Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Links, Part II

A lot going on today, so here are some more links:

  • New Hampshire became the fourth state to legalize civil unions yesterday, as Democratic Governor John Lynch signed legislation into law saying it was in keeping with the state's anti-discrimination tradition.

  • Another Democratic Governor, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, plans to unveil a proposal today to make the state's community colleges free to all high school graduates in the state by the year 2015.

  • Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno warned that he may not be able to make a full assessment of the situation in Iraq by September, as demanded by lawmakers. September is the month in which the country is supposed to receive an honest assessment of the progress being made by Bush's escalation. If we can't get one then, is there anyone who thinks Bush won't say "Just give me more time," once again?

  • The popular online dating service eHarmony was sued on Thursday for refusing to offer its services to gays, lesbians and bisexuals. Not coincidentally, eHarmony was founded in 2000 by evangelical Christian Dr. Neil Clark Warren and had strong early ties with the influential religious conservative group Focus on the Family.

Friday Links

  • Marines battle bureaucrats and plead for high-tech gear. Once again, the GOP and their military-industrial complex buddies, supporting the troops like only they can.

  • Advocates of a bill promoting openness in government are fuming that a Republican senator is blocking a vote on the measure. Why does GOP Senator Jon Kyl (AZ) want to block this bill? Beyond the obvious, of course, that he as a Republican he cannot stand the thought of ordinary citizens of this country being privy to anything that our government does. He says it's because Alberto Gonzales and the Justice Department have a problem with the bill. So since Gonzales, who has zero credibility, isn't happy than the bill is no good?

  • The Bush administration said this past Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease. Conservative hypocrisy at its finest. Please read this post from Common Sense, which blasts conservatism in a way that I wish I had done myself.

  • Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY) has announced a Hearings Series: “The Constitution in Crisis: The State of Civil Liberties in America” to discuss the various ways the Bush adminstration has eroded our constitutional civil liberties.

Bush: Iraq Will Be Like Korea, and We're Never Leaving

President Bush said Wedneday that he envisions a long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq similar to the one in South Korea, where American forces have been stationed for more than 50 years.

This is beyond insane. It's beyond stupid. It's something only Bush and his cadre of idiots would think of.

First of all, there is no better recruiting tool for the anti-U.S. insurgency and al-Qaeda (in Iraq and all over the world) than for them to point to Iraq and say, "See, America wants to occupy Iraq forever."

Second, as Dan Froomkin points out, not only are there are many vast differences between South Korea and Iraq, but Americans overwhelmingly want to bring troops home from Iraq NOW, not in 50 years.

And finally, does this not prove once and for all that we did not go in just because of weapons of mass destruction, but rather to establish a dominating presence in a country rich with oil? Look at this embassy we're building there, the biggest in the world! Do you think anyone looks at a $600 million building and figures the owner isn't staying for a while?

Bush and his GOP lackeys got us into this debacle, and it's clear that it's going to take a new president to get us out of it. It's also clear that that's exactly what Bush is planning on, leaving his successor with the biggest mess this country's ever been in for him/her to deal with. Now that's leadership.

Update: Oh by the way, we're using forced labor and obscene working conditions to get this embassy built. More great public relations for the "Great Satan".

Alternative Energy Daily News - June 1 ,2007

  • The Board of the City of Montebello, CA has authorized the purchase of 150 40-foot gasoline hybrid-electric buses, to be supplied by the team of New Flyer and ISE Corporation.

  • CB Richard Ellis is aiming to make buildings greener.

  • Wachovia Corp., the fourth-largest US bank, said it would build only environmentally friendly branches by the end of 2008, starting with eight it plans to open soon in Southern California.

  • HSBC, Europe's largest bank, has waded into the climate change fight in a big way with today's announcement that it will donate $100 million over the next five years to four environmental groups working on a range of climate issues.

  • California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told a Toronto audience that the United States is the world's "best hope" for keeping climate change in check, though he acknowledged his country's reputation as a laggard on global warming issues.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday Links

  • Republican Senator Jim DeMint (SC) on Tuesday blamed Democratic “wimps” in Congress for American casualties in Iraq, and cited Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for special censure. This is beyond anything that even Bush and Cheney have ever dared to go. There's a special place in hell for people like DeMint, who, by the way, has never served in the military himself.

  • Twenty months after its depleted ranks of soldiers and airmen were pressed into service for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Louisiana National Guard still lacks hundreds of military troop trucks that can handle high water as it faces a new storm season that begins Friday.

  • A NYT editorial: The Supreme Court struck a blow for discrimination this week by stripping a key civil rights law of much of its potency. The majority opinion, by Justice Samuel Alito, forced an unreasonable reading on the law, and tossed aside longstanding precedents to rule in favor of an Alabama employer that had underpaid a female employee for years.

  • Nike said on Thursday it would improve conditions for its 800,000 workers in factories that make its products by eliminating excess overtime by 2011.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Do Something: Impeach Gonzales

How is Alberto Gonzales still the U.S. Attorney General. He has lied under oath, he has obstructed justice, and he has proven himself to be nothing but an incompetent yes-man for the worst president in the history of this nation. Bush clearly isn't going to fire him, and Gonzles clearly isn't going to leave on his own.

So it's up to Congress to use its power to remove him. You can sign a petition and watch Brave New Foundation's second online video that calls for impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales here.

Update: Charles Chamberlain of Democracy for America has a post on DailyKos detailing why impeaching Gonzales is so important.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Alternative Energy Daily News - May 29 , 2007

  • Solar power is the fastest growing source of energy in the world and likely will become much more affordable in the next few years, according to a new report.

  • GE Chairman and Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said his "green" ecomagination unit is on track to "blow away" its 2010 sales target of $20 billion as demand for environmental products and services surges.

  • New Jersey utility to replace 1,300 fleet vehicles with hybrids over the next decade.

  • Concern about environment creates shift in school design.

  • Convinced that rules aimed at slowing climate change are inevitable, coal-fired power generators are reexamining construction plans, fund managers are raising billions of dollars to invest in projects to combat climate change, insurance firms are devising new products and at least one utility has inserted a novel global-warming provision in a contract.