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Friday, July 04, 2008

In the news:

* In response to public outrage—and who thought that could still accomplish anything?—the Bureau of Land Management has reversed the absurd two-year moratorium on public-land solar projects that got me so riled up a few days ago.

* Is Bush about to close Guantánamo? I imagine extralegal prisons are a whole lot less fun lately, though knowing the Bush administration they'd probably only plan to close it in preparation for Guantánamo II on the Moon.

* Utah responds to the high price of energy by moving to a four-day workweek for state employees. Meanwhile, Sal Cinquemani at Slant Magazine takes aim at the central contradiction that has crippled the Democrats' ability to properly respond to the high price of gasoline: so long as we are unable to think the crisis outside a capitalist, market-oriented framework, $140 a barrel still isn't high enough.

* Jesse Helms died today, one day after Bozo the Clown, and everyone else has already made the joke.

* Despite the latest denialist meme, volcanoes are not melting Arctic ice.

* Christopher Hitchens now agrees waterboarding is torture. Why? He let himself be waterboarded. (Here's video.) I really hate to kick a guy just when he's finally starting to see the light, but it's worth saying that there are still plenty of people whose moral sense is not so deformed by eight years of Bushism that we knew better than to torture people without an object lesson in basic human decency—and it'd be nice if, you know, we were maybe listened to occasionally. Via MeFi.

* And, at NPR, the strange odyssey of Napoleon's penis.