Guardian.UK: White House unveils plan to open Atlantic waters to offshore oil drilling.
Like our shorelines can bear more pollution. Thanks for nothing, O.
GreaterGreaterWashington: The Air and Space Museum needs a new skin.
“Beginning in the 1950s, engineers and architects tried to apply stone as thinly as possible to make buildings more cost-efficient.” Just wait until you see the results of modern ‘starchitects’ work in 40 years.
NY Times: How Much Snow Has Fallen.
The second map. If true ... *yawn* ... some Governors are going to look pretty silly.
TechDirt: Classic Songs Of The 50s & 60s May Disappear From Streaming Thanks To Lawsuits.
“it seems quite likely that at least some, if not all, of these services are going to quickly realize that their best move is to simply remove all pre-1972 recordings from their catalog.” Oh, for heaven’s sake. What am I going to do without my Gene Vincent? Johnny Cash? Bob Dylan?
Vox: This airplane is hammering ISIS. So why is the Air Force trying to kill it?
The A-10 may be slow, but it’s very maneuverable. The F-35 as a replacement is just a terrible, expensive joke. It’s like having a one-size-fits-all vehicle (tank, transport, hummer, jeep, motorcycle). Makes no sense.
The Atlantic: The Texas Miracle.
Say it, Atlantic. Fracking rendered these numbers, not any policy miracle (other than letting energy companies have free rein).
nakedcap: Announcing (Confirming) Our Focus on the CBO’s Dubious Models and Political Bias.
“Republicans plan to mandate that the CBO use something called dynamic scoring, which has the effect of making tax cuts look far more beneficial to the economy than they are, by effectively claiming that tax cuts boost growth, which then boosts tax receipts. It would effectively institutionalize the Laffer curve, which has been widely and repeatedly debunked.” The Laffer Curve’s been a laughingstock since Reagan’s first term. A tragic, maniacal laugh. As in, something like Heath Ledger’s Joker laugh.
Vox: Queen Elizabeth II once terrorized King Abdullah — by driving him around.
LOVE that story. Love.
Albuquerque Journal: Judge overturns Mora County’s drilling ordinance.
“Historically, a county cannot enact or supersede federal law.” I understand why, but it’s still a sad loss. Mora hasn’t much water underground, and the area is just gorgeous. Golden eagles nest in pines on the cliffs. I hope low oil prices kill off any potential development.
The Economist: War in Ukraine - Airport saga.
If you’ve not seen photos of the airport ruins, you should go look. I never expected to see WWII levels of destruction in my lifetime.
Social trending riff: If John Boehner is orange, and “Orange is the New Black” ...
... he’d best not visit Ferguson. He might learn something he didn’t expect to.
Mischiefs of Faction: Looking presidential - reaction to the 2015 State of the Union.
“The forty-fourth president is confronting the fact that his presidency has not only changed policy, but also changed politics, and not entirely in ways he would have chosen. He’s laying the groundwork for his legacy and his successor. And he’s made ambitious proposals that have no chance of being passed, because that’s how second terms tend to go, especially during contentious divided government.”
Guardian.UK: Benzene found in Montana water supply after Yellowstone oil spill.
“Elevated levels of benzene were found in samples taken from a water treatment plant that serves about 6,000 people in the agricultural community of Glendive, near the North Dakota border, officials said.” Leukemia is usually the result of being around benzene. Even just getting it on your skin. Nasty stuff. And yet, “Exxon Mobil is facing state and federal fines of up to $3.4m from the spill. The company has said it spent $135m on the cleanup and other work.” The main water source is likely destroyed. Price tag?
NBC: A Rising Economy Lifts Obama Going Into State of the Union Night.
“You can hardly tell from our NBC/WSJ poll that the Republican Party was the big winner from the midterm elections just two months ago. Somehow, Obama and the Democrats stole the Republicans’ post-election honeymoon. Or the Republicans somehow lost it.” Are you kidding? “Somehow”?!! They shat upon it by going ideological right out of the gate. The low turnout numbers were a limp desire to simply maintain the status quo, not a mandate to go batsh-t crazy. If there’s one thing blogging over many political seasons has shown - it’s that ‘there are no unimportant elections’.
On MLK day, there’s always subtle pressure ...
... to come up with some anecdote, some uniquely rare observation about Mr King to boost one’s own brand/credibility. I’ll just say, once again, I’m terribly sad he was assassinated, and that the world lost his voice forever. And quietly point you to a list of past and current civil rights activists, and urge you to take a listen.
AP/Bigstory: Pope’s climate-change stand deepens conservatives’ distrust.
“What they’re worried about is the solution. [snip] Climate change is the ultimate collective-action problem. It’s going to require local, state and national policy change, and it’s going to require international cooperation, which means the United Nations.”
naked cap: Money Dries Up for Oil and Gas, Layoffs Spread, Write-Offs Start.
“Their hope rests on cutting operating costs and capital expenditures, and coddling every dollar they get, while pushing production to maximize cash flow, which ironically will contribute to the oil glut and pressure prices further. They’re hoping to hang on until the next miracle arrives.” Good luck with that.
Ghost in the Machine: I’m Bona Fide.
The Economist: Energy - Seize the day.
“The plunging price of oil, coupled with advances in clean energy and conservation, offers politicians around the world the chance to rationalise energy policy. They can get rid of billions of dollars of distorting subsidies, especially for dirty fuels, whilst shifting taxes towards carbon use. A cheaper, greener and more reliable energy future could be within reach.” Unfortunately, right when we have a dirty-energy majority serving in Congress. Nice dream, Economist.
Carlsbad Current-Argus: 10 percent of Yates Petroleum Corporation laid off.
First signs of oil price effects on New Mexico frackers.
Time: How Religion Can Move Us to Do Terrible Things.
“Them.” When we stop them-ing, we’ll have a civilization worthy of the name.
WaPo: Parents investigated for neglect after letting kids walk home alone.
Good lord. This is just unacceptable. Kids need to be able to roam on their own, to learn, to become self-reliant. I walked myself to and from school in *kindergarten*. Five years old. Not even a half mile. This was my route. Down the main drag of Nassau Street. Crossed populous secondary roads, with and without crossing guards.
As a culture, we continue to see children as victims, instead of survivors. We’ve lost the thread.
AskReddit: What do insanely poor people buy, that ordinary people know nothing about?
This should be read by every politician.
The Economist: Security - Return of the hired gun.
“The author fears that the world is entering an era of ‘neomedievalism’ in which the state loses its monopoly of legal force and instead other wealthy groups or individuals fund private military adventures.” Hah. Justified. If The Economist can bandy “neomedievalism” around, then I’m allowed to as well. Screwed-up times. Previously.
SciAm: Fracking Brings Ammonium and Iodide to Local Waterways.
“The estimated volume of oil and gas industry wastewater generated in the U.S. is now more than 837 billion gallons (3.18 billion cubic meters) per year. For comparison, that’s nearly three times the volume of all the oil and gasoline that the United States consumes each year (291 billion gallons).” My emphasis. Completely idiotic, from my spot here in the drought-stricken Southwest.