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Election 2012

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Can Rick Perry create 1.2 million energy jobs?

1.2 million jobs? Try again, buddy.Photo: Gage SkidmoreCross-posted from Council on Foreign Relations. The centerpiece of Rick Perry's economic plan, released this morning, is a pledge to create 1.2 million energy jobs. Mitt Romney has already promised to create nearly 1.5 million energy jobs. Why do we keep hearing numbers in this ballpark? And are they plausible? A quick preview since this is a long post: I see about 620,000 jobs max, of which about 180,000 are actually in the energy sector. The real world numbers are almost certainly quite a bit lower. Now back to the analysis. The figures …

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Where did Obama's mojo go?

Photo: DavidThis essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. For connoisseurs, Barack Obama's fund-raising emails for the 2012 election campaign seem just a tad forlorn -- slightly limp reminders of the last time 'round. Four years ago at this time, the early adopters among us were just starting to get used to the regular flow of email from the Obama campaign. The missives were actually exciting to get, because they seemed less like appeals for money than a chance to join a movement. Sometimes they came with inspirational videos from Camp Obama, especially …

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Critical List: Perry not afraid to sound like an idiot; Koch Industries trading with Iran

"I'm not afraid to say I'm a skeptic about [climate change]." -- Rick Perry, ladies and gentlemen. So fearless. A Bloomberg investigation found that Koch Industries has paid bribes to obtain contracts and sold Iran petrochemical equipment, in violation of the U.S. trade ban. Trees are nice. Probably not a great idea to destroy them all. If you have an electric toothbrush, extra-large fridge, laptop, iPad, iPhone, multiple flat screen TVs, a flat screen monitor, and god knows what else -- you're killing us here! China wanted its high-speed rail system to represent the country's superior technology, but it’s actually …

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How to care for your 6-foot Rick Perry chia head

If you have a spare $4,500 lying around, you can now own a Rick Perry chia head that's as tall as Rick Perry. (From the item's description: "Hmmm, Rick recently stated at a Tea Party debate that he would be offended if somebody thought he could be bought for $5,000. He obviously hasn’t evaluated his worth as a gigantic planter.") Hair plants are not included -- like the governor himself, you're going to have to WORK for that hair. But it does ship with a gallon of Cow Wow, a manure-based fertilizer. In other words, the Perry head comes with its …

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Bill Clinton slams U.S. climate deniers: 'We look like a joke'

At the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, former President Bill Clinton blasted the GOP for supporting climate science denial. As Brad Johnson of ThinkProgress Green reports, Clinton was asked about what Americans can do to fight climate change and replied: If you're an American, the best thing you could do is to make it politically unacceptable to engage in denial. We look like a joke. You can't win the nomination of one of the major parties in our country if you admit that the scientists are right ... It's really tragic. We need the debate in America, and every country, …

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Rick Perry stumbles and mumbles as he tries to defend abstinence education [VIDEO]

Wondering what kind of intellectual and oratorical firepower the governor of Texas brings to the table? This video reveals all (as does the transcript below). In this October 2010 interview with Evan Smith of The Texas Tribune, Perry fields a question about why Texas is sticking with its policy of abstinence-only sex ed despite the fact that the state continues to have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation. Perry responds simply, "Abstinence works." When pressed for statistics to back up his claim, Perry says that abstinence has worked in his own life. It's true that the …

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Cartoon version of Rick Perry indistinguishable from the real thing

I wish this Taiwanese animated explainer on Rick Perry said more about his laughable positions on climate science, but you gotta love watching a cartoon version of the Republican front-runner pray for rain and get smacked down by God.

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Rick Perry: Just because global warming is a 'fact' doesn't mean it's real

Oh, Rick Perry. He's like a feudal lord who was just defrosted from the 13th century, only better-coiffed and less handy with a lance. He's like his own personal Renaissance Festival. Science? Forsooth, milord, what dost thou mean? In last night's debate, Perry offered the following extremely convincing argument against global warming: Not all scientists believe in it, I am pretty sure. I can't name any scientist who doesn't, but then, I can't name any scientists at all. Even if they do say it's a fact, that doesn't mean it's true. Because Galileo. Hey, Galileo! He's a scientist who probably …

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Critical List: Obama admin backs more solar projects; Kiribati president wants a new island

The Obama administration provided a loan guarantee to a SolarCity project that would put solar panels on 160,000 military homes — "the largest domestic residential rooftop solar project in history," Energy Secretary Chu said. Rick Perry thinks he's a smart as Galileo. Or at least that some climate-denying scientists are. So he’d be pretty irked to see yet more evidence that global warming is real, if he actually read newspapers. As temperatures shift in the Andes, residents are looking to hardy crops, like huaña, that Andean people depended on historically. The president of Kiribati, an island nation scheduled to succumb …