Breath on this: according to the agency that monitors these things, carbon dioxide emissions have declined 10 percent since 2005. 2009 was particularly "exceptional." "In 2009, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States saw their largest absolute and percentage decline (405 million metric tons or 7.0 percent) since the start of EIA's comprehensive record of annual energy data that begins in 1949, more than 60 years ago." So why is this happening? Climate Progress notes that only a third of last year's decline can be attributed to the recession. Which means that...something else ... attention to the problem, maybe, might be shifting people's behavior.
Time to preview Time's cover next week: it'll be on the oil spill.
The guy responsible for the nation's nuclear weapons, Dan Cook, has finally been cleared out of committee. (He's nominated to be the NNSA's deputy director for defense programs.)
Want to mess with RGA chairman Haley Barbour's head? Then run ads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Want to mess with journalist's heads? Be a gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts who does that. Backstory: Barbour's RGA is bashing independent Tim Cahill, who's drawing votes from Republican nominee Charlie Baker. Cahill wants to make Barbour feel the pain. Hence... Will it work? Probably not. Does it get attention? You bet.
Former Sen. Dirk Kempthorne (R) is talking to Idahoans and others about the possibility of a 2012 presidential bid. For real. He was last seen in DC as Interior Secretary under President G.W. Bush.
Orange County, New York executive Edward Diana met with the National Republican Senatorial Committee about a possible challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand. Note that the meeting was at Diana's request.
Democrats have talking points, too. Below, official Senate Democratic talkers for the Times Square bombing attempt.
DEMOCRATS ARE KEEPING AMERICA SAFE WHILE REPUBLICANS SECOND-GUESS OUR MEN AND WOMEN ON THE FRONT LINES
* Democrats are focused on keeping Americans safe: catching and killing terrorists, driving al Qaeda to its weakest point since 9-11, and working with the Obama administration to make sure our military and intelligence services have the tools they need.
* In New York City, Faisal Shahzad was apprehended and is reportedly providing valuable information that could help disrupt and prevent future attacks.
* Unfortunately, some Republicans are second-guessing the men and women on the front lines of our fight against terrorists.
* The heroic men and women who are on the front lines deserve our steadfast support - not second-guessing and by politicians trying to score political points .
* Here at home, Congress and the Obama administration are protecting Americans against terrorist attacks. We have:
o Disrupted numerous terrorism plots and prosecuted dozens of terrorist suspects, such as Najibullah Zazi, the plotter behind what Attorney General Holder has called "one of the most serious terrorist threats to our nation since September 11th, 2001."
o Enhanced intelligence-sharing, strengthened aviation security regulations, and boosted human intelligence collection capabilities.
o Fully implemented the 9/11 Commission's recommendations.
o Provided significant funding increases for the Defense Department, the Intelligence Community and the Department of Homeland Security.
* We are also taking the fight to terrorists abroad. We have:
o Killed or captured most-wanted terrorist leaders in key strategic areas including Iraq, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. o Disrupted al Qaeda leadership, finances and safe havens - pushing al Qaeda to its weakest point since 9-11.
o Reversed the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan, in part by tripling the number of U.S. troops there.
o Strengthened our partnership with Pakistan, empowering it to mount major offensives against terrorists within its borders.
* The bottom line is that we have continued to bolster intelligence and national security capabilities put in place since 9-11, and our country is as prepared as ever to defend against threats domestic and foreign.
* Our law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials need to know that they have a strong, unified support here at home - they deserve better than second-guessing from politicians.