Palin Place: Levi Accuses Sarah of Lying

The Palin Place soap opera continues as Levi Johnston is interviewed, this time on CBS. In an interview with Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez Johnston described an increasing feud with the Palin family and accused Sarah of lying:

But now that he and Bristol have split up, Johnson continues to say, he isn’t allowed to have private time with Tripp, even though he once lived in Sarah Palin’s house.

Palin’s camp says he never lived there, and Johnston is lying about the former living arrangements.

But he’s fighting back.

Rodriguez laid it right on the line, observing to Johnston, “Sarah Palin, through a spokesperson, has denied a lot of the things you’re saying. So, either you’re lying or Sarah Palin is lying. Which is it?”

“They said I didn’t live there,” Johnston said. “(They say) I ‘stayed there.’ I was like, ‘OK, whatever you want to call it’ — I had all my stuff there. So, if you wanna call it ‘staying there,’ that’s fine.”

“You had all your things there — toothbrush, pajamas — stayed there every night?”

“For awhile, yeah. So…”

“So, they’re lying,” Rodriguez said, summing up his statements.

“Yeah,” Johnston confirmed.

Mercede Johnston, Levi’s sister, backed him up, telling Rodriguez, “He was living there. I hadn’t seen him for two months. He lived there. They can’t say, ‘Oh, no, he just stayed.’ That’s an absolute lie.”

Washington Post Further Debunks George Will on Climate Change

Are some writers at The Washington Post now making a point to make up for the bogus information on climate change recently published in a column by George Will? Yesterday they published more information which contradicts his claims:

The Arctic sea ice cover continues to shrink and become thinner, according to satellite measurements and other data released yesterday, providing further evidence that the region is warming more rapidly than scientists had expected.

The data on this winter’s ice buildup came on the day that international ministers gathered in Washington to address issues facing Earth’s polar regions, which have been disproportionately affected by global warming. At the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the Arctic Council that the Obama administration will press for greater action on climate change and for passage of the Law of the Sea Treaty in order to help regulate expanded human activity in a warmer Arctic, including shipping, fishing and oil exploration.

Clinton said scientists are still struggling to understand the implications of the changes, “but the research made possible within the framework of the Antarctic Treaty has shown us that catastrophic consequences await if we don’t take action soon.”

After further discussion of the data the article even points out that this information contradicts an item on their op-ed page:

The new evidence — including satellite data showing that the average multiyear wintertime sea ice cover in the Arctic in 2005 and 2006 was nine feet thick, a significant decline from the 1980s — contradicts data cited in widely circulated reports by Washington Post columnist George F. Will that sea ice in the Arctic has not significantly declined since 1979.

Scientists have begun debating how soon the Arctic will lose its summer ice altogether, with some saying it could happen as early as 2015. White House science adviser John P. Holdren told the crowd at the State Department that the total disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic “may be far, far closer” than scientists thought just a few years ago.

Meier said the gradual loss of ice is already transforming the region. “There’s already impacts, in terms of the climate, in terms of the people,” he said.

The loss of sea ice in the Arctic will not directly raise global sea levels, researchers said, but will contribute to an overall ocean warming that could erode the Greenland ice sheet, which would affect sea levels. The disappearance of the polar ice cap could also affect global ocean circulation patterns, and its melting has already imperiled native species such as the polar bear.

Norway’s foreign minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, painted a stark picture of the climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. “The ice is melting,” Stoere said. “We should all be worried.”

David Roberts of Gist wrote about the response to Will:

I can’t think of another instance when a news story at a newspaper explicitly called out an op-ed writer in the same paper for lying, by name. It’s pretty extraordinary. I can only imagine that something like this got passed up the editorial food chain, from science editor Nils Bruzelius to national news editor Kevin Merida, and perhaps beyond. (The Post will not talk on record about their editorial process; they “stand behind their reporting” and so forth.) [UPDATE: After I put this post up, science editor Nils Bruzelius gave me a call and was quite collegial and open about the story. It was actually him who had the idea to reference Will, since the, ahem, “data” Will had distributed got so much publicity and was on people’s minds. He said he and the reporters agreed, it was a routine news judgment, nothing about it struck him as unusual, and as far as he knows no one above him questioned or was even aware of it. I don’t know how much of that is feingned innocence—I’ve certainly never heard of a similar case—but it seems there was no big process inside WaPo behind this. Cheers to Bruzelius for the transparency.]

Hard to read it as anything but a rebuke from the news team to Post editor Fred Hiatt and his editorial page’s “multi-layer editing process,” which allowed Will to lie and mislead on climate change three times just in the last few months, even after being corrected, publicly, by multiple sources.

Along the same lines, see this new piece on the Post’s weather blog, by Andrew Freeman: “Will Misleads Readers on Climate Science – Again.”

“George Will’s recent columns demonstrate a very troubling pattern of misrepresentation of climate science. They raise some interesting questions about journalism, specifically concerning the editing process. Editors and fact checkers are there to ensure that publications like the Washington Post don’t print factually incorrect information.”

One common meme of global warming deniers is to claim that recent cooling trends in parts of the world contradict the evidence for climate change. In reality, data such as this shows that if anything the problem is worse than many were saying a few years back.

Military Accused of Exerting Pressure Not To Diagnose PTSD

Conservatives are often claiming that efforts at making health care more affordable represent attempts at government control of health care. I suspect that this type of government meddling in health care decisions is not what Republicans are talking about. Salon alleges that the military is attempting to suppress diagnoses of PTSD based upon clandestine recordings:

Sgt. X had no idea that the little machine in his pocket was about to capture recorded evidence of something wounded soldiers and their advocates have long suspected — that the military does not want Iraq veterans to be diagnosed with PTSD, a condition that obligates the military to provide expensive, intensive long-term care, including the possibility of lifetime disability payments. And, as Salon will explore in a second article Thursday, after the Army became aware of the tape, the Senate Armed Services Committee declined to investigate its implications, despite prodding from a senator who is not on the committee. The Army then conducted its own internal investigation — and cleared itself of any wrongdoing…

Contacted recently by Salon, McNinch seemed surprised that reporters had obtained the tape, but answered questions about the statements captured by the recording. McNinch told Salon that the pressure to misdiagnose came from the former head of Fort Carson’s Department of Behavioral Health. That colonel, an Army psychiatrist, is now at Fort Lewis in Washington state. “This was pressure that the commander of my Department of Behavioral Health put on me at that time,” he said. Since McNinch is a civilian employed by the Army, the colonel could not order him to give a specific, lesser diagnosis to soldiers. Instead, McNinch said, the colonel would “refuse to concur with me, or argue with me, or berate me” when McNinch diagnosed soldiers with PTSD. “It is just very difficult being a civilian in a military setting.”

McNinch added that he also received pressure not to properly diagnose traumatic brain injury, Sgt. X’s other medical problem. “When I got there I was told I was overdiagnosing brain injuries and now everybody is finding out that, yes, there are brain injuries,” he recalled. McNinch said he argued, “‘What are we going to do about treatment?’ And they said, ‘Oh, we are just counting people. We don’t plan on treating them.'” McNinch replied, “‘You are bringing a generation of brain-damaged individuals back here. You have got to get a game plan together for this public health crisis.'”