Saturday, May 22, 2010

Evening Thread

Have fun

Very, Very Moderate

Move along folks.

The gooey oil washing into the maze of marshes along the Gulf Coast could prove impossible to remove, leaving a toxic stew lethal to fish and wildlife, government officials and independent scientists said.

Cocktail Thread

I think we could all use one.


Can't read minds, but really not sure the powers that be quite know what's happening to the Gulf...

Nom Nom Nom

Thought the FDIC took a day off, but Pinehurst Bank, Saint Paul, MN got eated.

More Thread


BP To EPA:Fuck Off

This is all going to work out so well.

BP has told the Environmental Protection Agency that it cannot find a safe, effective and available dispersant to use instead of Corexit, and will continue to use that chemical application to help break up the growing spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP was responding to an EPA directive Thursday that gave BP 24 hours to identify a less toxic alternative to Corexit -- and 72 hours to start using it -- or provide the Coast Guard and EPA with a "detailed description of the alternative dispersants investigated, and the reason they believe those products did not meet the required standards.

From reports on the ground it's sounding like BP is just claiming as their own territory anywhere the oil goes. It's like their invading army.


Glad to see they're all correct.

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- Bay County, Fla., sheriff's deputies arrested more than a dozen people Wednesday in a sweep at Panama City Marina, a staging area for contracted workers loading oil boom on boats, according to media reports.

Most, if not all, of the people arrested were believed to be illegal aliens, the Northwest Florida Daily News newspaper reported.


I think it would be great if the N.Y. Times or some other big newspaper sent a couple of reporters to Louisiana. One to get arrested when denied access to the beaches or the people and one to report the story. Won't happen, but it would be a great start at redemption.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Night


Run Away

Rand Paul was supposed to on Meet the Press this Sunday, but he cancelled.

Perhaps they could invite on the person who got the most votes in a Kentucky Senate primary that day?

Bet not.

Afternoon Thread

Guess it's a blue crab kinda evening.

Vivid Orange Globs

But the damage will be very, very moderate.

I hope I'm just a pessimist, but this is not looking good. Beaches being closed.

Afternoon Thread


The Good News

Beck's getting even creepier.


I'm sure the damage will be very, very moderate.

Car Free

One thing I hope no one mistakenly interprets (on these subjects people seem to misunderstand a lot) from what I write is that not having a car is some sort of grand liberal lifestyle statement. I don't have a car because having a car costs quite a bit of money and I don't need one. When I had one once upon a time I used it maybe twice per month and it wasn't worth the expense. The fact that I don't need one is a consequence of both circumstances (the metro area I live, that I work at home, the location of spouse's job, existence of decent car sharing program) and choices (live in the urban hellhole). I like living this way and glad I can. Your mileage may vary.


What a whiny ass titty baby.

Shit Happens

And besides, it's a beautiful rainbow in chocolate milk sheen. Probably tastes good, too.


I used to say it won't 'real' until it hits land. Now I think it won't be real until it hits Florida.

Hope Is Not A Plan

But elites fear inflation and deficits and don't care enough about people actually working.

Hope I'm wrong, but I worry a couple of years from now they'll be saying that nobody could have predicted...

They always do.

BP conceded Thursday that more oil than it estimated is gushing

into the Gulf of Mexico as heavy crude washed into Louisiana's wetlands for the first time, feeding worries and uncertainty about the massive monthlong spill.

No shit Sherlock.

Should we believe another word that comes out of their mouths? Ever?


Thursday, May 20, 2010

FinReg Passes Senate

On to conference...

My Money's On The Bankers

Though car dealers are pretty powerful...

Taking Sides

The press takes sides against Democrats so often that it's a bit jarring when they aim fire against a Republican. I have no idea if Rand Paul's apparently evolving views on the Civil Rights Act (either side or the change) will negatively impact his chance to win a Senate seat, and nobody on the cable teevee does either, yet they've decided that it's a problem. Might be, but might not be!

Evening Thread



I see it continued to be an exciting day at the dog track. Maybe the Serious Men In Nice Suits will realize there's a problem.


I don't know for sure that people in DC thought it wouldn't work in any meaningful sense, but... I don't know why they would have.

Deep Thought

The hot dog cannon is humanity's greatest achievement.

Afternoon Thread

It seems that 7pm baseball game is actually at 1pm, so I boarded the SUPERTRAIN to the ballpark and am probably now eating a hot dog.

Wanker of the Day

Tom Corbett.

Perhaps Missing The Point

Just got an emailed press release from Florida Senate candidate Kendrick Meek demanding that BP give more money for an ad campaign to promote Florida tourism. Now, in a world where people have the wrong idea that Florida is about to be covered in a glorious rainbow in chocolate sheen and are therefore not making travel plans there's a certain logic to this. However, in a world where Florida is actually about to be covered in a glorious rainbow in chocolate sheen I don't really think a tourism ad campaign is going to do the trick.


Another exciting day at the dog track.

The depressing thing is it takes a crashing stock market for elites to take the economy seriously, though sadly the remedy will probably be "more free money for rich people."

Government Regulation Of Private Business

Government regulates - and, of course, provides the necessary conditions for the existence of - private business in all kinds of ways. So when people have a particular concern about, say, the Civil Rights Act, as opposed to, say, parking requirements, it's reasonable to wonder why.

Very, Very Modest

The universe is a pretty big place after all, so relatively speaking this is no big whoop.

In Magnolia Springs, an influx of oil from the ongoing Gulf spill would threaten more than just recreation. In this small south Baldwin community, oil could harm one of Mobile Bay's most sensitive and important ecosystems and efforts are under way to prevent such damage.

The thing about some of these smallish ecosystems - once they're destroyed, they aren't coming back.

Thursday Is New Jobless Day

471K lucky duckies.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 471,000 in the week ended May 15, the highest level since the week ended April 10, the Labor Department said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected claims to fall to 440,000 from the previously reported 444,000, which was revised marginally up to 446,000 in Thursday's report.

Morning and Shit

I've got to stop watching CSPAN. Although, it was nice watching DeFazio and Nadler question BP CEO McKay. They were both knowledgeable of the subject and agressive. Several times McKay looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I'm still trying to figure out why the U.S. Government needs his permission to do some independent testing of the gusher. It may well be just 5000 barrels a day. Maybe it does look like lots more because of the gas gushing at the same time. Or maybe not.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rock On

Now go to sleep.

More Thread

Now rumple it.

Wednesday Evening Thread


Very, Very Modest

I hope he's right, but I think this is totally absurd.


Not over.

Afternoon Thread

Apparently cloture is in a quantum state of passing and not passing.

...not passing, a couple of dems want more amendment votes.

Novel Ideas In Journalism

Actually telling people what is... true.

I always hate during the campaign season when "fact checking" becomes a sudden fad, as they tend to overreach and it becomes an exercise in 'both sides make stuff up' gotcha journalism. But an actual commitment to fact checking as opposed to "fact checking" would be welcome.

Take Back America's Future Now For The Future

Annual conference coming up in DC. I get free 'blogger's row' registration and will be there.


Either the NYT just ran with oppo research they were fed without bothering to check, or they did their own snipitty snip snipping.

Given recent history, I imagine they'll address the issue in 10 years or so.

Things That Shouldn't Have To Be Explained

The way out of a recession is not austerity, but growth.

Get Out Of My Urban Hellhole

That's one cranky new urbanist. Click through for even worse crank.

Anyway, yes, there is a wee problem with suburbanites treating parts of the city as adult theme parks, but it really isn't...a problem.

Gulf War Veteran Lindsey Graham


Always is.


As Mike Lux says, people are pissed because the economy sucks. I'm personally a bit tired of hearing about all of the problems with shoveling money out the door. It isn't that hard. My local transit authority has had to cancel most of its on the shelf capital projects due to failure to receive planned revenue from tolling a highway. Those projects are basically shovel ready. They were scheduled. They aren't happening. I bring this up because it's what I know, not because I think my local transit authority is the most important thing in the world. Fix some bridges, fix some sewers, fix some train tracks. Just do it.

City Youth


We've Been Subprime For A Very Long Time

From the beginning, the press got the housing bubble/foreclosure crisis completely wrong, seeing it simply as a problem of 'subprime' (read: nasty poor people) borrowers, when in fact it was obviously a problem for the entire housing market. Borrowers with worse credit scores were having problems first, both because they had less of a cushion and because many were victims of extreme predatory and fraudulent lending practices, but it was obvious long ago that that it wasn't just a problem for the nasty poor people.

Not Over

And our elites are unwilling to confront the magnitude of the genuine problems we face.

NEW YORK - One out of seven U.S. households with a mortgage ended the first quarter late on mortgage payments or in the foreclosure process, although the pace has ebbed now that unemployment appears to have peaked, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

Maybe The Next One?

Critz's victory is no great victory for liberals obviously, but for weeks Republicans and reporters have been primed to treat the inevitable Republican victory there as some sort of sign that the Republican wave was going to destroy the Democrats in November. It shouldn't be big news that a Republican would win a district that went for John McCain, and he, uh, lost. For those who are counting, that's 7 straight special elections won by Democrats. I'm sure the Republican wave will start building any minute now.

Nothing To See Here

Move along folks.

CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports it's an ominous sight. The oil is thick and black and stretches about a quarter mile down a beach. It goes beyond the booms into the sensitive marsh lands which are home to migratory birds.


When CBS News tried to reach the beach, covered in oil, a boat of BP contractors with two Coast Guard officers on board told us to turn around under threat of arrest. Coast Guard officials said they are looking into the incident.

So I Guess That Was A Lie Then

I'm sure people will be punished appropriately.

In its 2009 exploration plan for the Deepwater Horizon well, BP PLC states that the company could handle a spill involving as much as 12.6 million gallons of oil per day, a number 60 times higher than its current estimate of the ongoing Gulf disaster.

In associated documents filed with the U.S. Minerals Management Service, the company says that it would be able to skim 17.6 million gallons of oil a day from the Gulf in the event of a spill.


Yeah Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

End Of The Specter Era

There are a lot of reasons Arlen managed to work his fake moderate game for so long, but I'm glad that era is over. I hope (and am mildly optimistic) that Joe Sestak will be a better senator than one might expect, but in any case getting rid of Arlen was a worthy goal in and of itself.

Heckuva Job Establishment Dems


Appearing on the "Ed Show", Rendell didn't apply even the slightest bit of sugar coating to his advice. Specter, he said, would kill Sestak in a primary largely because he has a history of aiding constituents, has the backing of the party machinery, and is supported by the president.

"I'm a great admirer of Joe Sestak and worked hard to get him elected and re-elected," Rendell said. "And I'm going to work hard to get him re-elected when he runs for Congress next year. Not for the Senate. Joe should not run for the Senate in the Democratic primary. He would get killed."

"[Sestak] doesn't want to be marginalized," Rendell reasoned. "He doesn't want to get 15 or 18 percent [of the vote]. Joe should run for Congress again; establish some seniority. His time will come... but it is not this year."

AP Calls It For Schmidt


Bye Arlen.


With 42.2% in, Sestak is up 52.2/47.8.


Site was down for awhile (and don't want to link and help kill it), but with 25% in Sestak is up 51.4/48.6.


48.4/51.7 with 2.1% of districts reporting.

Tuesday Night Thread

Polls are closed...

Happy Hour Thread

I am off drinking liberally as is the usual Tuesday custom.

Republicans Behaving Badly

They're blocking vote on Merkley-Levin amendment.


Brit Hume can't see it, but it's there.

(ht amanda)

Afternoon Thread

Forgot to mention that at my polling place there were no Specter or Sestak people.


Almost makes me sympathize with Beck's fans.


Voter #32

Turnout is pretty low in my part of the urban hellhole.

Nothing To See Here

I really don't get the point of the oil spill denialism that pops up in places. The reality will be apparent.

What About The 81% That Isn't Closed To Fishing?

Why isn't anyone talk about that? Huh? HUH?

Department Of Bad Ideas

The thing about local business regulations is that they truly disproportionately impact "the little guy" in favor of large business. Boo Councilmen Clarke and Greenlee.

Fiscal Conservatives

They might like doing away with the mortgage interest tax deduction, until a Democrat proposes it at which point it'll be The Worst Thing Evah.

What Is It Good For

At least 130 US troops have died in Afghanistan this year. No I don't know what they're doing there.

Loop Current

I suppose there's something to the 'it'll get diluted' argument, but...

Election Day

Will hopefully vote in an election where Arlen Specter is on the ballot for the last time.

I think people who try to figure out how, say, weather will impact the vote are reaching into unknowable territory. But, for the record, it is raining here in the urban hellhole.


They aren't bailing out Greece, they're bailing out the people who lent them money.

I Hope She's Right

Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Monday in an interview on PBS’s “NewsHour”: “By the time the oil is in the loop current, it’s likely to be very, very diluted. And so it’s not likely to have a very significant impact. It sounds scarier than it is.”


She also said the scary plumes may not be oil. They could be something else. We have to wait until the samples are analyzed. Okay. And remember, there's no more than 5,000 barrels/day gushing. BP is capturing 1000/day and hopes to eventually capture up to 2000, before plugging the leak entirely in the next week or two. Drilling for the relief well is finally under way.

After watching Lubchenco on the Newshour last night, I came away knowing less than I did before. Pretty much the opposite of what is supposed to happen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just Some Pointy Crap Underwater

Don't get what the big deal is, really.

Monday Night


Because Bob Kerrey, Tom Keane, and Tom Daschle Need Something To Do?

Yes I'm a bit negative about 'presidential commissions.' I'll be more positive if experts, rather than ex-politicians, get to do the job.

Happy Hour Thread


Please No

I once thought the urge for urban highway construction might finally be gone. Guess I was wrong.

More Height

Just to flesh out the post below a bit, in general terms, absent regulation, the economics would lead to developers building taller buildings where land prices are highest. Land prices are presumably highest in the center or centers, and around high quality transit locations. So absent the height restriction you'd have taller buildings in those locations, but potentially shorter buildings as you move away from peak land price locations. In other words, the building height restriction constrains the supply of real estate in prime locations, which causes land prices to be bid up further away, increasing the number of places where developers want to build the maximum height buildings.

Punchline: absent the height restriction, you'd get taller buildings in some places, but also shorter buildings in others. Incentives to knock down townhouse blocks in order to replace them with megablock 12 story projects would be lower in other parts of the city.


To some extent I understand why people like the building height limit in DC, though it should also be remembered that increasingly the effect is to create a city of uniform 12ish story buildings. I'm not sure how desirable that is either.

Perhaps There Is A Beginning Of The End

Like Kevin I'm a bit more optimistic after reading it, but something tells me withdrawal is always a Friedman Unit away...

Afternoon Thread


Beck's Getting Extra Creepy


[W]hat's coming is horrific. I don't even want to speak it out loud


[Y]ou have to be prepared to take rocks to the head. You have to be prepared to lose everything

Run Away

I actually don't think this reflects well on the White House. Either support Specter, or don't.

Our Libertarian Allies

I think the biggest issue here is simply that American cities are so overwhelmingly populated by liberals. Consequently folks on the right don't think much about cities and when they do it tends to get lazy and slipshod. Ask a conservative about rent control, and he'll give you chapter and verse on how it distorts things, likely blissfully unaware that rent control is largely non-existent these days. Ask about parking mandates or FAR limits or whatever and you draw a blank stare. I also want to specifically call out Randall O'Toole of the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation. I'd like those outfits to be my allies on these topics, but O'Toole is a pawn of the sprawl lobby who's willfully blind to the ways in which current government regulations are anti-urban.

With respect to institutionalized libertarianism, follow the money is a likely explanation, but generally the libertarian lack of concern with things which actually impact the economic freedom that they tend to babble about for large numbers of people is often baffling. Maybe it's just that more complex property rights issues are confusing for them.

The Newsweeklies Can't Die Fast Enough

Put them out of their misery, please.


I always have to hold my nose when rooting for anything which might increase the revenue received by our local parking authority, as for various reasons it's the local Republican patronage machine.

Under The Sea

Who knew there is stuff there too?

'At first we had a lot of concern about surface animals like turtles, whales and dolphins,'' said Paul Montagna, a marine biologist at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi who studies Gulf reefs. ''Now we're concerned about everything.''

On Sunday, researchers said computer models show oil has already entered the loop current that could carry the toxic goo toward the Keys, the third-longest barrier reef in the world.

Where's The Oil

Nobel Peace Prize in Geology winner Brit Hume confirms what I've been saying, that the oil gusher won't be "real" until there are pictures of it on shore no matter how much of the ecosystem is destroyed.


Well, the election tomorrow... cautiously optimistic I won't have to choose between Specter and Toomey in November.

If Sestak wins, it's because of this.

Morning Thread



Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our media, not theirs

After a horrific day of watching insane people on the Sunday talk shows, you might want to hear what McJoan and emptywheel have to say about it on Virtually Speaking, right about now.

Not Atrios

Leaving Las Vegas

Pretty devastating portrait of NV Gov. Gibbons.

The WASP Genocide

There are weird tribalisms in this country which are hard to comprehend.

Brunch Thread

Farmers market in the urban hellhole time.

Keep Building

Oddly, it probably makes economic sense given the incentives. People are willing to pay a premium for new, land prices have fallen, there are significant negative externalities in neighborhoods with significant foreclosures/empty homes, and there are additional difficulties in trying to purchase homes in foreclosure or short sales. So, the builders keep building.

That doesn't mean that it's a good idea from the perspective of the municipality, but that's a different issue...

Eliminating CalWorks

Good luck California, the governator has got you in his sights...

Sunday Bobbleheads

Face the Nation has Difi and Kyl

Dancing Dave's Meet the Press has Schumer and McConnell.

This Week has Sessions and Leahy.

Document the atrocities!

And the Oil Just Keeps on Gushing

Reminds me of a song or something.