07/19/2010 archive

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 BP well stays shut despite ‘seepage’


2 hrs 17 mins ago

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – The US government authorized BP on Monday to keep the busted Gulf of Mexico oil well shut in for another 24 hours despite gas seepage that could indicate the wellbore is damaged.

BP wants to keep the valves on its containment cap closed continuously until an operation to permanently seal the well can be performed in less than two weeks time, meaning no more toxic crude would stream into the Gulf.

But those hopes were dealt a blow on Sunday when the government raised concerns about “the detection of a seep near the well and the possible observation of methane over the well.”

Punting the Pundits

Joan Walsh discusses the Tea Party Federation leader’s expulsion of racist Mark Williams But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t denounce him. Plus: “What if the Tea Party was black?”

Credit where it’s due: Just days after insisting there are no racists in the Tea Party movement, Tea Party Federation leader David Webb told CBS’s “Face the Nation” today that Mark Williams and his Tea Party Express had been expelled from the group. Last seen trying to start a sponsors’ boycott of MSNBC’s “Hardball” because of Chris Matthews’s tough reporting on the Tea Party, Webb was apparently appalled by Williams’s blatantly racist Letter to President Lincoln from “Colored People” signed by “Precious Ben Jealous,” asking Lincoln to repeal emancipation because “coloreds” had it better under slavery, not having to look for a job and such. Webb called the letter “offensive.”

You know what’s sad, though? On CNN, also this morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell couldn’t even muster the judgment that Webb showed. “I am not interested in getting into that debate,” McConnell told Candy Crowley. What a wuss. Remember that the next time someone tries to tell you the GOP is the party of Lincoln.


Finally, I sent this video around Friday night. You may already have seen it. A lot of people, including author Tim Wise, have asked the interesting question: What if the Tea Party was black? At minimum, it’s pretty clear that its gun-toting and violent rhetoric against the president would probably not be going over terribly well, especially with law enforcement (think the Old Black Panthers carrying guns into the State Capitol in Sacramento). It’s an interesting argument, but this video puts images and music behind it, and, well, I think it’s powerful. Probably not going to change the minds of hardened Tea Partiers or Obama haters, but it should find a wider audience:

Monday Business Edition

It’s a very good country for the rich man. Chauffeurs, servants, big houses. The question is, who is suffering? The common man.

This is the tax policy that DC elites, Republicans and Democrats, want to see adopted.

I on the other hand favor moderate, mainstream, FDR tax rates of 90% on marginal income; and if corporations have the right to speak like individuals they have the right to be taxed like them too.

Who wants to be long on a July weekend anyway sucker?

From Yahoo News Business

1 Moody’s downgrades Ireland debt rating


2 hrs 2 mins ago

LONDON (AFP) – A top rating agency downgraded Irish debt on Monday, saying that the once Celtic Tiger is being greatly weakened by radical action to fight debt and rescue banks but may be stabilising.

Moody’s agency cut Ireland’s debt rating to Aa2 on Monday, blaming high debt levels, weak economic growth prospects and the huge cost of rescuing banks.

“Moody’s Investors Service has today downgraded Ireland’s government bond ratings to Aa2 from Aa1,” the group said in an official statement, but added that it had switched its outlook to stable from negative.

Ireland has gladly adopted a strong austerity policy.  This is what happens.

Le Tour: Stage 15

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

I suppose I should try to avoid  any sentence that starts- “What really happened yesterday…” especially when it comes to Le Tour because I really don’t have any special insight except that which comes from watching each stage about 16 times in preference to the crap that normally infests my TV, particularly the Sunday Morning Beltway Bozo Shows.

It is a shame that I will take to my grave that I ever thought they made me better informed and worse that my persistent addiction infected my parents who have yet to recover.

But back to professional bicycle racing which, even with doping, is so much more legitimate than Wrestling, Roller Derby, or Politics.

Yesterday’s subtext is that Astana, Alberto Contador’s team, is going to try and drop every other contender by pushing the Peloton.  Schleck and Saxo Bank are keeping up so far, but Lance and Team Radio Shack have nothing to race for but pride.  My prediction is that unless Saxo Bank puts an a move (which will be quite difficult if Astana stays aggressive), Contador leaves the Pyrenees seconds behind and counts on a blistering Time Trial the penultimate stage Saturday.

Or there could be flaming hunks of twisted metal, that’s why you watch anyway isn’t it?

Stage 15, Pamiers to Bagnères-de-Luchon, is 117 miles ending with a Kute Kuddly Kitty Kat Klimb.  If Astana is serious, and there is no reason to believe they aren’t, the Peloton will again be 10 or more minutes ahead of its expected pace before that final climb even begins.

On This Day in History: July 18

On this day in 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contained fragments of passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic. The ancient Greek on the Rosetta Stone told archaeologists that it was inscribed by priests honoring the king of Egypt, Ptolemy V, in the second century B.C. More startlingly, the Greek passage announced that the three scripts were all of identical meaning. The artifact thus held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a written language that had been “dead” for nearly 2,000 years.


Several scholars, including Englishman Thomas Young made progress with the initial hieroglyphics analysis of the Rosetta Stone. French Egyptologist Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832), who had taught himself ancient languages, ultimately cracked the code and deciphered the hieroglyphics using his knowledge of Greek as a guide. Hieroglyphics used pictures to represent objects, sounds and groups of sounds. Once the Rosetta Stone inscriptions were translated, the language and culture of ancient Egypt was suddenly open to scientists as never before.

The Rosetta Stone has been housed at the British Museum in London since 1802, except for a brief period during World War I. At that time, museum officials moved it to a separate underground location, along with other irreplaceable items from the museum’s collection, to protect in from the threat of bombs.

Prime Time


Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 BP hopes cap can stay on for good

by Allen Johnson, AFP

Sun Jul 18, 3:53 pm ET

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – BP raised hopes Sunday that no more toxic crude will leak into the Gulf of Mexico, saying it intends to keep its runaway oil well sealed until a permanent “kill” operation later this month.

The US government is granting extensions to exhaustive well tests on a 24-hour basis, but BP said the valves on the containment cap that is staunching the flow will remain shut as long as no leaks are discovered.

This could mark the beginning of the end of what estimates suggest is the biggest oil spill ever, although the true damage from one of America’s worst environmental disasters might not be known for decades.