Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Meet the Press - Hadley Interview

Check this out. Scalesrates...9.9

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The War That Pays for Itself

The Iraq war was supposed to use oil revenues to pay for itself. At this point, we all know that that's not going to happen.

However, what we weren't aware of was that the US government was going to unknown lengths to hide the costs of the war. The New York Times has an interesting article that appeared today, you should be able to read it here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Haha to those taking the Bar


For real, though, good luck on the Bar everyone.

People who know me know that I like new electronic toys. It seems that my decision to wait until replacing my Razr has paid off. Motorola is ready to release two new phones, the succesors to the Razr. It looks like they both solve the one problem everyone pointed out with the Razr, that it was too wide. More here.

I want one. Heck, I want both. There are two versions: the Krzr and the Rizr. Stupid names - Motorola is taking this "drop a vowel, put in an unnecessary 'z' = autmoatic cool" thing a bit too far.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Transgendered Scientist not the Right Critic?

I get that Ben A. Barres has a unique perspective on gender roles in science because he has lived as both a male and a female while working as a professor at some of the top research institutions in the country. "Ben" used to be "Barbara" ten years ago before he had a sex change operation. You can read more about him in the New York Times here.

From what I understand, the point of the article is that Dr. Barres is in a unique position to criticize Dr. Lawrence Summers' comments last year, in which Summers (as Harvard's President) made comments about the different innate abilities of men and women to perform in the sciences.

My problem with the criticism is that, albeit from my incomplete understanding of transgender issues, Dr. Barres is exactly the wrong person to criticize Dr. Summers. Simply put, he became a man to make his outside match what he felt on the inside. That being the case, he was already a man, so his thoughts on the innate differences between men and women and their performance in the sciences is never actually informed by his "living on both sides of the fence". The only thing that he may actually comment on with any semblance of credibility should be people's differing reactions to men and women in the sciences, which he does.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Is Bush taking performance lessons from Janet Jackson?

Remember when Janet Jackson had her Superbowl "wardrobe malfunction"? She wanted everyone to believe that she didn't intend to bare herself on television, so she attempted to make it appear that the incident was unintentional. This required two things: some kind of pretense - well, she was performing, and the song was about getting naked, and, an assistant - Justin Timberlake, who removed the clothing, but says he was under the assumption that there was another piece of fabric under the one he removed. "How was he to know?" he said. The thing is, no one believed them, everyone pretty much assumed that both knew what was going on, and that both intended to use the publicity from the event to boost their careers. It didn't work, although the event became notorious.

I feel awful about what I'm about to do, but I believe President Bush is trying to pull off what Janet Jackson couldn't: he wants people to believe that his recent microphone accident was a "malfunction".

If you're not familiar with the story, look here. Basically, President Bush and Tony Blair were speaking after a luncheon, and Blair's mic was still on, and President Bush said "See the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this sā€”- and it's over." At this point, Blair realized his mic was on and turned it off.

Now, Syria may very well support Hezbollah. One of the reasons I haven't written about the huge conflict between Israel, Hezbollah, and the Palestinians, is because I don't know much about the conflict, and have a hard time making myself care. If you want to know more, you could try reading this article, although I've had a hard time getting past the first paragraph without falling asleep. The point is, that people debate about if or how much Syria supports Hezbollah. But, if you were President, and you wanted people to believe you weren't trying to spin facts in your favor, you would create the appearance that you didn't think you were being overheard, and then say something you wanted people to believe, so that they think you're saying something in confidence to someone else. It's like being at the bar, and saying to your friend that you think some girl standing two people over is hot, but you say it just a little bit too loud, so that she overhears it.

I'll let you in on a little secret: The girl at the bar knows that you thought she could hear you. No one believed that Janet didn't want to appear naked. Things have gotten so bad in America that I have trouble believing that Bush didn't engineer this situation to try to pull the wool over American's eyes, once again. Maybe we'll overhear him talking about mobile biological weapon laboratories in Syria later this week.

Also, I thought this video was funny, especially because M is a Mac newbie, and can't stop talking about how awesome they are:

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson is an idiot. There, I've always wanted to say that.

I was watching him just now on MSNBC, and he said about 10 things that I not only disagreed with, but also thought were patently stupid (there's a difference) in the span of about 45 seconds. Jon Stewart was right to make fun of him when he visited Carlson's CNN show Crossfire.

I had to watch it again today, to cheer myself up. For you:

RUDY




The Post writes that Rudolph Giuliani is showing an increased interest in running for President in '08. Chris Matthews has been talking about this for awhile now on his show (not Hardball), and had thought that Rudy would wait until closer to the primaries to make a serious move. The thinking was that Rudy would want to keep the social conservatives away as long as possible.

I don't mind Rudy right now. And I certainly would like to see him enter the fray for '08. The nastier that primary gets, the better. Interesting to see where the Bush/Rove/Fox News insiders go.

From the article:

Perhaps most interesting was Giuliani's appearance yesterday with embattled social conservative Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who is facing a tough reelection fight against Democrat Bob Casey Jr. Giuliani, who has often been criticized by conservative Republicans for his liberal views on abortion, gay rights and gun control, didn't mind sharing the stage with one of the Republican Party's most conservative senators. Could it be that Giuliani is hoping to mitigate his social views by lending his enviable fundraising skills to conservative GOP candidates in need?

---

When will McCain/Rudy figure out that people like them a lot more when they aren't courting the crazy/kool-aid/Bush/Santorum crowd?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On Gitmo



I will start things off with a link and quote from a story in today's Washington Post. Here's the lead from the article: As Congress opened hearings yesterday on the treatment of terrorism detainees, the Bush administration's view was neatly summarized by Steven Bradbury, the Justice Department lawyer serving as lead witness. "The president," Bradbury said, "is always right."

So it seems that we are heading down the path of giving the President exactly what he wants in Gitmo. Unfortunately for Republicans in Congress, it's not exactly clear what Bush wants. Between shutting it down/keeping it open/applying Geneva/not applying Geneva- there is plenty to be confused about.

For as long as I can remember, the administration has said that the detainees in Gitmo had no rights- however, two days ago they announced that Geneva would apply.

Now add this to the confusion:

The witnesses were even dismissive of the new Pentagon memo applying the Geneva Conventions to all detainees for the first time. "It doesn't indicate a shift in policy," Dell'Orto said.

And in a veiled warning, Bradbury told Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) that Bush still didn't need Congress. "The court did leave open the theoretical possibility that the president could come back on his own," he said.

It was an aggressive performance for an administration that wants Congress to create a new legal system to deal with the 1,000 terrorism suspects in custody. But administration officials are confident that the legislative branch will do the White House's bidding -- in part because lawmakers who oppose Bush's wishes can be accused of coddling terrorists.

---

If that's not disgusting, I don't know what is.

Maybe...




Lebanon didn't read their political cartoons?

Believe it or not...




It seems that Republicans can't quite agree on the renewal of the Voting Rights Act- first passed in 1965 and signed by President Johnson.

The southern conservatives (joined by a few of the Midwestern colleagues) have decided that they are insulted by the treatment the act gives states with a tradition of racism.

The following is one of the most ridiculous quotes I have seen by an elected official:

One of the conservatives supporting changes to the Voting Rights Act said GOP leaders were "playing politics" with a law that is unfairly targeting his home region because of its past ā€” and failing to account for progress in racial relations.

"Do you think we treat Japan or Germany differently [because of World War II]?" asked Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia. "Do we treat the British any differently because of the Stamp Act? ā€¦ If we're going to do that, then let's go back to the Indians and say they butchered Custer.

"If we want to rely on everything we do in government based on history, then we'd have a screwed-up place, if you ask me," Westmoreland added. "Because what they're saying is nobody can ever do better."

---

If that's not funny I don't know what is.

Here is a link to the must-read article in today's LA Times.

Well, I'm glad the Dems aren't the only party that can't get their act together. This one seems like a no-brainer though, doesn't it? I mean- shouldn't we just go ahead and renew the Voting Rights Act? Come on Fox News- get the troops in line.