January 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - His confirmation to be secretary of state virtually assured, Sen. John Kerry sketched a pragmatist's view of the world Thursday, telling his Senate colleagues that the war in Syria may grind on indefinitely and that Iran may rebuff peaceful efforts to scale back its nuclear program. Kerry's nearly four-hour confirmation hearing covered his views on topics new and old, including the Middle East, China's appetite for African energy and resources, North Korean gulags and his beloved Boston Red Sox. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote as soon as next week to confirm Kerry (D., Mass.)
January 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama delivered a second inaugural address Monday that stood out for its specificity when it came to the agenda items the president would like to achieve over the next four years. So, what are the chances of success for those proposals? Here's a look at five of the main agenda items he mentioned, along with the current state of play. Bring down deficits and the cost of health care. "We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity.
January 22, 2013
DURING HIS first campaign for president in 2008, Barack Obama rarely mentioned Martin Luther King by name, referring instead to a "young preacher from Georgia. " But Obama regularly acknowledges the debt he owes to the civil-rights heroes of the 1960s - and how their strategy and sacrifice changed us into, as Obama often puts it, the only "country on Earth in which my story is even possible. " Today, the connection between the two men has been made more explicit: The public ceremony for Obama's second inauguration (the president was sworn in officially Sunday)
January 12, 2013
No to Hagel The last Republican-in-name-only brought in by a Democratic president to run the Pentagon and to give the chief bipartisan cover to starve the military (every Democrat's dream) was Bill Cohen, who served under Bill Clinton ("New team for security challenges," Tuesday). After four years under their feckless leadership and general lack of interest, our nation suffered the most deadly attack since Pearl Harbor. In fairness to Clinton, there was a relative calm in the world then, and Cohen was smart enough not to harbor oafish points of view, unlike Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for defense secretary.
January 9, 2013
DEPARTING U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson did well by the public, especially with the tighter emissions rules she imposed on coal-fired power plants. But her successor will need to move Congress closer to meaningful legislation on climate change and rebuild the program that funds much of the nation's sewerage work. Ms. Jackson, the first African American to lead the EPA, helped secure landmark fuel-efficiency standards for autos. She infused new life in the agency after eight years of foot-dragging and rollbacks by former President George W. Bush's administration.
December 10, 2012
We've had a string of days with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees in Atlanta - more like late spring than late autumn. It has left me in a funk. Yes, it was pleasant to don a short-sleeved shirt to put up my Christmas lights. But I fear the unseasonable temperatures are a harbinger of disaster. What will it take to get people focused on the crisis of climate change? It would certainly help if television weather forecasters at least noted the possibility of a link between the un-December-like weather and disastrous global warming.
December 5, 2012 |
DOHA, Qatar - Pointing to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and other weather disasters this year, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an international climate conference Tuesday that it was time to "prove wrong" those who still have doubts about global warming. Ban, addressing delegates at the annual U.N. climate talks, said that time is running out for governments to act, citing recent reports showing rising emissions of greenhouse gases, which most scientists say are causing the warming trend.
December 2, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - It's a decision President Obama put off during the 2012 campaign, but now that he has won a second term, his next move on a proposed oil pipeline between the United States and Canada may signal how he will deal with climate and energy issues in the four years ahead. Obama is facing increasing pressure to determine the fate of the $7 billion Keystone XL project, with environmental activists and oil producers each holding out hope that the president, freed from the political constraints of reelection, will side with them on this and countless other related issues down the road.
November 30, 2012 |
GLACIERS ARE shrinking so rapidly we might have to change the definition of the word "glacial. " To proceed at a glacial pace nowadays means to move backward at a rapidly accelerating rate - like, say, the Eagles. The process is chronicled in the new documentary "Chasing Ice," which uses time-lapse photography to show just how drastically fast ice sheets up yonder are turning to water, raising sea levels. But wait, you say, not all glaciers are receding. Some are advancing, right?
November 27, 2012 |
DOHA, Qatar - The United States defended its track record on fighting climate change on Monday at U.N. talks, saying it was making "enormous" efforts to slow global warming and help the poor nations most affected by it. Other countries have accused Washington of hampering the climate talks ever since the Bush administration abandoned the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 treaty limiting emissions of heat-trapping gases by industrialized countries. As negotiators met for a two-week session in oil- and gas-rich Qatar, U.S. delegate Jonathan Pershing suggested America deserves more credit.