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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 35,268

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Environmental Scientist

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Ted Cruz’s war on the GOP accelerates

Texas senator is the inheritor of the Jesse Helms scorched-earth legacy -- and leading his party's ongoing collapse

If you’ve been reading this space, you know that the Republican Party has a huge mess on its hands thanks to the right’s kamikaze-like Obamacare strategy.

While that mess spread in the House yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was busy giving the Heritage Foundation’s annual Helms lecture, named in honor of the unrepentant racist Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who left Congress in 2003 and died in 2008.

“The willingness to say all those crazy things is a rare, rare characteristic in this town, and you know what? It’s every bit as true now as it was then,” Cruz said. “We need a hundred more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.”

These two facts might seem disconnected, but they’re actually tightly linked. The latter is a symptom of the same problem that caused the former.

If you think there’s no connection between the fact that Ted Cruz admires Jesse Helms, and that Cruz is also waging war against the GOP establishment from the right, you don’t know much about Ted Cruz or Jesse Helms.



A New Front in the GOP's War on Science

Not satisfied with undermining the case for action on climate change, House Republicans want to crack the fundamental basis for environmental regulation itself.

By Patrick Reis
Republicans are going after environmental groups’ last, best line of defense.

The environmental lobby has long leveraged three main arguments in its fight for clean-air policies: climate science, jobs, and public health. But ever since President Obama took office, Republicans have made strong inroads against the first two arguments, turning the once solid talking points into question marks among moderates and outright liabilities among conservatives.

The connection between global warming and human activity is settled science among climatologists, but the public at large sees the issue very differently. Only 42 percent of Americans believe in human-caused global warming, down from 47 percent in 2008, according to a long-standing Pew Research Center poll. And “green jobs” have become a favorite topic of conversation for Republicans, who have been relentless in their efforts to publicize the failure of Solyndra, the solar-panel company that went bankrupt despite receiving more than $500 million in federal loan guarantees.

But while climate science and green jobs have become politicized, cancer and asthma have not, and the public health benefits of environmental regulations remain the green lobby’s most persuasive argument.



College Students Chase David Petraeus and Shout at Him on First Day of Class

Paul Krugman- Rich Man's Recovery


A few days ago, The Times published a report on a society that is being undermined by extreme inequality. This society claims to reward the best and brightest regardless of family background. In practice, however, the children of the wealthy benefit from opportunities and connections unavailable to children of the middle and working classes. And it was clear from the article that the gap between the society’s meritocratic ideology and its increasingly oligarchic reality is having a deeply demoralizing effect.

The report illustrated in a nutshell why extreme inequality is destructive, why claims ring hollow that inequality of outcomes doesn’t matter as long as there is equality of opportunity. If the rich are so much richer than the rest that they live in a different social and material universe, that fact in itself makes nonsense of any notion of equal opportunity.

By the way, which society are we talking about? The answer is: the Harvard Business School — an elite institution, but one that is now characterized by a sharp internal division between ordinary students and a sub-elite of students from wealthy families.

The point, of course, is that as the business school goes, so goes America, only even more so — a point driven home by the latest data on taxpayer incomes.



Watch: Painfully Stupid ‘Overpasses for Impeachment’ Attendees Caught on Tape!

Fate truly smiled on us today. As luck would have it, Overpasses for the Impeachment of Obama was out at one of their “gargantuan” gatherings as we were driving by.

No, this isn’t satire and yes, they really are this stupid. These people and their incredible ignorance are the reason we do what we do everyday here at Americans Against the Tea Party.

Two of our favorite moments from the “rally”:

Rhea Thinks Syria is All About The Benghazi

INTERVIEWER: Could you tell me some of the things that you think should be impeached for?

RHEA: Well, the lying about The Benghazi. That’s what this big cover-up for Syria’s all about. They don’t want the truth to be out there about Benghazi and how they let our force — you know, Americans — die.



Szechuan pepper sensation 'same as a vibrator'


Scientists from a prestigious university in London claim that the sensation caused by eating the unique Chinese peppercorn feels exactly the same as pressing a vibrator to your lips.

In fact, recent experiments showed that when they tried to rub pepper extract on the lips of volunteers, almost none of them could tell whether they were eating peppers or undergoing mechanical stimulation.

It sounds far-fetched perhaps, but the scientists, researchers at UCL, one of the UK's top universities, hope it might lead to new ways of reducing chronic pain in sufferers of conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or even paralysis.

Szechuan peppercorn is unique among all other ingredients in producing the sensation of vibration on the lips, but the study reveals that stimuli caused by chemicals in the pepper have the same effect on the human brain as actual touch does.



Bloomberg Gets Zuccotti-Parked as Dem Voters Back Anti-1% NYC Mayoral Candidate

Oh to be a fly on the wall as the Big Apple's "Mayor 1%" -- Michael Bloomberg -- gobbled down antiacids as he learned that the next mayor of NYC is likely to be a hard-left-soak-the-rich advocate for the middle class, poor and jobless. Actually, that man who is the odds on favorite to occupy Gracie Mansion is literally the Public Advocate for the city of New York, a citywide elected position that literally speaks out on behalf of its citizens.

Not largely known outside of the NYC region, the Public Advocate is in essence the person who would replace a sitting mayor if he or she resigned or could not perform the duties of mayor. That man is Bill de Blasio, and he is on the verge of winning yesterday's NYC Democratic primary, possibly with the necessary 40% of the vote to avoid a run-off. (If there is a run-off, he is already the widely favored candidate to face a weak Republican opponent in the general election).

As CBS News just reported Wednesday morning:

After running as a hard-left populist who vowed to raise taxes on the rich in order to boost public education funding, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio easily topped a field of competitors in the Democratic primary to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio had 40.2 percent of the vote with former Comptroller Bill Thompson in second place at 26.2 percent. If de Blasio's share of the vote holds at 40 percent or more, he will avoid a mandatory Oct. 1 runoff with Thompson.



Kristof and the “Mere Flexing” of Military Power


Nick Kristof thinks that the threat of attacking Syria “worked”:

In short, the mere flexing of military power worked — initially and tentatively. And while it seems that neither Congress nor the public has any appetite for cruise missile strikes on Syria, it will be critical to keep the military option alive in the coming weeks or Russia and Syria will play us like a yo-yo.

Kristof fails to explain how “the threat worked” when it seemed more than likely that at least one house of Congress was on track to refuse authorizing the use of force. If Obama was on the verge of having his policy repudiated in Congress and the “mere flexing” of military power was soon to be nothing more than that, why would Russia and Syria jump at the chance to offer up all of Syria’s chemical weapons? I can understand why administration officials feel compelled to pretend that “the threat worked,” because it could make Obama’s decision to make the threat look less risible than it did a few days ago. That doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to take this for granted. Obama’s position before Monday was increasingly untenable, and if the votes in Congress had gone ahead as planned the threat of military action would have very likely evaporated. Considering how few supporters military action had, it is hard to see how the threat could have “worked” when the threat was daily being revealed as an empty one. Many Syria hawks have been terrified all month that Congress’ rejection of the AUMF resolution would make attacking Syria politically impossible, but we’re supposed to think that no one in other governments noticed what was happening?

It’s true that Russia didn’t and still doesn’t want the U.S. to attack Syria, so it may have occurred to Moscow to find some other way to ensure that an attack would be indefinitely delayed. If preventing an attack on Syria is Russia’s reason for making the proposal, it hardly seems likely that Russia is going to accept either “a binding Security Council resolution confirming the deal” or “a reference in the resolution to “serious consequences” for noncompliance.” Russia would assume that Western governments would interpret this as an authorization for some future military intervention, and after Libya there is no chance that Russia is ever going to allow the passage of another resolution that in any way authorizes the U.S. and other Western governments to intervene. In exchange for Russian support, Putin has said that he wants the U.S. to “renounce the use of force” against Syria, and this is the one thing that Syria hawks absolutely won’t renounce.

So it may not be true that “the threat worked,” and saying that it did will encourage many Americans to draw the wrong conclusions from this experience. Instead of learning that it is foolish to threaten unnecessary military action when U.S. and allied security are not at risk, many will conclude that it is the best way to “get results.” U.S. foreign policy is already far too militarized, and learning the wrong lesson from this episode will just reinforce that.


One time I actually agree with something from that site.

Republican Jesus strikes again


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