Friday, June 18, 2010

Great minds etc.

Not sure what to make of this, but isn't it nice to be listened to? And the president no less. You go Mr. Obama. Just four days after I wrote about the Mississippi Delta, this came across the wire. (I have never posted blatant copies of somone else's work before, but I used to work for the Chicago Tribune, so maybe I get a pass)

At any rate: From the Chicago Tribune July 16:

By JULIE CART and JIM TANKERSLEY
Tribune Washington Bureau
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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's announcement of an ambitious plan to restore Louisiana's wetlands promises to ensnare the administration in a long-standing political morass over how best to manage the lower Mississippi River.
The size, scope and details of the restoration plan Obama announced Tuesday are still taking shape under the guidance of Navy Secretary and former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus, White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said. Obama asked Mabus to assess the Gulf Coast needs and complete his restoration plan to address them "as soon as possible," aides said.
It appears likely that the environmental component of that plan will go far beyond cleaning up beaches and marshlands tainted by spilled oil, to rebuilding and restoring coastal areas that have suffered for decades from erosion, the impacts of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, commercial activities and other ills.
"Beyond compensating the people of the Gulf in the short term, it's also clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region," Obama said in a nationally televised address. "The oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place that has already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats."
White House aides said the environmental restoration effort will be informed by the work of a federal interagency task force on Gulf Coast restoration, which in March released a "Roadmap for Restoring Ecosystem Resiliency and Sustainability" in Louisiana and Mississippi.
The roadmap calls for "bold and decisive action ... to curtail the rate of wetland loss and barrier island erosion in the area" and to restore ecosystems.
Obama is not the first American president to pledge to remake Louisiana's wetlands. Generations of political figures have been stymied by the complexity of the issue. The Mississippi River defines the Louisiana coast, which over millennia has deposited the sediments that established the landmass in the river's drainage. That natural land-building ceased with a succession of levee and dam projects beginning in the 1930s that have channelized the river.
As a result, the Mississippi no longer fans out, dropping sediment that creates new land. Instead, sediment sluices out to the seafloor. An estimated 1.2 million acres of wetlands have been converted to open water since the levee system began.
The "taming" of the river was intended to provide flood control and improve navigation for ships to the port of New Orleans. Few elected officials want to take on powerful interests that benefit from keeping the river's man-made berms in place. Prominent among those interests are the oil industry, which has benefited from an estimated 10,000 miles of canals that have been cut through south Louisiana's marshes to allow access for oil and gas vessels.
Gulf states will no doubt put their hands up seeking funding for pet projects, which in addition to wetlands restoration might include shoring up barrier islands and dredging bays and sounds. But many coastal scientists argue that the most effective solution to restoring Louisiana's wetlands is tackling the jury-rigged plumbing of the Mississippi.
"The single issue that would top any wish list is to change in the way the lower Mississippi River is managed," said Len Bahr, coastal adviser to five Louisiana governors. "Unless we really come to grips with that, we don't have a chance (of) saving the coast in the long run. They hope all these little projects will add up to something. They are all little Band-Aids."
Bahr said every time the issue of river management was broached by scientists, powerful political forces ruled the day.
Obama did not make clear how the effort would be funded or how much it would cost, but it appears likely that the administration will attempt to force BP to foot the bill.
"We must make a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment ... and BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region," the president said.
The oil company has put up $350 million to fund a plan to help shore up Louisiana's barrier islands with the hope that the narrow sand spits will stop oil slicks from hitting the coast. Some critics of the project, which is championed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, say it is a back-door plan to fund coastal restoration that successive state and federal governments have failed to address.
———
(Los Angeles Times reporter Cart reported from Los Angeles and Tankersley of the Tribune Washington Bureau from Washington.)

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Interesting quotations

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeare on Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

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Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

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GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

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Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve