Archive for September, 2008

Pork and Bears

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

In last night’s presidential debate, John McCain reprised his criticism of a grizzly bear research project in Montana.

You know, we spent $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don’t know if that was a criminal issue or a paternal issue, but the fact is that it was $3 million of our taxpayers’ money. And it has got to be brought under control.

McCain has been hitting on this expenditure for years (apparently, he can hold only one earmark in his mind at a time), but has yet to get the cost right. The study, which spanned five years, actually cost about $4.8 million, equal to two hours of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Did we get our money’s worth? Scientists, Montana ranchers and Republican politicians think so.

McCain’s fatal vision

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Answering questions in tonight’s debate (transcript) McCain and Obama clearly delineated their political philosophies. One candidate projected common sense and compassion; the other parroted the same old pro-corporate dogma we’ve been suffering under for lo these many years.

It’s debatable

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Is it possible that John McCain is even more strategically inept than Bush?

You must be an elitist snob

Friday, September 26th, 2008

If you’re reading this blog, that is. A couple of interesting quotes, from Sarah Palin, and Ted Stevens’ defense attorney, in this morning’s news.

Drive baby, drive!

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Offshore oil rig

No wonder John McCain wants to drill oil wells offshore. Turns out McCain owns 13 cars! I guess when you own 7 houses, you have more garages to fill.

Will the real John McCain please stand up?

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

“In financial institutions, there is no substitute for adequate capital to serve as a buffer against losses. Our financial market approach should include encouraging increased capital in financial institutions by removing regulatory, accounting and tax impediments to raising capital.” — John McCain, Orange County, California, March 25, 2008.

“In my administration, we’re going to hold people on Wall Street responsible. And we’re going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place.” — John McCain, Tampa, Florida, September 16, 2008.

Maybe where he stands depends on where he’s standing?

President Palin

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Alaska Disaster

With major polls saying the candidates are tied, it’s worth taking a closer look at McCain-Palin. After all the extensive media coverage of Palin’s abuses of office, how can half those polled support the Republican ticket? Democratic Party television ads expose the lobbyists working on McCain’s campaign staff. They haven’t gotten around to Palin yet. Let’s do it.

Palin the Barbarian

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

What makes Sarah Palin a maverick is that she is so unlike most other human beings we know. Even the nominally conservative US News & World Report is aghast that she made rape victims pay the costs of “rape kits,” the means by which forensic evidence is collected from the victim. Her decision, subsequently overruled by the Alaska legislature, is a perfect example of her political philosophy.

Environmental Economics

Monday, September 15th, 2008

When there’s oil underground, does preserving natural areas make economic sense? Robert Hahn and Peter Passell don’t think so. In a New York Times op-ed, they weigh the pros and cons of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (the authors mistakenly refer to it as the “Alaska” National Wildlife Refuge) to oil drilling. Their conclusion: Despite the costs of environmental cleanups, there is a net benefit (to whom?) of $1.7 trillion, some of which could be spent “preserving wilderness that didn’t happen to sit astride vast quantities of oil.”

Damn this war

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

I’ve made a lot of virtual friends in the 15 years I’ve been online. One of them was Pete, who lived in Illinois. Pete and I hooked up about 1999, on a Usenet chess group. There we got into a bit of virtual street theatre with a succession of made-up identities, like stetsonh@, mongo, dancingwithmrd, and several others I can’t recall. There was a small group of us, some of whom followed me to a discussion forum I launched in 2002, called Birds of a Feather. Pete’s cat Bob became the forum’s mascot. A Whooping Crane was its Patron Saint. BOAF was supposed to be a place for us to hang out and have fun. While chess brought us together, we mostly talked about other common interests. Until Bush decided to wage war in Iraq.