Just a whole bunch of unrelated stories instead of one long narrative, okay?
A former Republican firebrand ousted by a tea party nutjob gets honest about his party's tactics - guess what? Apparently Republicans are intentionally playing into the racism, anger, and paranoia we see daily on the news.
That freak out over the Muslim community center being built near ground zero is a great example of right-wing demagoguery. Happily, the NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg was having none of it and eloquently defended their rights to worship how and whomever they please asking, "...should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion?"
From over at the NYT's, someone whose columns have given credence to those touting "climategate" comes an op-ed that notes while the climate bill in the US is paralyzed, the climate isn't (I predict everyone's going to get very brave on the subject of climate change soon - evidence pouring in from all directions will do that). Anyhow, he links to a fascinating interview conducted by Tom Yulsman, whom he calls an an old friend and journalism professor at the University of Colorado, with Jim White, a climate specialist there who just returned from Greenland.
He writes: In White’s view, it’s already too late to turn back the clock on climate change to save low-lying coastal cities like Miami. The ice cores that he and his colleagues drill from Greenland and Antarctica tell us that the last time greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere were as high as they are today, the world was even warmer than it is now, Greenland was largely deglaciated, and sea level was 10 to 15 feet higher.
In the interview, White barely mentioned reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases to mitigate climate change, although I know he thinks this would be a very good idea. Instead, he emphasized the need for societies to adapt to what he considers to be inevitable and very significant changes.
In a sane world that would be a very sobering statement - want a Xanax?
Obama has had to deal with massive republican obstructionism at every turn - even on issues they once supported. Rachel has the details:
So, anytime someone says to you, I like that Obama guy but I just wish he'd do more. Well, here's a list of what he's managed to get done amidst all that attempted gridlock and fear-mongering:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
College Tuition Inflation Bill increasing the amount of federal Pell Grant awards and stripping banks privileges as intermediaries for student loan servicing
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
Health Care Reform
SCHIP health-care program
Public Lands bill
Credit card industry reform
Government Transparency especially on lobbyist’s access to the White House
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees
Instructed HHS to allow hospital visitation rights to LGBT couples
Banning of job discrimination based on gender identity
Giving benefits for Same-Sex Domestic Partners of Foreign Service Employees
Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending
Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
Beginning the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
No permanent bases in Iraq
Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date
No torture policy
Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information covering the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB
Housing rescue plan
US Auto industry rescue plan
Federal support for stem-cell research
Cash for clunkers program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars stimulating auto sales
Making more loans available to small businesses
Increased funding for the Violence Against Women Act
Expand the Nurse-Family Partnership to all low-income, first-time mothers
Increase minority access to capital
Establish a credit card bill of rights
Close the "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug plan
Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions
Expand eligibility for Medicaid
Increase funding to expand community based prevention programs
Signed the nuclear reduction Treaty with Moscow to reducing warheads by 30%.
Securing $20,000,000,000 from BP to help those that have been affected by the oil spill and to clean up the mess around the gulf.
The most profound restructuring of financial regulation since the Great Depression (Financial Reform Bill)
$90.9 billion Education Investment
$82.5 billion Aid to low income workers, unemployed and retirees
$80.9 billion in Infrastructure Investment
$61.3 billion investment in Energy Smart Grid, Energy Efficiency, and environmental clean-up
Interview With Environmental Artist Franke James (part the 2nd) - Here's the second part of my freewheeling interview with environmental artist and activist Franke James. We discuss the pro-active philosophy that guides...