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Archive for the ‘Al Gore’ Category

Requiem for a flyweight

Posted by Charles II on January 4, 2013

Robert Parry, Consortium:

Al Gore’s soon-to-be-defunct Current TV should serve as a case study for American progressives on how not to construct a media outlet. It was a failure in nearly all respects, with possibly its only lasting contribution the fact that its sale to Al Jazeera may finally give that important media voice from the Islamic world a foothold in the United States.

The biggest error committed by Gore and his partner Joel Hyatt occurred at Current’s founding in 2004-05 when the project intentionally ducked what was then the most important fight underway for the future of America, whether President George W. Bush’s strategy for a permanent Republican majority would go unchallenged.

Yeah, that and firing Keith Olbermann, who brought them an instant audience of several hundred thousand even if he is a prima donna and PITA. Now Al Jazeera, which constantly has to thread the needle with the US, is sure to back off controversy for fear of being accused of meddling in American politics. Maybe they’ll do some nice international documentaries or something.

Al Gore made $100M off the sale of Current TV. I sure hope he uses it more wisely than he did his investment on Current. I wonder, more and more, whether he really was up to the job of being president.

Posted in Al Gore, Keith Olbermann | 7 Comments »

Big Al takes on Big Oil

Posted by Charles II on September 12, 2011

Says Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian:

It should almost be called Inconvenient Truth 2.0. Five years after Al Gore launched his original documentary project, the former vice-president returned on Tuesday with a new campaign aimed at exposing the full scale of the climate crisis.

Gore’s Climate Reality project announced it would kick off with a 24-hour live streamed event on 14 September. The day’s events will include a new multimedia presentation by Gore that will “connect the dots” between extreme weather events and climate change, a statement said.

Right here.

Posted in Al Gore, climate change, environment, global warming | Comments Off

Show This To Your Koch-Confused FOX-Watching Climate Denialist Kin

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 14, 2010

Darryl Cunningham does us all a favor and explains the science of climate change — and the motivations of the obscenely-rich oil and coal barons funding the denialist groups, people like the multi-billion-dollar Koch brothers.

(H/t PZ Myers.)

Posted in Al Gore, big money, climate change, global warming, Oil | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Hippie punching, the 2010 elections, and the Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Posted by Charles II on October 5, 2010

Amid the favorable response to Susie Madrak’s well-aimed rebuke to David Axelrod over “hippie punching,” one wishes there were a little more introspection. “Hippie punching” is the denigration by one person of another for the purpose of distinguishing the one doing the denigration as a reasonable sane-left person, as opposed to the supposedly crazy-leftist hippie. But without understanding the history of conflict within the left and if approached without at least a modicum of humility, simple resentment of those who “punch hippies” is self-destructive. Since I first wrote about this issue almost a decade ago, I think that what I have to say might have some small merit.

Probably not even a better historian than I am could give a precise date for when the cycle of conflict within the left began. There’s no question that during the McCarthy era, the so-called “anti-communist left” joined with the rest of the political establishment to sacrifice not just the American Communist Party and other radical organizations, but the Constitution itself on the altar of loyalty to the state.

I only wish that leftists who talk but do not work constructively was only a myth. But for my entire life, I have walked the walk for social justice, and I know the territory.

Decrying this person or that as an enemy are an example of why the left is such an abject failure in the US that it has not elected a single congressman under the Green/Labor/New Party/etc. tickets.

This failure comes from an insincerity in seeking solidarity, solidarity not just with the people deemed to be worthy, but even with people who are adversaries on many issues.

It comes from a blindness, a failure to see that the battles last years and generations.

It comes from a failure to understand that the people who do good are often deeply flawed and that the people who do harm are not always the usual adversary.

It comes from a smallness of spirit, which demonizes potential allies only because it is so impotent to generate real change.

While we should feel free to criticize, let the criticism be directed at behavior, not–whenever possible–at the individual. Yes, leaders do have to be criticized by name and should be criticized whenever they do something wrong. But when criticism is directed against whole classes of people, it can become destructive. When it’s directed against potential allies, it’s self-destructive.

I don’t know what creates a generation as great as the one which endured the Depression. We had many financial crises that serious before it. I don’t know what creates a generation like the civil rights generation. There were moments in history before when it might have come together, but did not.

But I do know that only when there is a larger vision will it ever be achieved. Clearly not enough Americans are willing to pay the price to get what I think most of them see as good and desirable. Some of those unwilling to pay the price are on the left. Some are so perverse that they almost seem to be in the employ of the right (as, indeed, some have in the past proven to be). Yet I refuse to demonize even them.

Let every person search his or her conscience and decide on which side s/he stands: with destruction or with life. This generation—you and I—will decide the magnitude of destruction of global warming, the depth of the repression in the United States, the number of civilians to be killed in our failed wars. Unlike Milliways, there’s no time travel back after dessert. Will only one in five of us even register an opinion at the ballot box, and will only 1% of us make the difference in deciding between such extremes?

As for me, with eyes open and fully informed by history, I will vote. (adapted from a comment at The Sideshow)

Let’s be clear: during the Cold War, there was a threat to the United States, a threat which manifested itself in the late 1940s through the blockades of Berlin and Korean War. These were aggressive actions undertaken by the communist nations. However, like Al Qaida, the threat to the US was both smaller and of a different nature than the public was led to believe. There was absolutely no justification then, just as there is no justification now for the wholesale sacrifice of civil liberties. It was self-defeating, self-destructive, and morally reprehensible.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Al Gore, Bush, Congress, DINOs, distractions, hippie punching, Obama Administration | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Elections Have Consequences

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 30, 2009

In 2000, Ralph Nader — who wanted Bush to win — took just enough votes from Al Gore, especially in Florida, to allow George Bush to steal the election. That allowed Bush to pick two archconservative judges, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, to fill the US Supreme Court vacancies left by Rehnquist and O’Connor. — and to shove this insult to civil rights and to Sonia Sotomayor, their decision on the Ricci suit, down our collective throats.

Imagine if Al Gore had been able to fill those slots instead. Ricci would have been 6-3 in favor of the black firefighters, instead of 5-4 against — and John Paul Stevens or Ruth Bader Ginsburg (or maybe even Sonia Sotomayor) would have written the majority opinion.
___________________________________
Added by Charles, 7/1. A letter from 2004, with emphasis added:

An Open Letter to Ralph Nader Voters

Dear Voters,

Many of us – former Nader’s Raiders and leaders of his organizations – voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. Many did not.

This November, none of us will vote for Ralph. We believe there is nothing more important than defeating George W. Bush.

Ralph argues that he is creating an independent political voice. In 2000, when he ran as the Green Party candidate, that may have been true.

In 2004, as the candidate of the increasingly reactionary, anti-immigrant Reform Party, and the recipient of financial and political support from right-wing funders and operatives, it is not credible. Unfortunately, Ralph is party to a disingenuous effort to split the progressive vote in key states.
With the major party candidates in a dead heat, Nader is poised to tip the election to Bush – again.

We do not agree with Ralph that there is little difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. We know that the country cannot afford another four years of Republicans controlling the White House, both chambers of Congress, the Supreme Court and the entire federal Judiciary. The price of a protest vote is too high for families who live from paycheck to paycheck, for those concerned about the realities of war, for those who lack decent jobs and access to health care, and for the environment.

While Ralph has pursued politically expedient alliances with the right wing, truly progressive leaders – from peace activists to unions to former Dean supporters – have made substantial progress organizing within the Democratic Party.

United, progressives can build a base for a transformed party funded by small donors, imbued with progressive values and energized by a vision of a democratic majority. Divided, we will give four more years to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Ashcroft. The progressive vote can be the key to this election.

We know Ralph Nader better than anyone else. We were inspired to public service by his vision and his integrity. Now we are disappointed and saddened to see him embrace the support of reactionary forces who oppose everything we and Ralph have fought for and whose real agenda is to reelect George Bush.

Join us. Cast your vote for a progressive future and support John Kerry.

Nader’s Raiders,
Brian Ahlberg – MN PIRG
Judy Appelbaum – Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, Summers 1974, 75

Matt Baker – Organizing Director, NJPIRG 1992-98
Sheila Ballen – Executive Director, Pennsylvania PIRG
Samuel Boykin – Field Director, NJPIRG 2000-03

Michael Berg – Congress Project 1972
Robert Brandon – Director, Public Citizen’s Tax Reform Research Group 1972-77
Mike Calabrese – Former Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 1980
Marc Caplan – Executive Director, CCAG 1974-80
Michael Caudell-Feagan – USPIRG 1985-86; Nat’l Assoc. for Pub Interest Law 1986-91
Nancy Chasen – Lobbyist, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 1973-75

Sarah K. Chiles – Northeast regional coordinator, Americans against Political Corruption

Elizabeth Collaton – Research Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 1985

Karen Croft – Staff, Center for the Study of Responsive Law1979-80
Gina Collins Cummings – Organizing Director, New Jersey PIRG, 1984 – 1994
Beth DeGrasse – Former Director, PIRG Voter Registration Campaigns

James Dickson – Director of Organizing, CCAG 1976-78
Angela Di Leo – Staff, Florida PIRG 1984 – 86
Kirsten Dunton – Organizing Director and Staff Attorney, State PIRGs 1989-2003

Joe Tom Easley – Center for the Study of Responsive Law, 1969-74

Larry Eason – Director, Training and Media Center, PIRG 2000-2001
Donna Edwards – Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 1990s

David Eppler – Staff Attorney, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 1989-92
Sherry Ettleson – Staff Attorney, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch
Andrew Feinstein – Attorney, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 1975-79
Curtis Fisher – Executive Director, New Jersey PIRG, 1996 – 2002
Mark Floegel – USPIRG; Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 1980s; VPIRG Communications Coordinator 2002-2004

Arthur L. Fox – Public Citizen’s Litigation Group 1972-90

Pamela Gilbert – USPIRG 1984-89; Staff Attorney, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 1989-94

John Gilroy – Nader Difference in ’84 Campaign; Organizer, Citizen Utility Board 1985; ED, VTPIRG 1988-92

David Hamilton – National Field Director, USPIRG 1987-90; Energy Lobbyist, USPIRG 1990-92
Joan Holt – NY PIRG 1979-88
Anita Johnson – Attorney, PIRG; Public Citizen’s Health Research Group 1971-77

Richard Kirsch – Public Citizen 1974-77

Ann Krumblotz – Staff, Center for the Study of Responsive Law 1978-80
Mindy Lubber – Program Director, Massachusetts PIRG
Mark Lynch – Staff Attorney, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch
Tim Massad – Center for the Study of Responsive Law; Wisconsin Citizen Utility Board 1978-81

Neil McBride – Aviation Consumer Action Project 1971-72
Steve McCarthy – Executive Director, Oregon PIRG, 1972-74
Rich McClintock – Executive Director, Colorado PIRG

Chris McGinn – Deputy Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch 1991-98
David Moulton – Staff Attorney, Congress Watch
Michael Pertschuk – Chair, Federal Trade Commission

Donna F. Parsons – Director, CCAG 1981-87
Peter Petkas – PIRG, Corporate Accountability Research Group 1970
Ronald Plesser – Director, Freedom of Information Clearinghouse 1972-75
Rick Plunkett – MN PIRG 1976-81; CA Campus Organizer 1979-80

Tom Powers – Florida PIRG Organizing Director, FFPIR Nat’l Campus Program Director, PIRG work 1986-1995.
Nancy Rader – CalPIRG 1983-87; Public Citizen 1988-90
Miles Rapoport – Executive Director CCAG 1979-84
Neal Ritchie – ED, MN PIRG
Marty Rogol – General Counsel, CCAG 1971-73; Director, Nat’l PIRG 1974-78

Adam Ruben –Field Director, USPIRG 1999-2002
Leslie Samuelrich – PIRG 1985-91 – Organizer, ConnPIRG; Director, National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness
Samantha Sanchez – Attorney, Public Citizen’s Tax Reform Research Group 1973-75
Kerry Schumann – Director, Wisconsin PIRG
Gary Sellers – OSHA Project Center for the Study of Responsive Law 1969
Megan Seibel – Executive Director Colorado PIRG
Bob Shireman – Chairman, CalPIRG 1981-83; Legislative Advocate 1984-86
Lucinda Sikes – CalPIRG 1983-86; USPIRG 1989-92; Public Citizen’s Litigation Group 1993-89

Daniel Silverman – Former Nat’l Field Director, USPIRG; Former Vice-Chair, Board of CalPIRG
David Stern – Executive Director, Nat’l Assoc. for Public Interest Law
Gene Stilp – Center for the Study of Responsive Law 1980-81

Rob Stuart – Program Director, NJ PIRG, 1984 – 91; ED, VT PIRG 1991 – 93

Tom Subak – State Campaign Director, CalPIRG 1995-98
Andrea Sullivan – Organizing Director, NJPIRG, 1983 – 84
Thomas D. Sutton – ETS Study Group 1970s; Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 1979-81

Michael Totten – Critical Mass Energy Project 1982-83
James Turner – Center for the Study of Responsive Law 1968-72

Michael Waldman – Attorney Lobbyist, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch
Ken Ward – ED, RI PIRG 1981-82; ED, NJ PIRG 1983-96
Bill Wasserman – Organizer, Cal PIRG 1981-86; Organizer, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 1986-89
Kathleen Welch – Executive Director, Nat’l Association of Public Interest Law
Harrison Wellford – Food Safety Project, Center for the Study of Responsive Law 1969
David Wood – General Counsel, Public Interest Research Groups
Frances A. Zwenig – Attorney-Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch

Posted in Al Gore, Bush, election theft, Florida (where magical things happen), Supreme Court | 29 Comments »

Tuesday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 31, 2009

cat-herding.jpg

– Still no Election Contest Court ruling in the Franken-Coleman contest as of this morning. They’ve been at it for over two weeks now. What could be the problem? [UPDATE: They hear and obey!]

– Speaking of the Franken-Coleman contest, Eric Boehlert notes that the same media that was viciously attacking Al Gore for being a “sore loser” in 2000 is being nice as pie to Norm Coleman even though his actions have been far more sore-loserish — and have been far more time-consuming — than Gore’s ever were.

– In more pleasant news, Skype has come to the iPhone. Glorious.

Posted in 111th Congress, 2008, Al Franken, Al Gore, GOP/Media Complex, media, Media machine, mediawhores, Minnesota, Norm Coleman, technology | 2 Comments »

“We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that’s got to change.”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 20, 2008

President Gore speaks. You listen.

Some choice excerpts:

Like a lot of people, it seems to me that all these problems are bigger than any of the solutions that have thus far been proposed for them, and that’s been worrying me…

Yet when we look at all three of these seemingly intractable challenges at the same time, we can see the common thread running through them, deeply ironic in its simplicity: our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels is at the core of all three of these challenges—the economic, environmental and national security crises.

We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that’s got to change…

But if we grab hold of that common thread and pull it hard, all of these complex problems begin to unravel and we will find that we’re holding the answer to all of them right in our hand.

The answer is to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels.

Can we do this? We, we can:
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Al Gore, climate change, doing the right thing, economy, energy, environment, Good Things, saving the earth, solar, Superheroes, sustainability, wind power | Comments Off

Undergo the Vulcan Mind Meld

Posted by Charles II on April 19, 2008

Via Avedon Carol’s (incomparable) Sideshow, TED presents Al Gore.

Posted in Al Gore, climate change, global warming, Good Causes | Comments Off

This All Sounds So Familiar

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 31, 2007

Nicole Belle over at Crooks and Liars points out how John Edwards scares the punditocracy so much that they can’t keep their storylines straight:

When asked by host George Stephanopoulos which of the presidential contenders “handled” the assassination of Benazir Bhutto the best (a strange question in and of itself) George Will did not focus on Huckabee’s lack of knowledge or Richardson’s demand that Musharraf step down, but rather on the fact that John Edwards made a phone call.

GS: (The Bhutto assassination) was a major event, at least for a day, on the campaign trail. It seemed to freeze the campaigns. Who handled it well; who didn’t?

GW: Opinions differ. I would love to have been a fly on the wall of President Musharraf’s office when the aide came in. The country’s in flames, the army’s in doubt and the guy comes in and says, “We have holding on the line a former one term senator from North Carolina, calling from Iowa.

Could Will be more dismissive and patronizing if he tried? Turns out, yes. Because as the discussion moved to the upcoming Iowa primary and whose message was resonating most, again, Edwards’ message of populism was brought up. David Brooks immediately pulls a Noonan and discounts how “tough” Edwards can be, and George Will then subverts the whole definition of populism to pull as many conservative scare tactics as possible. How many strawman fallacies can you count?

Nicole asks, “Why does George & Co. feel the need to dismiss Edwards? Could it be that in head-to-head match ups, Edwards is the candidate who fares the best?” Yeah, could be.

Remember, too, the last time that CelebCorps tried to pretend that a major Democratic presidential candidate was both an ineffectual weakling pansy AND an evilly potent tough-guy vampire.

Posted in 2008, Al Gore, John Edwards, media, Media machine, mediawhores, mythmaking, narcissism | 1 Comment »

Health Care Is A Right

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 22, 2007

Al says it, I believe it, that settles it.

(h/t to CMike, frequent MR commenter, for the link.)

Posted in Al Gore, big money, capitalism as cancer, children, Good Causes, health care, health issues | 4 Comments »