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February 23, 2004: Odds and Ends

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Doctor Dean is gone, but we'll always have good science...

A short election note


Dean has dropped out of the race.  What to say?

The internet candidate...  and that was the problem.  It's a lot like internet dating, about which I know quite a bit.  You can trade all this email and reveal lots, but sooner or later you actually have to meet the person.  And then, sometimes, something doesn't click.  My emails a few years ago with a woman were great, and then we met - and I found out about her need to verbally abuse those she didn't consider worthy - waiters and coworkers and all that - because she was smart and well-read and they weren't.  Not nice.  And she has some odd, inflexible "rules" about life.  The whole constellation of traits wasn't in the emails.  Curious.  So with Howard Dean.  He was good on paper.  Then we saw him in the flesh.  Oh well. 

Kerry is fine, if a bit stiff.  I like Edwards too.  He's got his act together. 

Here's Bill Maher on Kerry this week


One thing you have to give the president: people are "comfortable" with him, they want to have a beer with him - but it's too late for that. 

John Kerry doesn't really give off that same appeal, that same "comfort" level - and in a week when Congress was looking into how Janet's boob made us all "uncomfortable," I would like to know when it was that Americans got it in their head that if they were jarred out of their comfort zone for two seconds, the terrorists win. 

The Super Bowl was a typical American overreaction to a threat that didn't really exist - it wasn't about sex or nudity, but about COMFORT - the god given American right to never have anything be UNCOMFORTABLE!

And now I'm hearing a lot of people say they don't know if they're "comfortable" with Mr.  Kerry.  To which I would like to counsel: Who cares if you're "comfortable!" He's not running for national game show host.  You don't have to fuck him, just vote for him.  Even if he's a prick - I hope he is a prick, if he's a prick who gets things done, who makes the right decisions - I would love a prick like that in the White House.  In fact, I think that should be his slogan: "A prick in the White House!"

PS: Representative Wilson was fuming mad at the Viacom guys because her constituents riled her when their comfort level got breached, and that is sort of the way the system works: she is a representative, and the people want her to represent how they feel.  It's just a shame the people are such pathetic bunch of simpering schoolgirls. 


Kerry will do.

Not that it matters....


Note the following, all over the web for the last week. 

Blinded by Science

"You would think that hopelessly destablilizing two large Muslim nations and saddling the American economy with debts into the 22nd century would be enough destruction for one administration - but that would be to "misunderestimate" the Shrubster's band of merry thiefs.  A group of more than 60 top U. S.  scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and several science advisers to past Republican presidents, yesterday accused the Bush administration of manipulating and censoring science for political purposes.  What do you expect from a government in which the President and the Secretary of Education both believe evolution is a theory and creationism is a science?"

The problems the report alludes to? 

The report charges that administration officials have:

- Ordered massive changes to a section on global warming in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2003 Report on the Environment.  Eventually, the entire section was dropped. 

- Replaced a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet on proper condom use with a warning emphasizing condom failure rates. 

- Ignored advice from top Department of Energy nuclear materials experts who cautioned that aluminum tubes being imported by Iraq weren't suitable for use to make nuclear weapons. 

- Established political litmus tests for scientific advisory boards.  In one case, public health experts were removed from a CDC lead paint advisory panel and replaced with researchers who had financial ties to the lead industry. 

- Suppressed a U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist's finding that potentially harmful bacteria float in the air surrounding large hog farms. 

- Excluded scientists who've received federal grants from regulatory advisory panels while permitting the appointment of scientists from regulated industries. 

"I don't recall it ever being so blatant in the past," said Princeton University physicist Val Fitch, a 1980 Nobel Prize winner who served on a Nixon administration science advisory committee.  "It's just time after time after time.  The facts have been distorted."

But what are facts?  Science is overrated?  I guess the administration believes in taking "the moral high ground" in these matters.