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House GOP Should Arrest Eric Holder After Contempt Vote
I am beginning to think that Republicans in the House of Representatives need to go whole hog on this Eric Holder contempt of Congress vote and have the U. S. Capitol Police arrest him after they pass it on Thursday. The pictures of Holder being detained in the Capitol Police station would be the kind of political red meat that would have the right wing of the Republican Party dancing in the streets. It might even serve to taint the Justice Department’s challenges to the new voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina and to the voter purging by the state of Florida.
“One important element of this duel, however, is not currently well understood by the public: what, exactly, does it mean to “hold” someone “in contempt”? For example, many of Holder’s supporters doubtless hold Issa in contempt, in a manner of speaking. But if Issa is ultimately backed by Speaker John Boehner and a majority of the House, then the House is legally empowered to hold a defiant witness in contempt in a far more literal way: the House may hold a witness in its hold: in a prison cell in the Capitol itself. And the House can keep the witness there, using its own enforcer—its “sergeant at arms”—until the House session ends. And in fact, each house of Congress exercised this power early on in our nation’s history.
But if Issa and Boehner tried to hold Holder, the optics would be ugly, and Mr. Chairman and Mr. Speaker would risk alienating fair-minded voters. Also, no House has ever tried to hold the president himself—commander in chief of the U.S. Army—or a cabinet officer. And any House attempt to hold Holder would be particularly awkward, as it would effectively undo an appointment made by the president and the Senate—an appointment process in which the Constitution pointedly excludes the House itself.”
I’d be doing a little celebrating of my own, though, if Speaker Boehner and Eric Cantor were stupid enough to have U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder detained by the Capitol Police and tried in front of the House of Representatives on contempt charges. Arresting Holder would instantly make Karl Rove’s refusal to comply with a Congressional subpoena front page news for the next two weeks.
Even more importantly, from where I sit, the arrest of Eric Holder by a Republican controlled House of Representatives would make him an instant martyr for Democrats to rally around. Latino and Hispanic support for President Obama has exploded since he issued his executive order stopping the deportation of young illegal immigrants last week. As an added bonus, a Holder arrest might finally animate an African American electorate which has thus far displayed a lackluster level of commitment towards the president’s re-election.
This contempt charge isn’t even good political theater, mostly because Representative Issa and Speaker Boehner don’t seem to fully understand that they aren’t supposed to be on stage right now. Their proceedings against Mr. Holder this Thursday, which seemed to be such a victory last week, will now be overshadowed by the ticking sound of the countdown to Thursday’s headline act, the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?
Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.