Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wingnuts: pollution-free magical realism Edition

Sully: Now I Understand

Alex Knapp "defends" the birthers in a very detailed post. The conclusion:

While traditional adherence to quaint philosophic concepts might make it appear that the evidence overwhelmingly favors the conclusion that Barack Obama is a United States citizen, it is clear that this cannot be the case so long as we don’t pay any attention to the idea that there is an objective reality.

Cognitive Realism, the Law of Attraction, and Norse Mythology all provide plausible philosophic justification for ignoring evidence and logic. Accordingly, because Obama’s claim to American citizenship is only supported by evidence and logic, he must not be an American citizen. Thus, Barack Obama is not eligible to be President of the United States.

It’s perfectly logical.

If you're a Republican, a lot of things are logical: the entire debt began the moment Obama took office; Bush and Cheney never tortured anyone, but Obama is about to; the WMDs really are in Iraq; the president has the constitutional power to send tanks into the streets to arrest any American without charges; deficits don't matter; Obama is a Kenyan Muslim impostor; and Sarah Palin was qualified to be president of the United States at a moment's notice.

Politics as magical realism.

Sargent: House Dem Putting GOPers On The Spot By Introducing Measure Describing Hawaii As Obama’s Birthplace

Okay, this is getting really good. Dem Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii is going to introduce a resolution on the House floor today that seems designed to put House GOPers who are flirting with birtherism in a jam.

The measure Abercrombie will introduce commemorates the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. But here’s the rub, his spokesman tells me: It describes Hawaii as Barack Obama’s birthplace.

“In the language of the resolution, there is a statement that Hawaii is the birthplace of the 44th President of the United States,” Abercrombie spokesman Dave Helfert confirms.

That confronts House GOPers with a choice: They can vote for the measure, and endorse the idea that Obama was born in Hawaii, which could earn the wrath of birthers. Or they can vote against commemorating the 50th state’s joining of our blessed Union. Or GOPers can skip the vote, but that could look nutty.

“Far be it from us to try to stir things up,” Helfert said puckishly. “The president was born there, so what are you gonna do? Not mention it?”


By the way, Media Matters has unveiled a new site solely devoted to attacking Lou Dobbs and CNN for turning the network over to birthers, which is another sign that the birther tale is good business both sides.

Think Progress: Bachmann blocks resolution declaring Hawaii to be Obama’s birthplace.

Today, Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) introduced a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. The resolution also proclaims the state as President Obama’s birthplace, a point the Plum Line’s Greg Sargent noted may “put House GOPers who are flirting with birtherism in a jam.” This afternoon on the House floor, Abercrombie spoke of his measure and specifically noted that Obama had been born in Hawaii. “It’s also going to be the birthday in a week or so of President Obama, born in Kapiolani hospital just down the road from where I lived,” he said. Just as the presiding chair of the House, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), was about to declare the resolution passed by voice vote, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) stood and objected:

BACHMANN: Mr. Speaker? I object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that a quorum is not present. [...]

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD): Further procedings on this motion will be postponed.

Watch it:

H. Res. 593, a resolution “recognizing and celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the entry of Hawaii into the Union as the 50th State,” contains this provision: “Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii”

Kleefeld (TPM): Lead Birther Bill Sponsor Votes To Recognize Hawaii As Obama's Birthplace

The House resolution to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hawaiian statehood -- which included language recognizing the state as President Obama's birthplace, in a none-too-subtle jab at the Birthers -- passed this evening by a 378-0 vote.

Among the Yes votes: Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), the lead sponsor of the infamous "Birther Bill" to require presidential candidates to present their birth certificates, and who had previously said he wouldn't "swear on a stack of Bibles" that Obama is a natural-born American citizen. Several other co-sponsors of the Birther Bill also voted yes: Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Dan Burton (R-IN), John Culberson (R-TX), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), and Ted Poe (R-TX).

On a side note, some suspicions were raised against Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) for blocking the passage of the resolution by voice vote earlier today, noting the absence of a quorum. However, as Salon reported, Bachmann's move was an entirely normal procedural motion to pave the way for a roll call vote later on -- indeed, she'd made similar motions today on other non-controversial resolutions -- and she in fact voted for the resolution when the vote was held.

I will also say as a long-time Bachmannologist that I've never seen any probable cause to suspect her of Birtherism. She's certainly said a lot of interesting stuff against Obama, but she hasn't trodden on this particular ground.

Outing the Birther Caucus July 27: The fringe "Birther" movement continues to ignore the facts of President Obama's birth to give themselves a reason to deny that an African-American man with a funny name is actually president of the United States of America -and mainstream politicians are not discouraging them. Rachel Maddow is joined by David Weigel, reporter for the Washington Independent.

Steve Benen shorts:

* Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is real sorry he suggested last week that the U.S. needed to prepare for a possible military confrontation with India.

* It was a pleasant surprise to see Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) acknowledge that United States has detention facilities that could safely hold Gitmo inmates. Alas, he's still wrong about the policy.

* Yet another far-right, "family values" Republican has been caught up in a sex scandal. The latest is Tennessee State Sen. Paul Stanley (R), a married Sunday school teacher, ardent anti-gay lawmaker, and proponent of abstinence-only education, who acknowledged his adultery after his mistress' boyfriend tried to blackmail him. The boyfriend, apparently, had video of the state senator in a "compromising" position.

* Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), never accused of being the sharpest crayon in the box, argued today on the Senate floor that burning oil doesn't cause pollution. He wasn't kidding.

Greg Sargent shorts:

* MoveOn goes up with a new ad making Sarah Palin the face of the opposition to climate change legislation.

* A nice catch by Eric Kleefeld: One of the House Republicans flirting with birtherism is number four in the House GOP leadership.

* GOP Rep. Pete Hoekstra, for one, says there’s “no compelling case” questioning Obama’s origins, though he hastily adds: “Not that this isn’t important.”

* Here’s today’s installment in the Michele Bachmann chronicles.

Think Progress: Inhofe: Oil And Gas Usage Doesn’t Create Any Pollution

This afternoon, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) took to the Senate floor and basically made a pitch for the oil and gas industry. He said that to ensure “energy security,” the United States should increasingly “extract our own resources.” According to Inhofe, this solution would not only achieve energy independence, but it would also be pollution-free:

People complain that we are buying — importing from the Middle East — oil and gas. And then they find out that we have it all right here. We don’t have to do that. If their argument there is “Well, we don’t want to use oil and gas because we think it pollutes” — which it doesn’t — but if that’s their argument, then why are we willing to import it from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East?

Watch it:

Inhofe is an anti-science senator who thinks that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Not only does oil and gas drilling release greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, but they also release other dangerous pollutants that endanger American health. As the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote in a 2008 report:

Oil and gas drilling operations can release a number of hazardous pollutants, including hydrogen sulfide, benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, and diesel exhaust. Exposure is known to lead to short-term illnesses, cancer, or even death. For example, benzene and formaldehyde are both known to cause cancer, and diesel exhaust contains a number of compounds known to cause cancer. Emissions can come from oil and gas itself, chemical additives used in drilling, or fuel combustion.

Additionally, a 2003 University of California at Irvine study found that “oil and natural gas wells and refineries create regional air pollution levels in excess of some of the nation’s smoggiest urban areas.” In states like Wyoming and New Mexico, “oil and gas drilling operations are the second largest source of statewide carbon dioxide and methane emissions,” two key greenhouse gases.

Of course there are also oil spills; big oil spills put approximately 37 million gallons of oil into the world’s oceans each year. Several hundred million more gallons wind up in the waterways through other means, such as air pollution.

More drilling is Inhofe’s solution to all the nation’s economic problems. He even thought it would help low-income families pay their heating bills. Of course, actual solutions to achieving energy independence and creating jobs are ones that Inhofe is unwilling to even consider because they won’t benefit his friends in the gas and oil industry.

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