Last April, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA had acted unlawfully in “its refusal to decide whether greenhouse gases cause or contribute to climate change,” and now must regulate carbon dioxide. Yet nearly a year later, the EPA has failed to act, as agency official Robert Meyers reported in a letter to environmental groups yesterday:
As a result, at this time, the agency does not have a specific timeline for responding to the remand. However, let me assure you that developing an overall strategy for addressing the serious challenge of global climate change is a priority for the agency, and we are taking very seriously our responsibility to develop an effective, comprehensive strategy.
Sierra Club attorney David Bookbinder said, “Unless EPA owns up to its obligations immediately, we will be forced to take the administration back to court.”
Bush told Bob Geldof in a new Time interview. Geldof noted that if the President happened to apply this thought to Iraq, it “would have profound implications on the man’s understanding of how the world functions.” During the interview, Bush also insisted, “I think history will prove me right,” regarding his efforts to rid the world of “tyranny.”
Last week, the White House weighed into the New York Times’s story on Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) ethics troubles and firmly sided with the senator. White House deputy press secretary Scott Stanzel told reporters:
[S]eemingly on maybe a monthly basis leading up to the convention and maybe a weekly basis after that, the New York Times does try to drop a bombshell on the Republican nominee.
And that is something that the Republican nominee has faced in the past and probably will face in this campaign. … And sometimes they make incredible leaps to try to drop those bombshells on the Republican nominee.
The New York Times’s revelations that McCain lobbied the FCC on behalf of a contributor shouldn’t have been that much of a “bombshell” to Bush. During the 2000 elections, McCain also faced scrutiny on this issue. In fact, at that time, Bush was sharply critical of McCain’s conflict of interest:
“I think it’s really important for people who advocate reforms to live to the spirit of the reforms they advocate.” [Washington Post, 1/6/00]
“I think somebody who makes campaign finance an issue has got to be consistent, and walk the walk.” [New York Times, 1/6/00]
“It’s important on campaign funding reform that we have campaign funding reform. But it’s also important for people to know that my friend is raising money from people who have business in front of his committee. Nothing illegal about that, but I just want to make sure the facts are laid bare.” [CNN, 2/4/00]
“The reality is he is the person who has been the Washington insider.” [ABC News, 2/4/00]
“What I need to do is make it clear and not let Senator McCain get away with this Washington double-talk.” [ABC News, 2/4/00]
Watch a video on Bush’s change of heart here.
Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey and DC U.S. Attorney Jeff Taylor “for a grand jury investigation into whether White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former counsel Harriet Miers should be prosecuted for contempt of Congress.” Pelosi is demanding that misdemeanor charges be pursued against Miers and Bolten for their refusal to cooperate in the U.S. attorney scandal. The Gavel has more.
The House ethics committee said Thursday it was beginning an investigation into the conduct of Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., who was indicted a week ago on conspiracy, extortion and other charges.
The panel said in a statement it had created a four-member subcommittee to determine whether Renzi violated any laws, rules or standards of conduct with respect to any of the matters for which he was indicted. […]
The ethics committee can issue a report that rebukes a member for violating laws or standards of conduct or can recommend that the full House consider expulsion.
Yesterday, hard-line conservative Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, endorsed John McCain. Hagee said that McCain “is a man of principle, [who] does not stand boldly on both sides of any issue.” McCain, who had been courting the endorsement for over a year, said that he was “very honored by Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement.”
Demonstrating how wildly out of the American religious and political mainstream Hagee’s views are, McCain’s acceptance of Hagee’s endorsement was condemned today by conservative William Donohue, president of the Catholic League. Calling Hagee a “bigot,” Donahue said the right-wing pastor has waged “an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church” by “calling it ‘The Great Whore,’ an ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system.’”
The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.
Speaking to the 2007 AIPAC conference, Hagee compared supporters of a two-state solution in the Middle East to Nazis. Hagee also echoed right-wing Israeli politician Binyamin Netanyahu, telling the audience that “Iran is Germany and Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler.”
Paging Tim Russert: Someone should ask John McCain if, unlike Hagee, he supports a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, and whether he believes that a military strike against Iran would “fulfill God’s plan for…a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation” as Hagee does.
UPDATE: Faith in Public Life has more.
UPDATE II: Hagee’s tv show, “John Hagee Today,” is also broadcast on Cornerstone Television. In 1999, McCain wrote to the FCC on behalf of campaign contributor Lowell “Bud” Paxson, urging a deal that would have made $17.5 million for Cornerstone.
Yesterday evening, House Democrats were forced to pull an ethics reform proposal after widespread opposition by Republicans, as well as a few Democrats. Several lawmakers insisted that the current system “is working” and there is no need for an independent, bipartisan Office of Congressional Ethics. In an effort to scuttle the office, senior House Republican aides have drawn up a hit list of Democratic lawmakers to target with investigations.
During this week’s National Governors Association meeting, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) proposed modest goals for states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Pawlenty — long considered a potential running mate for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) — faced immediate opposition from coal- and oil-producing state governors who oppose any measure to combat climate change. Robert Novak writes:
But at a “governors-only” session that opened the meeting on Saturday, Pawlenty encountered adamant opposition. Barbour led the way for governors from energy-producing states…The issue of greenhouse gases was “set aside,” Pawlenty told me, “because we realized there was no consensus.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) — who has said he “[doesn’t] know what the science is” on global warming — joined Barbour in opposing Pawlenty.
Later that night, McCain met with those same governors, where he heard “more of the same” opposition to emissions reductions. McCain has made his “straight talk” on climate change a centerpiece of his campaign. He brags on his website that he has been “a leader on the issue of global warming with the courage to call the nation to action.”
Yet instead of standing up for the Pawlenty’s proposals, McCain abandoned these modest goals in an effort to woo the far right of his party:
Governors from coal- and oil-producing states spelled out their problems with McCain’s energy policies, and he was responsive.
In its recent National Environmental Scorecard, the League of Conservation Voters gave McCain a rating of zero — the lowest score — for 2007. McCain boasts a lifetime rating of only 24 percent.
During the GOP primaries, McCain was certainly better on global warming than the other candidates. But now that he is trying to consolidate the conservative base, McCain’s “leadership” on climate change is increasingly sounding like a third Bush term.
Yesterday on the Colbert Report, former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow defended Bush’s 19 percent approval rating, saying the public once “hated” Lincoln:
COLBERT: Latest polls have his approval rating at 19 percent, which is low for a President but very high for a fetish.
SNOW: Ouch. … They actually hated Truman. They hated Lincoln. Lincoln as late as late-1864 was telling his guys to get ready the next incoming administration of George McClellan.
Watch it:var flvlincolnsnow232024019919 = new SWFObject('/wp-content/plugins/flvplayer.swf?file=http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/02/lincolnsnow2.320.240.flv&autoStart=false', 'em-flvlincolnsnow232024019919', '320', '260', '6', '#ffffff'); flvlincolnsnow232024019919.addParam('quality', 'high'); flvlincolnsnow232024019919.addParam('wmode', 'transparent'); flvlincolnsnow232024019919.write('flvlincolnsnow232024019919');
Former White House staffers have adopted the Bush-Lincoln comparison as a talking point. Karl Rove said Bush has a Lincoln-like ability to “get to the nub of the thing.” Alberto Gonzales also recently compared Bush’s presidency to Lincoln’s.
UPDATE: Atrios notes, “I’m sure plenty of people did [hate Lincoln], but he did manage to win the 1864 election by 10 points.”