Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oil Lobbyists Say The Darnedest Things

Quote of the day, from an unidentified Chevron lobbyist to a Newsweek reporter:
"The ultimate issue here is Ecuador has mistreated a U.S. company. We can't let little countries screw around with big companies like this—companies that have made big investments around the world."
I mean, wow, god forbid a U.S. corporation could be held accountable by a sovereign nation for screwing over Ecuadorians and poisoning their environment. What has the world come to? Thank god we have lobbyists around to pressure the Bush administration to revoke their trade status in retaliation.

(For more info see, and Chevron's rebuttal here.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quinn Around the World

We just got back from several weeks of travel (Las Vegas, Fresno, San Francisco, and then New York City) so I thought I would post some pics. It's been a big several weeks for Quinn - she's gone mobile in more ways than one. Apart from seeing the world, Quinn has started crawling with a vengeance, and loves pulling herself up on anything within reach to see what trouble she can get herself into. Also, she's sprouted teeth. Very exciting on the parenting front!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Quote of the Day:

"The Germans must have a word for the heartbreak you experience when you see that some of your favorite music is on sale at Starbucks." --Spencer Ackerman

(Jackie, is it true?) Thankfully I haven't seen Fugazi on sale there yet.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Annals of Dumb, Vol. 6,772

The ACLU credibly estimates that the terrorist watch list (i.e. the "no-fly list") now has over one million names and is growing at an estimated 20,000 names per month.

Apart from the huge problem of the complete lack of due process in getting on or off this list, does anyone really think such an enormous list has any serious purpose? A bad database is worse than no database at all if you're actually trying to catch real terrorists. You just can't convince me that each of these names are backed up by solid information. More likely, it's a handful of useful info smothered in a big steaming pile of hunches, aliases, handles, common names and other stale spreadsheet bilge.

This list is just the names -- you'd have to multiply by the number of likely false positives to get the total number of people affected by this. And remember, these are the same geniuses who are reading data-mining your emails and phone conversations.

(h/t Kevin Drum.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Earth From Above

The shoreline of Lake Mead. (While on our trip to Vegas, we took a brief plane ride over the Grand Canyon -- amazing! -- and snapped this photo.) The region is currently in a drought and the lake is way way down and so this stretch of shoreline is usually underwater. Which is partly why it looks so bleached, although, honestly, the area around the lake is pretty stark to begin with.

(fyi Earth From Above is also the name of a fairly amazing series of photos by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Vegas (with) Baby!

We're off to Las Vegas and points beyond tomorrow night for weddings and vacation, so no bloggy for a while. But for now I'll leave you with John Stewart and yet more shenanigans at the EPA.