I have to admit that I’m not quite sure if I should pat myself on the back or start chewing shoe now that the Louisiana oil spill shows just how dangerous off shore drilling can be. After all, I was pretty pragmatic back when Obama announced that he’d allow expanded drilling. “Will never see the light of day,” I thought, sure that this was nothing more than a political feint.
Still, I figured that the plan was to make sure than any expanded drilling came with enough bureaucratic costs that it would surely get so bogged down in process that no oil company in its right mind would ever even conceive of a serious attempt to drill for the pathetic amount of oil actually available. And so I supported the President’s announcement – very savvy, especially following the passage of the health care legislation.
And now we have an epic disaster on our hands. The benighted Gulf coast, still recovering from Katrina, now faces an ecological disaster that will capture imaginations for a generation, the Cuyahoga fire or Valdez wreck for the Twitter set. Will it change minds? Can Palin ever again utter her drilling mantra without irony, shame, or – at least – qualification? I doubt it, or at least I hope not.
The bigger question to me now is, how does this change the debate around energy policy? If Rahm Emanuel were Karl Rove, I’d almost say he’d blown up the oil rig himself, given the timing. I’m looking forward to the debate between the Red State fisherman and shrimpers along with the Red State property developers and the Red State governors and legislators versus the Red State oil interests. Talk about a wedge issue!
I’d say it would be fun to watch, but it’s a shame that it takes a tangible disaster like this for people to reconsider misguided opinion.
In a philly.com poll on whether readers believe vigilantes should be prosecuted, “no” is leading “yes” by a 2-to-1 margin right now (64.6% to 27.6% with 7.8% “not sure”). This after residents in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia severely beat a “person of interest” in a case involving the rape of an 11-year-old:
Many in law enforcement – whose pleas for community help sometimes go unanswered – were surprised when numerous Kensington residents offered to catch Carrasquillo themselves.
“This case affected nearly everybody,” said Capt. Daniel Castro, of the 24th District, in North Philadelphia.
“Law-abiding citizens were out there with police officers. We even had chronic drug dealers coming up to us, wanting to see his picture. That tells me there is some code, even among the criminal element,” he said.
While pleased with the community support, Castro added that police were opposed to violent vigilantism.
Another man, Michael Zenquis, told police he was attacked by a separate angry mob in Kensington Tuesday.
“Apparently, they assumed he was [Carrasquillo] and beat him up,” Castro said.
Zenquis, who could not be reached for comment, had minor injuries but declined to press charges, Castro said.
[via The Awl.]
Oh well. At least we’ll always have Madoff:
The only real motivation that anyone at A.I.G.-F.P. now has is fear. Mr. Cuomo has threatened to “name and shame,” and his counterpart in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, has made similar threats — even though attorneys general are supposed to stand for due process, to conduct trials in courts and not the press.
So what am I to do? There’s no easy answer. I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust. Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.
That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.
On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes. In light of the uncertainty over the ultimate taxation and legal status of this payment, the actual amount I donate may be less — in fact, it may end up being far less if the recent House bill raising the tax on the retention payments to 90 percent stands. Once all the money is donated, you will immediately receive a list of all recipients.
But it’s not anything President Obama came up with:
“I want to apologize to you for what happened,” he said, looking earnest and speaking as if he felt pretty badly about it all. “But I can’t. Because I did nothing wrong.”
I was outside in the parking lot watching this on the screens the Phillies set up for fans who didn’t have tickets to the rally inside the stadium:
1) As you can tell by the YouTube, this basically summed up the mood of the day.
2) This was one of the ten to fifteen best things I’ve ever witnessed in my life, hands down.
3) Message to Chase: Don’t apologize! It’s all true!
Best speech ever:
Second baseman Chase Utley approached the microphone and proclaimed, “World champions!” Then he repeated the phrase, with a profanity between “world” and “champions,” drawing cheers for minutes. Later Friday, shirts and caps featuring Utley’s phrase were offered for sale on the Internet.
Afterward, Utley said he hadn’t planned to curse, which was aired live on TV and radio. “I was told I had to talk 10 minutes before I talked. Short and to the point,” he said.
Maybe it’s time for Obama to give a big come-to-Jesus red state-blue state speech to explain to America the cultural milieu in Hyde Park, Chicago that allows yahoos like Bill Ayers to remain unrepentant. It could be as groundbreaking as his Philadelphia race relations explainer!
Sample opener: “I have already deplored, in unequivocal terms, the actions of Bill Ayers that he perpetrated when I was 8. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sucked up to him during my initial run for state office? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely — just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your Volvo-driving, bumper-sticker affixing neighbors, coffee shop clerks, or that ridiculously naive long-haired college-age nephew with which you strongly disagreed.”
But apparently McNasty is backing off that line of attack, perhaps to salvage his legacy in the midst of a foundering campaign, in which case he probably doesn’t deserve to win the presidency anyway . . .
If you’ve ever wondered whether television’s rudimentary identity concealing measures actually worked, here’s a story for you:
A Manhattan hooker interviewed by Diane Sawyer for an ABC special on prostitution was busted by her mom — who recognized her daughter, despite the network’s efforts to disguise her.
“I’m mentioning the interview now because last night, I learned that my parents tuned in to ABC that fateful day and promptly recognized me, in spite of the silhouette, the altered voice, the distorted profile, the vague and thoroughly dated details,” wrote the hooker, who blogs on wordpress.com under the name “debauchette.”
“I received an e-mail from my mother saying that she knows. She saw the interview and decided to sit on this knowledge until she could see it again, and then she decided to contact me.”
The blogger refused an interview with The Post.
“Unfortunately, while my mother knows about my other life, I still worry about being outed altogether and I don’t think I have the strength for that risk right now,” she wrote. “It’s been a rough few days.”