Category Archives: I Liek This

Hell Just Froze Over

Not only did the Roberts court just vote 6-2 in favor of the EPA, Alto recused himself from the case.

WASHINGTON — In a major environmental victory for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate the smog-causing pollution from coal-fired power plants that wafts across state lines from 27 Midwestern and Appalachian states to the East Coast.

The 6-to-2 ruling upholds a centerpiece of what has become a signature of President Obama’s environmental agenda: a series of new Clean Air Act regulations aimed at cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants. Republicans and the coal industry have criticized the effort as a “war on coal.”

Legal experts said the decision, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, signaled that the Obama administration’s efforts to use the Clean Air Act to fight global warming could also withstand legal challenges. The E.P.A. is expected to unveil in June a sweeping new climate change regulation, using the authority of the Clean Air Act to rein in carbon pollution from coal plants.

The regulations covering cross-state air pollution, known as “good neighbor” rules, have pitted Rust Belt and Appalachian states like Ohio and Kentucky against East Coast states like New York and Connecticut.

Okay, where’s the Candid Camera guy?

DOD Apparently Lifting Restrictions on Women in Combat Roles

From CNN:

Military to open combat jobs to women

By Chris Lawrence, with reporting from Barbara Starr

The U.S. military is ending its policy of excluding women from combat and will open combat jobs and direct combat units to female troops, CNN has learned. Multiple officials confirm to CNN that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will make the announcement tomorrow and notify Congress of the planned change in policy.

“We will eliminate the policy of ‘no women in units that are tasked with direct combat,’” a senior defense official says.

But the officials caution that “not every position will open all at once on Thursday.” Once the policy is changed, the Department of Defense will enter what is being called an “assessment phase,” in which each branch of service will examine all of its jobs and units not currently integrated and then produce a timetable in which it can integrate them.

While I’m not a fan of our disproportionately high “defense” spending, I am VERY glad that this anachronism is being pushed back.

In related linkage, Wonkette has a pithy and amusing take on it, and Weasel Zippers haz a sad.

A website that will make you go WOW!

Wanna prove that the job market started tanking before 9/11, and the tax cuts didn’t affect it one bit? That Bush’s predictions on job creation were and are pure hype? That Social Security is doing just fine, and that our National Debt is a nightmare that makes a visit from Freddy Kruger look like a trip to the Bahamas with a willing lovely of your preferred gender?? That the Republicans are flirting heavily with driving the U.S. into bankruptcy in order to kill Social Security? ZFacts.com has some good working material, and jump off points for your own research. Get cracking!

Tell us how you really feel.

Paul Campos, a law professor at the university of Colorodo, was walking through the parking lot of a shopping mall when he saw a Ford Excursion with a “support the troops” ribbon decal on the back. he had a few things to say about it.

All I have to say, with complete honesty and agreement, is “Fucking brilliant.” And perhaps give a standing ovation. I know how you feel, and I can identify with some of the anger behind that reaction.

I’m sick of being looked at like an idiot most places I go because I don’t buy into the American myth that ultimately we are completely responsible for our own fate in this world, I’m tired of being thought naive because I don’t believe that it’s my duty to look out for myself and that the rest of the world can fuck off. I’m furious that, since I am not enlightened and perfect in word and deed, that any “flaw” in my lifestyle (such as smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, being a lapsed vegetarian, and being a computer junkie) is seen as perfect justification for rejecting my social arguments.

I’ve got a wake-up call for a few of you out there in kool-aid land. When you start thinking beyond an adolescent emotional level (and that’s being cruel to adolescents), dividing the world into “The Good Guys” and “The Bad Guys” with a straight face, when you stop acting like the world is a kindergarten sandbox with rules you change any time you like with no consequences beyond the moment, then we can talk. But as long as you 1. either believe that some deity (or group thereof) is going to save you true believers while the rest of us burn, or 2. don’t give a damn about anyone else and could care less what happens after you die, or 3. feel comfortable letting other people do your thinking for you, writing the daily soundbites you then spout off at each other, your families, your neighbors, unsuspecting co-workers, co-passengers, and complete frickin’ strangers, while not once taking a few heartbeats to shut the hell up and actually look at the tripe you’re saying on behalf of people (usually in group number two) who couldn’t give two shits about you or anyone else (y’all in this third group are the ones who REALLY piss me off, can you tell?) then I don’t feel like I have to be reasonable with you anymore.

I’ll try, and I’ll try, and I’ll keep trying, because I love nothing more than watching someone else while they dig into all the information that’s out there and come up with their own conclusions. But the pressure’s off. It’s gone. Poof. Vanished. The agendas you support are no longer matters of discussion and debate, they are things that kill and demean people that must be resisted. I sure as hell hope Dean is what he presents himself as, at least in some degree, because I’d really like for the DLC to grow a little backbone, integrity, and human empathy. I’d like to see some unifying outrage going. I know just where I’d like to see it start; with the media, because I’m all too used to looking at the “two sides” of a political debate in this country wondering what piece of alien planetary real estate the talking heads are arguing over. But getting back to the point – reasonableness has been tried, and y’all don’t listen worth a damn.

So again, Bravo, Professor Campos. I know how you feel.

SB 7/1/14: I didn’t know this then, but this eventually led to my long time as a reader of Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

I want a copy of this documentary.

This writeup on Common Dreams about the BBC Documentary The Power of Nightmares (unofficial transcript here) ties together a lot of things that people have been suspecting all along… that the CIA didn’t miss the collapse of the Soviet Union, that the Regan years were in fact a massive departure from foreign policy reality, and that handing leadership roles to the Usual Suspects may not have been such a hot idea.