Friday Reads: Life’s a Beach

beachcd36Good Morning!

It’s Friday and some how everything old is new again

Republicans continue to search for a president as impeachable as Nixon.  I wrote about this last night, but wtf don’t they get about high crimes and misdemeanors? It seems to be another Clintonian search for votes during an election that’s not about the President.

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn said Wednesday that President Barack Obama was getting “getting perilously close” to the constitutional standard for impeachment. Coburn was speaking at the Muskogee Civic Center in Oklahoma.

“What you have to do is you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president, and that’s called impeachment,” Coburn said, responding to a question about holding President Obama accountable. “That’s not something you take lightly, and you have to use a historical precedent of what that means. I think there’s some intended violation of the law in this administration, but I also think there’s a ton of incompetence, of people who are making decisions.”

“Even if there is incompetence, the IRS forces me to abide by the law,” a constituent responded to Coburn.

“No, I agree,” Coburn said. “My little wiggle out of that when I get that written to me is I believe that needs to be evaluated and determined, but thank goodness it doesn’t have to happen in the Senate until they’ve brought charges in the House. Those are serious things, but we’re in a serious time. I don’t have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdemeanor, but I think they’re getting perilously close.”

Coburn then mentioned a story of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees telling him that officials at Homeland Security said to “ignore all the background” and just “approve people.”

“I’m documenting all this stuff as it goes along, but I don’t know where that level is,” Coburn added.

“Barack Obama is personal friend of mine. He became my friend in the Senate but that does not mean I agree in any way with what he’s doing or how he’s doing it. And I quite frankly think he’s in a difficult position he’s put himself in, and if it continues, I think we’re going to have another constitutional crisis in our country in terms of the presidency,” Coburn concluded.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Here’s the President’s plan to make college more affordable.  Will it work and who will vote for it?

By the 2015 school year, Obama said, his administration will begin evaluating colleges on measures such as the average tuition they charge, the share of low-income students they enroll and their effectiveness in ensuring students graduate without too much debt.

The president also will seek congressional approval — which could prove difficult — to steer more federal student aid toward colleges that score highly in the ratings. A student in financial need at such schools might qualify for a larger Pell grant or a better interest rate on a federal loan.

The result, officials hope, will be relief for families from college bills that are in many cases three times as high as they were 30 years ago even after adjusting for inflation. Average tuition and fees topped $8,600 last year at public four-year colleges and $29,000 at private and nonprofit schools. The total annual bill, counting room and board, exceeds $50,000 at many elite schools.

“Higher education should not be a luxury. It is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford,” Obama told students packed into a basketball arena at the University at Buffalo.

Obama’s plan relies in part on his executive power to collect, manage and publish data. But it is likely to draw significant criticism from colleges intent on protecting their market share, and a divided Congress will present an immediate obstacle to elements of the plan that require legislation.

Obama said that in a global, knowledge-based economy, a quality college education is more important than ever. He pitched the ratings system as a consumer guide for prospective students and parents, evaluating which schools offer “the bigger bang for the buck.” His idea is that accountability will yield affordability.

“Colleges that keep their tuition down and are providing high-quality education are the ones that are going to see their taxpayer money going up,” Obama said.

So, I used to read Maureen Dowd because you know, occasionally a stopped clock is right like two times a day,  Here’s an analysis on her that’s spot on.


New York Times star columnist Maureen Dowd just isn’t one to let the facts get in the way of a good story—or an accurate quote for that matter. Her most recent misdeed, for which she has apologized (most likely in the face of tape recorded evidence against her) is misquoting Progressive Mayoral Candidate Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray. A little background: de Blasio, the only candidate in the race who is talking about inequality (more severe in New York than just about anywhere else in the country) has lately overtaken longtime frontrunner Christine Quinn in the polls. (Anthony Weiner briefly led before self-imploding.) Quinn is an out lesbian, married to her partner, but that might be it in terms of her progressive credentials. She is seen as too cozy with big business and real estate.

But back to Dowd, who, it seems decided to stir up a little trouble. She quoted McCray, de Blasio’s wife, saying that she thinks Quinn is “not accessible … She’s not the kind of person I feel I can go up to and talk to about issues like taking care of children at a young age and paid sick leave.” Understandably, took this as implying that she, a childless lesbian doesn’t understand issues “like taking care of children,” in other words a swipe at her sexual orientation.

But McCray did not say that. Dowd compressed what she said to such an extent that it really altered the meaning. What McCray did say, responding to a question of why women may not supporting Quinn in droves is:

“Well, I am a woman, and she is not speaking to the issues I care about, and I think a lot of women feel the same way. I don’t see her speaking to the concerns of women who have to take care of children at a young age or send them to school and after school, paid sick days, workplace; she is not speaking to any of those issues. What can I say? And she’s not accessible, she’s not the kind of person that, I feel, that you can go up and talk to and have a conversation with about those things. And I suspect that other women feel the same thing I’m feeling.”

Pretty different. Although it should be said, Quinn was still mad.

Dowd’s accuracy has been shaky, and she can be pretty offensive,

WTF is it with Dowd?  Does she have to be the only woman in the room?

This is another story that I can hardly believe in this day of science and fact.  But, it seems that about 30% of the population believe that Gay people can change their sexual orientation.  Some one should ask them if they could change theirs!!!

In the wake of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s announcement that he will sign a bill banning so-called “conversion therapy” for gay teens, the Pew Research Center pointed to recent research that more than one in three Americans believe sexual orientation can be changed.

On Tuesday Pew republished the data — gathered in 2012 — in a sobering reminder of just how far this country has to go in terms of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender acceptance. The survey concluded that slightly more than half of all Americans believe an LGBT individual cannot change sexual orientation — while 36 percent believe it’s possible.

These numbers reflect a small shift toward increased tolerance from a decade ago, according to Pew, which in 2003 found that 42 percent of Americans felt being gay was changeable, while 42 percent believed it was not.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, LGBT advocacy group GLAAD’s Director of Religion, Faith & Values Ross Murray explained that New Jersey’s gay conversion ban “focuses on the harm that comes from trying to force someone’s sexual orientation.”

The widely disputed idea that sexual orientation is “curable” or changeable is bad enough, but even worse is that many people who end up in gay conversion therapies are minors, Murray told HuffPost. “[They] did not choose the program for themselves,” he said, “and may have been forced into it by a parent who was influenced by religious leaders.”

It makes me think that the Spanish Inquisition is still not that far away!


I was rather shocked to find out that fishing off of Fukishima has just been suspended!

A fisheries co-op in Soma Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, said Thursday it will end its trial catch at the end of this month, signaling an indefinite halt to all local fishing operations off the prefecture because of the constant flow of highly radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant into the Pacific.

The move by the co-op in Soma Futaba, in the northern part of the prefecture, follows a decision by a co-op in Iwaki, in the southern part, to drop plans to resume operations on a trial basis from Sept. 5.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday it noticed puddles with high radiation levels near an area where a number of radioactive water storage tanks stand at the Fukushima plant. At least one of the tanks has been leaking, and it is believed the water it contained seeped down and merged with tainted groundwater that is flowing to the sea, and ran to the Pacific in drainage channels.

Tepco later admitted that 300 tons of highly radioactive water had leaked from the tank, which should have been holding about 1,000 tons. It said Wednesday that water from the tank probably flowed to the ocean through drainage channels.

Hiroyuki Sato, head of the Soma Futaba cooperative, said, “We want the central government to take steps to pull us out of this trouble as quickly as possible.”

JJ has written about this but it is really truly shocking!! What is going on with Fukishima and why aren’t more countries involved?

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka attends a news conference in Tokyo. Following the discovery that highly contaminated water is leaking from one of the hastily built storage tanks at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan’s nuclear watchdog said officials are concerned that more steel storage tanks will spring leaks.

So, those are the stories that I’m following this morning.  What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

39 Comments on “Friday Reads: Life’s a Beach”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Glenn Greenwald is denying he gave any info to The Independent (see last night’s thread). As I thought, it must have come from the government. Independent claimed the material was leaked by Edward Snowden, which must mean that GCHQ has decrypted the files they took from David Miranda. This story is getting really wild.

  2. ANonOMouse says:

    Very good post this morning BB, thank you!.

    On this story and your observation of this story:

    “This is another story that I can hardly believe in this day of science and fact. But, it seems that about 30% of the population believe that Gay people can change their sexual orientation. Some one should ask them if they could change theirs!!!”

    My theory on this is that people who believe that “you can cure the gay” or “pray the gay away” are or have experienced same gender attraction and because they didn’t act on that attraction they are stupid enough to believe that they “cured” themselves. Their own sexuality is likely somewhere on the sexual-orientation spectrum between heterosexual and homosexual in the vicinity of bi-sexual and they believe because they can return to “straight” when/if the straight attraction comes along that we all can do the same. That’s just my non-scientific opinion. Speaking for myself, I was never physically attracted to a man, although I’ve met many men that I found handsome or cute, I felt no sexual attraction to them. No psychoanalyzing or praying away that gay!!! 🙂

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hi Mouse,

      The post is by Dakinikat. I guess a monopolized the beginning of the thread.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Sorry about that. You all are excellent!!!

      • dakinikat says:

        I am flattered to be mistake for you!!!

        • ANonOMouse says:

          All of y’all have excellent posts everyday. I usually can tell your writing styles apart, but I need to remind myself to look at the byline.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I’m just glad to see you here today. How are you feeling?

          • ANonOMouse says:

            I’m doing better BB. I was referred to a corneal specialist and so far so good. I’ve experienced some permanent vision loss in the eye, but the eye is responding to the new treatment. There is the possibility that I may need a corneal transplant, but that won’t be in the near future. The doc said it could take a while for the lesion and the irritation from the shingle to resolve. It’s been quite an experience.

            Thanks for asking BB, I appreciate it.

          • I have been thinking about you so much lately mouse, I am so glad you stopped by to update us. xoxoxo

    • RalphB says:

      Speaking for myself, I was never physically attracted to a man

      Me either and I think that’s one reason I’ve always believed people are born whatever and don’t decide to be something else. 😉

  3. dakinikat says:

    BREAKING: Nidal Hasan convicted of murder in 2009 Fort Hood shooting

  4. dakinikat says:

    Obama and Media Pushing Larry – ‘The Looter’ – Summers for the Fed and Blocking the Woman Who Should Lead
    Who will win the battle to choose the next head of the Federal Reserve?

    • dakinikat says:

      In spite of the prime-dealers seeming agreement that SepTaper is most likely; judging by the plethora of talking-heads and research pieces hitting in the last few days, the idea that a Taper was a good thing (Tepper) and in fact indicates ‘health’ appears to be on the back-burner as almost every sell-side shop is out with a discussion of just how potentially bad things are macro-economically and that a taper should be off the table. Below is BofAML’s Ethan Harris’ seven reasons to delay the taper following today’s “punch in the stomach for the economic recovery story” (and our 4 reasons why they can’t or won’t).

      Via BofAML,

      Even if housing is just leveling off, this a punch in the stomach for the economic recovery story. Housing is supposed to be at the core of the strong growth in the next couple years. And the timing of the weakness makes sense: it comes in the wake of a 100 bp rise in mortgage rates. Up to now, economists could shrug off any near-term housing weakness and stick to the strong momentum story. That confidence must be shaken.

    • Gawd, please don’t tell me that we are going to be saddled with that asshole.

  5. peej says:

    Ooh, I’m not liking the President’s plan for addressing higher education. The entire approach is off-base, and for that reason the rhetoric doesn’t match the goal.

    My umbrella concerns:

    Treating students as consumers rather than treating students as citizens. One primary function of government as proxy for We the People is to establish and maintain a public education sector Pre-K to Phd open to all citizens at all times in all places. This plan doesn’t do that. It leaves the establishment and maintenance of education within the sphere of “free market.” In so doing, it places the relationship between students and colleges within the market sphere, thereby removing the relationship between students and colleges from the pedagogical sphere.

    The insidious deception here is the standard for a quality education is ultimately measured by fallacious metrics: a college is measured not by pedagogical standards, but by the success of its alumnae and by the bounds of non-neutral and global economic conditions. Neither, for which, the educational institution can ever hope to control. In point of fact, the institution can control neither one. This is similar to the accountability fallacy inherent in NCLB and Race to the Top which measures teacher effectiveness and school effectiveness solely on student performance. On the surface it seems reasonable, but at the core, this approach abdicates all responsibility and places all burdens on those who are ostensibly served – students, be they swaddled in diapers or doctorates. The WaPo article touches on the NCLB parallel too briefly. That parallel should most properly be the primary critical lens of the President’s plan.

    The solution is consumerist. it isn’t democratic. Our education solutions need a democratic solution. Just as our financial crisis requires government action with specified goals to attain economic democracy, our education crisis Pre-K to Phd requires government action with specified goals to attain educational democracy. Investing public funds into private institutions doesn’t make sense for “lower” education and it doesn’t make sense for “higher” education either. Making college more affordable requires integration of, and investment in, the American public education system as a unified whole. In a market system, it means forcing private institutions to compete with public ones.

    Collecting, managing, and publishing data isn’t a plan. It is a rudimentary, baseline function. A plan would be federalization, and accountability would be holding states themselves responsible for the educational institutions they are supposed to be providing to the nation. A plan would be a radical rethinking of how we fund education at both levels. One way to do that might be eliminating the conceptual distinction between lower education and higher education. In so doing, aligning both into a comprehensive system under the purview of the public sector.

    For once I agree with a Washington lobby – mark this day… but the college lobby is right. No accountability system can reasonably rate performance between countless apples, oranges, apricots, kiwi, durians, and ugly fruit…as with K-12, college ratings should be derived from pedagogical standards and standards of industry expertise. It’s an insensible proposition.

  6. RalphB says:

    bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble

    Paul Krugman: This Age of Bubbles

    So, another BRIC hits the wall. Actually, I’ve never much liked the whole “BRIC” — Brazil, Russia, India, and China — concept: Russia, which is basically a petro-economy, doesn’t belong there at all, and there are large differences among the other three. Still, it’s hard to deny that India, Brazil, and a number of other countries are now experiencing similar problems. And those shared problems define the economic crisis du jour.

  7. dakinikat says:

    The photo is priceless!!

    How fortunate we are in Louisiana to have Our Beloved Supreme Leader, Jind Il-Sung, bless us with his brilliant governance! If any should doubt how beloved he is, let them read the results of his latest “internal poll,” which shows half of our state’s voters — the smarter half, no doubt — approve of the job he is doing. That is a startling turnaround from the dismal 37 percent (or lower) approval rating that “independent” polls reported just months ago.

    See, everything really is perfect in the People’s Democratic Republic of Louisiana, thanks to Our Beloved Supreme Leader.

    What’s that, you say? Our Beloved Supreme Leader’s poll was biased, skewed in his favor by under-sampling black voters and over-sampling white Republicans? Only enemies of the Republic would propagate such nonsense.

    Yes, it is true that Louisiana’s electorate is 64 percent white and 31 percent black. And it is equally true that the poll, taken by OnMessage, the political consulting group led by Our Beloved Supreme Leader’s right-hand man and home-schooled left-brainer, Timmy Teepell, had a sample that was 67 percent white and merely 22 percent black. But, as Team Jind assures us, black folks don’t vote in proportionate numbers, so why should their opinions count when measuring how beloved is Our Beloved Supreme Leader?

  8. dakinikat says:

    Hood Sweet Hood

    Technically part of the 9th Ward of New Orleans, Bywater has more recently been given its own name to suit it’s increasingly disparate identity. Lying east of tourist Mecca the French Quarter with its back to the Mississippi River (and a tall levee blocking the view), Bywater is New Orleans’ answer to Dalston or Williamsburg – or it will be in about five years’ time.

    A magnet for bohemians and fertile ground for new and interesting restaurants and bars, Bywater is on the rise but it’s not quite there yet, so for now the beautifully colourful tree-lined streets are peaceful and the people are some of the most laid back and friendly you’ll ever meet.

  9. dakinikat says:

    Just as Democrats had depended on the South to maintain their congressional control for generations, Republicans now depend on that region to maintain theirs. This has made the GOP ever more sensitive to issues that especially resonate with Southerners—abortion, gun control, low taxes and a hard line on immigration.
    In the process, the liberal wing of the Republican Party completely ceased to exist. Just as all conservative Democrats became Republicans, all liberal Republicans became Democrats. Thus for the first time in American history, our two major parties are ideologically uniform—all the conservatives are in one party and all the liberals are in the other.
    Since the GOP is now vitally dependent on maintaining its position in the South, I believe that the South now controls the Republican Party to a much greater extent than it controls the South. This makes it very hard for a Republican presidential nominee to reach out for moderate and swing voters in the North and West.
    In effect, the price Republicans pay for holding Congress, by way of the South, is that its presidential nominees become unelectable. Republicans don’t yet believe this, but when they lose again in 2016, at least some will be forced to accept it.