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Point One: The Washington Post reports today that Congressman Charlie Melancon of Louisiana is all choked up about the situation in the Gulf.
“The real personification of the leak’s political story — of its ability to make power feel useless — is Melancon, a junior congressman whose coastal district has taken the brunt of the spill,” said the story. “Melancon is known as a man who makes things move in south Louisiana. But in this crisis, his most prominent act was last month, when he broke down and cried in front of colleagues and TV cameras at a subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill.”
Point Two: Congressman Melancon’s biggest campaign donors include the energy industry. According to Open Secrets, oil and gas companies gave him $312,100 over the past six years, more than any other industry except agriculture (and lawyers/lobbyists). His top donor during the period was Edison Chouest Offshore.
So what precisely is Melancon crying about?
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Science’s crisis of faith