But the real problem isn’t Limbaugh. He’s just a businessman who is paid to reduce complex cultural issues to ad hominem assaults. The real problem is that liberals, both on an institutional and a personal level, have chosen to treat for-profit propaganda as news. In so doing, we have helped redefine liberalism as an essentially reactionary movement. Rather than initiating discussion, or advocating for more humane policy, we react to the most vile and nihilistic voices on the right. — Liberals Are Ruining America. I Know Because I Am One (via azspot)
Virginia’s Hampton Roads region is at high risk for flooding, and lawmakers and officials in the state are trying to plan for the sea-level rise expected as a result of climate change. But they’re running into a problem: some Republicans refuse to accept the terms “sea level rise” or “climate change.”
BBC News - Green decline 'may bring irreversible change' -
For the current edition, researchers assessed progress in 90 important environmental issues.
They concluded that meaningful progress had been made on just four - making petrol lead-free, tackling ozone layer depletion, increasing access to clean water and boosting research on marine pollution.
A further 40 showed some progress, including the establishment of protected habitat for plants and animals on land and slowing the rate of deforestation.
Little or no progress was noted for 24, including tackling climate change, while clear deterioration was found in eight, including the parlous state of coral reefs around the world.
For the remainder, there was too little data to draw firm conclusions.
This is despite more than 700 international agreements designed to tackle specific aspects of environmental decline, and agreements on alleviating poverty and malnutrition such as the Millennium Development Goals.
Among the report’s “low-lights” are:
A few hours after GEO-5’s release, the journal Nature published a review of evidence on environmental change concluding that the biosphere - the part of the planet that supports life - could be heading for rapid, possibly irreversible change…
Jim Morin/Miami Herald (06/07/2012)
We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both. — Louis Brandeis (via politicalprof)
never underestimate the power of money in American politics ..
BREAKING: Florida Governor Rick Scott Officially Defies Department of Justice and Continues Its Illegal and Unconstitutional Voter Purge!!! -
In a letter sent tonight, Florida Governor Rick Scott said the state will continue to purge registered voters from the rolls despite the Department of Justice’s warning that the effort is illegal. The Miami Herald reports, “the letter all but dares the Justice Department to sue Florida for allegedly violating the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.” You can read the full letter here.
(Source: thepoliticalfreakshow, via other-stuff)
Obama Administration Argues No Warrant Required for GPS Tracking of Citizens - informationliberation -
The federal government informed an appeals court on Thursday that it has the right and the power to place GPS tracking devices on the privately owned vehicles of citizens without obtaining a warrant. This is in open rebellion to a Supreme Court decision from January that held that such warrantless installation of tracking devices on cars was unconstitutional.
In a case being heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Obama administration argued that since the Supreme Court’s ruling didn’t specifically mandate the obtaining of a search warrant in all situations, then the justices intended to leave a loophole open — a loophole large enough to mount a tracking device.
According to the Justice Department’s spokesperson, “A warrant is not needed for a GPS search, as the [Supreme] Court … did not resolve that question.” As quoted in an article in the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department has “advised agents and prosecutors going forward to take the most prudent steps and obtain a warrant for new or ongoing investigations,” just in case.
This sort of circular reasoning is commonplace in Washington. The federal government claims that warrants are unnecessary, yet insists that its minions attempt to obtain them. This is precisely the vagueness and doubletalk that creates chaos and throws up a smokescreen behind which the palladium of American civil liberties is destroyed.
So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed.
For some reason, however, neither the press nor Mr. Obama’s political team has done a very good job of exposing the con.
What do I mean by saying that this is already a Republican economy? Look first at total government spending — federal, state and local. Adjusted for population growth and inflation, such spending has recently been falling at a rate not seen since the demobilization that followed the Korean War.
How is that possible? Isn’t Mr. Obama a big spender? Actually, no; there was a brief burst of spending in late 2009 and early 2010 as the stimulus kicked in, but that boost is long behind us. Since then it has been all downhill. Cash-strapped state and local governments have laid off teachers, firefighters and police officers; meanwhile, unemployment benefits have been trailing off even though unemployment remains extremely high.
Over all, the picture for America in 2012 bears a stunning resemblance to the great mistake of 1937, when F.D.R. prematurely slashed spending, sending the U.S. economy — which had actually been recovering fairly fast until that point — into the second leg of the Great Depression. In F.D.R.’s case, however, this was an unforced error, since he had a solidly Democratic Congress. In President Obama’s case, much though not all of the responsibility for the policy wrong turn lies with a completely obstructionist Republican majority in the House.
That same obstructionist House majority effectively blackmailed the president into continuing all the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, so that federal taxes as a share of G.D.P. are near historic lows — much lower, in particular, than at any point during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
As I said, for all practical purposes this is already a Republican economy. — PAUL KRUGMAN, in the New York Times, “This Republican Economy” (via inothernews)
In the grand scheme of things, Wisconsin and it’s erstwhile governor don’t really matter much. Yet today I read that yesterday’s recall vote in that state is a death knell for unions (it isn’t) and an affirmation of the GOP ideology (it wasn’t) and that Democrats are sore losers (both parties are).
What the recall did show was that rich folk nationwide would stop at nothing to influence an election, even one as small and insignificant as this one. In fact Gov. Walker’s defense of his realm racked up an incredible $30M! As the Washington Post notes:
"As of Monday, more than $63 million has been spent on the recall fight with Walker and his conservative allies vastly outspending Barrett and other Democratic-aligned groups.
Walker himself had raised in excess of $30 million for the recall campaign while Barrett collected just under $4 million.
Being outspent 10-1 (or worse) is never a recipe for success in a race. Democrats cried foul over Walker’s exploitation of a loophole that allowed him to collect unlimited contributions prior to the official announcement of the recall in late March.”
So what good is our democracy now that it is manipulated by rich folk? The sad truth is that our notion of democracy is dead. Well, dead to us little people. Our voice is drowned under an unending stream of $10s and $20s. Luckily the rich had 10 years of tax breaks to throw at Wisconsin eh?
But that’s not what people will talk about today because we have such worthless news outlets nowadays. But that’s what the discussion we as a nation ought to be having.
100 years from now, Walker, who will be as dead as I am, won’t matter to anyone. Citizens United will be alive and well, fostering the oligarchy it helped create.