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The Nation

October 25, 2009
Peter Rothberg
Peter Rothberg

Kudos to 350.org for organizing the most widespread day of political action in the planet's history. You wouldn't know it if you get your news from the New York Times, the Huffington Post or the blogosphere but yesterday there were more than 5,200 rallies and demonstrations in 181 countries making the case that climate change must be addressed immediately and forthrightly.

The number 350 comes from a NASA research team headed by American climate scientist James Hansen, which surveyed both real-time climate observations and emerging paleo-climatic data in January of 2008. They concluded that above 350ppm CO2, the earth's atmosphere couldn't support "a planet similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted." Current global CO2 concentration is at 390 parts per million.

"Glaciers and sea ice are melting, drought is spreading, and flooding is on the increase because our planet has reached a proven unsafe level of CO2 emissions," said 350.org founder and writer Bill McKibben in New York City yesterday. "Today's action is an example of the huge worldwide momentum we need to drive political change. Our leaders have heard from major corporations and big polluters for a long time--today, finally, they are hearing from citizens and scientists. And what they are hearing is 350."

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October 24, 2009
Betsy Reed
Betsy Reed

In the nonsensical Palin universe, "rogue" means walking in lockstep with the Christian right.

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The Notion
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October 24, 2009
John Nichols
John Nichols

West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd refers to himself as "a student of history."

In fact, he is history.

The longest serving senator in the history of the legislative branch of the federal government, the former majority leader of the chamber, the constitutional scholar who several presidents (Democrats and Republicans) considered as a potential Supreme Court nominee, the long-ago southern stalwart who reconstructed himself as a supporter of civil rights and an early backer of Barack Obama's presidential campaign, he is an epic figure who speaks with an authority steeped in the wisdom gained from having personally experienced what others know only from books.

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John Nichols
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October 23, 2009
John Nichols
John Nichols

It would be difficult to concoct a Washington fantasy more delicious than this one: Barack Obama declares "war" on Fox News and Fox boss Roger Ailes counters by signaling that he will challenge the president in the 2012 election.

This is William Randolph Hearst, Citizen Kane stuff--great fodder for political junkies.

But Ailes is not going to be president, nor even the Republican nominee for president.

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John Nichols
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October 23, 2009
Eric Alterman
Eric Alterman

We've got a new "Think Again" column called "It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's...Cable News," and it's here.  My Nation column, about Obama and Fox News and the rest of the media, is called "Just Don't Call It Journalism," and that's here.

 

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October 23, 2009
The Nation

We're pleased to announce our winners!

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October 23, 2009
Peter Rothberg
Peter Rothberg

How to rally a global climate movement? That's the question the heros at 350.org take up in this video highlighting the 4,641 global actions currently planned for tomorrow, Saturday, October 24.

A year ago, NASA's James Hansen and his team produced a landmark series of studies. They showed that if the amount of carbon in the atmosphere tops 350 parts per million, the planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted" will be perhaps irreversibly harmed.

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October 23, 2009
Katrina vanden Heuvel

President Obama will soon make what could be the defining decision of his presidency. The course he chooses in Afghanistan will tell us a lot about the kind of country we will become during his administration.

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October 22, 2009
Eyal Press

In his Wall Street Journal column yesterday, Tom Frank paid homage to Richard Hofstadter's famous essay, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." As Frank noted, Birthers convinced that Barack Obama's birth certificate was forged in a plot to turn the United States into a fascist state are heirs to a long tradition of conspiracy thinking that has periodically flourished on the fringes of the American right.

But the paranoid style has seeped into some institutions on the left as well. For proof, look no further than a recent meeting of the Pacifica radio network's National Board, where a resolution was introduced that requires all programmers to disclose funding sources above $5,000. "The reason I created this motion," Chris Condon, a member of Pacifica's National Governance Committee, explained, "is because there has been a lot of debate about whether or not Amy Goodman has received CIA conduit foundation funding from the Ford Foundation and other places."

Amy Goodman is, of course, the co-host of Democracy Now!, an unabashedly progressive news program that airs on over 800 stations across the country. As anyone who has listened to even five minutes of the program knows, Goodman is about as likely to be on the payroll of the CIA as Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky. She has probably devoted more airtime to dissecting the CIA's transgressions in the past decade than any other member of her profession.

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The Notion
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