Got that? Good. Let's move on.
It's budget day in Washington D.C., as President Obama has come out with the first crack at the next federal budget. I'm reminded of this rather insightful piece on potential defense cuts from americanprogress.org that came out a couple weeks back, and I'm curious to see whether any of these made it into the bill. (That deficit reduction commission is turning out to be a huge annoyance for Obama, isn't it?)
The New York Times details the collaboration between Egyptian and Tunisian protestors, who swapped tidbits of information on topics like resisting tear gas and organizing street protests. POLITICO reports that several birther-related bills are cropping up in state legislatures around the country. Also, in the "News That Shocks Exactly No One" department, the fire-breathing Tea Party-fueled freshman GOP senators are... keeping quiet and bowing to established authority. Gee, who saw that coming? (With the exception of lovable wingnut Rand Paul.)
Most of this stuff in the morning comes from various POLITICO newsletters, which they send out to subscribers every morning. POLITICO brands the letters as something that politicians and professionals in Washington read, and there's no better evidence of this then the ads that are embedded within. Check this out:
Moving right along, The Nation is apparently trying to shame climate change contrarians into... what exactly? The blog post doesn't say, but one Peter Rothberg is apparently going to "put the climate cranks on the spot and make them explain—on camera and in front of kids—why they have condemned the young people of “Generation Hot”... to spending the rest of their lives coping with the hottest climate in human history."
Okay, first of all: If sweeping, comprehensive climate legislation were enacted today and enforced today, it wouldn't make a shred of difference to the greenhouse gases that are already in the atmosphere. That's the biggest reason why we're facing said hottest climate in said history, if you believe the scientists. The climate contrarians haven't condemned anybody by their opinions. Certainly, the ones who aren't in any position to make a legislative change about it (who Rothberg is also going after, in addition to Congress) don't deserve to be attacked in that particular manner. This smacks of scapegoating to me, so readers of the Nation can ignore the fact that by using electricity generated from coal and cars that run on gasoline, they're doing just as much to contribute to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as the contrarians are.
Second of all, how is this the right way to convince climate skeptics? Since when does being called out in front of one's peers make one willing to embrace a new idea? The answer is, it isn't. Instead, this is a publicity stunt, and one whose sole function is to make those who "get" climate change feel and look morally superior. That's a great way to build consensus, Mr. Rothberg.
The video isn't particularly notable for its message, but I'd like to call your attention to the editing. Notice how the font of the speakers' titles is the default one for iMovie? And how this appears to be footage from official House cameras, meaning that these clips were likely culled from hours of speeches and/or committee hearings? And how the credits at the end are also the default iMovie font and style?
This is intern work, my friends.
So even though it's not particularly convincing, compelling or good, let's hear it for all the anonymous interns toiling for low (or no) pay in the Senate, the House, the White House, the Washington court system and too many government agencies and lobbyists to count. Hooray, interns! Without you, the government would cease to function, so keep doin' what you're doin'!