It’s a public service ad, of course, and this one is important, relating to lead pollution.
NBC News’s World Blog carried a series on malaria and fighting it around the world. Here’s part I:
PAILIN, Cambodia – The border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia at Pailin has a rather bleak feel about it at the best of times. In the heavy monsoon rain, the dingy checkpoints are reduced to gray smudges.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Earlier we discussed the political jabs lacking scientific merit at the blogs that have sprung up to harry and heckle climate scientists, especially a relatively new one called, inaptly, “haunting the library.”
The author and commenters have taken to calling Dr. James Hansen “Beijing Jim,” thinking it a cleverly insulting nickname.
I almost regret asking. Why “Beijing Jim?”
They started it when Hansen wrote an opposite-editorial page piece for the South China Post, urging China to act against global warming anyway, despite the U.S.’s failure to take aggressive-enough action yet.
haunting the library tries to spin the piece as Hansen moving over to China’s side in all issues, a position they seem to think is somehow unpatriotic (and therefore, insulting to Hansen).
Actually, in the article, Hansen doesn’t let China off the hook at all. It’s a patient, well-aimed call to China to do the right things. Only by misreporting and misrepresenting what Hansen said can climate science cranks spin it.
James Hansen takes the honorable high road, calling on the world’s most-polluting nations to take action now to save our children’s and grandchildren’s future. haunting the library issues schoolyard, childish and churlish taunts.
Oh, but Dear Reader, you’re already guessing at the particular intellectual clumsiness I’m getting to, aren’t you? It’s about that taunting name, “Beijing Jim.” It’s unfair and undeserved because Hansen represented America well, and honorably. “Free Enterprise Jim” would be closer to the facts.
It’s also geographically wrong. South China Morning Post is a Hong Kong newspaper, not Beijing. Hong Kong is the Chinese outpost of rampant free enterprise, as you know and the rest of the world knows. Hong Kong is not Beijing.
The climate science cranks at haunting the library don’t know climate science, don’t know newspaper publishing, and flail at geography, too. They’re cranky, too. Cranky cranks. Poetic, almost.
- Hansen’s follow-up at his website, part 1 (part 2 not available yet); Hansen’s website
- Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online plays nasty, and wrong
January 24, 2011: Others are watching, too. Tim Lambert at Deltoid makes gentle correction of an Andrew Bolt column relying on misinformation from hauntingthelibrary. Good discussion there.
Eugene Robinson stuck to the facts, and noted that by a careful count, 62 percent of Americans oppose the Republican vote to repeal the new health care law:
What actually happened, though, is that the Republican majority managed to win the votes of just three Democrats – all of them Blue Dogs who have been consistent opponents of the reform package anyway. In terms of actual defectors, meaning Democrats who changed sides on the issue, there were none. This is momentum?
The unimpressive vote came at a moment when “the will of the people” on health care is coming into sharper focus. Most polls that offer a simple binary choice – do you like the “Obamacare” law or not – show that the reforms remain narrowly unpopular. Yet a significant fraction of those who are unhappy complain not that the reform law went too far but that it didn’t go far enough. I think of these people as the “public option” crowd.
A recent Associated Press poll found that 41 percent of those surveyed opposed the reform law and 40 percent supported it. But when asked what Congress should do, 43 percent said the law should be modified so that it does more to change the health-care system. Another 19 percent said it should be left as it is.
More troubling for the GOP, the AP poll found that just 26 percent of respondents wanted Congress to repeal the reform law completely. A recent Washington Post poll found support for outright repeal at 18 percent; a Marist poll pegged it at 30 percent.
In other words, what House Republicans just voted to do may be the will of the Tea Party, but it’s not “the will of the people.”
[My math: 43% +19%=62%.]
The CBO, which “scores” the impact of proposed legislation, calculated that the health-reform law will reduce federal deficits by at least $143 billion through 2019. Confronted with the fact that repeal would deepen the nation’s fiscal woes, Republicans simply claimed the CBO estimate to be rubbish. Who cares what the CBO says, anyway?
Er, um, Republicans care, at least when it’s convenient. Delving into the CBO’s analysis, they unearthed a finding that they proclaimed as definitive: The reform law would eliminate 650,000 jobs. Hence “Job-Killing” in the repeal bill’s title.
One problem, though: The CBO analysis contains no such figure. It’s an extrapolation of a rough estimate of an anticipated effect that no reasonable person would describe as “job-killing.” What the budget office actually said is that there are people who would like to withdraw from the workforce – sometimes because of a chronic medical condition – but who feel compelled to continue working so they can keep their health insurance. Once the reforms take effect, these individuals will have new options. That’s where the “lost” jobs supposedly come from.
So, in other words, Republicans voted to keep people slaves to jobs that provide health care benefits. The party of Abraham Lincoln has fallen so far not even Abraham Lincoln at his most charitable moment would recognize it any longer.