Reason Morning Links: A Drilling Freeze, a Slush Fund, and a Rumor of War


• North Korean official: "a war may break out any moment."

• As efforts to contain the BP oil leak continue, the feds halt all new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

• The U.S. prepares to spend $100 million on a Special Operations HQ in Afghanistan, with construction to start around the time the drawdown of troops is scheduled to begin.

• Apparently, if you go on a Jew-hunting excursion for Richard Nixon, people just might hold it against you.

• The leadership PAC as self-perpetuating slush fund.

NEXT: Equal Justice

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  1. Join this facebook group: < a href=”http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=124913217539126″>If One Million People Join This Group BP Will Nuke the Oil Leak

      1. Facebook groups are for lemmings.

        1. I joined. If James Cameron hasn’t already suggested they nuke the site from orbit, I’ll be highly disappointed.

          1. “It was a bad call, Ripley. A bad call!”

            1. Burke got a raw deal.

              1. Yup. No exclusive rights for poor Burke.

      2. I joined for a moment then noticed you din’t have an Israeli flag in there. Fix that and I’ll be back 😉

  2. How is some old fart from the Nixon administration still running around 40 years later? Our political class is so craven. Can’t any of them ever get lives?

    1. Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc… I’m beginning to hate Nixon more than Carter.

      1. I think Rumsfeld worked for Ford not Nixon. And I think Cheney was a representative during the Nixon administration. But I could be wrong.

        1. Whatever the case, it’s obvious the politicians who came out of that era are all great and quality citizens, ha ha.

    2. “As Malek assumes a widening role in national and Virginia politics,”

      This line from the WaPo article makes it seem like Malek’s some kind of rising star. Dude’s 74 years old; whatever’s he doing now is basically a hobby, not a career.

      1. Kiss my wormy ass!

  3. George F Will meets Glenn Beck:

    The danger of a government with unlimited power
    Today, as it has been for a century, American politics is an argument between two Princetonians — James Madison, Class of 1771, and Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879. Madison was the most profound thinker among the Founders. Wilson, avatar of “progressivism,” was the first president critical of the nation’s founding….

    1. Or George F. Will vs. Emperor Palpatine

    2. I’ll take the sumbitch who wanted to limit government vs the sumbitch who wanted to solve problems through force 8 days a week.

      1. The eighth day of the week being mandated by the 42’d amendment.

    3. Wilson rejected the principles behind the founding in other ways Will doesn’t cover.

      For example, Wilson endorsed the idea of the ethnic nation, even though the US was at the time of its founding a multiethnic state that had just secured independence from a multiethnic kingdom that ruled over a multiethnic empire. Apparently Europe’s perniciously fashionable nationalism appealed to him. Probably as a result of his virulent racism.

      1. While Wilson was horrid for all sorts of reasons, this isn’t one of them. Shared ethnicity and culture is a huge advantage for a nation to have to ensure stability. People are tribal by nature, and don’t easily get along with people who don’t look or sound like them unless they are conditioned to do so, as modern America does to a large extent.

        At the time of its founding, the US population was overwhelmingly British and Protestant. There were a few isolated enclaves of Jews, Catholics, and Frenchmen, but to call the early republic multiethnic is ridiculous. (This is of course excluding the black slaves who were not considered persons by the early republic.)

        And the absolute mess that was racial and ethnic relations in the 1910s in America would hardly have inspired even the most starry-eyed liberal to advocate similar ethnic mixing in countries that were, by necessity, being built from the ground up after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

  4. PACs spend the bulk of their money funding their own operations, spending sizeable sums on fundraisers that also offer sweet perquisites for members and their aides

    Surprise, surprise, surprise!

  5. Great. Just great. First an oil leak that affects Louisiana’s fishing industry, a severe but eventually solvable problem. Now, he’s ordered the shutdown of the major industry in southern LA. Oh, but it’s only for six months, and look, you can get unemployment and SBA loans. The 100,000+ people affected by this decision are none too happy. I guess he had to “do something.”

    1. I guess he had to “do something.”

      It must have been done for political reasons, because otherwise there’s absolutely no logic behind shutting down drilling in shallow water. This will hurt the shipping industry as well.

    2. Not to mention all the office people in Houston who now don’t have anything to do, like my sister. Crap. Her company only does ocean drilling.

  6. It’s about time a country call bullshit on NK’s saber rattling. I’m not a huge fan of war, but the continue appeasing of that shitball government has lead no where.

    1. I think they’re just jealous of Israel and Gaza.

      I can hear it now, Kim Jong Il to his aides, “Dammit, we’re the nutbags! Get out there and do something stupid!”

    2. North Korean official: “a war may break out any moment.”

      Is it Friday already? Ho-Hum.

  7. As efforts to contain the BP oil leak continue, the feds halt all new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Sustainability is just around the corner!

    1. must…grow…more…corn…

  8. What happened with the junk shot? I thought the junk shot was next. I was looking forward to the junk shot and the news saying “junk shot” over and over again. Junk shot.

    1. And you know damned well they really wanted to call it the money shot.

      1. BP was originally going to call the golf balls and tires “Wellhead Arresting Debris” but decided for some reason to go with “junk”.

        1. I see what you did there, Rich!

  9. Oh, io9… Are you paid to suck this hard? Or does it just come naturally?

    The only change that half those books will bring about in you will either be a lifelong hatred of science fiction or a pathetic half-understanding of quality science fiction that gets you a job at gawker.

    1. SF, for those of us without an encyclopedic knowledge of Sci-Fi, which are the suckiest?

      1. It’s mostly what they choose from the authors than the authors themselves.

        Wizard is, quite frankly, the worst thing John Varley wrote in his fertile period, Steel Beach is much more of an achievement, but it’s full of icky libertarianism and gun-ownership. Pattern Recognition is not Gibson’s worst, but it’s close, one long infantile screed about those horrible corporations with a meandering plot. Cory Doctorow is a terrible writer and infantile thinker. Glasshouse is far from Stross’ best and is only there because it’s about gender roles (also covered much better in Steel Beach.) Newton’s Wake is competently written, but not revelatory and wears its hard left politics on its sleeve.

        The Sparrow is a shameful rip-off of A Case of Conscience by James Blish. The Bohr Maker is a re-tread of Greg Bear’s Queen of Angels. The Mount is just a straight up rip-off of Mankind Under the Leash by Thomas Disch.

        They are all such rip-offs, one can only assume that they chose the same ideas, but written by women to pad out the list.

        1. The Bohr Maker sounded like every hateable cliche about “nanotechnology” put together in one big steaming turd.

          “Nanotechnology” is about the worst thing to happen to science fiction.

          1. The problem is creeping fantasyism. Using nano to stand in for magic it what sucks. Queen of Angels by Bear and “We Were Out Of Our Minds With Joy” by David Marusek are examples of using it well.

            1. Well put. It almost like you should write articles or get paid to blog about this stuff. 🙂

              1. “We Were Out Of Our Minds With Joy” is one of my favorite short stories. Marusek expanded it into the less than successful Counting Heads in 2005.

        2. The Sparrow is not that bad.

          I don’t think it’s life-changing though. It has one amusing reveal [the nature of the music made me laugh when it was fully revealed] and a bunch of reveals that are supposed to be shocking but aren’t. It is a nice entertainment. It certainly didn’t change my life.

      2. The list also sucks because giants such as Heinlein and Clarke are overlooked. And the list is heavy on newer works while overlooking the classics that inspired them in the first place. To say Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, or 2001 were insignificant, non-life altering books is a smack in the face of the entire genre. But perhaps I’m biased; Heinlein is one of my all-time favorites.

        I did enjoy Butler’s Kindred. Can’t argue with Asimov’s or Wells’ inclusion on the list. It’s been a while since I’ve had time to read recreationally, and none of the paltry synopses offered about these books titillates me enough to encourage reading them.

        1. I think Kindred is probably the only truly life-changing book on the list. In a finer world, college students would read it instead of Beloved half a dozen times.

          1. I read it in university, in my African American Women’s Lit class. Sounds bullshit, but I really enjoyed the class, the professor, and all of the literature. My professor thought Beloved was only so-so (heresy for a black AA Studies doctorate to say, but she was ballsy and self-aware enough to tell the academy to go screw when she felt it necessary).

            1. My poor wife had to read Beloved in six classes. Seriously, guys. Give it a rest.

              Kindred is a bold choice. It offers zero easy ways out. Most of Butler’s fiction is like that. Did you ever read Parable of the Sower?

              1. No, mostly due to No Available Time. I need to get a list together of catch-up reading. I’ll put it on the list. I need to re-read Kindred as well, it’s been years and it is a story worth revisiting.

                My condolences to your wife. I never finished Beloved nor could I sit through the film. Some of Morrison’s novels are great works, but Beloved is no Sula or Jazz.

        2. No Heinlein, no PK Dick, no Herbert, no Vonnegut? I’m suspicious.

          1. Thank you! I forgot Vonnegut in my initial post. PK Dick’s exclusion is a sin too – how can they claim to know sci-fi lit and not respect the fathers (and mothers)?

          2. I’ve long held the theory that even though PKD is now considered a major author in SF, the lack of a single work to point to that encompasses PKD is why he gets left off short lists. I’d say you’d have to read 3 or 4 novels and a few short stories to really understand why he’s important.

            But Heinlein and Vonnegut are fairly easy.

            1. Valis? Or maybe Martian Time Slip?

              1. I’ve always thought that We Can Build You and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch would encompass his main themes of “What is reality?” and “What does ‘human’ mean?”

                (“The Electric Ant” gets at both of them quite pointedly in short story form.)

                Ubik or Clans of the Alphane Moon to understand his sense of humor and Valis to understand the lure he felt toward mysticism and religion.

                I came up with a core reading list for PKD for a friend of mine a few years ago. If I can find it, I’ll throw it up on hrsugarfree.

    2. And what the fuck is this gayness:


      1. I bet you good money that it’s a paid placement. That’s basically a romance series.

        1. I bet you good money that it’s a paid placement. That’s basically a romance series.

          Basically, SugarFree? I think you give it too much credit.

          1. Well, I haven’t read it, but it seems to be in that pack of romance-based slipstream fiction.

            1. I think you should write “romance”-based slipstream fiction, SugarFree. You have a real gift for “love” scenes.

              1. “I want to fuck on the astroturf” haunts my dreams to this day.

              2. Art, have you read his latest missive re: The SCOTUS? Gold, pure gold!

                1. Yes. I really, really love that one.

              3. Actually, I think an H&R collaboration on a fake feminist romance novel would probably produce the greatest novel since Scrotie McBoogerballs.

    3. This longish short story by H.P. Lovecraft brings together all of Lovecraft’s greatest and most memorable obsessions.

      Oh io9, if only there was a word for such a thing! Novella perhaps? I can only hope they get paid to suck this hard, but I suspect it just come naturally to them.

    4. I’m struggling with Perdido Street Station right now and am finding it a very difficult read. Can anyone say if this deserves a place on this list?

      1. It didn’t care for it. I don’t much like his writing style. Of course, I am severely biased against mixing fantasy into science fiction, hard magical realism, science fantasy and the like, so I’m not the best judge.

        1. I haven’t given up on a book in a really long time, but I am beginning to doubt that I will finish this one.

          1. I know that it’s heresy around here, but Vinge is the only author I’ve given up on, twice.

            I bailed on Fire Upon the Deep early in the book after feeling so much ‘meh.’ but I may go back some day and pick that up again. I stuck with Rainbow’s End until about the halfway mark, but gave up out of utter and complete boredom.

            1. I’ll throw my hat in with you, JW. I’ve finished his books and even like them, but reading them is a not a pleasurable experience. One of the qualities I look for in a book is re-readability. I’m not sorry I read Fire on the Deep, but I’ll certainly never read it again.

              1. Upon” stupid typing.

                1. Good to know it’s not just me. I’m at the Junior reading level compared to most of the gang here (I can barely remember what a book I read was about 6 months later), so I often wonder if it’s my own stunted talents restricting me.

              2. The Peace War is a nice diverting entertainment and not too demanding.

    5. What, no Infinite Jest? (ducks)

      Not sci-fi/futuristic enough? Or just too freakin’ difficult for anyone to finish? Or did they just not want to appear too, too hip?

      I’ve heard people argue that IJ is a life-changing book. I like DFW’s essays but after about 10 pages his fiction begins to make my brain hurt.

      1. I barely got through “Gravity’s Rainbow”. Does it make a reader’s head hurt like that?

        1. Yes. It is the modern centerpiece of The Literature of Exhaustion, boring you with digressive detail and daring you not to put it down lest you look stupid for quitting.

    6. Yeah, fuck that list, how about some of these:

      Heinlein: anything really but especially; Stranger in a Strange Land, of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

      Orson Scott Card: Ender’s Game

      Greg Egan: Diaspora (awesome book)

      Arthur C. Clarke: anything, but especially the 2001 series, I mean this guy discovered sunken treasure, invented new technology, and still had time to write great scifi.

      I’d also throw Illuminatus! Trilogy, and some Douglas Adams up there to get the commenters rolling.

      I have read a lot of sci-fi, but have mostly forgotten it all. If a book is forgotten it really can’t be “life changing”, therefore a list like the one linked is bound to be even more subjective than a regular top 10 list.

      1. Did you ever read Egan’s Distress? I’ve always had the feeling that it will turn out to be horrifically prescient.

        1. Been meaning to read more Egan, but haven’t had the chance.

          Never heard of the guy until about eight years ago. I had some people at my house and we were doing South American stimulants late into the night. The conversation centered around weird physics and sci-fi. When the bars opened up we decided to go and get some beer. This dude insisted that we stop at his house to get Diaspora, as I just had to read it. Naturally, I still had the book years later, and gave it to my buddy after a long drinking bout.

          I’ll have to check that out S.F.

        2. My first Egan book was Quarantine, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Trying to understand quantum probability made my head hurt initially, but I finally grokked Schrodinger’s Cat.

      2. Douglas Adams’ work is brilliant. That’s a really good choice. I still have to read Illuminatus!.

        1. I really like The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles (The Earth Will Shake (1982), The Widow’s Son (1985), and Nature’s God (1991)). It’s a damn shame he died without finishing them.

          1. I went to wiki to get the story on these novels and found this(remember “the noid”);

            In 1989, Kenneth Lamar Noid, a mentally ill customer who thought the ads were a personal attack on him, held two employees of an Atlanta, Georgia Domino’s restaurant hostage for over five hours. After forcing them to make him a pizza and making demands for $100,000, getaway transportation, and a copy of The Widow’s Son, Noid surrendered to the police.[3] After the incident had ended, police Chief Reed Miller offered a memorable assessment to reporters: “He’s paranoid.”

            You’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you!

            1. I kind of want to have a cup of coffee with this Noid fellow. He seems like a really interesting cat.

            2. That’s the best thing I ever saw.

    7. Thanks for reminding me why I never go to io9.

    8. I guess my list of life-changing science fiction would be:

      Atlas Shrugged

      [Yeah, they’re both science fiction, mofos]

      Childhood’s End
      Jack Faust
      A Canticle for Leibowitz
      Bring the Jubilee / Lest Darkness Fall [pick one]
      The Road
      Ender’s Game
      The Space Merchants
      Marching Through Georgia

      Yikes, that list makes me look old. But fuck it. The transhuman stuff being written now works best for me in forms shorter than novel length.

      1. A hale and hearty ditto to Bring the Jubilee and The Space Merchants. They are fantastic reads.

        (Not to knock anything else Fluffy recommended.)

  10. Well, considering that he was a collectivist, and that he had the odious scumbag Kissinger in his cabinet, it’s not surprising that Nixon was an anti-Semite.

    As for the douchebag that helped him with his purge, he deserves a fate far worse than the one he has, so he should STFU and go find a real job worthy of his talents – sanitation engineer or such.

    1. And Kissinger is what religion?
      Would love to see the FBI files that resulted from the beloved RFK’s instructions to look into the sordid details of MLK’s life.

      1. I always thought that Kissinger was Sith. It never occured to me that he might be Jewish.

    2. considering that he was a collectivist … it’s not surprising that Nixon was an anti-Semite


      Israel was more or less founded by Socialists (and more than a few Marxists-Lennists), and to this day is probably the most collectivist ‘western’ society outside Scandinavia.

      1. I was calling Nixon a collectivist, although I’m sure Kissinger fits in there as well. And my point was that a collectivist (in this case, Nixon) is someone who would take a single individual (e.g., Kissinger), and generalize from that person to the group. I should have written that more clearly.

        As for Draco’s point, you are correct on all counts – at some point, offenses (short of actual murder) need to be forgiven, and I need to RTFA, especially since I often tell others to do so.

    3. If you were to read the article, you might find that it’s a bit unfair to describe him as a douchebag, circa 2010:

      In response to the controversy over Malek’s appointment in Virginia, Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a recent statement that “I am pleased to call Fred Malek my friend,” and that except for his experience compiling a list of Jews for Nixon, “he has no record of being anti-Jewish.” Both Corallo and a spokesman for the ADL declined to say whether Malek had contributed money to the group.

      When asked Tuesday about Malek’s connection to the Nixon program, McDonnell said that he “did not know about this background,” that the episode was old, that Malek had apologized, and that what matters is that Malek is a successful businessman. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has known Malek socially for several decades, said in a separate statement that she has “great respect, trust and admiration” for him and that “he has no bias of any kind whatsoever.”

      Nixon was a statist and an anti-semite, without a libertarian bone in his body. But this Malek guy looks like he made a mistake in his younger years, working for a bad President. People deserve a second chance on something like this, in my view.

  11. Who are these Jews everyone has such a problem with? Never heard of them.

  12. Virtually all the job creation in May came from the hiring of 411,000 census workers.

    Government job creation at its finest.

    1. And by the way, the Census department was apparently ordered by the administration to engage in trickery to inflate those numbers to make the jobs report look better.

      1. And as a census drone (who, ironically, really hates to annoy people), we could have done the job twice as fast and cheaper with half as many (or even fewer) people.

  13. Jew eat yet?

  14. Oh, io9… Are you paid to suck this hard?

    Yes. It’s Gawker.


  15. All around Afghanistan, from Kandahar Airfield to the Bagram jail, the U.S. military is on a building spree, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on wartime encampments. By one count, America and its allies now have 700 bases in Afghanistan.

    I feel safer already.

    1. Yeah, gotta’ support those troops.

      1. To be fair, I think existing structures in Afghanistan are lacking.

        1. yes, a few of the ‘bases’ are nothing more than a ring of Hesco barriers and a few trailers and outhouses.

          otoh, the Kandahar base has a TGIF and a Tim Horton’s – staffed by real (civilian) Canadians.

          1. I was very disappointed to find out that Hesco is a private company and I couldn’t invest in it…

    2. Why is that dude in the picture (I assume he is an American soldier) wearing a mask? If it’s to keep the sand away from his face why doesn’t he have glasses? What reason does an honest, decent man have to cover his face? The only reason I can think of to wear a mask is that you know what you are doing is wrong and you either don’t want to get caught or are ashamed of yourself. Masks always bother me esp. on soldiers or cops.

      If I’m missing something please enlighten me.

      1. Looks like he just took his glasses off. He looks like Special Ops to me and those guys have another set of modus operandi. I don’t typically question it, but yeah those guys sometimes mess up, do unethical acts and so forth as well. But those guys operate behind enemy lines and in dicey situations a lot, so there’s a bit of a premium on not being recognized, I think.

        The only time I covered my face up that much was during a dust storm, but I’m guessing riding in a helicopter is another good reason to do so.

        1. I see the point about facing unusual risks behind enemy lines. Still bothers me because when people disguise their identities (it looked like he had no name tag or rank on his uniform either) it makes it much easier to torture, murder innocent bystanders, etc. and we’ve had quite enough of that lately.

  16. Jindal: Keep Drilling

    The Louisiana Department of Economic Development estimates that the active drilling suspension alone will result in a loss of 3,000 to 6,000 Louisiana jobs in the next 2-3 weeks and potentially over 10,000 Louisiana jobs within a few months.

    If the suspension of active drilling activity continues for an extended period, LED estimates that our state risks losing more than 20,000 existing and potential new Louisiana jobs in the next 12-18 months.

    1. Jindal rocks! He’s got massive stones, for sure.

      1. Massive stones would be Jindal refusing to obey the suspension.

        1. What form would such a refusal take? Is the state going to set up a drill rig in defiance of the ban?

          I’m not sure they even have jurisdiction beyound a couple of miles from shore.

    1. I guess it makes sense that he became a lawyer, given that his parents sued his friends for uploading a video. The Geekologie people are right, dude needed to grow some fortitude and sense of humor. I’d have been honored if Arrested Development had poked fun at me.

      1. I’m surprised he didn’t become a police officer or a rent-a-cop (psychiatric stay notwithstanding). I sense great evil in this one, I’ll bet he becomes a judge someday.

  17. I’m beginning to hate Nixon more than Carter.


    Wage and price controls.

    Took us out of Bretton Woods.

    What more reason could you need?

  18. And example of why cops don’t want to be taped….

    Other officers, a crime scene technician and a community service aide were at the crash scene. Some of them were recorded by a police car dashboard camera discussing how they would doctor the crash report to absolve Francisco in the collision, authorities said.

    From here.

    1. Linkee no workee.

      1. Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

        1. I am a fan of the dashboard cameras.

          1. I am beginning to think that all cops, as a job requirement, should have solid state, wireless cameras, that can’t be turned off expect by an supervisor, grafted onto their skulls.

            1. Not a supervisor… a judge.

              1. The same judges who hand out warrants for violent drug searches like they’re candy?

      2. “User comments are not being accepted on this article”


  19. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has known Malek socially for several decades, said in a separate statement that she has “great respect, trust and admiration” for him and that “he has no bias of any kind whatsoever.”

    If you can’t trust Diane Feinstein, who can you trust?

    1. That shows how fucked up the Betlway establishment is. A liberal dem is defending a former Jew hunting member of the Nixon administration. Basically she is telling the country “only we can dicipline our own so shut the fuck up you proles”.

  20. If North Korea really tries to nuke S. Korea, Pyongyang will cease to exist within 48 hours.

    1. i.e. 47 1/2 hours after Seoul is destroyed…

    2. Omelets don’t just magically appear, you know.

  21. A BOP has a flange on top. Why don’t they just detach the remains of the riser and bolt on a valve or blind flange? Something doesn’t smell right about the clumsy way they are trying to stop the leak.

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