Re: Big Ideas

1

Jeez, Stanley.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 5-08 11:01 PM
horizontal rule
2

My bad! I checked for new entries before writing. Really, I did.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 5-08 11:02 PM
horizontal rule
3

Ñongratulations!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 5-08 11:04 PM
horizontal rule
4

I haven't watched the video, and I'm not going to, because the freeze-frame presented by YouTube gives me the impression that the method wholly consists of grinning idiotically at the sky while holding a stick, and that's a plan I can get behind.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-08 11:40 PM
horizontal rule
5

I haven't watched the video either, but isn't this just wind power on a ridiculously inefficient scale?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 5-08 11:46 PM
horizontal rule
6

Tweety, you comin' up Friday?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 5-08 11:47 PM
horizontal rule
7

Iiiiiii can maybe say maybe? My sense is it will be difficult for me to make it, but I don't want to say no just yet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-08 11:48 PM
horizontal rule
8

isn't this just wind power on a ridiculously inefficient scale?

My sense is that it would be too early to say that. It's at the proof-of-concept stage; launching kites into the actual jet stream is the next step.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 5-08 11:54 PM
horizontal rule
9

Fair enough. Hey la-la-lurkers, LA meetup Friday. Looking like 8 pm at Taix or Masa but email me.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 5-08 11:55 PM
horizontal rule
10

8: Well, questions of scale and efficiency aside, this is the same basic concept as a wind turbine, is it not?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:15 AM
horizontal rule
11

10: Yes. But with much stronger winds that blow at a more constant rate, I gather. You could watch the video, you know.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:17 AM
horizontal rule
12

You could watch the video, you know.

I could, but instead I think I'll go to bed. 'Night.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:22 AM
horizontal rule
13

Trust Wubbo Ockels: he is Holland's first astronaut after all.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:37 AM
horizontal rule
14

The idea is that you can use a much smaller turbine, because the wind is constant. There's an American startup (funded by Google, IIRC) trying to commercialize the idea, too.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 5:35 AM
horizontal rule
15

Also, there are limits on where you can put normal turbines; people complain about spoiling the view, they can interfere with aircraft radar, you have to find somewhere with good wind speeds, you have to buy or lease the land to put them on, etc. A tethered kite can be put in a lot more places. And if a hurricane heads your way, you can just reel in the kite and put it somewhere safe - can't do that with a normal wind generator.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:09 AM
horizontal rule
16

It seems to me that filling the sky with high-tension steel cables that extend up 10 km maybecouldbe problematic for aviation. But maybe that's just me.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:31 AM
horizontal rule
17

Maybe we could harness the energy of people bitching about the weather. Because they never fucking seem to stop doing that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
18

It seems to me that filling the sky with high-tension steel cables that extend up 10 km maybecouldbe problematic for aviation. But maybe that's just me.

I wouldn't think this would be a problem, unless the planes flew into them, or unless they interrupted comminication frequencies in some way.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
19

||

Two of the six of the openly gay Congresspersons in history came from Wisconsin. America's two most famous cannibals (Ed Gein and Jeff Dahmer) also came from Wisconsin. Coincidence?

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:14 AM
horizontal rule
20

17: Dude, you're in Pittsburgh. Primary export: young people; primary import: partly clahdy days.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
21

Most famous cannibals of the late 20th century, maybe. But Alferd Packer wasn't from wisconsin.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:19 AM
horizontal rule
22

We don't need a lot of nanny state regulations telling pilots and kiteflyers where they can go and where they can't. Kite flyers and pilots should be responsible for their own actions. Any pilot without the common sense to stay away from the steel cables will learn quickly enough when they fall to their fiery death.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:20 AM
horizontal rule
23

Packer was an innocent vegetarian caught at the wrong place at the wrong time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
24

It seems to me that filling the sky with high-tension steel cables that extend up 10 km maybecouldbe problematic for aviation. But maybe that's just me.

They'd only have to be high enough tension to withstand max lift from the wind which would be negligible compared to contact with an aircraft. The actual kites could be pretty cheap.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
25

the garbage power plants if only those could be non-toxic would be ideal, solving the problems of pollution and energy at once
if only it could be not producing that, dioxins or could be detoxified somehow
if people get almost all of their dioxins eating meat, maybe it's not that big a problem for the garbage plants


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:37 AM
horizontal rule
26

||

You know, once the girls and the puppy are in the White House, Obama is going to unleash the cuteness bomb that he's held mostly in reserve so far. The Republicans should be terrified.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
27

26: Tell me about it. Those girls have some hard-core adorable going on, and if you throw a puppy in the mix, it could get frightening.

Should the blogosphere be devoting some thought to what sort of puppy the Obamas should get? I say you can't do better than a border collie. With lots of people all around, it'd be busy enough to stay happy, and it might come up with some decent policy ideas.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
28

I'm sure that the black ops Republicans are already looking for dirt on Malia, or course.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
29

Skipperke. Neat, energetic, relentless, black.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
30

"The bad seed: is Malia possessed by Satan? With us here in our studio is Satanic possession expert Billy Joe Cracker from Focus on the Family."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
31

27: Dachshund. Neat, fun, small enough to keep under control.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
32

They should get a pony, too, so they can relate to real America.

Malia has me on retainer already. She's a sharp cookie.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
33

Scottie dog. Everyone loves them.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
34

Maybe we could harness the energy of people bitching about the weather.

We should harness the energy of conversational lulls. Lull power could make us energy self-sufficient. Beyond that, there's not much to say about it.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
35

17: Dude, you're in Pittsburgh. Primary export: young people; primary import: partly clahdy days.

Well yes. We've had absolutely unbelievable weather since Labor Day - probably 50+ days of gorgeous clear skies and highs above 50 (if not 60, even today). This weekend looks like it'll be cold & rainy, and I guarantee people will bitch and moan.

Scottie dog. Everyone loves them.

Go Tartans!!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:49 AM
horizontal rule
36

There's been some work recently in hooking kites up to ships, which is apparently has advantages over just using sails. It cuts diesel fuel usage on a ship by something like 10%.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
37

if people get almost all of their dioxins eating meat, maybe it's not that big a problem for the garbage plants

Yes, but where will vegetarians get their dioxins?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
38

36: Too lazy to dig up the links, but RTFA. Twice already.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
39

I watched the video! You want me to RTFA too?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
40

Well, you should already have RTFA. Maybe BTFA.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
41

Wubbo Ockels: Bilbo Baggins' cousin? Barberus Bragge's assistant?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 10:36 AM
horizontal rule
42

I was disappointed he shaved the 'stache.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
43

16: It seems to me that filling the sky with high-tension steel cables that extend up 10 km maybecouldbe problematic for aviation. But maybe that's just me.

It's just you... Aircraft can't just fly wherever they like - take a look at an aviation map and you'll see it's full of areas where (inter alia) flying's banned altogether, banned below certain altitudes, restricted to military aircraft, restricted to aircraft dropping parachutists, allowed only in certain directions, restricted to rotary-wings, restricted to trainee pilots etc. Adding on another flying-prohibited zone around your kite farm would not be difficult. Plus, the cables would have to be marked with anti-collision lights, just like any other tall structure - probably radar reflectors or transponders too.

24: They'd only have to be high enough tension to withstand max lift from the wind which would be negligible compared to contact with an aircraft.

High tension as in high-voltage, I think. Actually, they wouldn't be very high voltage - the plans I've seen have transmission voltages of about 100V or less. You'd presumably step it up with a transformer on the ground.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
44

100V over ten kilometer cables being held up by kites seems like it'd be tough. Resistive losses go up when you reduce the voltage (100V is low in power transmission terms), have long cables (10km), and have thin cables (that can be held up by kites).


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
45

|| I was thinking of suggesting that we have a contest for the most dramatic wingnut head explosion in response to Obama's election, but then I went to a few far right sites and felt so dirty and disgusted after reading them that all schadenfreude value was lost ||>


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
46

Well, questions of scale and efficiency aside, this is the same basic concept as a wind turbine, is it not?

I watched the video, and it seems like the idea is not windmills in space, and there's no turbine involved. Rather, the wind pushing the kite upwards pulls a cable, which turns an axle, harnessing energy.

Then computers adjust the kite so that it glides down a ways at basically no cost in energy. Then the computers adjust the kite again so that it starts being pushed upwards by the wind again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
47

I don't think the cables transmit electricity in this scheme. They just serve to turn the axle as the kite rises. I.e., the electricity is generated on the ground by the turning axle. Am I the only one who actually watched the video?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
48

44: yes, I know; I can only assume that it's better to do it that way than have a big heavy transformer up on the kite. I agree it sounds odd though.

46: there are lots of different ways of doing it. The video describes one which doesn't involve lofting a generator or anything; another way is a turntable plus kites (KiteGen) or an aerostat holding up a turbine, or a rigid rack supporting several turbines (Bryan Roberts' idea).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
49

47: Maybe. The rest of us are only required to RTFA.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
50

45: The real problem is that no one's head has literally exploded. Barring that, the most satisfying responses are concessions like McCain's, gracious acknowledgments of defeat that will allow the nation solve the problems we face. I also liked hearing Greenspan say he was wrong.

But if you see anyone's head literally explode, let me know.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
51

You know, like this.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
52

Should the blogosphere be devoting some thought to what sort of puppy the Obamas should get?

Don't bother, the choice has already been extensively focus-grouped.

If they were going solely for maximum cuteness, they should get a Basset-Fauve de Bretagne like the Ruprecht family got, but when you consider the political consequences of choosing a French breed, it's out of the question.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
53

I vote bull mastiff.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
54

Like this one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
55

He should get them a yellow dog, to promote party unity.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
56

Freeper purge list:

Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, David Frum, Nicole Wallace, Colin Powell, Jim Leach, Lincoln Chafee, William Weld, Arne Carlson, Wayne Gilchrest, Richard Riordan, Lowell Weicker, Jim Whitaker, Linwood Holton, Douglas Kmiec, Charles Fried, Jackson M. Andrews, Francis Fukuyama, Rita Hauser, Christopher Buckley, Andrew Sullivan, Wick Alison, Michael Smerconish.

It's odd because almost all of those people pretty openly ditched McCain-Palin and knew pretty well what that meant. (Nicole Wallace is only guilty of dissing Palin).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
57

I'd say, forget the dog and start working on the pony. Sasha says she'll take good care of it and that the responsibility will be character building, and Malia says that this would help their elitist family connect with Middle America.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
58

High tension as in high-voltage, I think.

No, per the vid, high tension in the sense that, AFAICT, the kite would pull rather hard on the cables - hard enough to lift 10 km worth of steel cable. I assume that would be enough to tear up a light aircraft.

That said, I didn't realize that no-fly zones were as extensive as 43.1 indicates. So never mind - you couldn't do them just anywhere*, but you could certainly do them.

* Although man, what a remote generator! Once the tech is established, you could probably pack up an entire system in a box the size of a steamer trunk (depending on the size of the cable drum) and let it go anywhere there's a breath of wind.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
59

As I've said elsewhere, Crazy Jesus Lady is the pH 7.0 of Republican crazification. Not too crazy, not too sane, but just right. When you've lost Peggy Noonan, you've lost the Republican Party. McCain-Palin's fate was sealed at that moment.

(No rumors of McCain-Palin hanky-panky. Maybe he really was just too old to be President.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
60

In South Africa I recently encountered a phenomenon that I assumed had died out after the end of apartheid: a pair of racist guard dogs. To white people, they were friendly as all get out and wanted to be petted. But when a black person walked by the property (along the roadside 150M away), they started barking menacingly.

Applying the same training methods, the Obama's could get a dog that exclusively menaces white people. Or better yet, just white evangelical Christian republicans.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
61

Free Republic:

Let me call him out. Emanuel is Jewish, and chosen as a symbol and cover for Obama. It's designed to make the world think there is "balance" in Obama, and that he's not really an enemy of Israel.
.....................
I have chatted in alot of rooms with Obama supporters. They don't support Israel and yet the Jews continue with their support of democrats. I know they are the chosen people but damn even God has to have his limits for stupidity.

................

What's his stand on Israel? Has he been a backer of Israel, or anti-Israel (as expected)?

..................

They are 'chosen' in the sense that the Hope of the world (not Obama) would come through them. And He did come to earth in the form of a man - to live a perfect life in our place, so that we (the unholy) can stand before a Holy God in that day.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
62

The idea that Rahm could be a token Jew is hilarious. He eats people's livers and has to be kept in a cage when there's no work for him to do.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
63

46: there are lots of different ways of doing it. The video describes one which doesn't involve lofting a generator or anything; another way is a turntable plus kites (KiteGen) or an aerostat holding up a turbine, or a rigid rack supporting several turbines (Bryan Roberts' idea).

I know there are different ways to do it, but I was responding directly to teo's question about this specific video, not to some general question about wind-based energy.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
64

I once had a racist dog when I was growing up. It was bizarre. Definitely not trained to be that way. He didn't encounter many black people, though, and maybe the first one he encountered bothered him for some other reason.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
65

My dog generally ignores passersby, occasionally sniffs as they pass, but once in awhile acts aggressive. I tell them, "It's not him; it's you."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
66

My experience with dogs is that they are pretty much all racist to some degree. Not necessarily aggressive about it, but certainly suspicious of people who don't look like their owners. It's hardly surprising, since they are pack animals.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
67

OT: Here's a blog post for someone, free of charge.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:38 PM
horizontal rule
68

The couple I was staying with in Cleveland had a newly-adopted dog about a year old. They live in a neighborhood (Cleveland Heights) with a relatively large number of Hasidic Jews walking around, and the dog definitely barks at anyone in a dark coat and wide-brimmed black hat.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:38 PM
horizontal rule
69

The idea that Rahm could be a token Jew is hilarious. He eats people's livers and has to be kept in a cage when there's no work for him to do.

Jews eat liver and are notoriously industrious.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
70

Apo is stll in second place.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
71

Did you know that Rahm Emanuels's brother is the model for Hollywood agent Ari Gold on the show "Entourage"?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
72

Who's lined up to take Emanuel's seat? I think Ozzie Guillén might have the apposite skull-cracking skillz.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:04 PM
horizontal rule
73

Not really. The Antichrist is in second place. Not quite identical to Apo.

Snopes debunks the rumor with a straight face. There's quite a lot of serious debate pro and con. I hope PZ doesn't find that stuff. Talk about heads sploding.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:04 PM
horizontal rule
74

Why do Freepers even care about Israel? Is is anything more than a pretext for pushing Muslims around?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
75

Why do Freepers even care about Israel?

Israel kicks ass. Or did. Only democracy in ME blah blah Holy Land blah blah faithful ally blah blah Holocaust blah blah good place for all the Jews to go


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
76

C told me that we hadn't thought enough about it, and that of course Michelle had already decided it's going to be a rescue dog. I'd get a Shetland pony though, if I had those grounds - they're so cute.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:19 PM
horizontal rule
77

Why do Freepers even care about Israel?

Sanctioned racism?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:21 PM
horizontal rule
78

66:My current dogs are color-blind, great with blacks & hispanics. All my previous dogs were racist.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
79

a rescue dog


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
80

74 - Israel is critical to end-times scenarios which makes supporting it mandatory for the religious right. More to the point, fundies are constantly pickling their brains in stories from the Bible and that skews their worldview substantially. They honestly believe that the creator of all that was, is and ever shall be personally deeded that little patch of dirt to one particular guy and his descendants in perpetuity.

Other factors include their general militarism and sentimentality about war, which is something Israel does quite effectively, and their hatred of the Palestinians, which I think is motivated as much by the typical right winger's hatred of weakness as it is by anti-Arab or anti-muslim sentiments.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:27 PM
horizontal rule
81

60, 64: Racist dogs are pretty common -- they seem to notice the same racial distinctions people do, and a lot of dogs will react with hostility to anything that strikes them as weird. So if they've been raised by white people and don't encounter black people until they're out of puppyhood, there's an unfortunately large chance that they'll be hostile when they do encounter someone black.

Something that was good for hours of harmless merriment when I was in the Peace Corps was that lots of Samoan dogs were racist as well, but in favor of white people. Annoyed the heck out of the locals I knew. There, what seemed to be going on was that the predominant local attitude to dogs was to either ignore or throw rocks at them, while the predominant Peace Corps Volunteer attitude was to say "Ooo, who's a good puppy then, does oo want oo's ears scritched? Or part of my sandwich?" And dogs who'd encountered white people before generalized from prior experience.

It didn't always work, but fairly often I'd walk up to a dog that had just been snarling and bristling at a friend of mine, and it would trot happily up to me to be petted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:27 PM
horizontal rule
82

Why do Freepers even care about Israel?

Same reason they care about capital gains/estate taxes, offshore drilling, Chappaquiddick, ACORN, and Ward Churchill. That's what they've been told they care about.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
83

76: Yes! A pony!

This could be the pony Atrios is always talking about! The Alameida pony! The pony of Hope! The Middle America pony!

This should be the next internet project, after half a billion campaign dollars: the pony fund.

Malia's getting her money's worth, I tell you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
84

80: I think it would be funny if God really had a chosen people, but it turned out to be a colony of sponge creatures on Tau Alpha Seven. Actually, He is only dimly aware of life on Earth at all. Its all about the sponge people.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:31 PM
horizontal rule
85

No Israel, no Armageddon.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:31 PM
horizontal rule
86

Or the Haldane line; it really is all about His inordinate fondness for beetles.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:32 PM
horizontal rule
87

I'm with LB on the border collie or some other working dog. Really, though, we can leave that to the rest of the blogosphere. The special talents of Unfogged should be put to naming the puppy.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:33 PM
horizontal rule
88

They should get a cute little furball dog, and name it Cujo.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:34 PM
horizontal rule
89

Beetles really are as wonderful as God thinks, as you'd realize if you just free your mind from vertabratocentric prejudice.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:36 PM
horizontal rule
90

Applying the same training methods, the Obama's could get a dog that exclusively menaces pees on white people. Or better yet, just white evangelical Christian republicans.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:37 PM
horizontal rule
91

45: The Poor Man is on the case.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
92

No, no. We should be in charge of the magic pony project. A Shetland pony is only a few hundred bucks.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
93

Here's a book about a racist dog (and other things). Not bad, if I remember it correnctly

http://www.amazon.com/White-Dog-Romain-Gary/dp/0226284301


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
94

83: This pony, perhaps


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
95

84 - Or the Chosen People were the Neanderthals. Alternatively, maybe it really is the Jews, and reality is just big game of Civilization but God is really, really stoned, which is why his people have such a rough time of it and keep getting spanked by the NPCs.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
96

Who's lined up to take Emanuel's seat? I think Ozzie Guillén might have the apposite skull-cracking skillz.

If it isn't Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, or Adam Kotsko, we can all lament the excessive caution of the people making these decisions.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
97

The Big Black song "Seth" is about a racist dog. For the longest time I thought it was about a person, and that the line "Seth is just a racist dog" was some kind of insult.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
98

...aaaaand North Carolina turns blue.

Hear that whirring sound? It's Jesse Helms spinning in his grave.

Sweet.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
99

92 - yeah, Shetlands are cheap - I nearly went to an auction once, but I thought I might not be able to resist buying one.

Dog name: Yossarian.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
100

And Omaha is also looking real good.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 2:23 PM
horizontal rule
101

99 - Shetland ponies are also bad tempered and capable of delivering a nasty bite or kick according to my ex, who had substantial experience with them


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 2:25 PM
horizontal rule
102

There are a lot of uncounted votes in Alaska. Half of Coleman's margin over Coleman is gone, even before the recount.

A highly respected old-style moderate Republican, Tom Heffelfinger, was named to Coleman's recount team, but then backed out. He probably figured out how sleazy the RNC recount strategy was going to be. The Heffelfingers have been big names in Minnesota since the Civil War, and one Heffelfinger is the the Football Hall of Fame.

Coleman is acting with entirely predictable sleaziness in this. He claimed victory yesterday, and blamed Franken for the recount, which was automatic. "Let the healing process begin".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 2:31 PM
horizontal rule
103

Though one reason Heffelfinger is quitting is that his hands will be full managing the coverup of the RNC policing excesses. "Respected" is relative.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
104

Cute knows no law, Togolosh.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
105

102" Coleman has an advantage over Coleman in Alaska?

John, it is too early in the evening to be hitting the paint thinner.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
106

100: Fucking A. This map is beautiful. It's what I hope will sustain me as Obama sells us out appointment by appointment.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 2:50 PM
horizontal rule
107

By the way, is there any way to interpret Emmanuel's hemming and hawing about taking the COS job as anything other than a high-handed way of showing who's boss? It wasn't as though he hadn't had plenty of time to contemplate the offer before the election.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 2:53 PM
horizontal rule
108

don't trust wubbo ockels! he was stripped his pilot licence for comical reasons that made in the laughing stock of holland and once many years ago when i did a story on the a.s.e. convention, he rudely threw me out of a gathering the press office had invited me to


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 3:17 PM
horizontal rule
109

a.s.e. = association of space explorers



Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
110

107: Jeez. Cynical much? Put aside the family issues (his wife and kids live in Chicago) and consider the obvious -- Rahm is relatively young and 4th in line for the Speakership. Seems like I'd take a day to think about it in his shoes. Toss in the family aspect and I'd like to think I'd give my wife some input before uprooting her (and our kids) from Chicago and go hurtling into the D.C. maelstrom.

So yes, I think there are other ways to interpret the hemming and hawing.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 3:24 PM
horizontal rule
111

NCP, Rahm tears out his enemies' livers and eats them. I suppose that he may have a "wife" and "kids", whatever that means in his case, but let's not fool ourselves. Something else is going on here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 3:38 PM
horizontal rule
112

This photo does bring to mind the term "éminence grise".


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
113

This definitely gives a "don't worry" signal to Israel. Emmanuel is a ferocious Israel supporter (volunteered in the IDF during the 1991 Gulf War), strongly supported Israel during the summer 2006 war with Lebanon (as did Obama, although perhaps not as vociferously).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 4:12 PM
horizontal rule
114

The Israel-loving Freeper Christians tried to hang an anti-Israeli rap on Emanuel, but one of them had to admit that wouldn't fly.

As the song goes:

Oh come oh come Emanuel
To ransom captive Israel.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 4:22 PM
horizontal rule
115

The hemming and hawing in the press is what worries me. The Obama operation has been very tight. Now we get (favorable) leaks about Prince Hamlet. Where did they come from? I suspect from Rahm & company.

I am fully prepared to be disappointed by someone new.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 4:25 PM
horizontal rule
116

IT HAS BEGUN.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 5:01 PM
horizontal rule
117

Old but good story. My father still has old aeronautical charts from his time in the RAF, which he marked up with the various civilian control areas and restrictions on flying.

Among many other things, there's a SFC-2000' AGL restriction for 5 miles around the Aldermaston site, the centre of our nuclear weapons programme. So never below 2000 round there, right? Makes sense.

But the restriction over the Queen's stables went up to 10,000 feet....


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 5:06 PM
horizontal rule
118

112:Fuck. I just read that stuff Tuesday. Richelieu's main dude. Negotiated Treaties of. Salon winning painting by. Is this gonna be multiple choice?

My 1st thought:All that grey at 48? 48 is looking young now.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 5:35 PM
horizontal rule
119

I want to see a scene like this next year. Rahm in the Rotunda.

Taken me a long long time to warm up to that Gerome. Now I just stare.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 5:44 PM
horizontal rule
120

This One is better. Wiki way too dark.

Wiki has a lot of scans, but not all very good quality. Don't mind me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 5:56 PM
horizontal rule
121

I have a question about Rahm Emanuel. Dude has only been a congressman since 2002, according to Wikipedia, so how is it that he's fourth in line (according to NPR) for the Majority Leader slot? People keep blathering about his seniority, but is Congressional seniority allotted by total years public service, including White House time? Or is it like departmental service, where you get special credit for doing shit work on committees?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
122

Rahm has put the fear in them, JM.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
123

Leadership posts are not decided by seniority.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
124

So then what's this "line"of rankings?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
125

Why is everybody suddenly on a first-name basis with Rahm Emanuel?


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 6:34 PM
horizontal rule
126

He likes it that way, Rail.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
127

We only use Emmanuel ATM and with the appropriate carol.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 6:45 PM
horizontal rule
128

I know Rahm Emanuel primarily as a centrist tool who spent months ripping on Dean for having the crazy idea that Democrats should run in every state. Why should I be excited about this guy?


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 6:52 PM
horizontal rule
129

We shouldn't, but I admire his brutality. Hopefully he'll eat Lieberman's liver first.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
130

120:Echoing the tapestry at the center, the entire scene, with its crossing diagonals, is all subtly chevrony. The painting isn't really about the Grey Eminence at all. It depicts the Immanent Presence of the Cardinal. Richelieu is altering Reality itself.

Tremblay descends the stairs reading a book, unaware indifferent to the groveling soldiers and clerics. Intellect rules, fools.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 6:59 PM
horizontal rule
131

Dude, if Lieberman's liver was going to be on anyone's menu we'd have heard about it by now. Expect a polite reconciliation, a possible gentle slap on the wrist, and much talk of healing wounds. This is the administration that's talking about keeping Bush's secretary of defense and putting Hagel in at State.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
132

The hope in our house is that this is the perfect use for an Emanuel -- a position where his ferocity, wile, policy knowledge, and loyalty will be useful, and his stupid politics won't actually matter.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
133

putting Hagel in at State

I've heard (maybe 'round these parts?) it could be Kerry at State.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
134

We have heard about it. Stories are mixed but the general idea is that he'll lose his chairmanship but be allowed to stay within the caucus if he behaves. But it doesn't seem that he'll behave, based on recent statements, and my bet is that he'll shoot his mouth off and get bounced.

It isn't really an issues thing, it's a treachery thing. If Lieberman stays in, he'll just choose the worst possible time to doublecross the Democrats again.

The Dems are very unlikely to hit 60 anyway (my bet is one chance in ten; I have each remaining seat pegged at one chance in three). Even if they did reach 60, they'd be better off at 59 and dealing with Snow, Collins, Specter, Coleman, and maybe a few others.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:18 PM
horizontal rule
135

Yep, I like Rahm doing CoS work better than I like him in Congress, where he used a lot of his bulldogging to just howl around and point fingers at Republicans. (His "OK fine, Cheney, you're not in the Exec Branch? We'll fucking defund your office" thing was a fun and pointed prank, but not a serious use of House powers.) According to most accounts, Rahm's extremely loyal to the platform he's given, and is an incredible organizer and motivator of staff. That is, I think he's best when fit in a hierarchy, under someone whose beliefs he respects and over people he can manipulate with total authority. I feel bad for his future staffers, but I'd far rather see him here than in the House.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
136

To go on: The Democrats are weenies on the issues and weenies against the Republicans, but at a certain point insults and treachery are taken personally. I'm pretty sure the Democrats are at that point.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
137

135: Yeah, I was describing him to a friend tonight as a Whip that will work out of the White House.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
138

I think 135 has it pretty much right. Emanuel will be a good counterpoint to Obama's fairly easygoing style. To really manage things, especially big complicated organizations with lots of conflicting incentives, you need to be able to be a bit of an asshole from time to time. Obama has outsourced the asshole function to someone to whom it comes more or less naturally.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
139

138: Just so.

Oh! That reminds me. In the same conversation where Snark and I were coming to the conclusions expressed in 135 and 138, we were also chewing over the question of who would make a better Senate Majority Leader than Harry Reid. I suggested: well, actually, how about Hillary Clinton?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
140

This is the administration media that's talking about keeping Bush's secretary of defense and putting Hagel in at State.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
141

It will be ME in State.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:47 PM
horizontal rule
142

Me in State for 8 years, then a Senate seat in 2016, then a brief retirement office in 2022, then a run for President in 2024.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
143

Heh. Comments here from Republicans very confused about (a) why a Hamas leader like Barack Hussein Obama would choose an Israeli-American Jew for CoS, and (b) how a Muslim like Barack Hussein Obama could stand having a "dog" in the house.

Awesome.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 7:53 PM
horizontal rule
144

Is the assumption here that the chief of staff has no policy input whatsoever, so Emanuel's fairly shitty politics simply won't matter? Because that certainly hasn't been true of previous administrations.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:46 PM
horizontal rule
145

The Chief of Staff mostly serves as an information filter for the President, as I understand it, and organizes the efforts of the WH staff. So if you have a shitty, stupid President like GWB, the CoS has to learn what info he can handle and what he can't, and interpret the President's ideas for staff action. If you have a strong, intelligent President, the CoS can be a really powerful ally in getting a lot of info to the President and organizing the hell out of the staff. From what I understand of Emanuel, he's a seriously voracious reader, and forces his staff and colleagues to look at everything (Palin's "I read all of 'em" come to life). He says "yes" to every task put to him by those above him and demands nothing less from everyone under him.

What this says to me is that Obama's interested in running a fucking tight ship, and getting absolutely every piece of information in front of himself that he plausibly can. The CoS also has to decide who gets to meet with the Pres, which, again, I think, depends on who the President is. Emanuel's being hired for his loyalty and honesty, not for his centrist-Dem political beliefs.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:56 PM
horizontal rule
146

I've read in various places that the CoS is basically like an incredibly competent office secretary, who runs a squad of sub-secretaries. If that secretary were nefarious, I suppose they could screw with stuff pretty badly, but Obama and Emanuel seem to have a pretty close relationship.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
147

At this point I'm more worried that Obama will be lame (sort of like Carter) than that he will be too centrist.

By this I mean that I already expect him to be pretty centrist and am resigned to that, but I fear his being hamstrung by the Blue Dogs, the media idiots, the federal bureaucracies, etc.

My guess is that Emanuel will be willing for Obama to be the boss, and I think that Obama is smart and strong willed enough to keep him in line.

Also, I think that Malia should get a pony in addition to the puppy. It could be named Holden.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:03 PM
horizontal rule
148

lame (sort of like Carter)

Them's words which justify combat.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 9:14 PM
horizontal rule
149

More precisely they exculpate combat.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 6-08 11:01 PM
horizontal rule
150

Me in State for 8 years, then a Senate seat in 2016, then a brief retirement office in 2022, then a run for President in 2024.

That's too soon, Ben. You have to be 35 to be elected President.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 5:23 AM
horizontal rule
151

So then what's this "line"of rankings?

This seems to have gotten dropped.

It's the "line" of succession dictated by the "Constitution"* - the same way that Nancy Pelosi is 3rd in line. It can be a young whippersnapper like RE because the House majority party gets to elevate people as it will. It's true that no one's vote for RE for House Whip (or whatever he is) was impacted by the possible succession. Since we've never even reached House Leader as Pres, I don't think we need to sweat the next guy after her.

* I tried to resist - I really did.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 5:49 AM
horizontal rule
152

At this point I'm more worried that Obama will be lame (sort of like Carter) than that he will be too centrist.

John, he's a gazetted control freak. He may well crash and burn, but he won't end with a whimper. Isn't that the point of hiring Emanuel? Also, of course he'll be too centrist for you, but if you read the list of "commitments" at change.gov, it's not all content free boilerplate, there are nuggets in the mix.

I particularly like the commitment to net neutrality. Hold him to that.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 6:13 AM
horizontal rule
153

change.gov is a weird site. It's explicitly political, but it's got a .gov domain name.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 6:17 AM
horizontal rule
154

change.gov is a weird site. It's explicitly political, but it's got a .gov domain name.

It's because it's the website of the transition team, which has a recognized status governmentally speaking and is sponsored by the General Services Administration. The office of the president-elect is a weird entity, in that it has official status and governmental resources, but of course does not yet govern.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 6:25 AM
horizontal rule
155

BG, So ICANN want to make something of it? Think they're hard enough, do they?

I imagine the White House site always presents the politics of the administration (I know number10.gov.uk does). I don't see how they can avoid it. And change.gov is just the shadow White House site for the next couple of months.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 6:25 AM
horizontal rule
156

B/g - Speaking from experience, when a Federal agency asks for a .gov address, they get the .gov address, and the people in charge of assigning the addresses leave the question of what it's going to be used for to them.

OFE - It's not ICANN, it would be the Department of Commerce, which is in charge of the .gov TLD.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 6:26 AM
horizontal rule
157

Although the actual administration is handled by the GSA. The ruthless, streamlined efficiency of American government!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 6:27 AM
horizontal rule
158

"General Services Administration" would be a great name for a) the intelligence services or b) the entire government. It's like having a Department of Stuff. Or, for that matter, the Department of Administrative Affairs (in Yes Minister).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 6:31 AM
horizontal rule
159

Is "gazetted" Brit-speak for "certified"?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 7:41 AM
horizontal rule
160

I suppose so. It refers to the process by which your commission as an officer in the forces is published in the official journal (gazette). After which you are a gazetted colonel or whatever. By (Shhh!) analogy.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
161

151 -- No one in the House other than the Speaker is in line to succeed to the presidency. Presidential Succession Act of 1947.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 7:50 AM
horizontal rule
162

159: it can also mean "bankrupt". Because the names of bankrupts were published in the London Gazette as well.

Man to the plough;
Wife to the cow;
Girl to the yarn;
Boy to the barn;
And your rent will be netted.

Man tally-ho;
Miss piano;
Wife silk and satin;
Boy Greek and Latin;
And you'll all be Gazetted.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
163

changebad.gov doesn't seem to exist yet.

Where's the bipartisanity?


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
164

161: Then what the hell are people talking about up above? I was taking previous statements as true.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 9:46 AM
horizontal rule
165

The office of the president-elect is a weird entity, in that it has official status and governmental resources, but of course does not yet govern.

The funny thing is, and I don't remember this from any other transition, but it seems as though it does. Bush is a lame duck and obviously couldn't give a fuck at this point, and Obama is busybusybusy talking to leaders abroad and giving a presser and being advised to get going on the economic crisis ASAP. It feels as though he's taken the reins while President Placeholder is just warming the chair in the Oval Office until January 20. With a big fat stack of pardons in front of him, of course.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
166

Not like his father - George I was governing right up to the last minute (remember the Marines hitting the beach in Somalia? That was a few days before the inauguration. Weeks, at most. Nice present to leave your successor.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
167

Not like his father - George I was governing right up to the last minute (remember the Marines hitting the beach in Somalia? That was a few days before the inauguration. Weeks, at most. Nice present to leave your successor.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
168

the names of bankrupts were published in the London Gazette as well

That would explain the "gazetted fortune-hunters" in Georgette Heyer novels. In fact, Stubbs Gazette still exists and publishes the details of judgements against debtors.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 11- 7-08 2:16 PM
horizontal rule