Midday open thread

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 07-10-2012-05-2008

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  • The Executive Director of the American Public Health Association has called it “one of the most serious health threats facing our nation.”

    The Director-General of the World Health Organization has said it endangers our species.

    Thirty-three top American generals and admirals have said it “is making the world a more dangerous place.”

    A group of investors representing $15 trillion in assets has said that the systemic shocks it will cause “will be substantial and will worsen the longer world governments wait to take sufficient policy action.”

    So how much time was spent discussing it, during the first presidential debate? None. As in none.

  • They just can’t help themselves:

    GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s big rally Monday in Denver turned out thousands of cheering, pumped up fans at the Wings over the Rockies Air and Space Museum — an event that provided a last very dramatic public stand before Wednesday’s debate at the University of Denver.

    There was a “huh?” moment: country singer Laurie Morgan serenading the crowd with “Dixie” — those “I wish I were in the land of cotton” lyrics not too often heard at modern day presidential campaign events.

    Which is about as cautious and tame a description as is possible. A more honest description would be that the song first attained popularity in blackface minstrelsy. That it was the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy. That it was a favorite among opponents of the 1960s Civil Rights movement. That it is the unofficial theme song of Civil War revisionists.

    Romney, of course, neither criticized nor apologized for this outrage. Nor, apparently, did anyone from his campaign. No doubt they will describe Morgan’s serenade as but innocent fun. Like Romney’s charming birther joke. The question being what exactly the song “Dixie” has to do with Romney, who is not a Southerner, or with Denver or Colorado, which are not in the South. What is the context? What is the rationale? What could it possibly be?

  • Maybe if our television media responsibly reported the scientific facts rather than dishonestly playing it as but another open political debate, this dangerous embarrassment wouldn’t be true:

    Awareness of climate change is high in many countries, especially the tropics, but in Britain, Japan and the United States many are doubtful about the cause, a poll published on Thursday said….

    Asked whether human activity was mainly responsible for climate change, 94 percent of citizens in Hong Kong agreed, followed by 93 percent in Indonesia, 92 percent in Mexico and 87 percent in Germany.

    Dissent was strongest in the United States, where 58 percent agreed with the question, in Britain (65 percent) and Japan (78 percent).

  • Alex Pareene on the useless Jim Lehrer:

    Not counting follow-ups (SIMPSON-BOWLES, god help us), these were the questions: “How would you create jobs?” “How would you fix the deficit?” “Entitlements?” “Are there too many regulations or not enough regulations?” (The dumbest question of the night!) “Obamacare?” “Do you guys have a rhetorical disagreement about the impossibly amorphous concept of ‘the role of government’”?” And finally “how would you fix partisan gridlock?”

    So! Sorry, immigration, reproductive health, LGBT civil rights, the environment, campaign finance, the drug war, and voting rights: None of you matter as much as Simpson effing Bowles! (But do you begin to understand why Beltway pundit and commentator types loved this debate so much? It hit all their pet topics!) “Are there too many regulations” is more important than “do you think we should maybe do anything at all to address catastrophic climate change.” (Not that either candidate wants to talk about that.)

  • Markos isn’t the only one who gets unhinged hate mail. Buffalo News cartoonist Adam Zyglis is a friend, and relative by marriage.
  • Krugman on the debate’s health care segment:

    So enough with the theater criticism; Romney needs to be held accountable for dishonesty on a huge scale.

    Actually, that applies to Romney’s entire performance. Not to mention his entire campaign.

  • Austerity continues to work wonders in Greece:

    Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party is increasingly assuming the role of law enforcement officers on the streets of the bankrupt country, with mounting evidence that Athenians are being openly directed by police to seek help from the neo-Nazi group, analysts, activists and lawyers say.

    In return, a growing number of Greek crime victims have come to see the party, whose symbol bears an uncanny resemblance to the swastika, as a “protector”….

    Far from being tamed, parliamentary legitimacy appears only to have emboldened the extremists. In recent weeks racially-motivated attacks have proliferated. Immigrants have spoken of their fear of roaming the streets at night following a spate of attacks by black-clad men on motorbikes. Street vendors from Africa and Asia have also been targeted….

    One survey last week showed a near doubling in the number of people voicing “positive opinions” about Golden Dawn, up from 12% in May to 22%. The popularity of Nikos Michaloliakos, the party’s rabble-rousing leader had shot up by 8 points, much more than any other party leader.

  • One week ago:

    A firefight broke out between U.S. forces and their Afghan army allies in eastern Afghanistan Sunday, killing two Americans and three Afghan soldiers and pushing the number of U.S. troops killed in the long-running war to 2,000.

  • Weathergirl goes rogue again…
  • Keep an eye on this:

    One of the world’s most prominent Catholic theologians has called for a revolution from below to unseat the pope and force radical reform at the Vatican.

    Hans Küng is appealing to priests and churchgoers to confront the Catholic hierarchy, which he says is corrupt, lacking credibility and apathetic to the real concerns of the church’s members.

    In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Küng, who had close contact with the pope when the two worked together as young theologians, described the church as an “authoritarian system” with parallels to Germany’s Nazi dictatorship.

  • Submitted without comment:

    One of the nation’s biggest domestic counterterrorism programs has failed to provide virtually any useful intelligence, according to Congressional investigators.

    Their scathing report, to be released Wednesday, looked at problems in regional intelligence-gathering offices known as “fusion centers” that are financed by the Department of Homeland Security and created jointly with state and local law enforcement agencies.

    The report found that the centers “forwarded intelligence of uneven quality — oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections, occasionally taken from already published public sources, and more often than not unrelated to terrorism.”

  • Dear Nick Saban: stop whining.
  • Fifty years ago. Love love me do.
  • Did I mention how disastrously Greek austerity is working out?
  • Joe Romm:

    Irony Alert: Postal Service’s New ‘Forever’ Stamp Is Shrinking Alaskan Glacier!


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