Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Last Call For The Late, Great Planet Cruz

President Obama today revealed tough new emissions rules on power plants to drastically lower carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The Obama administration will formally adopt an ambitious regulation for cutting greenhouse-gas pollution on Monday, requiring every state to reduce emissions from coal-burning power plants and putting the country on a course that could change the way millions of Americans get their electricity. 
A retooled version of the administration’s Clean Power Plan, first proposed a year ago, will seek to accelerate the shift to renewable energy while setting tougher goals for slashing carbon emissions blamed for global warming, according to administration officials briefed on the details. 
The new plan sets a goal of cutting carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent by the year 2030, compared with 2005 levels — a 9 percent jump from the previous target of 30 percent — while rewarding states and utility companies that move quickly to expand their investment in solar and wind power. 
Many states will face tougher requirements for lowering greenhouse-gas emissions under the revised plan. But state governments also will be given more time to meet their targets and considerably more flexibility in how they achieve their pollution-cutting goals, according to two senior officials knowledgeable about the rule. For the first time, the officials said, the plan also includes a “reliability safety valve” that can buy states additional time if needed to avoid disruptions in the power supply.

That's what one party is doing about climate change.

This is what the other party in American politics is doing about it.

Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday said facts don’t support climate change, in a speech that described the notion as a front for power-hungry politicians who want to control Americans’ lives. 
During an appearance before some of the most influential conservative donors in the country, the Texas Republican said there is no factual basis for scientists’ research that shows the planet is changing. The 2016 White House hopeful said none of the research is worth the paper it is printed on. 
If you look at satellite data for the last 18 years, there’s been zero recorded warming,” Cruz said in California’s Orange County. “The satellite says it ain’t happening.” 
Instead, Cruz said, government researchers are reverse engineering data sets to falsify changes in the climate. “They’re cooking the books. They’re actually adjusting the numbers,” Cruz said. “Enron used to do their books the same way.”

One party wants to save the planet.  The other party is accusing scientists around the world of a massive political conspiracy to destroy the world economy or something.  It's insanity.

Don't ever tell me there's no difference between the two parties ever again.

The Revenge Of Shutdown Countdown

Forbes's Stan Collender pegs the chances of Republicans shutting down the government on October 1 at 60% now that Planned Parenthood is the new ACORN, and if anything, he belives that number to be low.

Republicans are vowing with ever-increasing vehemence to vote against legislation – including a CR — that includes funding for Planned Parenthood and that means that a continuing resolution that simply extends existing funding at current levels won’t be acceptable to the GOP majorities in the House and Senate. The House and Senate Republican leadership could cobble together a coalition with the moderate members of their own caucus and Democrats, but they would do so by placing themselves and their members in extreme political peril. 
This will be more of a problem in the Senate where the four senators running for the GOP presidential nomination will likely fight each other to lead the filibuster that prevents a CR that funds Planned Parenthood from being debated. Given the very little time left before the start of the fiscal year, that filibuster alone could lead to at least a quick shutdown (Fiscal 2016 starts on a Thursday so a short-term shutdown over the two days leading to the weekend plus Saturday and Sunday is certainly possible). 
Even if cloture in invoked and the Senate adopts a CR with Planned Parenthood funding, it will still have to be compromised with the continuing resolution that comes from the far more socially conservative House Republican majority that is far less likely to accept it. 
In addition, a CR that doesn’t include funding for Planned Parenthood will be filibustered by Senate Democrats. 
And the White House has already promised to veto a continuing resolution that cuts funds for Planned Parenthood, and almost no one thinks the votes will exist in either house to override it even if the government closes down as a result. 
All of this justifies the increase from 40 percent to 60 percent of the chances of a shutdown this fall. If anything, 60 percent may understate the odds of it actually happening.

I personally think this number is closer to 90% if not more.  Given what Oliver Willis calls the continuing "Trumpification" of the GOP, whoever gets to shut down the government at this point wins and breaks out of the pack like Trump has.  Senators Cruz, Rubio, Paul, and Graham will be tripping over themselves trying to make it happen.

The nutjobs in the House will run Boehner over to take advantage of that opportunity.  It'll be a madhouse and the Republican voters will be egging them on the whole way.  State are local Republicans will say "Hey, we're finally sticking it to those assholes in Washington!"  And as long as Grandma's Social Security and Medicare checks keep coming (and there's 0% chance that will stop) they won't care.

Ted Cruz proved in 2013 that you can blow things up and get rewarded for it.  Why wouldn't Republicans do it now?

The Bar For Execution

This is where we are in 2015: citizens, in particular black citizens, are only allowed to survive encounters with police without being summarily executed solely because the officer in question didn't think they saw a weapon.

The shooting looked bad. But that is when the professor is at his best. A black motorist, pulled to the side of the road for a turn-signal violation, had stuffed his hand into his pocket. The white officer yelled for him to take it out. When the driver started to comply, the officer shot him dead.

The driver was unarmed.

Taking the stand at a public inquest, William J. Lewinski, the psychology professor, explained that the officer had no choice but to act.

“In simple terms,” the district attorney in Portland, Ore., asked, “if I see the gun, I’m dead?”

“In simple terms, that’s it,” Dr. Lewinski replied.

When police officers shoot people under questionable circumstances, Dr. Lewinski is often there to defend their actions. Among the most influential voices on the subject, he has testified in or consulted in nearly 200 cases over the last decade or so and has helped justify countless shootings around the country.

His conclusions are consistent: The officer acted appropriately, even when shooting an unarmed person. Even when shooting someone in the back. Even when witness testimony, forensic evidence or video footage contradicts the officer’s story

He has appeared as an expert witness in criminal trials, civil cases and disciplinary hearings, and before grand juries, where such testimony is given in secret and goes unchallenged. In addition, his company, the Force Science Institute, has trained tens of thousands of police officers on how to think differently about police shootings that might appear excessive.

A string of deadly police encounters in Ferguson, Mo.; North Charleston, S.C.; and most recently in Cincinnati, have prompted a national reconsideration of how officers use force and provoked calls for them to slow down and defuse conflicts. But the debate has also left many police officers feeling unfairly maligned and suspicious of new policies that they say could put them at risk. Dr. Lewinski says his research clearly shows that officers often cannot wait to act.

“We’re telling officers, ‘Look for cover and then read the threat,’ ” he told a class of Los Angeles County deputy sheriffs recently. “Sorry, too damn late.”

In 2015, as long as the officer believes you have a weapon, your life is forfeit and you can be executed on the spot.  And of course, this is being used to end black lives exponentially more often than with other people.

And let's be clear about what we have here in Professor Lewinski here: a man willing to testify to get cops off for murder because "they thought they saw a gun".  That is all it takes to lose your life, and this man is dedicated to make sure that these cops can kill as man people as necessary based on that.

We all live in a police state now.  If you are black, you are much more likely to die in one.


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