|Michael T. Regan|
The Roots are playing at President Obama's Move America Forward Rally this Sunday, at the park next to Robert Fulton Elementary School (60 E. Haines St.) at 3 p.m. The point of the event is to get people stoked on the always-forgotten midterm elections. The Clog reached ?uestlove over the phone, and we learned that he still believes in O and is not making any Phillies predictions this year, among other things.
City Paper: You're big into doing walk-on music for people on the Jimmy Fallon show. Are you doing walk-on music for Obama this Sunday?
?uestlove: (laughs) We weren't asked to. What's hard is we're known for doing mammoth three-hour shows, but somehow we have to figure out how to turn our mammoth three-hour show into a very effective 30-minute show on Sunday. Someone's gonna have to get a solo cut.
CP: If you could do walk-on music for the President, though, what would it be?
?uestlove: There could be Eric B. & Rakim's "Follow the Leader." If he were to ever come on the show, there's an old song by Chicago called "Take Me Back to Chicago." It would be too easy to do "Hail to the Chief."
CP: You were really excited about Obama during the '08 election. Are you still?
?uestlove: Absolutely, simply because I actually understand the political process. I understand that being the president of the United States doesn't mean that it's a kingdom. It's not totalitarianism; it's not like how it is over in Korea where one person has their say and that's the law. In order for the presidency to effectively work, you need the right Senators and representatives. And unfortunately, you have a lot of revisionist people who are trying to rewrite what the facts are, and kind of mislead the unfortunately uneducated and unknowing public.
It's not a shame that it's come to this. I think that, as President, he definitely should be a man of the people, so it's OK if that means that both he and The Roots have to take time out of our schedules to remind people of the importance of making sure the right figures are in Washington. Especially after seeing Waiting for Superman, I believe in a better education system. I believe our health care system must be restructured, especially coming from Philadelphia. The fact that many representatives have sort of let it be known that they will vote "no" on anything he brings on the table, even if it is helping the country, just out of spite those are people that you don't want running your country.
CP: Republicans have historically turned out more people than Democrats in midterm elections. How do you get liberals jazzed about them?
?uestlove: Yeah, that happened with Clinton's second term. We need to be just as if not more concerned with the results of this midterm election as we were in 2008. Young people, people who are not too informed, who they just see a newspaper headline here and there, and they're just quick to believe anything that's told to them those are the people we need to reach so that the smoke can clear. Obama's constantly gonna have his hands tied behind his back, trying to clean a frat house that keeps getting destroyed and disrespected by people that want to come and spill their beer. I always use that metaphorical idea of one man cleaning up a weekend frat house party before Mom and Dad gets home, with 16 hours left.
It's important that people know that the event we're doing on Sunday is free and the President is speaking. And you know, you gotta get it from the horse's mouth because it's paramount that we speak on November 2. It is absolutely, positively imperative that that happens.
CP: Let's end on a light note. Got any Phillies predictions?
?uestlove: Every time I get into this position, I always jinx it. I jinxed it last year I went very public with a bet with Jay-Z over who's going to take it, but I'm not going to get too excited about a perfect game as Game 1. I'm gonna take it one game at a time. I'm glad everyone's healthy. I'm very much in support. I have a Philadelphia Phillies base drum set tonight, so I'll be using that on the Fallon show for the next month to support my Phillies.
It's not that we don't enjoy calling up Pat Toomey's peeps, being put on hold and listening to that goddamn piano music over and over again. It's not that at all. And it's pretty standard for those of us in the media to put in repeated calls to get spokespeople to comment. They're busy folks, after all. But all we're looking for here is a simple yea or nay. Really, this shouldn't be that difficult.
We called Toomey's press office two weeks ago to find out where he stood on the defense reauthorization bill that would have also repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell you know, the one that Republicans filibustered, because they hate the troops (especially the gay ones). We also wanted to know how he would've voted on the Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act, which would raise taxes on companies that outsource employees and give tax breaks to those who employ Americans. This, too, was filibustered by the Senate GOP.
Most of the time we had conversations with answering machines, and nobody bothered to ring us back (rude!). When we were fortunate enough to make contact with an actual human being, we got the runaround (âI'm â¦ in the middle of something â¦ can I call you back?â). After a week of this nonsense, we set our sights on Toomey's Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik, since Deputy Communications Director Kristin Anderson didn't want to answer our very simple questions.
In all, it's been two weeks now, and still nothing. What are his people so afraid of? It's not like Toomey's conservatism on gay issues is a secret. The man has demonstrable anti-gay record. He's opposed federal hate crime laws and gay marriage. On the other hand, two months ago he published an op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in which, in the course of opining against Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, he said he supported the repeal of DADT. But would he have bent to his party masters and found some flimsy excuse to join the filibuster?
As for the other legislation, well, Toomey has spent his entire career in Washington and as president of Club for Growth lobbying for less regulation and fewer taxes for billionaires and Wall Street firms, so it's not a stretch to surmise that he's oppose tax breaks for companies who hire workers stateside, and don't pay Indonesian children seven cents an hour to manufacture the trinkets they sell in flyover-country Walmarts at a bajillion percent mark-up. It's not like he hasn't been a fan of outsourcing before. (We're not the only ones wondering.)
So why won't he just come out and say it?
We also wanted to ask Toomey about comments made Friday by his BFF Jim DeMint the extremist South Carolina senator who Toomey both recommended as a GOP vice presidential nominee (see The Hill, June 2008) and declared him âexactly the kind of leader the GOP could use at this low point in its historyâ in 2008 that gays and lesbians and unmarried pregnant women âshouldn't be in the classroom.â See, DeMint offered very similar comments in 2004 on âopenlyâ GLBTQ folks being disallowed from teaching because they might spread the gay or whatever, long before Toomey said he was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Hey, what do you know? Another no comment.
So, remember that post about The Roots doing the Obama rally I threw up this morning? In describing the awesomeness of The Roots, which is considerable, I used a certain bad word a word so terrible that it is considered a âbomb,â and is deeply offensive to everyone who hears it, even though it is rather frequently used in our amoral society; this word also happens to be among the most flexible in the English language, and can be a noun, a verb or an adjective, or perhaps all three in one sentence (â[WORD] you, you [WORD]ing [WORD]â); a word that may date all the way back to ancient Germanic translations of the act of love (fiken) or the Swedish word for male genitalia (fock), perhaps even to the Latin fÅ«tuere or the Greek pephyka. And while I (and anyone with a modicum of decent musical taste) stand by my description of The Roots' awesomeness, which again, is considerable, that one little word seems to have cause quite a stir.
The Democratic National Committee, in making its official e-mail announcement about the event, including the text of my little blog post which included the aforementioned naughty word. Fox News is on the DNC's e-mail list. You can see where this is going.
The Democratic National Committee is promoting an upcoming rally for President Obama by sending out a blog that touts the musical act preceding him as "f---ing awesome.â A DNC spokesman blasted out an e-mail alert Monday that included a post from the Philadelphia City Paper's website. The paper reported that hometown heroes The Roots would be performing at Obama's Oct. 10 rally in Philadelphia. "You heard it here first: Just got word from a Democratic source that The Roots, who campaigned for Obama in 2008 and are f---ing awesome, will perform next Sunday as part of President Obama's Move America Forward Rally," the City Paper reported without editing the explicit language.
Ugh. Sorry, Mom.
Anyway. Let's go to the comments, where I'm sure the superbly intelligent readers of Fox News' website will handle this very important "news" story (someone let me know this thing makes Hannity tonight) with characteristic grace, tact and not-racistness:
johndeagun: Obama playing to the bros cause no one else is stupid enough to vote for him..... pants on the floor
flicker66: Speaking of Obama "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Right from the begining he has been uncouth, displayed the lack of refinement and demonstrated how ill mannered he really is.
velva: Another sad commentary on the morals of our times. When people use terms like this it just proves their ignorance and lack of vocabulary. When will we have a civil society again? I hope very soon, because the language being used in this day and age is sickening, to me. I was disgusted when Obama made jokes about Emanuel's cursing. I think it's a sign of ignorance and a lack of respect.
john_q_militia: You can put lipstick on a turd, but its still Obama.sooner58: Yes, I agree.......Michelle looks no better in lipstick!!sunsu12: The rap group (roots) picked to perform at the bobo rally. I was going to post some of the lyrics from this "band" but I couldn't. Anyone want to guess why? Check them.....http://www.elyrics.net/song/r/roots-lyrics.htmlsooner58: Yes, this, so called band, is what the "New Democrat/Communist/Marxist/Socialist Party" loves to listen to. This is the kind of "DOPE AND CHANGE" that the Democrat Party is hoping to help get their "little Commie's" off their couch and out to vote.......
You heard it here first: Just got word from a Democratic source that The Roots, who campaigned for Obama in 2008 and are fucking awesome, will perform next Sunday as part of President Obama's Move America Forward Rally. There should be an official announcement (and consequently more details) later tonight. For now, though, here's the info on the rally itself. Oh, and you can get a head start on everyone and RSVP here:
What: Moving America Forward Rally with
President Barack Obama
Where: Park next to Robert Fulton Elementary School
60 E. Haines Street
Philadelphia, PA 19144
When: Sunday, October 10th
Doors open: 3:00 p.m.
Program begins: 4:00 p.m.
This weekend's Must Read comes from climateprogress.org, which in turn references top NASA climatologist James Hansen. And while I'm totally aware that climate change is a socialist myth propagated by leftist academics engaged in a conspiracy to bring you increasingly under the government's thumb (do I have that right?) at least according to studies funded by fossil fuel companies who really have nothing but your best interests in mind, honest let's see what Hansen has to say, anyway, just for fun (you can download the entire pdf of his paper here):
Finally, a comment on frequently asked questions of the sort: Was global warming the cause of the 2010 heat wave in Moscow, the 2003 heat wave in Europe, the all-time record high temperatures reached in many Asian nations in 2010, the incredible Pakistan flood in 2010? The standard scientist answer is âyou cannot blame a specific weather/climate event on global warming.â That answer, to the public, translates as ânoâ.
However, if the question were posed as âwould these events have occurred if atmospheric carbon dioxide had remained at its pre-industrial level of 280 ppm?â, an appropriate answer in that case is âalmost certainly not.â That answer, to the public, translates as âyesâ, i.e., humans probably bear a responsibility for the extreme event.
In either case, the scientist usually goes on to say something about probabilities and how those are changing because of global warming. But the extended discussion, to much of the public, is chatter. The initial answer is all important.
Although either answer can be defended as âcorrectâ, we suggest that leading with the standard caveat âyou cannot blameâ¦â is misleading and allows a misinterpretation about the danger of increasing extreme events. Extreme events, by definition, are on the tail of the probability distribution. Events in the tail of the distribution are the ones that change most in frequency of occurrence as the distribution shifts due to global warming.
For example, the âhundred year floodâ was once something that you had better be aware of, but it was not very likely soon and you could get reasonably priced insurance. But the probability distribution function does not need to shift very far for the 100-year event to be occurring several times a century, along with a good chance of at least one 500-year event.
Given the dominant effect of El Nino-La Nina on short-term temperature change and the usual lag of a few months between the Nino index and its effect on global temperature, it is unlikely that 2011 will reach a new global record temperature.
In contrast, it is likely that 2012 will reach a record high global temperature. The principal caveat is that the duration of the current La Nina could stretch an extra year, as some prior La Ninas have. Given the association of extreme weather and climate events with rising global temperature, the expectation of new record high temperatures in 2012 also suggests that the frequency and magnitude of extreme events could reach a high level in 2012. Extreme events include not only high temperatures, but also indirect effects of a warming atmosphere including the impact of higher temperature on extreme rainfall and droughts. The greater water vapor content of a warmer atmosphere allows larger rainfall anomalies and provides the fuel for stronger storms driven by latent heat.
Now, of course, Sean Hannity is the true expert on these things, not the NASA guy, and he knows James Hansen is full of shit, because it snowed last winter. At least, the entire GOP thinks so. And this is why we'll never get a sane climate policy.
It's nice outside today. Enjoy it, while you still can.
TREASURE TROVE: The Internets are full of Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell being insane on TV.
Remember that show Politically Incorrect? She was on it. A few times. And she makes Jerry Falwell seem reasonable. (H/t Andrew Sullivan)
And here she is on CSPAN, talking about how the government pays too much attention to AIDS and how condoms don't work. Bear in mind, this is the same woman who all but called her GOP opponent a homo, is a Victorian pride, and launched a campaign against masturbation. (H/t tpm.com)
And here's the video of her anti-pud-pounding campaign:
And here she is calling Barack Obama anti-American (h/t HuffPo):
Jeffrey Billman here with your morning fix:
Three people in Atlantic City told authorities they saw someone fall out of a plane without a parachute. The cops have yet to find a body.
Ed Rendell is "appalled" that his administration was tracking anti-gas drilling activists a story broken, in part, by our very own Isaiah Thompson. From the Inky:
"Let me make this as clear as I can make it," the governor said at news conference Tuesday night, pounding his fist on the podium. "Protesting against an idea, a principle, a process, is not a real threat against infrastructure. Protesting is a God-given American right, a right that is in our Constitution, a right that is fundamental to all we believe in as Americans."
After the Teamsters union refused to budge on renegotiating their contract, the prospective deal for Philadelphia Media Network, led by a New York hedge fund, to buy the Inky, DN and philly.com has fallen apart. A new auction is set for next week. The Newspaper Guild is not happy, and claims the drivers union has threatened "thousands of jobs and the entire company by hijacking and derailing the closing process."
In a visit to the Masterman School, Barack Obama told students at the elite
charter magnet: "Your life is what you make of it," Obama said. "And nothing absolutely nothing is beyond your reach. So long as you're willing to dream big. So long as you're willing to work hard. So long as you're willing to stay focused on your education."
Philly has paid out more than $32 million to settle lawsuits over the last year or so. Fox 29 is there.
Cole Hamels* struck out 13, and the Phils' 2-1 win against the Marlins by the way, did anyone else notice how empty the Fish's stadium was? Jesus gives them a two-game lead over the Braves in the NL East, after the Braves lost to the Nationals. The Braves are coming to the Bank next week in what could well be a decisive series, and I will be there.
Wherein Pat Toomey agrees with Robert Bork that hate crimes laws discriminate against bigots, and this is a bad thing
|H/t Matt Stroud, via FFFFound!|
In reference to the above graph, Roberts writes:
For the most part the American public's feelings on climate change are shallow, sloshing around with the economic and political tides. When people are feeling safer and more prosperous, climate scientists will magically become more persuasive.
As for the professional skeptics and culture warriors, there's little point hashing out the same arguments with them again and again. I have long since abandoned it. Many people do it well and G*d bless them but I've had my fill of sunspots and medieval warming periods and Pacific Decadal Oscillations. Ideological trench warfare is wearisome and there are many other issues in dire need of attention, principally how we're going to respond to climate change. That's a conversation that engages people outside the armed camps.
However! It does seem to me that the right's climate denialism hasn't been properly linked to the larger phenomenon of epistemic closure on the right. When Jim Manzi, everyone's favorite sensible conservative, criticized fellow conservative Mark Levin for peddling intellectually shoddy skeptic arguments in his bestselling book Liberty and Tyranny, Levin went nuts, joined by a half-dozen other NRO writers. How could they not? The very same skeptic talking points in Levin's book appear in thousands of blogs and comment sections across the interwebs. If they are intellectually bankrupt, a whole lot of people are going to look stupid.
But here is what I think is the most important point.
Climate denialism is part of something much broader and scarier on the right. The core idea is most clearly expressed by Rush Limbaugh: âWe really live, folks, in two worlds. There are two worlds. We live in two universes. One universe is a lie. One universe is an entire lie. Everything run, dominated, and controlled by the left here and around the world is a lie. The other universe is where we are, and that's where reality reigns supreme and we deal with it. And seldom do these two universes ever overlap. ... The Four Corners of Deceit: Government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That's how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.â
The right's project over the last 30 years has been to dismantle the post-war liberal consensus by undermining trust in society's leading institutions. Experts are made elites; their presumption of expertise becomes self-damning. They think they're better than you. They talk down to you. They don't respect people like us, real Americans.
The decline in trust in institutions has generated fear and uncertainty, to which people generally respond by placing their trust in protective authorities. And some subset of people respond with tribalism, nationalism, and xenophobia. The right stokes and exploits modern anxiety relentlessly, but that's not all they do. They also offer a space to huddle in safety among the like-minded. The conservative movement in America has created a self-contained, hermetically sealed epistemological reality -- a closed-loop system of cable news, talk radio, and email forwards -- designed not just as a source of alternative facts but as an identity. That's why when you question climate skepticism you catch hell. You're messing with who people are.
Consider what the Limbaugh/Morano crowd is saying about climate: not only that that the world's scientists and scientific institutions are systematically wrong, but that they are purposefully perpetrating a deception. Virtually all the world's governments, scientific academies, and media are either in on it or duped by it. The only ones who have pierced the veil and seen the truth are American movement conservatives, the ones who found death panels in the healthcare bill. (Emphasis mine.)
This notion that your âcommon senseâ is as important as the âexpertsâ and their âdataâ has been imbedded in movement conservatism from its outset, but it goes back further than that. It's at the root of fundamentalist strains of religion, as well, and has reared its head whenever science came into conflict with religion. During the Scopes Monkey Trial, for instance, William Jennings Bryan, who died soon after arguing the case for the state of Tennessee, insisted that evolution was wrong because one's common sense and Biblical literalism should be taken more seriously than human-generated scientific knowledge. (In one famed moment toward the trial's end, defense attorney and civil libertarian Clarence Darrow snapped , âWe have the purpose of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States.â)
It strikes me that, in a sense, we're re-litigating the Scopes trial with all this hullaballoo about climate change. There is an overwhelming, and undeniable scientific consensus about the reality of man-made climate change, denied by only a handful of outsiders and a cadre of industry-paid shills. And yet, somehow, the right's counter-argument, that all of these scientists are either idiots or somehow engaged in a socialist plot or whatever has gained traction; the right has, with considerable and alarming success, argued that its members' âcommon senseâ should trump the overwhelming scientific consensus.
PS: In other news, the Flat Earth Society actually has a website. Wow.
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