北京 建筑

The new headquarters of China Central Television (CCTV) completed to broadcast the Beijing Olympics. The building was designed by Rem Koolhass of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).

Started in March 2003, the total construction cost has been estimated at €600m. The CCTV tower will employ 10,000 people following its completion. Because of its radical shape, the 51 story building has acquired nicknames such as “Sweet Donut” and “SpongeBob Squarepants” by locals.

Obama’s “Shift” on Offshore Drilling

With poll numbers indicating something like 83% of Americans thinking that not drilling is somehow driving up oil prices — as frankly retarded as that notion is — should anyone be surprised that Obama has now subtly modified his position on the issue by allowing for the possibility of “compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy… carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage”?

It’s a calculated political move that effectively defuses the offshore drilling issue by making it clear that he’s not taking an absolutist position. Treating it as a bargaining chip within the framework of a more comprehensive energy policy rather than falsely presenting it as a short-term fix to high gas prices at the pump as the GOP has done actually now puts McCain in the rather awkward position of eventually having to admit what everyone with half a clue already knows; that drilling really isn’t the answer to America’s energy woes.

The immediate optical danger however is that Obama runs the risk of appearing to be an unprincipled flip-flopper, a cynical panderer, or even to some of his own supporters, as possibly having capitulated to corporate interests. This really doesn’t seem to be the case at all though, especially not when his statements are taken fully in context, including this part that seems to be omitted from many of the wire articles that have appeared:

“Like all compromises, it also includes steps that I haven’t always supported,” Obama conceded. “I remain skeptical that new offshore drilling will bring down gas prices in the short-term or significantly reduce our oil dependence in the long-term, though I do welcome the establishment of a process that will allow us to make future drilling decisions based on science and fact.”

Sounds entirely reasonable to me, but then this kind of flexible stance is where I thought he needed to be on the issue months ago, so there you go.

Wanting it in the Worst Way

Writing in this morning’s New York Times Bob Herbert busts McCain for his dog-whistle race baiting and calls for an end to all the “drivel” about the Arizona senator’s purported “high-mindedness” given the torrent of dishonorable slime offered up by his campaign team over the course of this past week.

The racial fantasy factor in this presidential campaign is out of control. It was at work in that New Yorker cover that caused such a stir. (Mr. Obama in Muslim garb with the American flag burning in the fireplace.) It’s driving the idea that Barack Obama is somehow presumptuous, too arrogant, too big for his britches — a man who obviously does not know his place.

Mr. Obama has to endure these grotesque insults with a smile and heroic levels of equanimity. The reason he has to do this — the sole reason — is that he is black.

So there he was this week speaking evenly, and with a touch of humor, to a nearly all-white audience in Missouri. His goal was to reassure his listeners, to let them know he’s not some kind of unpatriotic ogre.

Mr. Obama told them: “What they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s risky.”

The audience seemed to appreciate his comments. Mr. Obama was well-received.

But John McCain didn’t appreciate them. RACE CARD! RACE CARD! The McCain camp started bellowing, and it hasn’t stopped since. With great glee bursting through their feigned outrage, the campaign’s operatives and the candidate himself accused Senator Obama of introducing race into the campaign — playing the race card, as they put it, from the very bottom of the deck.

Whatever you think about Barack Obama, he does not want the race issue to be front and center in this campaign. Every day that the campaign is about race is a good day for John McCain. So I guess we understand Mr. McCain’s motivation.

Nevertheless, it’s frustrating to watch John McCain calling out Barack Obama on race. Senator Obama has spoken more honestly and thoughtfully about race than any other politician in many years. Senator McCain is the head of a party that has viciously exploited race for political gain for decades.

He’s obviously more than willing to continue that nauseating tradition.

The whole article is definitely worth the read.

Maybe, just maybe, more constituents of McCain’s former “base” (i.e., the media) will quit their clowning and start taking the straight-talking maverick literally when he says “I’m John McCain and I approve this message.”

Bonehead of the Week

Having moved over to WordPress last month I wasn’t following the kafuffle yesterday over certain blogs hosted by Blogger being inadvertently locked down as “splogs” but noted with some amusement that Bob “Mah Charcoal Grill!” Owens at “Confederate Yankee” was quick to assume the worst with a post entitled Obama’s Netroots Supporters Continue “Blog Burning” that featured a picture of Nazi brownshirts burning books. “Tell me once more how progressives love free speech,” Bob began…

Online activists thought to be loyal to Barack Obama are once against using Google’s software tools to target rival political blogs for elimination as spam blogs. This occurred earlier this year when Democratic bloggers with a preference for Hillary Clinton also found themselves locked out of their own blogs, all because of spurious and apparently orchestrated claims that these blogs are spam blogs. Pro-Obama activists were blamed for those attempts at censorship as well.

Like John at Argghhh!, I don’t think for a second that the Obama campaign has any official knowledge of this attempt to hamstring or terminate rival political viewpoints, but as Obama once won an election by exercising procedural tricks to have his rivals thrown off the ballot, it is certainly in line with the kind of character he has displayed in the past.

As it turns out, this was of course a complete and utter pack of LIES with absolutely no basis in fact whatsoever.

And what did the “hard-eyed realist” have to say when Glenn Reynolds pooped all over his dumbass conspiracy theory? “Drat! Another good 2-minute hate down the toilet,” he lamented before moving onto his next crackpot posting.

Right-wing blogging at its finest, ladies and gents.