Saturday Morning Open Thread

World Cup -- The Netherlands beat Japan 1-0. Ghana faces Australia now. Cameroon faces Denmark later. I like Australia and Cameroon.

Golf -- The US Open is at Pebble Beach, a beautiful place. Phil Mickelson is just 2 shots back after shooting 66 yesterday.

Tennis -- Wimbledon starts on Monday.Nadal looked great in Paris and is now No. 1 again. Roger Federer is still the favorite in Wimbledon.

Cycling -- Lance Armstrong rides a time trial on Sunday in the Tour of Switzerland that should tell us a lot about whether Lance has a chance in the Tour de France, which starts July 3.

Open Thread.

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    I may start writing about politics (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 09:06:24 AM EST
    again this week.

    Certainly about the Kagan hearings.

    German Jews plan humanitarian aid to Gaza (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 12:08:54 PM EST
    From CommonDreams.org, 6/17/10, German Jews to Gaza:
    A group of German Jews planning to take a boat with humanitarian aid to break the Gaza blockade now says it's looking for a second boat because so many European Jews have asked to join them. Jewish Voices for a Just Peace, which includes the offspring of German Jews who fled the Holocaust, want to take children's food, clothes, medicine and school supplies as well as musical instruments, "food for the soul."

    "We just see that a Jewish state is occupying Palestine, laying a siege, and depriving children of the things that they need. We as Jews are saying, 'not in our name.'" - Kate Katzenstein-Leiterer, a leader of the new flotilla effort.

    Now, if only high-level journalists could say the same without risking career suicide.

    Great story about the NY Federal Public Defenders (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 01:52:15 PM EST
    in today's New York Times, focusing on the two assistants who are assigned to represent the alleged Times Square car-bomber, Faisal Shahzad.

    Manute Bol has died (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by shoephone on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 04:42:02 PM EST
    A sad way to go. And a real loss.

    He was a great humanitarian. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by desertswine on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 05:40:46 PM EST
    Deepwater Disaster Thread (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 06:22:57 PM EST
    Author's Note: This is a guest post by William Semple. Mr. Semple is a drilling engineer and independent drilling consultant with 37 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He worked for 16 years with a major oil company and has 24 years of experience as a drilling supervisor.

    Mississippi Canyon 252 Macondo Well
    24th April 2010 at approximately 21:49 hrs

    I have summarized the information to try and keep it to the salient facts. The following information is from reliable sources. Most is public record and the remainder is from confidential reviews carried out by other major oil companies. I have interpreted the reports and made some conclusions with caveats where necessary. As such, these are only opinions and no inference of blame can be inferred as a result of these statements.


    Not sure if this link has been posted here at TL, if not, well it seems pretty exhaustive and in depth analysis of the BP disaster.  Worth a skim, at least, for anyone interested in technical discussion of the disaster.

    Sometimes, Jim, I think (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 08:02:04 PM EST
    your comments are quite acute.  More often, totally wrong.  This one, however, takes the cake for being offensive, to put it mildly.  If our hostess doesn't ban you from the site, you're a lucky man, and she's an even more tolerant person than I had appreciated.

    One of the comments still up (none / 0) (#35)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 09:29:28 PM EST
    is shocking. I can't imagine what must have been deleted.

    I presume you are referring to the comment (none / 0) (#36)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 09:46:08 PM EST
    at #22.  My response #31 was aimed at that comment, Andy, but I accidentally failed to click that it was a reply, so it posted independently.  Thus, perhaps, you understandably interpreted it as directed at something else, now missing.  If so, not so.

    I was actually thinking of #34 (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 09:49:43 PM EST
    But #22 is about as bad IMO.

    Enough said.


    See above (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:00:29 AM EST
    As soon as I was alerted to Jim's comment, I deleted it and the responses to it. With a warning.

    As might be expected, (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 09:49:38 PM EST
    criticism of the prior comment, calling it out on grounds of apparent anti-semitism and/or racism, is met, not with a retraction or apology, but with a defensive use of the traditional "some of my best friends are ..." parry.

    jim's comment was deleted (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:58:04 AM EST
    his reference to genetics was offensive. Jim,stop posting on this topic.  I don't care to have this site trashed by your discussion. You are deliberately provoking other commenters.

    For everyone: Please refrain from deliberately provoking aggressive responses, it's called baiting.

    Please refrain from telling others what or how to post

    Please refrain from derailing the thread (when it's not an open thread)

    Please steer clear of personal attacks.


    I have been a long time supporter (none / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 07:58:52 AM EST
    of Israel as can be shown time and again on this site.

    I did not think of  my comment  as being anti-Semitic. I am sorry that it has taken that way.

    I hope that Talkleft leaves this comment up.


    "has been taken" (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:15:55 AM EST
    Maybe it's a genetic thing (none / 0) (#46)
    by jondee on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:13:28 PM EST
    for some: feeling defensive enough to be compelled to trumpet one's "social liberalism" and support for Israel at every opportunity..  

    I'm taking some pleasure (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 09:35:58 AM EST
    in Mark Blumenthal's takedown of Nate Silver. In one case, though, I think he's too generous:

    Joining NCPP or endorsing the AAPOR initiative may be statistically related to other aspects of pollster philosophy or practice that made them more accurate in the past, but no one -- not even Nate Silver -- believes that a mere commitment made a few weeks ago to greater future transparency caused pollsters to be more accurate over the last ten years.

    Based on Blumenthal's description of Silver's model, that appears very much to be an assumption Nate has made.

    First (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 11:13:28 AM EST
    All polls suck.

    Second, When the measuring stick is the election result itself, then the only poll you can judge is the final one - which helps us not at all in judging polls farther out. As Blumenthal writes:

    "If a pollster can reach the 80th or 90th percentile for accuracy with made up data, imagine how "accurate" a pollster can be by simply taking other pollsters' results into account when tweaking their likely voters model or weighting real data. As such, how useful are such ratings for assessing whether pollsters are really starting with representative samples of adults?"

    And my final constant pet peeve for all political polling - without an actual prediction of total turnout and demographic breakdown, then how exactly can we judge whether a poll is accurate?

    The margin of victory is what they all focus on but it is hardly the proper measure of judging the polling accuracy of the behavior of a relevant universe.

    In short, the "likely voter" calculation is as important as any and in no way do pollsters or people like Silver honestly address this issue.  


    polls are polls? (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 12:23:45 PM EST
    Agreed completely (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 11:38:58 AM EST
    Almost all pollsters--even the most transparent--hate to reveal their special sauce. (SUSA, Gallup, and ABC (IIRC) have come close.) Just witness how different the different Gallup "likely voter" models could be on any given day.

    The quip about fake polls doing well in Nate's measure was a good one.


    Love the name "Socceroos." (none / 0) (#3)
    by Joan in VA on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 09:50:37 AM EST
    Happy for them that they got their first goal. Too bad one of them also got shown the red.

    And in MLB news, Red Sox defeat (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 11:07:32 AM EST
    the Dodgers and Padres get yet another come-from-behind 9th inning win--this time over the Orioles.

    And yes, there are some Orioles fans in San Diego apparently.  Shirts on the streets.

    for the love of god (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 12:25:05 PM EST
    when does the interleague play end? Stop the madness!

    Tony Hayward is starting to (none / 0) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 11:37:22 AM EST
    get his life back with some much needed R&R. Tony is attending the yacht race (sailing boats, in a nod to his ecological commitment) off the Isle of Wright today in Southern England. His boat "Bob" is participating in the JP Morgan Asset Managment Round the Isle regatta.  

    You could not make this stuff up (none / 0) (#11)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 12:25:42 PM EST
    Make that Isle of Wight. (none / 0) (#14)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 12:49:55 PM EST
    Sorry, mistakes were made and I was out of the loop.

    Don't worry about it (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 12:53:18 PM EST
    I don't shake down the small people.

    Grand Opening of (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 12:30:58 PM EST
    Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando yesterday. People were in line for 8 hours for the main roller coaster ride through. I'll add that it was 95 degrees and very humid yesterday. Universal must be doing a great job because I did not hear of anyone keeling over!

    If you are a Potterphile, it really looks like they did a great job with the design of the area. I am looking forward to going, but not this month, or even this year.

    It is giving the local tourist trade a shot in the arm, so that's good.

    We went to DisneyWorld the shortly after (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 12:42:38 PM EST
    it opened.  Rainy day so no traffic jam to get off the freeway.  Mostly white haired attendees, who were in the restaurants and shops during the frequent cloudbursts.  Terrific day for a 5-yr. old.

    Lots of happy kids this weekend (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 12:58:04 PM EST
    One of the reports said that the next best thing to watching the magic wand match-up activity in the wand store was watching the faces of the little kids. I hope that our world still has a place for magic like that to be a lasting memory for a kid.

    My 18-year-old wants me to take her (none / 0) (#20)
    by Joan in VA on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 03:37:29 PM EST
    but a vacation is not in the cards this summer as she is starting college soon. Maybe at Christmas? I'm not too into paying to sweat at theme parks-already sweating at home for nothing. We have read the books and gone to the movies together and are now awaiting the premier of H-B Prince on HBO tonight. I think we mainly want to go to taste butter beer and experience Hogwarts. Roller coasters not so much.

    Did you and your daughter see "Equus" (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 03:53:21 PM EST
    with Daniel Ratcliffe?  I swear the audience the day I went was Moms and 18-yr. old daughters.

    I know my niece and nephew that age (none / 0) (#23)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 04:11:55 PM EST
    would love it too. hope they can come down  - in the winter. I know the reason people come here in the summer is because that is when school is out, but still I can't imagine spending my vacation dollars to come and sweat in Orlando this time of year. But they do, in droves.

    Not news, but Frederica von Stade is (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 01:07:34 PM EST
    still retiring.  Heard her here last night.  Different attire (not as flashy as at Carnegie Hall) and different pianist (excellent).  More Mozart (@ Mainly Mozart Festival).  Charming as always.

    Sen. Leahy tips his had re Kagen (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 02:07:22 PM EST
    confirmation hrgs.  BP/Scotus-imposed limits on punitive damages.  Citizens United.

    I watched the Australia Ghana game today (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 19, 2010 at 05:30:36 PM EST
    but that was it.  Too much stuff to do around here this weekend.  I gotta get a different life outside of the World Cup :)