Midday Open Thread
- Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey at the Campaign for America’s Future had a dialog on how progressives can learn from the frustrations of 2009. [Video here.] The main points:
- Change is brutal, and will always be resisted by powerful entrenched forces. …
- No matter how popular a reform idea is, like the public option, it still faces the buzzsaw of the United States Senate.
- Progressives cannot wash their hands of the political process. We have to organize more, independent of the political parties.
- This is still the best opportunity in 30 years for progressive reform.
- All Together Now: Shut Up You Lefties!
- Kevin Drum answers the question of How Big Finance Bought Uncle Sam:
Now if the aerospace lobby had told us after the 1986 Challenger disaster that the key to better performance was to turbocharge the engines and quit performing preflight inspections, everyone would have agreed that they were crazy. Yet that’s essentially what the finance lobby has done over the past decade, and in some weird way we were too mesmerized to recognize it. Within months of a near catastrophe caused by one of the industry’s brightest stars, the lobbyists were busily making certain that it would happen again—and that when it did happen, it would be bigger and more disastrous than ever.
- The Best and Worst Jobs for 2010, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah E. Needleman.
- I’ve often thought that maybe, just maybe, if someone made a movie about the effects of nuclear weapons, Kids These Days™ might take an interest in nuclear abolition. So I’m pleased that
DavidJames Cameron is considering just that for potential post-Avatar plans:
… on Dec. 22, the Oscar winner visited Tsutomu Yamaguchi, an ailing 93-year-old man who survived the U.S. bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. … The director told a Japanese paper he’s not certain he’ll make a nukes-themed film — but if he did, it would be “uncompromising.”
– Plutonium Page
- Frank Munger of the Knoxville News Sentinel has been following the transformation of the US nuclear weapons complex from strictly defense to more diverse functions. Today, he has an article about how Y-12 workers have developed a more effective way to detect tiny amounts of bomb-grade uranium:
Engineers have come up with a way to make a small amount of U-235 appear much larger. At least it appears that way to radiation detectors, and that could be critically important.
According to officials at Y-12, the project could change the way monitors are tested at border crossings and airports and make sure the detection systems work properly. This, in turn, could enhance global efforts to stop the smuggling of nuclear materials with bomb-making potential.
– Plutonium Page
- In a Charlie Rose BusinessWeek interview with Paul Volcker, The Lion Lets Loose.
- Chase Davis at California Watch says Politicians rely on county parties to funnel contributions, avoid campaign limits.
- Gee Oh Pee Chairman Michael Steele steps back into the 19th Century to punctuate his bullshit:
Our platform is one of the best political documents that’s been written in the last 25 years. Honest Injun on that.
- Roger Schuler at Legal Schnauzer (and here) writes that Alabama’s Economy is Imploding Under Governor Bob Riley.
- Ezili Danto looks at Avatar from a Black perspective.
- Nathan Hodge of Wired magazine’s Danger Room slams David Ignatius:
What government agency doesn’t need a good public affairs officer? It’s a rough world out there, with lots of critics. You never know when someone might try to cut your budget or demand a Congressional investigation.
So much the better if your PAO has a twice-weekly column at the Washington Post, and does the flacking for free. I’m speaking here of David Ignatius, Post columnist and author of spy novels. Let’s examine, shall we?
Read the whole thing. – Plutonium Page