Monday, October 1, 2007

How To Tell a Joke (about Bush and Global Warming)/Springsteen's Latest Politics

How does any mainstream media reporter cover George W. Bush and the environment without depicting the president as a joke? Here's how Peter Baker and Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post took a crack at it on Saturday:

President Bush assured the rest of the world yesterday that he takes the threat of climate change seriously and vowed that the United States "will do its part" to reduce the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet, but he proposed no concrete new initiatives to reach that goal.

In other words, he ain't serious. And, of course, he's not. Six years after he acknowledged global warming was real, human-induced, and a threat, he has yet to offer any meaningful remedies. It could well be that despite the mess in Iraq he has caused, historians (and others) 50 years from now will look at his inaction on global warming as the most significant failure of his presidency.

Meanwhile, the next day in the Post , Eilperin and John Solomon had this page-one story:

The Environmental Protection Agency's pursuit of criminal cases against polluters has dropped off sharply during the Bush administration, with the number of prosecutions, new investigations and total convictions all down by more than a third, according to Justice Department and EPA data.

No surprise there.

HERE COMES THE BOSS. Bruce Springsteen's new album, Magic comes out tomorrow. According to a preview piece in Sunday's New York Times , Springsteen imbues the album with political notions--albeit implicitly. A.O. Scott writes,

And while the songs on "Magic" characteristically avoid explicit topical references, there is no mistaking that the source of the unease is, to a great extent, political. The title track, Mr. Springsteen explained, is about the manufacture of illusion, about the Bush administration's stated commitment to creating its own reality.

"This is a record about self-subversion," he told me, about the way the country has sabotaged and corrupted its ideals and traditions. And in its own way the album itself is deliberately self-subverting, troubling its smooth, pleasing surfaces with the blunt acknowledgment of some rough, unpleasant facts....

In conversation, Mr. Springsteen has a lot to say about what has happened in America over the last six years: “Disheartening and heartbreaking. Not to mention enraging” is how he sums it up.

Springsteen has long been not reluctant to let his fans--and the world--know what he's thinking about current affairs. During the years of Newt Gingrich, he put out The Ghost of Tom Joad, a spare and haunting album featuring songs focused on the dispossessed and disempowered. In 2004, he campaigned with John Kerry. What's he going to do in this election cycle? It's hard to see him endorsing any Democrat in the primary season. (Could help Barack Obama in the New Jersey primary?) In any event, a Springsteen associate tells me that Springsteen will soon have more to say than what appeared in the Times . He's still got a hungry heart.

Posted by David Corn at October 1, 2007 08:45 AM


Hajji said...


Cool nights and reasonable days are upon us. No rain, yet, as the dust cloud rising from the gravel/dirt driveway below allows me to know someone's coming even before the dogs hear.

Fallen trees dissected by chainsaw and axe get my attention now. Always brushing wood chips and pine needles from clothes and shaking saw dust chips from my hair. The oaks bombing acorns down from heaven's heights for squirrels to plant in “later” larders.

Leaves are only just now barely paling. Waiting, I believe for a cool rain before they’re convinced to give the greening chlorophyll back to the limbs and roots and show the true colors before their flights of fancy on the November wind.

With no rain, it will be a short, dreary autumn.

There’s still time though, still time.


Hajji said...

The Blessings of Dirty Work

The Blessings of Dirty Work

By Barbara Kingsolver
Sunday, September 30, 2007; Page B01

In my neighborhood of Southwest Virginia, backyard gardens are as common as satellite dishes. Now is the time of year for husking corn and breaking beans. Jars bobble quietly in water-bath canners on our stoves: tomatoes, allspice pickles, whatever the garden has overproduced today. If we don't have our own, we can buy bushels from our neighbors' trucks at the Saturday market, because farmers have plenty right now, and what they grow is our sustenance.

Elsewhere that connection may be a stretch of the imagination; here it's not. We move to the same impulse that makes squirrels hoard their nuts, rising at dawn to pick, returning in the evening to pick more. We freeze, we preserve, we give away excess. It's the gardener's World Series -- an all-consuming hoopla at the end of the season. We will finish with full larders, our chest freezers overstuffed like suitcases lugged home from the duty-free zone.


Barbara Kingsolver...

Need I say anything?


capt said...

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.
~ Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992

capt said...

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.
~ John Muir (1838 - 1914)

capt said...

White Supremacists Urge Followers to Hang Nooses in Their Communities

Brklyngrl: In a disturbing trend since the incident that sparked the Jena Six case, noose incidents are popping up all over the country.

This post, written by Brklyngrl, originally appeared on Open Left

Although I've been extremely negligent in my Jena blogging, I assume most of our readers are acquainted with the basic outlines of the situation. If not, Color of Change is a great place to start. I was moderately hopeful that some good would eventually come out of this - but so far it seems to have kicked off a series of copycat noose incidents. The Southern Poverty Law Center is reporting organized online efforts by white supremacist groups to encourage followers to hang nooses in their communities, among other things.

First, there was an incident in Alexandria, LA (about 40 miles from Jena) where an unnamed 16 year old and 18 year old Jeremy Munsen were arrested with two nooses hanging from the back of Munsen's pickup truck. The 16 year old told police his family was in the KKK, and that brass knuckles and unloaded rifle found in the car belonged to him. Then, 4 nooses were found at a high school in High Point, North Carolina. The nooses were found hung from the main flagpole, in a parking lot, and (two) hung in a tree at the front of the school. Also, there were the two nooses at the Coast Guard Academy. One was left in the bag of a black cadet in July, the other in the office of an officer who conducted a race relations training.

Up here in the North, it's a similar story. Outside of Chicago, an unidentified student drove to Warren Township High School with a noose hanging from his rearview mirror. Worse yet, people are trying to excuse it, using a variation on the same ludicrous excuses we're hearing from those down South.


capt said...

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