Link(s): Fri, May 14th, 8am

[In case it needs to be said: I don’t agree with every word of everything I link to. –L.]

Look at All the Ocean That’s NOT Polluted! Why Must You Be So Negative???
BP CEO Tony Hayward has come up with a truly awesome explanation of why the Deep Horizon disaster really isn’t so bad after all…
President Obama Scheduled to Get Angry About Offshore Drilling
BP has consistently lied about the scope of the disaster from the very beginning. First the explosion caused no leak, then it maybe was leading to 1,000 barrels a day, then 5,000, and now 70,000, the amount of the Exxon Valdez every four days. Yeah, I’d be angry too.

I’d be angrier at my own regulatory agency, which has been apparently collecting salaries for nothing these past several years.

The Jack Bauer Republicans — war criminals for congress (Hullabaloo)
"We are a constitutional, self-governing republic that has decided to torture. Period. It would be good if we could look ourselves in the face and admit it to ourselves. At the very least, we could give ourselves a break from our own tattered sanctimony." Charles Pierce

[Digby writes about Ilario Pantano and Allen West. -L.]

Hey, it's not like the government isn't already filled with war criminals. But I think this may be the first time in a century or so that people actually run for office touting their crimes. They're not even pretending to be decent anymore.

This is not a Facebook meme (Pursuit of Harpyness)
Because men and women (er, guys and girls) are two distinct species, there are so many things we don’t know about each other. Girls, especially, are mysterious creatures, but lists can be handy teaching tools. Our spokeswoman, Jane Hoskyn, has leaked one such list to UK MSN: 53 secrets girls don’t want guys to know (aka Women are stupid, manipulative, easily confused and fragile).

If we don’t want guys to know, why are you telling them, Jane? To sabotage and undermine the rest of us as we try to earn a little respect in this world?

SEXIST BEATDOWN: Through the Eyes of Laura Bush Edition
So, that Laura Bush. She seems like such a nice lady, am I right? With her sensible suits, and her motherly way of speaking, and her affection for the children, and so on, and so forth. She thinks reading and cookies are good! She thinks alcoholism and breast cancer are bad! She is totally fine with that abortion you’re getting, and also will be cool if you marry your girlfriend later!

Wait, WHAT?

Yes, it’s true! Laura Bush has some common sense in her head, it turns out! And she only waited for THE ENTIRETY OF HER HUSBAND’S POLITICAL CAREER, and as long as it took for her to crank out a memoir […] to demonstrate it! Which is… um, “problematic?” Yes. Let’s just say “problematic,” …

ILLUSTRATION: So, this dude was very probably President James Buchanan’s boyfriend. His name was William Rufus King, he was Franklin Pierce’s Vice-President, and he died before Buchanan was elected. Which is sad. But before that, he lived with Buchanan, and their relationship was publicly speculated upon and mocked by the press and other politicians (Andrew Jackson, in particular, was a real dick about it). Their correspondence was destroyed by relatives. We do have a letter from Buchanan, after King left for France for quite a long time, that reads, in part, “I am now ’solitary and alone’, having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them.” He speculates that he will have to marry some lady, one who will “not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.” But he never did! He never did marry a lady. He got his niece to do all the First Lady stuff. Buchanan was the first U.S. President to publish a memoir, mostly to insist that history would vindicate him for defending slavery, WHOOPS…

The Case for Staying With Facebook
Rotenberg is the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a leading online privacy advocacy group. Earlier this month, EPIC, along with a handful of other consumer groups, filed a complaint with the FTC against Facebook, prompted by Facebook's shifting privacy policies and users' loss of control of their information on the social networking site…

[Rotenberg says] "There is not much users can do when Facebook keeps changing its policies and the users' privacy settings. People shouldn't drop Facebook or boycott. The FTC should enforce fair and transparent business practices. That is an obvious role for government."

[Yeah, but WHY should we not delete our Facebook accounts? Like, I don't care if Facebook doesn't care if I'm no longer there. I just don't want to be there anymore.

Well, to be honest, their site design is so crappy I never wanted to be there in the first place.


Arizona Intros Tourism Autarky
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has created a new panel to combat "mistruths" about the Arizona immigration bill. The state is also putting up $250,000 for a new marketing campaign which will start by urging more Arizonans to go on vacation in Arizona.
U.S. Decision to Approve Killing of Cleric Causes Unease –
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s decision to authorize the killing by the Central Intelligence Agency of a terrorism suspect who is an American citizen has set off a debate over the legal and political limits of drone missile strikes, a mainstay of the campaign against terrorism.
Muhammad ud-Deen/Associated Press

The notion that the government can, in effect, execute one of its own citizens far from a combat zone, with no judicial process and based on secret intelligence, makes some legal authorities deeply uneasy.

To eavesdrop on the terrorism suspect who was added to the target list, the American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is hiding in Yemen, intelligence agencies would have to get a court warrant. But designating him for death, as C.I.A. officials did early this year with the National Security Council’s approval, required no judicial review.

[Seriously. Seriously, the CIA needs to be dismantled NOW. And Obama can bite me. -L]

…Counterterrorism officials, with the support of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, say the drone missile strikes have proved to be an extraordinarily successful weapon against militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the location of all the known C.I.A. strikes except one in Yemen in 2002. By their count, the missiles have killed more than 500 militants since 2008, and a few dozen nearby civilians.

[Oh, well, if it's only a few dozen civilians, that's all right then. -L.]

Gulf oil gusher ‘ten times worse’ than previously estimated, experts say | Raw Story
So this is why BP's release of video showing the Gulf oil gusher was mysteriously delayed.

According to a scientific analysis of footage from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, National Public Radio is claiming the growing ecological disaster is actually ten times worse than previously estimated, saying the rushing torrent of oil pouring into the ocean is equivalent to one Exxon-Valdez spill every four days…

BP, already under siege by lawsuits, may even be facing a shareholder revolt. Teams of lawyers are already pooling their resources to serve affected parties in gulf states.

…Since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank, the U.S. government has allowed 27 different waivers for offshore drilling firms to avoid conducting environmental impact studies.

Cub fans speak out against Arizona: Move spring training to Florida (Crooks and Liars)
The Wrigley Field protest of the Diamondbacks was very cool on such short notice and now it's expanding.

There's a new Facebook page called Baseball Fans of Florida and they are asking for you to sign a petition to move the Cubs' spring-training facilities out of Arizona and over to Florida.

Need a Gnome-Do alternative? Try Kupfer
Oklahoma Legislature Sends Another Onerous Abortion Restriction to the Governor
The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday passed a measure requiring women who seek abortions to report extensive information about themselves.
Should Congress Loosen the Miranda Rule? (FindLaw Blotter)
…the administration now advocates a loosening of the Miranda rule.

The administration is looking at the traditional limits of how long suspects may be questioned without being warned of their rights.

As previously discussed, the Miranda warnings arose out of a 1966 case, Miranda v. Arizona, finding that the Constitution required criminal defendants be advised of their right not to incriminate themselves and their right to an attorney before and during questioning by the police.

Implementing a more a flexible Miranda rule may help with questioning of terrorism suspects.

But still, some critics say these kinds of suspects should not be handled as ordinary criminal defendants. Instead, the argument goes, terrorism suspects should be imprisoned and interrogated as military detainees.

Despite the political furor over reading terrorism suspects their Miranda rights, it is not clear that doing so has had a major impact on recent interrogations.

WordPress security monitoring and diagnosis (Weblog Tools Collection)
The three components of information security are: Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA). If you’ve followed the steps my previous tutorial, you’ll have come a long way towards ensuring all three. But you’ll always need to keep an eye on things – remember, no site is hack proof. Here are some tools to verify the integrity of your data. These plugins will not protect your site from attacks, they will only help you monitor your site and diagnose problems.
38 Photoshop Photo Manipulation Tutorials: Intermediate to Advanced (Onextrapixel)
What about the Cubans? (Incertus)
This morning, The Miami Herald reported that Republican candidates for statewide races had come out firmly in support of Arizona’s recent immigration laws, and have suggested Florida should follow suit. […] But I think this could very well backfire on all of them–could, I emphasize.

A big part of Florida’s problem with immigration has to do with the different ways we deal with the various groups who show up on our shores. If you’re from Cuba, the law says that if you make it to land, you can stay, and in a year you can apply for residency. …if you go to one of the many Irish pubs in the area, there’s a decent chance that someone working there is here on a tourist visa or has overstayed a visa or just came in through some other means. In other words, they’re illegal. But the chances they’d be asked for documentation by a local cop should Florida pass an Arizona-type law? Practically none.

But Cubans? If Florida adopts this sort of law, some Cubans can expect to be confused for Dominicans and other Latino/as…

After 40 years, $1 trillion, US War on Drugs has failed to meet any of its goals
[Clearly, the logical solution is to launch another War on Inanimate Objects or Abstract Nouns. -L]
Launch! The Space Shuttle Atlantis On The Edge Of The Final Frontier [Space Shuttle]
The Space Shuttle Atlantis prepares for its final launch, in this breathtaking picture from Cape Canaveral.
Pieces of the city are forming, like islands [Architecture]
Photographer Bas Princen has a fantastic new exhibition, called “Refuge,” up at Storefront for Art and Architecture. Storefront describes the show as a “photographic fiction”.
The Real Reason Print Magazines May Be Doomed [Magazines]
Our own Braak writes a thoughtful post over at Threat Quality, on the real reasons magazines struggle, including some good questions. Why don’t the science fiction magazines get shelved near science fiction books? And why does Fire Apparatus Journal exist?

[Because FIRE. -L]