Jack Jenkins: More Than 180 Evangelical Leaders Endorse Obama’s Carbon Reduction Plan
More than 180 evangelical Christian leaders signed a letter this week backing President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, the latest effort in a growing faith-based environmental movement to curb the effects of climate change. On Thursday, theologically conservative faith leaders sent a letter to President Obama endorsing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP),
a sweeping, historic project unveiled in June and set to be officially released next week. Signers of the letter, which was posted on the Evangelical Environmental Network’s website, framed their support in explicitly moral terms. “We see overcoming the climate challenge as one of the great moral opportunities of our time, a chance to fulfill the Great Commandments to love God, our neighbors, and ourselves,” the letter read. “It is God’s love that calls all of us to take on this challenge. That is why we write to offer our support and encouragement for your efforts to overcome the climate challenge.”
The Texas trooper who arrested Sandra Bland after a confrontation that began with a traffic stop was once cautioned about “unprofessional conduct” in a 2014 incident while he was still a probationary trooper, according to documents released Friday. The Texas Department of Public Safety released Encinia’s personnel file in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press. Encinia had been with the department for a little over a year. For the most part, his file was unremarkable. He received “competent” ratings in all of the evaluations that were released.
However, in an evaluation that covered September and October 2014, his supervisor noted that Encinia “was given a written counseling for unprofessional conduct … for an incident occurring while at a school in Austin.” The documents provided no additional details and a Department of Public Safety official did not return a phone call seeking comment Friday night. The evaluation goes on to say, “In the future, Trooper Encinia should conduct himself at all times in a manner that will reflect well upon himself, the Department, and the State of Texas. This supervisor will ensure that this is done by meeting periodically with Trooper Encinia.”
AP: Suspected Jewish Extremists Burn Palestinian Child To Death
Suspected Jewish assailants set fire to a West Bank home on Friday and burned a sleeping Palestinian toddler to death in an attack that drew Palestinian rage and widespread Israeli condemnation. The attack, which threatens to set off another violent escalation, shines a light on the growing lawlessness of extremist Jewish settlers that Israel is either unable or unwilling to contain. The extremists have for years staged attacks against Palestinian property, as well as mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases.
The attacks, known as “price tags” because they exact a price for Israeli steps seen as favorable to the Palestinians, have stirred fear in Palestinians and frustration among critics who say Israel has not done enough to quell the assaults. “This is a direct consequence of decades of impunity given by the Israeli government to settler terrorism,” said Palestinian official Saeb Erekat. “This is the consequence of a culture of hate funded and incentivized by the Israeli government and the impunity granted by the international community.”
Tara Culp-Ressler: Some Of The Videos Targeting Planned Parenthood May Be Illegal, Court Rules
An anti-abortion group that has so far released four inflammatory videos accusing Planned Parenthood of profiting from the sale of “aborted baby parts” will not be allowed to publish additional footage featuring a California company that facilitates fetal tissue donation, thanks to a temporary restraining order issued by the Los Angeles Superior Court. The court order issued this week blocks the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) from releasing video footage featuring employees who work at StemExpress, a biological company that partners with some Planned Parenthood clinics to help transfer fetal tissue donations to medical research facilities.
The unfolding controversy plaguing Planned Parenthood has been focused on this type of tissue donation, which CMP misleadingly characterizes as trafficking in baby parts. Planned Parenthood emphasizes that it’s simply helping patients who choose to donate fetal tissue, which can play a role in helping scientists develop treatments for degenerative diseases. The national women’s health organization has condemned CMP’s secret recordings for potentially violating the privacy of staff and patients at their clinics.
President Barack Obama, surrounded by Cabinet officials and members of Congress, signs a series of bills during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. Included in the bills signed is the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015
President Barack Obama’s signature is seen on H.R. 1295 Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015. The president signed into law two hard-fought bills giving him greater authority to negotiate international trade deals and providing aid to workers whose jobs are displaced by such pacts
There is no pleading ignorance about nooses. When you use a noose against a Black person, everyone knows what you mean. Everyone one knows the threat, violence, and racism it represents. Everyone knows that you are terrorizing Black people
President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order, titled “Planning for Sustainability in the Next Decade,” which will cut the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels, in the Oval Office. Behind President Obama are senior advisor Brian Dreese and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy Kate Brandt
White House: Leading by Example On Climate Change: Our New Federal Sustainability Plan
Late last year, in an historic joint announcement with China, President Obama set an ambitious goal for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change – a clear sign that the United States’ commitment to leadership on climate change at home and abroad is stronger than ever. In the latest effort to continue that push, this morning, President Obama signed an executive order that will help us stay on track to meet the new target pledged in China and ensure that the federal government leads by example as the United States moves boldly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while boosting clean energy. This new sustainability plan for the next decade directs federal agencies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025.
That means big cuts to the dangerous emissions driving climate change – and also big savings. In addition to 21 million metric tons of emission reductions – the same as taking 4.2 million cars of the road for a year — achieving this goal will save taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs between 2008 and 2025. Today’s action builds off of the strong progress the federal government has made over the past six years. Already, federal agencies have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent since the President took office, and increased the share of electricity consumed from renewable sources from 3 percent to 9 percent in 2013. Agencies have also made progress on a number of other fronts, like reducing water use by 19 percent since 2007. But there is much more work to do – and that’s what today’s announcement is all about.
President Barack Obama is given a tour of solar panels on the roof of the Department of Energy (DOE). With President Obama (L-R) are DOE HQ Energy Manager Eric Haukdal, DOE Deputy Secretary Liz Sherwood and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy Kate Brandt
President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting at the Energy Department
In his ongoing effort to combat climate change both at home and abroad, President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday to reduce the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. Although the government contributes only a small percentage of total emissions, the cuts are expected to keep 26 million metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the air by 2025 – equal to taking about 5.5 million cars off the road for a year. The order also directs the government, which is the single largest U.S. consumer of energy, to increase its use of renewable energy to 30% of its consumption, giving a further boost to green industries. The executive order comes just days after an international team of scientists reported that the Totten Glacier of East Antarctica –
the largest and most rapidly thinning glacier in the region – is shrinking because of warm ocean water developing beneath it. The process could have “global consequences,” including rising sea level by at least 11 feet, the researchers wrote Monday in Nature Geoscience. On Thursday morning, Obama toured an installation of solar panels at the Energy Department’s headquarters and discussed the new emissions targets with federal suppliers, part of a larger effort to lead by example on the climate change issue. In November, Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached an agreement on a climate deal to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the growing crisis of global climate change. The pact includes a first-ever commitment by the Asian country to stop its emissions from increasing entirely after 2030.
On Thursday, President Obama created the world’s largest ocean reserve. The new reserve, an enlargement of the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, nearly quadruples the total amount of US ocean territory that’s protected from commercial fishing, oil drilling, and other activities. Previously, the monument — a cluster of reserves surrounding seven uninhabited islands south and west of Hawaii — covered about 86,888 square miles. The new monument will cover nearly 490,000 square miles in total, with the gains coming from extending the borders to 200 miles off the coasts of Wake Island, Jarvis Island, and Johnston Atoll. This is as far as the US government is permitted to protect, according to international law.
Ari Phillips: The Energy Department Just Announced $4 Billion For Projects That Fight Global Warming
The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday announced that it is issuing a loan guarantee program of up to $4 billion to support innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. In support of the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan, the DOE identified five key technology areas for the loan program to support. One is advanced grid integration and storage, which essentially means technologies that better support renewable power on the electric grid. Another is drop-in biofuels, which are biofuels that can be used in existing infrastructure. The DOE also said the program would consider supporting waste-to-energy projects, energy efficiency improvement projects, and projects that would enhance existing hydroelectric facilities.
The Loan Guarantee Program is designed to encourage private investment while minimizing risk to taxpayers. It doesn’t provide direct financing but rather brings down lending rates to help spur private investment. The Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Loan Guarantee Solicitation is the latest loan guarantee program issued by the Department. The DOE is also offering loan guarantees as part of the $8 billion Advanced Fossil Energy Projects program started last December and the $16 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. In June, Moniz also announced the awarding of $100 million for the Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) to facilitate advances in science related to energy production, storage, and use. Also last month the DOE announced $33 million in funding for 13 new projects aimed at developing transformational fuel cell technologies for low-cost distributed power generation.
Two years ago: President Obama walks across the tarmac with Vice President Biden prior to departure from Fort Campbell, Ky., May 6, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
The President has no scheduled public events
12:45 Jay Carney’s press briefing
4:0: VP Biden meets with members of the faith community at the White House to discuss gun safety
Jonathan Chait: State of the Union addresses are wearying rituals, in which stitched-together lists of never-gonna-happen goals are woven into idealistic catchphrases, analyzed as rhetoric by an unqualified panel of poetry-critic-for-a-night political reporters, quickly followed by a hapless opposition-party response, and then, in almost every case, forgotten. This year, plunked into the midst of the tedium was a gigantic revelation, almost surely the most momentous news of President Obama’s second term. “I will direct my Cabinet,” he announced, “to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
Here was a genuine bombshell. It sounded a little vague, and the president did not explain precisely what he intended to do or how he would pull it off. But a handful of environmental wonks had a fairly strong grasp of the project he had committed himself to, and they understood that it was very, very real and very, very doable. If they were to have summarized the news, the headline would have been OBAMA TO SAVE PLANET…..
Michael Tomasky: There Are No ‘Absolute’ Rights – Nearly every idea in the Bill of Rights comes with restrictions and limitations. To think that the Second Amendment should be any different is absurd
Every time I write a column on guns, the howl arises that I am talking about a right that is enshrined in the Constitution, buddy, and I better watch myself. The howl then transmutes into an extended harangue that this right is absolute, and no libtard fascist, whether me or the Satanesque Dianne Feinstein, is going to limit the right in any way.
The first soldier to charge across this rhetorical veld is followed by hundreds harrumphing their assent. The only problem is that it’s an ahistorical, afactual, and barbaric argument. No right is absolute. In fact, the Second Amendment arguably has fewer restrictions on it these days than many of the other first ten, and there is and should be no guarantee that things are going to stay that way. In fact, if we’re ever going to be serious about trying to stop this mass butchery that we endure every few months, they cannot.
VP Biden: ….. We fell short on our first effort to pass Manchin-Toomey in the Senate, but we will not be deterred by one setback. We have an obligation to make sure that the voices of victims, not the voice of the NRA, ring the loudest in this debate.
For too long, members of Congress have been afraid to vote against the wishes of the NRA, even when the vast majority of their constituents support what the NRA opposes. That fear has become such an article of faith that even in the face of evidence to the contrary, a number of senators voted against basic background checks, against a federal gun trafficking statute and against other common-sense measures because they feared a backlash.
…. In the end, I believe we will prevail. And those who wrote off gun safety legislation last month will come to realize that moment wasn’t the end at all. It was the turning point.
BuzzFeed: Kennedy Attacked Romney For Lack Of Women At Bain In 1994 Ad: “Exclusively White And Male”
Manchester, New Hampshire, Oct 18 (Darren McCollester/Getty)
The Alfred E Smith Dinner, Oct 18 (Mario Tama/Getty)
Chron: A defaced painting of President Barack Obama, across the street from The Breakfast Klub restaurant in midtown, will be redone with a new design, said the original artist, Reginald C. Adams.
…. The original mural, done during the presidential election campaign in 2008, was damaged sometime early Monday by vandals who threw red paint on the larger-than-life image across the street from the popular restaurant at Travis and Alabama.
…. Marcus Davis, the restaurant owner, said he discovered the damage when he got to work about 7 a.m. Monday.
“When this happened it was a sad occasion, and yet there was some excitement there in terms of the opportunity it presents,” Davis said. “Just as President Obama has not given up and has turned a negative into a positive, that’s the example I will follow.”