07/03/2011 archive

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Syria troops press sweep for dissidents in northwest


1 hr 48 mins ago

The Syrian army made sweeping arrests in a crackdown on dissent in the northwest of the country on Sunday, as troops deployed in the hotbed central city of Hama, an activist said.

The move came as some 100 independent figures met in the capital to discuss a “third way” for Syria, which has been rocked by deadly anti-regime protests for three months.

Troops backed by 97 tanks and personnel carriers advanced late Saturday on Kfar Rumma village and made arrests in the district of Jabal al-Zawiyah, said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Rant of the Week: Jon Stewart

Warning this video contains very graphic matter that you may not want to watch

Moral Kombat

The Supreme Court has good news for the makers of graphically violent video games and bad news for the makers of Super Mario Boners.

But just a provocatively posed naked body is a No-No.  

On This Day In History July 3

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

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge.

July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 181 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1863, Battle of Gettysburg ends

On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in disastrous failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end.

Third day of battle

General Lee wished to renew the attack on Friday, July 3, using the same basic plan as the previous day: Longstreet would attack the Federal left, while Ewell attacked Culp’s Hill. However, before Longstreet was ready, Union XII Corps troops started a dawn artillery bombardment against the Confederates on Culp’s Hill in an effort to regain a portion of their lost works. The Confederates attacked, and the second fight for Culp’s Hill ended around 11 a.m., after some seven hours of bitter combat.

Lee was forced to change his plans. Longstreet would command Pickett’s Virginia division of his own First Corps, plus six brigades from Hill’s Corps, in an attack on the Federal II Corps position at the right center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. Prior to the attack, all the artillery the Confederacy could bring to bear on the Federal positions would bombard and weaken the enemy’s line.

Around 1 p.m., from 150 to 170 Confederate guns began an artillery bombardment that was probably the largest of the war. In order to save valuable ammunition for the infantry attack that they knew would follow, the Army of the Potomac’s artillery, under the command of Brig. Gen. Henry Jackson Hunt, at first did not return the enemy’s fire. After waiting about 15 minutes, about 80 Federal cannons added to the din. The Army of Northern Virginia was critically low on artillery ammunition, and the cannonade did not significantly affect the Union position. Around 3 p.m., the cannon fire subsided, and 12,500 Southern soldiers stepped from the ridgeline and advanced the three-quarters of a mile (1,200 m) to Cemetery Ridge in what is known to history as “Pickett’s Charge”. As the Confederates approached, there was fierce flanking artillery fire from Union positions on Cemetery Hill and north of Little Round Top, and musket and canister fire from Hancock’s II Corps. In the Union center, the commander of artillery had held fire during the Confederate bombardment, leading Southern commanders to believe the Northern cannon batteries had been knocked out. However, they opened fire on the Confederate infantry during their approach with devastating results. Nearly one half of the attackers did not return to their own lines. Although the Federal line wavered and broke temporarily at a jog called the “Angle” in a low stone fence, just north of a patch of vegetation called the Copse of Trees, reinforcements rushed into the breach, and the Confederate attack was repulsed. The farthest advance of Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead’s brigade of Maj. Gen. George Pickett’s division at the Angle is referred to as the “High-water mark of the Confederacy”, arguably representing the closest the South ever came to its goal of achieving independence from the Union via military victory.

There were two significant cavalry engagements on July 3. Stuart was sent to guard the Confederate left flank and was to be prepared to exploit any success the infantry might achieve on Cemetery Hill by flanking the Federal right and hitting their trains and lines of communications. Three miles (5 km) east of Gettysburg, in what is now called “East Cavalry Field” (not shown on the accompanying map, but between the York and Hanover Roads), Stuart’s forces collided with Federal cavalry: Brig. Gen. David McMurtrie Gregg’s division and Brig. Gen. Custer’s brigade. A lengthy mounted battle, including hand-to-hand sabre combat, ensued. Custer’s charge, leading the 1st Michigan Cavalry, blunted the attack by Wade Hampton’s brigade, blocking Stuart from achieving his objectives in the Federal rear. Meanwhile, after hearing news of the day’s victory, Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick launched a cavalry attack against the infantry positions of Longstreet’s Corps southwest of Big Round Top. Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth protested against the futility of such a move but obeyed orders. Farnsworth was killed in the attack, and his brigade suffered significant losses.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: This week a special rountable discussion about the Constitution with George Will, Michael Eric Dyson, a professor at Georgetown University, Jill Lepore, a professor of history at Harvard University and Time magazine editor-in-chief Richard Stengel.

Immigration will be the topic of the second rountable with former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, a first-generation American, former Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who immigrated from Cuba as a boy, and Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter for the Washington Post.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: This week’s guests are Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA), Governor John Kasich (R-OH), Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who will disuss their views of what’s wrong with Washington.

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests are Dan Rather HDNet Global Correspondent, Katy Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent, Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst and John Harris, Politico Editor-in-Chief who will discuss: How new media have affected modern politics and new media’s upsides

Meet the Press with David Gregory: We are spared Mr. Gregory this week. Instead you can watch the Men’s Final at Wimbledon

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Guests Steve Case, AOL co-founder and Chair of the White House Startup America Partnership, Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Harlem Children’s Zone CEO Geoffrey Canada, personal finance expert Suze Orman and entrepreneur Russell Simmons to discuss making it in America.

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: Fareed will have an exclusive interview with National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon.

New York Times Editorial: Unfinished Business: The Defense of Marriage Act

Last month, with almost no fanfare, the federal government did a very decent thing: It canceled the deportation of a Venezuelan man after he married an American man in Connecticut and claimed legal residency as a spouse. But the government did not say that it was formally recognizing their marriage, because it cannot. The Defense of Marriage Act, which ranks with the most overtly discriminatory laws in the nation’s history, remains on the books, prohibiting federal recognition of legal same-sex marriages.

The deportation dismissal was an isolated act of kindness by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. It is heavily outweighed by the continuing inequality imposed on thousands of same-sex couples who have been legally married in the five states – plus the District of Columbia – where it is already allowed. Likewise, the many couples who will take advantage of New York’s new marriage equality law will not be married in the eyes of Washington.

Maureen Dowd: When a Predator Collides With a Fabricator

SO what’s the moral of this Manhattan immorality tale?

That the French are always right, even when their hauteur is irritating?

They were right about Iraq and America’s rush to war. And they may be right about Dominique Strauss-Kahn and America’s rush to judgment.

In both cases, French credibility was undermined, so we resisted seeing things from their point of view.

John Nichols: What Michele Bachmann and Her Teapot ‘Patriots’ Do Not Know About America

The unsettling thing about Michele Bachmann’s failed discussion of the founders and slavery is not that the Tea Party “Patriot” knew so little about the birth of the American experiment that she made John Quincy Adams-the son of a somewhat disappointing founder (John) and the cousin of one of the true revolutionaries (Sam)-into something he was not.

Bachmann has for some time peddled the notion that the nation’s founding fathers worked “tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” She is simply wrong about this. The last of the revolutionaries generally recognized by historians as the founders-signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and their chief political and military comrades-passed in 1836, with the death of James Madison. That was twenty-seven years before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, and twenty-nine years before the finish of the Civil War.

But Bachmann has never bothered by the facts. Until now.

Robert Parry: Neocons Want War and More War

The neoconservatives remain powerful in Washington in large part because of their continued influence inside leading opinion-setting journals like the New York Times and the Washington Post, two prestige newspapers that have pressed ahead with the neocon agenda despite serious blows to their credibility in recent years

Sometimes the New York Times and the Washington Post behave like two vintage ocean-liners competing to see which will edge out the other in a competition to become the flagship for American neoconservatism. Think of a cross-Atlantic race between the Titanic and the Lusitania.

The Times was pouring on the coal in Friday’s editions, pushing the Obama administration and NATO to finish off the war in Libya. The Times editors seemed most concerned at the prospect of negotiations to resolve the conflict without a clear-cut military victory over Col. Muammar Gaddafi.

Mike Lux: Back to Where We Started

Two hundred thirty-five years ago, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted to declare independence from Britain. From our very earliest days, this country has been involved in a heated debate about our collective soul, a foundational debate about what we stand for and what kind of people we want to be. Our founding fathers had a dream, but there were people who were afraid to change and wanted to rely on the traditions and rulers that were in place. Then as now, the debate raged over equality and democracy and the nature of tyranny, over whether we were indeed one people with equal opportunities and rights or whether the elites should be able to do whatever they want.

From those terribly risky early days, when the odds were so steeped against us winning the revolution and then forming a new kind of democratic government that would last, we have had a hell of a run. We’ve survived and prospered as a country through some very shaky early days, through a horrendous civil war just barely won, through a Great Depression, through the terrible threat of Hitler and Japan in WWII, to become the most wealthy and powerful country in the world over the last seven decades. But we have come to a juncture serious enough to raise those old foundational questions again.

Le Tour 2011- Stage 2

Les Essarts to Les Essarts (14 miles)

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Some exciting eh?

Actually I missed the significant part live, but it is clear that people have a hard time keeping their wheels underneath them on the slippery cobbles of that sunken road even when parading and not racing.

Other than that not much of note until the crash at 5.8 miles out which had the effect of spliting the Peloton with Contador caught in the wrong part of it.  The second crash a mere 1.5 miles before the finish under Le Tour’s Turn Left Racing rules was of no consequence since all the riders in that group get the same time as the first finisher under the 3 km exception.

Still there’s no denying that Contador is now 82nd in the General Classification behind by about twice last year’s margin of victory and real competitors like Evans, Hushovd, and Schleck.

Today are Team Time Trials which are like Team Pursuit on a road course instead of a Velodrome.  These are the events Armstrong used to dominate to the extent that they eliminated them just to reduce his margin of victory and were it U.S. Postal and not Saxo Bank what you could expect would be a soul crushing display that didn’t just erase the time deficit, but put the championship effectively out of reach.

Can Contador do that?  I suppose we shall see.

Since the course is only slightly longer than 14 miles and elevation changes minimal most teams will be turning in sub 17 minute times so today’s action will be quick.  Because of the Armstrong induced rule changes which include the reduction of the duration of this event it’s highly unlikely tonight’s holder of the maillot jaune will not come from yesterday’s first finishing group, there’s just not enough racing to change things much.

There will be 22 teams contending today.  Saxo Bank is ranked right at the bottom, 4:58 in arrears.  Coverage starts at 8 am on Vs., 3 pm on NBC.

Six In The Morning

Starvation returns to the Horn of Africa

Drought and war threaten millions with famine, as the refugee camps overflow .

By David Randall, Simon Murphy and Daud Yussuf in Kenya  Sunday, 3 July 2011

In the Horn of Africa, unseen as yet by the world’s television cameras, a pitiful trek of the hungry is taking place. Tens of thousands of children are walking for weeks across a desiccated landscape to reach refugee camps that are now overflowing. They are being driven there by one of the worst droughts in the region for 60 years which, combined with the war in Somalia and soaring food prices, is threatening a famine that could affect between eight and 10 million people.

The malnourished children, some of whom become separated from their parents on the way, are now arriving at the camps in northern Kenya at a rate of 1,200 every day.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Thailand’s redshirts prepare for another poll victory

Biofuels land grab in Kenya’s Tana Delta fuels talk of war

Shelling, militant raids dog thaw with Afghanistanb

As ranks of Mexico’s missing swell, families clamor for help

OUr first week’s features

Welcome to Stars Hollow by TheMomCat

Why Blog? by ek hornbeck

“A Paddle for Your Boat” by TheMomCat

On Patriotism by ek hornbeck

Evening Edition bu ek hornbeck

The World Cup: A Brief, Gringo’s Guide to Futbol by davidseth

Stuff by TheMomCat

Pique the Geek 20100704: The Science of Fireworks | by Translator, aka Dr. David W. Smith

BP’s Well May Leak For 55 Years Or More Into The Gulf Of Mexico? by Edger

Monday July 5

Monday Business Edition by ek hornbeck

George Orwell and Howard Zinn on Nationalism

by JekyllnHyde

Punting the Pundits: Up Dated with Videos by: TheMomCat

Evening Edition by: ek hornbeck

[Prime Time http://www.thestarshollowgazet… by: ek hornbeck

Gringo’s Guide To The World Cup, Part 2, With Poll by davidseth

Tuesday July 6

Crank it up by ek hornbeck

Le Tour: Stage 3 by ek hornbeck

Punting the Pundits: Morning Edition by TheMomCat

New Shrill- by ek hornbeck

Iraq War Ended But Nobody Told You by Edger

It’s Not Torture by TheMomCat

Angry Women Dominate the Tea Party by TheMomCat

Evening Edition by: ek hornbeck

Prime Time by ek hornbeck

Wednesday July 7

On This Day in History: July 7 by TheMomCat

Le Tour: Stage 4 by ek hornbeck

Punting the Pundits: Morning Edition by TheMomCat

Heat Alert for the East Coast by TheMomCat

Prime Time by ek hornbeck

Thursday July 8

Crank it up by ek hornbeck

On This Day in History: July 8 by TheMomCat

Le Tour: Stage 5 by ek hornbeck

Thursday Tech Support by ek hornbeck

Punting the Pundits: Not Your Usual Suspects

by TheMomCat

Evening Edition by: ek hornbeck

Prime Time by ek hornbeck

Thursday Night Humor 20100708: Warning Labels

by Translator, aka Dr. David W. Smith

Friday July 9

On This Day in History: July 9 by TheMomCat

Le Tour: Stage 6 by ek hornbeck

Lebron by ek hornbeck

Punting the Pundits by TheMomCat

Evening Edition by ek hornbeck

Prime Time by ek hornbeck

My Fifth Blogaversary by davidseth

Saturday July 10

On This Day in History: July 10 by TheMomCat

Le Tour: Stage 7 by ek hornbeck

Punting the Pundits: Saturday Round Up by TheMomCat

Gringo’s Guide To The World Cup, Final Final, Part 3, With Poll by davidseth

Health and Fitness News by TheMomCat

Evening Edition by ek hornbeck

Prime Time by ek hornbeck

Chalchiuhtlicue’s Wrath by davidseth  

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Medvedev restores Belarus power supplies

By Dmitry Astakhov, AFP

1 hr 5 mins ago

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered power supplies to be restored to cash-strapped Belarus after it made a late debt payment, the Kremlin said Saturday.

“Since Minsk has fulfilled its financial obligations, the president gave the order to restore electricity supplies to the Belarussian side according to the existing agreements,” said a statement posted on the Kremlin website.

The decision came after deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, in charge of the energy sector, confirmed in a phone call to Medvedev that Minsk had made the payment, the Kremlin said.