I realize that the most conventional of conventional wisdom states that thou shalt always suck up to the press, which is why we end up with things like candidates holding cookouts with reporters and why we are forever getting top columnists writing about how the real problem with president or potential president so-and-so is that they simply don't get how to treat the Very Damn Important People of Washington, i.e. the columnists themselves, but the Times story was conspicuously and inarguably terrible. It was a botched story, through and through. The paper had to fumble through two corrections to get something even remotely resembling reality, moving from an initial version that existed for no other reason than to imply that Hillary Clinton might be being "investigated" for something "criminal" to having to (eventually, and with much apparent resistance) walk back both parts of that claim as being untrue.
That is a big deal. It made the Times look bad, and it should have made the Times look bad, and there are very real remaining questions about just how this heavily spun, fictitious version of events managed to make its way from Republican conspiracy theory to one of the nation's top papers with little fact-checking and mysterious "sources" that may or may not consist of Trey Gowdy on a pill bender. It was a false story, peddled by someone with an obvious interest in manufacturing controversy over the Democratic front-runner. It was propaganda.
So yes, the Clinton camp has more than a little basis for being angry about that. And reporters should be angry about it, and readers should be angry about it, and anyone who gives two damns for democracy as anything more than a contest to fling the biggest, most egregious falsehoods and gain power doing it should be angry about it. Whatever idiot "source" pulled the con on the Times to get them to print a false story should have been outed already?alas, it is someone important enough that the paper apparently does not want to lose access to them, even if they caused the paper to publish a substandard, substanceless, and fraudulent version of events?and the Times should be deep in internal reflections as to whether or not they want their paper to be used as the Weekly World News of political hit jobs and conspiracy theories.
We can't possibly think that Hillary Clinton needs to accept the press publishing blatantly false stories about her, lest she look like she is picking a fight, can we? Are we really at that point? Where the press should just print whatever hokum they want, based on garbage stories or the rantings of "anonymous" political hacks, but the bigger sin would be for a candidate to have the lack of class to be peeved by that?
We can't really be at the point of politics where we are not arguing over whether it is proper for papers to print false stories brought to them by anonymous liars, but tsking as pundits over the political wisdom of a candidate "picking a fight" with a paper that does it?
The election is still very far away, and Donald Trump is sucking up all the media oxygen from every other candidate. He's also leading the Republican field in the polls, which is hilarious. Claims that Trump is more extreme than his peers are untrue. He's just not using the dog whistles and Luntz-speak to apply a veneer of respectability to his terrible impulses and "ideas."
As a Star Trek nerd, I was deeply offended that Ted Cruz thinks Captain Kirk would be a Republican. Not only is this untrue, but Star Trek depicts a futuristic socialist interstellar government that has advanced beyond capitalism. Thankfully, Shatner shut him down:
Star Trek wasn't political. I'm not political; I can't even vote in the US. So to put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly? William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 23, 2015
And Christie didn't just kill the project and mock the notion of economic stimulus or shovel ready infrastructure improvements, he openly mocked the idea that one of the most highly trafficked transportation corridors in America would be important at all. Why on earth would anyone want to go to New York? Why would anyone from New York ever want to go to New Jersey? Why won't the rest of America's travelers just go around our little state and leave us alone? The two key roles of government, according to even the most anti-government conservatives, are roads and wars, but when the economic collapse happened and a president from the opposing party needed to goose the nation's employment right quick in order to avoid a true depression, even the roads part became a Republican symbol of things government had no business doing.
Now the tunnels have less than two decades of life left, flooding from Hurricane Sandy has caused irreparable damage, electrical problems are plaguing the system and train delays through the tunnel are becoming de rigueur for the region's commuters. The nation's transportation secretary has called replacement of the tunnels one of America's highest-proirity infrastructure projects, and blasted the continued absence of a credible replacement plan as "almost criminal." And the Christie administration has remained steadfastly uninterested, only addressing the issue at all in order to dismissively blame Amtrak for the delays or mutter from the campaign trail that the vital project he killed as governor in a pique of partisan Obama-bashing and tax cutting would be something he'd definitely address as president.
It all serves as an important reminder, then, that Gov. Christie is a twerp. Which is why his presidential numbers continue to hover at plus or minus zero, and why the residents of his own state are no longer fans, and why there is not a snowball's chance in hell that this continually raging man-child will become president?even while the race's other continually raging man-child garners top spots in all the polls.
Though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against bans on abortion, Huckabee said past presidents have defied Supreme Court rulings.Supreme Court and laws of the land be damned, Huckabee does what Huckabee wants to do: ?Would that be a huge controversy?? the former Arkansas governor asked. ?Yes.? So, there you go. Mike Huckabee, who doesn't think there is a conservative war on women, is now saying out loud that he wouldn't rule out using federal troops and the FBI for an actual war on women.
"Part of the reason Mitt Romney got clobbered by Barack Obama is because we all remember that third debate where Barack Obama turned to Mitt and said, 'I said the Benghazi attack was terrorism and no one is more upset by Benghazi than I am.' And Mitt, I guess listening to his own advice, said, 'Well gosh, I don't want to use any rhetoric. So OK, never mind. I'll just kind of rearrange the pencil on the podium here,'" he continued.Setting aside Cruz's continued curious definition of what "facts" are, it's an interesting window into how Cruz thinks a debate should go. Accuse your opponent of monstrous things, sure, but the important thing is to remember to always, always double down?
The creation of the fund was revealed in a Federal Election Commission report filed late Thursday that showed Hastert shut down his ?Keep Our Mission? leadership PAC at the end of June and donated $10,000 ? the vast bulk of its remaining cash? to the new defense fund: the J. Dennis Hastert Defense Trust.Asshole(s): The Helena National Forest is investigating the vandalism of ancient pictographs in Hellgate Canyon southeast of Helena.
The pictographs, also called rock art, were painted on the canyon walls by Native Americans between 200 and 2,000 years ago, said Mark Bodily, forest archaeologist and Heritage Program manager for the Helena and Lewis and Clark National forests.Tsk, tsk, tsk (And yeah, I'd believe it): Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus refused to publicly meet with a prominent gay Republican group for fear of a social conservative backlash, one of the leaders of that group alleges in a new book -- a charge the RNC denies. On today's Kagro in the Morning show, an all-new Fake Friday Pre-recorded Special Edition Kagro in the Morning takes an especially close look GunFAILs that make you say, "Hmm." The rise of fracketeering. Casinos create jobs & bring prosperity... for the already prosperous. Find us on iTunes | Find us on Stitcher | RSS | Donate to support the show!
Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.
Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.
A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".
Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla
Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and 350.org all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.
Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit
Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement
The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.
The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.
Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.
Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia
Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.
Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International
Climate Negotiations are over for another year with little progress in Doha by any one's measure as the scientific statements on climate change and the impacts we are already feeling as evidenced in record Arctic melting, and extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, and Cyclone Evan in the South Pacific are growing much stronger.
Some of the latest scientific research shows:Sea Level rising 60% faster than IPCC projectionsMethane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping pointCollapse of Siberia's Coastline is Releasing Huge Amounts of CO2Greenland Ice sheet suffers unprecedented surface meltIndian Monsoon more likely to fail as global warming acceleratesSouthern Ocean warming impact on Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability and sea level rise
Photos: Photos by World Resources Institute | Photos by Oxfam | The Verb: Climate March in Doha | The Verb: COP18 Actions Related: Deep emissions cuts urged at climate summit | Towards a Grand Compromise in the Climate Negotiations | COP18, another 'Conference of Polluters' | An open letter to governments and their negotiators | Climate compensation row at Doha | Forest Groups Protest False Solutions | IPCC's Planned Obsolescence: Fifth Assessment Report Will Ignore Crucial Permafrost Carbon Feedback! | Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point