The Talk: Gansler and the fracking lawsuit

Today's edition of The Talk kicks off a new format for the Second Opinion blog. Aside from some techical advantages for us, the new style should help make the blog a bit more visually appealing. It also will affect the way we handle comments. You won't have to wait around for us to approve comments anymore, but you will have to register and log in to comment, just as you do to comment on stories on the main Sun site. (Sorry, Anonymous.) Fortunately, registration is quite easy, and even more so if you have an account with Facebook, Twitter or a variety of other common services.

On to the stories of the day. On the editorial page, we weigh in on a curious dichotomy in Attorney General Dougals F. Gansler's office. At the same time that he is filing an intent to sue over fracking-related pollution in Pennsylvania (which will eventually wind up in the Chesapeake Bay), his office is weighing in with a brief on a pollution case much closer to home that environmental advocates say sends exactly the opposite message of the fracking case.

We also urge President Obama to sign an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose political contributions to third-party advocacy groups. This is no substitute for real disclosure requirements to account for the post-Citizens United world of campaign finance, but it's a start.

Most of the talk over the weekend and this morning was still about the killing of Osama bin Laden. Jonah Goldberg says President Obama will get a bounce from the operation, but he should remember 1992, when the sky-high approval ratings of the first President Bush after the first war with Iraq didn't last until election day. Susan Reimer writes that her first reaction after hearing the news was to wonder how long it was going to take for the lies to emerge, a la Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman. And UMBC professor Rebecca A. Adelman parses the power of bin Laden's image and the White House's decisions on what to do with the body and its decision not to release pictures of his corpse.

Finally, sociologist and minority parent activist Fred Millar makes a provocative argument about Maryland's Dream Act, which will allow illiegal immigrant children to get in-state tuition. He says the requirement tha they go to community college first will foster a "cooling out" effect that makes it less likely that any of them will ever actually get a bachelor's degree.

And be sure to vote in our poll of the day: Now that Osama bin Laden has been killed, should the U.S. move quickly to end the war in Afghanistan?

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