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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Poor Helpless, Pathetic, Limp Boehner!

By Greg Sargent February 25 at 9:22 AM

Later this morning, House Republicans will meet behind closed doors to decide whether to continue hurtling towards a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security. They will discuss Mitch McConnell’s plan to hold two votes — one on funding DHS cleanly, and the other on rolling back President Obama’s executive deportation relief — and House conservatives will insist that GOP leaders must not decouple the two, because that would surrender DHS funding leverage as a tool to block Obama’s lawlessness.

We will then be told that John Boehner just can’t get clean DHS funding through the House. He just can’t do it! It would get conservatives very, very angry! Boehner doesn’t dare pass clean funding with the help of a lot of Democrats, because it would put his Speakership at risk! He can’t do anything. He’s helpless!

But we’ve seen this particular thriller a number of times already. Here’s how it always goes: We are told there’s no way Boehner would ever dare move must-pass legislation with a lot of Democrats. He’s stuck! Then pressure builds and builds, and Boehner does end up passing something with a lot of Democrats. Last I checked, he’s still Speaker.

We’re hearing that again today. Roll Call quotes several House conservatives hinting that Boehner had best refrain from passing any clean DHS funding, or his gavel is in doubt. Okay. But back in early 2013, the fiscal cliff deal, which allowed some high end Bush tax cuts to expire, passed the House with only 85 Republicans and 172 Democrats, and we were told Boehner’s Speakership was at risk. Similarly, in early 2014, Boehner allowed a clean debt ceiling increase to pass the House with only 28 Republicans voting for it, and we were again told his Speakership was at risk. Does anyone else notice a pattern here?


The remote Alaskan village that needs to be relocated due to climate change

KIVALINA, ALASKA — This tiny and isolated town of 400 cannot be reached by road. It lies on a fragile barrier island along the Chukchi Sea, 83 miles above the Arctic circle. And for generations, the Iñupiat people of the region have hunted gigantic bowhead whales from camps atop the sea ice that stretches out from the town’s icy shores.

But in recent years, climate change has thinned the ice so much that it has become too dangerous to hunt the whales. Soon, the U.S. government says, it may be too dangerous to live here at all, with less sea ice to protect the barrier island from powerful waves that wash across the village.

“Global warming has caused us so much problems,” said Joseph Swan, Sr., a Kivalina elder, at a town meeting last week. The ice “does not freeze like it used to. It used to be like 10 to 8 feet thick, way out in the ocean.”

The question now facing the town, the state of Alaska, and the nation is whether to move the people of Kivalina to a safer location nearby, either inland or further down the coast — and who would pay upwards of a hundred million dollars to do it. It’s a question already facing Kivalina and a handful of other native Alaskan villages, and in the coming decades could apply to numerous other towns along U.S. coastlines. Here, climate change is less a future threat and more a daily force, felt in drastic changes to weather, loss of traditional means of sustenance like whale hunting, and the literal vanishing of land.



World's rarest big cat could be making a comeback

Things are starting to look up for the rarest big cat on the planet: The critically endangered Amur leopard, which is indigenous to southeastern Russia and parts of northeastern China, has doubled in population since 2007, according to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Census data from Russia's Land of the Leopard National Park, which covers about 60 percent of the Amur leopard's habitat, puts the number of these wild cats at 57. That's up from the 30 leopards counted in the area in 2007, according to the WWF.

Eight to 12 additional cats were also counted in adjacent areas of China during the census, which means the total population of Amur leopards has, in fact, doubled in less than a decade.



Netanyahu Invites Arab Diplomats to His Big Speech—and Gets Rejected

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is refusing to meet with a group of ardently pro-Israel Democratic senators next week in Washington, but he very much wants to see the faces of Arab ambassadors in the audience during his controversial address to Congress.

Netanyahu's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, has tried, without success, to recruit Arab ambassadors to come to his boss’s speech, e-mailing them personally to plead for their attendance. Dermer, who is not a trained diplomat, is the man who helped engineer the invitation to Netanyahu to speak to Congress in opposition to President Obama’s (so far theoretical) Iran nuclear deal.

Israeli sources tell me that Dermer in recent days has e-mailed at least two Arab ambassadors, those of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. He made the case in these e-mails that Sunni-majority Arab states and Israel have a common interest in thwarting a nuclear agreement with Shiite Iran—and that presenting a united and public front on Capitol Hill will help convince Congress to stop the Iran deal before it’s too late.

It is true that Israel and such countries as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait see Iran as an enemy, and believe that the Obama administration might be inadvertently (or, for the more conspiratorially minded, advertently) setting Iran on the path to nuclearization. It is also true that no Arab ambassador would allow himself to be used as a prop in Netanyahu’s controversial address, and I'm told that neither ambassador will be in attendance. (A related, subsidiary question is this: Just who from the diplomatic corps will actually attend the speech? Will any ambassador show up?)



Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest

The Issue




Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- Nopeland Party

Wednesday Toon Roundup 1-Liars and Haters

Report: Saudis might help Israel attack Iran in exchange for progress in peace process

In private talks with European sources, the Saudis have expressed their willingness to cooperate with Israel on Iran, including use of Saudi air space by the IDF for a possible air strike, according to a report by Channel 2.

Cooperation with Saudi Arabia would not come free, however. According to the report, the Saudi officials said they would need to see progress between Israelis and Palestinians before having enough legitimacy to allow Israel to use their air space.

Arab governments, not only Israel, have been expressing concern over the development of a deal with Iran over its nuclear program, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Talks with Iran over its nuclear program have instilled fear within some major Sunni states, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates that a nuclear arms race will break out in the region, and brought about speculation regarding the possible extension of a US nuclear umbrella to its non-nuclear-armed Middle East allies.




Grandma Maced By Police For Bringing Cupcakes To Granddaughter’s Classroom

Apparently not everyone likes grandma’s cupcakes.

Mary Poole, 78, is still recovering from injuries after what she claims was a violent attack from a school district police officer last year, ABC30 reports. Now the California woman has finally filed a lawsuit, citing $180,000 in medical bills, a dislocated shoulder and fracture and the intense pain of being maced in the face twice.

Poole is alleging a litany of wrongdoing by the district’s officer: excessive force, elder abuse, assault and false arrest.

“I hadn’t seen my granddaughters for some time, and I wanted to see them, and so I baked some cupcakes and bought some cookies for my granddaughters’ classroom,” Poole told ABC30.

Poole says when she arrived at her granddaughter’s school, a Clovis Unified police officer stopped her, saying there was a restraining order against her.

Poole says she tried to explain, but says the officer then sprayed her in the face with mace twice, threw her down and dragged her across the ground. Poole was not arrested, and there was not a restraining order against her. The officer still works for the district.


Like to origonal story


Luckovich Toon- Lucky for Republicans...

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