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Tagged with dumbassery

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Dem Disease claims another victim

Beware Dem Disease.Joseph Aldy worked for a while as a top energy aide in Obama's White House. Apparently, while he was there he caught Dem Disease. Dem Disease is an affliction that causes sufferers to prioritize being viewed as reasonable over securing reasonable policy. The primary symptom is a Tourette's-like inability to keep from revealing how much one is willing to concede in negotiations ... before negotiations begin. (Obama is, of course, a chronic sufferer -- though he goes beyond revealing what he's willing to concede to actually conceding it before negotiations begin, a sure sign the disease has reached …

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Committee from Koch

House committee votes to deny climate change

Click for a larger version [PDF].Written with guest blogger Kristen Bartoloni, Researcher for Progress Central. Today, Republicans in the House energy committee voted not once, not twice, but three times [all PDFs], against amendments recognizing that climate change is real, despite the broad scientific consensus that "climate change is happening and human beings are a major reason for it." They then unanimously voted [PDF] in favor of the Upton-Inhofe bill to repeal the EPA's scientific endangerment finding on greenhouse pollution. The 31 Republicans and three Democrats who voted in favor of H.R. 910 have received a grand total of $343,750 from Koch Industries, an average of …

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We're all mad here

Fred Upton pursues EPA down the rabbit hole

In what will mark the first vote on Republican efforts to prevent EPA from reducing climate pollution, a House Energy subcommittee is expected today to take up legislation from Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). [See update at the bottom of post.] Their bill would amend the Clean Air Act to forbid consideration of CO2 or other greenhouse gases. Alice meets the cosponsors.For Congress to intervene in the scientific determinations of a public health agency is, as far as I know, unprecedented. You might think there would be urgent and compelling reasons for politicians to support such …

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Addressing the vital questions of our day

Is climate denialism postmodern?

Jack Handey has nothing on his deep thoughts.Photo: Satyakam KhadikarA few months ago, in a post about the larger significance of the right's climate denialism, I said this: "Here we are hip-deep in postmodernism and it came from the right, not the left academics they hate." In a New York Times Magazine piece last weekend, Judith Warner argued something similar: that the right's denialism is a dangerous extension of the left's academic postmodernism of the '80s and '90s. Science journalist Chris Mooney disagrees. He argues that "climate change deniers do not look, behave, or sound postmodern in any meaningful sense …

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Besides sheer douchery, I mean

What's behind Newt Gingrich's proposal to abolish the EPA?

Everyone on the internets is busy mocking Newt Gingrich's call to abolish the EPA. And that is as it should be -- I would never ask anyone to stop mocking Newt Gingrich. Rarely has the universe mixed pomposity and dimwittery into such an exquisitely mockworthy package. I do want to note, however, that what Gingrich is trying to pull off is not just old-fashioned Republican-style "leave corporate polluters alooooone!" Don't get me wrong: Newt wants to remove constraints on polluters! But he knows (unlike his buddies in Congress) that such a baldly retrograde position will not be popular with the …

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Seeking alms

Clean energy grants extended for a year; still a dumb way to do things

It seems Congress may pull one small, glowing ember from the wreckage of the climate/energy bill. The tax bill now brewing in the foul cauldron of the Senate contains a one-year extension of the renewable energy grant program (Treasury Grant 1603, part of the Recovery Act), as forecast on Thursday. It's in Sec. 707 of this PDF. To be clear up front, this is a much, much better outcome than the alternative, which would have meant a massive employment and investment hit to the solar and wind industries. But let's also be clear that, as policy, this is a sh*t …

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Crop circles

The only thing 'green' about NASCAR's switch to corn ethanol is the cash

Round and round they go, when such conspicuous energy waste will stop, nobody knows. Photo: Amplified-PhotographyIn a move that USA Today says "could be regarded as economically motivated as well as environmentally aware," NASCAR will adopt an ethanol blend of fuel beginning with the 2011 Daytona 500. This bit of news was welcomed heartily by the corn ethanol lobby, which is facing the prospect of the ethanol tax credit subsidy expiring at the end of the year as well as consumer confusion at fueling stations across the country, as ethanol blends increase only for specific model-year vehicles. Like the ethanol …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Food

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The worst are full of it

Ignorance, intensity, and climate politics

The New York Times editorial board had a nice piece this Sunday condemning GOP obscurantism on climate change. It reminds me that I want to double down on my contention that telling the truth about climate change will prove to be good long-term politics for the left. My argument is fairly simple: the circumstances that have yielded the current boom in climate denialism are idiosyncratic and won't last. Right now all the intensity is on the denialist side, but substantial historical forces are pushing in the other direction. Along these lines, it's worth digging into the new study from the …

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zombie cures welcome

Stupid goes viral: Climate Zombies of Oregon, Hawaii, Minnesota, and northern Rocky Mountains

They prowl the halls of Congress, moaning for caaasshh. Their stupid has gone viral. And if they win, humanity loses. I'm tracking Climate Zombies: every Republican candidate for House, Senate, and governor who doubts, denies, or derides the science of climate change. Today, I finish up all states west of the Rocky Mountains, throw in Minnesota as a bonus, and find not one, but two Republican incumbents who admit the reality of climate change. The extraordinary hostility of this year's crop of Republican candidates toward climate science, which started being documented in the blogosphere, is finally drawing mainstream attention. Two …

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Know-nothings: no, nothing

Lessons from the climate fight: determined ignorance in the Senate

As I wrote yesterday, the real revelation of Ryan Lizza's great New Yorker piece on the climate fight in the Senate is how deep the rot has gone in that institution. One aspect of Senate dysfunction that deserves emphasis is the degree to which policy is made out of ignorance. Americans tend to envision corrupt government elites as all-knowing, all-seeing evildoers. That's how government corruption tends to be portrayed in popular media -- think every Secret Government Agency in every TV show ever. They know more than us and they're using their knowledge to achieve their nefarious ends. The truth, …