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Al Gore

From this issue of Rolling Stone, talking (what else?) climate change:

Yet without presidential leadership that focuses intensely on making the public aware of the reality we face, nothing will change. The real power of any president, as Richard Neustadt wrote, is “the power to persuade.” Yet President Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has simply not made the case for action. He has not defended the science against the ongoing, withering and dishonest attacks. Nor has he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community — including our own National Academy — to bring the reality of the science before the public.

Here is the core of it: we are destroying the climate balance that is essential to the survival of our civilization. This is not a distant or abstract threat; it is happening now. The United States is the only nation that can rally a global effort to save our future. And the president is the only person who can rally the United States.

Many political advisers assume that a president has to deal with the world of politics as he finds it, and that it is unwise to risk political capital on an effort to actually lead the country toward a new understanding of the real threats and real opportunities we face. Concentrate on the politics of re-election, they say. Don’t take chances.

All that might be completely understandable and make perfect sense in a world where the climate crisis wasn’t “real.” Those of us who support and admire President Obama understand how difficult the politics of this issue are in the context of the massive opposition to doing anything at all — or even to recognizing that there is a crisis. And assuming that the Republicans come to their senses and avoid nominating a clown, his re-election is likely to involve a hard-fought battle with high stakes for the country. All of his supporters understand that it would be self-defeating to weaken Obama and heighten the risk of another step backward. Even writing an article like this one carries risks; opponents of the president will excerpt the criticism and strip it of context.

But in this case, the President has reality on his side. The scientific consensus is far stronger today than at any time in the past. Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act.

Last night’s show

Dave gets very, very excited when he’s talking about politics, and it makes for a fun show. Listen here!

Hmm

So Clarence Thomas takes a $15K gift from the AEI, and then rules on three of their cases. No problem there, right?

China

Looks like we’re being colonized, what with them wanting to bring their own labor here, etc.

Wouldn’t it be nice

Beach Boys:

Internet

I had no idea how much our nation’s internet service sucks until I read this.

Caroline, no

Beach Boys:

Taking Vitter down

It’s about time somebody did it:

A watchdog group filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee on Tuesday against Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) over allegations that he attempted to “bribe” the Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar.

The complaint, filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), cites a letter that Vitter wrote to Salazar last month. In the letter Vitter said he would continue to oppose increasing Salazar’s paycheck by $19,600 until the secretary issued permits for new exploratory deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a five-page letter to committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), CREW’s executive director Melanie Sloan detailed the allegation of Vitter’s “quid pro quo” and recommended that the committee refer matters to the Justice Department if they found the senator guilty of wrongdoing.

“Our country’s criminal laws apply to everyone, including senators,” said Sloan in the letter. “There is no exception to the bribery law allowing a senator to influence a department secretary’s official acts by withholding compensation.”

Shorter Mitch Daniels

I believe they call this “murder”:

Cease providing a legal service with private money, or we’ll kill some women.

Heroes and villains

Brian:

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