Friday, December 16, 2005

  • The DeLay orchestrated redistricting in Texas resulted in a net +8 seats for the Republicans -- a HUGE pickup in seats. And yet we learn the Justice Department had ruled this brazen act violated the law but was overruled by political hacks. The same kind of chicanery plays out repeatedly in the EPA as well as other agencies. Uh, hello David Brooks, can you see why the public is skeptical about our government?!

  • If the Iraq war lasts another five years, it will have cost us $1.4 trillion. Remember this item the next time you hear a wingnut bitching about their money being wasted on government spending. Boston's "Big Dig" will be a pittance compared to this enormous boondoggle (and at least we know how much has been spent on the Big Dig -- compared to the many billions unaccounted for in Iraq).

  • Al Sharpton is a jerk, a charlatan, and a disgrace to/for the Democrats. There. Now let's see those on the right offer up such condemnation for their expansive lot of a-hole cretins and louts. (Doesn't happen).

  • Conservative columnist, John Tierney, in the NY Times recently wrote that Wal-Mart "has been one of the most successful antipoverty programs in America." Paul Krugman then later wrote in a column, "there's every reason to believe that as Wal-Mart expands, it destroys at least as many jobs as it creates, and drives down workers' wages in the process." In fact, Krugman cites a study showing that retail employment fell when Wal-Mart opened in a county, and average wages fell. Once again, the conservative has it wrong.

  • The House and Senate recently agreed to increase the budget of the NIH by far less than was originally budgeted ($253 mil. vs. $1.05 bil.). This amounts to the smallest increase in 36 years. It's another sign of this Republican-led Congress thumbing its nose at science. The NIH will not be able to fund as much research, and it will limit the number of scientists coming from our schools (limited grant money). Instead, they will head abroad. Wonderful.

  • Please go and read Elizabeth Kolbert's latest piece on global warming in The New Yorker. Here's a segment:
    The Administration’s chief climate negotiator, Harlan Watson, has been touting the efficacy of the voluntary approach, pointing out that between 2000 and 2003 the United States’ carbon-dioxide emissions dropped by .8 per cent. Conveniently left out is the fact that since 2003 they have shot back up again. According to the latest government figures, the country’s CO2 emissions are now three per cent higher than they were three years ago. (The brief dip, it should be noted, had nothing to do with government policy; it was entirely a function of the downturn in the economy.)
    When it comes to science and facts, they can't deceive enough, can they....
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