I remember when Rachel Maddow of MSNBC wrote this opinion piece, informing us that the administration of George W. Bush did nothing to cultivate a deep bench of Republican leadership prospects. As far as Maddow was concerned . . . well . . . let’s let her words speak for themselves: [Read more…]
As one who believes that same-sex couples deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and that marriage equality only serves to strengthen the institution of marriage, I am pleased and delighted to see that Ireland has decided to enshrine marriage equality as a constitutional right. This is a remarkable and extraordinary achievement, given the power that the Catholic Church continues to wield in the country. The church, of course, wanted the rest of the country to vote “no” on the issue of marriage equality, but the Irish people wisely concluded that when we talk about God “abounding in steadfast love,” we ought to acknowledge that God’s love is–and ought to be–for all people.
I imagine that eventually, the Catholic Church will find a way to reconcile itself to this message. It had better, lest it be left behind by a world whose people increasingly realize that when two individuals commit to loving one another for the rest of their lives, forsaking all others in the process, that phenomenon ought to be celebrated and not condemned. In any event, congratulations to the Irish people, and to all others who work to end the destructive and intelligence-insulting stereotypes that for too long have made life miserable for too many gays, lesbians and bisexuals.
I always knew that Robert Gates was and is one of the most honorable people around in public life, and he has just proven it again by bluntly telling the Boy Scouts of America that they are going to have to change with the times: [Read more…]
I am perfectly willing to sacrifice something to combat climate change. I am willing to sacrifice tax money. I invite policymakers to enact a carbon tax that will be designed to reduce carbon emissions in order to slow–and hopefully, reverse–the process of global warming. I invite pundits to advocate the enactment of such a tax, and to give our governing class the political cover necessary to implement a carbon tax. And I invite the electorate to reward politicians who call for a carbon tax by electing and re-electing them to positions of public trust, and to punish those who do not by denying them election to those positions. Back in 2007, I argued for the enactment of a carbon tax that would “be pegged to the three-year average change in global tropical temperatures.” My concern back then was to measure the degree to which human activity might be contributing to global warming, and I signed on to the economist Ross McKitrick’s plan to tie any carbon tax to the three year moving average temperature in the tropical troposphere. If it were found that human activity is contributing to global warming, then we could increase such a tax until any increase in carbon emissions could be halted and reduced.
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But here is the thing: I don’t think that the implementation of a carbon tax should constitute a “sacrifice” of any real kind. Indeed, short of geo-engineering, a carbon tax is as close as we are ever likely to get to using a silver bullet to reverse climate change. Not all solutions to climate change need to involve pain, and just because a solution involves pain, that does not mean that the solution will be powerful or consequential.
Longtime blog readers of mine are, of course, quite familiar with my stance on the desirability of carbon taxes. But whether or not you are a longtime reader, check out the rest of the piece.
I didn’t like it when I heard that George Stephanopoulos had left politics for journalism. I figured that he was only being rewarded for his political stardom, that he wouldn’t do the necessary work to transform himself into a serious journalist, and that–yes–he would use his media perch to act as a shill for the Democratic party.
Over time, I earned a grudging respect for Stephanopoulos. He seemed to actually be a substantive journalist, and while I didn’t follow his media career closely, I did see instances of him holding Democrats’ feet to the fire. I figured that maybe I was wrong about Stephanopoulos; maybe he did have the ability to shed his political past and become the type of journalist that both Democrats and Republicans could count on to be fair and impartial.