Tag: National Security
In an attempt to clear up any misunderstanding about the authority to commit forces to war, Senator Kaine has joined with Senator McCain (R-AZ) to offer legislation that will establish a process to ensure the judicious application of military force. Yesterday's participation in the Richmond Times Dispatch Public Square series was part of Senator Kaine's effort to gather "comments, suggestions, criticisms..." in a strategy to shape and craft the bill.
Tacitly, President Bush followed the requirements of the War Powers Act, a law passed in 1973 following the frustration over the prosecution of the Viet Nam War. That was designed to rein in the initiative of any President using military force but written with both Johnson and Nixon in mind. Johnson had the support of a Congress that never imagined the scope of involvement that would precipitate. Then Nixon attacked two countries, Laos and Cambodia, without consulting Congress. To be honest, no President went as far as Bush to conform to the letter of the War Powers Act. The others managed to avoid anything more than consulting with Congressional leadership and always went on their merry way. However, the fact that George Bush appealed for authority may be more revealing about how thin he knew his justification was and that he needed cover rather than indicating sincere regard for the law. Plus the timing of the request appears suspiciously politically motivated.
Further, the authorization that Congress gave President Bush has no sunset or clearly defined achievable objective. As long as it remains in effect, Presidents can and will chase any remnant or offshoot of al Qaida's ghost, real or imagined, while waving the authorization as justification for centuries to come. So, even if you argue that he and his successor have acted under the authority of the War Powers Act, you observe the same result that arose before the Act, different day: war(s) with a scope never imagined when authorized, being fought in second, third (fourth, fifth...) party countries. Senator Kaine's obsession with the subject is more than justified.
The sun's radiation, measured by NASA for a half century now, has remained constant to within about +/- 0.3%. We also know that the greenhouse gasses reradiate long wave radiation. Again, that reradiation can be measured by NASA. The amount of heat leaving the atmosphere at those wavelengths has been decreasing. That's the basics.
Glaciology combines the science of numerous disciplines. Deniers want to use simple observations of surface ice to support their conclusions. Unfortunately, it is not so simple. Ocean water is warming and with that the relationships of the glaciers to the earth on which they were grounded. Many are now afloat. We are not so certain what this means. What we know is that there is data to support the projection of a one meter sea level rise by 2100; and that is conservative.
Courtesy of virginia5rawfootage, here's Tom Perriello speaking at a town hall meeting in Martinsville last week.
I continue to believe that every day we lack a national energy strategy, we are just gift wrapping jobs to China and India. It's crazy. I honestly believe this is the clearest example of jobs for the next 25 to 30 years...Every day that we wait to have a national energy strategy, not only do we reinforce Chavez and Ahmedinejad and petrodictators around the world that hate this country, but we destroy our competitive advantage.Tom Perriello clearly "gets it" on clean energy, the economy, and national security. Robert Hurt clearly does not. On this crucial issue alone, I'd argue that people should support Perriello. More broadly, what's clear from listening to both Perriello and Hurt is the wild disparity in thoughtfulness and honesty between the two candidates. Listen to Hurt for a minute or two, and your brain will start "hurt"-ing from all the nonsensical, discredited right-wing talking points ("supply side," "Nancy Pelosi," blah blah blah) you'll get. In stark contrast, what you get with Tom Perriello is a serious, sober analysis of where we're at, where we need to go, and how we can best get there. You also get political courage - the ability to do what's right even if it's politically difficult, whereas with Robert Hurt you get the exact opposite - pandering, finger-in-the-wind demagoguery. Why is this race even close?
Even if you're a hard-hearted soul who doesn't care whether or note we trash the planet, you should certainly care about the economic and national security costs of our "addiction" to oil. And remember, oil is traded in a world market, so it doesn't matter if we directly import from crazy Ahmedinejad; every time we fill up our vehicles, it's another "fungible" drop consumed, and some of that money goes to Iran's nuclear weapons program, Al Qaeda, the Bin Laden family, etc. Think about that for a minute, then call your Senators and tell them to vote for comprehensive, clean energy and climate legislation ASAP!