Late last week, Dr. Charles Monnett, one of most highly regarded scientists in Alaska, was informed by Walter D. Cruikshank, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, that the 16-month long investigation into his scientific integrity has[...]
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I'm not sure how much longer Fox is going to continue to push these phony attacks on President Obama, his U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and anyone else they can try to remake into the reincarnation of Jimmy Carter and the Iranian hostage crisis, so that Obama vs. Romney is somehow magically transformed into St. Ronnie vs. Carter, but they're sure doing their best at the network to try to push that meme 24/7. This week's Fox News Sunday was no exception.
Two Fox News Sunday panelists suggested that Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, did not properly emphasize the fact that there is an ongoing investigation into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In fact, in the interview that they were referring to, and throughout her appearances on the Sunday talk shows, Rice repeatedly noted that the investigation was ongoing and that its results would ultimately reveal what happened.
This suggestion feeds into the right-wing conspiracy theory that the Obama administration has been purposefully deceptive in its public statements about the investigation.
Today on Fox News Sunday, Christian Science Monitor reporter Liz Marlantes questioned why Rice, during a September 16 appearance on Fox News Sunday, didn't simply say, "We're investigating, we don't really know very much yet." Later, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham similarly asked why Rice didn't say, "We have an ongoing investigation, and I'm really not going to say anything more. We're going to learn more."
But in her September 16 appearance, Rice stressed the fact that it was important not to jump to conclusions before the investigation was completed, but shared the administration's "best current assessment" (emphasis added):
RICE: Well, first of all, Chris, we are obviously investigating this very closely. The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video. People gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent and those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya and that then spun out of control.
But we don't see at this point signs this was a coordinated plan, premeditated attack. Obviously, we will wait for the results of the investigation and we don't want to jump to conclusions before then. But I do think it's important for the American people to know our best current assessment.
In her appearances throughout September 16, Rice repeatedly emphasized that the investigation was ongoing and would provide the definitive answer to what happened. Her statements mirrored those of other administration officials.
On September 28, the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released a statement on the Benghazi attack saying that the intelligence community's initial assessment was that the attack "began spontaneously" and that it had provided this assessment to the executive branch and members of Congress. The DNI's office said that new information has led it to determine that the attack was "a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists."
All I can add to the Media Matters report is that the hypocrisy is just astounding when you look at how the wingnuts are drumming up this attack on one of our embassies and basically attempting to promote it to 9-11 level with what the voters should be concerned with, and going after President Obama for the response, when these are the very same people who gave Bush a complete pass for ignoring the intelligence leading up to 9-11. Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican and Fox "News" and the lying liars that inhabit it.
Full transcript via Fox below the fold.
WALLACE: Liz, the timeline that the DNI, the Department of National in -- director of national intelligence, and Panetta said was, we have early information and then got information that changed. But before Susan Rice did her famous round of five interviews, including "Fox News Sunday," the first Sunday after the attack, there was a lot of information released, allegations including the president of Libya and I specifically asked about that and I said it was a pre-planned terrorist attack and yet, they were insisting, she was, no, it was spontaneous.
MARLANTES: Yes, it was kind of amazing. I think I was on the panel that weekend. And we were just all surprised that she didn't leave wiggle room, it would have been pretty easy for them to come out and say, we're investigating. We don't really know much yet. I mean, she could have been a lot vaguer.
WALLACE: How big a problem is this?
MARLANTES: And they created a bigger problem because of the way that he handled it. I mean, I think the danger for the Obama administration is not so much voters are suddenly going to think, oh, he's weak on national security. I mean, he's got a big, big cushion in the polls right now in terms of how voters view his national security policy.
But I think there are two dangers for him. One is the honesty issue, which the Obama campaign has been hitting hard and trying to come at him in different directions on that. The idea that maybe, you know, they were deliberately dishonest or went with something they had reason to believe might not be true.
And then, I think the other real problem for Obama is the appearance of acting politically, which is, of course, what they accused Romney of doing when he issued his original statement about Benghazi. But, you know, voters will start to think, well, maybe the president is acting more in the interest of his campaign when it comes to national security issues, than really what's in the best interest of the country.
So, I think those are the two potential weak spots, coming out of all of this.
WALLACE: Laura, as we reported and as it came out in the course of our interview with Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney plans on a major foreign policy speech and a major critique of Obama's foreign policy in the next few days, probably after the debate.
How vulnerable do you think Obama's foreign policy is and how important is it for Romney to go after it?
INGRAHAM: That mantra "Usama is dead but GM lives" -- that was a pretty powerful kind of way to sum it up for him, and I think that was a smart thing for them to do.
I think today we see things a little bit differently. I mean, we see this thing unravel in Benghazi. The guess is why did they send Susan Wright out -- Rice out? Why was it necessary for her to go out on five shows and say it was spontaneous? Why not just say we have an ongoing investigation and I'm really not going to say anything more; we're going to learn more? Why is it that the FBI still can't get into the Benghazi site? They're saying it's too dangerous for the FBI.
Well, we have troops all over Afghanistan in Taliban strongholds. They're able to move and maneuver and do so at their own peril. Why are we not in Benghazi today?
I think President Obama is enormously vulnerable on this point. Because I think most Americans today question whether we are going to be the world's sole superpower five years from now or maybe three years from now.
But it's incumbent upon Mitt Romney to do the same thing, in a way, that Netanyahu did at the U.N. with that chart, you know, the bomb and the 90 percent red line. He needs to tie that all together in a really visual way. What is the world going to look like; what are we going to live like if America is not the unquestioned superpower in the world? And how is this vulnerability translating to the lives of everyday Americans?
Does it matter? I think most people want America to be the strongest and they want competence on these issues.
Minnesota Vikings' Chris Kluwe points out to anti-gay bigots that "traditional marriage" included polygamy, child marriage.The post Meet gay America’s favorite straight guy, NFLer Chris Kluwe appeared first on AMERICAblog.
A Tar Sands Blockader, Alejandro de la Torre, locked his body in a concrete capsule buried in the path of TransCanada?s Keystone XL pipeline to stop a small family farm in East Texas from being destroyed by construction. He blocked demolition for at[...]
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As expected, Monday brought a poll-a-palooza, as the accumulated total of weekend polls and Monday poll releases brought the final count of polls today to 51 polls, among the highest totals of the campaign thus far.
Taken as a whole, the Monday polls present something of a "mixed bag", though the press has apparently settled on an "OMG, the race is tightening!" narrative.
This is one of those times when the press appears to be right, but is totally wrong, all at the same time. Poll watchers used to seeing Obama staked to a 4-6 point lead would probably be a touch surprised to see Obama now looking at a 2-4 point advantage.
However, a key component of understanding poll trends is getting a good look at who is doing the polling. And the bottom line on that: only one pollster (CNN/ORC) saw Mitt Romney move closer to President Obama by more than a single point.
More on that after the jump. But, first, on to the numbers:
NATIONAL (ABC News/Washington Post): Obama 49, Romney 47 (LV); Obama 49, Romney 44 (RV)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (American Research Group): Obama 49, Romney 46
NATIONAL (CNN/Opinion Research): Obama 50, Romney 47 (LV); Obama 50, Romney 46 (RV)
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama 49, Romney 45
NATIONAL (GWU Battleground/Politico): Obama 49, Romney 47
NATIONAL (Ipsos/Reuters Tracking): Obama 46, Romney 41 (LV); Obama 45, Romney 40 (RV)
NATIONAL (Merriman River Group): Obama 46, Romney 43, Others 3
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama 50, Romney 47
NATIONAL (UPI/CVoter Tracking): Obama 49, Romney 46
NATIONAL (Zogby for the Washington Times): Obama 50, Romney 41
COLORADO (We Ask America--R): Obama 49, Romney 46, Others 1
FLORIDA (Gravis--R): Obama 49, Romney 48
IOWA (Selzer for the Des Moines Register): Obama 49, Romney 45
IOWA (We Ask America--R): Obama 48, Romney 44, Others 2
MAINE (Critical Insights): Obama 52, Romney 36, Others 3
MARYLAND (Baltimore Sun/OpinionWorks): Obama 57, Romney 34
MASSACHUSETTS (MassINC for WBUR-TV): Obama 60, Romney 32
MASSACHUSETTS (Univ. of NH for the Boston Globe): Obama 57, Romney 30, Others 2
MICHIGAN (EPIC/MRA): Obama 47, Romney 37,
MICHIGAN (We Ask America--R): Obama 52, Romney 40, Others 1
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Univ. of New Hampshire): Obama 52, Romney 37
NEW MEXICO (We Ask America--R): Obama 51, Romney 41, Others 4
NORTH CAROLINA (American Research Group): Romney 50, Obama 46, Others 1
OHIO (Columbus Dispatch Poll): Obama 51, Romney 42, Other 3
OHIO (PPP): Obama 49, Romney 45
WASHINGTON (Rasmussen): Obama 52, Romney 41, Other 3
FL-SEN (Gravis--R): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 43, Connie Mack IV (R) 43A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...
HI-SEN (Merriman River Group for Civil Beat): Mazie Hirono (D) 55, Linda Lingle (R) 39
ME-SEN (Critical Insights): Angus King (I) 50, Charlie Summers (R) 28, Cynthia Dill (D) 12
MA-SEN (MassINC for WBUR-TV): Elizabeth Warren (D) 49, Sen. Scott Brown (D) 45
MA-SEN (Univ. of NH for the Boston Globe): Elizabeth Warren (D) 43, Sen. Scott Brown (R) 38
MO-SEN (Kiley and Company for the McCaskill campaign): Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) 50, Todd Akin (R) 41
NM-SEN (Rasmussen): Martin Heinrich (D) 52, Heather Wilson (R) 39, Others 2
NM-SEN (We Ask America--R): Martin Heinrich (D) 52, Heather Wilson (R) 41
OH-SEN (Columbus Dispatch): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 49, Josh Mandel (R) 39
NC-GOV (PPP): Pat McCrory (R) 47, Walter Dalton (D) 37, Barbara Howe (L) 5
AZ-02 (Grove Insight for the DCCC): Rep. Ron Barber (D) 54, Martha McSally (R) 40
FL-18 (Garin-Hart-Yang for the House Majority PAC--D): Patrick Murphy (D) 52, Rep. Allen West (R) 43
FL-18 (Kimball Political Consulting--R): Patrick Murphy (D) 49, Rep. Allen West (R) 45
FL-26 (McLaughlin and Associates for undisclosed GOP client): Joe Garcia (D) 43, Rep. David Rivera (R) 33, Jose Peixoto (I) 5
GA-12 (McLaughlin and Associates for the Anderson campaign): Lee Anderson (R) 44, Rep. John Barrow (D) 43
IL-10 (McLaughlin and Associates for the Dold campaign): Rep. Bob Dold (R) 44, Brad Schneider (D) 37
IL-13 (Victoria Research for the Gill campaign): David Gill (D) 40, Rodney Davis (R) 39, John Hartman (I) 8
ME-01 (Critical Insights): Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) 60, Jon Courtney (R) 29
ME-02 (Critical Insights): Rep. Mike Michaud (D) 54, Kevin Raye (R) 39
MA-06 (Univ. of New Hampshire for the Boston Globe): Richard Tisei (R) 37, Rep. John Tierney (D) 31
NJ-02 (Stockton Polling Institute): Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R) 55, Cassandra Shober (D) 35
NC-08 (NRCC IVR Poll): Richard Hudson (R) 50, Rep. Larry Kissell (D) 41
RI-01 (Fleming and Associates for WPRI-TV): Rep. David Ciliclline (D) 44, Brendan Doherty (R) 38, David Vogel (I) 6
TX-23 (OnMessage for the Canseco campaign): Rep. Quico Canseco (R) 47, Pete Gallego (D) 37
WI-07 (FM3 for the Kreitlow campaign): Rep. Sean Duffy (R) 44, Pat Kreitlow (D) 41
I am looking forward to the debates on Wednesday. Mitt is practicing zingers to throw at Obama, but honestly, he needs to tell us what he will do to improve our condition, and what his plans are for making the country better.--- Like, for instance, how he plans to pay for the trillions of tax breaks he plans to give away and all the money he will pour into the military.--- He can save the zingers for Leno's sofa.
As for Obama, I had a law professor like him back in the day, and I absolutely hated to go to my man's class. Booorrring! O is that dude who you never want to ask for directions on a street corner. "Sir, how do I get to Main Street?" "Well.....first, you have to understand, you are driving in a motor vehicle, and motorized vehicles run on gas, and so...." let me stop before you Obamaholics get all over me. But you get the point: O has got to cut to the chase scenes much quicker than he has a tendency to do.
Tune in folks, it should be fun.
Finally, I see that a member of Philly's finest got himself into some hot water . You all know damn good and well that if the officer involved with this incident was "Mr. Charlie" you would be more upset than you are. But sometimes we just have to call a spade a spade. (No pun intended.) This officer was one of my cousins, and his actions were wrong. (He was a part of our elite highway patrol unit.Watch, I will get a ticket tomorrow.) You can't just go knocking down women in the street who aren't a threat to you and who aren't resisting arrest.
Just remember Mr. Po Po, there is always a camera watching you. The person holding it might have been Spanish, but those "thousand words" do not need to be translated.
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"[W]hen a Times writer once asked [Dr. Commoner's] Queens College office to mail some material, it arrived in an old brown envelope with the crossed-out return address of the botany department at Washington University -- a place where he had last worked 19 years earlier."
-- the conclusion of Daniel Lewis's NYT obit,
"Scientist, Candidate and Planet Earth?s Lifeguard"
I'm sorry to inflict Wm F. Buckley Jr. on you, but since I wasn't successful at embedding the "Last Word" video interview that the NYT recorded in 2006 to someday accompany his obituary (today being the day), which you can view here, at least in this May 1973 clip you'll note that WFB (still in his younger, less oleaginous years) at least listens to what Barry Commoner has to say about the threat to the environment and has some basic sense that there are real issues at stake.
(We see that the standards for a pseudo-intellectual poseur were a million jillion times higher than for the amoeba-brained right-wing life forms now infesting public life, the most tangible of WFB's legacies. And how 'bout that environmentally conscious 1973-model Nixon? Of course Commoner notes in the clip that the sleazy opportunist in Nixon was already coming to the surface on environmental matters when confronted with the actual cost of making peace with the environment.)
My first thought on seeing the name was: My goodness, is Barry Commoner still alive? Then I realized that almost certainly the reason I was suddenly seeing his name again was that no, now he isn't alive anymore.
Barry Commoner, a founder of modern ecology and one of its most provocative thinkers and mobilizers, died Sunday in Manhattan. He was 95 and lived in Brooklyn Heights.I don't know whether to call it irony or what, but Commoner's death comes at a time when the environment has essentially disappeared from view -- and certainly from the presidential election. It's as if all those problems had magically gone away! One thinks of this anecdote Daniel Lewis recalls in connection with his 1980 run for the presidency as the Citizens' Party candidate:
His wife, Lisa Feiner, confirmed his death.
Dr. Commoner was a leader among a generation of scientist-activists who recognized the toxic consequences of America's post-World War II technology boom, and one of the first to stir the national debate over the public's right to comprehend the risks and make decisions about them.
Raised in Brooklyn during the Depression and trained as a biologist at Columbia and Harvard, he came armed with a combination of scientific expertise and leftist zeal. His work on the global effects of radioactive fallout, which included documenting concentrations of strontium 90 in the baby teeth of thousands of children, contributed materially to the adoption of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963.
From there it was a natural progression to a range of environmental and social issues that kept him happily in the limelight as a speaker and an author through the 1960s and '70s, and led to a wobbly run for president in 1980.
In 1970, the year of the first Earth Day, Time magazine put Dr. Commoner on its cover and called him the Paul Revere of Ecology. He was by no means the only one sounding alarms -- the movement was well under way by then, building on the impact of Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" in 1962 and the work of many others. But he was arguably the most peripatetic in his efforts to make environmentalism a people's political cause.
(The same issue of Time also noted that President Richard M. Nixon had already signed on. In his State of the Union address that January, he said, "The great question of the '70s is, shall we surrender to our surroundings, or shall we make our peace with nature and begin to make reparations for the damage we have done to our air, to our land and to our water?" And he followed through: Among other steps, the Environmental Protection Agency was established in December 1970.)
-- from the NYT obit
His own favorite moment of the campaign, he recalled many years later, was when a reporter in Albuquerque asked, "Dr. Commoner, are you a serious candidate, or are you just running on the issues?"We sure don't have to worry about anyone running on environmental issues this year.
His four informal rules of ecology were catchy enough to print on a T-shirt and take to the street: Everything is connected to everything else. Everything must go somewhere. Nature knows best. There is no such thing as a free lunch.Wow, talk about radical socialism!
Although the rules were plain enough, the thinking behind them required leaps of faith. Dr. Commoner?s overarching concern was not ecology as such but rather a radical ideal of social justice in which everything was indeed connected to everything else. Like some other left-leaning dissenters of his time, he believed that environmental pollution, war, and racial and sexual inequality needed to be addressed as related issues of a central problem.
Having been grounded, as an undergraduate, in Marxist theory, he saw his main target as capitalist ?systems of production? in industry, agriculture, energy and transportation that emphasized profits and technological progress with little regard for consequences: greenhouse gases, nonbiodegradable materials, and synthetic fertilizers and toxic wastes that leached into the water supply.
He insisted that the planet?s future depended on industry?s learning not to make messes in the first place, rather than on trying to clean them up. It followed, by his logic, that scientists in the service of industry could not merely invent some new process or product and then wash their hands of moral responsibility for the side effects. He was a lasting opponent of nuclear power because of its radioactive waste; he scorned the idea of pollution credit swaps because, after all, he said, an industry would have to be fouling the environment in the first place to be rewarded by such a program.
In a ?Last Word? interview with The New York Times in 2006, videotaped to accompany this obituary online, Dr. Commoner elaborated on his holistic views and lamented the inability of society to connect the dots among its multitude of challenges, calling it ?an unfortunate feature of political development in this country.?
Noting the success of movements that had promoted civil rights, sexual equality, organized labor, environmentalism and an end to the war in Vietnam, he said one might think that ?if they would only get together, they could remake the country.? But, he added, that has not happened.
Then he said: ?I don?t believe in environmentalism as the solution to anything. What I believe is that environmentalism illuminates the things that need to be done to solve all of the problems together. For example, if you?re going to revise the productive system to make cars or anything else in such a way as to suit the environmental necessities, at the same time why not see to it that women earn as much as men for the same work??
"Although he has been branded by many as a maverick," Dr. Gould added, "I regard him as right and compassionate on nearly every major issue."#
This year's Election Day isn't only about Obama -- it's about all the down ticket races, too, and sending a brushback pitch to Republican extremists (who, God help us, make the Democratic party look almost liberal by comparison). Daily Kos is helping to organize a massive get out the vote operation in Pennsylvania with the Urban League's Occupy the Vote (as you can see from the above video, Republicans are doing their best to fix the election here by suppressing Democratic votes).
Pennsylvania needs your help to counteract the new Voter ID law, which is intended to keep Democrats away from the polls on Election Day. This is part of an organized effort across state legislatures, and it's infuriating.
You have a few options. You can 1) sit on your hands and complain about what the Republicans are doing, or you can 2) volunteer even a few hours of your time FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME to make phone calls. If you are physically able and willing, you can also do canvassing, work voter registration tables, do data entry or give rides to the polls.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) was booed by the audience at the second Massachusetts Senate Debate on Monday evening, after he named conservative Justice Antonin Scalia as his model Supreme Court justice. After hearing the reaction, he quickly added Justices Anthony Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, and Chief Justice John Roberts to his list. “That’s the beauty of [...]
What a ruckus! NBC's David Gregory hosted the second debate between Massachusetts Senate candidates, sitting Republican Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren. If you want to call the interruption derby that devolved before the University of Massachusetts at Lowell students' eyes a debate. Gregory opened by asking Warren about the well-worn Cherokee heritage controversy. Warren repeated what she's said before?including in the last debate, which Brown opened by attacking her on the same issue. (Full disclosure: Warren's daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, is a member of The American Prospect?s board of directors and is chair of the board of the magazine?s publishing partner, Demos.)
Gregory devoted many minutes of the debate to the issue, which began when the Boston Herald reported that Harvard University had claimed Warren as a minority on forms to counteract claims that its faculty wasn't diverse enough. Brown wants to use it to cast doubt on the entire biography Warren presents to voters?who were by and large unfamiliar with her before she entered the race?and also to score points with working-class voters who are suspicious of affirmative action. He's suggesting she got a job she was otherwise unqualified for. That's a position that misunderstands the fundamental nature and purpose of affirmative action, and its a view Gregory reinforced when he asked Brown if there was any reason to think Warren was unqualified otherwise. Brown would not say that. He's said, over and over, that he thinks she's a good professor, and he ended last night's debate by saying that he would do "anything in [his] power" to keep her in that position.
Otherwise, the roundtable format Gregory had said he wanted to be a "healthy, cordial exchange," turned into a battle to finish sentences, with counter claims and accusations of lies flying between the two candidates. Gregory lost control. The format allowed for one moment, when Warren tried to interrupt Brown, when Brown got to let loose with something he must have been planning for a long time: "Excuse me, I'm not a student in your classroom. Please let me respond, ok?" Buuuuuuuurrrrrrrrn. #plannedzinger
Is it sacrilege to admit that it was refreshing when students started asking basic questions allowing the candidates to revert to talking points? Because that's what I felt when that very thing happened, 40 minutes in. Finally, the candidates knew what they were saying, things ran smoothly, and Twitter could stop populating my timeline with fake questions Gregory wanted to ask. "Who is your favorite Kardashian?" He did ask Warren why there hadn't been a female senator from Massachusetts. "I don't know," she said, reasonably. "Right now I'm trying to do something about that."
The race has, in the past week, turned into the sort of mudslinging that had been kept at bay by a dignified-sounding but destined-to-die pact to play nice. It reached a new level of ugliness when Brown supporters, including some campaign staffers, faked tomahawk chops and war-whoops to mock Warren's Cherokee story: Some in Massachusetts have been calling her Fauxahontas and Lieawatha since April. (Over the weekend, David Treuer, a member of the Ojibwe tribe, wrote a great New York Times editorial about the prejudices and racism that American Indians face.) The Massachusetts Senate race is one of a handful that will decide the balance of the Senate. If Brown returns for a new term in 2013, it'll be because he was never as much of a fluke as national observers thought. If Warren wins, she'll be the most talked-about freshman senator since Illinois sent Barack Obama to D.C. in 2005. It's also been the most expensive race this year, and, as it drags on, it's costing even more.