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Wednesday Round-Up!

So Scott Brown was in my dream last night. Suffice to say it was a nightmare (and I can assure you he’s a sleezeball).

 

So, what’s going on this big, bad world? Too much. Via the Awl, Bradley Manning’s treatment just keeps getting worse:

According to the blog of Manning’s defense attorney, David E. Coombs, Manning had the temerity to ask the brig officer exactly what it is that he needs to do in order to have the restrictions on his imprisonment loosened a bit. Keep in mind that brig forensic psychiatrists have repeatedly stated that there is no mental health justification for keeping Manning confined on POI watch. Even so, Manning was informed that there was nothing he could do to have the restrictions removed, because brig officials considered him at risk of self-harm.

 

In what shows that nothing is wholly good or evil, Somali pirates are running into a space crisis which has led to easier, cheaper ransoms.

Security agencies report that pirate groups are more willing to negotiate the release of captured vessels lately — in large part, experts believe, because their ports at Haradheere, Eyl and Hobyo are choked up with ships.

 

I’m finding the actions of the Ohio legislature to be just downright strange.

 

ThinkProgress also calls out the President to task the newly formed CFTC with investigating gasoline price speculation. It won’t happen, but it’s at least good to see that we’re asking the right questions. Supply and demand have seemed to take a back-seat to desired price in our economy.

The proximate cause for this spike is unrest in the Middle East. On January 28, in the midst of unrest in Egypt, oil prices closed $4 to $5 higher than normal, but stabilized when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned in February. The current turmoil in Libya seems to have created even more chaos in the oil markets. But one question remains unanswered — to what extent are commodity traders influencing these high gas prices? As Chris Hayes notes in The Nation, the last time gas prices spiked, in the summer of 2008, many experts concluded that Wall Street speculators, not supply and demand, created the high prices.

 

And turning to the old faithful Daily Kos, we can find a somewhat sketchy but bravado-laden plan from Harry Reid to force a vote on the Republicans’ spending bill. Dangerous. Jed Lewison seems to think it’s “a good move”. I’m a touch split.

This is a good move. Even though neither bill will pass, it’s important getting these guys on record, with votes they can’t deny. To do otherwise is to essentially give them a free pass, letting them advocate policies that they know they’ll never have to defend when the campaign rolls around.

 

And because cats are, in fact, the closest thing to Darleks that we have on this earth:

Via TheAwl.

 

Cheers to midweek! Almost there…

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