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Wednesday News

Good Morning Conflucians!!

Let’s dive right in, so to speak. It looks like the deep water drilling band is lifted:

The U.S. is back in the deep water oil-drilling business. The question now is when work will resume. The Obama administration, under heavy pressure from the oil industry and Gulf states and with elections nearing, lifted the moratorium that it imposed last April in the wake of the disastrous BP oil spill.

The ban had been scheduled to expire Nov. 30, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday he was moving up the date because new rules imposed after the spill had reduced the risk of another catastrophic blowout. Industry leaders warily waited for details of those rules, saying the moratorium wouldn’t be truly lifted until then.

“The policy position that we are articulating today is that we are open for business,” Salazar declared.

The reality is more complicated. While the temporary ban on exploratory oil and gas drilling is lifted immediately, drilling is unlikely to resume for several weeks at least as oil and gas companies struggle to meet a host of new safety regulations. For example, the CEO of a company responsible for a well would have to certify it had complied with all regulations. That could make the person at the top liable for any future accidents.

“Operators who play by the rules and clear the higher bar can be allowed to resume,” Salazar said.

And as we heard yesterday, a judge ordered the Pentagon to put a stop to DADT:

US District Judge Virginia A. Phillips in California issued the injunction a month after she ruled that requiring gays in the military to keep their sexual orientation secret is unconstitutional.

The ruling permanently bars the Department of Defense from enforcing the law and goes a step further by compelling Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates to suspend any ongoing investigations or discharge proceedings.

The injunction may be appealed within 60 days. If the Obama administration decides to appeal, it would be in the uncomfortable position of defending a law it has opposed. An appeal, however, might allow the administration and the Pentagon to implement a repeal of the policy in a more orderly manner.

Alternatively, the administration could decide to let Phillips’s ruling become law, acknowledging that the court was able to accomplish what the policy’s opponents in Congress and the administration have yet to do.

The Justice Department said yesterday that it had not yet decided how to respond. “We’re reviewing the ruling,’’ Tracy Schmaler, a department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

Several legal observers, however, predicted the Obama administration would seek a stay of the judge’s order from the US Court of Appeals, a request they said would probably be approved as that court reviews the case.

So next is a simple test of the Obama administration. They could either stand by their word and campaign promise and let the ruling stand and allow it to become law, or they can go back on their word and do the stay or worse, appeal, so that they can proceed in a “more orderly manner”. You know, most every time we’ve pushed for more equality in our rights, we’ve been told to slow down and do things in a more orderly manner. We will soon see in the most clear way possible what Obama is made of. What kind of character the man has. I will give him praise and be happy if he does the right thing here. We’ll see.

As of this writing, the miners in Chile are being pulled out. Sometime later in the morning they will hopefully be all out. Here’s a write up as it started to happen:

The first of 33 gold and copper miners entombed half a mile below ground for more than two months were hauled into the frigid Chilean desert air early Wednesday morning, emerging from a cramped, life-saving haven and into the embrace of family members once forced to confront the likelihood of their deaths.

Foreman Florencio Avalos, 31, was the first of the miners to ride up the shaft that rescuers hope will serve as the lifeline for all. Wearing sunglasses to protect his eyes from aboveground lights, Avalos squeezed into a specially fitted, bullet-shaped capsule only a shade smaller than the 28-inch diameter of the tunnel and was winched to the surface over 14 agonizing minutes.

As myiq posted last night, the last debate between Brown and Whitman leaves some looking for third party candidates:

One of the most aggressive segments of the hour-long debate began with Brown responding to moderator and former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw’s question about a Brown campaign staffer caught on voice mail calling Whitman a “whore.”

Brown apologized to Whitman for the first time and called the remark “unfortunate,” but also chafed at Brokaw’s suggestion that to women the word is as offensive as the “n-word” is to African Americans.

“Women know exactly what’s going on here,” retorted Whitman, calling the word a “slur.”

That’s right Jerry, as we all know, bigotry towards women doesn’t count as much as bigotry towards most any other group. I mean come on, it’s only women. What a let down. But wait, there’s more:

On the Brown staffer’s use of the word “whore,” Whitman went on the offensive, saying that “slurs and personal attacks are … not what California is about.”

Brown retorted that “we’ve heard no outrage from you” regarding her campaign chairman former Gov. Pete Wilson’s use of the term “whores” to describe public employees unions.

Whitman’s comeback: “You know better than that Jerry, that’s a completely different thing.”

That’s pretty lame from Jerry. Just own up to it and apologize without that crap. What’s sad is Jerry is ahead by a bit, and if he just did something reasonable here, he’d move ahead. But he’s scared and feels the need to go this path. And what’s particularly tough with the path Jerry is on, is he’s opening unhealed wounds of misogyny within the Democratic party. From a state that chose to rise above misogyny in 2008.

But not to worry, he’s bringing out Obama to take care of that. Sigh.

Speaking of complete idiots out of touch, Paladino finally got word that he may have stepped in it, and now apologizes:

Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino apologized to the gay community Tuesday for what he called his “poorly chosen words” over the weekend as he sought to steer his troubled campaign back to the tax issues that won him the GOP nomination in September.

“I am neither perfect, nor a career politician,” Paladino said in an e-mail distributed by his flagging campaign. “I have made mistakes in this campaign — I have made mistakes all my life — as we all have. I am what I am — a simple man who works hard, trusts others, and loves his family and fears for the future of our state.”

He apologized and said he should have edited more of the phrasing out of a speech he gave to Orthodox Jewish leaders on Sunday. His speech did include opposition to what he said was schools’ “brainwashing” of students into thinking the gay lifestyle is just another choice. He also said being gay is “not the way God created us” and the gay lifestyle is “not the example that we should be showing our children.”

Ah yes, the old poorly chosen words excuse. So was he lying then or is he lying now? You decide. Hey, he’s a horribly hateful bigot, maybe he can write for the Washington Post (see yesterday’s post by BB).

OK, now for a bit of comedy relief. Turns out Obama and Palin and Limbaugh are related. Somehow I’m not surprised:

President Barack Obama is distantly related to two of his most outspoken critics — Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin and talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh — as well as to former President George W. Bush, according to a genealogy website.

Family trees revealed Obama and Palin, the former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, are 10th cousins through common ancestor John Smith, according to Ancestry.com Inc. Smith was Obama’s and Palin’s 12th-great- grandfather. Smith, a Protestant pastor, was an early settler in Massachusetts and was criticized by the ecclesiastical community for supporting Quakers, said Anastasia Tyler, a genealogist for the website.

Obama and Limbaugh are 10th cousins once removed through shared connections to Richmond Terrell, a Virginia settler who came to America in the mid-1600s, Tyler said.

Palin and Obama have ties to Bush, both through links to Samuel Hinckley. Maybe leadership “runs in the family,” the website said, because Hinckley’s son, Thomas, became the governor of Plymouth Colony before it united with Massachusetts.

“Despite political differences, they do have similarities,” Tyler said. “We are all tied together; we are all part of America.”

OK, I’ll admit it. That’s a very nice sentiment at the end. They got me on that one.

WaPo’s trail mix has a round up of a few political goings on:

Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle announced Tuesday that she raised $14.3 million in the third quarter of the year – apparently a record amount for a Senate candidate who is not self-funding.

With three weeks to go until Election Day, Democrats have canceled all of their ad reservations in at least six districts where their odds of winning appear to be shrinking.

Christine O’Donnell turned heads with her “I’m not a witch” ad. But that attention hasn’t translated into votes for Delaware’s Republican Senate nominee: A new Monmouth University poll shows her Democratic opponent, New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, leading 57 percent to 38 percent among likely voters in the race for Vice President Biden’s former Senate seat.

As recently as several months ago, Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) thought he’d have no trouble winning a fourth term. But recent polls have shown the incumbent facing a surprisingly tough challenge from millionaire businessman Ron Johnson (R). The latest survey, conducted by Reuters/Ipsos, shows Johnson now leading among likely voters 51 percent to 44 percent.

Nice run down of a few items. Looks like O’Donnell is going nowhere fast. Good. And sadly Feingold isn’t either. Not good. But neither are surprising.

Now for some more fun news. First, because some folks seem to have an irrational obsession with the Palins, even young Palins, Bristol managed to survive another week on DWTS. Turns out “The Situation” wasn’t so lucky.

And in sports news, the Giants and the Phillies will be playing in the National League Championship Series. It looks to be a great pitcher matchup:

In the year of the pitcher, what else should dominate the National League Championship Series, which begins in Philadelphia on Saturday?

Much of the national chatter has the Phillies with an edge because of their experience, as it should be. They have won the last two NL pennants. Also, in sweeping Cincinnati in their Division Series, Philadelphia’s Big Three starters choked off a Reds lineup that produced the league’s best offensive numbers during the regular season.

However, anyone who predicts another Philly massacre in the NLCS must consider how well the postseason novices on the Giants’ staff pitched against the Braves.

The Giants’ modus operandi in the best-of-seven series will not be a state secret: They must keep the games low-scoring and hope to get one or two good pitches to hit, a mistake here or there, and convert them into the decisive runs.

Hopefully it will be a good one. And of course hopefully the Giants will win. Your mileage may vary of course.

And finally, the Nobel prize for physics went to some scientists that came up with Graphene:

Two Russian-born scientists, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, won the 2010 Nobel Physics Prize Tuesday for pioneering work on graphene, touted as the wonder material of the 21st century.

Both laureates began their careers as physicists in Russia but now work at the University of Manchester in Britain. Geim holds Dutch nationality and Novoselov is both a British and Russian national.

The Swedish Academy of Sciences hailed graphene — “the perfect atomic lattice” — for its glittering potential in computers, home gadgets and transport.

It lauded Geim, 51, and Novoselov, 36, for having “shown that carbon in such a flat form has exceptional properties that originate from the remarkable world of quantum physics.”

The prize honors a breakthrough that paved the way to graphene, a form of carbon touted as the next-generation super-material.

Just one atom thick, it is the world’s thinnest and strongest nano-material, almost transparent and able to conduct electricity and heat.

As a result, graphene is described as the candidate material to replace silicon semi-conductors.

It’s a big thing. A really big thing. Though small. It’s nice to know, amongst all the corrupt politics and mega corporate control, some cool things keep going on, and progress can still happen.

That’s a bit of what’s happening. Chime in with what you’re reading.

59 Responses

  1. Great round-up, DT!

  2. From Brown – first attack Clinton, then women. How so very consistent of him! Must be a creative!
    Adding my tabloids – the good the bad and the funny

  3. Clown news:

    America’s nastiest rappers in shocking revelation – they’ve been evangelical Christians all along

  4. Yes, let’s withdraw support from a solid Democrat candidate because his staffer used an unfortunate word during a conversation that was supposedly private. That’s the way to fix things in CA. And if the female Republican candidate sells out her principles to a union, it doesn’t matter because her opponent briefly discussed using a bad word to call her on it. And lets pretend that figurative language is literal and that women everywhere are hurt by a slur that is well-earned by Whitman, who is in every sense compromising her integrity during this election. And the next time someone calls a public figure a “media whore” lets see some of that same outrage about the dignity of women everywhere.

    • women everywhere are hurt by a slur

      True dat!

    • Let’s go fly a kite

    • Oh, Whitman would be a terrible governor. And I think Brown could be pretty good. I like Brown, normally. But I don’t like how he’s handling this. Of course it was a staffer. But he shows his character by how he deals with it. Not good. Reminds me of a lot of “new Dem” behavior recently. And if he think’s it’s no big deal and not worth the effort to confront bigotry because this is acceptable bigotry by the new Dem party, then count me out.

    • Ms. Whitman is the first, yes, first, woman who might become Govenor of the largest state in the US. It was Brown’s response to his campaign being caught using a sexist slur in last night’s debate that has prompted me to vote for Whitman. That he chose to use the offensive word again in his rebuttal is unacceptable. Jerry Brown does not get it. His half-hearted appolgy was shown to be hypocritical. Throughout the debate, Brown referred to Whitman as “she” not using the more respectful terms of “my opponent” or “Ms. Whitman.”

    • Solid shit……….the man knows better, the man holds the office of Att. General, he picked his poison and allowed his staff to misuse a word that prepetuate sexism in our society.

      I’m not flattered by the solid dick.

  5. Paladino would be bad for New York but he would provide lots of entertainment for the other 56 states.

  6. The Hill

    A Democratic candidate for Congress accused the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) of pulling its support for his campaign because he said he wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as House Speaker.

    State Sen. Roy Herron (D), who’s running for the opening seat held by retiring Rep. John Tanner (D) in Tennessee’s 8th congressional district, suggested the DCCC’s decision to cancel ad buys in the race was tied to his refusal to back Pelosi.

    “This morning The Jackson Sun reported for the first time what I’ve repeatedly told citizens: I will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker,” Herron said in a statement. “If the DCCC pulling ads is the price of independence and following my conscience, so be it. That’s the kind of congressman I’ll be.”

    I suspect Nasty Nancy’s days as Speaker are numbered anyway.

  7. Hello, friends! I thought I’d share this nice news about The Woman Who Should Have Been the 44th President, who’s on the last leg of her Balkans trip: “SOS Hillary Clinton in Kosovo” http://secretaryclinton.wordpress.com/ (with news link and pics)

  8. Jerry Brown On Whore Recording Not Even Sure It’s Legal ( Whitman saying it is OK for her party to use it, which brings ‘ahhhs’ from the audience… 😦 Too bad this clip wasn’t around so people could have seen the THIRD candidate…and why aren’t they ‘ALLOWED’ in if they are on the ballot?) .flv

    • Jerry Brown doesn’t know with ‘WHOM’ he is speaking? Whitman thinks it is OK for Wilson GOP Chairman to call unions ‘WHORES’ 😯 ….WOW…!

      Jerry Brown lost my support for other matters, which I won’t point out, because folks will say I helped Whitman (lady it is NEVER OK to use WOMEN as trajectories by using a demeaning word like WHORE!).

      Jerry Brown: Mayor of Oakland (1999–200)

      Woman Set On Fire In Oakland In Critical Condition
      Posted: 7:22 am PDT September 1, 2006Updated: 9:20 pm PDT September 1, 2006
      OAKLAND — Oakland firefighters who responded to reports of a blaze near 44th Street and Shafter Avenue at around 5 a.m. Friday morning spotted what they thought was a burning pile of debris. To their horror, they realized it was a woman who had been badly beaten and set afire.

      The woman initially was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland and later was airlifted to the burn unit at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, according to fire Capt. Melinda Drayton.

      Drayton said the woman was semi-conscious when firefighters found her, and that her vital signs were stable.

      Oakland police spokesman Roland Holmgren said Friday afternoon the woman was in critical condition at UC Davis.

      Holmgren said police believe the woman was physically assaulted and then tied to a fixed object before being set on fire.

      AG Jerry Brown

      April Grolle, Lauren Chief Elk and Lauren Breayans never expected to be called heroes. But they never expected to be called names either.

      The three, all soccer players on the highly regarded De Anza College women’s soccer team, were thrust into the national spotlight when they rushed in and rescued a 17-year-old girl who was, they say, being sexually assaulted at a March 3 party in San Jose. They say the victim was so intoxicated she appeared to be comatose, and that eight or more men stood around watching one of them sexually assault her.

      The three broke in, grabbed the girl and carried her out. They took her to the hospital, notified authorities and volunteered to testify in any court proceedings. What more could you ask?

      To keep their mouths shut. To butt out. To mind their own business.

      That’s the message the soccer players got from the men accused in the case.

      “People I didn’t even know were coming up to me and saying, ‘Stop your lying. Shut your f — mouth,’ ” Chief Elk said in an interview last week. “We’d be walking around, and people would actually come up and get in our face.”

      It reached the point where they felt threatened. Cmdr. John Hirokawa of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department confirms that deputies were called to the campus on a complaint of harassment.

      The seventeen-year old was lying on the ground, with one man having intercourse with her and several others sitting around in the same room. Doing what? Watching? Waiting their turn? She had vomit in her mouth.

      Lauren Chief Elk and April Grolle are 20-year old De Anza College students and teammates on the school’s soccer squad. They were leaving a party at a house when they realized something wrong was going on in a back room where the doors were closed and the lights were off.
      “We heard and saw a girl tapping on this door in the kitchen saying ‘There is a girl in there with eight guys,” explains Chief Elk.
      They say they tried to get into the room, but were confronted by a baseball player.
      “[He said] ‘Mind your own business; she wants to be in here’ and slams the door,” says Grolle.
      What they saw through a crack in the door horrified them.
      “When I looked in, I saw about ten pairs of legs surrounding a girl, lying on the mattress on the floor and a guy on top of her with his pants down and his hips thrusting on top of her,” recall Chief Elk. “And when I saw that I knew immediately something wasn’t right. It just didn’t look right.”
      “I saw that this young girl did not want to be in there, and that’s when we just went ‘We’re getting this girl out of there,'” says Grolle.
      April and Lauren — along with a third soccer player named Lauren Breayans — broke down the door and were shocked with what they found.
      “This poor girl was not moving. She had vomit dribbling down her face. We had to scoop vomit out of her mouth [and] lift her up. Her pants were completely off her body,” says Chief Elk. “She had her one shoe one, her jeans were wrapped around one of her ankles and her underwear was left around her ankles. To the left of the bed there was some condom thrown on the ground.”
      “When they lifted her head up, her eyes moved and she said ‘I’m sorry,'” says Grolle. “One of the guys who was in the room said ‘This is her fault. She got drunk and she did this to herself.'”
      Lauren Chief Elk didn’t believe him: “You have to be conscious to consent to something, and that was not the case at all.”

      But the vomit wasn’t hers. The vomit in her mouth. It was not hers. This turns out to be very important among the justifications DA Dolores Carr gave for not prosecuting anyone for sexual assault:

      Is it sexual assault when a victim is too intoxicated to consent to sex? Yes, but we must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was so impaired that she could not understand what she was doing. We must also prove that the defendant should have known that she was incapable of consenting. This can be very difficult when the defendant and witnesses offer competing versions of the victim’s condition.
      This case fits that mold. Many of the witnesses had been drinking, some heavily, and their stories were not always consistent. But most important, the victim told investigators that she did not remember anything that happened from shortly after the time she arrived at the party. The victim would be unable to counter claims that she had consented. The trial would be fought over differing versions of the victim’s sobriety and behavior, with several witnesses and potential defendants motivated to paint her in an unfavorable light.
      The result would be such a confusing and conflicting account of what happened that we would be unable to convince 12 jurors to convict. For example, the media reported that the victim vomited. But lab tests showed that the vomit did not come from her. The defense would challenge any account which depended upon the vomit to prove that the victim was too intoxicated to consent.

      So let me get this right. According to California law having sex with someone who is too intoxicated to consent is a sexual assault

      Jim Hammer (my hero) has stated that AG Jerry Brown’s decision NOT to interview THREE WITNESSES in the case was not right. I hope Jim Hammer runs for AG as California needs Justice and Leadership.

      Rosen Joins Former De Anza Students to Press for Reopening Rape Case
      Posted by Jessica Lussenhop on Tuesday, June 01, 2010

      “I’m here with Jeff Rosen and these incredible women to say, it’s not too late,” said Chief Elk. “We demand the evidence be tested and also to say it’s not too late for some kind of justice.”

      Go Lauren Chief Elk GO! Sing the Truth and continue to SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER. You are true to your name.

      • I guess I did…I did point them out. I was speaking last night to a crisis rape counselor and about how hard the work is and how she is on-call to debrief the counselors that go out on-site to assist when called by police and we both nodded (acknowledging how truly horrific these cases are).

        It is so hard for rape victims to come forward and since this particular case, I fear many have chosen not to say anything, since apparently THREE WITNESSES aren’t enough and the EVIDENCE isn’t tested. I do have hope with Advocates like Jim Hammer that things will get better and with the defeat of DA Dolores Carr which sent a strong message that WOMEN DO VOTE!

  9. Terrific round up as always DT !!

    How unfortunate the Phillies/ Giants match up puts me on a collision course with my Californian Conflucians….ah well such is life.

    But not to worry, he’s bringing out Obama to take care of that. Sigh.

    Well that puts the cherry on the top. … I thought Bill was coming to CA? Or was he there already?

  10. Via Alegre’s Corner:

    On Day One of Rahm Emanuel’s weekend transformation from power-behind-the-throne at the White House to glad-handing big-city pol, there were awkward handshakes, unplanned stops that surprised even his handlers and two sets of protesters, including one that blocked his car.

    And if you were looking for symbolism, there was the moment when Emanuel finished shaking hands with commuters at a Chicago Transit Authority station and shoppers at a supermarket and climbed back into his black Dodge Caravan, in which he could be seen vigorously washing his hands — in clear view of television cameras and reporters.

    Stay classy, Rahm.

    • I’d have a difficult time shaking hands too. I don’t like the practice. I think washing the hands afterward is understandable, acceptable and desirable.

  11. CNN never stops outdoing themselves. they’ve been playing the favorite songs of the miners. Like the miners are watching CNN right now.

  12. Hot Air:

    Similarly, first lady Michelle Obama makes her 2010 campaign debut today, headlining three Democratic fund-raisers. She kicks off with an appearance for Mr. 42%, Sen. Russ Feingold (who decided not to appear with the president for a recent rally in Madison) in Milwaukee, before heading south in support of endangered House and Senate candidates in her home state of Illinois. The rest of her tour includes places she should not have to be, like California and Washington state. The NYT reports the first lady will pursue “a limited campaign schedule that is focused on giving a boost to selected Democrats,” which is a far cry from two months ago, when Dems hoped she would be their “secret weapon.” Perhaps the White House realized, as Stuart Rothenberg did even then, that sending Laura Bush around on 70 campaign stops was a nonfactor in 2006.

    What do they expect after giving MO a Stepford makeover?

  13. Hell, if you go back far enough we’re all related.

  14. true–brought down by the GOP mother ship.

  15. Great post–thanks for the links. Donna B. has been brought up from down below–hope she likes that new coalition.

  16. Candidate in California governor’s race arrested
    CNN’s Samuel Gardner

    (CNN) – A Green Party candidate in the California’s governor’s race was arrested Tuesday after trying to get into a debate she was not allowed to participate in.

    Laura Wells, 62, from Oakland tried to enter a debate between leading candidates in the race: Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman and Democratic opponent Jerry Brown, police said.

    Ross Perot was let in…OH, but he was a MAN… 😦

    California is not letting the VOTERS SEE ALL THE CANDIDATES!

    • <strong.Pete Wilson who Hortonized 'Latinos' is Meg Whitman's campaing manager?????? AHHHH! Boy the Dems have lost their game. They just have to run an Ad with Meg Whitman’s campaign manager and her and Meg and PETE WILSON will loose the Latino VOTE. Did the Dems fall asleep in California or is their man Jerry Brown not exciting them!?!

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