Google followed all its privacy and data collection policies with Glass, he said, and built social cues into the device to help prevent certain privacy violations. For instance, users have to press a button or speak to Glass to take a photograph or record video, and look directly at whatever they are shooting.Don't be evil.
Still, one developer said he had already built an app for Glass that enables users to take a photograph with a wink.
Q: Sir, you've been criticized in recent weeks for being overly passive. And as you say here, it's your view the government isn't doing enough on the problems facing the American people. Isn't it up to you to lead?President Obama did indeed "do that." In fact, his entire tenure has been marked by him "doing that." How many Republican votes did any of his initiatives receive as a result? Let me save you trouble, none. Zero. Zilch. Folks like Greg Sargent complain about the Green Lantern theory of "leadership" that permeates the Media:
OBAMA: Let me be clear. This kind of question right here is the problem. You have no idea what it actually is that you're asking. If you did, you wouldn't use the word "lead." You'd be specific. You'd say, shouldn't I be putting forward a budget that includes serious compromises on entitlement spending to show I'll meet the Republicans halfway. But I did that. You'd say shouldn't you be reaching out more to the Hill, trying to build some personal relationships with more congressional Republicans, maybe invite Paul Ryan to lunch? But I did that. [...] [Emphasis supplied.]
At today's press conference, President Obama spent a fair amount of time pushing back on what some of us are calling the "Green Lantern Theory of Presidential Power." This theoryâwhich seems to hold broad sway over many in the pressâholds that presidents should be able to bend Congress to their will, and any failure to do so proves their weakness and perhaps even their irrelevance.But what Sargent and most of those complaining about the persistence of the Green Lantern theory seem to be forgetting is that it was in fact a key part of his political pitch in his 2008 Democratic presidential primary run, what I dubbed the Post-Partisan Unity Schtick. In competition with Obama in 2008, Hillary Clinton ridiculed the Green Lantern Theory of Change in the clip that tops this post. Prior to that, I was critical of the Green Lantern Theory of Change. Here is an example from February 2008:
[T]he question is do they really believe a President Obama will be able to wave a magic wand and make the Republicans play nice? And if not, how exactly do they expect a President Obama to achieve change?Five years later, we now all know there is no magic wand, there was no breaking of the "fever," there was no "coming together." Or in Hillary Clinton's words, "the skies did not open." Did Obama believe he could persuade Republicans to meet him halfway? I don't think so, but I do think he thought could persuade the Media to take his side and declare, as so many say, that Obama was the adult in the room. On this point, I believe Obama badly miscalculated.
So what could the president have done? Of course, the results of an alternate path can never be tested, but on the flip I'll lay out my views.
(Credit: Associated Press)
The Virginia Republican Party this weekend nominated for lieutenant governor a minister who has a history of virulent anti-gay statements, accuses the Democratic Party of enslaving African Americans, and criticized President Obama for having “Muslim sensibilities.” The former Senate candidate ,who in 2012 garnered less than 5 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, bested six other candidates during the Virginia GOP convention, and will join conservative Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on the Republican ticket, as the first black candidate the state party has endorsed since 1988.
Here are some of the most alarming facts you need to know about E.W. Jackson:
Now Harvard students want to know how a thesis built on those views and assumptions was able to make it through the approval process in the first place. âAcademic freedom and a reasoned debate are essential to our academic community,ââ the petition read. âHowever, the Harvard Kennedy School cannot ethically stand behind academic work advocating a national policy of exclusion and advancing an agenda of discrimination.â
Several days ago, 24 student groups at Harvard wrote a letter condeming the university’s approval of Richwine’s dissertation, saying it “debases” all their degrees.
Richwine himself hit back at the students on Friday, suggesting their demands were an attack on free speech and academic inquiry. David Ellwood, the dean of the Kennedy School, defended the committee that accepted Richwine’s thesis as “highly respected and discerning.” George Borjas, one of the members of that committee, characterized Richwine’s work as “sound.” Borjas himself previously lent his pen to arguments against immigration on economic grounds.
Meanwhile, recently completed research failed to find an identifiable racial gap in IQ, and the entire assumption that race is a stable and reliable biological category suffers from its own problems. Even using IQ as a measure of intelligence often fails to acknowledge that what we mean by “intelligence” is itself dependent on historical and social context, and buffeted by a wide array of structural forces.
In 2005, the British government asked Stern to lead a team of economists in preparing a review of the economic impacts of climate change. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is the seminal work on the issue, and it is an overwhelming read. But he now says it is dated. He now says it underestimated the dangers and the damages. Last week, he succinctly summarized his new understanding of the depth and intensity of the climate crisis:
It is increasingly likely that hundreds of millions of people will be displaced from their homelands in the near future as a result of global warming.More specifically:
"When temperatures rise to that level, we will have disrupted weather patterns and spreading deserts," he said. "Hundreds of millions of people will be forced to leave their homelands because their crops and animals will have died. The trouble will come when they try to migrate into new lands, however. That will bring them into armed conflict with people already living there. Nor will it be an occasional occurrence. It could become a permanent feature of life on Earth."Almost two years ago, I wrote that climate change is the most important issue humanity has ever faced. As Stern's words make clear, the crisis has only grown worse. The research and reports come in almost daily.
On Monday, a British newspaper reported on America's first climate refugees. That same day, British and Australian scientists announced that without climate mitigation, more than half of all plant species and one third of all animal species will lose more than half of their climatic range by 2080, with biodiversity declining almost everywhere. On Wednesday, came news that after a year that saw privately insured property losses of $35 billion, which is $11 billion and almost 50 percent above the past decade's average, the insurance industry accepts the scientific reality that by burning fossil fuels humans are causing climate change, which the industry expects to get worse. On Wednesday, we also had this:
âWe are in the midst of dramatic assault on the security of the food supply,â said Dr. Robert S. Lawrence, director of the Center for a Livable Future, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The group promotes ecological research into the nexus of diet, food production, environment and human health.A couple weeks ago, the World Meteorological Organization announced that 2012 was the ninth hottest year on record, and the years 2001-2012 were among the hottest thirteen on record. That same week, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography reported that atmospheric carbon dioxide had reached levels not seen since before humans existed, a time when the Arctic was a stunning 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it is now.
The primary culprit of all this menu mayhem is climate change, which is choking off certain crops already weakened by both genetic tinkering and chemically based farming, some experts contend.
And the climate crisis is growing worse.
Join me below the fold to find out more.
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein points us to the ever-growing scandal that will echo through the ages:
When future generations look back on the scandals of our age, itâll be the unchecked rise in global temperatures, not the Benghazi talking points, that infuriate them.
Yes, unchecked warming is likely to prove the greatest scandal in U.S. history.
Certainly it’s the one that will ruin the lives of the most people, far more than Watergate did if our government doesn’t act to expose what’s going on and work to put an end to it — before it puts an end to our stable climate:
Scandalous: Projected warming this century (inÂ red, viaÂ recent literature) if humanity allows current carbon pollution trends to continueÂ compared to the temperature change over past 11,300 years (inÂ blue, viaÂ Science, 2013).
I know it’s not one of the scandals the major media are now obsessed with 24/7, but that is business as usual for the MSM, as Klein notes:
Things go wrong in government. Sometimes itâs just bad luck. Sometimes itâs rank incompetence. Sometimes itâs criminal wrongdoing. Most of the time you never hear about it. Or, if you do hear about it, the media eventually gets bored talking about it (see warming, global).
It was Watergate and the fame it brought Woodward and Bernstein that inspired so many journalists to enter the field. But now that post-modern cynicism reigns supreme –which is to say, much of the media acts as if their really is no objective truth or over-archingÂ public interest — fame alone seems to drives the media.
And so this scandal goes largely unreported (see “Silence Of The Lambs 3: Media Coverage Of Climate Mixed In 2012, But Still Down Sharply From 2009“) or misreported (see “False Balance Lives“).
Fortunately for the media, having largely missed the chance to report the scandal when it might have had some positive impact on the outcome, they’ll have plenty of time to become famous reporting on its consequences (seeÂ Climate change âlargely irreversible for 1000 years,â with permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe).
I didn’t know Chris Stevens. I admit that the first I’d heard of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya was the morning of Sept. 12, when I woke up and, along with the rest of the country, learned that he and three others had died in an attack on a diplomatic mission in Benghazi. By all accounts, Stevens was well-respected among his peers and adored by his family and friends. I didn’t know Ambassador Stevens, but I do know one thing: he deserved better from his government all in these weeks and months after his death, from the Republican party that chose to place him center ring in an embarrassing circus to the Obama administration that failed in its responsibility to keep him safe.
In retrospect, the original Republican attempt to co-opt his death and turn it into something political, a weapon to use against President Obama’s reelection, is almost to be expected. The Obama administration’s troubling lack of transparency when it comes to national security matters certainly didn’t help debunk the inchoate sense that something was being hidden from the public.
Since the election, however, the furor over Benghazi hasn’t settled into sober examination of just went wrong. Instead, the sniping and bickering has seemed to escalate, keeping the tone surrounding the tragedy somewhere in the range of the level of discourse during the Whitewater scandal. By allowing the conversation to stay firmly on the questions that don’t matter, such as “Who changed the talking points?”, we manage to avoid the questions that do, such as “What do we do to keep this from happening again?”
Republicans in Congress have sought to play up the former for all its worth, resulting in a waxing and waning faux scandal that reemerges to the headlines every few months. In the months after the election, Republican senators threatened to filibuster any number of President Obama’s potential nominees unless they learned “the truth” about what happened. In the process, they and their House colleagues relentlessly attacked U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for her presentation of what the administration initial knew about the tragedy, calling her “incompetent” and eventually forcing her to remove herself from the running to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. As the release this week of emails surrounding the drafting of the talking points Rice used revealed, those attacks were misplaced.
The very real role that the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee has in policing the Executive Branch has likewise devolved into a witch-hunt, searching for someone, anyone to burn at the stake, despite learning nothing new in many of them. Four dead Americans, is the repeated refrain from Republican congressmen, without seeming to care how or why they wound up that way or preventing more from reaching a similar fate. To aid their pursuit, the House Republicans have developed their own report on Benghazi, one filled with misleading evidence twisted to reveal a mythical cover-up.
It’s not as though the Republicans have been forced to hunt for legitimate things to criticize the Obama administration for in the wake of Benghazi. The State Department convened what’s known as an Accountability Review Board to examine just went wrong in the lead-up to the attack and how to fix them in the future. The final report from the Board, co-chaired by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen and former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, revealed real issues with the State Department’s execution of diplomatic security. The unclassified version of the report names twenty-four recommendations for preventing further loss of life at missions in high-risk areas, with the classified version putting forward another five recommendations.
Among the more damning findings of the Board for the Obama administration is that the security posture at Special Mission in Benghazi was “inadequate,” to put it mildly, due both to failures at State to provide the requisite tools needed and funding that was lacking. To prevent future State Department facilities from experiencing the latter, the Board recommended that State “work with Congress to restore the Capital Security Cost Sharing Program at its full capacity,” boosting the program’s funding to about $2.2 billion in fiscal year 2015, “prioritized for construction of new facilities in high risk, high threat areas.” It also suggested working with Congress to use Overseas Contingency Operations funding — the money set aside to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — to help meet the needs of high risk, high threat posts.
And it isn’t as if there hasn’t been opportunity for Republicans to work together with Democrats to implement these recommendations. In February, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) authored a bill that would transfer $1.3 billion in unused funding bookmarked for Iraq to the Department of State to bolster embassy security as the Board suggested. To his credit, Sen. Graham co-sponsored that bill, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent. It still sits in the House of Representatives, however, having not been referred to any committee for deliberation.
March’s continuing resolution to keep the government funded did include a boost in funding for embassy security that brought it back in line with the President’s request. In the face of sequestration’s across the board cuts, however, its uncertain whether embassy security funding will be able to remain at that level. And given that part of the problem that led to that lack of security at the mission in Benghazi was the poor decision making regarding the prioritization of funds, its not clear how sustainable this band-aid really is. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) on Thursday introduced the Embassy Security and Personnel Protection Act to more permanently enact the increase in funding to the Capital Security Cost-Sharing Program the Board suggested. No Republicans have thus far chosen to
A search of the Library of Congress’ repository of legislation also reveals that of the most vocal critics of the administration in the House, only House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce has cosponsored a bill related to diplomatic security. None have introduced their own legislation related to this topic, and neither House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa nor Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) have signed on to support the only Republican-drafted bills that seek to improve the way the State Department handles personnel failures discovered in the course of internal reviews and procures contractors to aid in providing security to its facilities. Instead, Chaffetz in November once proudly declared on Fox News that he had in fact voted to cut funding for embassy security.
The real reason this is such a shame is that Amb. Stevens not only deserved better from the GOP in Congress, he deserved better from the administration he served. It’s certainly true that Stevens was an experienced diplomat, who knew the risks diplomatic officers in a dangerous country assume. But that’s not an excuse for poor diplomatic security. Yet Republican scandalmongering has given the administration a free pass on having a serious conversation with the public about whether or not we’re doing enough to protect our diplomats, though it has recently stepped up its efforts to actually prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
But it’s not yet enough. The Center for American Progress’ own Brian Katulis and Peter Juul recently laid out the possible repercussions of the executive and legislative branches putting Benghazi flash over substance:
The effort to turn the Benghazi attack into a political albatross for current and former Obama administration officials has done and will do significant damage to American diplomatic efforts in hostile environments. Policymakers may become even more reluctant to take risks with diplomatic personnel in these situations for fear of a political boomerang if something goes wrong.
As a result, the default policy may be to retrench behind the walls of so-called fortress embassies, take few if any risks with nonmilitary personnel, and surrender potential American influence on the ground in dangerous parts of the world. By flogging the phantom scandal of Benghazi, Obama administration critics who demand more direct intervention in Syria ironically are undermining their own argument. And if something goes wrong and Americans die, the administration will likely be rewarded with scandalmongering by advocates of the very policy that put American personnel at risk in the first place.
In the absence of strong action, the government could soon find itself relying more heavily on private security groups — like Xi, the artist formerly known as Blackwater — to provide protection to its diplomats, something many progressives, and host peoples, might blanch at. As Rachel Maddow pointed out in her book Drift, the trend over the past three decades towards the use of private military companies and contractors in place of government assets has resulted in a shadowy world of security with little oversight and less transparency. For that solution to be shoddily slapped onto the problem diplomatic security poses would be a disservice to both the public and those the government is meant to protect.
Unfortunately, it’s looking like the Republican probe into Benghazi could last until 2014, dragging it into yet another election cycle. Despite the fact that non-Republican voters see Benghazi as a non-scandal, GOP members of Congress will keep hammering away at it, continuing to suck the air out of legislative efforts to improve diplomatic security.
Republicans have held up Ambassador Stevens’ death for months as a symbol of everything that’s wrong in Washington. And, in a way, they’re right.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) went on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday to use the IRS scandal to attack the Obama administraiton, but flubbed a key part of his case: he couldn’t defend the claim that IRS was targeting conservative groups as part of a political strategy to help the White House.
Paul, like most Republicans, has been spinning the scandal as an Obama Administration attack on dissenters. “What the IRS did is how the KGB used to target dissidents,” he wrote in a CNN op-ed. “It is how they deal with troublemakers in China.”
Some have argued the extra IRS scrutiny was part of a failed attempt to implement election law, as opposed to a political crackdown. Host Candy Crowley asked Paul why this interpretation was wrong. He couldn’t give her a reason:
CROWLEY: We do know this one place processes 70,000 applications. Can you see in your mind’s eye a way this might not have been political, that this was a misguided stupid way to sort but that they didn’t intend it to be some kind of political attempt to harass the Tea Party?
PAUL: I would think if there’s any chance that this was a mistake, the Investigator General wouldn’t be coming out and saying otherwise, and the IRS themselves wouldn’t be saying –
CROWLEY: They say it’s a mistake. I think the question is whether it’s political.
PAUL: Well, I think we’re going to have to see the memorandum. Apparently there is a policy, and I think we’re going to find there’s a written policy that says we were targeting people who were opposed to the President. And when that comes forward, we need to know who wrote the policy and who approved the policy…now there’s rumors who wrote the policy is the person running Obamacare, which doesn’t give us a lot of confidence about Obamacare.
CROWLEY: Senator, I have to run. I’m way over on this, but I have to just go back to something you said. Are you telling me you think there’s a memo somewhere in which someone said in the memo we’re targeting people going after the president? Is that what I heard you say?
PAUL: Well, we keep hearing the reports and we have several specifically worded items saying who was being targeted. In fact, one of the bullet points says those who are critical of the President. So I don’t know if that comes from a policy, but that’s what’s being reported in the press.
It’s unclear what Paul’s source for that last claim is, but the Investigator General’s report Paul references found no evidence that conservative groups were targeted as part of a political strategy to weaken the president’s political opponents. The report blamed independent IRS management for allowing the practice to go on in the lower-level Cincinnati office.
Schoolwork has real-life consequences. In this case, one was the resignation of Florida's RNC Latino Outreach Director, Pablo Pantoja. Pantoja, who was born in Puerto Rico, is no longer a Republican.
He stated in his email:
A researcher included as part of a past dissertation his theory that âthe totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ.â The researcher reinforces these views by saying âNo one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.âI'm not surprised.
Although the organization distanced themselves from those assertions, other immigration-related research is still padded with the same racist and eugenics-based innuendo. Some Republican leaders have blandly (if at all) denied and distanced themselves from this but it doesnât take away from the culture within the ranks of intolerance. The pseudo-apologies appear to be a quick fix to deep-rooted issues in the Republican Party in hopes that it will soon pass and be forgotten.
Each year since 1914 the NAACP has issued a Civil Rights Legislative Report Card on "bread and butter" civil rights issues relating to the voting records of members of Congress. So as a teacher, a blogger, and a voter, I've decided to issue my own report card, and grades for the faux efforts of the Republican Party to pay lip-service to its stated intentions of conducting outreach to Latino voters.
See more on how below the fold.
On Sunday, during an appearance on Meet The Press, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — the GOP leader in the senate — distanced himself from Republican efforts to portray the Obama administration’s response to the attacks on a U.S. diplomatic issue in Benghazi, Libya as a Watergate-level scandal that should result in impeachment. McConnell’s comments come just days after the White House released 100 pages of emails undermining GOP claims that administration officials doctored the public talking points U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used to discuss the incident on the Sunday morning talk shows.
“You’re talking about others who may have said various things about this, let me tell you what I think about it. It’s clear there was inadequate security out there and it’s very clear that it was inconvenient within six weeks of the election, for the administration to in effect announce, that it was a terrorist attack,” McConnell said. “I think that’s worth examining, it is going to be examined.”
But asked repeatedly if Republicans should tone down their attacks against the administration, McConnell demurred, saying only that Obama should allow for an investigation. He also couldn’t identify specific evidence of an administration cover-up:
DAVID GREGORY (HOST): But you have specific evidence that they made up a tale, or was it based on information they had at the time?
MCCONNELL: Well, the talking points clearly were not accurate. I think getting to the bottom of this is an important investigation.
E-mails between the White House, CIA, State Department, Justice Department, and the FBI show that Rice’s remarks reflect the early view of the intelligence community and were produced with few changes from the White House. On Thursday, CBS’ Major Garrett reported that Republican sources misquoted or significantly embellished the emails officials used to draft Riceâs remarks in order to implicate the administration in a conspiracy to mislead the public about Benghazi.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) also admitted that he did not know if the Obama administration engaged in a “cover-up” of the Benghazi attacks.
Matt Kasper is the Special Assistant for Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress.
Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen
On Wednesday night, Minnesota State Representative Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe) took to the House floor to talk about climate change and renewable energy.
Using sources such as the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Gruenhagen told his colleagues that climate change is a âcomplete United Nations fraud and lieâŚ. The latest facts from CPAC show that in the last sixteen years thereâs been no global warming.â
While it is common practice among climate skeptics to claim that the Earth is no longer warming, the fact is global temperatures are rising. 2010 was the hottest year on record and every year of the 2000s was warmer than 1990s average. Over 30 million people were displaced by climate-related extreme weather events in 2012, and it is increasingly likely millions more will be displaced in the near future.
Watch the speech here, courtesy of theuptake.org:
Gruenhagen made his speech the same day a new survey of over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers found a 97 percent consensus that global warming is happening and humans are the cause and just a few days after it was reported that atmospheric C02 levels reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human existence
Indeed, Minnesota residents are feeling the very real impacts of climate change. The MinnPost reports that three 1,000 year floods have occurred in the state in the last eight years as a result of shifts in rainfall patterns. Extreme drought is occurring not just in Minnesota but almost every state, and climate change is having cumulative stressÂ on the Great Lakes. Rising levels of water vapor in the warming atmosphere are spiking heat indexes and associated health warnings.
Gruenhagen aside, the majority of lawmakers in Minnesota have recognized the importance of enacting policies to address climate change and in 2007, implemented one of the highest renewable energy standards in the nation â laws which require electric utilities companies to produce a portion of their electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources. Indeed, Minnesota ranks seventh in the nation in overall wind energy capacity and lawmakers in the state recently agreed to a solar energy standard.
At the federal level, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) recently attacked climate deniers on the Senate floor saying, “If 98 out of 100 doctors tell me I’ve got a problem, I should take their advice. And if those two other doctors get paid by Big Snack Food, like certain climate deniers get paid by Big Coal, I shouldn’t take their advice.”
On this week’s Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace pressured White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer about why the Obama administration didn’t act sooner to address the IRS’s inappropriate targeting of conservative groups applying for 501(c)(4) tax status, arguing that Treasury officials and administration officials were aware of an ongoing investigation.
Pfeiffer argued that it would have been “wholly inappropriate” for anyone in the White House to interfere with an ongoing investigation and claimed that the administration was never aware of the specifics of the probe. Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin was informed about the matter last year and the White House counsel’s Office learned of the examination in late April, before the results were available.
“[House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell] Issa was also told topline things,” Pfeiffer reminded Wallace. “Here’s the cardinal rule when you deal with situations like this: you never interfere with an independent investigation, you never give the appearance of interfering with an independent investigation.”
“Issa said he didn’t talk about it publicly âÂ when you’re dealing with a nonpartisan agency like the IRS, you wait until you have the actual facts before you go out and make assertions,” he said.
Indeed, during an interview with Bloomberg earlier this week, Issa admitted, “I knew what was approximately in it when we made the allegations about a year ago.”
TRENTON, N.J. -- Funeral services have been held for the New Jersey woman and boy whose bodies were found in their home after a 37-hour hostage standoff last weekend.
The Times of Trenton (http://bit.ly/113Q2dJ) reports Carmenlita Stevens' four surviving children were among those attending Saturday's service for the 44-year-old woman and her 12-year-old son, Quavon Foster. Stevens' boyfriend had held three of the surviving children hostage during the standoff.
David Beckham got emotional after playing his final home game for Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.
The legendary footballer announced his retirement earlier this week.
As the PSG captain departed the field, the stadium erupted in applause. When he embraced his teammates, he began to cry.
Things got a little wet and wild on the Cannes red carpet this weekend. A rainstorm hit the French fest on Saturday, presenting difficulties for arrivals at the "Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian" premiere.
Eva Longoria experienced the weather's challenges firsthand, as the petite actress' dress dragged when she made her ascent to the red carpet. Eva's seafoam green Atelier Versace gown featured an open back and a dangerously high slit, two of the 38-year-old's frequent wardrobe preferences. As Eva made her way toward the theater, she hiked up her long skirt a tad too high, exposing far more upper thigh than intended. Though we should note that Eva's risky maneuver was a relative success -- she didn't soil her hem in the rain, after all.
Eva's surely familiar with the perils of high slits and low necklines, as she had a wardrobe malfunction at the Golden Globes earlier this year, in a dress with a similar cut.
CANNES, France -- Little could lessen the fever-pitched excitement for "Hunger Games: Catching Fire," but heavy rain nevertheless dampened the film's lavish Cannes party.
Stars of the "Hunger Games" sequel, Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Sam Clafin, arrived Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival. "Catching Fire," perhaps more than any other film not actually screening at Cannes, is seeking to use the festival's global platform to promote the highly anticipated sequel.
âThis is just getting started,â he tells me. âFinally, people get it. This is a lot bigger than just one person. This a whole effort by the administration, across the board, to squelch their opponents, to shut them up, and, finally, theyâve done it in a way that will allow us to call attention to it nationwide.âOh pah-leeze. Yes, the Obama administration has been shutting up opponents at a breakneck pace. That's why you don't see any opponents. They're all squelched. Barack Obama personally goes out to all the individual government offices and says, "Hi there, can you make life slightly more irritating for some random guy in Texas who doesn't like me? I'm thinking maybe have him fill out an extra form or something. Yeah. Yeah, that'll do it. Take that, you tea party bastard."
McConnell is open to the idea of a special prosecutor, but he hasnât decided whether to ask for an appointment.
Yes, these bozos in the branch office shouldn't have done it. That's why the IRS made them stop, and had an investigation, and apologized, and why heads are probably going to roll and then some. On the other hand, it's not exactly hard to see why any person of average human intelligence would note that there have been a metric bucketload of organizations cropping up these last few years with oddly partisan names like "Tea Party Wankers" or "Anti-Tax Patriots for Electing Republicans On The Sly" and claiming to be tax-exempt, nonpartisan organizations and think to themselves that there were likely to be a considerable number of scammers mixed in with that lot. Mind you, Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS is one of these 501c4 outfits that gets somehow deemed sufficiently unpolitical, making the whole category into something of a scammer's paradise from the get-go; again, thoughâbad IRS bureaucrats. Bad.
Still, I find it difficult to get too worked up with world-shattering apoplectic outrage over it, which makes me a bad person, or possibly (even worse!) just not a conspiracy theorist. That's the problem; from McConnell down to the Kings and Gohmerts and Stockmans, all of conservatism has devolved into one big conspiracy theory. It's Breitbartism, all the way down. It's writ right into the movement now, and defined as synonymous with patriotism. You can go from Agenda 21 to ACORN to United Nations gun-grabbers to the powerful solar panel lobby to Benghazi all in one sweeping step; what the precise conspiracy is supposed to be or whether there is f--k-all worth of evidence to support your pet theory is unimportant; it's all about the theater, the very important and very politically motivated and very career-enhancing performance art of presuming everything to be connected to everything. Some IRS officers in a branch office screwed up? For real? Good GodâDarrell Issa was probably rendered near-unconscious on his office floor when he heard it, breathing into a paper bag and waving off staffers asking him whether they should call for an ambulance.
Yes, yes, I should be more outraged. Sorry. I already have outrage fatigue, and I've had it for 10 years. The reasons, below the fold:
Reuters reported on Wednesday that China’s environmental ministry has okayed the construction of a new hydroelectric dam on the Dadu River in the Sichuan province, which when completed will be the country’s largest.
China’s energy mix was 9.4 percent renewable as of 2011, and the Sichuan project is part of the country’s effort to boost itself to 15 percent by 2020. Hydroelectric power is anticipated to make up most of that increase.
The environmental ministry acknowledged that the project is massive enough to damage the local ecology, negatively effecting certain rare fish species and plant life. The dam’s developers have promised to try and offset those effects with “counter-measures,” and the project still requires the approval of China’s ruling cabinet.
To be built over 10 years by a subsidiary of state power firm Guodian Group, it is expected to cost 24.68 billion yuan ($4.02 billion) in investment.
The ministry, in a statement issued late on Tuesday, said an environmental impact assessment had acknowledged that the project would have a negative impact on rare fish and flora and affect protected local nature reserves.
Developers, it said, had pledged to take “counter-measures” to mitigate the effects.
Right now the title for China’s tallest dam goes to the Xiaowan project, at 292 meters, while the tallest dam in the world is currently Tajikistan’s Nurek dam, at 300 meters. The Sichuan dam will top 314 meters when all is said and done.
China has been at the forefront of hydroelectric development for a while now, with an enormous number of dams either constructed, in the works, or in the planning stages. Even individual projects can be of tremendous scale, providing in at least one instance an electrical capacity equal to nearly half of Britain’s entire national grid, and preventing 200 metric tons of carbon emissions each year. As of 2010, worldwide hydroelectric capacity was 850 to 900 gigawatts, meaning about one-fifth of the world’s electricity — and half the electricity for almost two thirds of the world’s countries — comes courtesy of hydropower. Though that use varies widely: the United States and Europe have developed 70 and 75 percent of their hydroelectric potential, while Africa has only taken advantage of 7 percent.
At the same time, the large bodies of water and massive landscape alterations that are part and parcel of large dam projects mean hydroelectricity can come with unusually significant downsides. The construction of the Three Gorges Dam in China’s Hubei province, for example, caused significant ecological damage, increased the risk of landslides, flooded a number of archeological and cultural sites, and displaced 1.3 million people. And the constricted water flow can hurt downstream populations that rely on the rivers for their fresh water supplies.
Meanwhile, climate change itself is also making hydropower less reliable, as altering weather patterns dry up some river flows, boost others, and generally make the future availability of water flows more difficult to predict.
One answer to those challenges could be small scale hydropower. Studies suggest there’s as much as 30 gigawatts of unused potential for such projects in the United States. These set-ups generally provide 10 kilowatts to 30 megawatts a piece, and don’t require damming rivers. (Or they can be built into already existing dams, the vast majority of which are not hydroelectric.) Unfortunately, regulatory red tape is in many ways the major hurdle to taking advantage of small scale hydro.
ZAGREB, Croatia -- Mirjana Filipovic is still haunted by the land mine blast that killed her boyfriend and blew off her left leg while on a fishing trip nearly a decade ago. It happened in a field that was supposedly de-mined.
Now, unlikely heroes may be coming to the rescue to prevent similar tragedies: sugar-craving honeybees. Croatian researchers are training them to find unexploded mines littering their country and the rest of the Balkans.
PHILADELPHIA — A former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero and given a seat next to the first lady at a speech by President Obama has been arrested and charged with rape and other crimes.
Authorities allege that former officer Richard DeCoatsworth left a party with two females early Thursday and took them to another location, where they allege that he produced a handgun and "forced the two females to engage in the use of narcotics and sexual acts."
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