GOP Governors and Presidential candidates help ISIS dreams come true by turning against refugees from war-torn Syria, as some Americans follow their lead by turning against fellow citizens after the Paris attacks...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: House Republicans double-down in their ongoing war against climate scientists; October 2015 was the hottest October on record; Taxpayers subsidize fossil fuels to the tune of $500 billion a year; UK to phase out coal; PLUS: Canada's new prime minister kills another tar sands pipeline... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): GOP Senators Vow To Block Climate Aid, Scrutinize Paris Deal; Statoil to Depart Chukchi Sea; Latest to Drop Alaska Efforts; Wastewater Spills Untracked in Texas, Masking Pollution; Yellowstone Proposes Killing Off 1,000 Bison From Famed Herd; Polar Bear Numbers To Fall as Arctic Ice Shrinks: Study; Congress To Vote on Bill To Ban Microbead Hygiene Products in US... PLUS: French Climate March Ban Draws Criticism ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Yes, there is a U.S. House Committee that is even worse than the Benghazi Committee, argues my guest on today's BradCast.
But, first, we follow up yesterday's disturbing show with a few more concerns about the accuracy of the 100% unverified results of Tuesday's Gubernatorial election in Kentucky and state Democrats' ability (or interest) in understanding the dangers of computerized vote tabulation systems. In short, they don't get it. Not by a long shot --- at least if my conversation with folks at the state Democratic Party today are currently any indication.
Next up today, David Robertsof Vox.com joins us to discuss the McCarthyesque behavior of Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, as the Republican assault on science continues. Smith, Robert's reports, is wielding unprecedented new subpoena powers in an unyielding attack on scientists and public institutions researching climate change and more.
"In the almost two years since he's run the Science Committee, Lamar Smith has issued more subpoenas than all previous chairs of the committee, going back some fifty years," Roberts explains. "He's newly empowered and he's going nuts with it."
Roberts details three different cases in point, as laid out in his recent article at Vox, including extraordinary demands being made on a number of different, largely unknown scientists, who had the temerity to study and speak out about findings on global warming.
"Our politics are so crazy these days that it's hard to register anything as particularly extreme or outrageous because there's such a flood of extreme, outrageous stuff happening all the time," Roberts tells me. "But, honestly, the head of a Science Committee accusing the head of a government scientific research body of deliberately falsifying data in order to support a political effort to pass climate policy is really a serious accusation. It shouldn't just be part of the daily noise of politics. This is a serious deal."
Roberts says this amounts to little more than an effort to keep scientists from being able to do their work, to frighten them away from reporting their findings and, hopefully, find something --- anything --- that can be taken out of context in hopes of embarrassing them somehow. "Everybody knows why they want" all these personal emails, he tells me. They want to "look for bits and pieces that, if you yank them out of context, look suspicious, and selectively leak those emails to reporters --- who, history shows, will credulously eat it up. For all the incompetence and haplessness of the current GOP right now, one thing they're really good at is they've figured out how the media ecosystem works."
Making the case that this is all worse than what the ridiculous Benghazi Committee is doing, Roberts explains: "[Hillary Clinton], at least, has the power and the resources and the wherewithal to defend herself. But these individual scientists, they don't know anything about politics. They don't know how to play this game. They don't have money for lawyers. So the damage that this threatens to do to the open practice of science in the U.S., I think, is worse than the danger posed by these more high-profile political committees. The damage that they're doing to the practice of science in the U.S. is much deeper and more disturbing than whatever the ebb and flow of who's up and down in electoral politics."
Finally today, some late breaking news on a story we've been following closely for several months now, as New York's Attorney General files subpoenas against ExxonMobil concerning what the company knew about climate change, when they knew it, and how much they may have worked to obscure that information from the public (and their own investors)...
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): "My hope is that our Democratic colleagues - if you start listening to the bloggers - if we're going to let the bloggers run the country, then the country's best days are behind us."
Out of touch much, Senator? We suspect if the bloggers actually did run the country, we'd be much better off (if only because you'd be out of office.)
But perhaps Graham is confusing responsible, educated "bloggers" with the right-wingnut "bloggers" he's likely more familiar with. For example, here's the very popular (on the Right) Dijon deranged wingnut "Gateway Pundit," Jim Hoft, with his insightful perspective on the important news of the day yesterday:
They're just two ordinary metrosexual guys going out for a burger ... Obama and Biden, two ordinary guys, go out for a sandwich and Obama asks for Dijon mustard at Joe's Hell Burger. ...I hear it's delish with arugula lettuce. Yum-Yum.
If that's who you meant by "bloggers," Senator --- and we're ashamed that Hoft represents our former hometown of St. Louis, MO --- we might agree with you.
'Welcome to Judiciary Committee's First Book of the Month Club Meeting,' Snarks Ranking Member, Comparing Former Press Sec to Judas, During Oversight Hearing Concerning First-Ever Outing of Covert CIA Operative by an American White House
The testimony was interrupted by House floor votes shortly after it began, but not before opening statements from Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), ranking member Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Scott McClellan himself (text here), as well as a single round of questions from Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Howard Coble (R-NC).
Not surprisingly, the Dems were respectful to the former WH Press Secretary, and even Coble was restrained and decent-ish in his first set of questions on behalf of the Republicans, following Smith's predictable attempts to try and smear McClellan and his publisher (as little more than operatives of the evil evil master overlord of all things not-Republican: George Soros).
Smith's opening statement --- characterized as "character assassination" which "has no place in this committee," as Nadler described it --- likely portends what's to come from the bulk of the Republicans should the hearings ever get re-started this morning.
In the meantime, McClellan, to his credit, again has refused to back off of his claims even one iota. As legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg wrote to us recently, following McClellan's recent Fox "News" appearance, in which he stood up to bully boy Bill O'Reilly, "he sounded to me as though he had ACQUIRED, even if belatedly, the instincts of a whistleblower (and he's paying the usual social price for that with respect to all his old colleagues, though compensated by royalties)."
With all of that in mind, Smith's opening statement (video now posted at left, text posted below), described the hearing as "the Judiciary Committees first book of the month club meeting" before proceeding to plug Ann Coulter's book. He then accused McClellan of "selling out the president and his friends for a few pieces of silver." It was something to behold, and demonstrated (yet again) just how far these guys are willing to go to protect the Administration (versus offering oversight, as required by the Constitution) when they need to.
Remember, this hearing has to do with an administration, for the first time in the history of this nation, having revealed the identity of a covert CIA operative...and one who was monitoring WMD traffic in the Middle East, of all things.
The text of Smith's complete opening statement follows in full...