Hysterical “Say What?!” Moment for the Ages

Baba Wawa has interviewed an impressive range of larger-than-life odd-balls. Michael Jackson, Fidel Castro, and Muammar Gaddafi couldn’t shake her cool, and they said some pretty strange things. But she loses it with Herman Cain for a few moments, utterly unable to contain her astonishment at his aspirations to become Secretary of Defense. Her “What?!” should be on the masthead of this blog.

Her beautiful recovery and some background are included beneath it in the second clip.

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CLICK HERE FOR A WONDERFUL FOLLOW UP QUESTION, and some of the background that led to her initial reaction. (This clip won’t work on mobile devices – permission issues.)

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Must Read Re-Post: Another Koch Bros. Anti-Science Success Story

From Think Progress Green, via Political Correction, via the National Journal

Koch Political Group Brags About Bullying GOP Lawmakers Into Denying Climate Science

By Marie Diamond (at ThinkProgress Green) on Dec 7, 2011 at 11:07 am

In its cover story this week, the National Journal explores a curious phenomenon: while the science supporting climate change has only gotten stronger, the onetime Republican consensus on the issue has fallen apart. The reason, quite simply, is the right-wing polluter Koch Industries and its political front group Americans for Prosperity.

As Political Correction notes, just three years ago, Republicans including Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) all expressed a belief in human-caused climate change. Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) even supported legislation to reduce carbon pollution. But all of these prominent leaders have since joined the rest of the Republican party “in a sudden and near-unified retreat to silence or denial.”

What’s changed for Republican politicians is “the influx into electoral politics of vast sums of money from energy companies and sympathetic interest groups”:

Republicans have long had close financial ties to the fossil-fuel industry, of course. Between 1998 and 2010, the oil-and-gas industry gave 75 percent of its $284 million in political contributions to Republicans. [...]

Among the most influential of the new breed of so-called super PACs is the tea party group Americans for Prosperity, founded by David and Charles Koch, the principal owners of Koch Industries, a major U.S. oil conglomerate. As Koch Industries has lobbied aggressively against climate-change policy, Americans for Prosperity has spearheaded an all-fronts campaign using advertising, social media, and cross-country events aimed at electing lawmakers who will ensure that the oil industry won’t have to worry about any new regulations.

AFP President Tim Phillips proudly takes credit for the GOP’s turnaround and readily admits that his group threatened politicians with “political peril” if they “played footsie” with green solutions:

Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, says there’s no question that the influence of his group and others like it has been instrumental in the rise of Republican candidates who question or deny climate science…“We’ve made great headway. What it means for candidates on the Republican side is, if you…buy into green energy or you play footsie on this issue, you do so at your political peril. The vast majority of people who are involved in the [Republican] nominating process—the conventions and the primaries—are suspect of the science. And that’s our influence. Groups like Americans for Prosperity have done it.”

Thanks to AFP “science has become political,” Phillips says, and “most of these candidates have figured” that out. AFP used to claim, “We’re not arguing the science of climate change,” but got bolder as it gained more influence, boasting, “if we win the science argument it’s game, set, and match.” With AFP menacing lawmakers in the background, threatening to choke off campaign money and dangling their political careers in front of them, it’s no wonder so many Republicans have willfully ignored the indisputable truth of climate change.

As ThinkProgress has reported, AFP is notorious for its astroturfing, or fake grassroots efforts, that include tactics like planting carbon-copy opinion pieces in local newspapers. They’ve become the unparalleled enforcer of far right-wing ideology, funneling millions of oil and coal industry dollars cash across the nation to spread their message of global warming denial.

(HT: Political Correction)

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Herman Cain, the Self-Proclaimed “Koch Brothers’ Brother from Another Mother,” Drops Out of Race: Comedians and Democrats Praying for Newt

The Onion’s Rapid Response team immediately ran this headline: “Rumors Of Extramarital Affair End Campaign Of Presidential Candidate Who Didn’t Know China Has Nuclear Weapons.”

Understated, not even mentioning the Libya interview. Oh, have the standards changed. To think that Gerald Ford’s mistake about Poland not being under Soviet influence was thought at the time to be a record-breaking foreign policy gaffe. How about Perry failing Government 101 by claiming the other night that he would use an executive order to repeal legislation passed by Congress and signed by a President?  Records are being shattered all over the place.

First, Cain’s lovefest with the Koch Brothers. The Brother from Another Planet declares, at his campaign’s pinacle, “I am the Koch Brothers’ brother from another mother.”

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“Sing Off” fans, have a listen to Cain’s swan song:

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So, he is at peace with himself, his wife, and God, but apparently not the Koch Brothers (in the last 30 seconds: “it’ll be hard to raise the necessary funding.”) And what’s with false and unproven allegations causing it? “False and unproven?” (“I didn’t do that. And you can’t prove it” is pretty funny.)

One of the things I find astonishing is that he had absolutely no field operation or ground organization whatsoever, and was the leading contender for the nomination so late in the game.  Like almost zero staff in the field.  This is new in presidential politics. It has never happened. And you can’t write this one off to the social networking and new media creating a virtual ground organization on the internet.

Sure, the Blue State Boys used new media to get Obama elected, but did so with a combination of grassroots and Chicago-style field operation. Cain being in the final group pretty close to the beginning of the primary season, let alone being the frontrunner for a good while there (until, um, he received a little scrutiny) could not have happened before Citizens United allowed (as in, actually made legal) the money laundering relationships between non-profits, wealthy and privately controlled special interest advocacy groups.

A quick look at the flow of money to candidates, especially in the case of a former frontrunner with no traditional campaign organization behind him, makes it crystal clear that Citizens United is what made Cain the Koch Brother from another mother.

And the new ways that money has been infused into politics in recent years also goes a long way in explaining the most anti-environmental congress in history, and what is beginning to undo the entire structure of  environmental law in the United States, including the very existence of the EPA. 

The only way to fight that much money is the way Obama’s election campaign did in 2008: voter turnout. But the GOP has thought of that. Actually, state governors and representatives had it spoon-fed to them by the Koch-funded AFP and ALEC. Besides gerrymandering districts to just those groups that turned out in force to elect President Obama, and doing so sometimes in ways so crude in its goals and execution, conservative courts have already overturned them, ALEC has additionally led a massive voter suppression movement to disenfranchise the very same groups from even voting. If you think this is paranoid, read the ALEC model legislation (It is attached, with notes from the Center for Media and Democracy), the Brennan Center Report, and the court case rulings that have blocked some of these moves in earlier Say What?” posts. The voter suppression stuff is serious and well-planned.

The Next Big Thing: An Open Letter to Bill McKibben and Joe Romm About Why Every Environmentalist Should Occupy a Voting Booth, with an update here

and

The 99% Movement and Environmentalists: Economic Justice, The Echo Chamber, and Really Old Problems With Democracy

and

Your Scorecard: The 110 Anti-Environment Votes in Congress This Year

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Inhofe Still Delusional, Still a U.S. Senator

He is at it again. In a post last June, we noted that Sen. Inhofe just does not believe there is an overwhelming consensus among scientists about climate change. And, said Inhofe, (at least that is what I hear him saying in this clip), even if there were overwhelming scientific evidence of a long-term global catastrophe, it would be a distraction from what really matters: short term local economics. Watch it here before looking at today’s re-post of Brad Johnson’s blog, where it takes things even further.

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Special Interests? View Oil and Gas $ to Jim Inhofe

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Re-Post from today’s ThinkProgress Green (December 1. 2011)

Inhofe: Calling Climate Change ‘The Greatest Hoax Ever’ Is ‘Doing The Lord’s Work’

By Brad Johnson on Dec 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm

In a new interview with Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) reiterated his delusional claim that manmade global warming is “the greatest hoax ever.” Inhofe believes that the last eight years of record warmth and catastrophic weather have vindicated his claim, and that he is “doing the Lord’s work” by demonizing attempts to limit fossil fuel pollution:

You might remember, it was 2003 when I made the statement that the idea that manmade gases, CO2, are causing catastrophic global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. I was hated at that time, but now people realize I was right. That, by the way, is the title of my book that’s going to come out in January.

“We’re both doing the Lord’s work, Noel,” he told his interviewer.

Inhofe’s assessment is not shared by many.

Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, believes there is a “global responsibility” to find the “moral will” to combat the “threatening catastrophe” of climate change.

American ecumenical organizations including Church World Service and the National Council of Churches of Christ have sent letters to President Obama, urging him to do all he can towards reaching “a fair, ambitious and binding agreement that sets forth a truly moral response to climate change.”

“Global climate change is predominantly caused by our burning of fossil fuels,” Inhofe’s own church, the Presbyterian Church of the USA, has recognized. The church issued a resolution in 2008 that “calls upon all Presbyterians to take this seriously, to pray asking for God’s forgiveness and guidance, to study this issue, to calculate your carbon emissions, to educate others, and to use less energy, striving to make your life carbon neutral.”

[end of re-post, and back to Say What?]

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More video of Inhofe in action:

Earlier this year, Sen. Inhofe proudly posted this video to show how his views about “the science not being there” solidly refuted the concerns reflected by a “global warming alarmist attempting to ambush him.”

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Also see, if you can take any more of this:

There’s More! Influential Senator Joins House Flat-Out Lie or Scandalous Incompetence

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