the most times love is mentioned. How many songs about love can you post?
Explosions heard in Kabul. [...]
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Above is a picture I took in January of 2011 of Pioneer Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati is one of my home towns. One thing I like about this cemetery is that it contains the remains of the Revolutionary War soldiers who were among the first wave of white settlers in Cincinnati. Also here are [...]
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Whenever Paul Krugman goes on television, you can see his discomfort coming off him. Or at least that's what I see; since I've never met him in person, I don't know how much his television manner differs from his ordinary manner. But he always looks as though inside he's shaking his head, saying to himself, "This is such bullshit. I can't wait to get out of here." And it's hard to blame him. The other day, Krugman did a debate on Bloomberg TV with noted economic crank Congressman Ron Paul, and came away utterly disgusted:
Think about it: you approach what is, in the end, a somewhat technical subject in a format in which no data can be presented, in which there's no opportunity to check facts (everything Paul said about growth after World War II was wrong, but who will ever call him on it?). So people react based on their prejudices. If Ron Paul got on TV and said "Gah gah goo goo debasement! theft!" ? which is a rough summary of what he actually did say ? his supporters would say that he won the debate hands down; I don't think my supporters are quite the same, but opinions may differ. Tales of historical debates in which one side supposedly won big ? like the Huxley-Wilberforce debate on evolution ? are, in general, after-the-fact storytelling; the reality is that that kind of smackdown, like Perry Mason-type confessions in court, almost never happens.
So why did I do it? Because I?m trying to publicize my book, which does have lots of data and facts ? but those data and facts don?t matter unless I get enough people to read it.
Props to Professor Krugman for being frank. I've been on TV more times than I care to think about; why just last night I delivered 5 minutes of banal commentary on the politics of Afghanistan to what was no doubt a riveted audience of Canadians watching the CBC. A few of those appearances over the years have had the length to be really substantive; for instance, on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," which I've done twice, they let you talk for an entire hour. But about 95 percent of them have been cable news hits, which last as little as three or four minutes and never longer than ten. As Krugman says, it's particularly bad when you're asked to "debate" someone who disagrees with you. In my time at Media Matters for America, where I worked for four years, I often went on to debate a conservative about some issue related to the media. And even when I believed I got the better of the exchange, you could almost feel viewers getting stupider as the four minutes of squabbling passed into the ether.
Of course, there are some shows that are more reasonable than others, and a few that actually have something good to offer. And though I'm not particularly proud of it, when I get asked to do it, even on the bad ones, I still usually say yes, basically because I think it's worthwhile to promote the Prospect and a necessary career investment to promote myself. But once the producer says "We're out" at the end of the segment, I usually mutter to myself, "Well, that was edifying for absolutely nobody."
All day, Firedoglake has been posting updates on the Occupy movement?s May Day actions. The actions continue to unfold, even on the East coast as a massive Occupy Wall Street march gathers near Wall Street and faces off with police, who may arrest them[...]
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