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Marco Rubio's campaign ran off the rails when Rubio flubbed the answer to what had to be the question he was expecting most: Knowing what we do now was the invasion of Iraq a mistake?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was it a mistake to go to war in Iraq?


RUBIO: Oh, I don't believe it was -- the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein doesn't run Iraq.

MODERATOR: After finding that there were no weapons of mass destruction, would you, if you knew that, have been in favor of the Iraqi invasion?

RUBIO: Well, not only would I have not been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor of it. And he said so.


WALLACE: Senator, isn't that a flip?
Six weeks ago, it made sense to invade Iraq in 2003. Now you say it was a mistake.

RUBIO: No, they're two different questions. It was not a mistake. The president, based on -- this is the way the real world works. The president, based on the information that was provided to him --

WALLACE: But she was saying based on the information --


RUBIO: No, no, but, look, there's two different --

WALLACE: She was saying based on the -- what we know now.

RUBIO: Well, based on what we know now, a lot of things -- based on what we know now, I wouldn't have, you know, thought Manny Pacquiao was going to beat in -- in that fight a couple of weeks ago.


WALLACE: -- you got asked the same question and you said since.

RUBIO: No, that was not the same -- no, that was not the same question. The question was whether it was a mistake. And my answer was it's not a mistake. I still say it was not a mistake, because the president was presented with intelligence that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, it was governed by a man who had committed atrocities in the past with weapons of mass destruction --

WALLACE: But, what she asked you was, was it a mistake to go to war with Iraq?

RUBIO: It was not a mistake given the fact that what the president knew at the time.

WALLACE: No, she didn't say that. She just said, was it a mistake?

RUBIO: Well, that's not the same question. The question I was asked is, what you know now? Well, based on what we know now, I think everyone agrees that we still --

WALLACE: Was it a mistake -- was it a mistake to go to war with Iraq?

RUBIO: It's two different -- it wasn't -- I --

WALLACE: I'm asking you to --

RUBIO: Yes, I understand, but that's not the same question.

WALLACE: But I'm asking -- but that's the question I'm asking you, was it a mistake to go to war?

RUBIO: It was not a mistake for the president to decide to go into Iraq, because at the time, he was told --

WALLACE: I'm not asking you that. I'm asking you --

RUBIO: In hindsight.


RUBIO: Well, the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein is not there.

WALLACE: So, was it a mistake or not?

RUBIO: But I wouldn't characterize it -- but I don't understand the question you're asking, because the president --

WALLACE: I'm asking you, knowing -- as we sit here in 2015 --

RUBIO: No, but that's not the way presidents -- a president cannot make decision on what someone might know in the future.

WALLACE: I understand. But that's what I'm asking you. Was it a mistake?

RUBIO: It was not a mistake for the president to go into Iraq based on the information he was provided as president.


Careful not to mention what Bush's Vice President knew at the time about the cherry picked intelligence Cheney himself actively tried to slant. Chris Wallace's persistence in trying to get a straight answer is admirable.  

Obviously Marco Rubio doesn't want to state unequivocally that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Why? While most Americans think the invasion of Iraq was an enormous blunder Republican Primary Voters have clung to the belief that invading Iraq was the correct thing to do NO MATTER WHAT repercussions have followed. In fact the Republican base predictably blames Obama for the mess Iraq has become as the Shia dominated Iraqi government lost control of many Sunni areas. Nothing Bush did in Iraq could possibly go wrong and only Democrats make mistakes in their twisted worldview (complete with a self-serving revised historical narrative).


The Mayor of Seattle doesn't want Shell's Polar Pioneer to dock in Seattle.

The Seattle City Council doesn't want Shell's Polar Pioneer to dock in Seattle.

The Port of Seattle doesn't want Shell's Polar Pioneer to dock in Seattle until a further legal review of its lease of the terminal that is only permitted for cargo operations.

But Royal Dutch Shell and its local contractor Foss Maritime aren't about to change their plans due to the opposition of a mere major city.  

Just before 2:30 AM the massive Polar Pioneer accompanied by four large Foss tugs left the harbor of Port Angeles.

         My photo as the Polar Pioneer in Admiralty Inlet the entry to Puget Sound at 9:00 AM.

A flotilla of protesters in kayaks calling themselves Kayaktivists plan to meet the Arctic Pioneer when it enters Seattle's Elliott Bay.

Kayakers prepare to meet Shell’s oil drill rig in Seattle

By Phuong Le 

SEATTLE — Protesters opposed to Arctic oil drilling are preparing to paddle out in kayaks to meet Shell’s massive offshore drilling rig as it arrives any day now in Seattle, raising the stakes in the battle over oil exploration in the remote Arctic Ocean.

The petroleum giant says it is moving ahead with plans to use leased space at the Port of Seattle to load its drilling rigs and other vessels with supplies and personnel as it prepares to explore for oil this summer in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast.

That’s despite the city saying the Port of Seattle needs a new permit before it can host Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet and the city warning that the port and Foss Maritime, a local company that’s working with Shell, could potentially face fines for unpermitted activity.

The Dutch drilling Armada coming to the Salish Sea is a large one.

Shell oil rig arriving Thursday is just the start of Arctic drilling fleet

By Coral Garnick and Hal Bernton

The company will have 25 vessels in and out of the Pacific Northwest in preparation for the season, according to spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh, but Shell has been tight-lipped about detailing its plans.

The arrogance of Royal Dutch Shell is breathtaking. Nevermind what the city government and the port want, Shell is determined to get its way with Seattle the same way they did with the Obama Administration in gaining its approval for its very risky and potentially lucrative exploration in the Arctic.

Also see: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray delays Shell's plan to use port as base for Arctic Drilling

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Just when we thought we had defeated "Fast Track" trade authority for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Senate Democratic "Leaders" are talking with Republicans desperately trying to put together a compromise package of related bills to make Fast Track more palatable to Democrats. Included in the package is a band aid worker assistance provision to soften the blow for American workers who are expected to be put out of work by the TPP Trade agreement, a currency manipulation measure, and a lowering of trade barriers to countries in Sub Saharan Africa.

Senate nearing deal to pass trade bills


  Senate leaders are moving toward a deal on President Barack Obama’s trade initiative after a failed Tuesday vote prompted a furious round of negotiating on Wednesday.
The parties have been trading offers after Democrats rejected a fast-track trade bill on Tuesday. The latest bid from Republicans would give Democrats a chance to vote on several of their trade priorities as standalone bills, in addition to the fast-track measure.

The horse-trading and latest offers will be chewed over at party lunches and in private phone calls, with a deal possible by Wednesday afternoon.
“We’ll maybe have an announcement later today as to how we can move forward. We’re trying,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). “We’re getting close.”

Are you kidding me? Add a band aid and a few tweaks and this Frankenstein Trade Pact is ready for Democrats in the Senate to turn loose to savage the domestic job market and the global environment?

Back to the trenches!

Call Congress and demand they reject the T.P.P. Call 1-202-224-3121.

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Investor oriented Free Trade under T.P.P. is NOT compatible with taking action to limit Global Warming. Why? Because T.P.P. (like the WTO) includes a poison pill mechanism to penalize any national government that's a signatory for taking action to limit Global Warming.

Here are a few excerpts from Naomi Klein's book 'This Changes Everything' from chapter two titled HOT MONEY How Free Market Fundamentalism Helped Overheat the Planet

Almost a decade ago, a WTO official claimed that the organization enables challenges against "almost any measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions"
And the WTO is far from the only trade weapon that can be used in such battles-so too can countless bilateral and regional free trade and investment agreements.  
To allow arcane trade law which has been negotiated with scant public input to have this kind of power over an issue so critical to humanity's future is a special kind of madness. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz put it, "Should you let a group of foolish lawyers, who put together something before they understood these issues, interfere with saving the planet?"
p. 80-81
Indeed the three pillars of the neoliberal age-privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector and the lowering of income and corporate taxes, paid for with cuts to the public spending- are each incompatible with many of the actions we must take to bring our emissions to safe levels. And together these three pillars form an ideological wall that has blocked a serious  response to climate change for decades.
P. 81
Klein then explores how climate treaties are made subordinate to trade treaties.
In fact, the hierarchy was so clear that the climate negotiators formally declared their subservience to the trading system from the start.
P. 85
As Australian political scientist Robyn Eckersley put it ... "Rather than push for the recalibration of the international trade rules to conform with the requirements of climate protection ... the Parties to the climate regime have ensured that liberalized and an expanding global economy have been protected against trade restrictive climate policies"
A destabilized climate is the cost of deregulated, global capitalism, its unintended, yet unavoidable consequence.
p. 90
We need to make our economy more local not less. We need government that does more to protect its citizens and less to protect corporate profit margins.
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Seattle's Mayor Ed Murray has demanded that the Port of Seattle get a new permit to base Shell Oil's drilling for oil offshore in the Arctic Ocean, a development environmentalists have condemned as very risky in an area that is very a sensitive marine ecosystem.  It seems that the lease the Port of Seattle is operating under specified it only be used for "cargo operations" and drilling in the Arctic can't be considered a cargo operation.  

Mayor: Port needs new permit to host Shell oil-drilling fleet

By Daniel Beekman

The Port of Seattle must apply for a new land-use permit in order to have its Terminal 5 serve as a hub for Shell’s offshore Arctic oil-drilling fleet, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said Monday.

“After talking to the Port about its plans at Terminal 5 and after reviewing the 20-year-old permit for the operation of the cargo terminal, (Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development) has found, and I concur, that the long-term moorage and maintenance of Arctic drilling equipment falls outside the current permit,” Murray said, drawing applause at a downtown Seattle fundraising breakfast for Climate Solutions, a “clean-energy economy” nonprofit.

“(The department) has determined that the Port’s proposed use is not a cargo terminal and therefore the Port must apply for a new permit,” the mayor added. “I expect the Port to obtain all required city permits before any moorage or work begins at Terminal 5 on Shell’s oil-drilling equipment.”

Thing have already gone very badly for Shell's Arctic venture in 2012 when the huge 400 foot long Polar Pioneer oil platform broke loose from tugs towing it and drifted out of control until it ran aground along the coast of an Alaskan island.

Seattle Says 'No' To Shell's Arctic Drilling Fleet, For Now


At the end of 2012, one of its drill rigs ran aground on an island in the Gulf of Alaska while being towed to Seattle. The rig was sent to Singapore for repairs, and the company lost out on the 2013 drilling season.

That incident came less than four months after an accident in Anacortes, Wash., kept Shell from drilling for Arctic oil in 2012. In an underwater test off Samish Island, the company's oil-spill containment system was "crushed like a beer can," in the words of a federal inspector who witnessed the test.

Then on its way south to Seattle some courageous Greenpeace activists boarded the Polar Pioneer platform in the mid-Pacific.
Greenpeace Activists Have Barnacled Themselves to the Polar Pioneer, a Shell Oil Drilling Rig Bound for Seattle

by Sydney Brownstone

Greenpeace reports that this morning, six activists from the Esperanza—the Greenpeace vessel tracking a Shell oil drilling platform called the Polar Pioneer as it travels across the Pacific Ocean—managed to scale the rig and affix themselves to the underside of the main deck.

The six are now tweeting from the rig, located 750 miles northwest of Hawaii.

In 2012, Shell won an injunction that kept Greenpeace activists away from its rigs. This drilling season, Seattle-based activists are also planning to greet the rigs with a flotilla of kayaks in Elliott Bay.

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Gas fracking has be estimated to release much more methane than previous gas industry claims. The worst offender for Methane releases in the US is probably the natural gas field in the Four Corners area.

Methane anomaly in Four Corners area under investigation

By John Hollenhorst

DURANGO, Colo. — There's something in the air in the Four Corners region. Methane. Natural gas. Four research planes and more than two dozen scientists and technologists have descended on the region to figure out where it's coming from.

In the region where Utah rubs shoulders with three other states, satellite imagery detected the nation's worst methane hot spot.

“That’s a huge anomaly,” said Andrew Thorpe from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “But we don’t know exactly where the methane is coming from.”

The most obvious suspect is the natural gas industry. It's one of the most productive natural gas fields in the country.

Aubrey explained, “I think it was intriguing to us and deserving of more study.”

Planes operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are collecting airborne samples to quantify the methane.

Eric Kort, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Michigan, said they are also measuring the chemical fingerprints in the area.

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Republican shills for Big Carbon are launching a direct assault on NASA funding designed to gut any future enhancements to the Earth Sciences capabilities to monitor changing conditions on our planet from orbit using satellites.  

House GOP Wants to Eviscerate NASA Earth Sciences in New Budget

By Phil Plait

A passel of anti-science global warming denying GOP representatives have put together a funding authorization bill for NASA that at best cuts more than $300 million from the agency’s current Earth science budget.

At worst? More than $500 million.

The actual amount of the cut depends on whether some caps enacted in 2011 are removed or not. If they are, then Earth sciences gets $1.45 billion. If not, it gets $1.2 billion. The current FY 2015 budget is $1.773 billion.

Compare that with the White House request for FY ’16 of $1.947 billion for Earth sciences. The bill will be marked up (amended and rewritten) by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee today.

The authorization bill passed along party lines (19 Republicans to 15 Democrats) and will move to the House floor eventually for a vote. Rep. Edwards put in an amendment to restore the Earth sciences budget but was voted down ... again along party lines. So there you have it. If this authorization is upheld by the House, it will be reconciled with a Senate version, and then negotiated with the White House. But for now, the huge and devastating cuts to NASA's ability to monitor our warming planet will be the baseline.
From the LA Times:
The GOP attack on climate change science takes a big step forward

By Michael Hiltzik

Living down to our worst expectations, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology voted Thursday to cut deeply into NASA's budget for Earth science, in a clear swipe at the study of climate change.

The committee's markup of the NASA authorization bill for fiscal 2016 and 2017 passed on a party-line vote, Republicans in the majority. The action followed what appears to be a deliberate attempt to keep Democrats out of the loop. According to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), the committee's ranking Democrat, her caucus "did not even know [the markup] existed before last Friday. ... After we saw the bill, we understood why."

From the Washington Post:
Cutting NASA’s earth science budget is short-sighted and a threat

By Marshall Shepherd

When I went to bed last night, I had no intention of writing this commentary. However, I literally could not sleep contemplating the reckless cuts to NASA’s earth sciences budget being proposed by some in the U.S. House of Representatives.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, one of the few people that has actually seen our home planet from the vantage point of space, issued a statement noting that proposed cuts, “gut our Earth science program and threatens to set back generations worth of progress in better understanding our changing climate, and our ability to prepare for and respond to earthquakes, droughts, and storm events…” This statement is measured and appropriate, but I am writing to amplify this statement.

Cuts in the $300-500 million dollar range as proposed literally take NASA’s earth science program from the “enhanced” smart phone era back to the first-generation “flip” phones or maybe the rotary phone. It also fundamentally challenges the Congressional mandate of the 1958 Space Act creating NASA.

NASA chief: House budget may 'set back generations worth of progress' in climate research

These Republican imbeciles and the charlatan "experts" they follow are all bought and paid for by fossil fuel billionaires like the Kochs, and other obscenely wealthy individuals blinded by their own insatiable greed.

We haven't seen such a heavy handed attack on science since 1616 when Pope Urban VIII disturbed by Copernicus' Theory of Sun Centered Universe banned its printing and publication, eventually resulting in the trial of Galileo a few decades later.

                                                        Pope Urban VIII
                                             Role Model for House Republicans

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This shows the routine brutality by law enforcement when a suspect is uncooperative. The woman was on her way home at a BART station after drinking heavily on St. Patrick's Day of 2014 when police first contacted her.


The Koch funded Heartland Institute is sending some of its industry compliant scientists to Rome to correct Pope Francis ideas about Global Warming.

Koch-backed group sending ‘real scientists’ to school Pope Francis about ‘Biblical duty’ to pollute

The libertarian Heartland Institute — perhaps best known for working alongside cigarette manufacturers to question the dangers of second-hand smoke — will host a workshop featuring two “real scientists” Tuesday in Rome ahead of a Vatican summit on the environment, although the group neglected to identify its scientists.

Pope Francis plans to issue an encyclical letter this summer that will address environmental issues, and very likely climate change — which could make the issue a moral and religious concern for Christians worldwide.

The Vatican summit will feature UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs – who the conservative group complained ignore “abundant data showing human greenhouse gas emissions are not causing a climate crisis.”

They said proposed international regulations on airborne pollutants would amount to “a radical reordering of global economies that will cause massive reductions in human freedom and prosperity.”

“The Holy Father is being misled by ‘experts’ at the United Nations who have proven unworthy of his trust,” said Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute. “Humans are not causing a climate crisis on God’s Green Earth – in fact, they are fulfilling their Biblical duty to protect and use it for the benefit of humanity..."

The Kochs are doing the Lord's work! They embody human prosperity! Why can't Pope Francis see that?  
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A new Gallup Poll shows Conservative Republicans' views on Global Warming diverge radically from the mainstream of American thought which increasingly matches the overwhelming scientific consensus. But like everything else in the real world conservative Republicans view Global Warming through their partisan media that distorts reality like the reflections of a funhouse mirror.

Conservative Republicans Alone on Global Warming's Timing

by Andrew Dugan

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- While notable majorities of all other political party/ideology groups say the effects of global warming will happen within their lifetime, fewer than four in 10 conservative Republicans (37%) agree, a sign of that political identity's strident skepticism on this issue.

Conservative Republicans not only decisively reject the notion that the effects of global warming will happen in this lifetime -- a position in sharp contrast to all other political identities -- but another 40% say global warming will never happen. This is significantly higher than the percentages of moderate/liberal Republicans (16%), non-leaning independents (14%), conservative/moderate Democrats (5%) and liberal Democrats (3%) who say the same.

These results are based on an aggregate of more than 6,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup's annual Environment poll each March from 2010 to 2015.

Of the major political identities, conservative Republicans are the only group in which a clear majority (70%) attribute increasing terrestrial temperatures to natural changes in the environment. By contrast, majorities of Democrats and independents say global warming is due to effects of pollution from human activities. Moderate/liberal Republicans are split on the issue.
Conservative Republicans as a group stand alone in rejecting the growing consensus among Americans on human caused Global Warming. Republican leaders need enough integrity and courage to stand up to the the lunatic fringe in their own party, instead of pandering shamelessly to them. How long before that happens is hard to guess for a GOP used to bending over backwards to protect its Big Oil donors business as usual practices that the industry clings to.

President Obama speaking on Earth Day in the threatened Florida Everglades forcefully rejected Florida Governor Rick Scott's prohibition against state officials mentioning Global Warming or Climate Change in their official roles.

Obama in Everglades: ‘Climate change cannot be edited out of the conversation’


President Barack Obama on Wednesday paid his first visit to the Everglades, delivering an Earth Day speech that tied the threat of rising seas pose for the imperiled River of Grass to wider climate change risks across the nation.

But his choice of South Florida as a venue also was clearly calculated to make political points. Voters will elect Obama’s successor in 18 months, and the Republican field so far is teeming with would-be candidates, including two from Florida, who question whether climate change is man-made, despite significant scientific scholarship concluding that it is largely a result of carbon emissions.

In a speech delivered at Everglades National Park, the president also got a subtle dig in at Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has come under fire for ordering state staffers to avoid the term “climate change.”

"Climate change can no longer be denied...cannot be edited out of the conversation," Obama said. The governor, who declined an invitation to join Obama on his Glades tour, has denied such a mandate exists.

This week, scores of scientists meeting in Broward County revealed new research that showed even more dramatic changes in store under climate change projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that predicts increases in temperature, sea level and ocean salinity.

Protective mangrove coasts could disappear, studies found, and soils collapse under increasingly salty conditions, allowing Florida Bay to grow and the Everglades to shrink. The wetlands, which provides much of South Florida’s freshwater, are already half their original size.

“We’re at this key moment where there’s crucial public recognition,” said Florida International University ecologist Evelyn Gaiser, who has been invited to meet with Obama after his speech.

South Florida's Everglades is one of the areas of the nation most threatened by Global Warming and the resulting rise in Sea Levels. Rick Scott and all of the Republicans running for President in 2016 including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are trying their hardest to pretend that Global Warming isn't a potentially catastrophic problem for South Florida and other parts of the country most at risk.
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President Obama is slamming Senator Elizabeth Warren and opponents of TPP, making claims about the contents of the secret treaty that can't be supported by the text of the treaty which is still being hidden from the American public, despite the fact that the particulars of the treaty are well known in corporate board rooms since they are the ones who largely wrote the treaty to address their wants.    

Obama Says Elizabeth Warren Is ‘Wrong’ on Trade

Haley Sweetland Edwards

In an interview with MSNBC, Obama said Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and her supporters are “wrong” to think that the White House’s signature free trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, would be bad for the American economy. The sweeping 12-nation accord, which would become the largest free trade pact in U.S. history, would open up borders between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries, including Japan and Australia, and is supported by a wide variety of business groups and most Republicans.

“I love Elizabeth,” Obama told host Chris Matthews. “We’re allies on a whole host of issues. But she’s wrong on this.”

“And when you hear folks make a lot of suggestions about how bad this trade deal is,” the President continued, “when you dig into the facts, they are wrong.”
How are we supposed to dig into the "facts" when the treaty's text remains a secret Mr President?

The very people who are supporting this deal ought to give the president pause about who he's getting in bed with to try and pass this secretive package of gifts to corporations and the investor class.


Who do you support on the question of Fast Track Authority?

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