Midday open thread

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 12-09-2010-05-2008

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  • A new story in The Oregonian reveals that even as he claimed residency across the river in Washington to avoid paying Oregon state income taxes, Chris Dudley continued to spend a lot of time at his Oregon home. The man didn’t vote, didn’t participate in politics or public policy, was a tax refugeee, and may have abused that status, and now he expects Oregonians to believe he really cares about them?
  • The good news is that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand shouldn’t have much trouble winning a full term. The scary news is that even in New York, this is what the Republican Party has become.

  • Another surprise:

    A recent FAIR study looked at politically themed books reviewed by the New York Times Book Review and the C-SPAN show After Words and concluded that both outlets heavily favored white male authors and reviewers. The Times came off particularly badly in the study, which revealed 95 percent of the U.S. authors reviewed, and 96 percent of the reviewers, were white.

    As far as gender was concerned, women–who obviously make up roughly 50 percent of the population–accounted for just 13 percent of the authors and 12 percent of the critic

  • Breaking news: the war in Iraq is not over.
  • Poor, poor BP:

    BP is warning Congress that if lawmakers pass legislation that bars the company from getting new offshore drilling permits, it may not have the money to pay for all the damages caused by its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The company says a ban would also imperil the ambitious Gulf Coast restoration efforts that officials want the company to voluntarily support.

  • Their drug war resulting in nothing but a continuing bloodbath, more and more Mexicans are considering the potential benefits of legalization.
  • Radical lefties George P. Shultz, Madeleine Albright, Gary Hart and Chuck Hagel teamed up to pen this op-ed, in the Washington Post:

    The Senate should promptly vote to approve the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (New START) with Russia for one reason: It increases U.S. national security. This is precisely why Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared at the outset of Senate consideration of the treaty that it has “the unanimous support of America’s military leadership.”

    The treaty reduces and caps the Russian nuclear arsenal. It reestablishes and makes stronger the verification procedures that allow U.S. inspectors to conduct on-site inspections and surveillance of Russian nuclear weapons and facilities. It strengthens international efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism, and it opens the door to progress on further critical nonproliferation efforts, such as reducing Russian tactical nuclear weapons.

    Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has urged the Senate to ratify the treaty, and seven former Strategic Command (STRATCOM) chiefs have called on Senate leaders to move quickly.

    Steve Benen:

    It’s hard to overstate what a no-brainer this should be. We’re talking about a treaty endorsed by six former secretaries of state and five former secretaries of defense from both parties; the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; seven former Strategic Command chiefs; national security advisers from both parties, and nearly all former commanders of U.S. nuclear forces.

    We soon will see just how many Republican senators have no brains.

  • Andrew Leonard:

    You could not ask for a more drastic demonstration of the contrast between how the United States and China are rolling out renewable energy technologies than the current state of offshore windmill deployment in the two countries.

    The U.S. does not have a single offshore windmill currently in operation. The most notorious proposed project in the U.S., the 130-turbine Cape Wind offshore farm planned for Nantucket Sound, has been mired in litigation and politics for almost 10 years. Just this week the Massachusetts Department of Public Works opened hearings investigating whether the terms of the Cape Wind contract would be in the public ratepayer’s interest. The hearings will drag on for at least two months, and whatever decision is made will likely be litigated by whichever side loses.

    China is a different story altogether. The 102-megawatt Donghai Bridge Wind Farm began operating near Shanghai this July. Four more farms nearby, reports ClimateWire, are under negotiation. And that’s just the beginning

  • NASA’s 1976 Viking lander found no organic molecules on Mars. For 35 years, this has been taken as proof that Mars is lifeless. Scientists now debate both the finding and the conclusion, and hope next year’s launch of the Mars Science Laboratory will lead to more definitive answers.
  • Gerry Adams says months of talks with Sinn Féin helped convince Basque separatists Eta to call a ceasefire. This is the beauty of what happens when people come to believe in peace.


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