Joe Lieberman has long been known as Washington's fiercest critic of popular culture: Last year, Mr. Lieberman said that if the entertainment industry ''continues to market death and degradation to our children and continues to pay no heed to the genuine bloodshed staining our communities, then one way or the other the government will act." Now it turns out that the Republican Senate candidate in Lieberman's home state, Linda McMahon, is the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, possibly the most violent, sexist, un-wholesome form of mainstream entertainment currently available.
Over at Grist, John Kerry has a piece discussing both the substance of his climate bill, the American Power Act, and the prospects for passage. Here's a key paragraph on the latter: So what have we done? A lot of meeting and listening—between me, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham [R-S.C.], hundreds of meetings one-on-one with our colleagues to find out what they needed to support a bill.
At last, we're going to get to see the climate bill. After endless delays and petty mishaps, John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are set to release the American Power Act this afternoon. Here's a leaked summary of the bill, and here's a section-by-section rundown. The overall idea is simple enough: cut carbon pollution 80 percent by 2050 while cranking up the growth of cleaner alternative energy sources. But, of course, nothing's ever so straightforward and there are all sorts of questions to ask. Like: Is this sucker worth passing? Depends on who you ask.
So is the Gulf spill actually changing anyone's mind about offshore drilling? It depends where you're looking. In Florida, sure, it is. A handful of conservative state legislators have recently been rethinking their pro-drilling stance. Charlie Crist, who's running for the U.S. Senate, is now rethinking drilling. And, as Brad Johnson notes, GOP State Rep. Greg Evers was once a huge fan of putting up new rigs right near the Florida panhandle shore. Post-spill, though, he's starting to think the risk to the state's beaches isn't worth it: "You have to understand: this is our way of life.
The latest word on the climate bill? Even though Republican Lindsey Graham has dropped out of the talks, John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are still going to push ahead with legislation—they're planning to release it week Wednesday. Yesterday, Kerry predicted that Graham was "going to vote for the bill" regardless of whether he was at the unveiling or not. And what does Graham himself think? E&E News has a long interview with the South Carolina senator today. He says he's still "paused" in the climate-bill negotiations because he's upset with the Senate taking up immigration reform this year.
Last fall I wrote an item mocking Frank Rich for comparing a conservative Republican primary challenger to a "purge": So wait. Some GOP hacks appointed a relative moderate to represent a district that could probably sustain a much more conservative representative, and conservatives are trying to elect a more right-wing alternative.
In late April, when a deadly explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon oil rig 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, few thought the incident could turn into one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. But that’s exactly what is now happening. The underwater well is gushing more than 5,000 barrels of crude each day into the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s unclear how long it will take to plug the leak. As the oil slick creeps toward the coast, it could inflict billions of dollars in damage on the local fishing and tourism industries, while putting various wildlife refuges at risk.
Earlier today, John Kerry was at a green jobs conference here in Washington to talk up the still-not-public climate bill he's been crafting with Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. (Graham's still upset about the Dems' immigration push and may never come back to the talks, though yesterday Lieberman said they were prepared to move forward without him.) Interestingly, Kerry didn't really focus on the Gulf spill as a reason to push for big reforms to the energy sector.
It's certainly possible. Back when Lindsey Graham was still negotiating over a climate and energy bill in the Senate, recall, there was a lot of talk about how expanded offshore drilling was going to be the thing that attracted Republican votes (as well as conservative Democrats like Louisiana's Mary Landrieu). True, new drilling might upset the liberal Dems, the thinking went, but surely they'd yield if that was the price that needed to be paid for a cap on carbon emissions and clean-energy investments. Well, maybe not.
Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen has an unintentionally funny item entitled, "A Conservative Insurgency, Not A Purge." He writes: In the Washington Post today, I explain that far from a “purge movement” aimed at accumulating “RINO pelts,” DeMint is leading a carefully targeted effort to elect a handful of real conservatives who will help him fight for fiscal discipline and conservative values in the Senate. What, you may ask, is the difference between a purge and an insurgency designed to elect real believers in your side's ideology?