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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getting still worse.

The oil spill is worse than we thought it was a couple of days ago (back when we found out it was worse than a couple days before that.)

Also, Right now, the oil spill appears to be keeping out to sea, heading off to the southwest. However, with the Gulf of Mexico geography, it's bound to eventually land somewhere sometime.

(With the Gulf Stream, we may eventually see remnants landing on the East Coast, Canada, or even Britain.)

Friday, May 14, 2010


Not really apples to apples, but still.... Wow.
If the economy produces jobs over the next eight months at the same pace as it did over the past four months, the nation will have created more jobs in 2010 alone than it did over the entire eight years of George W. Bush's presidency.

The quietest terror plot ever

So, it seems we now have pretty solid evidence that the Pakistani Taleban were very involved in the Times Square car bomb fizzle.

I'm just amazed at how quietly this connection is passing by. We were attacked on our own soil, and yet, because of the politics (both in relation to Pakistani cooperation and the ugliness of the war's blowback,) nobody really wants to highlight the issue.

I just can't get over the difference from the Bush administration.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Republicans who like Kagan

Sen. Collins of Maine and Brown of Mass pretty much torpedo a GOP filibuster of Supreme Court Nominee Kagan before it even gets out of the blocks leaving the GOP strategy adrift.

Made me laugh

A little bit of a slow build, but it lances Glenn Beck for all his crazy Nazi invocations.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Glenn Beck's Nazi Tourette's
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

English as official language

With immigration on the front burner, expect English as the national language to once again come to the fore.

A Gallup poll says immigration is up as an issue, but still only at 10% of people majorly concerned about it. (And it will serve to rally the Republican base.)

However, you figure the Obama folks are more organized than the diffuse Republican opposition, so they're going on a more coordinated polling response, whereas Republicans are working more on a gut level collective response, so, I guess watching how the Obama folks play will probably offer a better read.

I'm just not sure how it's all going to spin out. My early gut says Dems win if immigration becomes the issue, but I'm not totally sure. What do you think?

(PS. It would be interesting to see if immigration becomes the issue as Republicans spent the last year and a half setting up the anti-healthcare, anti-bailout, "Obama as spender" campaign, however maybe immigration could play into that in a not so direct way.

Imagine the indirect message "Obama takes care of everyone else but me, even those non-white, non citizens."

That would play into the "other" meme and increase Republican white identification, potentially among soft racist independents.

That's a little inexact in description, but I think you get my point.)

Big money

Today's fun fact from the BBC:
He said the amount of opium produced by one hectare (2.47 acres) had almost doubled to 56kg (123lb) in the five years to 2009.

Think about that. How much does 123 pounds of heroin sell for on the street? ...and how little do the farmers get paid?

Maybe we should start a free trade heroin.....?

Afghanistan could rapidly become a much wealthier country.....

Who is winning the politics of the oil spill?

Democrats would seem to be winning the initial spin phase of the oil spill, with a top AP headline this morning like this: Emerging oil rig evidence shows lack of regulation. (which I would argue cuts strongly against no regulations Republicans.)

And the polling seems to say it's a net neutral at worst, splitting along partisan lines.

However, I wonder how it's going to spin out when we start to see weeks of front page pictures as the spill comes to land. Even if people don't directly blame Obama, a general dismay will tend to land on the party in charge through a borad right track/wrong track dissatisfaction.

Later: Will "punishing" BP and other oil companies with a new cleanup tax spin well for the Dems?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dear Arizona Republicans, your sheet is showing

There can really be no question of racism anymore, can there?
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill targeting a school district's ethnic studies program, hours after a report by United Nations human rights experts condemned the measure.

PS. Dear AP, the election seeking race baiter gets his defense starting in the second paragraph? If it was a bill preventing blacks at lunch counters, would the second paragraph be Strom Thurmond explaining his position unchallenged?

PPS. Only white history counts, right?

Dear NYTimes....

You're going to headline with a story claiming that the US is on a path to reach Greek debt levels, a premise that assumes that the same debt spending we just went through to salve "the worst economic crisis" is going to continue unabated for the next 20 years?


Quicker to write than read?

Sarah Palin's second book is due out in November.

(With the degree of ghostwriting, can we really call it her book?)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The end of the Godfather

I'm guessing the US got tangible and specific information that the Times Square attempted bomber was tied to a particular terror group out of N Waziristan as they conducted 18 different drone strikes in the region yesterday.

It seems pretty apparent that he's talking.

(My guess is that they're trying to send the message that attacks in the US are unacceptable. We'll see how effective the strikes are, and if they get that message.)

Phoenix pays for immigration law

The USAToday runs a story looking at the potential losses to Phoenix convention business because of the immigration law (estimated at $90 million.)

Several groups have already pulled out.

Your sheet is showing

The head of the Young Republicans (who has a history of borderline racist comments) steps down suddenly and without apparent cause.

C'mon. Give me some unbelievable scandal.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Obama to name Kagan

I'll let others dig into the qualifications and confirmation of the new Supreme Court nominee.

My question is, how does an election summer Supreme Court nomination process play out?

Is it harder or easier to get the votes with Republicans looking away from their base and back towards the center? There will certainly be a huge amount of individual grandstanding, but I'm guessing the Republican leadership will probably ask for a softer tone to reach towards independents, women, and the geography outside the south.

This is going to be particularly high stakes, so it will be interesting to watch the multiple pulls.

Europe steps up

Markets react very positively overnight after Europe agrees to a significant debt rescue package.

Here's hoping it holds.