Buried in the Wall Street Journal today:
The Bush team, which pulled the U.S. out of the Kyoto Protocol aimed at curbing global warming, is planning to spend $103 million on (another) study of global climate change - especially the role of clouds.
Clouds, it seems, can cause warming and cooling effects and combine with soot and other man-made pollutants.
“The Bush administration contends scientists and policy makers need more information about (clouds) before they can make decisions to cope with man-made changes.”
The Bush plan, which includes launching satellites and other technology to track cloud movements, is part of a 10-year plan for climate-change research.
But when an actual climatologist was consulted for the story, he had this to say:
“...there was too much focus on natural causes of climate change, rather than mankind’s influence on increasing global temperatures, says Michael E. Mann at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The plan ‘rehashes a number of issues that are pretty well settled in the scientific community.’ "
What Mr. Mann needs to understand, of course, is that the Bush team didn’t like the scientific conclusions that have already been drawn with regards to global climate change, so they want the scientists to go back and do all their experiments over again until they come up with an answer that the Bush team likes better.
In trying to defend the Bush administration's mishandling of the Iraq war and its misuse of U.S. intelligence, Vice Presidet Dick Cheney gave an address today
in which he says that failing to confront Saddam Hussein would have been "irresponsible in the extreme."
Cheney asserted that "the safety of the American people was at stake" and that Bush was unwilling "to place the lives of our citizens at the mercy of Saddam Hussein."
But that is why the WMD controversy is so pertinent here. Without these elusive weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was not a threat to anyone except his own people. Our safety was never at stake, nor were we ever at the mercy of Saddam Hussein.
"At a safe remove from the danger, some are now trying to cast doubt upon the decision to liberate Iraq," Cheney said. "The ability to criticize is one of the great strengths of our democracy. But those who do so have an obligation to answer this question: How could any responsible leader have ignored the Iraqi threat?"
Who was ignoring the threat!!?!! We were enforcing U.N. dictates and pressuring Hussein to allow weapons inspectors back into his country. We were doing everything necessary to keep Hussein in check, but then Bush decided to dive headlong into a pre-emptive invasion in direct defiance of the U.N. Security Council. Now we are stuck over there and our soldiers are getting picked off one-by-one by guerrilla snipers (five killed in the last two days).
“After months of lies, the president has given millions of people around the world reason to doubt that he has sent Americans into battle for the right reasons. The fact that Americans are expressing these doubts shows that the president is losing his ability to lead. If the president refuses to resign for the sake of the nation, I believe he should be impeached and face Senate trial.”
It was former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, right-wing Republican extrordinaire, speaking about President Clinton in December of 1998 after the president ordered a U.S. airstrike against Iraq.
I wonder if Mr. Armey still thinks that misleading a nation into war should be an impeachable offense?
It looks like former President Bill Clinton
is being the bigger man here by accepting the Bush administration's latest excuse for the WMD controversy.
It must be grating for the Republicans who sought to remove Clinton from office for lying about sex to have him now offer them absolution for a much more serious truthbender in the State of the Union address.
Ironies never cease.
Haven't had much time for blogging lately, so I thought I would pass along this from Matthew Yglesias.
He does a good job of summarizing the reasons why the Niger uranium story is important for those folks like Andy Sullivan who just don't get it.
What Sullivan isn't coming to grips with, however, is the evidence — clear and compelling — that the White House deliberately made claims that they knew to be false in order to bolster public support for the war. This is a serious issue, especially since the sorts of matters they lied about (classified intelligence) are not amenable to independent scrutiny by the public. If the president says that US intelligence says something or other, we pretty much have no choice but to take his word for it. That's a very serious responsibility and we need someone in the White House who's capable of discharging it.
Nice article in Slate this week about an ESPN television special in which Pete Rose gets his day in court.
The final verdict was 8-4 in favor of Rose. I don't think there should be any question that Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. I don't care if he gambled on baseball or anything else while he was managing the Reds. He got his due punishment - jail time, a fine, lost his managing job - so why do people insist on banning him from the Hall of Fame on top of all that?
Until Pete Rose is enshrined at the Hall of Fame it will always have an asterisk next to it noting the fact that the all-time hits leader is left out. And I won't waste my time or money on the place.