THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† All The News That’s Fart To Print (last item): Move over, freon and other chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). There’s a new ozone-killer in town - nitrous oxide (N2O), AKA “laughing gas.” According to US News & World Report “[c]alculations by a trio of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo., now indicate that each molecule of N2O is almost one-fiftieth as effective at depleting ozone as is CFC-11”:
Owing to its roughly 100-year survival time in the atmosphere (a lifespan comparable to CFCs) and the huge quantities released each year, N2O stands poised to become a potent player in the thinning of global stratospheric ozone. …
As N2O pollution goes, dentists are very bit players. Deforestation, animal wastes and bacterial decomposition of plant material in soils and streams emit up to two-thirds of atmospheric N2O.
The rest comes from nitrogen fertilization of agricultural soils and fossil-fuel combustion, which the NOAA scientists claim increase atmospheric concentrations of N2O some one percent every four years. Oh, and N2O is also a greenhouse gas, they say.
Although the 1987 Montreal Protocol has begun to reverse CFC-caused stratospheric ozone thinning, the NOAA scientists want the scope of the U.N. treaty expanded to also include N20. Even when an environmental initiative is a success, alarmists keep themselves employed by finding new bogeymen to go after.
† One Man’s Meat Is Another Man’s Poison (second item): The Associated Press reports that there is “a bright spot” to our economy being in the toilet:
Thanks to the economic downturn and rising shipping costs, junk mail volume was down 16 percent in the nine months ending in June compared with the same period a year earlier, on pace for the steepest annual decline in decades.
Businesses that are still sending junk mail are sending less of it - shrinking their catalogs and using thinner paper to save money. It's a sign stores are still struggling, but it also means less paper to toss in the garbage or lug to the recycling bin. …
Among those hit hardest as businesses cut back on direct mail is the already struggling U.S. Postal Service. Junk mail, which the post office calls standard mail, accounted for about a fourth of its revenue in 2008.
The postal service raised its rates for junk mail last year and again this spring, but it still made $200 million less from junk mail last year than it did in 2007, and this year's decline could be even bigger.
It doesn’t matter how far USPS revenues fall – the government will just pump more money into it, as with the clunkers program (seventh item).
† Updates To Previous Posts (second item, Obama Already A Lame Duck?): Michael Young, opinion editor of The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon) writes that President Barack Hussein Obama’s Middle East policy “shorn of the soaring rhetoric, has been artless and arrogant”:
There is great discomfort these days among those who backed Barack Obama’s ‘new’ approach to the Middle East when he took office 10 months ago. That shouldn’t surprise us. Everything about the president’s shotgun approach to the region, his desire to overhaul all policies from the George W. Bush years simultaneously, without a cohesive strategy binding his actions together, was always going to let the believers down.
As the president’s accelerated pullout from Iraq begins to look increasingly ill-thought-out, as his engagement of Iran and Syria falters, as Arab-Israeli peace looks more elusive than ever, and as Americans express growing doubts about the war in Afghanistan, Obama is discovering that personal charisma is not enough to alter the realities of a Middle East that has whittled down better men than he. …
Barack Obama’s devotees may imagine that because he spent a few years abroad as a boy, he is well equipped to understand our complicated world. … The president is being tied up every which way by his foes, who can plainly see that the Obama vision is an unsystematic one. If ever the US has been close to achieving potentially terminal self-marginalization in the region, it is now.
† Updates To Previous Posts (fifth item, Specter The Defector): The Washington Post reports that The Federal Election Commission agrees that the Club for Growth – founded by former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-PA) -is “within its legal rights” to contact contributors to the Specter Committee and “inform [them] of Senator [Arlen] Specter's decision to switch to the Democratic Party and his policy of refunding contributions upon request”:
The FEC's decision provides another political headache for Specter, whose transformation into a Democrat has attracted more challenges than expected. …
Thursday's ruling means Specter also will face a concerted effort to drain his finances by the Club for Growth, which was previously headed by Toomey.
Although the Specter campaign gave back more than $200,000 during the second quarter of this year, that amounts to a small fraction of the nearly $11 million he has reported raising since his last election in 2004, according to campaign finance reports.
† Updates To Previous Posts (last item, Pearson's Knickers Still In A Knot Over His Pants): Former D.C. judge Roy Pearson is now trying his (bad) luck at yet another courthouse, reports The National Law Journal:
D.C. Superior Court was a bust. So was the D.C. Court of Appeals. A related suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia didn't work out, either.
Maybe a federal appeals court will see things differently.
Roy Pearson Jr., the former administrative law judge in Washington, D.C., who gained notoriety for his unsuccessful $54 million suit against a dry cleaners that misplaced a pair of pants, has turned to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Pearson, who filed a pro se notice of appearance Thursday, wants the federal appeals court in Washington to overturn the dismissal of a wrongful termination suit he filed in May 2008 against the city, among other defendants, seeking reinstatement to his post as an administrative law judge. ...
There's no guarantee that the D.C. Circuit will hear oral argument in the case.