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From: Wharf Rat3/28/2012 10:22:49 AM
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France poised to release strategic oil reserves, on US request
Press, Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 4:09 AMAP



PARIS — France’s government says it is considering releasing oil from its strategic reserves as part of a U.S.-led effort to increase supply to bring down high prices.

Industry Minister Eric Besson said “the United States asked, and France welcomed this hypothesis.”









Government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse said France is waiting for recommendations from the International Energy Agency before tapping its oil reserves.

She said the French government is also pressing oil-producing countries to release more oil on the markets to ease prices.

Like in the United States, high gasoline prices have been an issue in the campaign for France’s presidential elections.

Crude prices have jumped from $75 in October to near $106 a barrel Wednesday.

washingtonpost.com

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To: epicure who wrote (186067)3/28/2012 10:29:23 AM
From: No Mo Mo
of 259739
 
First of all, following simple logic, if a lone voice has no impact by criticizing, how are positive comments any different? Why bother saying anything?

Secondly, if one were to buy your premise that negative comments have no place, do you realize what you're advocating? It's not Democracy. At best it's blind conformity. At worst it's a political system that allows no disagreement or dissent. That's not what some of us have in mind when we think of Democracy.

Finally, do you mean to say that a person disagreeing with policies 'demoralizes' supporters more than the policies themselves? The president has claimed the right to kill US citizens with no oversight. Maybe that has been going on before now, but for them to legitimize it with a public declaration is unprecedented -- and it's even more dangerous for a Democrat to establish this precedent as they are the party 'perceived' to be less prone toward executive branch overreach.

Using the Espionage Act, this president has prosecuted people who have come forward to speak out against policies they found morally or ethically questionable. Since its inception in 1917, that law has been used only three times. In three years, the Obama administration, declaring before office that his would be the most transparent ever, has used it seven times. One of them was speaking out about the NSA conducting warrantless wiretapping, eavesdropping and data mining -- the government breaking the law to make sure its citizens don't say anything too threatening. Seven times in three years...to send a message to people that they should keep their mouths shut.

Someone on a chat board criticizing policies such as this demoralizes you more than the policies themselves?

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To: epicure who wrote (186091)3/28/2012 10:32:15 AM
From: ChinuSFO
of 259739
 
If they had a brawl at their convention, you could have guns go off. They surely want their numbers to multiply not decrease.

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From: JohnM3/28/2012 10:33:00 AM
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Joe Klein let's it all hang out on the SC and healthcare.
----------------------------------------------------
Of Broccoli and Broken Bones
By Joe Klein | @JoeKleinTIME |
March 28, 2012 | +


First, if you haven’t read Kate Pickert’s excellent coverage of yesterday’s supreme court arguments about the Affordable Care Act, you should. Right now. Reading Kate, I find the performance of the Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. appalling. After all the energy expended over 60 years in bringing universal health insurance to fruition, the man couldn’t summon the confidence and passion to make the very obvious case for the bill’s constitutionality. He couldn’t answer the simple question, posed by Justice Kennedy: If the government can force you to buy health insurance, what else can it force you to buy?

The answer is simple. It lies in the broccoli analogy, raised by Justice Scalia, echoing the bill’s opponents’ arguments in lower courts. Can the government force you to buy broccoli? It certainly is good for you. The answer to that is obviously, no. The good for youargument has nothing to do with health care. The relevant argument is: if you don’t buy health insurance, it’s bad for me.If you don’t buy health insurance and have an accident, I have to pay for your treatment at the emergency room. My insurance premiums are higher as a result.

That makes the health care system, as currently construed, unique among markets–uniquely unfair and inefficient, and quasi-public to boot. That is the reason why every state requires people who own cars to carry auto insurance. And yes, you can opt out of car ownership, but you can’t opt out of having a body that will require servicing from time to time. That is the limitation that Justice Kennedy was seeking. I suspect this argument will be made more forcefully by Justices Breyer et al when the Supremes get down to arguing this among themselves. It would have been nice if the Obama Administration’s lead litigator had made a coherent case yesterday, though.

swampland.time.com

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To: JohnM who wrote (186108)3/28/2012 10:35:31 AM
From: Wharf Rat
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"I find the performance of the Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. appalling."

Ezra Klein was wondering (after the fact) if Obama should have left Kagan as the SG.

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To: Wharf Rat who wrote (186109)3/28/2012 10:40:46 AM
From: JohnM
of 259739
 
This piece from Time Magazine is the best sort of play-by-play from yesterday and looks to be as bad as everyone has said. Something happened to Verrilli for him to be this weak.

But it's also a piece of the continuing weak defenses that the Obama administration has offered throughout this process.

swampland.time.com

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To: JohnM who wrote (186110)3/28/2012 10:42:41 AM
From: JohnM
of 259739
 
Nice piece from Josh Marshall.
----------------------------------------------------
The Shame of It All
Josh Marshall
March 28, 2012, 10:07 AM

It’s easy to imagine that two generations of aggressive judicial advocacy and court-packing was leading up to this moment yesterday before the Supreme Court. This would be the prize.

For all of those who thought the conservative judicial push was principally about stuff like Roe v. Wade, as some have suggested to me over the last day or so, just go to a Federalist Society meeting. The real issue has always been the regulatory state. In any case, it is the height of judicial activism for the Court to consider striking down legislation on grounds that was barely considered — certainly not in the mainstream of jurisprudence — only two years before when the legislation was being considered. But what struck me more was how the the critical questions from the conservative bloc on the Court grappled so little with the actual economic role of health care provision in the society and systemic market failure. These would seem to be precisely the issues the Commerce Clause is meant to address. Simply because the problem is serious doesn’t mean every possible solution is constitutional. But again, no real grappling with the practical issues the law was meant to address but rather a hyper-focus on academic and ideological points.

‘Broccoli’ was the key moment.

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To: JohnM who wrote (186110)3/28/2012 10:45:54 AM
From: Wharf Rat
of 259739
 
I'm gonna guess 6-3, with Kennedy (" Maybe the health insurance market is unique") and Roberts, who doesn't want 5-4, and can write the opinion by joining the majority.

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To: Wharf Rat who wrote (186112)3/28/2012 10:50:14 AM
From: JohnM
of 259739
 
I'm gonna guess 6-3, with Kennedy (" Maybe the health insurance market is unique") and Roberts, who doesn't want 5-4, and can write the opinion by joining the majority.

Yes, that's the most optimistic possibility. And I'm leaning that way as well. But it could, very easily, be 5 to 4 against. Just terribly hard to tell. And when the outcome is so problematic, performance issues like yesterday's from the government loom much larger than they should.

I'm still assuming that the real argument clinchers occur in closed door sessions between the members of the court. And there the real loss is Stevens and Brennan, each of whom, apparently, had a near magical ability to shape majorities out of slightly changing wording.

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To: JohnM who wrote (186113)3/28/2012 10:57:21 AM
From: Wharf Rat
of 259739
 
"very easily, be 5 to 4 against"

My second choice; it's 51-49 odds

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