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Mass

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Member since: Tue Mar 8, 2005, 07:39 PM
Number of posts: 27,315

Journal Archives

Kerry: Policymakers 'toy' with oceans by not addressing climate Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/288977-kerry-do-not-toy-with-oceans-by-failing-on-climate


Secretary of State John Kerry said during a Monday speech in Washington, D.C., that policymakers have "the responsibility as human beings" to combat climate change in defense of oceans and aquatic ecosystems.
Kerry called climate change an economic and national security issue — as well as an environmental one — because it affects oceans, aquatic ecosystems and the food they produce.
“Climate change is coming back in a sense as a serious international issue because people are experiencing it firsthand. The science is screaming at us, literally, demanding that people in positions of public responsibility at least exercise the so-called ‘precautionary principle’ to balance the equities and not knowing completely the outcomes at least understand what is happening and take steps to prevent potential disaster,” Kerry said.
Kerry made the comments at National Geographic Society’s Ross Sea Conservation Reception, where former New Zealand prime minister and current Ambassador Mike Moore and Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr also spoke.
Kerry has spoken often about climate change in his first weeks at Foggy Bottom. He commented Monday that President Obama has put the topic “back on the front burner where it belongs.”
...
Kerry referenced fossil-fuel energy and climate change in developments that are negatively affecting aquatic ecosystems. He pointed to ocean acidification, pollution, ice melt and sea level rises.
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The Good, Racist People - TA-NEHISI COATES

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/opinion/coates-the-good-racist-people.html?hp&_r=1&#.UTivpRBG414.twitter

Last month the actor Forest Whitaker was stopped in a Manhattan delicatessen by an employee. Whitaker is one of the pre-eminent actors of his generation, with a diverse and celebrated catalog ranging from “The Great Debaters” to “The Crying Game” to “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.” By now it is likely that he has adjusted to random strangers who can’t get his turn as Idi Amin out of their heads. But the man who approached the Oscar winner at the deli last month was in no mood for autographs. The employee stopped Whitaker, accused him of shoplifting and then promptly frisked him. The act of self-deputization was futile. Whitaker had stolen nothing. On the contrary, he’d been robbed.

...

In modern America we believe racism to be the property of the uniquely villainous and morally deformed, the ideology of trolls, gorgons and orcs. We believe this even when we are actually being racist. In 1957, neighbors in Levittown, Pa., uniting under the flag of segregation, wrote: “As moral, religious and law-abiding citizens, we feel that we are unprejudiced and undiscriminating in our wish to keep our community a closed community.”

...
The idea that racism lives in the heart of particularly evil individuals, as opposed to the heart of a democratic society, is reinforcing to anyone who might, from time to time, find their tongue sprinting ahead of their discretion. We can forgive Whitaker’s assailant. Much harder to forgive is all that makes Whitaker stand out in the first place. New York is a city, like most in America, that bears the scars of redlining, blockbusting and urban renewal. The ghost of those policies haunts us in a wealth gap between blacks and whites that has actually gotten worse over the past 20 years.

But much worse, it haunts black people with a kind of invisible violence that is given tell only when the victim happens to be an Oscar winner. The promise of America is that those who play by the rules, who observe the norms of the “middle class,” will be treated as such. But this injunction is only half-enforced when it comes to black people, in large part because we were never meant to be part of the American story. Forest Whitaker fits that bill, and he was addressed as such.
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Have A Cookie, Huckleberry - Esquire - Charlie Pierce

Shorter version: Sen Graham : We need AR-15 to protect ourselves against bad black and brown people.

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Panic_In_The_Mind?src=rss

Have A Cookie, Huckleberry
By Charles P. Pierce
at 9:30am

Honest to god, somebody's either got to turn a fire hose on Lindsey Graham, or get him a Thorazine the size of a hubcap. Of all the hypothetical scenarios flying like bats under the Capitol dome yesterday, and there were quite a few of them, Graham decided to go for the gold with an old reliable --Roving Battalions Of Heavily Armed Brown People beyond the social pale.
Well, I'm afraid that world does exist. I think it existed in New Orleans, to some exist in Long Island, it could exist tomorrow if there's a cyber attack against the country and the power grid goes down and the dams are released and chemical plants are discharges. [...] What I'm saying is if my family was in the cross-hairs of gangs that were roaming around New Orleans or any other location, that the turn effect of an AR-15 to protect my family is better than a double-barrel shotgun but the Vice President and I have a disagreement on that.
While I admit (as a man confident in my masculinity) that the vision of Huckleberry Closetcase, barechested with crossed ammo belts and wearing one of those Rambo head-bands while blazing away from behind the honeysuckle on his veranda is a compelling one, and one that resonates historically with why the Second Amendment was so clumsily written in the first place, it's sad that we have come to this again. The roving gangs of armed black people story is one of the enduring myths of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, even given all we've learned about how the actual roving gangs who wandered New Orleans, shooting up innocent people, generally wore badges. That Graham would cite it now, eight years later, and so casually, is one more indication that he's having a full-blown anxiety attack. And, no, you don't need the Enigma Machine to decode what he's up to this time around.


Read more: Have A Cookie, Huckleberry - Esquire http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Panic_In_The_Mind#ixzz2MrtK5Cqn

4 Republicans voting for Hagel: Cochran(MS), Johanns(NE),Shelby(AL), and Rand Paul (KY)

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=1&vote=00024

Paul is the one who surprises me. He had said in an interview it was possible he would vote for Hagel, because he voted for Kerry and had no more disagreement with Hagel than with Kerry, but he voted for the filibuster, so it is hard to follow the logic.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=1&vote=00023

(Yes, I have a hard time with Randian philosophy -- can we really call it that --, so if somebody could tell me where this fits with the classical obstructionism of the Tea Party)

Kerry slams Capitol Hill's foreign aid critics in first major address as secretary of State

http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/foreign-aid/283997-kerry-slams-capitol-hills-foreign-aid-critics-in-first-major-address-as-secretary-of-state

John Kerry ripped his former colleagues in Congress for contributing to public opposition to foreign aid during his first major address as secretary of State on Wednesday.
Kerry said many Americans believe that the United States spends 25 percent of its budget on foreign affairs, instead of the real figure of just over 1 percent. The main culprits, according to Kerry: politicians looking for an applause line.
“Where do you think this idea comes from?” Kerry asked. “Well I'll tell you, it's pretty simple. As a recovering politician, I can tell you that nothing gets a crowd clapping faster in a lot of places than saying: 'I'm going to Washington to get them to stop spending all that money over there.' ”
Kerry went on to call on Americans to “say no to the politics of the lowest-common denominator and of simplistic slogans and start making real choices that protect the interests of our country.”

...
"The kids whose lives we're helping save from AIDS, the women we're helping to free from the horrors of sex trafficking, the students who for the first time can choose to walk into a school instead of into a short life of terrorism – their strongest lobbyists are the rare, committed Americans who stand up for them and for the resources that we need to help them. And I hope that includes all of you here and many listening.”
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Scott Brown: My tweets are because Iphone 5 is too hard to use

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/scott-brown-tweet_n_2716060.html

Scott Brown Explains Late-Night Tweets, Says He Wasn't Drunk

"Anyone ever hear of pocket tweet, pocket dial? I mean it was pretty simple. I have an iPhone 5. If anyone has iPhone 5, the keys are small. It's very, very sensitive. Ayla was teaching me how to get on Facebook and Twitter, and there were some areas I didn't really understand," Brown said to a local Fox station. "After her concert, we were here in the living room and responded to a couple of people and then put it in my pocket."

On Jan. 26, Brown tweeted three messages after midnight -- "Your brilliant Matt," "Whatever" and "Bqhatevwr" -- that drew attention because the former senator has kept an exceptionally low public profile since leaving the Senate and the announcement of the special election to fill Kerry's seat. They were later deleted.
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OK, I am reassured, he does not drink. Not sure I am reassured really, because being drunk could have excused his difficulties with explaining things. Now, we're back to being Palin-light.

So, he does not understand Iphone5, he put his phone in his pocket without locking it (which may account for Bqhatevwr, but did his phone really tweet "Your brilliant Matt," by chance?). Sigh! And he is thinking about running for Governor? He may have problems to deal with that are more difficult than an Iphone5.

The Cool Kidz Club Is Open By Charles P. Pierce

Thanks god for people like Charlie Pierce. I am so tired hearing these Belway Pundits. I hate so much anonymous sources. There may be a few cases where it is justified, but for the most part, it is just a way to push memes without consequences.

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Chris_Cillizza_Explains_It_All_To_You?src=rss

When I start my re-education camp for Beltway pundits, whereby they are all marched gently into the Smokies to reclaim swampland and attend re-education lectures, Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post is going to be first in line every day for his bowl of rice. This is because, god love him, he is such a perfect combination of being-impressed-by-the-obvious and fall-on-your-ass centrism that I am constantly surprised that he hasn't yet been set in marble and used to adorn the tomb of David Broder.

Did you know, for example, that the Republicans are filibustering Chuck Hagel because some of them don't like him? Let Chris and some anonymous "GOP strategists" enlighten you?

"He's about as unsympathetic a character as you're ever going to see so the political danger is virtually non-existent," said one senior Senate Republican aide. Added another GOP Senate strategist: "Hagel doesn't have a natural base of grassroots support outside the president and Democratic leaders so it's difficult to see any real backlash developing."


Did you also know that Republicans (as they always do) Have A Point, which they will bravely share anonymously with Chris? And did you further know that politicians occasionally participate in politics? Let Chris complete your education.

[blockquote]Several operatives rejected the notion that the Hagel blockade is largely about politics. (Worth noting: ALL fights in Congress are at least 50 percent about politics and often far more than that.) "A number of senators have serious concerns with his lack of experience leading such a massive bureaucracy, in addition to his position on Iran and Israel," said one GOP strategist. "And in some ways, this is part of a broader debate and effort to draw attention to the administration's policies in the Middle East. The longer this nomination is drawn out, the more attention is given to those issues."

...
What the hell does it matter that the country is trying to extricate itself from the second of two wars, and that we don't have a Secretary Of Defense, and that the crops are going bad from inattention back on poor Leon Panetta's walnut farm? What does all that matter so long as Mitch McConnell's re-election is secured and Orrin Hatch gets his semi-annual hard-on? That Chris can't see the problem in front of him means that he's part of the problem in front of him. Here's your shovel, lad. There's the swamp. Let's get to work.

Hillarious response to the State of the Union in Spanish - Turn Cc on before listening to it.

Not sure what the problem is, but ABC's translation system is certainly interesting.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/marco-rubios-state-union-response-spanish-language-version-18482403

If they fix it, you can watch excerpts of it on Colbert from Frebruary 13th

When Twitter attacks: how trolls use social media to silence

http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2013/02/04/when-twitter-attacks-how-trolls-use-social-media-to-silence/

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone repeated what’s become a stock line for him: “Twitter should be considered a triumph of humanity not a triumph of technology.”

...
But for every act of citizen journalism on Twitter helping to foment revolution in repressive regimes or assist people in a tragedy, there are dark and depressing examples of how human nature plays out in 140 characters.

Such was the case this weekend in the Twitter feed of Clara Jeffery, co-editor of Mother Jones.

On Saturday, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, described as the the most lethal sniper in American military history, was shot and killed at a Texas gun range, reportedly by a former Marine suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Jeffery tweeted: “So much for good/talented guy with a gun being able to stop mentally ill guy with a gun.”
...
But the reaction to Jeffery’s tweet was swift and vicious, soon turning misogynistic and threatening, particularly after the responders realized she had a child. You can read much of the unedited responses here (or if you dig down here).

But these are a few of the nastiest lowlights:

“Erase those disrespectful tweets now you dirtbag motherf—– An American patriot lost his life tonight. You will regret this,” wrote @HeidiL_RN.

To which one wonders, RN as in nurse????

Apparently unaware of what Mother Jones actually does, @HeidiL_RN later called for campaign to have Jeffery fired from the progressive San Francisco magazine.
...
he only good news in all this is that many, many people on Twitter also rose to Jeffery’s defense, offering her encouragement, virtual hugs and pictures of adorable babies and dogs.

It was at least a mini triumph of humanity.

The Daily Vapors From Senator Graham

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Lindsey_Graham's_Morning_Vapors?src=rss

The Daily Vapors From Senator Graham
By Charles P. Pierce

Lindsey Graham, the man with the portable fainting couch, is worried once again, this time about Chuck Hagel and his "disturbing" performance before the McCarthyite crackpots on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and about the state of the world, which Lindsey finds dark and ominous, with bustling in all the hedgerows, and filled with low growling from the underbrush. To borrow a line from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, give us this day our daily dread, senator.

When asked whether he'd filibuster a Hagel confirmation, Graham said: "I'm going to try to make sure that I get all the information - he made 15 speeches for money, I want to know what he said. I want to get all the information available to us so we can make an informed decision. But I can tell you this, I've never seen the world more dangerous than it is now."

I lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis when I was nine-years old, Huckleberry. I hid under my desk at school. I prayed the Rosary with my parents while John Kennedy spoke from the Oval Office about "a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union." I spent most of my life with a couple thousand Soviet nukes pointed at me. I do not feel particularly imperiled by whatever it was that Chuck Hagel said in those 15 speeches, or that he said "containment" instead of "deterrence" when talking about the president's policy as regards to Iran. Presumably, the president still knows what his policy is. And even if Hagel believes in "containment" rather than "deterrence," so what? he can argue that out with Kerry, and with Brennan, and everybody else. The president doesn't have to listen to him, and it's not like "containment" is that outre a policy suggestion. Oh, I forgot, the Iranians don't value life the way we do because of the 12th Imam or something. My bad.

Jeebus, Huckleberry, have a cookie and relax.

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