Archive for November 25th, 2009

Using Karl’s Trick To Hide The Consensus

I admit, I haven’t been following this ridiculous global warming pseudoscandal very closely – it was immediately obvious that it was yet another manufactroversy where a whole bunch of conservative politicians and pundits wave around a pair of threes like they just got a royal flush.  Josh has a staggeringly comprehensive and awesome rundown at EnviroKnow, and I have to say that his first point gave me some serious deja vu:

1. The scientific consensus that humans are responsible for climate change — and that we must stabilize concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases at 350 parts per million — remains overwhelming. This latest cybercrime and the private emails it revealed do nothing whatsoever to change that.


Chris Mooney at the Intersection observes that these emails don’t actually imply anything substantive about climate science:

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that all of the worst and most damning interpretations of these exposed emails are accurate. I don’t think this is remotely true, but let’s assume it.

Even if this is the case, it does not prove the following:

1) The scientists whose emails have been revealed are representative of or somehow a proxy for every other climate scientist on the planet.

2) The studies that have been called into questions based on the emails (e.g., that old chestnut the “hockey stick”) are somehow the foundations of our concern about global warming, and those concerns stand or fall based on those studies.

Neither one of these is true, which is why I can say confidently that “ClimateGate” is overblown–and which is why I’ve never been impressed by systematic attacks on the “hockey stick.” Even if that study falls, we still have global warming on our hands, and it’s still human caused.

Hmm, Republicans pretending that questions about the authenticity of one nonessential part of an otherwise overwhelmingly slam-dunk case invalidate the whole entire edifice of evidence?  Where have we heard that before?  Oh, that’s right – because a couple of memos might have been fakes (or reconstructions), that must mean that Dubya didn’t pull strings to get out of Vietnam, and didn’t walk out of his ANG commitment a year early.

Yep, the right is using the exact same strategy they used -successfully – to defuse Dubya’s military service timebomb.  But the reason that worked was that CBS folded, forcing Rather to apologize and essentially retract the entire story, rather than simply pointing out that it was never based on the memos, and was therefore not invalidated by the memos.

Of course, CBS was compromised and probably actively working to sabotage Rather – presumably the scientific community will not do the same.  It also doesn’t hurt that the progressive blogosphere is so much bigger now too, so the pushback should be a lot stronger.

My gut feeling is that this will blow over and do no lasting damage.  But not all by itself.

3 comments November 25th, 2009 at 09:33pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Environment,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

Once again, the Weekly World News goes where others can’t, and gets the details on Lou Dobbs’ presidential ambitions:

Lou Dobbs has confirmed he will be running for President in 2012, on the Unashamedly Xenophobic ticket.

Dobbs retired recently after spending nearly 30 years as an anchorman for CNN.  He left the program due to controversy around his views on illegal immigration and the Obama Birther conspiracy.  Now with extra time on his hands, Dobbs in considering a run in politics.

Lou Dobbs said he will run on the Unashamedly Xenophobic ticket.  “We’ve got to do something for this country,” said Dobbs in an interview yesterday.  He went on to describe how America is losing touch with its roots:  “America deserves a leader that fight for our identity.  Finally, there will be a party for middle class white people who are threatened by change.”

Political advisors say that Dobbs is capitalizing on a rift in the Republican party.  Around the country moderate Republicans are at odds with staunchly conservative Republicans.  Feeling abandoned by moderate Republicans, the more extreme conservatives have already begun threatening to create a third party.  Some believe Lou Dobbs would hope to rally these disaffected and inherently frightened conservatives and spearhead their third party initiative.

“Some people say that after 9/11 and the wars abroad they are tired of living in fear.  I say America isn’t scared enough!”  Dobbs continued in his interview.  “There are people out there who aren’t like us, and I don’t know about you but that scares me!  Mexico could invade at any minute!  Al-Queda has sleeper cells everywhere!  Somebody needs to stand up for the sake of regression to a simpler time, in the face of a changing world!”

Dobbs released on his website his first commercial for a presidential campaign.  In the video he stands in front of a mirror talking himself up, encouraging himself to stand up to stand up for the middle man, the scared man, and be the voice of “Real America.”  “Somebody has to stand up to the Liberal Agenda, the Gay Agenda, the Illegal Alien Agenda!  Are you threatened by change?  You should be.  I’m Lou Dobbs, and I want to be your President.”

Another media personality Glenn Beck has also considered a third party alternative.  Beck’s fan base is similarly conservative and accustomed to being afraid.  In several of his episodes Beck has also chastised the Republican party for being too moderate, and not speaking to the needs of its more conservative fringe.  Lou Dobbs is expected to meet with Beck to join forces in creating a third major political party.

Run, Lou, Run!  And if you could recruit some candidates to run under your mighty xenophobic banner in the downticket races, that would be even better.

November 25th, 2009 at 11:16am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News

Richard Cohen Serves Self Up A Softball, Whiffs Anyway

Because I try not to read him because he makes my brain sad, sometimes I forgot just how stupid and obtuse Richard Cohen is.  In yesterday’s column, he manages to come up with a very valid thesis (Obama has lost his moral clarity and betrayed the ideals he professed on the campaign trail) and then does an incredibly awful job of backing it up:

Somehow, though, that moral clarity has dissipated. The Obama who was leading a movement of professed political purity is the very same person who as president would not meet with the Dalai Lama, lest he annoy the very sensitive Chinese. He is the same man who bowed to the emperor of Japan when, in my estimation, the president of the United States should bow to no man. He is the same president who in China played the mannequin for the Chinese government, appearing at stage-managed news conferences and events — and having his remarks sometimes censored. When I saw him in that picture alone on the Great Wall, he seemed to be thinking, “What the hell am I doing here?” If so, it was a good question.

The Barack Obama of that Philadelphia speech would not have let his attorney general, Eric Holder, announce the new policy for trying Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other Sept. 11 defendants in criminal court, as if this were a mere departmental issue and not one of momentous policy. And the Barack Obama of the speech would have enunciated a principle of law and not an ad hoc system in which some alleged terrorists are tried in civilian courts and some before military tribunals. What is the principle in that: What works, works? Try putting that one on the Liberty Bell.

Of course, there’s a difference between campaigning and governing. There is no reality to campaigning. You want Guantanamo closed, you say you’ll close it. You want to close it as president, and all of a sudden it becomes a political crisis that costs you your White House counsel, an experienced and principled man named Gregory Craig. Governing is hard.

Okay, he’s right about the Dalai Lama and Gitmo, but The Bow? (It’s a sign of respect not submission, you pinhead)  Getting China on board with reducing carbon emissions?  Trying KSM in a civilian court?  These are supposed examples of Obama losing his moral clarity?  How about his continuation of Bush’s policies of secrecy and executive power?  His doubling down on Afghanistan?  His unconcern for the public option?  His serial betrayals of the gay community?

It’s a pretty easy case to make, and Cohen still can’t do it effectively.  Why a major American newspaper would pay him to write this inept drivel, I have no idea.

November 25th, 2009 at 07:16am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Media,Obama,Wankers

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