Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) made an impassioned plea yesterday for Republicans to stop denying the science of climate change — so, like clockwork, the right wing blogs and media are attacking him in fake-outraged unison today.
The Daily Caller’s Jeff Poor (last seen at LGF when he was busily counting the number of times Rachel Maddow used the word “vagina”) is the source for the latest right wing frenzy: Democratic Sen. Whitehouse Blames Republicans for Tornado.
And of course, the headline is distorted; Whitehouse did not “blame Republicans for the tornado.” Here are the quotes from Poor’s absurdly biased article — and I agree with every single word Sen. Whitehouse said. He’s right.
“So, you may have a question for me,” Whitehouse said. “Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we’re in this together.”
Whitehouse went on to condemn the current Republican position on global warming, citing economic, environmental and diplomatic damages.
“You drag America with you to your fate,” he continued. “So, I want this future: I want a Republican Party that has returned to its senses and is strong and a worthy adversary in a strong America that has done right by its people and the world. That’s what I want. I don’t want this future. I don’t want a Republican Party disgraced, that let its extremists run off the cliff, and an America suffering from grave economic and environmental and diplomatic damage because we failed, because we didn’t wake up and do our duty to our people, and because we didn’t lead the world. I do not want that future. But that’s where we’re headed. So I will keep reaching out and calling out, ever hopeful that you will wake up before it is too late.”
No wonder the wingnut parrot squad is so worked up. That’s gotta sting.
(If you can’t see the MP4 video above, click below.)
Well, at least Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn is consistent — consistently heartless, even when it comes to his own constituents.
Never any hesitation about funding wars, bombs, and destruction — but people rendered homeless by natural disasters? Suddenly the right is very concerned about how it will be paid for.
And where do you think these “cuts” of Coburn’s will come from? If you guessed social programs like Medicaid, give yourself a gold star.
The tornado damage near Oklahoma City is still being assessed and the death toll is expected to rise, but already Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says he will insist that any federal disaster aid be paid for with cuts elsewhere.
CQ Roll Call reporter Jennifer Scholtes wrote for CQ.com Monday evening that Coburn said he would “absolutely” demand offsets for any federal aid that Congress provides.
Coburn added, Scholtes wrote, that it is too early to guess at a damage toll but that he knows for certain he will fight to make sure disaster funding that the federal government contributes is paid for. It’s a position he has taken repeatedly during his career when Congress debates emergency funding for disaster aid.
Scholtes points out that Coburn was one of 36 Republican senators who voted against disaster funding for Superstorm Sandy in January.
Here’s another thread to keep up on events in Moore, Oklahoma, with some sad news from the Associated Press:
BREAKING: State medical examiner’s office: 37 killed in Oklahoma tornado; death toll expected to rise -RJJ
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 21, 2013
BREAKING: State medical examiner’s office: 51 killed in Oklahoma tornado, with children among the dead -RJJ
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 21, 2013
Closeup video of the monster from a storm chaser:
The huge tornado that touched down today near Moore, Oklahoma, has caused terrible devastation; here’s a shot from MSNBC of one area of completely leveled homes and buildings.
More photos of the destroyed areas:
Worst tornado damage I have seen since Joplin. Picture of what’s left of a daycare in Moore, Oklahoma. Brings tears. twitter.com/StormCoker/sta…
— Georgia Storm Chaser (@StormCoker) May 20, 2013
I think young Ben is honestly intimidated. Cowed, even. His dissent is being chilled. You can tell by the giant 73-pixel all-caps screaming headline.
Also featured today at the hate site that Andrew Breitbart built, Judicial Watch is filing Freedom of Information Act requests to find out how much the black President is spending on his vacations.
I can hardly wait to see the comments at right wing blogs about this.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama plan to travel to Africa in late June and early July, the White House said Monday.
The first couple plans to visit Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania from June 26 to July 3,the National Security Counsel said on Twitter. The White House hasn’t yet released an official announcement of the trip.
Reuters columnist Jack Shafer has a very interesting piece on the AP leak investigation, taking a position that’s rather contrary to the rest of the media:
The AP story that has so infuriated the government described the breakup of an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula plot to place an underwear bomber on board a U.S.-bound airliner. Published on the afternoon of May 7, 2012, the story patted itself on the back for having heeded the White House and CIA requests to not publish the previous week, when the AP first learned of the operation. The AP states in the article that it published only after being told by “officials” that the original “concerns were allayed.” In a chronology published in today’s Washington Post, we’re told that the CIA was no longer resisting publication of the AP story on the day it hit the wire (Monday) and that the White House was planning to “announce the successful counterterrorism operation that Tuesday.”
That may be the case, but the government was still incensed by the leak. In fact, it appears that officials were livid. As my Reuters colleagues Mark Hosenball and Tabassum Zakaria reported last night, the government found the leak so threatening that it opened a leak investigation before the AP ran its story.
Now, what would make the Obama administration so furious? My guess is it wasn’t the substance of the AP story that has exasperated the government but that the AP found a source or sources that spilled information about an ongoing intelligence operation and that even grander leaks might surge into the press corps’ rain barrels.
At the risk of making the Department of Justice’s argument for it, a leak once sprung can turn into a gusher as the original leakers keep talking and new ones join them, or as the government attempts to explain itself, or as others in the government begin to speak out of turn. From what I can tell, all of the above happened after the AP story appeared.
Here’s a look back over this week’s numerous fake scandals and right wing wild goose chases — and this is not an exhaustive list by any means: