Wednesday: Did you hear that?

It was a collective sigh from all the people who were relieved to see Obama giving it to Romney last night.

Good Morning!

I plumb forgot that I had to write this post. Guess I was enjoying the commentary from all you sky dancers last night.  I’m still worried about what could happen on November 6th…but as least Obama did a better job of it this time around. And kudos to Candy Crowley, she did a fantastic job as moderator….

Full debate transcript here.

I think the photo above is very telling…Romney did not have his jerk ass smirk on, nope…he sure didn’t.  And I also feel that Obama was truly offended by Romney’s politicizing the deaths of our Embassy staff in Libya and it showed when Obama gave the best answer of the night to the question about Benghazi…

Josh Marshall agrees this was a stand out moment:

I’m not sure it’s the most significant. But in some ways a stand out moment for me was the exchange on Libya when Romney clearly thought he’d caught Obama in a gotcha moment (saying he referred to attack as “terrorism” the day after it happened). But if you’ve been paying attention you know that’s exactly the word he used. Whatever else you can say happened — and must is total baloney from the Romney camp — that’s the word he used. But somehow Romney hadn’t been prepped or briefed on that. And even Crowley had to factcheck him in real time. Here’s the video.

Here are a few take-aways from last night’s debate.

First I will point to Andrew Sullivan, who will not be jumping from the George Washington bridge…. Town Hall Debate: Blog Reax  He has put together many of the pundits comments in this one post.  So give that link a look-see.

These are just a few more observations…in link dump fashion…

Obama regains the initiative to win second presidential debate | World news | guardian.co.uk

Obama Ekes Out a Win in Post-Debate Polls – NationalJournal.com

DEBATE 2: THE RE-DEBATENING | Gin and Tacos

Obama and Romney Turn Up the Temperature at Their Second Debate – NYTimes.com

Obama turns it around – The Plum Line – The Washington Post

Taegan Goddard- Reaction to the Second Presidential Debate

Last Night’s Debate – Charles P. Pierce at the Presidential Debate – Esquire

Obama Wins Debate. Rude Romney Loses. Round-Up.Tennessee Guerilla Women

#Debates: RomneyShambles, Fair Pay, and Binders Full of Women | Angry Black Lady Chronicles

Obama Strikes Back | Mother Jones

Obama’s Triumph – Robert Wright – The Atlantic

Everything You Need to Know About the Debate Exchange on Libya – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic

George Will: ‘This Was Immeasurably The Best Debate’ I Have Ever Seen | Mediaite

Game, Set, Obama -Robert Kuttner

Romney menaces, but Obama emerges as the alpha male in 2nd presidential debate | theGrio

“I Am Bloody Elated” – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast

(CNN) – Who was telling the truth in last night’s debate? Check out a slate of CNN Fact Checks below.

CNN Fact Check: A day after Libya attack, Obama described it as ‘acts of terror’

CNN Fact Check: Obama’s student aid boast on the mark

CNN Fact Check: Candidates positions on contraception?

CNN Fact Check: Romney, women and jobs

The Picture That Encapsulates the Debate – James Fallows – The Atlantic

1) The Obama team had clearly thought about one long-term tic in Mitt Romney’s debate demeanor: His apparently uncontrollable vulnerability to being flustered if he thinks the “rules” are not being enforced. “I’m speaking … it’s my turn.” Thus pictures like this, with Romney in a “teacher! teacher!” mode. This is the counterpart to the iconic picture of the first debate, which was Obama looking downcast and downward with a scowl. If I had more time I’d dig up one of those pics.

the1debatepic.banner.getty.jpg

Getty Images

2) To spell it out, I agree with my Atlantic colleagues Ta-Nehisi Coates and also Robert Wright on the general flow of this one, and disagree with our National Journal colleague Ron Fournier, who considered it a no-winner squabble that left everyone worse off. Certainly there were pitched disagreements — but to me they did not amount to squabbling but rather to the expression of actual differences, on issues from Libya to taxes. Unfortunately not on the automatic-weapons question, but that’s a different topic.

I still think that picture I put up top is better…

And… Fox Doesn’t Declare Debate Winner, Focuses On ‘Aggressive’ Obama, Romney’s Botched Libya Response (Well, no surprise there.)

One of the trends from the debate was taken from a comment Mitt made about binders full of women. In fact, I thought that whole comment of his about hiring women for his cabinet was condescending crap! You know what? Fuck you Mitt! According to this link, (h/t Boston Boomer) it was not a true story : Mind The Binder – Talking Politics

What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I’ve checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I’ve just presented it is correct — and that Romney’s claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.

I will write more about this later, but for tonight let me just make a few quick additional points. First of all, according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn’t care about — and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about — budget, business development, etc. — went to women.

Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. (It then began rapidly rising when Deval Patrick took office.)

Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?

We will keep up with this story…of course.

Anyway,  TRENDING: ‘Binders full of women’ raises brows – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs

Did Mitt Romney really request that as governor of Massachusetts, he be brought “whole binders full of women?” It was his response to a question – on gender pay inequality – which turned heads and started fingers tapping on keyboards. Before the debate was over, there was a Twitter hashtag, a blog, a series of memes, and a Facebook page with over 100,000 fans. The phrase was the third-fastest rising search on Google during the debate.

These are good:

It prompted memes, such as Hugh Heffner in what appears to be a library: “Binders full of women? Oh sure, I’ve got hundreds of them.”

Referencing an investment by Romney’s former company, Robert Drakes asked on Facebook, “Do they sell #BindersFullOfWomen at Staples?”

Others, such as Joi Jamison’s post to Facebook, get at the heart of the matter: “Binders full of women cost 77 cents, while binders full of men cost $1.”

The Obama campaign was in on it as well: a paid post from President Barack Obama’s official campaign account appeared atop searches for “binders full of women” on Twitter.

In the second question of the night, voter Katherine Fenton queried Obama: “In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?”

The incumbent cited the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was the first piece of legislation he signed into law.

Romney, who worked in business, then served as governor of Massachusetts, said he “learned a great deal” about the inequalities between men and women in the workplace when chief executive of his state.

“I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men,” Romney said. And I – and I went to my staff, and I said, ‘How come all the people for these jobs are – are all men?’ They said, “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.’ ”

Romney said he requested “a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.”

Then, the sound bite which drove the online chatter.

“I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women,” Romney said.

The tweets and posts quickly stacked up.

You can read lots of tweets here at hastag.org…#BindersFullOfWomen

Or, check out this tumblr: Binders Full Of Women

Binders full of women.

That is a great way to end this post…so what’s going on in your part of the world?

 


There Will Be Blood

If you listen to the GOP, you’d be convinced that the WH, Democrats in general and crazed environmentalists specifically had nixed the Keystone Pipeline out of sheer orneriness or a deep-seated hatred of good ‘ole American Capitalism.  Rick Santorum and his Prince of Darkness tour would no doubt smell brimstone in the midst of any pipeline dissent.

Well, surprise, surprise.  The push back is not limited to protestors in the United States.  Our northern neighbors in Canada have as many if not more objections to the Petro State ripping through their country, poisoning watersheds, destroying wildlife and property, causing disease and health problems among citizens, all in the name of King Oil and the desire to wring every last drop out of the planet.

The Hell with Consequences!

First Nation, the indigenous population of Canada, has already predicted:

There will be blood!

Why the outcry?  Enbridge, Inc. and the conservative government in Canada is pressing forward with their own pipeline project, Northern Gateway, which would carry 500,000+ barrels a day 731 miles from a town near Edmonton, westward through the Rocky Mountains to a port on the British Columbia [BC] coast.  Over 60 indigenous organizations have expressed their opposition, refusing to be moved by the promise of revenue, jobs and an increase in their quality of life because their lives are deeply attached to the natural resources of BC, most importantly the integrity of the salmon trade that depends on the streams and tributaries of the Fraser and Skeena Rivers.   In addition, the proposed port on the coast, which would host over 200 oil tankers a year, could expose the Great Bear rainforest to irreparable damage.

Think Valdez!

Interestingly enough, First Nation opposition is the most serious threat to the Harper government’s enthusiastic endorsement of the pipeline.  Unlike other indigenous groups, First Nation never signed treaties with the Canadian government and consequently never relinquished their lands to the Federal government.  On the other hand, the government and oil companies have nearly unlimited funds to fight this battle in court.

According to the LA Times report Tribal Chief Jackie Thomas has said:

“It’s going to be a war. The only question is, who’s going to draw the first blood.”

And here’s a chilling factoid: Enbridge is the same company responsible for the leak of 800,000+ gallons [the EPA now reports over 1 million gallons] of tar sand oil into the Kalamazoo River, Michigan.  Presumably, the oil company has spent $700 million in reclamation procedures.  The area is still a gigantic mess.

Kalamazoo River Spill

Added to the environmental risks [the cost of which is usually ignored] the Northern Pipeline is likely to boost the price of oil for Canadian consumers because like the Keystone proposal, the oil would be exported, not available domestically. The video below is instructive in a grim way.

Why are we having these bitter disputes?

Because we desperately need new energy sources. And there’s tons of money on the line.  More importantly, we need an Energy Policy/Strategy, where the pros and cons of transitional sources are seriously considered–the trade-offs, the costs, what we as a culture are willing to put up with or risk until renewable, clean sources are developed and brought online.  That’s a plan that would look at what we need today, five years down the road, 10, 20, 30 years.  You set benchmarks.  You invest in, encourage and unleash innovation, while focusing on increased efficiency from power plants–the traditional US coal power plant is only 35% efficient, meaning we’re wasting most of the energy we’re producing–to autos to buildings to everything else.

Where is that policy?  Nada.

The Department of Defense’s push towards alternative energy is not a sign of the US military becoming rabid tree huggers.  As the world’s largest institutional energy consumer, the DOD knows the score: the days of cheap fossil fuel are over and our dependence on foreign and unfriendly suppliers is a serious security issue.  The Department’s commitment to this reality can be seen in proposed budget expenditures: $3 billion by 2015; $10 billion by 2030.

As GreenTech Media reported, this sort of shift has historical parallels:

Military spending in support of energy is not new. Winston Churchill’s decision in 1911 to move the British Navy, then the world’s then most dominant military force, from coal to oil changed the world’s energy marketplace. The emerging trend in DoD spending on renewables is an equally historic marker.

Neither American or Canadian energy needs should come down to an either/or contest: shut off the electricity or rip the environment apart, robbing people, wildlife, the very planet of their health, sustainability and future.  We cannot poison our watersheds, jeopardize our aquifers or damage fertile farmlands for the sake of profits or our unwillingness to conserve and efficiently utilize what we have.  King Oil has ruled long enough. The damage they’re willing to exact is unacceptable, even obscene.

Alberta Tar Oil Sands, Aerial Satellite Shot

First Nation peoples of British Columbia know this and are willing to fight tooth and nail to preserve what’s left of their way of life and cultural traditions. To save the irreplaceable.

Great Bear Rainforest

There may very well be blood.  It’s a worthy fight.