Hello, everyone! Phoenix again, subbing Late Night tonight, and with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to topics:
— The FBI: Still Luddites after All These Years. You’ve probably already seen DSWright’s piece on the strangeness of the FBI’s redaction régime. The folks at Quantico really have no clue about the modern world, years after chief technophobe Louis Freeh left.
— More Right-Wing Kidding on The Square. “Kidding on the square” is an old American phrase that dates back to the early 20th century; it had fallen out of fashion until Al Franken revived it ten years ago. It’s when you make a joke but you really do mean what you say — or, as happens with increasing frequency in conservative circles, when you try to avoid the negative consequences of espousing a particular action or thing by pretending that you were “just joking“, as Rex Rammell did in 2009 when he took flak for his “Obama hunting tags” comment. Rather than try to retroactively claim their inflammatory verbal crudities as “jokes”, the more subtle conservatives attempt to frame them as “jokes” from the start, as National Review blogger Michael Walsh did with his call to deny women the right to vote. However, since conservatives are noticeably unskilled in the intentional humor department, these attempts do not end well.
— Stay Away from Small Planes, Ron. Among the many reasons to back Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer’s primary bid trial balloon against Max Baucus, the Senator from WellPoint: He crushes Baucus in both primary and general election polling. It would take down one of the Catfood Commission’s most powerful members. And, as TarheelDem points out, it makes Ron Wyden the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
— Frac Sand Mining. Most folks have heard about the problems connected to fracking for oil; what they might not know is that mining the sand used for fracking is itself contentious. Sally Jo Sorensen covers the issue here, here and here.