Today Now! Interviews The 5-Year-Old Screenwriter Of "Fast Five"
What's next -- revelations that Watson is actually gay...or maybe from Central America?
House Minority Leader Robert Watson was arrested Friday at a police checkpoint in East Haven, Conn.
The Journal says the police report alleged that the Republican lawmaker's eyes were "extremely glassy and bloodshot" and that he smelled of alcoholic beverages as well as the "distinct odor of marijuana."
The police report said the officer found a "small plastic sandwich bag containing a green leafy plant-like substance and a small wooden marijuana smoking pipe" on Watson after his arrest.
The lawmaker drew fire in February after saying, in reference to the state General Assembly, "I suppose if you're a gay man from Guatemala who gambles and smokes pot, you probably think that we're onto some good ideas here."
It's August, 2009 again. Except this time the disgruntled town meeting attendees aren't teabaggers, they're everybody. And the targets are now Republicans. Here's Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), at a town hall meeting facing constituents over a broken campaign promise to not privatize Medicare. An angry constituent confronts him: "If you voted to abolish Medicare, how would you explain that to people in their 50′s out of a job?!"There are more examples in the link above. Could this be the turning point that wins the 2012 election for Obama -- and maybe weakens the GOP hold on the House, if not outright flipping it again?
I'm not sure how this slipped under the radar, but on Tuesday, the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound cleared its final hurdle -- the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) approved a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Cape Wind Associates back in October of 2010.What is all means:
The project consists of 130, 3.6 megawatt wind turbine generators covering approximately 25 square miles in federal waters offshore Massachusetts with the maximum capacity to produce about 468 megawatts. The average expected production from the wind facility could provide about 75 percent of the electricity demand for Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. At average expected production, Cape Wind could produce enough energy to power more than 200,000 homes in Massachusetts.Seriously, America, this is the first?
It doesn't seem like a year -- mainly because of the time it took to cap the gusher. But it seems that there's something worse happening to our oceans, of which the spill is but one contributor:
That tragedy is the ill and declining health of the Gulf of Mexico, including the enormous dead zone off the mouth of the Mississippi and the alarmingly rapid disappearance of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, roughly 2,000 square miles smaller than they were 80 years ago. Few here would take issue with the commission’s question, but the answer to it is far from resolved.
Eclipsed by the spill’s uncertain environmental impact is the other fallout: the vast sums in penalties and fines BP will have to pay to the federal government. In addition to criminal fines and restitution, BP is facing civil liabilities that fall roughly into two categories: Clean Water Act penalties and claims from the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, whereby state and federal agencies tally the damage caused by the spill and put a price tag on it. This could add up to billions, perhaps tens of billions, of dollars.
Why does it feel that Cormac McCarthy was all too prescient?
That CO2, of course, leads to global warming and climate change, as well as what’s called ocean acidification, which might be thought of as oceanic global warming and is a greater catastrophe than any spill to date. The oceans absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, creating carbonic acid. Since the start of the industrial revolution we’ve added about 500 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide to the oceans, which are 30 percent more acidic than they were a couple of hundred years ago.
This acidification makes it difficult for calcifying organisms — coral, snails and oysters and other mollusks, and more — to build shells and skeletons sturdy enough for them to survive. Many of these are on the bottom of the food chain and, as they begin to die off (we’ve already seen massive oyster declines on the Pacific coast), the effects trickle up. Acidification has already wreaked havoc on coral reefs, on which about 25 percent of all marine life depends. By the end of this century, Safina says, the ocean will begin dissolving coral reefs — unless we make a big change in our fossil-fuel use.
If acidification endangers marine life leisurely, fishing does it quickly. Around 70 percent of global fish stocks are fully or overfished, and 30 percent have collapsed, which means they produce less than 10 percent of their original capacity. Commercial fish catch has declined by 500,000 tons per year since 1988, not for lack of effort, money or technology — in fact because of those factors — but for lack of fish. The danger becomes dual, says Danson: “If you’re overfishing at the top of the food chain, and acidifying the ocean at the bottom, you’re creating a squeeze that could conceivably collapse the whole system.”
Today’s installment of “heinous, unacceptable racism disguised as ‘jokes’” features a Republican official on Orange County, California, President Obama, and monkeys in photoshop. GOP official Marilyn Davenport is coming under fire for sending other Republican officials an email depicting President Obama as a chimpanzee, in the arms of chimpanzee “parents,” claiming, “Now you know why– no birth certificate! [sic].” Davenport is sticking to her guns, blaming the media for making too much of a fuss.As for Trump, he can't say it's true, just sneakily imply that if it's being talked about, there must be something to it:
Among Davenport’s detractors (including, one would hope, “everyone else”), local news station KCAL caught up with former California Republican chairman Michael Schroder, who correctly posited: “no average person would send this out and feel comfortable with this, that this was just a joke.” Then again, Schroder also notes Davenport doesn’t come into this embarrassment with a clean slate– among the people in Orange County Republican politics she has defended are an official who sent an email with an illustration of the White House covered in watermelons and an official who opposed the installation of grass near beaches on the point that “grass attracts Mexicans.”
Jon Kyl is an accomplished nude hula dancer. He is not welcome in Hawaii. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement For the past 10 years, Jon Kyl has been two children in a very convincing Jon Kyl suit. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement Jon Kyl cheated on Sandra Bullock. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement Once a year, Jon Kyl retreats to the Arizona desert and deposits 2 million egg sacs under the sand. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement Citing religious reasons, Jon Kyl refuses to utter the number 8. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement Jon Kyl once ate a badger he hit with his car. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement Carly Simon wrote that song about Jon Kyl. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement Legally, Jon Kyl cannot be within 100 yards of Helen Mirren. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement Jon Kyl has a shrine to Scooter from the Muppet Show. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement Jon Kyl developed his own line of hair care products just so he could test them on bunnies. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement Jon Kyl was sent from the future to kill Sarah Conner. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement
“For my friends and colleagues, this is a factual statement,” Gillibrand said. “Current law already prevents federal money from paying for abortions. This has been the law of the land for over 30 years. Shutting down the government for a political argument is not only outrageous, it is irresponsible. The price for keeping the government open is this assault on women’s rights.”And yes, I got into it as well:
Asked if he had really campaigned on a plan to roll back collective bargaining rights, Walker repeatedly danced around the question, insisting he had campaigned on a “range” of promises to impose fiscal discipline. But Connolly kept pressing the point, and finally asked him point blank: Did you “explicitly” campaign on this proposal?Way to go, Scottie! You're no Tricky Dick, that's for sure.
“No,” Walker conceded. He then went on to repeat his claim that he campaigned on a range of issues, and insistted that Wisconsinites should not have been surprised by his plan because his views on collective bargaining had long been known....
KUCINICH: Let me ask you about some of the specific provisions in your proposals to strip collective bargaining rights. First, your proposal would require unions to hold annual votes to continue representing their own members. Can you please explain to me and members of this committee how much money this provision saves for your state budget?
WALKER: That and a number of other provisions we put in because if you’re going to ask, if you’re going to put in place a change like that, we wanted to make sure we protected the workers of our state, so they got value out of that. [...]
KUCINICH: Would you answer the question? How much money does it save, Governor?WALKER: It doesn’t save any.
"Of course, there will be those who disagree with my approach. Some will argue we shouldn't even consider raising taxes, even if only on the wealthiest Americans. It's just an article of faith for them. I say that at a time when the tax burden on the wealthy is at its lowest level in half a century, the most fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more. I don't need another tax cut. Warren Buffett doesn't need another tax cut. Not if we have to pay for it by making seniors pay more for Medicare. Or by cutting kids from Head Start. Or by taking away college scholarships that I wouldn't be here without. That some of you wouldn't be here without. And I believe that most wealthy Americans would agree with me. They want to give back to the country that's done so much for them. Washington just hasn't asked them to."The speech is not his most eloquent, just super smart and super refreshing:
As if Ryan's feed the rich/starve the rest of us budget wasn't hyperpartisan? With this speech, Obama has lashed the GOP to the budget of their own making, and the U.S. public is against whatever Ryan and his fellow Republicans think they are selling. Per this week's USA Today survey:
Reacting to Obama’s Wednesday speech on deficit reduction, Ryan said that he was first “excited,” then “naively optimistic,” then “disappointed,” then “sad” and finally, in the end, “sincerely disappointed.”
“I was excited when we got invited to attend his speech today,” Ryan, who authored the Republican budget proposal unveiled last week, said just hours after returning from George Washington University where he was given a front row seat for Obama’s address. “I thought the president’s invitation…was an olive branch. Instead, what we got was a speech that was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate, and hopelessly inadequate to address our countries fiscal challenges.”
Welcome to the 2012 General Election.
• Are split over whether there should be significant additional cuts in domestic spending: 47% say no, 45% yes. On this issue, there is a yawning divide between the parties. Democrats by 2-to-1 oppose more cuts; Republicans by 2-to-1 support them.
• Overwhelmingly oppose making major changes to Medicare. By 2-to-1, they support minor changes or none at all to control costs, rather than major changes or a complete overhaul. Even a third of Republicans say the government should not try to control the costs of Medicare.
• Favor imposing higher taxes on families with household incomes of $250,000 and above, as Obama has endorsed: 59% support the idea, 37% oppose it.
While only 28 Republicans voted against the bridge plan to keep the money flowing until Thursday’s vote, it is highly likely that some of the Republicans who supported that measure were looking to avoid a government shutdown and will vote nay on the bill to finance the government through the rest of the fiscal year.Ha, weaklings, needing Dem support. I almost hope it fails -- then the nation sees today's GOP for what they are, psycho extremists or hostage to the same. Now Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) is saying the GOP will let the U.S. debt limit hit the ceiling and risk catastrophic default:
In a meeting with reporters, the House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, while saying it was his understanding that the bill had “strong Republican support,” conceded Tuesday that he was not certain the bill would pass without support from Democrats. “Certainly we’ll always ask for them,” he said about Democrats.
I'm guessing this is just bullshit brinksmanship for the benefit of teabagger votes, but you never know how a game of chicken will resolve itself. Unpleasant surprises have been known to happen once such a game is on. Per Dem strategist John Podesta, the GOP are playing with the type of fire with which they can scorch themselves:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) suggested Tuesday that Congress will allow the country to hit its debt ceiling, and continue to hold out for dramatic spending cuts while the nation approaches a genuine default.
"I think Treasury has, if I'm not mistaken, has put ... out a notice that there is a window within which we have to act in order to avoid the eventual default of this country on its debt," Cantor told reporters at his weekly Capitol briefing. "And I believe that that outside deadline is early July."
"That that's like playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun. I think that gun's actually pointed at the Republican leadership's head, not so much at the White House," John Podesta told me after a presentation at his think tank, the Center for American Progress. "I think they will find soon enough that if they try the same tactics they used in the 2011 [spending] battle with respect to the debt limit, you're going to see markets react to that in a very, very negative way and there's going to be a lot of pressure on them to get realistic, and at least with respect to the debt limit, to move forward in a more cooperative way."Bang bang.
The Republicans blamed Clinton for the shutdown, and Clinton blamed the Republicans. Public opinion favored the president; Clinton's approval rating fell precipitously during the shutdown, but once it had ended they rose to their highest since his election. The Republicans' support was further diminished two days later when Gingrich made a widely-reported complaint about being snubbed by Clinton; Tom DeLay called it "the mistake of [Gingrich's] life".C'mon, GOP. Help kickoff the President's reelection campaign!
The White House rejected Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) "Path to Prosperity" budget blueprint for fiscal 2012 Tuesday, arguing that it unfairly guarantees the prosperity of wealthy millionaires while overburdening seniors and the poor.
While President Obama is committed to dramatically reducing the country's long-term deficit, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, Ryan's plan is exactly the wrong approach.
"The President believes that dramatically reducing America's long-term deficit is essential to growing our economy and winning the future," Carney said in a statement. "Any plan to reduce our deficit must reflect the American values of fairness and shared sacrifice. Congressman Ryan's plan fails this test."
Tax. The. Rich.And win my vote.
- Over the next year and a half, we will create a grassroots organization that’s more far-reaching, focused, and innovative than anything we’ve built before.
- Winning the future is not a spectator sport. It’s something we have to fight for. We can’t protect the progress we’ve made — or make any more — if we fail to mobilize. That’s why we’re getting started now.