Friday, June 22, 2012

Cheap shots and chasers 6/22

Look out, Tom! It's another one! From the Portland Mercury.

Eat your heart out, Friedman—those benighted North Africans who will never amount to anything because of their uncreative classrooms and rote learning, unlike the Singaporeans and South Koreans with their uncreative classrooms and rote learning, are going to save the world from global warming.

The Tunisian company Saphon Energy is selling a new approach to wind power using an ancient technology, with a four-foot circular sail on the top of a pole where it captures the kinetic energy of the wind that sways it back and forth. It's noiseless, and harmless to birds. Read the whole story at TPM and check out the company's website.

Now that retired pitcher Roger Clemens has been found not guilty of lying to Congress about his alleged use of steroids and HGH in his second trial (the first trial fell apart when prosecutors showed the jury inadmissible evidence), I wanted to take another look at this map, unearthed by bmaz at emptywheel a little while back, illustrating the bases covered in the FBI/Department of Justice investigation of Clemens in the four years they worked on the case, giving you a powerful sense of what an enormous elephant they constructed to pick up this little pea. "Any more questions," bmaz asked plaintively at the time, "why DOJ cannot get around to prosecuting banksters?" And that was when it still seemed likely they might get a conviction!

Still and all, it goes to show you: The arcs of the Department of Justice bend toward the moral universe, but they're too damn long.

What a difference a day makes! Before the elections, Antonis Samaras of Greece's New Democracy Party was such a Gloomy Gus, and now?
“Samaras today is completely different than what he was two weeks ago,” [hard-right politician George] Kirtsos said. “Two weeks ago, he was very negative about cooperating with Pasok.”
You have to read the Times story pretty carefully to find out why, but it's there all the same:
Critics say that Mr. Samaras destabilized Greece with his insistence on calling elections to replace the government led by Lucas Papademos, the technocratic prime minister whose mandate was to sign Greece’s second loan agreement.
“He just wanted to be prime minister,” said Thanos Veremis, a political historian who said he voted for New Democracy as a last resort. “It was pure ambition, pure and simple. Even in this state of collapse, he wanted to be Nero, playing his harp.”
Yes: after the May elections nobody wanted to ask Samaras to be prime minister and he had a great big sad. So they had to have another election—that's €47.9 million, cheaper than the €70.4 million they spent in May, but still a good bit for a bankrupt treasury to shell out. But hey, Antonis feels better now, so it's worth it, right? Thugs.

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