Sunday, March 7, 2021
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Friday News: “As Joe Biden Closes In On 2020 Election Victory,...

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by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, November 6. Arctic animals are migrating earlier in the...

Thursday News: >100k Cases Marks “Dreadful New Peak for the American...

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by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, November 5. Asia’s retreat from coal power gathers momentum...

Wednesday News: Brussels a “rebuke to Trump’s foreign policy;” Jeb throws...

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by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, March 23. Two brothers identified as bombers in Brussels attacks...

Top Wildfire Fighter: “We’ve Had Climate Change Beat Into Us”

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Just posted to the National Wildlife Federation blog on how climate change is fueling the Arizona wildfires and may be permanently changing Western wildlife habitats. Watch more as Scott Pelley of CBS's 60 Minutes interviews Tom Boatner, the federal government's chief of fire operations, on the front lines on the connection between global warming and wildfires:

Arizona’s Extremist GOP Governor Angrily Confronts President Obama

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer shaking her finger in President Barack Obama's face. "Boy, you better listen to me," she may have said. Obama soon walked away.Gov. Jan Brewer may be best known for her extremist policies, from draconian immigration rules to banning gay marriage and state recognition of domestic partnerships. But she's also known for extremely erratic behavior, and yesterday was no different as she charged up to President Obama and angrily jabbed her finger in his face:
The unusual confrontation--which included Brewer pointing her finger at Obama, and Obama walking away--centered on Brewer's newly published account of a meeting she and Obama had at the White House in June, 2010, officials said.

Obama descended the stairs of Air Force One and was greeted by Brewer, who was waiting for him along with other politicians in a traditional receiving line. Brewer offered Obama a letter, which she later said was an invitation to sit down with her to discuss Arizona's economic "comeback" and to join her for a tour of the U.S.-Mexican border.

The president told Brewer he would be happy to meet with her, a White House aide said, but also informed the governor that he thought she had been inaccurate in describing their earlier session in the Oval Office.

Brewer's book, "Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure the Border,'' details her conservative approach to dealing with the state's illegal immigration challenges. An review published in the Arizona Republic said that Brewer casts Obama as "condescending" and skewers him repeatedly. Although she originally described their Oval Office meeting as cordial, the newspaper said, "in the book she calls the president 'patronizing' and said 'he lectured me.'"

As Charlie Pierce put it, "The president engaged her for a while and then politely walked on, as we all try to do when confronted by crazy people at places like airports and bus terminals."

I certainly wouldn't call the incident unusual considering Brewer's history of erratic behavior. Brewer has lied in an attempt to inoculate herself from criticism, claiming she'd been compared to Nazis & that it was offensive because her father died fighting Hitler - when in fact her father was not even a veteran and died of cancer in 1955. And there was her behavior in 2010's gubernatorial debates:

Revisiting Arizona’s Solar vs. Virginia’s Coal

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A few of years back, I did a post about two states making divergent energy choices - Arizona picking renewable power, Virginia picking coal. So how's solar power working for Arizona?
About 850 construction workers have descended on Gila Bend to work on the plants this summer, and about double that number are expected next year as the largest alternative-energy project in the state, the Solana Generating Station [design at right], ramps up construction. [...]

Abel Ortiz, 49, of Buckeye, had been out of work for months before landing a job as a laborer at the power plant. He said the pay assembling the solar-panel arrays was good. Normally, a labor job would pay about $8 an hour, but he's making more than $10 an hour, he said. [...]

The two small plants have a combined 34 megawatts of capacity, and Solana has 280, putting the economic benefit to Gila Bend north of $300 million from the current projects. "These projects have been taking a lot of folks that have been unemployed and putting them to work," Geisler said.

Meanwhile, electricity prices in Virginia are up about 35 percent since 2005. Electric rates in Arizona have increased somewhat, but there's one major difference: While Arizona has incentivized efficiency, the Virginia General Assembly still tells Dominion Virginia Power to make more profit by selling you more juice. So while Arizona Public Service Co. will be trying to cut its customers' electricity use 22 percent by 2020, Dominion Virginia Power expects demand to increase 30 percent by 2026. That means lower electricity bills in Arizona and higher electricity bills in Virginia.

The Un-Safe Border: Another Crazy Republican Monster Myth

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An independent poll, that is, not one scrambled up by Fox News, has found that Americans living along the US-Mexican border "feel their border communities are as safe as most communities in the nation." It seems that 87.5 percent of border residents said they "feel safe walking or driving in their neighborhood during their regular daily activities." What does this tell us about the hysterical rhetoric of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (it's all "murder, terror and mayhem" on the border), of Senator John McCain (R-AZ), locked in a bitter primary campaign with a Tea Party upstart (send more National Guard!), and, for that matter, our own Attorney General Cuccinelli, and other Republicans who are trying to whip us all into a lynch-prone anti-immigrant frenzy over their latest boogeyman? Maybe we should actually talk to real people who live along the border, instead of  "listening to... opportunistic politicians set to score political points by fanning the perception that the border is out of control," says Fernando Garcia, Executive Director of the Border Network for Human Rights, the outfit which authorized the poll by Reuel Group.

Not every official in the area agrees with Governor Brewer or Senator McCain, anyway. Richard Wilson, El Paso Sheriff, has been quoted:

"What we see in our community is that people are concerned with graffiti and stray dogs. All the issues of urban areas. Extreme violence is just not happening here and we need to revisit how resources are expended on the border. That's a message to send the administration."

Three States, One Territory and Some Reflections Upon Justice

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Note: I have planned to continue my series of articles on the situation in Arizona.  However, I interrupt this series for some important diversions and reflections.


Louisiana
In her condemnation of profit over the good of this nation, last night, Rachel Maddow  asked whether Louisiana is part of our country or not?


America has a choice to make about the State of Louisiana. Is Louisiana part of our country or isn't it? Because if Louisiana is part of America, then the American people and the American government have to begin to defend Louisiana against American greed, and multinational greed. Because yes, legally it's the job of BP, the oil company, to clean up this disaster that looms over this wetlands behind me right now.

What’s Behind the AZ Immigration Un-Reform Bill (Part 1).

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What you believe is behind the extremist AZ immigration "reform" bill is only the half of it. The more obvious reasons (ramped-up fear, xenophobia, ignorance, and chaotic current immigration law) are of grave concern.  But I will leave my discussion of those causes for tomorrow. For now, please suspend your disbelief for a moment as I tell you about some real reporting, the kind few American journalists do anymore, at least not in the corporate media. You see, Jan Brewer has been at the heart of a massive voter disenfranchisement effort.  Greg Palast reports that it also turns out that Brewer is the Katherine Harris of AZ. She did much damage as Sec of State.  Now she's in charge altogether. Had Janet Napolitano been there she would have vetoed the bill. We know this because she did so, at least twice.  But the President named her to head DHS.  The rest is history.

(The vote suppression tale is below the fold.)