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Sandy and the Age of Superstorms

Yale Climate Forum
Science • Views: 19,019

Has Hurricane Sandy inaugurated a new age of climate fueled superstorms? Environmentalist Peter Sinclair interviews hurricane expert Dr. Kerry Emanuel of MIT, and Dr. Jason Box of the Byrd Polar Center.

Also see:
Emanuel 2007, Environmental Factors Affecting Tropical Cyclone Power Dissipation
[Link: texmex.mit.edu…]

Sen. James Inhofe: Benghazi Is ‘The Biggest Coverup in History’

Republican rhetoric gets more and more absurd
Politics • Views: 21,352

Notice that in this ridiculous video clip from Fox News (posted at YouTube by his office), arch climate change denier James Inhofe never actually says specifically why the Benghazi attack will “go down as the biggest coverup in history.”

The leaders of the Republican Party are determined to continue hideously embarrassing themselves with this bone-headed bogus issue, and there’s no talking them down from the ledge. I’m starting to think someone slipped LSD into the food at the Congressional cafeteria.

Breaking: UN General Assembly Recognizes Palestine as ‘Non-Member State’

Middle East • Views: 20,521

NPR has details: U.N. Votes to Give Palestinians ‘Non-Member Observer State’ Status.

Exactly 65 years after the General Assembly, convened at Lake Success, New York, voted to divide Palestine between a Jewish state and an Arab one, the same body voted 138 to 9 in favor of recognizing the State of Palestine.

The United States and Israel voted against the measure, while France and Spain voted in favor. Great Britain and Germany, both major powers and important U.S. allies, abstained from the vote.

As Mark reported earlier, this vote gives Palestinians the same status as the Vatican, but perhaps more importantly, it gives Palestinians access to other U.N. bodies like the International Criminal Court, where Palestinians could launch complaints against Israel.

The United States has repeatedly said that this was not the right way toward a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“This resolution is not going to take [Palestinian’s] closer to statehood,” Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said in a briefing yesterday. “It does nothing to get them closer to statehood, and it may actually make the environment more difficult.”

The resolution reaffirms the “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine,” and also declares the Palestine Liberation Organization the “representative of the Palestinian people.”

How to Totally Enrage Wingnut World: Al Gore for Secretary of State

If we can’t have Susan Rice, how about someone they *really* hate?
Politics • Views: 17,800

How to spin the wingnuts up into frenzied, frothing paroxysms of total rage, and have a well-qualified Secretary of State at the same time: Al Gore for Secretary of State!

I first heard this suggestion from my friend David Greenberg, the historian who writes for Slate, and I thought, nahhh. But it grew on me pretty fast. Tell me why not. He’d be great. He’s known around the world. He’s respected around the world, about 90 percent of which surely wishes he’d been the president instead of the guy he beat. I’m not saying he’d change the world; no one can do that. But he’d get a hearing everywhere. He knows a huge number of world leaders, and he knows the issues cold. He could dive right into the pool’s deepest end, in the Middle East, on Iran, you name it.

What about his climate-change crusade, you wonder? Far from having to drop his signature issue, Gore could use his new position to push it with even greater vigor in a global context. Gore, and probably Gore alone, would be capable of elevating the climate change issue to the position it deserves on the national and global stage.

What we don’t know that much about is the Gore-Obama relationship. In 2007 and 2008, Gore clearly tilted toward Obama (Gore’s mere refusal to endorse Hillary Clinton over Obama indicated as much). Gore didn’t endorse Obama until right after he’d secured the nomination, but the two were said to have talked regularly. That’s good enough.

Finally: Man, would I love to see the Republicans try to swat down a Gore nomination. How? They’d poke around in his finances, remind America that he’s now divorced. But unless there were some kind of smoking gun on the former point, no one would care. They could not really block Gore; too much stature, too obviously qualified. Can you imagine? John McCain would grind his teeth, assuming those still are his teeth, down to dust. That would be awesome to watch.

Washington Post: Obama May Lose ‘Good Will’ of Republicans if He Nominates Rice

Post obviously confused; believes GOP has any ‘good will’
Politics • Views: 17,306

I’m agnostic about whether PBO should nominate Rice for Secretary of State after Hillary Clinton leaves Foggy Bottom next year, but this lead paragraph from a story in today’s Washington Post has to be about the most brain-dead thing from a non-RWNJ source I’ve read in months:

The choice of a successor to Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state has turned into an unexpectedly nasty political fight that could cost the White House valuable goodwill with Republicans.

Seriously, Washington Post? There’s GOP “good will” for the White House? Have you been paying attention to anything in the past four years?

Sigh. This is why we can never have nice things.

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