Al Gore doesn’t want to debate global warming

Jonathan Adler at the Volokh Conspiracy linked to a subscribers-only op/ed piece at the WSJ written by Jyllands-Posten culture editor Fleming Rose and Bjorn Lomborg on Al Gore’s refusal to debate global warming. Rose and Lomborg wrote (emphasis added):

The interview [with Gore] had been scheduled for months. Mr. Gore’s agent yesterday thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he’s been very critical of Mr. Gore’s message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore’s evenhandedness. According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter. These conditions were immediately accepted by Jyllands-Posten. Yet an hour later we received an email from the agent saying that the interview was now cancelled. What happened?

One can only speculate. But if we are to follow Mr. Gore’s suggestions of radically changing our way of life, the costs are not trivial. If we slowly change our greenhouse gas emissions over the coming century, the U.N. actually estimates that we will live in a warmer but immensely richer world. However, the U.N. Climate Panel suggests that if we follow Al Gore’s path down toward an environmentally obsessed society, it will have big consequences for the world, not least its poor. In the year 2100, Mr. Gore will have left the average person 30% poorer, and thus less able to handle many of the problems we will face, climate change or no climate change.

[…]

Al Gore is on a mission. If he has his way, we could end up choosing a future, based on dubious claims, that could cost us, according to a U.N. estimate, $553 trillion over this century. Getting answers to hard questions is not an unreasonable expectation before we take his project seriously. It is crucial that we make the right decisions posed by the challenge of global warming. These are best achieved through open debate, and we invite him to take the time to answer our questions: We are ready to interview you any time, Mr. Gore — and anywhere.

But know-it-all Al would rather you just take his word for it. I guess he finds being questioned about his statements on global warming to be – well – inconvenient.

“24” under attack by CAIR

24First, Keith Olbermann called the show “propaganda” for the administration in the WOT, and now the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is worried that people won’t be able to tell fact from fiction. Here’s a CAIR press release (via K. Lo):

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/18/07) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today expressed concern that the new story line on Fox’s “24” terror drama may have a negative impact on the national debate over civil liberties.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the explosion of a nuclear device near Los Angeles at the end of the most recent episode of “24” may also serve to increase anti-Muslim prejudice in American society.

SEE: Muslims Unhappy Over `24′ Portrayal (AP)

In a statement, the Washington-based group said:

“The raw emotional impact of fictional scenes that include widespread death and destruction in America may adversely affect the public’s attitude toward civil liberties, religious freedom and interfaith relations. The program’s repeated association of acts of terrorism with Islam will only serve to increase anti-Muslim prejudice in our society.

“We have communicated the American Muslim community’s concerns about this season’s story line to Fox officials and will work with the network to help viewers distinguish between televised fiction and actual world events.”

Great. I’d love to see how they try and distinguish the Islamofascists hell bent on destroying America in “24” from these very real Islamofascists. As far as that goes, there is no difference between the Islamofascists portrayed on “24” and the ones in real life.

But as usual, CAIR is hyperventilating apparently without reviewing the facts. If any of you watched the first two episodes of “24”, you saw the head of the fictional organization which resembles CAIR has been portrayed as a good guy who has done nothing wrong, and who – from what it looks like – will be a ‘mole’ of sorts who will be able to provide valuable information on what he hears in the internment-like camp he’s been put in to “President Palmer’s” sister, who is an ACLU-esque attorney, who will then, in turn, tell her brother.

I’ve said this before here and I’ll say it again: Rather than wasting time on fictional TV shows and trying to get conservative talk radio hosts kicked off the air, CAIR should get a hold on their Muslim brothers and restrain them from planning and committing terrorist attacks- like 9-11, 3-11, 7-7, and the hundreds of thousands of other terrorists attacks committed by Islamofascists around the world, because that’s what stirs up anti-Muslim sentiment, not shows like “24“.

Poll showing that Dems don’t want us to win in Iraq is nothing new

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Fox News has released a poll that proves once again that Democrats either don’t want us to win in Iraq, or at the very least “don’t know” if they do, which is just as bad (emphasis added):

Do you personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to succeed?

Overall: 63% Yes 22% No 15% Don’t Know

Democrats: 51% Yes 34% No 15% Don’t Know

Republicans: 79% Yes 11% No 10% Don’t Know

Independents: 63% Yes 19% No 17% Don’t Know

I noted another poll which documented the Dem’s desire for the President to fail in Iraq in this post last September, but some people complained that the question, which read “would you say you want President Bush to succeed or not?” was ‘too vague’ because it didn’t specifically mention Iraq, even though we all know that Iraq is the issue and has been since even before the war started. In any event, there’s no mistaking it now: 34% of Dems want us to fail in Iraq, and 15% “don’t know” which to me is the same thing, because if you have to even consider whether or not you want the President to fail in Iraq, then you haven’t taken hoping for failure off the table.

What other tidbits did we find out from the latest Fox poll?

16. If you were a member of Congress, how would you vote specifically on increasing U.S. troop levels in Iraq — would you vote for or against funding the increase in troops?

Overall: 38% For 57% Against 5% Don’t know
Democrats: 17% For 79% Against 4% Don’t know
Republicans: 64% For 32% Against 4% Don’t know
Independents: 39% For 52% Against 9% Don’t know

That’s not really that surprising though, but this one should be (emphasis added):

17. Regardless of how you would vote on sending more troops to Iraq — If you were a member of Congress, would you vote to continue funding the current level of U.S. troops in Iraq or would you vote against funding the war altogether to try to force a troop withdrawal?

Overall: 52% Yes 41% No 6% Don’t know
Democrats: 33% Yes 59% No 8% Don’t know
Republicans: 77% Yes 19% No 4% Don’t know
Independents: 53% Yes 43% No 4% Don’t know

Got that? 59% of Democrats say they would vote against funding the current level of US troops in Iraq in order to try and force a troop withdrawal and 8% “don’t know” (uh huh).

Bbbbut they support the troops.

Right?

Hat tip: Dean Barnett

Update 7:37 PM: The Nutroots are gonna go ballistic once they read this: Pelosi Won’t Block Iraq Funding to Stop Troop Surge (hat tip: Allah)

What it’s like here today (THUR OPEN THREAD)

The Charlotte, NC area has been the recipient of a “wintry mix” today, and it feels colder outside than it actually is. Last I checked, it was 32 degrees but when I went outside it felt like about 25.


Caption: Ice clings to a purple bloom during the morning precipitation of sleet and rain Thursday. JEFF SINER / Charlotte Observer

Our roads are iced up in some spots like that flower. This area doesn’t handle weather like this well, so the drive home should be interesting but hopefully uneventful.

I guess I should be thankful that we’re only getting a wintry mix that will melt away tomorrow in 50 degree weather, rather than going through what Denver has these last few weeks.

Washington Post spins the ‘halting’ of the Senate ethics and lobbying reform bill

The Washington Post reports today that Senate Republicans ‘halted’ ethics and lobbying reform last night over an alleged ‘unrelated measure’, and quoted liars like Senator Harry Reid as portraying the Republicans as “against reform.”

Not so fast, though. Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard breaks through the spin of the Post’s report and points out that in actuality that the ‘unrelated item’ mentioned in the Post piece is not unrelated at all:

It is not a “line item veto” nor is it an “unrelated measure.” Jonathan Weisman presumably has been reporting politics long enough to know that. The amendment would allow pork barrel items to be stripped out of unrelated legislation and sent back to Congress for an up or down, on the record vote. It is very much tied to ethics reform. The vote that failed last night was a vote on cloture. Harry Reid tried to cut off debate and eliminate an on the record vote for the amendment.

This is blatant political spin and is really beneath the Washington Post. Harry Reid needs to allow a simple up or down vote on the amendment. Everyone should be able to get behind a measure that would cut the pork barrel spending that is so often a political payback to lobbyists.

Buried deep within the WaPo article is the true guilty party on stalling this ethics reform bill (emphasis added):

Reid and McConnell worked to reach a compromise that would have brought the Gregg bill to a vote in the coming weeks, but that pact could not overcome the objections of Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), an opponent of the line-item veto.

Yes, the Pork King of America.

Oh, and did I mention that Reid kicked and screamed about this bill before reaching a compromise with Senator McConnell?

There have been times when the WaPo has gotten it right on Republicans stalling bills (like this one) but this time they are just flat out spinning.

Speaking of Harry Reid and ethics and lobbying reform, Robert Bluey, editor at Human Events, writes in the Washington Examiner today about how bloggers took on Harry Reid on this bill – and won.

House Intelligence Committee chair Silvestre Reyes: Another Dem who was for the surge before he was against it

flip flopsI noted back on the 10th about how Democrats were playing political games with the Iraq war by being before the suggested ‘surge’ in troops in Iraq before they were against it. Well guess what? Add another Democrat to the game players: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes. Via the Washington Times:

On Dec. 5, Newsweek magazine touted an interview with then-incoming House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes as an “exclusive.” And for good reason.

“In a surprise twist in the debate over Iraq,” the story began, Mr. Reyes “said he wants to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops as part of a ‘stepped up effort to dismantle the militias.’ ”

“We have to consider the need for additional troops to be in Iraq, to take out the militias and stabilize Iraq,” the Texas Democrat said to the surprise of many, “I would say 20,000 to 30,000.”

Then came President Bush’s expected announcement last week, virtually matching Mr. Reyes’ recommendation and argument word-for-word — albeit the president proposed only 21,500 troops.

Wouldn’t you know, hours after Mr. Bush announced his proposal, Mr. Reyes told the El Paso Times that such a troop buildup was unthinkable.

“We don’t have the capability to escalate even to this minimum level,” he said.

The chairman’s “double-talk” did not go unnoticed. Among others, Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, says such blatant “hypocrisy” undermines both national security and the war on terrorism.

Indeed.

And just in case anyone doubts the validity of the WashTimes story about this, here’s that Dec. 5 Newsweek story on Reyes:

Dec. 5. 2006 – In a surprise twist in the debate over Iraq, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, the soon-to-be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he wants to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops as part of a stepped up effort to “dismantle the militias.”

The soft-spoken Texas Democrat was an early opponent of the Iraq war and voted against the October 2002 resolution authorizing President Bush to invade that country. That dovish record got prominently cited last week when Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi chose Reyes as the new head of the intelligence panel.

But in an interview with NEWSWEEK on Tuesday, Reyes pointedly distanced himself from many of his Democratic colleagues who have called for fixed timetables for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Coming on the eve of tomorrow’s recommendations from the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton commission, Reyes’s comments were immediately cited by some Iraq war analysts as fresh evidence that the intense debate over U.S. policy may be more fluid than many have expected.

“We’re not going to have stability in Iraq until we eliminate those militias, those private armies” Reyes said. “We have to consider the need for additional troops to be in Iraq, to take out the militias and stabilize Iraq … We certainly can’t leave Iraq and run the risk that it becomes [like] Afghanistan” was before the 2001 invasion by the United States.

[…]

When asked how many additional troops he envisioned sending to Iraq, Reyes replied: “I would say 20,000 to 30,000—for the specific purpose of making sure those militias are dismantled, working in concert with the Iraqi military.”

[…]

Reyes added that he was “very clear” about his position to Pelosi when she chose him over two rivals—Rep. Jane Harman of California and Rep. Alcee Hastings—to head the critical intelligence post. One widely cited reason that Harman, a moderate Democrat who supported the war, didn’t get the nod from Pelosi is that the Speaker-designate wanted somebody who would be more aggressive in standing up to the Bush White House—which Reyes promises to be on other issues like domestic wiretapping and CIA secret prisons.

But when asked what he told Pelosi about his thinking on Iraq, Reyes replied: “What I said was, we can’t afford to leave there. And anybody who says, we are going pull out our troops immediately, is being dishonest … We’re all interested in getting out of Iraq. That’s a common goal. How we do it, I think, is the tough part. There are those that say, they don’t care what Iraq looks like once we leave there. Let’s just leave there. And I argue against that. I don’t think that’s responsible. And I think it plays right into the hands of Syria and Iran.”

Here’s Reyes’ flip flop, as reported in the El Paso Times on 1/11/07:

President Bush’s announcement Wednesday evening that he would send about 21,500 more soldiers and Marines to Iraq drew a mixed reaction from El Paso residents, and local officials said they weren’t aware he planned to use Fort Bliss Patriot missile units to defend U.S. allies in the region.

Bush had been expected to announce that he would send a “surge” of troops to Baghdad and to Al Anbar Province in an effort to stop sectarian violence and control the al-Quaida insurgency so the country’s fledgling government can establish itself.

“We don’t have the capability to escalate even to this minimal level,” said U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, referring to the availability of troops. “The president has not changed direction, but is simply changing tactics.”

Reyes, who met with Bush on Tuesday to review the plan, said sending more troops removes any incentive the Iraqi government had to take responsibility for the safety of its own citizens. He added that Bush was continuing his “go-it-alone” approach, rather than trying to find diplomatic solutions.

I wrote this in my intial post on Dem flip flops on the surge, and I believe it’s worth repeating today:

They simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth, nor can they be trusted to be in the driver’s seat in a time of war. That these shameless, dishonest, disingenuous, anti-war, cut and run, stuck-in-Vietnam clowns are going to be micromanaging the President’s every move over the next two years on the war on terror is a travesty of epic proportions, and is already proving to be disastrous.

Hat tip on the El Paso Times link: Jason Smith, who was on top of this story back when Reyes first made the comments earlier this month.

Uncompromising positions

With politicians announcing almost daily now that they intend to run for President, I thought now would be a good time to talk about issues you wouldn’t compromise on, because there are some candidates on the Republican side – like Rudy Giuliani, for example – who are polling well but who differ sharply with conservatives on certain issues like abortion, gay marriage, etc.

We know there’s no such thing as the ‘perfect candidate’ and no matter who we end up choosing, there are going to be positions that candidate holds that we don’t like but who we would be ‘ok’ with overall when voting for president. However, is there any candidate who holds a stance on an issue so important to you that you wouldn’t be comfortable pulling the lever for him (or her?) in 2008? Please name the candidate(s) and the issue(s).

Here’s a list of Republicans who have thrown their hat in the ring (sorry – I don’t like using Wiki, but right now it’s the only source I could find with what looks like a complete list).

I’ll step up first and say that if Rudy Giuliani won the Republican nomination for president, I would abstain from voting for president in 2008, because Rudy supports partial birth abortion. This is an issue that is deeply important to me. He’s been a stand up guy in a post 9-11 world, but I couldn’t in good conscience vote for someone who supports PBA.

Your turn.

Update: Speaking of ’08 potentials, the Boston Herald reports that Senator John McCain is not as popular in New Hampshire as he once was.