Moon on Water: Open Thread

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Moon on Water Steve Clemons.JPG
This is a pic I took when I was in Florida last time. You can click it to get a larger version if you like.
I’m down here again for a very fast trip to speak at the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Goverment at the University of Central Florida on US-China policy. The China-US Exchange Foundation is the major sponsor.
Those interested can watch the forum (link to pdf of schedule) on line here.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

49 comments on “Moon on Water: Open Thread

  1. questions says:

    Looks very good for KloJo in Wisc! Looks very bad for Paul Ryan. Looks very bad for Blenn Geck. Looks bad for Rick Scott in Fla. Looks bad for Scott Walker in WI. And Kapanke is likely toast.
    So the real question is whether or not the dems could actually seize the moment in a gentle sort of way and swing some energy over.
    The few independents who don’t actually turn out to be Republicans in beige clothing need a life without whiplash.
    Will the dems capitalize on a new dawn (as opposed to an Odyssey Dawn)?
    ***
    Assuming KloJo holds on, please let us remember that in these days of Citizens United and the Kochfiends, elections can be won other ways, as well. It may take a little more work, but money, billionaireness — it ain’t everything.
    Our billionaires are not that which must be served, and we should wise up to their basic criminality and selfishness, but that doesn’t mean that they can automatically buy elections.
    And we should remember that this election in Wisc. was a squeaker — looks like some 220 or so votes, only.
    The country really is divided, and it behooves us all to remember that we’re talkin’ razor thin in a blue industrial state with huge amounts of white flight, collar counties full of social and economic racial resentment, disgusted by the DFH movement, convinced that the Madison protesters really did do 7 million dollars worth of damage, convinced that Paul Ryan walks with gods….
    There’s work to be done, and it must be done carefully, with respect, with truth. These are frightened people, ill-informed people, and they hear the libertarian message and it resonates.
    The rhetorical counter to libertarianism is care. But care is hard to sustain with the deep social resentments that lead to white flight, to a demographic bomb, to store signs in other languages…. All the stuff that makes some people just go off the deep end in anxiety and resentment.
    Good luck to the dems who are planning the messaging for the next election. This is the unfriendly terrain that y’all have to negotiate.
    ***
    Oh, and there’s still a lot of unemployment, Fukushima, and, umm, 1,2,3 — THREE — wars!

    Reply

  2. questions says:

    When the most likely emergency remediation efforts will cause ever more problems, it would seem that the engineers and designers need to go back to the drawing board and start over.
    The NYT has a front page piece up about all thing Fukushima, and it’s grim.
    Salt build up. Grim. Where does the salt come from? It’s left behind when the sea water meets end times. There’s a lot, a LOT, of salt. And it seems to be impeding water circulation. Really grim.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/world/asia/06nuclear.html?hp
    There are other grim tidings there as well. Read at your own risk.
    ******
    There’s this:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/us/06census.html?hp
    Fewer white children in the US. I’m beginning to think that one of our biggest social problems is our very own “demographic bomb” —
    Look at Paul Ryan’s IMMORAL effort to defund Medicare and privatize it, basically to kill off teh olds in about 20 or 30 years from now. If you’re over 55 and white, you’re ok. The rest of us are gonna diiiiie. Which is fine by him.
    So why is it fine by him that we’re left on our own? Well, look at that demographic bomb, look where Ryan is from, and see what maybe he thinks about it all.
    There’s a piece up at the NYT, “More Pupils Are Learning Online, Fueling Debate on Quality” (no link as there’s a 2 link maximum) that notes that:
    “Here in Memphis, in one of the most ambitious online programs of its kind, every student must take an online course to graduate, beginning with current sophomores. Some study online versions of courses taught in classrooms in the same building. ”
    and….
    “But it is also true that Memphis is spending only $164 for each student in an online course.”
    and
    “In Idaho, the state superintendent of education plans to push a requirement that high-school students take four or more online courses, following a bill that passed the Legislature last week to provide every student with a laptop, paid for from a state fund for educators

    Reply

  3. rc says:

    Another twist on the thumb screws … it has very little to do with uranium and a lot to do with bullying the global economy into using the $US for oil and gas transactions.

    India to stop paying Iran through German bank
    By? Gerrit?Wiesmann in Berlin and Daniel Dombey in Washington
    Published: April 5 2011
    India has agreed to stop funnelling payments for Iranian oil through banks in Germany in a move Berlin hopes will ease US pressure for it to take more drastic steps, German officials say.
    The US has campaigned behind closed doors to end an arrangement it deemed in breach of UN sanctions intended to stop Iran

    Reply

  4. questions says:

    Could we once and for all debunk Ayn Rand, dump her writings on the ash heap of history, and realize that we are actually all together on this planet and that we do far better working together than going it alone? And could we realize that no one actually does anything alone?
    Where does language come from? What is a family, save a group of mutually supporting non-self-serving people? How is there anything of value? How does anyone know anything, build anything, do anything, make anything without others and without social cooperation?
    Here’s a bit on Paul Ryan, loner extraordinaire:
    “Another part of Christopher Beam’s piece on libertarianism that caught my interest was this bit about Paul Ryan and his deep affinity for Ayn Rand:
    Representative Paul Ryan, also of Wisconsin, requires staffers to read Atlas Shrugged, describes Obama

    Reply

  5. questions says:

    Kyodo reports nyet on nets, by the way.
    http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/04/83374.html
    The earliest they can get radiation shielding cloth up is Sept, as they have to (ha ha) wait until there’s less radiation in order to start the construction.
    It was an idea, at any rate.
    Maybe there are cosmic mirrors, or satellite beams, or really big fans, or maybe they could build a super tall brick wall, or maybe they could lower the ground and flood it, or, geeze, I don’t know.
    Meanwhile, Brave New Climate is working on trying to convince us that radiation is really OK. The epidemiology reports — I’ve read some epidemiology. I have a vague sense of the field. I do not know what to make of the way they trace out the risks. They do not, over there, love Helen Caldicott, though.
    Do our cells get cancerously damaged by radiation, or do they merely die and get sloughed off for the most part? Do we know? It’s above my paygrade, that’s for sure.

    Reply

  6. DakotabornKansan says:

    Trust Barry? Democratic Party? Beltway press?
    Rachel Maddow last night:

    Reply

  7. questions says:

    “Democracy in America: Republican Paul Ryan’s Repeal of Medicare Is “Fundamentally Immoral” ”
    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2011/04/democracy-in-america-republican-paul-ryans-repeal-of-medicare-is-fundamentally-immoral.html
    Glad it’s the Economist (mag) calling out Ryan’s immoral death panel proposal.
    Why is it that Republicans aren’t being denounced for real death panels?
    What have we become?
    What senior citizen isn’t replete with pre-existing conditions? Age, itself, is uninsurable. Soldiers are uninsurable. The horribly ill are uninsurable. The disabled are uninsurable. High risk pregnancies are uninsurable, and preemies are uninsurable. Cancer is uninsurable. Many many diseases cost more than the bearer of the disease can manage. THAT’S why we share risks. Or we die.
    Perhaps Paul Ryan’s genetic stock is clean and clear of cancer, heart disease, stroke, disability, car accidents, eye diseases, organ transplants, and so he sees no need to hedge against these. Maybe he just doesn’t get it because he himself hasn’t experienced directly a loss that comes from a lack of access to health insurance. And we know that Republican thinking is structured in precisely this unempathic way. Until it’s their own, they don’t get it.
    Perhaps Paul Ryan is pretty sure that he and his are exempt from what most of the rest of us witness in our lives. Perhaps he’s of a new species or is evolved beyond the mere human at some level, and so he knows he will always, on his own, have everything he needs.
    Perhaps Paul Ryan is so amazing and godlike a being that he really is not of or in society.
    Because it’s either one of these or the man is just [pick your term from Wonkette].
    ********
    There’s a kos diary up about the connections between the Southwest incident and the Fukushima mess.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/05/963524/-Bad-Bears-Threaten-passengers:-Boeing-Deviance-another-Fukushima
    Found it from teh google search rather than from teh kos search. Hmmmm.
    Anyway, it’s an interesting way to look at connections between the two. I would guess there are many such things to write about.
    ****
    Paul Ryan needs a new job. Maybe he can help Arne and Bill with the mosquito net distribution work.

    Reply

  8. DakotabornKansan says:

    Air Force spending $4 million a day for Libya war
    Associated Press is reporting that the US Air Force secretary

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Don….
    Listen, heres the deal. Minimizing or downplaying the violence occurring in Mexican border towns doesn’t do ANYONE any favors.
    I’m not “afraid”. But I am sensible. Yes, Mexico has its charms, and the Mexican people as a whole are warm and gracious hosts. But the degree of violence occurring down south negates the wisdom of your smiling-travel-agent kind of marketing and sales pitches. I’ll be damned if I would encourage my kid to go south of the border for surfing or sight seeing like I used to do as a kid. Would you?
    Our border and drug policies are enabling anarchy just south of our border, and it IS overflowing to the north.
    To tout Tijuana as this charming little safe tourist mecca is at the very least disingenous. Fact is, it was never true. Commercialized, crime ridden, dirty, and offering an entire array of human debauchery, Tijuana is a cesspool.
    I have many fond memories of traveling further into the interior, and down into Baja. Surfing and camping outside of Puerto Vallarta certainly qualifies as some of the fondest memories of my youth, and a couple of fast runs down to Ensenada crewing a friend’s C&C 40 was certainly memorable, although I have very little memory of arriving in Ensenada, what I did after arriving, and how it was I got back to the boat.
    But Tijuana??? Geez, Don, surely you can put that VW to better use than that.
    BTW, I’ve owned a number of VW vans, but nothing later than ’71. When they went to the square scoops and different engine I just couldn’t go there. A Vdub needs to be R000000UND. My favorite was a ’61 poptop I had with a slightly hotrodded 1600 in it. Put a gorgeous clear cedar interior in it. Ended up rolling the thing one particularly stupid night in Athol Idaho. Totaled it. Thats OK, though. Its one of the events that convinced me I had utterly and completely lost control of my use of various substances. Lost the van, but shortly thereafter, got my life back.

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  10. Don Bacon says:

    I guess it’s obvious that I don’t know much about expensive jet fighter planes. What are they good for? (Besides making some people at Lockheed Martin very rich.)
    All my military experience was on the ground, not all of it in the Mexico theater of operations.

    Reply

  11. Don Bacon says:

    Nayarit? I love Nayarit, and I look forward to being “trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area.”
    But I suspect that the State Department is exaggerating, darn it, since in several visits I have never been “trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area.”
    Be afraid, very afraid, if it suits you. The window sticker on my pickup reads: Die Trying.
    Meanwhile I will avoid New Orleans, which has twice the homicide rate of Mexico. Also Ciudad Juarez, which I won’t visit any time soon.

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    From the Sept 2010 State Department travel advisory……..
    “Much of the country

    Reply

  13. drew says:

    The F-22 will never lose to that missile-loaded pig called the F-15.
    The Tornado is a bomber: it’s a B-1, only older.

    Reply

  14. Don Bacon says:

    The good news is that when the U.S. goes up against Saudi Arabia the F-22 will have a better match, F-15’s and Tornado’s.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I’m talking non drug-related tourists, not general crime, relationship crime or drug-related assassinations”
    Whew, thatsa relief!!! Good to know those cartel thugs are so careful when they spray an area with a Mac-10. Do you suggest any special clothing that identifies you as a tourist, or have the gunmen attended TIT classes?
    (Thats “Tourist Identification Training”, for you novice innocent bystanders out there.)

    Reply

  16. drew says:

    Also, anything faster than an A-10 is too fast for effective, and safe,
    ground attack. Our pentagon loves to buy new stuff, but you need
    a straight wing airplane to smoke the technicals. Hence the A-10s
    and C-130s.

    Reply

  17. drew says:

    They didn’t burn Raptor time in Libya because Libya offered 1960’s
    technology in opposition. The other reason is that an F-22 cannot
    work in coalition warfare yet: it literally cannot issue radio calls on
    standard freqs to other aircraft. (Stealth aircraft do no self-identify
    on VHF.)
    Libya’s air force had Yugoslavian *trainers* in active service. This
    was like the Lakers playing a little league team.

    Reply

  18. Don Bacon says:

    The U.S. has bought 168 F-22 Raptor stealth fighters at $150m per copy ($65bn program cost). It’s by far the best fighter in the world, and its stealth capability would have allowed it to enforce the no-fly zone in Libya without destroying the old Libya air defenses.
    But the highly-touted NFZ was not the real aim of the air campaign. The real objective was to clear the way for older and slower aircraft to support the Libya insurgents on the ground.
    So the expensive F-22 Raptor, the finest aircraft in the world, has not been used in Libya.
    (A little tax-preparation motivation.)

    Reply

  19. Don Bacon says:

    suicidal gringo,
    You’re off topic. I’m talking non drug-related tourists, not general crime, relationship crime or drug-related assassinations.
    In overall homicides New Orleans beats Tijuana. In drug-related assassinations Tijuana probably beats N.O. So if you’re really suicidal go to New Orleans.
    http://www.nola.com/crime/

    Reply

  20. DakotabornKansan says:

    On Wisconsin!
    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

    Reply

  21. questions says:

    Commodity prices up:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/inflation-inflicting-pain-as-wages-fail-to-keep-pace-with-price-hikes/2011/03/09/AF6K2seC_story.html?hpid=z2
    And what are the solutions?
    1. Become a vegan walker:
    “And the particular prices that are rising are for products that people encounter most frequently in their daily lives and have the least flexibility to avoid. For the most part, it

    Reply

  22. questions says:

    Musing on this:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-southwest-safety-20110405,0,3395340.story
    The Southwest Airlines flight that ended a little bit early, in an unscheduled sort of way, when part of the fuselage was ripped open. OOPS.
    They’re inspecting all the Boeing planes with similar flight histories, and there is some suspicion that Southwest’s basic business model of frequent short haul flights with huge numbers or pressurization/depressurization cycles might be the culprit in some way.
    So how is this story relevant to other things in the world?
    Well, first, a narrow miss accident triggered hugely disruptive inspections. Government regulations are pretty stringent when it comes to a plane’s having split open in the sky. And the inspections have found a few other planes with small cracks that could possibly have led to similar events.
    Second, there is no massive public outcry at the airline industry. Some number of people could have died. Someone could have been sucked out of the plane. A bunch of relatives of the passengers are traumatized too. And there are likely a few people who “should have been” on that flight….. And everyone who has flown a similar flight, or who has ever flown Southwest probably feels spooked right now. And yet, there are no calls for ending air travel, or for suing Southwest (thus far) or for destroying Boeing…..
    So we have a small accident, but no loss of life.
    We have an accident that triggers disruptive searches for similar problems.
    We have a corporation that is losing money, canceling business contracts (tickets), that might be forced to dump some serious money into new and safer equipment (planes).
    There will be government inspections of all the relevant repair records, images, logs, mechanics and the like.
    The whole airline industry will be asked to look at their planes, look at their flight schedules, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some enterprising MC decides to introduce can’t-lose legislation to regulate the number of short haul cycles on any plane without certain kinds of inspections and replacements of sheet metal to combat the metal fatigue that likely caused the problem in the first place.
    And, of course, when the accident occurred, there was no cover up, no need to worry about the public outcry over airline safety.
    *****
    All of these points need to be related to the nuclear power industry.
    What kinds of incentives are there to report or to hide smaller non-fatal accidents?
    How easy is it to push, say, Exelon, to inspect all similar parts, pieces, and procedures when there is a small accident?
    How stringent are the regulators such that if something analogous happened to a nuke plant, we’d get a good, strong regulatory push, good solid inspections across the industry, whatever the disruption.
    Are the responses analogous, or is the lack of competition a problem? Is regulatory capture a problem? Are there, in a funny way, too few nuclear plants such that any minor incident is too rare and specific to generalize from? Do screaming publics make for a strong disincentive to report and inspect and fix? Does the disruption/loss of generating power create such an incentive? Does a monopoly, or large amount of capital create such a disincentive?
    It would help to understand all of the incentives in our larger-than-us industries. When these industries fuck up, people die. And they don’t die the way they want to, which is really a problem for a society.
    *************
    Barry Brooks, over at Brave New Climate, has a guest post up about nuclear monsters coming out during the day, and arguing that when we see the CHERNOBYL MONSTER by daylight, it’s not so scary. Few people died directly from the radiation, there are some cases of cancer that will chop a few days/weeks/years off of some lives, but since the life span was shrinking anyway given the political and economic situation, in fact epidemiology suggests fewer Chernobyl cancers and more industry-related cancers….. But if we simply don’t want to die Chernobyl deaths, maybe that actually matters, and it isn’t just a rational choice issue.
    How we die seems to matter to us. And that really does have to be figured in to things.
    ******
    Salon War Room’s Winant has a nice piece up about the awakening of the left in New Haven where he’s in grad school for a history degree.
    The best part of this piece is less the left’s awakening and more the insight into the few growth industries we seem to have, all of which seem to be related to large universities — education, finance (the endowment), R & D, real estate, and the concomitant search for the cheapest labor possible (adjuncts and grad students and non-union repair/service people).
    Universities are massively capitalized, they employ large numbers of people in labor intensive tasks, and they are looking to capitalize all the more and buy cheaper and cheaper labor and get more and more efficient — to what end? To make an even bigger pool of endowment money? To pay off shareholders? But wait, there aren’t any. To get a bigger reputation so that they can attract more applicants but still accept the same number of students?
    We should really try to figure out what the hell the world is doing with large sums of capital. And we should try to understand what game the universities are playing.
    Is there an escalation dominance game here? What kind of positioning is going on? What are the reputational issues, the salaries at the top issues? In a corporation, there are some vaguely clear moments regarding dividends or profits or the like, but non-profits are not supposed to have these incentives, and yet they do.
    And even for-profits seem to be hell-bent on destroying their economic base.
    The race to the bottom of capital as it thinks it’s racing to the top is an amusing thing to watch.

    Reply

  23. rc says:

    On Syria:
    This recent interview provides interesting insights into the Syrian situation.
    “Syria: reform or repression?
    As thousands of Syrians bury the eight victims of the crackdown following the protests on Friday, we look at how President Bashar al-Assad is tackling the anti-government demonstrations. Will the president go ahead with the reforms being demanded by the protesters or are we likely to see a repeat of the 1982 repression in the city of Hama by his father, president-at-the-time Hafez al-Assad?
    Dr George Joffe
    Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies, Cambridge University
    David W. Lesch
    Professor of Middle East History at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/latenightlive/stories/2011/3180003.htm

    Reply

  24. Don Bacon says:

    I’ve taken on Al Gore people for years, including the ones who falsely claimed that Gore wouldn’t have done Iraq. Gore was a pattern for Obama. Where’s Albert now? Nobody knows, nor cares.

    Reply

  25. JohnH says:

    The major parties are practically begging for a third party candidate. I hope a reasonable candidate finally does run and puts the two parties out of their misery.
    In any case, I’m voting for a third party candidate, which I do pretty regularly. My only regret is that my candidate’s party didn’t get enough votes to get recognized as a real threat.
    And if Obama loses because of a third party, well, it’s his own damn fault for not delivering on what he led us to believe about him in 2008.
    I watched Al Gore flip-flop between being a people-oriented candidate and a capital-oriented one. If he had sold himself to the people, he would have won. Ralph Nader had nothing to do with it. Gore never gave people enough reasons to vote for him. You can only sell yourself as being the lesser of two evils for so long.

    Reply

  26. Don Bacon says:

    It isn’t like Mr. Scheur called Obama “crazed.” That wouldn’t be fair to insane people. Obama knows what he’s doing.
    Which is why I intend to do everything in my small way to see that he is not re-elected no matter what or who the alternative is.

    Reply

  27. Don Bacon says:

    On Mexico:
    Despite the best efforts of the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, Mexico still gets over twenty million visitors per year, and the violence has not affected tourists to any significant degree. I don’t see as many (chicken) Americans on the road, but the Canadians still flock.
    Tijuana is safer then New Orleans for tourists. Plus there are many Americans living in Mexico. Nobody knows how many, estimates range from half a million to a million. Something to consider as the U.S. slides into the abyss.
    I’d be down in Mexico right now except my S.O. recently had some minor surgery and can’t travel. I’ve got a classic ’74 VW pop-top camper called Bonnie with a ’78 interior, clean as a whistle and very fast, downhill. Mexicans (the one still living) take OUR photo (in Bonnie) when we’re down there.
    What attracts people to Mexico? Speaking for myself, it’s the laid-back lifestyle with friendly people who are close to the land, with great food and scenery, and friendly people. I guess I said that.
    Regarding dental, we recently had our semi-annual cleaning ($40) done by a dentista with a feather touch — no pain. Followed by huevos rancheros and a cerveza Tecate on the zocolo (town square), watching the Mexican families enjoying themselves. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Only an old fuddy-dud.

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hmmmm. Any regrets, Kervick?
    How’s this great humanitarian adventure in Libya workin’ out, now that were in for a billion or two? Are we, or the Libyans getting a reasonable return?
    And, uh, what kinda sweet frosting are we gonna put on the Khadaffi Stays Cake? Or are our no-boots-on-the-ground guys, on the ground, gonna take him out?

    Reply

  29. Don Bacon says:

    Nice catch, JohnH.
    for those who missed it:
    CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: I think it’s very clear, Michael Scheuer, that you are no fan of this policy and this administration. I think calling Ambassador Rice crazed is certainly a significant charge.
    SCHEUER: Well, I don’t know. I’ve just listened to her. You know, that’s only my impression. And I have to say, this is not a Democratic problem, this is a Republican problem, too. Both parties love to intervene in other people’s business where there are no U.S. interests at stake and where we spend enormous amounts of money that when we’re nearly bankrupt. That doesn’t seem to be a wise practice of American statesmanship.
    ROMANS: And that’s another story, to call the United States bankrupt. The United States is running huge deficits, yes, but the economy and this mission in Libya are two separate issues.
    SCHEUER: They’re not separate issues, ma’am. You’re just carrying the water for Mr. Obama.
    ROMANS: I’m certainly not carrying anyone’s water. And I will assure you of that.
    Michael Scheuer, thank you so much for your time. You know, we had a very long exhaustive interview. You had plenty of time to give your point on that.

    Reply

  30. Paul Norheim says:

    Thanks a lot Don. I’m going back to Ethiopia later this year, via
    Istanbul, and thought I might save +/- 5000$ by spending a
    week in Istanbul instead of getting it done here in Norway.

    Reply

  31. Don Bacon says:

    Paul,
    I don’t list a lot of dental, but there is a clinic in Istanbul.
    http://www.globalmedicaltourismguide.com/pages/middleeast/turkey.html
    I notice there are a few dental clinics listed in Hungary. Clicking on the little guy at the top of the Turkey page will take you to the first page, and then enter and then click on Hungary on the navigation list to the left of the second page. Good luck.
    PS everyone: This is only a hobby of mine — no income derives to me.

    Reply

  32. JohnH says:

    Michael Scheuer takes on the Libya narrative: “You’re just carrying water for Obama:”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDVt_hSo_EU
    He won’t be invited back. Speaking truth to power is never lucrative.

    Reply

  33. DakotabornKansan says:

    Some happy news in a world filled with so much bad news

    Reply

  34. Paul Norheim says:

    Posted by Don Bacon, Apr 04 2011, 10:58AM – Link
    ———————————-
    God bless open threads… Do you know any good but inexpensive dentists in
    Istanbul, Don? The health care system in my country is good, but it doesn’t
    include dentist bills – and you can imagine how expensive that can be in
    Norway, can’t you?

    Reply

  35. questions says:

    Really clear update on Japan nukes:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/04/963070/-Fukushima-Status-Update-4-4
    Some of the commenters are well-informed too.

    Reply

  36. JohnH says:

    “We’re in an information war, and we’re losing.” –Hillary. Yep. “Where’s Next for #Revolution” is proof: http://www.narconews.com/nntv/video.php?vid=25

    Reply

  37. DakotabornKansan says:

    Regarding nuclear safety, POA

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  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Personally I (and many others) get all my dental work done in nearby Mexico”
    Unfortunately, you are now risking your life to do so. If you can mention a “safe” destination for a gringo in Mexico, than you are the holder of a little known secret. Juarez has racked up a total of six thousand murders in less than two years. The old tourist “go to” western border towns, such as Ensenada, are no longer safe either.
    Fact is, Don, you gotta be crazy to go into Mexico these days, affordable dentist care be damned.
    As a teen, I remember that the thing to go into Mexico for was tuck and roll upholstery for your lowrider, cheap kilos of Mexican weed, and the outrageous party/orgy in Ensenada that always followed the annual sail boat race.

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  39. Don Bacon says:

    Regarding medical care, medical tourism is a growing option for many. I’ve got a medical tourism (portal) website and it includes many foreign hospitals that cater to patients from many countries. There are big savings for Americans and some health plans are going that way. Personally I (and many others) get all my dental work done in nearby Mexico.

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It is indeed intriguing to note what individual commenters find “important” or of note.
    Sometimes I think it is the result of a natural tendency to lean towards the “head in sand” tactic of denial when faced with unimaginable danger or hardship……..
    “WILL THE SITE BECOME A NO-MAN’S LAND?”
    “Most likely, yes. Even after a cold shutdown there are tons of nuclear waste sitting at the site of the nuclear reactors. Enclosing the reactors by injecting lead and encasing them in concrete would make it safe to work and live a few kilometers away from the site, but is not a long-term solution for the disposal of spent fuel, which will decay and emit fission fragments over several thousand years”
    “The spent nuclear fuel in Fukushima has been damaged by sea water, so recycling it is probably not an option, while transporting it elsewhere is unlikely given the opposition that proposal would bring. Experts say the clean-up will take decades”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/04/us-japan-plant-idUSTRE7331JQ20110404?pageNumber=2
    Meanwhile, the EPA, the EU, and other agencies, global organizations, regulatory bodies, and industry whores scramble to increase the amounts of exposure and contamination that are deemed “dangerous”.
    Not newsworthy????
    “Radiation from Japan rained on Berkeley during recent storms at levels that exceeded drinking water standards by 181 times and has been detected in multiple milk samples…”
    “Radiation falling with rain can cover grass that is eaten by cows and other animals. It can also fall on food crops or accumulate in reservoirs that are used for irrigation or drinking water. Seafood can also be affected…”
    “A rooftop water monitoring program managed by UC Berkeley

    Reply

  41. rc says:

    “If we want our parents (and us, too) to have decent medical care in old age, well, someone has to pay. Either we pay in taxes and spread the money, or we bill our children and we save and scrimp our lives away to pay for that CT scan we’ll need at age 80 (so we don’t consume anything and the economy goes in the tank…). Or we make our children pay for our care.” (questions, Apr 04 2011, 7:38AM)
    Or you could just fly down to Cuba and get great inexpensive medical services with your Yankee dollar! … Oh, sorry, that option is only for citizens of a free country to indulge in.
    On second thoughts, best sell your kids for medical experiments — and there will probably be a healthy market for US kidneys etc down the track.

    Reply

  42. DonS says:

    ” . . . Barry vows to focus on his job as President, but has several fundraisers planned.” (DBK)
    Of course these would be of the very well heeled variety fundraiser events, for all the seriously sick reasons that we know . . .
    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/article_c2d4bf88-2ae6-11e0-8c80-001cc4c002e0.html
    A cynic might argue that even though candidate Obama managed to energize a Bush-weary, hopeful electorate of enthusiastic new voters to be the base of his first electoral bid, he could never [pull the wool over their eyes] and count on this again. I’d say the cynic would be right. And so Obama will have to be re-elected as one of the most conventional politicians imaginable while still, very possibly, spouting some meaningless verbal messages unrelated to the reality of the politics of privilege, oligarch coddling, and security state promotion so familiar in DC.
    For whatever psychological reasons, or none other than lying (or misleading — many say his devoted supporters simply did not harken to his actual words — if so, I say he played the angles unscrupulously) his way into office without a guiding moral grounding or agenda, he has betrayed . . . words really fail me here . . . .

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  43. DakotabornKansan says:

    Obama and the Flustercluck Doctrine

    Reply

  44. questions says:

    “”We are giving [Democrats] a political weapon against us, but look, they’re going to have to lie and demagogue,” Ryan said on “Fox New Sunday.” “Shame on them if they do that.””
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-budget-republicans-20110404,0,4748540.story
    So says Paul Ryan!!!!! SHAME ON THEM for lying and demagoguing.
    Does this guy have any integrity at all?
    Does he realize that if the “gov’t” cuts Medicare spending, it’s not really a “cut” — it’s a transfer of responsibility or a death panel?
    If we want our parents (and us, too) to have decent medical care in old age, well, someone has to pay. Either we pay in taxes and spread the money, or we bill our children and we save and scrimp our lives away to pay for that CT scan we’ll need at age 80 (so we don’t consume anything and the economy goes in the tank…). Or we make our children pay for our care.
    But we do all of this at the very inefficient private level, with no bargaining power, no system in place, no overarching organization.
    Or, we die.
    *****
    WaPo has a piece up on life in Chernobyl. Very sad.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/at-chernobyl-a-warning-for-japan/2011/03/31/AFLGWeXC_story.html

    Reply

  45. Dan Kervick says:

    I got the Obama video in my email this morning. It doesn’t present any actual arguments for re-electing him. It’s purely a “rally the supporters” message aimed at energizing those who already want to see him re-elected.

    Reply

  46. questions says:

    OPEN THREAD!!! OMG I LOVE IT!!!!
    “Achieve and other educational groups, which spent years defining standards to better prepare students for college and work, quickly fastened on Algebra II as a fundamental component.
    One of the key studies supporting the Algebra II focus was conducted by Anthony Carnevale and Alice Desrochers, then both at the Educational Testing Service. They used a data set that followed a group of students from 1988 to 2000, from eighth grade to a time when most were working.
    The study showed that of those who held top-tier jobs, 84 percent had taken Algebra II or a higher class as their last high school math course. Only 50 percent of employees in the bottom tier had taken Algebra II.

    Reply

  47. DonS says:

    Robert Reich via Americablog points to what he considers a highly probably ‘double dip’ recession on the way, and why the politicos aren’t talking about it.
    http://www.americablog.com/2011/04/robert-reich-were-heading-toward-double.html
    From the same author at Americablog (GP}, more bad economic news about the paltry rate of corporate income taxes collected by states compared to lottery revenues and, as an important aside, that said lottery revenues have been used to supplant, not subsidize taxes for education as originally sold to the public. And an indication of how lottery dynamics are another indication of the sad state of the economy, at least for those not in the perennially self-rewarding oligarch class.
    http://www.americablog.com/2011/04/oregon-gets-substantially-more-revenue.html

    Reply

  48. Dan Kervick says:

    The Tories are crashing the UK economy:
    http://socialisteconomicbulletin.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-tories-sabotaged-economic-upturn.html
    And yet the program that the Tories enacted is quite similar to the program that US Republicans are zealously ramming through, and that US Democrats are passively accepting.
    This raises an interesting question. The UK and US economic systems are structurally very similar, and their predicaments following the Great Recession are very similar. Are US lawmakers capable, then, of learning from a failed economic experiment abroad? Or will they persist in their demagoguery?

    Reply

  49. Don Bacon says:

    One topic of US-China policy is the selection of Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke to replace the popular Jon Hunstman as the new Ambassador to China.
    Locke is a Chinese-American who is sure to be a hit in China, more so than when he stripped school budgets as governor of Washington. There’s no shortage of dollars in China, though.
    Will Steve talk about “Beijing

    Reply

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