Saturday, June 11, 2016

Climate Of Hostility

D.R. Tucker over at Washington Monthly reminds us that 15 years ago, Republicans still believed in climate change.

By 2016 Republican standards, Bush’s speech is impressive. Bush spoke of “develop[ing] an effective and science-based approach to addressing the important issues of global climate change” and “recogniz[ing] our responsibility….at home, in our hemisphere, and in the world.” He also refuted the arguments that Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing media figures had been making about climate change for years:

First, we know the surface temperature of the earth is warming. It has risen by .6 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years. There was a warming trend from the 1890s to the 1940s. Cooling from the 1940s to the 1970s. And then sharply rising temperatures from the 1970s to today.

There is a natural greenhouse effect that contributes to warming. Greenhouse gases trap heat, and thus warm the earth because they prevent a significant proportion of infrared radiation from escaping into space. Concentration of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have increased substantially since the beginning of the industrial revolution. And the National Academy of Sciences indicate that the increase is due in large part to human activity.

Bush would continue to acknowledge the reality of climate change during the course of his presidency. He would never actually do anything about the climate crisis–besides editing scientific reports, harassing climate scientists, genuflecting to ExxonMobil, and trying to convince the American people that the threat wasn’t that severe, of course. Yet Bush, at the very least, admitted that the science was real and credible.

Who would have thought that fifteen years later, the Republicans would nominate a man who believes that climate change is a hoax invented by China? Who would have thought that fifteen years later, despite the abundant evidence of climate chaos, mainstream media entities would still refuse to give this issue the coverage it deserves? And who would have thought that fifteen years later, the folks who thought that there was no real difference between Democrats and Republicans on such issues as the environment would hold on to that warped and worthless worldview?

It's that last part that's the killer.  I see people saying there's no difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and that they want to see the country burn in order to save it.

What they won't admit is that they want to apparently see the entire planet burn too.

Going To The Alabama Slammer

Alabama Republicans are a mess right now, and none more so that the state's Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard. Or, I should say "former Speaker Mike Hubbard" as he's going to prison for a very, very long time.

A Lee County jury today convicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard on 12 felony charges in his ethics case, removing Hubbard from office.

Hubbard, 54, was convicted after a jury spent seven hours deliberating whether he used his public position for personal gain.

Hubbard faces up to 20 years in prison for each ethics count. Sentencing is set for July 8.

Hubbard was immediately taken into custody and placed in the Lee County jail.

He was released on $160,000 bond Friday night and driven away by a bail bondsman, according to the Associated Press.

The conviction came after a 12-day trial in which Hubbard took the stand for three days in his own defense.

"We hope this verdict tonight will restore some of the confidence in the people in the state of Alabama that public officials at all levels in the state of Alabama will be held accountable for their actions," Acting Attorney General Van Davis said.

"Especially those who would betray their public trust and their position of public trust while in office from all levels, local, county and state."

Now, nobody believes Hubbard will be sentenced to the max 240 years, and frankly he'll probably remain out on appeal for years.  The state's stronger ethics laws passed in 2010 after all were never meant to actually convict anyone, much less the state's Republican Speaker of the House. After all, the $2.3 million that Hubbard took in pay-to-play bribes were supposed to be the perk of his position, not his downfall.

Hubbard led the 2010 GOP effort to oust state Democrats as Alabama's GOP party chair, and for his efforts he ran for the legislature, won easily, and was named Speaker. The same Republicans who passed these same tough ethics laws to "stop corrupt Democrats" who had run the state for decades never expected these laws to be used against them.

Meanwhile the state's GOP governor, Robert Bentley, now faces his own impeachment scandal.  Of course, the Republicans are running those efforts too, so who knows?

Alabama voters of course will continue to vote GOP. After all, the Democrats allowed one of those people to be President, so they'll stick with the corrupt Alabama GOP.
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