Sep 072013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 85, and enjoying the cool weather, while it lasts.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:17 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy (Hat-Tip to Pat A from Care2): When you’ve got giant energy companies this scared, you must be doing something right. At 3:38, I snorted. Just sayin’. And at 4:43, he explains brilliantly what’s in it for you.

 

Kudos to the people of Boulder, CO, and down with the Koch sucking polluters!

From CREW: On August 23, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge John Bates handed CREW a major victory in CREW v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice (D.D.C.), in which CREW sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) for documents related to the now-closed investigation of former Senator John Ensign (R-NV).  Sen. Ensign had publicly acknowledged he was the subject of a criminal investigation for efforts to cover up his affair with a former campaign staffer then married to his chief of staff.  A special counsel hired by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics had issued a report finding the senator’s conduct appeared to violate numerous federal laws, and there was widespread media coverage of the scandal.

The ethics committee referred the case to DOJ for a further investigation, but the department declined to prosecute Sen. Ensign, instead prosecuting only the former chief of staff, Doug Hampton.  DOJ refused to provide any records, claiming Sen. Ensign’s privacy interests trumped the public’s right to know.  Ludicrously, DOJ claimed Sen. Ensign’s privacy interests were so great the agency needed to protect even the mere fact of the investigation, notwithstanding Sen. Ensign’s public comments about the criminal case and the significant media coverage.

Accepting CREW’s arguments, Judge Bates found Sen. Ensign’s privacy interests were outweighed by the substantial public interest in records that would shed light on the DOJ investigation and the decision not to bring charges against the senator.  As the court explained, “CREW wants records showing what efforts DOJ took to investigate serious allegations of criminal conduct backed by ‘substantial credible evidence.’”  Given Sen. Ensign’s status as “a high ranking and high profile elected official who resigned following accusations of significant public corruption,” the court concluded the substantial public interest outweighs Sen. Ensign’s privacy interests.

Kudos to CREW. Ensign was one of the pseudo-Christian C-Street Republicans who helped their Ugandan counterparts draft the law condemning gays to death.

From NY Times: In July, when news broke that President Obama might nominate Lawrence Summers to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, several Democratic senators wrote a letter to the president in praise of Janet Yellen, the current Fed vice chairwoman who many presumed would be the nominee. The letter didn’t mention Mr. Summers; rather, it recounted Ms. Yellen’s formidable qualifications and urged the president to nominate her. Perhaps it was too subtle.

Mr. Obama is expected to announce his nominee soon, and, by all accounts, Mr. Summers is still a contender. It is time for senators of both parties who appreciate the importance of this nomination to tell the president that Mr. Summers would be the wrong choice.

America would have been far better off for Obama to have kept the progressive economic team that advised him through the 2008 campaign and helped him win the White House, instead of adopting Hillary’s advisors, including Larry ‘Wrong Way’ Summers, one of the infamous Three Blind Mice. Tell him not to make that mistake again!

Cartoon:

7Cartoon

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  18 Responses to “Open Thread–9/7/2013”

  1. 3:25 St. Francis of Assissi must have helped me with this one.

  2. Hooray for the people of Boulder Colorado and their fight for renewable energy sourced by themselves!  Xcel will try everything to stop them in case their example leads to others declaring energy independence, and the polluting power companies' billions in profits start to vanish! 

    Re CREW – how is it that the adulterous Senator Ensign and the adulterous wife were protected – yet the cheated on husband was prosecuted?  ???  Thanks for the info about Senator Ensign helping Uganda draft the law to kill gays – what a vile apology for a man!

    Very scary cartoon, TC!!

     

  3. I rarely report my score on the puzzles, but today, just a few seconds over Average compared to my usual 2 minutes+ over. Returned from my vacation a couple of days ago and ready to hit the articles again.  Missed you all. When a person is retired, I guess you would not call it a vacation, rather a trip to Boston, Maine and Mass. Just beautiful.

  4. Puzzle — 3:45  St Francis was too busy helping you to help a 'heretic' protestant like myself, a liberal protestant to boot!

    Upworthy — Outstanding!  Never underestimate Davey!  It only took Davey's one well placed stone to bring down Goliath.

    Crew — Kudos to U.S. District Court Judge John Bates for doing the right thing.  Like Pat, I was aghast that the cuckold chief of staff was prosecuted while the senator and the wife of the staffer were not.  That certainly does not make sense.  

    "Given Sen. Ensign’s status as “a high ranking and high profile elected official who resigned following accusations of significant public corruption,” the court concluded the substantial public interest outweighs Sen. Ensign’s privacy interests.""

    Certainly there was no such concern about the chief of staff's privacy.  He was offered up as shark bait!

     

    NY Times — I think the US needs a permanent Summers vacation.  I have signed several petitions decrying Summers and supporting Janet Yellen.  What hold, 5 years into his presidency, does Clinton have over Obama that he still clings to her baggage?  After all, she is no longer part of the cabinet etc.

     

    Cartoon — So McCain sees foreign relations and governing the country as a poker game!  He is vile and despicable.  I'd be surprised if he is not primaried or outright defeated the next go around which I think is 2014, n'est-ce pas!

  5. I wonder if this Xcel is the same as the EXcel that owns coal companies in this area.  A judge in Louisville recently awarded permits to a mine after they had been denied because the Corps of Engineers is not required to consider the health of the people surrounding the mining area in making a decision.  They only have to look at the streams nearby.  Yeah, he isn't on any body's payroll!  I wish the people everywhere would take the lead of those in Boulder.  Unfortunately, coal mining is the only goodpaying industry here.  Thye have no benefits, but they do get a good paycheck when they are working.

    I am glad Crew won.  Surprised, too.

    Mr. Obama certainly is not the idealist he portrayed himself as being when he ran for office.  I am majorly disappointed in him.  I am sure he will give Summers the nod

    Poor McCain, he should resign.

  6. Sometime in the not too distant past, I commented on Harper fudging carbon emissions totals for 2011 by not including the tar sands in the reports.  Perhaps you remember that.  I really do intensely dislike the Rt disHonourable Stepher Harper.  Well on the news tonight as I was returning from mother's, I heard that Harper contacted Obama so I checked out Huff Post.  Here's the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/07/harper-keystone_n_3886065.html

    Environmentalists are characterizing any offer from Canada's Conservative government as an act of desperation to save a pipeline that Harper once called a "no-brainer."

    A statement from 350.org, a group of international climate-change activists, described the reported overture as "a last-ditch bait-and-switch by the Canadian government."

    And the Sierra Club of Canada and Greenpeace Canada both said any Canadian promises on climate change ring hollow after years of government inaction.

    Read the rest.  You can't trust the bastard.  2015 isn't coming fast enough.

     

    Further on Syria — Canada previously said it did not support military action in Syria.  Now Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has come out saying Canada does support military intervention.

     http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/07/john-baird-canada-syria-intervention_n_3886971.html

    I wonder if this is being used to "buy" a favourable decision on the Keystone XL?  Hmmm . . .   I sure would not put it past Harper.

  7. How did you do? 5:39

    the court concluded the substantial public interest outweighs Sen. Ensign’s privacy interests.

    Two Thumbs up ^^…  :smile: