Daily Archive: 08/02/2010

Aug 02 2010

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Crucial tests on eve of BP’s well bid

by Matt Davis, AFP

2 hrs 6 mins ago

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – BP conducted vital tests Monday as it prepared to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil well, while coastal residents awaited the green light anxiously after more than three months of uncertainty and frustration.

Before the static kill bid can go ahead, engineers first had to inject oil through the cap on top of the well to make sure there would be no problem they pump in heavy drilling mud on Tuesday.

“Today we will do the injectivity tests, we’ll look at that information, make any adjustments to how and if we move forward with the static kill tomorrow,” said BP senior vice president Kent Wells.

Aug 02 2010

Punting the Pundits

Punting the Pundits is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Michelle Obama: A food bill we need

Last spring, a class of fifth-grade students from Bancroft Elementary School in the District descended on the South Lawn of the White House to help us dig, mulch, water and plant our very first kitchen garden. In the months that followed, those same students came back to check on the garden’s progress and taste the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor. Together, they helped us spark a national conversation about the role that food plays in helping us all live healthy lives.

Fareed Zakaria: To deal with the deficit, let the tax cuts expire

For the past few months, we have heard powerful, passionate arguments about the need to cut America’s massive budget deficit. Republican senators have claimed that we are in danger of permanently crippling the economy. Conservative economists and pundits warn of a Greece-like crisis in which America will be able to borrow only at exorbitant interest rates. So when an opportunity presents itself to cut those deficits by about a quarter — more than $300 billion! — permanently and relatively easily, you would think that these people would be leading the way. Far from it.

Aug 02 2010

Monday Business Edition

Defining Prosperity Down

By PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times

Published: August 1, 2010

I worry that those in power, rather than taking responsibility for job creation, will soon declare that high unemployment is “structural,” a permanent part of the economic landscape – and that by condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness, they’ll turn that excuse into dismal reality.

We’re told that we can’t afford to help the unemployed – that we must get budget deficits down immediately or the “bond vigilantes” will send U.S. borrowing costs sky-high. Some of us have tried to point out that those bond vigilantes are, as far as anyone can tell, figments of the deficit hawks’ imagination – far from fleeing U.S. debt, investors have been buying it eagerly, driving interest rates to historic lows. But the fearmongers are unmoved: fighting deficits, they insist, must take priority over everything else – everything else, that is, except tax cuts for the rich, which must be extended, no matter how much red ink they create.

The point is that a large part of Congress – large enough to block any action on jobs – cares a lot about taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population, but very little about the plight of Americans who can’t find work.

Monday Business Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Business

1 Greek truckers end week-long strike

by John Hadoulis, AFP

Sun Aug 1, 3:48 pm ET

ATHENS (AFP) – Greek truckers on Sunday called off a week-long strike that stranded thousands of travellers and nearly dried up fuel around the country at the peak of the busy tourism season.

“We have decided, by narrow majority, to suspend the strike,” the head of the Greek truck owners confederation, George Tzortzatos, told reporters after a union meeting that lasted over three hours.

“Transporters will be back at the steering wheel as of tomorrow,” he said.

Aug 02 2010

On This Day in History: August 2

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

August 2 is the 214th day of the year (215th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 151 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1776, members of Congress affix their signatures to an enlarged copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Fifty-six congressional delegates in total signed the document, including some who were not present at the vote approving the declaration. The delegates signed by state from North to South, beginning with Josiah Bartlett of New Hampshire and ending with George Walton of Georgia. John Dickinson of Pennsylvania and James Duane, Robert Livingston and John Jay of New York refused to sign. Carter Braxton of Virginia; Robert Morris of Pennsylvania; George Reed of Delaware; and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina opposed the document but signed in order to give the impression of a unanimous Congress. Five delegates were absent: Generals George Washington, John Sullivan, James Clinton and Christopher Gadsden and Virginia Governor Patrick Henry.

The United States Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire. Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration is a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The birthday of the United States of America-Independence Day-is celebrated on July 4, the day the wording of the Declaration was approved by Congress.

The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing colonial grievances against King George III, and by asserting certain natural rights, including a right of revolution. Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, the text of the Declaration was initially ignored after the American Revolution. Its stature grew over the years, particularly the second sentence, a sweeping statement of individual human rights:

   We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This sentence has been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language” and “the most potent and consequential words in American history”.

After finalizing the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms. It was initially published as a printed broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public. The most famous version of the Declaration, a signed copy that is usually regarded as the Declaration of Independence, is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Although the wording of the Declaration was approved on July 4, the date of its signing has been disputed. Most historians have concluded that it was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed. The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry.

The famous wording of the Declaration has often been invoked to protect the rights of individuals and marginalized groups, and has come to represent for many people a moral standard for which the United States should strive. This view was greatly influenced by Abraham Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy, and who promoted the idea that the Declaration is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.

Aug 02 2010

Pique the Geek 20100801: Lincoln One Cent Pieces

Many of you who read my posts regularly know that I am a very dedicated numismatist, and that I have written many posts about coin collecting.  I have also written about the history of United States coins extensively.

What you may not know is that I specialize in Lincoln one cent pieces, minted from 1909 to the present day.  This is the longest running series of all United States coins by a large margin, lasting 101 years now with little change on the obverse, but with some.

This post will let you know a bit more about them, and also some of my passion for what most people think of as something insignificant.  They are far from insignificant.

Aug 02 2010

Prime Time

Happy Shark Week!

Sigh.  I’ll not be hyping the aqueous skin toothed cartilaginous charms of this media event.  Not while I have Summer X Games!



A good night to sleep.

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