Overnight Open Thread

This was the Wednesday night open thread post, which I had called Thursday by mistake. I was fixing it and by accident deleted it. Along with the five or so comments. Really sorry. At least I had the comments open on another screen so I will repost them all together in one comment below.

American Idol: I really liked Sons of Sylvia, especially the lead singer. Don't know who's going home yet.

If you missed Justified on FX Tuesday night, catch a replay, it was really good.

I'm just catching up on today's news. This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Here are the comments I (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:30:02 AM EST
    accidentally deleted.


    I wish this was Thursday too!

    Today has been nasty - except for the really good parts.

    You can run but you can't hide ..... meaning I can run but I can't seem to hide.... I have an interest in oil pigments and recently logged into some forum discussion of historic pigments at a website of a master paint maker. There was a discussion of the actual paints used by the Hudson River painters and it turns incredibly political. All mediums are political it seems. Historic pigments. OK, not of great interest to most but the underlying weird politics influence most everything - including visual culture and visual discourse.

    Casey OR

    Sadly, today is Wednesday, not Thursday.

    If it was Thursday that would mean no rain and maybe sunny and warm tomorrow. Instead, cloudy and rainy here in my section of the Pac NW through Thursday night.

    You're working so hard, Jeralyn, that you've lost track of time.:)


    Yes, I think Jeralyn wishes it was actually Friday. Don't blame her!

    I'm in Oregon too and I had lots of hail today! Thunder and 1/2" of hail. And lilacs.

    Coral Gables

    Charlie Crist to announce tomorrow he's dropping out of the Florida Republican US Senate Primary Race to run as an Independent.

    This should be the most enjoyable Senate contest of the year regardless of outcome.


    Arizona immigrant law?

    Can anybody point me to a really knowledgeable dissection of exactly what this law does and doesn't say?

    For the last several days, I've been hearing quite passionate claims about, for instance, whether police are allowed to stop people for no good reason and ask for papers, with some saying it absolutely does and some saying it absolutely forbids it.  (We all know they'll do it anyway, but I'd just like to know what the law actually says.)  I've also heard varying interpretations of whether the law actually requires the cops to do this or just allows them to.

    I simply don't have the chops to figure it out from reading the language myself, but I'd sure like some reasonably knowledgeable, reasonably objective analysis.

    Crist has officially gone indy (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 07:18:18 AM EST

    Looks like it will cost him $20,000 (none / 0) (#8)
    by Kimberley on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:10:24 AM EST
    According to TPM, Cornyn (R-TX) wants his PAC money back and the NRSC wants its 10 grand back too.

    its not absolutely official yet (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:15:41 AM EST
    is it?  until he talks?

    Not official (none / 0) (#36)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:18:43 AM EST
    until 5:00, but the behind the scenes off the record chats with the media (and free headlines) are in full swing.

    from the corner (none / 0) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:54:57 AM EST
    Sabato expects Crist to hit the trail as an independent with a new message: "Me against the machines." That message, he says, could resonate. "He'll use that idea to portray the Obama machine on one side and the national GOP machine on the other. It's an odd year. You do have that anti-incumbency feeling out there. It would be amusing if Crist became the outsider because of this, as the incumbent governor. While `Crist versus the machines' may sound funny, remember, `man versus machine' has won a lot of races throughout American history."

    let me go out on a limb here.  Crist will win.


    I sort of hope he does (none / 0) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:59:34 PM EST
    I like that he halted teachers wages to be based on student preformance.  He needs to come out though...or does he?  I don't know, but he needs to stop voting for a gay hating agenda.

    meh (none / 0) (#110)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:16:58 PM EST
    he is a republican.  not holding my breath on that one.

    but he is a damn good pol.  I dont think he would be committing suicide in the party if he didnt have pretty high hopes.


    You know if he came (none / 0) (#112)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:18:32 PM EST
    out it'd make the campaign interesting- it'd basically be Crist going "Bullworth" realizing "I'm going to lose, I might as well lose as the real Charlie Crist."  Rubio's more conservative than Crist but considering the standing Crist had at the time Rubio got into the race I have to wonder if Charlie was always viewed as suspect on the right due to his sexuality.

    I think the really interesting question (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:34:13 PM EST
    is if it becomes a very tight race as they are predicting will it become a whispering campaign.

    and even more interesting, if it does will it work or do enough people already know about it.


    Florida is an interesting state (none / 0) (#131)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:46:18 PM EST
    The panhandle tends to be a mindset extension of Bama until you get to Pensacola.  It also seems that many South Floridians near Valdosta GA consider themselves Southerners but that "idea" utterly disappears moving into central Florida.  Now that I've lived here though I'm not one bit surprised that members of that crazy Opp AL antiabortion group murdered and celebrate murdering the Planned Parenthood doctor in Pensacola.  Bama literally considers the panhandle to emotionally be theirs.....how dare Pensacola not fear their wrath.

    I almost hope what (none / 0) (#136)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:49:05 PM EST
    I described upthread plays out.  I have no particular love for Christ and I think it would be a very interesting test of the continued marketability of homophobia.

    I figured he could come out after winning (none / 0) (#122)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:32:44 PM EST
    But then I realized that it isn't my life and it isn't my place to tell him what he needs to reveal about his personal life.  If he was out  though it would make for an interesting social dynamic where I live.  All these gay people just won't go away or quit running for office :)

    He's (none / 0) (#152)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:42:15 PM EST

    not (none / 0) (#156)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:45:38 PM EST
    that there is anything wrong with that



    I happened to catch earlier (none / 0) (#180)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 08:51:16 PM EST
    that he said that he wouldn't lose any of his staff, but CNN claimed that his whole staff had quit him.  He also said he wouldn't lose any political contributions, but they couldn't square how that would be true either.  I suppose in politics it is best to admit nothing :)  His wife doesn't ever seem to make an appearance, but is a registered Republican.  I wonder what she really thinks about his change of party affiliation?

    There is, I suppose, (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Edger on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 07:50:07 AM EST
    a remote possibility that Obama and the democrats might finally wake up and realize they need the independent and liberal votes they've thrown away since inauguration day last year, and that all the corporate donations in the world aren't going to save them without those votes, and start producing some useful progressive legislation and pass it in time for the midterms.

    They could have independents and liberals all across the country rewarding them for results instead of turning their backs on empty promises and the largest landslides in history this November with just a few simple moves.

    Creating and passing a universal single payer health care bill for example might do it all by itself, for example.

    Although they could probably sew it right up it for themselves by also starting torture and war crimes trials for Bush and Cheney, while withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan and breaking up the big Wall Street investment banks and doing Ken Lay numbers on Goldman Sachs's Lloyd Blankfein and Magnetar's Alec Litowitz, while firing Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, and Rahm Emanuel.

    Regulating Wall Street out of billionaires looting the Treasury with the Democrats' permission just might help too...

    They've got 4 whole months, after all.

    They're smart people, right? They should be at least half as smart as all those independent and progressives who won't vote for them unless they do those things, right?

    It is a remote possibility I know, but really, they could wake up.

    Do you think they will?  

    Obama and the democrats can't possibly be stupid enough to actually believe that independents and liberals are stupid enough to vote to continue being screwed by them, can they?

    Gas Prices (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:55:17 AM EST
    While they have Goldman Sach on the hot seat, they might ask them about the oil price manipulation. They are one of the biggest traders of oil. It is a commodity that needs some new rules. But, if the WH would start talking more oil refineries which would drop the gas prices and other ways of containing the gasoline price as it slowly creeps back up to $3. they would get a lot of good will. All the other things are good but not as noticeable as what the people are paying at the pump every day. All people understand what the price of gas means to them.  

    Wanna take bets (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:09:37 AM EST
    As to how long it takes for an increase in gas prices to be blamed on this spill?  Add to that, Memorial Day is in a month and the kickoff to the summer driving season and normally higher prices anyways.

    Wall Street Freaks... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:16:46 AM EST
    bet on gas prices, I bet on horses like a normal human being:)

    Anybody got a Derby pick for me?  Wide open field this year,  I'm kinda liking Dublin for sentimental reasons...I used to work with a horse named Dublin aka "Fat Dub" and he was the best horse in our stable...somebody give me a bomb for the exacta.


    Oil refineries throughout the US (none / 0) (#38)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:25:39 AM EST
    at 98 percent capacity. This, of course, only counts the refining capacity of open refineries. It's another case, partly, of NIMBY. PEople don't want to live near refineries.

    But 98 percent capacity? no new refineries built since 75?

    the numbers say disaster is waiting to happen. One hurricane in the gulf of any strength and capacity it down 10 percent. Since refining is a regional phenomenon, the problems increase even more.


    Oil refinery (none / 0) (#48)
    by me only on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:47:16 AM EST
    utilization this year has peaked at 89% and has been as low as 79%.

    As far as:

    One hurricane in the gulf of any strength and capacity it down 10 percent.

    you are literally making stuff up.


    why not look it up? I just did (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:56:17 AM EST
    at the DOE website. If they are incorrect, blame them. TO suggest I am making something up is beyond the pale.

    here's a link. (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:59:20 AM EST
    I had the wrong year-- 09 instead of 10. A mistake is quite different from making up information.



    Did you really (none / 0) (#61)
    by me only on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:18:50 AM EST
    take 17,313,550 and divide it by 17,671,550 to come up with utilization?

    hardly (none / 0) (#56)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:57:23 AM EST
    it is actually SOP around here.

    Here is the link (none / 0) (#60)
    by me only on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:03:51 AM EST
    because either you did not look it up or you cannot understand what you are doing.

    Percent Operable Utilization (by week ending)
        81.11     82.60     84.49     85.59     85.93     88.95

    See any number there above 90%?

    Link for Refining by Area.

        14,042     14,234     14,604     14,813     14,678     14,956

    Gulf Coast (PADD 3)
        7,120     7,331     7,641     7,710     7,559     7,658    

    Does that look like 90%?

    Only if you are incapable of math.


    Lower Gas Prices (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:29:32 AM EST
    If anything the Gov should put a 100% tax on gasoline raising the price to $6.00. The tax revenue earmarked for alternative energy development.

    Now that would be something progressive, imo.


    And... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:38:42 AM EST

    Well Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:42:37 AM EST
    That would not be a very popular move. Americans will never seriously get off their oil addiction until the price of it makes people think twice about using it.

    It is amazing how that works...


    I hope the Native American tribes... (none / 0) (#45)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:44:08 AM EST
    start selling gas and cigarettes if that happens...I can't afford 6 dolla gallons, and I'm driving out to the rez every two weeks anyway:)

    Exactly (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:50:06 AM EST
    At a certain price point, creative solutions start to flow faster than an oil gusher...

    Amazing how the incentive of necessity affects creativity.


    Yeah but... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:54:00 AM EST
    my ingenuity does not spread to creating alternative forms of energy...only to how to dodge taxes and skirt laws:)

    6 dollar gas might make public transport economical for me, currently it is not, factoring in the lost time and hassles...but pub lic transport ain't an option in many locales.

    And I'm really not big on being extorted into changes in behavior.


    I have a friend who feels (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by ZtoA on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:43:29 PM EST
    as you do Squeaky about raising gas prices. But it IS a tad elitist. He saunters down to the chic restaurant du jour and orders dishes that use ingredients from all over the globe, wine from California, French cheeses, produce from Mexico, spices from Asia. Decor is imported rare woods - and the chicest ones say "sustainable" somewhere in their PR. Since he does not really care to cook he lives this way. I love this guy, but gone are the days of going down to the root cellar at the end of winter and having something like potato and turnip and dried split pea soup for breakfast lunch and dinner for a month. Yuck. I think I just talked myself into wanting to get out to restaurants more.

    I have a friend who is a hunter too and he hunts elk - one a year, and fishes too. That family never buys commercial meat, and they gift their friends!!


    Hold the auto companies (none / 0) (#160)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 03:00:44 PM EST
    feet to the fire with fuel efficiency as well. And finally, (eff their "liberty") Lloyd Blankfein and John Paulson and Co can go live permanently in whatever country they sock their money away in, if they cant chip in a lot more..

    Funny how there's ALWAYS this big campaign to focus the whole country's "political will" when it's about another war or the too-big-to-fail, but when it's about a  mode of production and consumption that we OBVIOUSLY cant sustain into the future, it's just "a political hot-button issue" subject to endless debate.


    We need to break our addiction to oil (none / 0) (#50)
    by hookfan on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:49:38 AM EST
    somehow. Yet what would be the rolling effect through our very fragile economy? Most everything relies on energy and transportation to get it places. Basic costs for food and heating would go up, as well as increase the exorbitant costs for looking for jobs that aren't there. Do we really want to do that with 31% unemployment at the lower economic levels? Are we going to call sacrificing the less well off economically "progressive"?

    Well (none / 0) (#52)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:52:34 AM EST
    Put it off then, for our children and grandchildren, because nothing is going to move us away from oil dependency until it becomes too expensive to use the way we use it.

    Got a point that something has tobe done (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by hookfan on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:20:50 AM EST
    It's long term suicidal not too. And I notice that both Exxon and GE paid no taxes this year. Why not tax corporations, and banking transactions, and the new socially subsidized Insurance industry (it would be nice to get something out of them instead of creative ways to continue recission procedures) and turn the proceeds towards alternative energy development? They are the ones with the bucks in this recession anyway. That would seem more "progressive". Of course Obama has clear procorporate proclivities and likes enacting republican ideas, so its not likely to happen.

    Of course (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:51:05 AM EST
    There's the 90 +% of the working population who depends on cars (and buses) to, oh, I don't know, get to and from work and drive for work.  A 100% tax is one of those things that sound good in theory, but is not a realistic answer.  The only real reduction in driving that will get done is a reduction in oy traveling for pleasure, which hurts the tourism industry of many states.

    Always Thinking Of the Other Guy (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:11:33 PM EST

    Europeans, who also depend on cars, seem to be doing fine, and they even have universal health care, lower infant mortality rate, and general higher standard of living.. yet the Netherlands, Italy,  Denmark, Belgium, Sweeden, UK, Germany, France, all pay $6/gallon +-.

    Oh right, you are touting American exceptionalism, not surprised...lol


    Of course (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:25:20 PM EST
    You show you don't know what you're talking about.  Ever look at a map??  Eoropean countries are much smaller and towns 40 miles outside a large city don't generally have a bunch oif people who work in the city.  We have a lot more area to cover and most people don't live in cities, nor would we want to.  You might try living and working around St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, or LA where everyone doesn't live on top of each other like a colony of prairie dogs.

    Why do you hate middle class and poor people - the only o es who will be hurt by this?  You sound just like a Republican - hating on the little people.


    What?! Most people don't live in cities? (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Cream City on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:29:19 PM EST
    Uh, this country's population has been more urban than rural for almost a century now.  See: 1920 census.

    I do agree that comparisons with Europe -- and other areas I have visited -- simply are not useful for discussion now.  Their train systems are remarkable, parts of networks with other forms of mass transit, and remarkably low cost vs. the U.S.  

    We have to push for such transit networks here as part of a plan to reduce oil consumption -- a plan far beyond raising gas prices, because such transit networks are lacking in most of the U.S.  now to handle the impact of a sudden transition.  We made choices as a country as recently as half a century ago with all sorts of federal laws and funding to promote urban sprawl.


    Yes (none / 0) (#92)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:47:32 PM EST
    American exceptionalism argument.  Not surprised that your thinking is selfishly limited, all the while you are posturing for the little guy... lol


    Oh, and in case you did not know it, people are allowed to drive through countries in europe, much like they are allowed to drive through states in the US.

    They developed a thing called the EU. aka European Union, which roughly is analogous to the US, aka the United States.

    You may want to get out more, it broadens your perspective.


    in Europe (none / 0) (#109)
    by CST on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:15:43 PM EST
    towns 40 miles outside a city have trains to that city.  Of course it's much more dense.

    I understand your concern about high gas prices, and it is a concern.  But this: "most people don't live in cities, nor would we want to" is a PROBLEM not a solution.  And I don't think we should act like it's okay for us to continue the suburban lifestyle as a nation.  It's not, on so many environmental levels.  

    And while I have sympathy for those who have already made that choice and now suffer with high gas prices.  I don't have a lot of sympathy for those that could choose otherwise and then complain about gas prices.


    The US (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:20:42 PM EST
    as a country is just too spread out (not just in net size but also in individual communities thanks to the rise of the suburbs) its almost impossible to imagine us going to a European style transportation infrastructure. (The only comparable area is Russia).

    yes I realize that (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by CST on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:33:32 PM EST
    and we will never go Euro style in transportation because of the vast empty space in the middle as well, that I enjoy.  That's not what I'm saying.

    I'm saying the suburban lifestyle is unsustainable and we need to stop thinking of that as a "right" and think about our responsibilities as human beings to the planet.

    And that doesn't mean developing the entire continent like Europe.  It means denser development in some places and leaving the rest as open space.

    My point is not we should try to be Europe.  My point was, we need to think harder about how we are being America - and do it right.  And stop using our desire for suburbs and SUVs as an excuse for low gas prices.  Obviously we have to deal with the existing reality as it is, but we should also try to CHANGE that reality, and take responsibility for it.


    I don't think it is so much where people (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by ZtoA on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:33:27 PM EST
    group themselves but how we consume. Does not matter if a person is a city, suburban or rural dweller, if fresh salad is on the menu in the north in January - need trucks for that. We do not consume locally and we do not consume seasonally. If everyone would just consume fewer processed foods and eat in season it would make a huge difference and begin to re-orient thinking.

    Of course this falls apart in so many ways - I'm typing on a computer at the moment and my phone requires 'rare earth' from other continents. So the 'local' movement for tourism and consumption can not solve all problems. But combined with higher fuel efficiency, alternative energy sources the local movement could help.


    you'd be surprised (none / 0) (#159)
    by CST on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:56:50 PM EST
    how much it's about "where people group themselves".

    According to a ppt presentation I saw at work today, the average family living in an urban environment produces about 1/3 of the amount of greenhouse gases as someone who lives in the 'burbs.  Mostly due to commuting, some due to energy savings in the home.

    Food is a seperate issue, one that is also important, but it does not diminish the other issues related to suburban sprawl only one of which is greenhouse gas consumption - the destruction of the natural environment is a big issue as well.  The average home footprint is much greater in the suburbs.  Also, if suburbs were converted back into land, it would be easier to think locally with food as well.


    There are different kinds of (none / 0) (#163)
    by ZtoA on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 03:17:35 PM EST
    suburbs. Some function like mini-cities with services localized and walkable, and linked with light rail, or something, to other parts of the city. You are probably talking about bedroom commuter communities. But getting people to vacate bedroom communities and "return" them to ....what? some sort of bucolic state..... is maybe not realistic. Better to make each a locality in itself. I really like it that FLOUS is doing a kitchen garden (yes, I know all the detractions). It is a local idea.

    I'm thinking of trying it - I'm a miserable gardener. But I do like to get dirty, so that will help.


    it's a development issue (none / 0) (#165)
    by CST on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 03:27:16 PM EST
    build it and they will come.  The probelm is development has been focused for the last 50 years on increasing suburban sprawl.  I think we should focus the next 50 years on improving our cities and mini-cities.

    You are right, there are mini-cities, and those are workable, not saying everyone has to live in Manhattan.  But we should be focusing on building up, not out, and in areas where there is either existing public transit, or public transit can be put in.  That is happening to a degree already, but it's a slow process.

    I don't think we should "move people".  But with shifting demographics and shifting development, I think people will move.


    I agree that its a development issue (none / 0) (#171)
    by ZtoA on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 04:31:39 PM EST
    and slow and complex like you say. I live in Portland OR and the city does have a growth boundary and mini-city or neighborhood developments.

    I suspect that its very lucky to live here. The local movement works here as we have rich and varied agricultural land close by. My folks still live in a Chicago suburb, and those have grown to be more self sufficient, but the local part is hard. Drive out of the sprawling city and its just corn and beans. And lots of that is corporate farming.


    Why is that a problem? (none / 0) (#127)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:40:07 PM EST
    It would be terrible to force everyone into a city.  Frankly, I liked growing up in the suburbs - actually having a backyard to play in, but also having parks; not having to live always sharing a wall with multiple neighbors; relative quiet at night, no bars on the windows, etc.  I don't live in the city now by choice - it's cheaper, dirty, and noisy, yet In the suburbs I still am close to things I need.  I wouldn't want to live in a small town either, but I definitely see the appeal if you have a family.

    It also would make no sense fit everyone to live in or close to a city - the infrastructure alone couldn't handle it. Not to mention that you'd have the same problem - people living in the city who have to fan out for 100 miles in each direction to get to their jobs.

    We have to develop different ideas to conserve energy, but taxing middle class and poor people, not to mention punishing all taxpayers ( gotta run city and school buses), all consumers (as the price of EVERYTHING goes up because it will cost more to transport it) and anyone who has to drive  for their job


    suburbs (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by CST on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:48:32 PM EST
    are a problem because they are environmental wastelands.  People who live in suburbs drive significantly more than those who live in the city on average.  They use more resources to power their home.  And green pavement (aka grass) is terrible for water quality and is a destruction of the natural environment.  And the road construction necessary for suburban growth exacerbates this.  Suburbs destroy the natural environment and train us to live beyond our environmental means.

    I don't think we should "force people" to do anything.  I think developers should stop plannign new suburbs and there should be economic and social incentives put in place on a national level to entice people back to more dense environments.  That includes improving our cities to contain the amenities that are required for raising a family.

    Infrastructure in a city can handle things much more efficiently than suburban sprawl.

    FWIW I grew up in a city where I had a back yard and parks to play in, no bars on the window, and relative peace and quiet.  And this was NOT an expensive part of town.

    And yes, I realize people "like suburbs" just like they "like SUVs".  That doesn't mean they are a good or responsible way of life.  I don't think we should ban them.  But I won't feel guilty about making them less available, harder to find, and less enticing.


    CST (none / 0) (#174)
    by ZtoA on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 04:53:08 PM EST
    "People who live in suburbs drive significantly more than those who live in the city on average."

    I'm off to Los Angeles next week for my daughter's graduation. Talk about lots of driving! Annoying. There's like 14 lanes and access ramps 3 lanes wide, takes forever to get somewhere and you need a car. Then, just driving around, one sees vacant lots and even areas that have never been developed! Yes, build up...but with strict earthquake codes. Gas prices at $6 and reduced driving would be to Los Angelans what developing Central Park would be to Manhattanites.  

    Its a great city, tho. Just the driving and polluted haze is a problem. The US is a land of vehicles. Trains, cars, wagons. Its part of the culture.


    And yet (none / 0) (#188)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 10:16:05 AM EST
    People in cities eat out, on average, 6 times a week, while people in the 'burbs tend to do it on average, 3 times.  As pointed out above, that food has to get there do
    show.  I don't recall seeing lots of farms with livestock in the middle of NY or DC.  Add to that, the garbage produced from restaurants and the carry-out industry.

    It's not feasible for most people to live in a city, and I agree with the person who said above it is a tad elitist to suggest a 100% tax on gas.  I guess we could turn your argument - everyone who lives in a big city should spread out and move to small communities.  Work at more localized jobs, telecommute, buy local produce and meat, cook more at home - no going out to eat, etc.  After all, it's big cities where most of the pollution is created, most of the violent crime takes place, most of the electricity is consumed (Times Square alone uses more energy than the total of many small towns).


    Agree with you. (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:55:37 PM EST
    Although I'm in favor of reducing gas usage, the way to do it, imo, is not with a regressive tax that would disproportionately hurt poor and working people.

    A system of tax credits or refunds (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:08:07 PM EST
    could be developed to address the regressive aspects of a gas tax for working people as well as for farming. The poor, for whom tax credits are not meaningful, could be provided with a form of gas stamps, akin to food stamps.   But, the approach suggested by Squeaky, is an effective way to economize on the use of gasoline and to capture tax dollars that will, otherwise, and ultimately, go to oil producers in the form of higher prices.  Of course, oil wars cost a great deal of tax money, as well (that is if we actually paid for them, and did not put them on our Chinese credit card).

    'Been looking at the gas prices comments (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:53:42 PM EST
    Some thoughts: (1) As a longtime EPAer, I'm more than aware of the urgency for getting over the Single Occupancy Vehicle addiction, etc. As someone who started life in the coal country, I'm also aware that instant high gas taxes with resultant European-style gas prices would penalize those on the lower end of the economic scale the most. (E.g., many people in economically ravaged rural and small-town areas have little option but to drive long commutes to earn a living wage.) The challenge for us liberals: Merge compassion for Mother Earth with compassion & workable approaches for all Children of Mother Earth. It is a real dilemma...a dilemma always highlighted during a nation's economic difficulties. (2) In conjunction with (1), consider the transition approach that the President seems to be pursuing. Yes, there will be mistakes and miscalculations. But, remember that we have been "talking" about "we need an energy policy" on the front pages since President Carter. A cause for optimism may be seen in the Administration's ok (per Interior's Salazar) this week for the wind turbines off Massachusetts. While we will always have NIMBY critics, that particular approval evidences a desire to go-ahead with a long=talked about energy component (wind turbines)...and, as a side note, the location is not an EJ (Environmental Justice) impacted area where the neighbors are situate on the lower-end of the economic scale. (3) Focus on the total package of an energy plan. Because each of us may disagree with a component--a part of the plan not liked by an individual personally or perceived as not acceptable to the region in which we live--should not be reason for destroying the whole energy package or, as usual, we will be energy stalemated. (For me, I'm not a fan of expanding nuclear energy because I find it hard to shake emotional images of Three Mile Island or even Chernobyl. Yet, I realize that it makes sense to include that energy form in the overall package.) Another one of those no-easy-answers.

    OK (none / 0) (#148)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:21:14 PM EST
    All good and fine, but human nature, see kdog, will never adjust until necessary.

    Creative solutions are better to problems, like the regressive effect on poor people who have to drive far, will never happen, imo. unless we forced to come up with something.

    Personally I do not believe in any of the oil industry propaganda regarding scarcity. I believe that we have enough oil to last 500 or more years.

    What I do believe is, that between extracting the stuff and burning it, we are increasing the chances that we have a long period of global weather instability, which will make everything more expensive. And, if you think that a $3. gasoline tax is regressive, poor people will be the first in line to suffer the economic consequences of global weather instability, aka global warming, at a rate that will make a gas tax look like peanuts.


    also (none / 0) (#150)
    by CST on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:31:14 PM EST
    it could be done in a way to mitigate the effects on poorer people.  There are already a lot of programs to provide heating assistance for those who can't afford it, we could use some of the extra gas tax money to fund greater assitance for those in need.  As well as to fund increases in public transportation infrastructure which is often used disproportionately by the poor.

    The thing that's appealing about a gas tax is that it is a direct incentive for people to use less gas.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#155)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:45:20 PM EST
    We are not going to conserve or come up with viable alternative energy sources, until oil hits $300. ++  a barrel. or the gov steps in and taxes the sh*t out of it, while creating financial incentives to produce alternative sources of energy.

    Like the war on drugs, as long as it is profitable to keep illegal, it will stay illegal, despite the fact that after 30 years there is no decrease in use or supply. It seems like insanity, except to the people making lots of money because it is illegal.

    Strange analogy? No, it points to the fact that humans will do whatever is easiest most self serving, and that is why we try to elect officials who will look beyond our own noses.  


    I don't disagree (none / 0) (#170)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 04:11:10 PM EST
    with most of what you have said, squeaky. Except: Most people--let alone politicians--do not want to deal with this conflict, under the nose or not. So, in terms of what would be acceptable to the many who agree in theory that "something must be done" (and we will talk for another 50 or so years), but who blanch when their participation is expected, I think that a strategy with increasingly stringent steps to a broader environmental goal may be the way to get this thing beyond the national talking stage. And--as I noted--the partially tepid/middling steps like the wind turbines make good early steps when coordinated with other steps like a graduated consumption tax. (It at least moves us beyond 1977 when the country first started whining about gas costs.)

    Or... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:57:11 AM EST
    if the alternative was cheaper, or at least in the ballpark.

    Ah, Cheaper Alternative (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:27:23 AM EST
    Well there will not be a cheaper alternative until there is incentive to figure out a cheaper alternative.

    Meanwhile the greenhouse gasses will build. Humans are not wired for long term planning, particularly in late capitalistic society.

    The potential inconvenience of melted ice caps and flooding of coastal cities, seems like a good reason to take a relatively small hit now, imo.

    But that is way too logical for a culture that is based on me, now, more, cheaper, no matter if brown skinned five year old children slaves have to make it...


    I hear ya man... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:36:30 AM EST
    but 6 dolla gas would destroy my leisure budget...I'm trying to get back to Mexico and smoke a fair amount of dope before I get there:)

    Lol (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:44:39 AM EST
    Yeah, libertarian or not, that about sums it up for most people, even the super rich...

    At least you admit it... lol


    I can be a selfish pr*ck... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:47:33 AM EST
    as much as the next guy, to be sure...but I'm trying Ringo, trying not to do too much damage, to so-so results.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#73)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:53:10 AM EST
    Change is not something we take to very well...  unless it is in the plus column... lol

    But even then, most lottery winners who are not rich to begin with, wind up in much worse shape, because they wind up spending twice as much as they won..


    Refineries are closing (none / 0) (#49)
    by me only on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:49:32 AM EST
    because margins are so bad.

    Gas is rising because of oil prices.  Demand is slack, refinery utilization is at 89% (which is the high for the year).  Several facilities are idle due to the fall in demand for distilled products.


    PS-Natural gas (none / 0) (#77)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:08:32 PM EST
    There is a commodity we have a lot of and it is cheaper, cleaner, and non dependent on foreign entities.

    We imported (none / 0) (#86)
    by me only on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:27:11 PM EST
    312,341,000,000 Cubic feet of Natural gas per month (average 2009).

    Granted 80% of usage is domestically produced, but we are still dependent on foreign entities.


    But we have enough (none / 0) (#108)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:15:14 PM EST
    Granted we imported as we are not producing enough but we have the resource to eliminate the foreign dependency if we choose to do so. I believe Natural gas was on Obama's short list of fuels we need to eliminate. Buses on NG would eliminate a lot of polution. In some large cities, they already have this in place.

    Here is a graph (none / 0) (#121)
    by me only on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:31:42 PM EST
    of NG withdrawals annually.  While we produce slightly more NG today than in 1971 (about 10%), we cannot increase production by 50% in the near term.  Converting to NG vehicles in substantial numbers would only drive our foreign imports from oil to NG.

    Should we produce more NG? Yes.

    Is it a part of the solution? Yes

    Can we produce enough for it to displace a significant amount of oil/coal consumption? NO.


    They can... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 08:50:28 AM EST
    liberals and independents prove them right again and again...we are that stupid Edger.

    Well, I guess then (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Edger on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 08:52:59 AM EST
    you can never blame being conned on the con guy, huh? ;-)

    Got that right... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:00:04 AM EST
    maybe after the first con, or even the second...shame on the snakeoil salesman.

    After being had time and time again as those who pull "D" levers have, the person to blame is in the mirror.


    I agree (none / 0) (#9)
    by hookfan on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:11:31 AM EST
    with the plea of extenuating circumstances when the only effective options are to replace one con man with another. Puts us in the rather difficult situation of determining which con man's lies have at least some probability of truthful intent.

    Odd though... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:16:39 AM EST
    that everytime I've voted, there were more than two names to choose from.

    Our biggest sin may be allowing the thang to be framed into a choice between Column A and Column B only...it need not be that way, though those looking to rig the thing love 2 horse fields....much harder to rig a 3,4,5 horse field.


    True, but (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:31:12 AM EST
    Think about this:

    Those other people on the ballot (especially for higher offices)-what do you really know about them? If no one thinks they are going to win, does anyone really do any investigation into their backgrounds?  How do you know they are better than what's out there from the two major parties and y
    how do you know that once in power, they won't be as corruptable?


    There is no certainty... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:46:00 AM EST
    only opportunity...what I do know for sure is the D/R shuffle ain't working, and those other names aren't followed by a D or an R...that's enough for me.

    If the 3rd, 4th, 5th names are just as bad we can always try something else...beats doing the same sh*t over and over and expecting different results...I think they call that insanity.


    Election reform (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by hookfan on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:57:11 AM EST
    is, imo, is the only way to start straightening things out. Doesn't matter, imo, if there's third party or not as long as so much money is involved in elections, and the revolving door to lucrative careers following stints in government. But that is not likely to happen anytime soon.

    As much as I generally... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:02:15 AM EST
    hate new laws and restrictions, it is plain to see how money and influence pollutes the process.

    My concern would be, does it all just go under the table like when you try to prohibit it, like other activities that humans just can't say no to?  Like drugs, gambling, and crossing borders for a better life...pushing pay for play totally under the table might not be an improvement, it may only cause more problems.  At least now we know Goldman Sachs has both parties bought and paid for...all we gotta do is take that info into account when we vote....yet we don't.  


    Got a point (none / 0) (#39)
    by hookfan on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:29:02 AM EST
    Yet it's not just our vote to be concerned about, but theirs. How to compel them to actually be our representatives (from whichever party D, R, or I) is  an increasing problem. I question, in the current polluted context, if our vote really makes a fig of a difference on the issues that are essential for our national well being. What evidence is there that any third party candidate wont be just as corruptible as the candidates from either major party? None that I know of.
      Generally I agree that less red tape and regulation is laudable because it promotes freedom. But it seems clear that a lack of regulation of monetary influence is involved in subverting electoral results. The people aren't getting what they voted for.
       So we know who owns our supposed reps? Big rip when the only options are to vote for owned #1,#2, or #3.

    Good points as well... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:36:33 AM EST
    there are fundamental flaws, like all systems of government...voting for some monkey wrenches to throw in the machine is the best idea I've got.

    It is much harder to rig a multiple field AND (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:43:53 PM EST
    it may be also harder to govern. I'm thinking about the recurrent problems confronted by countries with coalition governments.Some advantages to the parliamentary system, obviously. But, for those who seek a certain amount of stability and get turned off by continual & extensive dealing to maintain the coalition's hold on power....well, coalition government could make the deals perceived in a two-party system seem like child's play.

    Question (none / 0) (#74)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:56:13 AM EST
    Do you think independents are on the liberal side of the spectrum? conventional wisdom is that independents are centrists, and if Dems tack to the left, they will lose them.

    I'd love for that to be proved wrong.  


    I'm an independent... (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:55:25 PM EST
    and I'm off the spectrum with some of my views...certainly couldn't be called a centrist, maybe an extremist.

    in my experience (none / 0) (#76)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:08:07 PM EST
    "independents" are usually republicans who are embarrassed to admit it.

    Not always. (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:16:28 PM EST
    I've never been a registered member of any political party and highly doubt that I never will be.  

    It keeps me off the mailing lists and it can be a liability when working in a job that requires having to work both sides of the aisle.  

    Not to mention that I view them roughly the same as I do organized religion--organizations that value perpetuating the wealth and power of the few over the needs of the many.  

    I don't think anyone would ever mistake me for a Republican who's too ashamed to admit it though.


    no (none / 0) (#157)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:46:33 PM EST
    not always.
    but usually

    To be fair, Dems too (none / 0) (#79)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:15:20 PM EST
    But of the conservative variety, not liberals.

    Or Libertarians (none / 0) (#130)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:45:07 PM EST
    More specifically, (none / 0) (#134)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:48:27 PM EST
    who Bush made embarrassed to admit it.

    This time they'll get it right, though.


    From what I've seen (none / 0) (#80)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:15:47 PM EST
    "Independents" agree with the social goals of liberals - pro choice, helping poor people, separate church and state, gay rights, not in love with the miltary industrial complex, but they believe in more national defense than many liberals, and they generally want some restraint on spending ("tax the rich" is not the answer they look for first as an answer to implement every liberal plan they may agree with).

    I think you find independents (none / 0) (#179)
    by Edger on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 08:50:25 PM EST
    probably all across the spectrum. There are many people on the left to whom both parties are very right wing, and who would never register with either.

    For one example, Under Obama and the Democrats there are more troops in Iraq/Afghanistan (and I think any thinking person would say it is all one "action") than there ever were under bush. It's pretty hard considering that to call Obama and the dems anything but right wing.


    Oh this is good (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by lilburro on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:32:47 AM EST
    Navy Officially Ends Ban on Women in Submarines:

    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates notified lawmakers in mid-February that the Navy would be lifting the ban -- unless Congress objected.

    Navy spokesman Lt. Justin Cole said the deadline for Congress to object passed at midnight without action.

    The Navy plans a press conference later Thursday to talk about the new policy that will allow women to serve along side men on submarines.

    My dad served on a nuclear sub.  Not something I'm particularly interested in doing myself, but glad t know that I can now :)

    But what if the ladies... (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:49:02 AM EST
    intrude on the fellas tickle parties?...:)

    Ha! (none / 0) (#28)
    by lilburro on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:00:28 AM EST
    That reminds me of this... Steven Zeeland.  Interesting, possibly NSFW though...he is a photographer who documents the homoeroticism of military life.

    Often seems (none / 0) (#140)
    by Raskolnikov on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:53:58 PM EST
    to be a conflation of homosociality and homosexuality.  Some men prefer the company of men, some women the company of women.

    What a nightmare (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Kimberley on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:33:17 AM EST
    Now we learn that the crippled Deepwater Horizons drilling rig is actually disgorging closer to 5,000 barrels of crude/day into the Gulf, rather than the 1,000 barrels/day that officials estimated earlier.

    BP's COO says they'll "take help from anyone," which is grand. Still, my heart aches for the marine life and fragile ecosystems this is going to drench in tar. I get so tired of seeing all the wrong forms of life pay for the mistakes of people.

    On a brighter note, upon rising I whipped up another starter for a fresh loaf of light rye. The starter for the hearty wheat has been fermenting in the fridge overnight and will bake today too.

    I decided to use caramelized sugar in place of the honey to add some depth of flavor and color to the dough. We'll see how it works out.

    All because... (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:44:04 AM EST
    ...the Company didn't spend 500K for a shut-off valve and the Gov't doesn't require one.

    The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills.

    The lack of the device, called an acoustic switch, could amplify concerns over the environmental impact of offshore drilling after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig, hired by oil giant BP PLC, last week...

    ...An acoustic trigger costs about $500,000, industry officials said. The Deepwater Horizon had a replacement cost of about $560 million, and BP says it is spending $6 million a day to battle the oil spill. On Wednesday, crews set fire to part of the oil spill in an attempt to limit environmental damage.

    How short-sighted and stupid is that?


    That is insanely dumb... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:52:42 AM EST
    one thing I learned in the plumbing biz...lack of a necessary stop valve can cause damage like you wouldn't believe...and thats just water, forget about oil.

    The Gulf sounds seriously f*cked.


    But what business does the government (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by observed on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:45:12 AM EST
    have telling private businesses how to maintain their equipment?
    As a Libertarian, you should be outraged at even the merest suggestion in that direction.

    First they came for our valves; next they came for our bivalves. Finally, they came for all our molluscs!! Beware the slippery slope.


    As a libertarian leaner... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:00:19 AM EST
    I might not mandate the valve, but the oil co would be responsible for cleaning up their mess...personal responsibility.

    With what this is gonna cost to clean up, I'd the valve makes economic sense...no?  I don't know if the stop valves on my toilet and washing machine are mandated or not, but I have them because I know what will happen if a supply hose bursts without a stop valve.


    kdog - they will never be able (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:20:57 AM EST
    to clean it up, even close to completely. And they will never voluntarily spend the money to ensure it doesn't happen again because they are motivated by pure greed without a care for the destruction of the environment. Without regulations, it is always predictable and it is always this way - they go for the greed above all else. Just like insurance companies, banks, and all the rest. This is actually a perfect case study for why libertarianism doesn't work.

    Good points... (none / 0) (#65)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:34:22 AM EST
    and I'm not a dogmatic libertarian..I just firmly believe we need more libertarianism in our ideological melting pot...I ain't talking no regs or laws whatsoever...just more respect being afforded individual liberty.

    Not for nothing, I think the company who runs this rig is currently regulated...alotta good that did:)  


    Yeah, actually, (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:37:00 AM EST
    they successfully fought off new federal regulations that would have prevented this via lawsuits in 2008 and 2009.

    Another problem... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:39:39 AM EST
    with more regs...who writes them and who pays those who write them.  We end up with legal pollution like this, and the polluter passing the buck to the taxpayer for clean up.

    Disagree. (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:53:51 PM EST
    The new proposed regulations were written by EPA, by scientists who know something about the effects of oil spills. The problem is not about who writes the regulations. The regulations could have prevented this ecological disaster. The problem is that our governmental leaders and the us, the voters, continue to enable unregulated corporate greed at the expense of people and the environment.

    I have seen you take a very strong (none / 0) (#75)
    by observed on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:01:11 PM EST
    anti-regulatory stance many times.
    Even the suggestion has set you off.
    I'm not going to go squeaky on you and dig up some quotes. I'm just noting the inconsistency.

    I probably have... (none / 0) (#100)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:59:26 PM EST
    I have more reasonable days than others...more confused by this world than anything else, and change my mind all the time...to sum me up in a phrase, freedom turns me the f*ck on O.B.

    But I'm not a total dufus...I get why we all can't just run wild, as much as the thought tickles me fancy.  I firmly believe we could free this puppy up quite a bit before we become Somolia...but as always, wtf do I know.


    How about this? (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:02:21 PM EST
    I know you love freedom - but how about for people, not for corporations? Cuz:  1) corporations aren't people, and 2) corporations given unfettered freedom will screw humanity over 100% of the time.

    Just sayin'!


    I hope you would have noticed... (none / 0) (#104)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:05:56 PM EST
    I'm not exactly the corporation-friendly type Doc...just not sold that Uncle Sam Inc. is any  better...and corporations don't have arrest powers, which is a plus in their column:)

    And I try like hell not to be a "don't tread on me, tread on them" type hypocrite.  Rich sc*mbags have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness too.


    Of course I noticed. (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:18:13 PM EST
    But while rich sc*mbag people may have that right, corporations don't - they are not people and they prove over and over again that humanity does not matter one whit compared to their right to increase profits indefinitely.

    Guess what? BP posted record quarterly profits recently. Perhaps 0.005% of those could have been spent to prevent this disaster.

    Oh well, we are not having an argument. I am ranting about this EPIC environmental disaster.


    We're just talkin'... (none / 0) (#116)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:27:39 PM EST
    and food for thought tastes good.

    Besides...its hard to tell America and Corporate America apart these days, I think there was a merger and we missed the memo...I'm just tryin' to eke out a free fun existence under the radar, before one or the other swallows me up:)


    LOL, definitely. (none / 0) (#126)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:38:20 PM EST
    I think there was a merger and we missed the memo

    Corporations are in the prison (none / 0) (#107)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:13:45 PM EST
    business; how much longer before they have arrest powers? And, do you really think with the hyper-competitive, productivity-at-all-costs paradigm they operate with, that they'll suddenly stop doing things like drug testing etc if Uncle Sam gets out of it?

    Of course not jondee... (none / 0) (#119)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:29:47 PM EST
    I just think we've got a fighting chance against a corporation, even if its a million to one chance...we've got no chance if we run afoul of the cats who write law.

    If govts didnt (none / 0) (#125)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:34:54 PM EST
    exist, it would be necessary for corporations to invent them, is what I think..

    It's always been a marriage of convenience.

    I dont see business over here and govt over there. That's "the big lie" of conservatism (and, I might add, some Libertarians)


    Me either... (none / 0) (#128)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:41:38 PM EST
    two heads on the same snake.  And we expect one to reign in the other?  Good luck to us with that.

    What does that leave as an alternative?  Anarchy?  I'm down to try:)


    Freedom turns everyone (none / 0) (#120)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:30:35 PM EST
    on. But not everyone agrees on the SPECIFICS of what those terms mean.

    And whether people are hiding out in Washington or at GE, the future still depends on the way people think about the world and what they really "value". And for me (and Im guessing some others) Liberty and Freedom are a little to nebulous as concepts..Lets not forget that steady stream of who went to the guillotine regaled by chants about Liberty!


    I'll level with ya.. (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:46:26 PM EST
    and expose that selfish side...change the laws that make the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I hear a siren, and half my gripes go away.

    I started out as good Dem, even voted for Slick Willy and Chuckie Schumer back in the day...then it hit me like cold steel on bare wrists, these mother f*ckers wanna call me criminal and lock me up...and it's been an ideological roller coaster ever since.


    Well if (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:56:48 PM EST
    we didnt have to "compete with India and China" and our cousins and Joe next door, Im guessing we'd probably be able to have a more time for a     rational discussion about the way your presence in this country leads to lewd behavior and inter-racial dating and jungle rhythms in music and petting on the first date :)

    LOL... (none / 0) (#147)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:16:47 PM EST
    you have a gift jondee...a gift. Nobody can put it quite like you do.

    Now do you mean to tell me getting lewd race mingling to the Bo Diddley beat in a hedonist manner is not the American Dream?  Thats news to me man.


    It may have been all (none / 0) (#149)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:22:31 PM EST
    along and people just didnt want to admit it. As John Lee Hooker said, let that boy boogie..it's in him and it's got to come out.

    So much of the devastation (none / 0) (#105)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:09:24 PM EST
    on the the environment and economy is the result of these outmoded, non-systemic models of how the world works that start at the grade school level and reach full, poisonous flower in the schools of business and economics.

    The purest, naked, expressions of this are statements like Milton Friedman's reiterated claim that businesses have no responsibility to communities and society (and one assumes, the biosphere, other species). This narrow, unworkable, ruling-class-flattering ideology is still spread like the gospel in many quarters of this country. And what the eff is "Libertarian" about it when, in the long run, it leads to the TYRANNY of insurmountable problems that everyone now and in future societies is forced to deal with?  


    I'm hoping the powers that be (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Kimberley on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:00:27 AM EST
    find it criminally short-sighted and stupid. In lieu of that, I'd take a mass exodus of stockholders to bring the point home.

    It's absolutely criminal. (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:06:09 AM EST
    Somebody in Washington better start talking about how criminal it is pretty quick imo.

    They know how to prevent these disasters, and it doesn't take that much money, they just fend off all regulation constantly.


    Even with such valves in place (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:58:12 PM EST
    during the Katrina hurricane season when platforms were destroyed, we still had spills floating in the water.  It didn't make mainstream news because we had bodies floating in the water too, but they can't blow the lines out after they shut the pumping down.....then a hurricane comes along and rips the platform off and all that oil goes into the water.  Skytruth had to clarify what politicians and the oil industry was denying.  And look, they lied about this one too until they couldn't lie any longer.

    More inconvenient facts about the (5.00 / 3) (#145)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:11:38 PM EST
    oil spill

    Two most important factoids: First quarter profits up by 135% for BP and they fought safety standards that could have prevented this.

    Just like the mines...


    Red Faction Movie Coming From Syfy (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:34:18 AM EST
    we are all pretty excited about this around here.
    this is the game franchise I am working on.  I had the effects credit on the last one, Red Faction Guerrilla, and I am doing lighting and some effects on the upcoming one Red Faction Armageddon.

    Syfy is expanding its partnership with THQ by creating a made-for-TV movie based upon the Red Faction franchise. The two-hour movie will also be a back-door pilot for a TV series and the next Red Faction game will be produced in conjunction with Syfy Games.

    "It is the kind of content that fits our genre," Alan Seiffert, senior VP of Syfy Ventures, told Broadcasting & Cable. "It is a great fit for a big Syfy Saturday movie, and if it really works, it is a great back-door pilot."

    I gotta ask (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    does the destructable enviroments aspect significantly complicate your job with lighting effects, or you tie a set lighting value to all fragments or what?

    it impacts it only (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:21:05 PM EST
    in that they all share the same memory pool.   if we did not have destruction we could make the most beautiful game ever made.  its still going to look pretty good but we are constantly constrained by memory.  and that wont change much until the next gen of platforms.  which people say will not be a box but online.

    unlike film the whole thing has to render in a 30th of a second.  its magic!


    Go tiger! (none / 0) (#16)
    by Kimberley on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:41:55 AM EST
    You guys are getting so good at the effects in games. Those kinds of atmospherics make a tremendous difference in what I call the "rapt factor".

    hey thanks, not to go on (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:48:51 AM EST
    but it is an incredibly exciting place to be.  the technology is changing so fast it is quite unbelievable.  example:  when I started here in 2007 as an effects artist on the last RF title there was no such thing as a "lighter", that would be in the stage and CG sense, there was one light.
    the sun or the moon.
    by the time we got to the sequel we are working on now it is possible to place hundreds of lights in a scene so film like lighting is now possible. so having a lot of experience in lighting CG films I asked to be allowed to do that and they let me.
    every day at work we do stuff that has never been done before.  we are writing the book as we go.
    not many jobs where you can say that.
    is it any wonder I am not in the mood to retire?

    No wonder at all (none / 0) (#22)
    by Kimberley on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:54:15 AM EST
    It sounds exhilarating.

    on a related note (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:29:40 PM EST
    I still get this headhunter mail weekly that I never stopped when I got this job.  nice to have around.  in the one I got today I saw the very first listing for a "lighter" for a game company I have ever seen.

    as companies have been adjusting to the new tech they often promote internally.  it was true for effects also.  I was the first professional effects person this company ever hired.  game lighting has finally moved beyond that to an actual profession.



    Errata. (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:59:59 AM EST
    Rear Admiral Mary Landry says that 5000 barrels a day (210,000 gallons) is estimated to be leaking from the exploded rig in the Gulf of Mexico rather than 1000 barrels a day (42,000 gallons) as officials have been saying for days.  Mr. Hayward, chief executive of BP, said the crude spilling from the well was very light, the color and texture of iced tea, implying less environmental damage.  However, Brett Martel and Cain Burdeau of AP report that the oil has the consistency of thick roofing tar.  A test was conducted yesterday, after a delay, to corral the oil and attempt to burn it, if weather conditions did not mix the oil with water and cause difficulties in ignition.  As the oil tenaciously sticks to wildlife, so too is the Obama administration, with the support of the NYT editorial page, sticking to the proposal for more offshore drilling. Indeed, the NYT helps us to understand by placing the event in context: while tragic and destructive it can be seen as a "freak occurrence." Senators Menendez and Lautenberg, have a better perspective in my view, as expressed in a NYT letter to the editor: "drilling off our shores is a 19th century solution to 21st century energy challenges."  (culled from NYT, Key West Citizen, April 29).

    It seems many wanted to get through Wednesday (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by esmense on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:17:46 AM EST
    quickly. I know I did. Coffee machine malfunction first thing in the morning, problems with the business phone line (when you answered all you could hear was an echo of your own voice) and on and on. Plus, I've was trying to help a friend, whose is ill and in financial crisis, deal with the social service system. Not fun. I'd rant about it but I'm too worn out. Which is what I suspect the state was aiming for.  

    It's telling to me that (5.00 / 5) (#69)
    by Emma on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:42:14 AM EST
    the Oklahoma and Arizona laws attacking women's reproductive rights aren't receiving a fraction of the attention and vitriol that AZ's identification law is.

    I had that same feeling, Emma. (5.00 / 5) (#85)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:26:37 PM EST
    Pretty sad that we have come to a point where the passage of more and more laws that further encroach on women's reproductive choices elicits little more than "ho-hum...nothing to see here, what are you going to do about it, anyway?"

    While I cannot know with certainty, it strikes me that if the president had advocated for choice as fervently as one ought to expect from someone who claims to be pro-choice, if he had stood up to Stupak and Nelson, it might not be as easy to roll over on us, nor as acceptable as it now seems to be.  He speaks out when he cares, so...did he have any comment on the Oklahoma laws?  Did he rail his fists and wag his finger at the Oklahoma legislature?

    Whole thing just makes me sick.  Still fighting to be paid equally for equal work, still fighting to have dominion over our own bodies, still being treated as if we can't be trusted.

    We've "come a long way, baby?"  Not as far as we thought, apparently, and now we're moving backward.

    I just don't get it - are we that threatening?


    but but but (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Emma on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:52:38 PM EST
    Abortion and women are just different.  Or we brought it on ourselves.  Or we just have to wait and trust in the Russian winter, or something.  It's just not the saaaaaame.

    Which side are you on boys, which side are you on? (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Ellie on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:57:00 PM EST
    I call bullsh!t on that entire line of reasoning, particularly ...

    Your sex is also hampered politically, due to the sad fact that a not-insignificant number of your sisters have chosen to support the other side.

    Riiiiight. "Our" sex, huh? I never realized that for all women to have basic human rights, we first had to have a 3+ billion simultaneous coffeeklatsch and come to a consensus before any single male can be bothered to give a motherf*ckin good gawddamn.

    Time to pull out an oldie but goodie and revamp it for the sisterhood.

    Really, which side are you on? Because your entire argument is just another way of saying women aren't fully human.


    Strange... (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by huzzlewhat on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 11:08:17 AM EST
    ...how I've never heard anyone make the argument that a law couldn't be passed or overturned because all the men weren't on the same side.

    I noticed that too (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by CST on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:48:29 PM EST
    and didn't comment on Oklahoma....

    but the reason I didn't comment is that it seems like everyone here is of one mind about it.  It's absolutely terrible.  There are more people willing to stand up and defend Arizona so there is more to debate.

    Not saying that's everyone's reason, but I have noticed that when no one disagrees with you, you run out of things to say about something.

    But that's just here at TL.  As for national news, Oklahoma really hasn't gotten much play.  And that is very telling.


    Really? (none / 0) (#139)
    by Emma on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:53:33 PM EST
    There was a call to boycott AZ and OK because of their odious laws?  I must have missed that.

    no (none / 0) (#143)
    by CST on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:00:32 PM EST
    but I think that may have to do with the nature of the laws.  One affects you just for being there.  The other one affects you if you live there and get pregnant.

    Not saying you shouldn't boycott those other states too.  Just saying it doesn't have as much to do with simply being in the state, it's more about living there.  I would certainly boycott the hospitals.

    Although by TL "response" I was talking about comments per post not about the number of posts about the subject.  And to that point, I meant it didn't seem like there was as much debate to be had about the OK law while the immigration one had a more varied response - thereby inciting debate.


    Historically, women's rights have (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 03:05:28 PM EST
    usually taken a backseat to the rights of others, which is why we're seeing more agida over restrictive immigration legislation than anti-choice legislation.

    It's not a matter of numbers as you suggest, although the numbers game always serves as a handy apologia:

    [The AZ immigration law] affects you just for being there. [Anti-choice law] affects you if you live there and get pregnant.

    just so you know (none / 0) (#162)
    by CST on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 03:10:20 PM EST
    I wasn't talking about it in terms of numbers.  I meant there is a more direct relationship to a boycott of one's "person" due to the nature of the law.

    But whatever, I have no plans to go to either state any time soon and I don't think that will change.

    Obviously I disagree vehemently with the OK law.  I was just trying to provide what I thought might be a logical reason the responses to the two laws were different, at least around here.


    What do you mean... (none / 0) (#168)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 03:54:49 PM EST
    I meant there is a more direct relationship to a boycott of one's "person" due to the nature of the law.

    (BTW, just seeking understanding :-)


    the best way (none / 0) (#169)
    by CST on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 04:07:38 PM EST
    I can think of to explain would be an example.

    If I am a company thinking of doing a conference in AZ, or a person thinking of visiting arizona, I might boycott it because I don't want my employees (or myself) to be subject to arrest for not bringing their passports/ birth certificates, what have you.

    The OK law does not have a direct affect on someone who is visiting the state.  Therefore there is less of a personal incentive to boycott.

    That's not to say they don't deserve it.


    Boycotts aren't because (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Emma on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 05:24:13 PM EST
    you think you're going to be pulled over or denied a seat at the counter.  They're because the policy is wrong and discriminates against people who probably aren't you.

    For example, lots of U.S. citizens supported S. African boycotts (krugerrand, anyone?) even though they were never going to go there and get screwed by the race laws.

    Moreover, if all I'm concerned about is application of the law to me, then there's no reason for me to boycott.  I'm white.  I'm going to be privileged by the operation of this law.  At the least, they're going to be too busy pulling people over for driving while brown to notice me speeding by.  The only direct effect on me will be positive.  I guess I don't have to boycott then.


    If Congress and State Legislatures were (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:33:39 PM EST
    routinely, and systematically, crafting overt legislation to overturn, and undermine, something like The Voting Rights Act, I imagine the urgency of the situation would be rightfully apparent to all.

    Now erosion of Roe v. Wade, that's not something that will engender support for a nation-wide boycott of the offending states is it? I mean, the double standard is so blinding that very few people see it for the epic monstrosity that it is.


    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Spamlet on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:11:46 PM EST
    And yet, as one who has frequently expressed outrage here about the mounting political attack on women's bodily integrity, I also must say that while we rightly objected, during the HCR brouhaha, to the Stupak amendment and the president's executive order, we had little to say about the HCR legislation with respect to undocumented residents and/or their native-born children.

    I wonder whether making common cause then would have helped to stop this abomination before it got started.


    I have always (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Emma on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:50:38 PM EST
    supported HCR which covered everybody, i.e. single-payer plan which did not exclude immigrants or abortion from coverage.  However, that discussion was persona non grata here from the very beginning.  <shrug>  That's not on me and I'm not going to cop to it.

    Good point, and point taken (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Spamlet on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:14:47 PM EST
    However, I was not attacking you. I am sorry that my comment gave you that impression.

    I guess the larger question revolves around the issue of solidarity in a context of co-optation.

    The single-payer system that I and many others want was never an option. So how much do we fight for (or speak out against) the crumbs we're thrown in the ensuing divide-and-conquer free-for-all? And if we fight for ourselves, or at least protest on our own behalf, do we leave others to their own devices?

    And either way, to what extent does protest against the details of a sh!tty deal become de facto assent to the sh!tty deal itself?


    The two issues are not equivalent (none / 0) (#167)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 03:47:12 PM EST
    under the law, meaning: the issue of HCR restricting health coverage for undocumented residents; and the issue of HCR prohibiting abortion coverage in a manner that restricts/complicates access to abortion.  

    The critical difference between the two is that the latter is a specific infringement on an established constitutional right.


    Not sure (none / 0) (#172)
    by Spamlet on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 04:40:11 PM EST
    first of all that Roe v. Wade was decided on the basis of a constitutional right. IIRC, it was decided on the basis of an implied/inferred right to privacy, but as far as I know there is no right to privacy specified in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. And isn't that why so many people, by no means limited to right wingers, say that Roe was a good decision that was wrongly decided? Maybe you mean (temporarily) settled law rather than a constitutional right?

    For the sake of discussion, though, let's assume that abortion rights are enshrined in the constitution, and that their infringement constitutes the infringement of a constitutional right. Why does that create a "critical difference" between protesting the infringement of abortion rights and protesting the treatment of undocumented residents under the new HCR legislation?  Why is it even necessary to cite any such difference?

    I was talking about solidarity in a context of co-optation--specifically, about discussions in a blog's comment threads and how such discussions might or might not filter out into our lives and our society to help us (women outraged by Stupak, Nelson, and Obama's executive order) recognize and create common cause with other groups (in this case, undocumented residents excluded from consideration in the HCR legislation).

    Maybe I'm missing something here--it's happened before--but it seems to me that the only reason for citing a "critical difference" between these two groups' interests would be to say that one group's interests are more important that the other's. Is that what you meant?


    There is a constitutional right to abortion. (none / 0) (#177)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 06:21:32 PM EST
    As established by Roe v. Wade:

    The Court rested these conclusions on a constitutional right to privacy emanating from the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, also known as substantive due process...The Roe Court deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, thereby subjecting all laws attempting to restrict it to the standard of strict scrutiny.

    To clarify my prior comment: I'm saying, in legal terms, there is a self-evident "critical difference" between legislation that infringes on an established, fundamental constitutional right and other thoroughly objectionable legislation that pertains to something which is not an established, fundamental constitutional right.

    While both are highly alarming, the former violates existing law and actually rolls back specific hard-won rights for all women - of every race, religion, creed, and color.


    As you surely know, (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by Spamlet on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 06:59:57 PM EST
    the same Wikipedia article that you link to contains a number of notes that contradict your major point.

    You've repeated your earlier comment but not clarified it as far as I'm concerned, so I'll repeat my earlier question, in two words: So what?

    So what if the right to an abortion actually does turn out to be enshrined in the Constitution? Why would that make it somehow less important to protest racial/ethnic discrimination against noncitizens? Especially on a blog? And especially when, as you point out, the issues involved cross lines of race and gender?

    Apparently I just don't understand the reasoning behind your earlier comment. Sorry.


    Just a note (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:44:49 PM EST
    The right to privacy, upon which so much of the Roe decision is premised follows on the case of Griswold v. Connecticut (involving birth control.) The right is considered to be found in several constitutional provisions, beginning with the Ninth Amendment. The phrase--Justice Douglas' "penumbra"--is most associated with the finding that several of the first ten amendments contain the essential right of privacy underlying and emanating from purposes of such amendments.

    Spamlet, let me say this definitively... (none / 0) (#181)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 09:29:51 PM EST
    Any infringement on the legally established constitutional rights of any person, or people, is a terrible thing (i.e. denying women reproductive freedom). Likewise, it is an equally terrible thing to deprive and discriminate against people who do not have fully established legal rights (i.e. excluding non-citizens from the health care bill - such as it is).

    That being said, I believe it is a service to the greater good to vigilantly defend all of our existing rights - otherwise we are in a seriously weakened, losing position when it comes to gaining additional rights for others. I've always taken that to be a self-evident truth, as do most political activists I've encountered. It's not a zero sum game and I in no way privilege the rights of one group over another.

    Regarding Roe v. Wade: although you may choose to argue otherwise, the SCOTUS decision, in 1973, did establish that women have a fundamental constitutional right to abortion - this is still the law of the land - irrespective of all opinions to the contrary (including Justice Scalia).

    Here's some recent ACLU writing on the subject:

    After six years of protracted litigation, women in Maricopa County Jail -- you know, the one run by the infamous Sherriff Joe Arpaio -- have finally (hopefully) secured their constitutional right to obtain an abortion.

    Please let me know if you are still at odds with my position.


    Oy, it's like flypaper... (none / 0) (#183)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:48:55 PM EST
    Lest it be misinterpreted, when I said: "excluding non-citizens from the health care bill" - I was referring to, and objecting to, the current exclusion of non-citizens from the health care bill.

    My comment wasn't specfically directed at you (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by Emma on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:47:31 PM EST
    I didn't mean to target you, or anybody else here, personally.

    I was commenting, as I believe Anne is, on the zeitgeist of the moment.


    Frog Boiling theory (none / 0) (#96)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:55:24 PM EST
    OK's laws are insane and odious but just part of a nearly 4 decade effort to chip away at the right to choose on the state level- most people think they'll be thrown out at this point. The AZ thing on the other hand is a massive break from even the extreme anti-immigrant norm (seriously even Tancredo at some point condemned it- though he appears to have retracted that-- its the equivalent of Pat Robertson saying an anti-abortion law goes too far) and thus stands out to the press.

    A less depressing topic... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:05:28 AM EST
    with the homestand complete I think it's safe to say without bringing on the jinx...The Metsies are on fire!  What a 180 they pulled....keep it up boys!  Ike Davis musta came up from Buffalo with magic dust and spread it around the clubhouse...go get the Phils!

    The wheels fell off of the Braves bus early (none / 0) (#33)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:15:41 AM EST
    this year. They are the opposite of 'on fire,' but with 141 games left, not time to panic yet ( unless your last name is Steinbrenner). Glad the Mets are making you happy. My 8 game losing streak is surprising.

    I was in that boat... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:21:34 AM EST
    to start the season...yes, not time to panic, even though I was panicking hardcore.

    It's a funny game, can't lose for trying one week, can't win for trying the next.

    Heyward might have some competition for ROY...Davis looks like the real deal too.


    About two weeks ago (none / 0) (#41)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:36:11 AM EST
    a Baseball Tonight anchor mentioned in passing that Heyward was about to start having problems at the plate since he didn't appear to have the ability to lay off outside breaking balls in the dirt. The thought reminded me of Dale Murphy flailing at the end of his career in his attempt to get to 400 dingers (eventually ending with 398).

    It doesn't take long for major league pitchers to find a weak spot. If the kid figures it out he'll get it together. If not he'll be pigeonholed in a quote from A League Of Their Own..."can't hit 'em, can't lay off 'em.


    I think he'll figure it out... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 10:45:45 AM EST
    and when he does watch out...that kid has some stroke.

    Its his one real weakness (none / 0) (#90)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:35:54 PM EST
    and its a big one- its something that's destroyed hitters before, but like you said-- if he figures it out- wow, I mean he could be Invinci-Bonds good in 3-4 years.

    No, no he wont (none / 0) (#89)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:34:06 PM EST
    Heyward is the fricking truth, I don't know how else to put it- seeing him play is like watching Randy Moss or Lebron James in their rookie years- he's just so much better physically than his peers that greatness seems almost inevitable- I mean the kid's 20, has the body of Adam Dunn mixed with Carl Crawford- he's like some sort of genetic freak- an evolutionary Ken Griffey Jr.  Admittedly he's in a slump right now, and the hype could be wrong (maybe his hot start was a fluke) but he's the first player in a long time that I'd actually bet on making Cooperstown just from his first month and the way managers talk about him. (put it this way either Bobby Cox has gone senile of Heyward is the next great superstar.)

    The next Prague. (none / 0) (#59)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:03:47 AM EST
    That's just great, Rick.  Thanks for trying to ruin one of my favorite places.  

    Bad enough they already have to deal with the loutish Brits and their "bachelor" parties (aka cheap drinking excursions).  

    Cracow is just fine the way it is, it doesn't need to be the next over-priced, over-crowded, over-hyped Prague.

    Funny and informative (none / 0) (#82)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:18:44 PM EST
    Flowchart of the Gizmodo-Apple saga.]

    Well done!

    Sorry I messed that up (none / 0) (#83)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:19:26 PM EST
    But ther is the URL

    How was Mr. Hiatt? (none / 0) (#102)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:01:15 PM EST
    Did he bring it for you guys?  Music fiends wanna know!...:)

    Fantastic, thank you very much (none / 0) (#154)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:44:53 PM EST
    He did rock the joint. His voice seemed better than I remember too - he was really hitting the high notes. I pretty much grinned for a solid 2 hours. He did some different arrangements of some of my favorites like - Cry Love, Wreck of the Barbi Ferrari, Real Fine Love, Riding with the King and Feels Like Rain, one of the sexiest songs ever written.  I like it when they don't sound exactly like the record. The songs from the new record sound good - still have to pick that up.

    The lead guitarist (and mandolin, sitar, etc - I have to look up his name) was so great too. He added a lot to the show, I thought. Can't take anything away from the bassist and drummer too. It was hard to believe there were only 4 guys up there.

    The crowd was small but very vocal which he seemed to like. I hope more people show up at the rest of his stops or I don't know how he will pay the band!

    Anyway it was good to see him in such fine shape.


    Thats what I remembered most... (none / 0) (#158)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 02:47:41 PM EST
    from the NY gig...that rock-n-roll yell of his...wow.  And the sick band.

    Good stuff...hope you're not too hung over:)


    ha - no hangover (none / 0) (#164)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 03:22:28 PM EST
    This venue did not serve mixed drinks! So I just had a beer. Can't hold a lot of beer, so it is not my drink of choice for getting a buzz. Oh well, it is just as well.

    Jeralyn or BTD (none / 0) (#88)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 12:28:37 PM EST
    I see the petition to have the DoJ block implementation and/or enforcement of the Arizona Immigration law- is that actually a viable option? I mean I signed it but could the DoJ do this is the Administration wanted to or would it be a huge overstep of federal authority?

    Here comes the oil (none / 0) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 01:27:00 PM EST
    We did not plan a big gulf coast vacation this year because last year it was so hot.  Could Obama look like a bigger bipartisan pandering to big business fool though than he does right now?  Drill offshore baby drill.

    Thank you, FoxholeAtheist and christinep, (none / 0) (#184)
    by Spamlet on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 11:08:40 PM EST
    for your follow-ups and explanations. FTR, I am an adamant supporter of abortion rights for all women, no matter what the Supreme Court says at any particular time (and despite my personal conviction that human life begins at conception). I am a crackpot-left independent, BTW--just so we all know that we're more or less on the same page, or so I suppose. And I still regret that discussion here during the Stupak fervor was not somewhat wider-ranging.

    Sorry, lost the "parent" on this one (none / 0) (#187)
    by Spamlet on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 12:11:08 AM EST
    Possibly because I am in the process of actually losing a parent.

    Meant to thank FA and christinep for their thoughtful responses and clarifications upthread.