09/12/2010 archive

Rant of the Week: Jon Stewart’s MSNBC’s Political Narrative

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Are You Ready for Some Midterms? – MSNBC’s Political Narrative
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Eat At Your Own Risk

This will be ignored at the risk to food safety,  health concerns related to the eating seafood caught in the Gulf and the entire wild life environment.

Scientists Find Thick Layer Of Oil On Seafloor

Scientists on a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico are finding a substantial layer of oily sediment stretching for dozens of miles in all directions. Their discovery suggests that a lot of oil from the Deepwater Horizon didn’t simply evaporate or dissipate into the water – it has settled to the seafloor.

The Research Vessel Oceanus sailed on Aug. 21 on a mission to figure out what happened to the more than 4 million barrels of oil that gushed into the water. Onboard, Samantha Joye, a professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia, says she suddenly has a pretty good idea about where a lot of it ended up. It’s showing up in samples of the seafloor, between the well site and the coast.

“I’ve collected literally hundreds of sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico, including around this area. And I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said in an interview via satellite phone from the boat.

Joye describes seeing layers of oily material – in some places more than 2 inches thick – covering the bottom of the seafloor.

“It’s very fluffy and porous. And there are little tar balls in there you can see that look like microscopic cauliflower heads,” she says.

Meanwhile the White House, the FDA, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board and a host of celebrity chefs have their collective heads up their butts

It isn’t “sexy news” to discuss a higher percentage of cancers for small children who eat Gulf seafood more than once a month. But pointing out to the media that the FDA has flawed testing protocols and have ignored safety concerns is news. NOAA using only 12 shrimp to prove the safety of 5,000 miles of the Gulf should be news to the media.

This Monday the media will be shoveling shrimp into their mouths and they might be concerned for their own health if they aren’t concerned for others.

It’s not my job to care about the little kids and pregnant women eating Gulf seafood. Nine years from now when questions are being asked about sick kids the folks at the FDA can say, “Nobody could have anticipated…”

Where have I heard that line before?

h/t to Peter Daou and spocko @ FDL

Punting the Pundits

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the t 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.

Dana Milbank: John Maynard Keynes, the GOP’s latest whipping boy

“In the long run we are all dead,” the great 20th-century economist John Maynard Keynes once stipulated.

As usual, Keynes was right, and in this case it’s probably for the better: Keynes didn’t live to see the Republicans of 2010 portray him as some sort of Marxist revolutionary. . . . .

Or perhaps, more ominously, these Republicans know exactly what they are saying when they reject Keynesian intervention: that the government should do nothing to help the millions out of work or to rebuild confidence in the economy.

Glen Greenwald: America the Exceptional

Even for those who believe they’re inured to the absurdities of imperial irony, this is almost too extreme to process:

The New York Times, Wednesday:

A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that former prisoners of the C.I.A. could not sue over their alleged torture in overseas prisons because such a lawsuit might expose secret government information. . . .

   “To this date, not a single victim of the Bush administration’s torture program has had his day in court,” [the ACLU’s Ben] Wizner said. . . . “If this decision stands, the United States will have closed its courts to torture victims while providing complete immunity to their torturers.”

Yahoo! News, yesterday:  

Iraq to pay $400 million for Saddam’s mistreatment of Americans

   Iraq has quietly agreed to pay $400 million in claims to American citizens who say they were tortured or traumatized by Saddam Hussein’s regime after his 1990 invasion of Kuwait.


But we invade, occupy and destroy Iraq — while severely abusing, torturing and killing their citizens — and then demand, as a condition for our allowing the end of crippling sanctions, that they fork over hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to American torture victims, even though it all happened 20 years ago, under an Iraqi regime that no longer even exists.  They hate us for our Freedoms.

On This Day in History: September 12

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

September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 110 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1940, Lascaux cave paintings discovered

Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves in southwestern France famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac, in the Dordogne département. They contain some of the best-known Upper Paleolithic  art. These paintings are estimated to be 17,000 years old. They primarily consist of primitive images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. In 1979, Lascaux was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list along with other prehistoric sites in the Vezere valley.

The cave was discovered on September 12, 1940 by four teenagers, Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas, as well as Marcel’s dog, Robot. The cave complex was opened to the public in 1948. By 1955, the carbon dioxide  produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings. The cave was closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the art. After the cave was closed, the paintings were restored to their original state, and were monitored on a daily basis. Rooms in the cave include The Great Hall of the Bulls, the Lateral Passage, the Shaft of the Dead Man, the Chamber of Engravings, the Painted Gallery, and the Chamber of Felines.

Lascaux II, a replica of two of the cave halls – the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery – was opened in 1983, 200 meters from the original. Reproductions of other Lascaux artwork can be seen at the Centre of Prehistoric Art at Le Thot, France.

F1: Monza

Ferrari on the front row.  Well, first and third.  Good for them as the hometown team I suppose.

In fact Ferrari is a team in trouble and has threatened to concentrate on next year’s development if they don’t get a good result.  Frankly no result is going to move them beyond an eventual 3rd place because they’re just too far behind.  Also, that’s what they did last year and look where it’s got them.

It’s not only that the car isn’t fast, their engine is not reliable and almost every team that uses it, including Ferrari, is on their last one with 6 races to go (including this one).  If you use any above the allotted 8 for the season there’s a 10 spot Grid penalty and starting position is very important in Formula One.

They’re not the only ones with engine problems, for some inexplicable reason Mark Webber from Red Bull has elected to race a used engine when almost every other team has switched to a new one.  Not just that, but this engine has had 2 problems during the practice sessions and inexplicable because he has 2 spares.  The reason this is significant is because Webber and Hamilton are the only ones with a realistic shot at the Drivers’ Championship and Red Bull and McLaren are only 1 point apart in the Team Championship.

The other technically interesting point is the dueling aero setups.  Some drivers and teams have opted for a larger wing and are relying on F-Ducts to spoil the airflow over it to reduce drag on the parts of the track where you don’t need so much downforce.  Everyone else is just going for a smaller wing all the way around which has the additional advantage of being lighter.  You can see this play out on the McLaren team where Button, using the F-Duct, is starting 2nd and Hamilton, using the small wing, is starting 5th.  Hamilton was a little squirrely during Qualifying.

All of the top ten are starting on Option (Soft) Tires that only have 2 or 3 laps on them, but they won’t last and because the field is so closely matched it’s unlikely that anyone is going to be able to gain enough of a lead to pit without losing position.  This is somewhat of an advantage for Button who has shown an uncanny ability to tread (heh, heh, get it?) lightly on his tires, but were I a back marker like Schumacher or Petrov I’d start Primes and drive them into the ground.

My Qualifying Commentary, Speed Channel Racecast, Formula One Official Website.

Starting Grid and Standings below.

MoDo is an Idiot

But her sister Peggy is an Obamacan, in this case meaning a Republican who voted for Obama.

What Peggy says

Peggy thinks the president has done fine managing W.’s messes in Iraq and Afghanistan. And she lights up at the mention of his vice president, Joe Biden. But she thinks Obama has to get “a backbone” if he wants to lure her back to the fold. “He promised us everything, saying he would turn the country around, and he did nothing the first year,” Peggy says. “He piddled around when he had 60 votes. He could have pushed through the health care bill but spent months haggling on it because he wanted to bring some Republicans on board. He was trying too hard to compromise when he didn’t need the Republicans and they were never going to like him. Any idiot could see that.

“He could have gotten it through while Teddy Kennedy was still alive – he owed the Kennedys something – and then the bill was watered down.

“He hasn’t saved the economy, and now he’s admitting he’s made very little progress. You can’t for four years blame the person who used to be president. Obama tries to compromise too much, and he doesn’t look like a strong leader. I don’t watch him anymore. I’m turned off by him. I think he’s an elitist. He went down to the gulf, telling everyone to take a vacation down there, and then he goes to Martha’s Vineyard. He does what he wants but then he tells us to do other things.

Emphasis mine.

Morning Shinbun Sunday September 12

Sunday’s Headlines:

Record gains for U.S. poverty with elections looming

Earth, wind and fire: How tapping into the natural world is going mainstream


On 9/11, commemorations accompanied by focus on Islam

Obama’s electoral coalition is crumbling


Merkel ally quits after claiming Nazis didn’t start war

An ill wind blows for Denmark’s green energy revolution

Middle East

Iran: women on the frontline of the fight for rights

Turkey votes on reforms to constitution


China rethinks its controversial one-child policy

Middlesbrough Ladies’ North Korean football tour guarantees place in history


Congo examines mass graves to find proof of revenge genocide on Hutus

Latin America

Eight months after Haiti earthquake, a nation hangs on

Haiti: It’s Not Any Better

It is now eight months since the devastating earthquake struck Haiti virtually leveling its capital Port au Prince. It’s not any better. One of the biggest obstacles to progress is the ruble and there is no one in charge.

Haiti Earthquake: Just 2 Percent Of Quake Debris Has Been Cleared

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – From the dusty rock mounds lining the streets to a National Palace that looks like it’s vomiting concrete from its core, rubble is one of the most visible reminders of Haiti’s devastating earthquake.

Rubble is everywhere in this capital city: cracked slabs, busted-up cinder blocks, half-destroyed buildings that still spill bricks and pulverized concrete onto the sidewalks. Some places look as though they have been flipped upside down, or are sinking to the ground, or listing precariously to one side.

By some estimates, the quake left about 33 million cubic yards of debris in Port-au-Prince – more than seven times the amount of concrete used to build the Hoover Dam. So far, only about 2 percent has been cleared, which means the city looks pretty much as it did a month after the Jan. 12 quake.

Government officials and outside aid groups say rubble removal is the priority before Haiti can rebuild. But the reasons why so little has been cleared are complex. And frustrating.

Heavy equipment has to be shipped in by sea. Dump trucks have difficulty navigating narrow and mountainous dirt roads. An abysmal records system makes it hard for the government to determine who owns a dilapidated property. And there are few sites on which to dump the rubble, which often contains human remains.

The Importance of Letting Things Go 20100911

Negative feelings certainly has a victim.  That victim is he or she who holds them in an unreasonable manner.  This is not a “9/11” post, but any similarities might well be noted.

I have written on the Big Orange for a very long time, sometimes with better and sometimes with poorer results.  Those of you who have read my posts will know that, several years ago, I was accused of a heinous crime, and was innocent of it.

Here is what happened Tuesday past.  I thing that it might be of interest to people.

Prime Time

Turn Left racing from Richmond, Twist Neck Whackball from Flushing Meadows- Women’s Final if either of those things excite you.

Prepare to be amazed beyond all expectations. After all it is what I do.


SNL has Peyton Manning and Carrie Underwood.  Adult Swim is showing Boondocks The Story of Gangstalicious (Season 1, Episode 6), Stinkmeaner 3: The Hateocracy (Season 3, Episode 5) and GitS:SAC Jungle Cruise and Portraitz (Episodes 10 and 11).

Look at me. I’m fat, black, can’t dance, and I have two gay fathers. People have been messing with me my whole life. I learned a long time ago there’s no sense getting all riled up every time a bunch of idiots give you a hard time. In the end, the universe tends to unfold as it should. Plus I have a really large penis. That keeps me happy.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

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