Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Did we buy Idaho for the potatoes?

Cable talkshow personality Glenn Beck may be on edge these days. Might the controversial host, who probably has made as many friends as enemies in his career, now have to worry about Governor Sarah Palin (AK) after making an Alaskan-sized gaffe?

On a recent episode of Fox & Friends, Beck attempted to criticize the American Clean Energy and Security Act, but instead ended up confusing not only his history facts, but his climate change ones as well. Check out the text below, or watch the video (via Think Progress):
CARLSON: But nowhere in that bill is anything about reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

BECK: None. […]

You know Donald Trump, I want to talk to this guy. When he was on the show just a few minutes ago I was thinking how can you not be laughing at us? How can the world not be laughing at us? We have all these resources. Why did we buy Alaska in the 1950s? We bought Alaska for the resources. And now we say no!
As the folks at Think Progress point out:
Beck’s attempt to rewrite history to fit his talking point is also troubling. For clarification, Alaska was purchased in 1867 for $7.2 million and soon became known as “Seward’s Folly,” named for Secretary of State William H. Seward, because at the time it was widely regarded as foolish to spend so much money on remote tundra. (Perhaps Beck was thinking of Alaska becoming the 49th state in 1959.) The resources the U.S. was after in 1867 weren’t oil, but fish, furs, and the prospect of closer proximity to Russia from the North American continent.
Of course, besides getting his dates wrong, 'Beck's Folly' also consisted of claiming that "nowhere in that bill is anything about reducing our dependence on foreign oil," a statement which couldn't be further from the truth. The entire bill works towards that goal; not only will ACES spur investment in renewable energy, but it will also help create homegrown green jobs that can't be shipped overseas.

But really, who can blame Beck for not liking the bill? I don't think there's any money earmarked in their for him to hire a new fact checker, a staff member he clearly could use.

Time to dust off the ol’ bow and arrow?

During the floor debate of the American Clean Energy and Security act, most of the bill's naysayers seemed content to recycle old speeches and rely on using false and misleading numbers in an attempt to scare the American public. Of course, someone always has to be different, and that day, it was Representative Thaddeus McCotter (MI). You see, McCotter must have tired of the worn out roadblock talking point, because he apparently tried to get a new three word phrase to catch on: ‘hunting and gathering.’

Yes folks, McCotter attempted to claim ACES would lead us to revert to a “green economy called hunting and gathering." Check out the video below:

We can’t even make this stuff up. Perhaps our copy of the study showing that investment in clean energy would create 1.7 million new jobs was missing a page, but I highly doubt those jobs descriptions require prior experience in: “subsisting in the wild on food obtained by hunting and foraging."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Broun calls climate change a 'hoax,' two people applaud

Continuing our recap of last week's floor proceedings, we thought we'd bring you a good old fashioned climate change denier. We're being completely serious when we say we would love nothing more than for our roadblocks to put us out of business and change their ways, but as long as individuals like Representative Paul Broun (GA) keep it up, we'll be here.

You see, in his speech during the 5 1/2 hour debate leading up the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, Broun was up to his old tricks, as Paul Krugman wrote in his recent New York Times editorial:
Indeed, if there was a defining moment in Friday’s debate, it was the declaration by Representative Paul Broun of Georgia that climate change is nothing but a “hoax” that has been “perpetrated out of the scientific community.” I’d call this a crazy conspiracy theory, but doing so would actually be unfair to crazy conspiracy theorists. After all, to believe that global warming is a hoax you have to believe in a vast cabal consisting of thousands of scientists — a cabal so powerful that it has managed to create false records on everything from global temperatures to Arctic sea ice.

Check out the video below:

Our favorite part of the video isn't how Broun continues to deny the scientific consensus behind climate change, nor is it how he deliberately cites debunked numbers on the economic impacts of the bill (it's closer to a postage stamp a day per family, not $3,100). No, you see, our favorite part is the applause he receives at the end, or rather, the lack thereof. If you listen closely it becomes clear that there are exactly two people applauding him. Now to be fair, one does seem to be applauding pretty loudly, but if can only get two people to clap, I'd say it's about time you rethink giving that same old tired stump speech.

Monday, June 29, 2009

If Boehner Persists, Call A Doctor Immediately

The debate and passage of the historic American Clean Energy and Security Act this past Friday gave some familiar faces the perfect opportunity to embarrass themselves, and us the perfect opportunity to lampoon them.

So for our first part, we thought we’d start off with a bang.

With the Congressional recess quickly approaching, some clean energy opponents threatened to delay the bill by calling countless procedural votes. House minority leader John Boehner (OH) took this threat about 300 steps too far by spending over an hour reading aloud from the roughly 300 page managerial amendment. Although there is no formal right of filibuster in the House, after hours of debate, Boehner decided to utilize an obscure rule that gives only the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader unlimited time during their closing remarks to delay proceedings.

Seeing that they didn’t have the votes to stop the bill, Boehner resorted to tactics reminiscent of those used during the civil rights movement, perhaps to try to delay and sweat out members until there weren’t enough to vote. Here's a clip:

Enthralling, right? Be happy you weren't subjected to the full hour... We aren't conspiracy theorists over here, but we got to thinking: maybe his ‘fili-Boehner’ wasn’t really to delay the vote? Perhaps Boehner, a noted smoker, was just trying to be the first Member to quit cold turkey on the House floor. Or maybe his anger towards all the people who had mispronounced his last name over the years just became too much for him, and he decided to vent by torturing the entire House.

Whatever the reason, it clearly didn’t work. Boehner eventually gave up, and the historic bill went on to pass soon thereafter. Boehner’s tactic proved to be another useless low blow used by those standing in the way of millions of new, green jobs. I'm thinking he may have needed a cigarette to calm his nerves after that one...

ACES passes, roadblocks make our job too easy

For those whose who haven't already heard, this past Friday, in a 219 to 212 vote, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES). This historic bill marks the first time a U.S. federal body has passed comprehensive climate change legislation and is a huge first step as the United States moves towards to a new clean energy economy.

Though it’s a first step, there’s still work to be done. After a nice weekend spent catching up on sleep and celebrating the bill’s passage, it’s time to get back to the grind. Since our environmental roadblocks apparently aren’t taking any breaks, neither will we.

As we worked around the clock to pass ACES, we weren't able to document some of the most egregious statements by global warming deniers in realtime. But this week on R?S?, we’ll be doing our best to play catch up, highlighting some of the most ridiculous things that were said in the vote's leadup, during the debate, and in the aftermath of the bill’s passage. Check back daily folks; though we thought blaming climate change on dinosaur flatulence was as crazy as it would get around here, we were way off…