07/15/2010 archive

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 39 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 BP stops Gulf oil flow for first time since April


19 mins ago

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – British energy giant BP stopped the oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday for the first time in three months as it began key tests hoping to stem the spill for good.

Shortly after BP engineers shut down the last of three valves on a giant new cap placed on the blown-out well, senior vice president Kent Wells announced no oil was leaking into the seas.

“I’m very excited to see no oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico,” Wells told reporters, but cautioned it was only the start of a testing process set to last 48 hours to analyze the condition of the underground wellbore.

Punting the Pundits

More on ACORN and Breitbart’s hoax from Joe Conason at Salon.com

ACORN hoax victim files lawsuit against O’Keefe and Giles

One of the many victims of Andrew Breitbart’s ACORN video hoax is finally striking back in court, against pseudo-pimp James O’Keefe and pseudo-ho Hannah Giles if not Breitbart himself. Former San Diego ACORN office employee Juan Carlos Vera, who was falsely portrayed in a heavily edited videotape as conspiring with O’Keefe and Giles to traffic underage girls across the Mexican border, is suing both of the right-wing filmmakers, seeking $75,000 in damages under California’s privacy statutes.

Filed  last week in the U.S. District Court in San Diego, Vera’s brief complaint claims that O’Keefe, Giles and up to 20 unnamed parties violated his “reasonable expectation of privacy” by conspiring to secretly videotape him and then posting the tapes on the Internet without his consent, causing him to lose his job and other damages. Indeed, as the complaint notes, the “pimp and prostitute” explicitly asked Vera whether their conversation would be confidential.

From Greg Sargent a the Plum Line who says that the House Democrats are finally getting angry at the obstruction of the Republicans and the White House’s lack of support for their campaigns.

The lid has suddenly been ripped off and the seething tensions and anger among Democrats have now been laid bare. As I noted here yesterday, House Dems are furious that they will be the ones who get shellacked in the midterms — largely because of the dithering of the Senate and White House on the economy.

This despite the fact that House Dems have already succeeded in doing the heavy lifting on their side on jobs- and unemployment-related measures and other legislation.

* Now House Dems are going public with this grievance and many others. Rep. Bill Pascrell boils it down:


“What the hell do they think we’ve been doing the last 12 months? We’re the ones who have been taking the tough votes.”

* House Dems also charge that the White House is far more effort into helping embattled Senate candidates than into helping them.

Thursday Tech Support

So I’ve spent the last week in a dual Ubuntu/XP environment and while I haven’t succeeded in improving either one of them very much I’ve at least been able to alleviate my load time problem with Yahoo News.

Of course now my YouTubes won’t play, so it’s all a compromise.

And I hate, hate, hate the keyboard translations that make my numeric keypad useless for selecting and transferring text (Ctrl-Insert, Shift-Insert, Shift all directions to select text).  Works fine off the extra keys and their teeny tiny carpal tunnel inducing foot print.

Not able to get that scroll wheel desktop switch thing working again in this version either which slows me down some, though for viewing (not composing) it’s still an incredibly efficient environment.

I’m also not having much luck getting DOSBox to load my old tired games like Scorched Earth, or AVG to do scans of my NTFS Windows drives.  I’m itching for a clean lean install of XP to see if that solves some of my issues on that side, but I’m waiting for a 32 Gb USB drive as a platform and yet maybe I’m foolish to do that.

You see I’ve always had a hankering to run a superfast development system in RAM.  Take 10k lines of code and see how fast you can get a native executable.  Now I have unimaginable amounts of RAM just on my Video Card, but I’ve never been able to set up a development system that worked as well as my CCPM-86/Desqview dual boot on my 286-12.

What I do to amuse myself instead is speed install OSs and I had thought that a Flash Drive installation would be noticeably faster than a straight SATA or 133  or even one of my notoriously unreliable RAID setups.  What causes me to question my assumptions is the availability of this part which provides the secondary benefit I desire- being able to boot from an independent drive so you can virus check and fix configuration problems (Trendnet Easy Go?  Don’t install that.).

I also take ‘normal’ questions.

Le Tour: Stage 11

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Well, Team Radio Shack has a stage victory from Sergio Paulinho.  While I congratulate the team and rider, Stage 10 didn’t change much though it is interesting that Samuel Sanchez continues to hang with Schleck and Contador.

Your US commentators keep hanging their hats on Leipheimer, but it’s not happening.  Lance lost time.

Most analysts don’t expect anything exciting before Sunday when the Tour hits the Pyrenees for 3 days of climbing, a recovery day, and then a 4th day in the mountains.

And then the moving finger will have writ, and having written moves on; but that’s the beauty part of sports, it has at least novelty.

Today’s stage is 115 miles from Sisteron to Bourg-lès-Valence and has only one climb, a category 3.

On This Day in History: July 15

On this day in 1971, President Richard Nixon startled the country by announcing he would visit the People’s Republic of China.

During a live television and radio broadcast, President Richard Nixon stuns the nation by announcing that he will visit communist China the following year. The statement marked a dramatic turning point in U.S.-China relations, as well as a major shift in American foreign policy.

Nixon was not always so eager to reach out to China. Since the Communists came to power in China in 1949, Nixon had been one of the most vociferous critics of American efforts to establish diplomatic relations with the Chinese. His political reputation was built on being strongly anti-communist, and he was a major figure in the post-World War II Red Scare, during which the U.S. government launched massive investigations into possible communist subversion in America.

By 1971, a number of factors pushed Nixon to reverse his stance on China. First and foremost was the Vietnam War. Two years after promising the American people “peace with honor,” Nixon was as entrenched in Vietnam as ever. His national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, saw a way out: Since China’s break with the Soviet Union in the mid-1960s, the Chinese were desperate for new allies and trade partners. Kissinger aimed to use the promise of closer relations and increased trade possibilities with China as a way to put increased pressure on North Vietnam–a Chinese ally–to reach an acceptable peace settlement. Also, more importantly in the long run, Kissinger thought the Chinese might become a powerful ally against the Soviet Union, America’s Cold War enemy. Kissinger called such foreign policy ‘realpolitik,’ or politics that favored dealing with other powerful nations in a practical manner rather than on the basis of political doctrine or ethics.

Popular Culture (Women In Media) 20100714. Rachel versus Megyn

An allegory betwixt the Fox “News” Channel and MSNBC can be seen by examining the tactics and the demeanor of each of their two flagship women.  I must first say that I like women a lot, and find both of them physically attractive, but that is not germane to the discussion.  However, it is important.

Studies show that attractive news readers get better ratings than unattractive ones, regardless of gender.  Whilst I yield that everyone has her or his own picture of perfection, I hope that everyone will postulate that both of them are very attractive women, to level the field.  This post has nothing to do with sexual attraction, but rather intellectual ability and interviewing skills.  I just happen to think that they both are on about equal levels as far as being attractive goes.  At the risk of being called sexist, here we go.

Putting the Fox in Charge: Up Date

Can the Obama administration get any more corporatist? Just what do they owe Max Baucus and his health insurance pals?

Baucus staffer who led health reform drafting moving to Obama administration

Liz Fowler, a key staffer for U.S. Sen. Max Baucus who helped draft the federal health reform bill enacted in March, is joining the Obama administration to help implement the new law…

Fowler headed up a team of 20-some Senate Finance Committee staffers who helped draft the bill in the Senate. She was Baucus’ top health care aide from 2001-2005 and left that job in 2006 to become an executive at WellPoint, the nation’s largest private insurer. She was vice president of public policy at WellPoint, helping develop public-policy positions for the company. In 2008, she rejoined Baucus to work on health reform legislation.

Prime Time

One of my subtler themes is the appalling lack of innovation and creativity in entertainment (which is the primary reason sports figures deserve every dime they can wring from their dilletant billionaire toy boy masters).

This makes selecting Prime Time features difficult since as much as I admire Phineas and Ferb I’ll often spare myself a 4th viewing in favor of novelty, if it’s available.

Sometimes not so much.

Executive Decision is Kurt Russell’s worst movie ever, including The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.  ESPN has the ESPYs.  Every time I’ve watched The Cable Guy has been one time too many.  The Departed, just because it’s Scorsese doesn’t make it memorable.

Mythbusters Buster’s Cuts looks pretty good though it’s likely to be painfully hoaky.  Man v. Food is always the same but different.  The only thing I’m really looking forward to is Zahi Hawass’ new show on History @ 10.


Jon from 7/5, Stephen 6/28.  David has Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Laurie Anderson. Alton has Herbs.