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.”
One hallmark of a developed country is a responsive government that can identify a social problem and take steps to correct it:
Whatever their reason might be, a passing hearse or simple discomfort, Italy’s highest court ruled that men may not touch their genitals in public. The ruling settled an appeal by a 42-year-old worker from Como, north of Milan, who was convicted in May 2006 of “ostentatiously touching his genitals through his clothing,” though his lawyer argued it was a problem with his overalls. But the court struck against a broader practice: a tradition among some Italian men of warding off bad luck by grabbing the crotch. The court ruled that this “has to be regarded as an act contrary to public decency, a concept including that nexus of socio-ethical behavioral rules requiring everyone to abstain from conduct potentially offensive to collectively held feelings of decorum.” The judges suggested that if they need to, men can wait and do it at home.
The Times may have blown it by spending so much time pussy-footing around with the infidelity innuendo–the real story is the lobbyist entanglements McCain has apparently decided to lie about. Because of the shoddy sex scandal lens through which the Times has focused, McCain may not have to account for himself.
Still and all, I’m raising a glass of this week’s favored beverage hoping for some permanent damange to McCain’s previously cushy relationship with the press. I’m also loving the image of McCain’s staff sending the press to sit in the corner.
Before McCain boarded his plane, reporters were asked to sit farther back than usual on the plane.
But wait, there’s more!
Near the end of the flight, Schmidt came back to the press cabin, where, with cameras off, he railed against the New York Times for publishing its story. “The Times in a post-Jayson Blair, post-Judith Miller world… went through a painful period of self-evaluation,” Schmidt said. “That went out the window yesterday with this piece on John McCain…This is much more a story about journalism than a story about John McCain.” When reminded that the Washington Post also published a story today, Schmidt shrugged. “The Washington Post piled on (but) the Washington Post didn’t instigate the story,” Schmidt said.
Instigators? Has the McCain campaign decided on a strategy of isolating the Times from its peers? Trying, perhaps, to act as the stern authority figure to transform the Times into the [Warning: Possibly NSFW Video] Private Pyle of the press corps? Before they push this too far, McCain’s people may want to think about how well that worked out.
If McCain makes them feel less special, the press might stop fluffing his aura of Maverickness and start pursuing stories about his actual record. If we get really lucky, CNN will set up an Internet poll asking if viewers think that McCain isn’t vengeful enough.
It’s not so much the idea that John Edwards knocked up someone but rather that a campaign aide would actually try to cover up for Edwards in such a ridiculous way. That basically makes me not want to trust not only Edwards but anyone surrounding John Edwards, no matter how “selfless” they come off in the Enquirer:
But The ENQUIRER has now confirmed not only that Rielle is pregnant, but she is also living in Chapel Hill, N.C. in a gated community, just a few streets away from Andrew Young, who has been a key official in Edwards’ campaign.
Young has been in charge of looking after Hunter, according to sources, and she has been careful to stay out of sight during Edwards’ campaign. A former Director of Operations for Edwards’ campaign, Young’s last official position with the campaign was North Carolina Finance Director.
He left that job about a month ago — nearly the same time Rielle relocated from the New Jersey area to Chapel Hill.
In a bizarre twist, Young, a 41-year-old married man with young children, now claims HE is the father of Reille’s baby.
But others are skeptical about his claim and talk of a political cover up is heating up.
Reille, when contacted in person by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER, denied that she was Reille Hunter. Later, she hired a lawyer and issued a statement, saying that Young is the father.
That is the real scandal.