Wednesday Afternoon Open Thread

Open Thread.

Note to New Progressives ("Obama's announcment begins to give a clear picture of what those concessions will be"), get your stories straight:

[B]y announcing the drilling policy without seeking to extract concessions [. . .]

And I agree that off shore drilling is not like school uniforms. One of these policies actually matters. Guess which one?

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    Policy Not Concessions (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:39:57 PM EST
    White House spokesman Bill Burton said of course Obama would welcome Republican support for all aspects of his energy plan. But Burton said the president developed his plan because he thinks it's the best policy.

    "He didn't go into this looking at what the political coalition was going to be in getting this passed," Burton said. "He went into this thinking, what's the best policy for our country and how do we get it done?"

    USA Today

    Anyone interested in buying a bridge...

    Triangulation is (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:44:35 PM EST
    what it is.

    So is everything else. (none / 0) (#8)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:48:52 PM EST
    Well, he could at least veto a couple (none / 0) (#23)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:20:07 PM EST
    of bills first before giving in.....Excellent point you make in that regard...

    And, there is no need to triangulate on this issue.  Of all issues that Republicans fear, this one is it.  Ahnold and many Republicans oppose off-shore oil drilling....Democrats won this one...no need to backtrack now....not with a Democratic Congress.


    Were all Dem primary debates sponsored by coal? (none / 0) (#27)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:27:47 PM EST
    No (none / 0) (#28)
    by cawaltz on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:29:27 PM EST
    but I did hear they gave out some beautiful AT&T bags after the warrantless wiretapping got passed retroactively.

    Coal sponsored at least 6 debates in '08... (none / 0) (#44)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 10:29:15 PM EST
    This is what I was thinking of:
    According to a February article from The Associated Press, the group expects to spend around $40 million on television ads this year [2008], double what it spent in 2007. That figure includes $5 million it paid CNN to co-sponsor at least six presidential debates and air other network advertisements.

    If it makes anyone feel any better (none / 0) (#46)
    by cawaltz on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 10:56:16 PM EST
    even if you got rid of coal being utilized here there'd still be mining. Alot of the coal mines have been sold to Russia, India, and the Chinese(Disclosure: Hubby works for NS who at one time actually owned those coal mines). I daresay they'd be inclined to just let the mines sit.

    Sorry, what's NS stand for? (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 11:05:47 PM EST
    Norfolk Southern (none / 0) (#67)
    by cawaltz on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 04:02:06 PM EST
    It's a railroad

    Bowers: The politics of Obama's offshore drilling (none / 0) (#53)
    by dkmich on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 06:13:27 AM EST
    Hippie-punching  Are green groups going to be unhappy about this? You bet they are, and the Obama administration isn't missing a chance to play that up.  From Obama's speech on the new offshore drilling policy today:

    Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates between right and left, between business leaders and environmentalists, between those who would claim drilling is a cure all and those who would claim it has no place. Because this issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles over and over again.

    We're saved... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by desertswine on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:46:01 PM EST
    Saved I tell you. It's a miracle!

    liked that (none / 0) (#13)
    by ZtoA on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:54:48 PM EST
    and in other art news The Yes Men are POed.

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:55:30 PM EST
    Looks a lot like Chris Ofili's painting of theVirgin Mary..

    Don't tell Giuliani...


    I remember that! (none / 0) (#31)
    by ZtoA on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:08:12 PM EST
    And such a really beautiful painting. I bet Guiliani never saw it before his condemnation, just heard some dung about it.

    I remember reading about this and thinking "I wonder if this is some god-awful crappy painting" and looking at it (online) and thinking it was really beautiful and with such a light happy innocence. I was sad to not be able to see it in person. Ofili probably got a huge benefit to his career from that tho. Justice!


    Yeah (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:38:00 PM EST
    Beautiful painting. Ofili's career was in good shape before Giuliani made him even more famous. Irony was that the painting meant no disrespect to the Virgin Mary, it was Giuliani who insulted many due to his lack of understanding of African culture.

    But Giuliani was a walking insult, and took pride in it.


    The question seems to always (none / 0) (#64)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 11:27:58 AM EST
    come up with these guys: do they really believe their own line-of-crap, or, are they just playing to a certain target audience..and are they even capable of telling the difference themselves.. and would it make a difference if they could tell the difference?

    Good Question (none / 0) (#65)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 02:05:48 PM EST
    But sadly the answer is clear, whenever the fainting couch is pulled out it is placed center stage..

    Think Tammy and Jim Bakker, Father Ritter...  



    Isn't it past time for a WH (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by observed on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:52:35 PM EST
    policy on Global warming?
    I think the official position (on the website) is pro- cap and trade, but what about DOING something?

    Just like the term, (none / 0) (#32)
    by NYShooter on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:10:54 PM EST
     "public option," if you were not watching the teevee at it's introduction into the public discourse it will never, ever, never, never be explained again. Thus "cap `n trade" will become just another one of those slogans the tee partiers will rail and shout about forever.....without one in a hundred having a clue what it means.

    p.s. not just the tee partiers, by the way.


    Possible candidates for SCOTUS? (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:01:08 PM EST
    The search, being led by the new White House counsel, Robert F. Bauer, may reach beyond the typical pool of appellate judges for a politician, Democrats said. Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan was vetted last year, and Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts is a political ally. On Capitol Hill, there is talk of Senators Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. link

    McCaskill on the SCOTUS. Hopefully, this is just idle speculation.

    Heh (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:06:50 PM EST
    It'll be a judge.

    Or Kagan (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:07:07 PM EST
    Kagan (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:12:56 PM EST
    With no judicial record, Ms. Kagan is less known. As dean at Harvard Law School, she hired conservative professors to expand academic diversity and has supported assertions of executive power. But she stirred a furor by barring military recruiters because of the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly.

    Not thrilled by support of executive power.


    If you were President, would you (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:19:29 PM EST
    nominate someone to SCOTUS who did not support executive power?

    Certainly not in the wake of prospective (none / 0) (#25)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:25:30 PM EST
    war crimes charges et al.

    Man, oh man. Where did you get (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:32:36 PM EST
    the idea even an investigation might actually happen?

    You misunderstand, I don't think an investigation (none / 0) (#42)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 09:34:27 PM EST
    will happen anytime in the foreseeable future.

    However, SCOTUS members are appointed for life and if somebody like Cass Sunstein is appointed to the Court he could very well stymie any investigations that might come before him during his lifetime.

    Last week, via Greenwald: The horrible prospect of Supreme Court Justice Cass Sunstein:

    A media consensus has emerged that the retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the 90-year-old Ford-appointee who became the leader of the Court's so-called "liberal wing," is now imminent.  The New York Times has an article today on Obama's leading candidates [including Cass Sunstein]...who is currently Obama's Chief of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. From the beginning of the War on Terror, Cass Sunstein turned himself into one of the most reliable Democratic cheerleaders for Bush/Cheney radicalism and their assault on the Constitution and the rule of law.
    Fun fact: Sunstein is married to Samantha Power.

    Oh, goddess help us all. McCaskill? (none / 0) (#39)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:53:31 PM EST
    Will her teenager, who helped her pick her candidate in 2008, tell her what to say in her SCOTUS hearings?  And in her SCOTUS rulings?  

    Please talk among yourselves. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:36:29 PM EST
    Off to first Sitar and Tabla Indian Ensemble class.

    new beer (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:20:46 PM EST
    while there are no actual swear words in this ad there does appear to be so be warned.

    BTD (none / 0) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:26:32 PM EST
    I think I am  beyond my comment allotment today but I was wondering, sorry if you said this and I missed it - busy, if you have an opinion on the drill baby drill policy beyond the political ramifications.

    c ya

    None (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:28:26 PM EST
    I am ignorant on environmental issues, though I recognize it is important.

    there is only one thing to understand about (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Bornagaindem on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:19:46 PM EST
    drilling. North America (that is Canada, the US and Mexico) has less than 6% of the worlds oil. The middle east has 66% Not gonna happen getting energy independence by drilling any wherein the US. It is another ploy to get campaign contributions.

    And do those guys (Booman)  really not understand that Obama got nothing for his concession?? That is amazing.


    While America gears up for more (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 08:27:25 PM EST
    offshore drilling, other countries pursue other avenues.

    "China Huaneng Group, the nation's biggest power generator, targets a capacity to produce about 35 percent of its electricity from clean energy by 2020 as the country seeks to cut pollution, President Cao Peixi said." link

    China promoting more forward looking policies than ours - makes one proud.


    aren't they making our wind turbines? (none / 0) (#47)
    by seabos84 on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 10:57:50 PM EST
    they'd better get good at cutting edge technology if we're gonna have it here in America!

    / snark tag

    I remember, decades ago now, Nike offshoring their production & paying people peanuts and still charging a fortune for their stupid sneakers,


    how we USA-ians were all gonna be employed as designers and engineers and high level strategizers (this was before strategizing!) and those four-un-rrrs did all the scut work.

    I've been wrong about a mad max / blade runner society since Raygun got elected - I hope I'm wrong for another 30 years.



    Yes (none / 0) (#50)
    by MO Blue on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:31:10 AM EST
    It is my understanding that a lot of stimulus money was used to create 2,000 jobs in China to produce those wind tunnels. But we get a big bang for our bucks because all that money will generate 3 full time jobs here in the U.S. What a deal.

    Oh, and BTW the article I read on this said that those Chinese wind tunnels have a high degree of off time due to the need for repairs. Wish I could find that article.


    China has a terrible (none / 0) (#49)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 11:54:16 PM EST
    air quality problem they know they have to do something about because people are literally choking to death in the cities.

    More importantly, they're a mercantile society/government, and they see the rest of us moaning about global warming and not doing anything much about it and see a primo market opening up that they can fill if they're nimble enough-- and they're definitely nimble enough.

    Good for them.  At least somebody's working on it.


    China and Europe (none / 0) (#57)
    by CST on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:29:24 AM EST
    on environmental issues have had no choice but to make these changes - especially with regard to Europe, I know that there is virtually no uncultivated wild land left on the continent in any significant mass, it's really astonishing to fly over and see that almost every inch of land is developed in some way or another (including farmland).  In some ways, I think the fact that we have an environment left to save makes us more careless with it.

    It's quite something to see (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 10:25:26 AM EST
    isn't it?  Europe is old.  It's no wonder European visitors are so dazzled by places like Vermont and Maine, never mind the spectacular national parks like Yellowstone.

    OTOH, they do have the Alps...


    thank you (none / 0) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:30:38 PM EST
    was just curious.  same here mostly.

    It wouldn't take long to become more informed... (none / 0) (#10)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:52:31 PM EST
    No offense meant at all BTD.

    I know (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:00:47 PM EST
    Maybe this will be the year I do it.

    Last year I learned all about health care.


    To your credit, and thank you for that. (none / 0) (#21)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:13:32 PM EST
    Please don't move on before you help (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:22:17 PM EST
    me figure out if Congress can exempt itself and its staffers from the exchange.

    I believe (none / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:35:35 AM EST
    they can only exempt themselves if they turn down their employer contribution.

    That is, they are not forced by law to carry that specific insurance.  But it will be significantly more expensive for them to carry any other insurance, and the government will not pay the employee contribution to it.  I assume that if they have no insurance they will be hit with the mandate as well like everyone else.


    I am looking for confirmation of my (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:55:53 AM EST
    interpretation of the pertinent legislative language.  Crazy, I know.

    If you're seriously thinking about doing that, (none / 0) (#26)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 06:27:46 PM EST
    send me an email. I'll explain why in a response.

    Oy, my heating and cooling expert is here (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:52:29 PM EST
    I really need something now.  Lennox will have a fully solar system that will handle the South online mid summer.  I can never get on the right schedule damn it.

    What a coincidence, given the topic of the day! (none / 0) (#12)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:53:33 PM EST
    Given that my whole (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 10:22:11 PM EST
    heating and cooling can be handled via solar in only about four more months and this place is going to be smoldering (and during the mild months it will by used by the rest of my house....drill baby drill can't be that brilliant.  The oil won't even be online until when?  It will be years and years down the road.  And the last time we spoke of drilling baby drilling it was revealed that America can't even process and use its own oil because everything is set up to sell our oil on the world market and there are no pipelines or ways to transport it to the few refinaries that remain operational here if it isn't on a tanker.

    Most likely won't drill (none / 0) (#45)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 10:56:09 PM EST
    The oilers are sitting on numerous leases they don't drill.  Prices spiked and the opportunity wasn't taken.  They will incur the cost of new leases rather than the cost of drilling as they can park the lease as an asset on their balance sheet.

    Then why do this (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 06:53:41 AM EST
    and do it right out of the gate, apparently nobody had to bargain with him at all before he slapped every environmentalist in the face as hard as he could?

    optics? (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by CST on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:44:17 AM EST
    honestly, I hope waldonpond is right - and there is some historical indication that that is the case - although who knows what will happen down the road, especially as oil prices rise.

    Unfortunately in this country it's still politically popular to slap environmentalists.


    Slap worthy, (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 11:12:12 AM EST
    are those in our schools of business and economics, who, with all we know now, continue to believe it's  worthwhile to promulgate the terminally narrow paradigm that dictates that business's only responsibility is to it's shareholders..

    "It's the economy, stupid" wont cut it any more..it never did cut it.


    Bullying, accountability (none / 0) (#14)
    by Manuel on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 05:55:01 PM EST
    What a tragedy.

    Is this prosecutor overreaching?

    It seems wrong that only the teens and no adults are being held accountable.

    Are things worse today than they used to be?

    Don't we all have some responsibility for the state of civility in our society?

    Things are worse. (none / 0) (#33)
    by itscookin on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:16:47 PM EST
    School bullying used to be limited to school hours. Now kids use the social networking sites and texting to bully 24/7. However, I do think the prosecuters are over-reaching on the statutory rape charges. The age of sexual consent in MA is 16. That essentially means that every senior boy who has sex with a sophomore girl is guilty of statutory rape.

    This was widely discussed yesterday (none / 0) (#35)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:28:58 PM EST
    You might want to read a bit more on this situation. What adults are they going to charge, and for what? The girl was 14 or 15 when the statutory rape took place, so the age of 16 in MA has no bearing on this case. The prosecutor seems to have more than enough to charge these kids with.

    Excuse me (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by itscookin on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:46:03 PM EST
    Have you been anywhere near a high school lately? Seventeen year old boys have sex with 15 year old girls every day. That is the situation in this case. According to MA law, every 15 year old girl who agrees to have sex with a 17 year old boy is being statutorily raped. You want all of those boys prosecuted? I don't. The adults may be guilty of being less than wonderful teachers, but no, they didn't commit a crime. Charge the kids with assault, stalking, and whatever else they did, but let's not start sending teenage boys to jail for having sex with an age appropriate girlfriend.

    The Prosecutor is going to (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:51:34 PM EST
    introduce everything to make sure something sticks. They bullied her to suicide. I sure wouldn't compare this to age appropriate partners in experimental s*x. That's just my opinion. You are entitled to have a different one.

    Why must they do that? (none / 0) (#51)
    by Manuel on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 01:45:35 AM EST
    Aren't they supposed to sort out what is proper and just?  They already have a bullying law in MA that they can use.  Is the prosecutor tring to position herself for a plea?

    I'm not the prosecutor, so I don't know (none / 0) (#66)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 02:18:34 PM EST
    but, if I were to guess, it is another element of this case that actually is a criminal offense. So, why would you expect them to ignore it? They want a conviction for at least one of the offenses, I suppose. If it's a law the people of that state thinks should be selectively enforced, or completely removed, the people of that state might want to start writing letters to their representatives. For me personally, I'd be writing letters to eliminate the law, or at least change it to exclude the age appropriate partners from prosecution.

    agree completely (none / 0) (#56)
    by CST on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 08:48:03 AM EST
    I have no problem holding the teenagers responsible for the behaviour that caused this - the bullying, stalking, harrassment, etc..

    But stat. rape can carry a life sentance, and putting a 17 year old in jail for that is pretty abhorrent to me.


    How about negligence? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Manuel on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 01:49:27 AM EST
    It seems that the adults knew way more earlier than they admitted to.  And it seems like some of the kids charged were allowed to stay at the school up to close to the indictment.  At the vey least, there should be some other form of accountability besides judicial accountability.

    Iraq Elections Changeup (none / 0) (#40)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 08:21:47 PM EST
    The Justice and Accountability Commission (formerly the Debaathification Commission), headed by Ahmad Chalabi, is moving to disqualify 6 elected candidates in the March 7 election for their ties to the banned Baath Party of Saddam Hussein. Three of those to be banned are from the Iraqiya list of Iyad Allawi, which would reduce his seat total from 91 to 88, making his list second in number of seats after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition, which has 89 seats. The move, by commission head Ahmad Chalabi (himself an elected MP on the fundamentalist Shiite list, the Iraqi National Alliance), will cause a lot of anger among Sunni Arabs, the main backers of Allawi's list, along with secular middle class urban Shiites.

    Juan Cole

    Amazing that Chalabi is the head of anything that can have a title speaking of accountability, not to mention justice. But he does and has changed the election results so that al Maliki's party gets first dibs on getting the 163 required seats to form a coalition government.

    No doubt he will align with the National Alliance party in which al Sadr has a majority grip. al Sadr and Maliki met in Iran to discuss a possible coalition, and has evidentially dropped that demand that Maliki step down, but has maintained that Malilki release from prison, all those who are associated with the Mahdi army, al Sadr's group.  The reason they met in Iran is that the US favorite has wiretapped and bugged Maliki's operation, thanks to the US, no doubt.

    Evidentially al Sadr has sent out a nation wide poll listing six potential prime ministers, one of whom is his uncle. This is just politics on his part as it has no bearing on anything, save his own popularity.

    In any case, good news for those of us who want the US out of Iraq ASAP, as al Sadr wants them out ASAP more than any of us.

    Rep. Hank Johnson- D (idiot) (none / 0) (#55)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 07:56:51 AM EST
    Concerned Guam may tip over and capsize.  And he is not even waving a bible when he says this.  

    That was hilarious..... (none / 0) (#63)
    by vml68 on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 11:15:51 AM EST
    and sad at the same time.
    I guess it never occured to him to educate himself on the subject before opening his mouth.