Well, my blog is almost done with the transition from the old format to the new format. There have been a few issues and there are still a few issues to iron out. Please let me know what you think. We are working on the images and there seems to be some display issues in
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Rolling Stone published an interview by founder and publisher Jann S. Wenner with President Obama Wednesday. Below are two excerpts, the first on marijuana raids and the second on climate change.
After having avoided even invoking the term "climate change" in his 2012 State of the Union address, in two recent energy-related speeches on campuses in Tampa, Fla., and Nasha, N.H., and in his Earth Day proclamation, Obama makes the first mention of climate change unprompted and then responds to a later question, saying it will become an issue in the campaign, "and I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we're going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way":
Let me ask you about the War on Drugs. You vowed in 2008, when you were running for election, that you would not "use Justice Department resources to try and circumvent state laws about medical marijuana." Yet we just ran a story that shows your administration is launching more raids on medical pot than the Bush administration did. What's up with that?That is an achievable goal. And it's one that could go a long way toward dealing with the nation's miserable deficit in construction jobs. It's far from the only thing that must be done regarding climate change, but it's a positive step. The retrofitting, along with implementing stricter energy-efficiency standards for new structures, would require significant public investment. But the return on that investment both in terms of reduced carbon emissions and reduced energy-costs would be well worth it. If only we could elect a Congress with the brains and political willingness to make it happen.
Here's what's up: What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana ? and the reason is, because it's against federal law. I can't nullify congressional law. I can't ask the Justice Department to say, "Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books." What I can say is, "Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage." As a consequence, there haven't been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes.The only tension that's come up?and this gets hyped up a lot?is a murky area where you have large-scale, commercial operations that may supply medical marijuana users, but in some cases may also be supplying recreational users. In that situation, we put the Justice Department in a very difficult place if we're telling them, "This is supposed to be against the law, but we want you to turn the other way." That's not something we're going to do. I do think it's important and useful to have a broader debate about our drug laws. One of the things we've done over the past three years was to make a sensible change when it came to the disparity in sentencing between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. We've had a discussion about how to focus on treatment, taking a public-health approach to drugs and lessening the overwhelming emphasis on criminal laws as a tool to deal with this issue. I think that's an appropriate debate that we should have. [...]
James Hansen, NASA's leading climate scientist, has said this about the Keystone pipeline: that if the pipeline goes through and we burn tar sands in Canada, it's "game over" for the planet. What's your reaction to that statement?
James Hansen is a scientist who has done an enormous amount not only to understand climate change, but also to help publicize the issue. I have the utmost respect for scientists. But it's important to understand that Canada is going to be moving forward with tar sands, regardless of what we do. That's their national policy, they're pursuing it. With respect to Keystone, my goal has been to have an honest process, and I have adamantly objected to Congress trying to circumvent a process that was well-established not just under Democratic administrations, but also under Republican administrations.
The reason that Keystone got so much attention is not because that particular pipeline is a make-or-break issue for climate change, but because those who have looked at the science of climate change are scared and concerned about a general lack of sufficient movement to deal with the problem. Frankly, I'm deeply concerned that internationally, we have not made as much progress as we need to make. Within the constraints of this Congress, we've tried to do a whole range of things, administratively, that are making a difference?doubling fuel-efficiency standards on cars is going to take a whole lot of carbon out of our atmosphere. We're going to continue to push on energy efficiency, and renewable energy standards, and the promotion of green energy. But there is no doubt that we have a lot more work to do.
Part of the challenge over these past three years has been that people's number-one priority is finding a job and paying the mortgage and dealing with high gas prices. In that environment, it's been easy for the other side to pour millions of dollars into a campaign to debunk climate-change science. I suspect that over the next six months, this is going to be a debate that will become part of the campaign, and I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we're going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way. That there's a way to do it that is entirely compatible with strong economic growth and job creation ? that taking steps, for example, to retrofit buildings all across America with existing technologies will reduce our power usage by 15 or 20 percent. That's an achievable goal, and we should be getting started now.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2003:
The anti-war movement made two key points in the leadup to GW II: 1) the Bush Administration was overstating the case against Saddam, and 2) by doing so, it was putting our troops and civilians in harms way.
Iraq fought back harder than many expected, but luckily for everyone its regulars laid down arms before a truly bloody confrontation in Baghdad. Still, we suffered 600 dead and wounded, and thousands of Iraqi soldiers and innocent civilians lost their lives in the war. Thus, #2 came to pass. Thousands died.
So it's important to see whether their lives were given in vain, or whether their ultimate sacrifice was indeed in pursuit of our national security.
So it's with genuine horror that it's clear that we naysayers were right. Administration officials are now admitting they overstated the threa[t] of Iraqi WMDs, and invaded Iraq simply to "make a point."
Ann Romney as Marie Antoinette at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, accompanied by ladies-in-waiting Palin and Bachmann with Mitt, Orly, and Grover behind. Click here for a much larger version.
Open thread below.
I also posted here (yes, as a follow up to last night, I?m trying to resuscitate the old WP site).
Want to know why Not Your Father?s Republican Party is going to be nothing but a bunch of angry white fogies primarily from the South one day? I give you this (naaah, the Repugs aren?t waging a war on women ? just keep trying to convince yourselves, people)?
...and I guess I just mixed this group up with Fine Young Cannibals because of the lead vocalist, but I?m glad I got that straightened out.
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The Stars Are Ours, Moons Of Titan, The Lensman, Skylark Of Space, The Green Hills Of Earth, The Beastmaster . . . . hundreds more, they all bring dreams of space, adventure, new things and humans off into the cosmos to explore them![...]
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The Obama campaign has pegged May 5 as the day the President "officially" hits the campaign trail[...]
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From ThinkProgress - here's three of the eight:
1. Bush passed a huge tax cut plan, mostly benefiting the wealthy. Romney?s tax cut plan is four times larger, more heavily weighted to benefit ultra wealthy.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Passed $2.5 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years, 12.5% benefiting the top 1/10 of 1%. [ThinkProgress, 2/22/12; David Cay Johnston. 3/1/12]
MITT ROMNEY: Proposing $10.7 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years, 33% benefiting the top 1/10 of 1%. [ThinkProgress, 2/22/12; David Cay Johnston. 3/1/12]
2. Bush signed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. Romney supports repealing virtually all campaign finance laws.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Signed into law the landmark McCain?Feingold campaign finance reform, which put restrictions on ?soft money? and limitations on spending from outside groups. [White House, 03/27/02]
MITT ROMNEY: Strongly defended the Supreme Court?s Citizens United decision, which overturned key provisions McCain?Feingold. Supports repealing virtually all campaign finance laws. [Mitt Romney, 2/18/10; ThinkProgress, 12/21/11]
3. Bush supported comprehesive immigration reform, a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants and provisions of the DREAM Act. Romney opposes all of it.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Supported comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants and provisions of the DREAM Act. [Reuters, 6/29/07; White House, 10/24/07]
MITT ROMNEY: Opposes comprehensive immigration reform and opposes providing a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants and the DREAM Act. [Fox News, 04/03/12; ABC, 12/31/12]
Title: You Got LuckyArtist: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
What's your favorite song about luck?
And...lucky you...our sister site Newstalgia has The Rolling Stones in session from 1964.
For a while there, Glenn Beck seemed to be the very embodiment of American conservatism circa 2009. He had his nationally syndicated radio show, his best-selling books, and his Fox News show. He was featured on magazine covers, discussed on other cable shows, and his rise was on everyone's mind. Then his fevered conspiracy theories grew kind of old, and Fox dropped him, whereupon he announced that he was going to make his own subscription-based internet television network. Chances are you haven't heard about Beck in a while, despite the fact that GBTV is making more money for Beck than he ever made at Fox. That's because the people who do things like edit magazines don't listen to Beck's radio show, and they haven't subscribed to his internet TV channel. Which means that he has lost almost all his ability to influence the broader discourse or political events. If he went on a holy war against a White House staffer the way he did against Van Jones (very successfully; Jones ended up resigning), no one would notice or care.
But he's still out there preaching to his fans, and Conor Friedersdorf does us a favor and plunks down $9.95 to see how Beck is doing. The answer? It's complicated. GBTV has a whole slate of programming, and while Beck's own program is just as crazy as ever, full of apocalyptic warnings and encouraging viewers to believe that sinister forces are everywhere, Conor has nice things to say about Liberty Tree House, a kids' show on the network that tells pleasant stories about people like Johnny Appleseed:
As portrayed on Liberty Tree House, America is a country full of possibility where personal integrity matters more than making a profit, hard work usually pays off, and individuals are masters of their own fate -- able to change their lives for the better so long as they believe it to be possible and do what it takes. As much as I'd hate for my grandparents to watch the Glenn Beck Show, I wouldn't mind if my (as yet hypothetical) children watched Liberty Tree House. It draws on the best aspects of non-denominational Christian traditionalism and American history. It's no more heavy-handed than a children's show on PBS. And the takeaway is mostly, "Be inspired!"
This actually makes a kind of sense. The thing about kids is that they encourage you to act more like the person you want to be, and the kind of person you hope they grow up to be. You have to drive more reasonably when the kids are in the car, not only because you want to keep them safe, but also because you always feel their eyes on you, and you want to model good behavior for them. That also means that when they're with you, you often end up being more polite and considerate to people you meet. And when you talk to them about politics, you want to encourage them to be principled and rigorous in their thinking but also thoughtful, to understand their opponents' perspective as best they can and have good reasons to conclude that those opponents are wrong about any particular issue.
So maybe the Glenn Beck Show reflects the person Glenn Beck is, and Liberty Tree House reflects the person he'd like to be. In any case, the nice thing about where Beck is now is that the people who are willing to pay to listen to his rants can do so to their heart's content, and the rest of us don't have to hear about it.
Where Obama's veto threat leaves CISPA. [...]
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