Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Deja Vu all over again

Texans should be quite familiar with the Bushian (hswib)practice of taking credit for popular legislation that he opposed until it became inconvenient to do so. Most of the good things for which he took credit as governor followed this pattern.

What the People Don't know...

It's been the practice of previous Vice-Presidents to disclose travel expenses and the reimbursements received for visits to colleges, think tanks, and associations as is required by law for heads of governmental agencies. But the Cheney regime decided that the law didn't apply to them. They argue the technicality that the Office of the Vice-President is not an agency. Dick may be within his rights but why did he decide to change a long term practice? Clearly he doesn't want the rest of us to know what his reimbursements are. Either he is hiding something in particular or its he nature to be as secretive as possible as a matter of principle. I suspect it's the latter. But do you want to be the citizen of a country that hides information just because it can? Or would you rather live in a country that limits it secrets to only those things that need to be secret?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Karl, It's Your Turn

An old link now but it still may be a guud one.
"Two things are clear, the sources said: either Rove will agree to enter into a plea deal with Fitzgerald or he will be charged with a crime, but he will not be exonerated for the role he played in the leak.

If Rove does agree to a plea, Fitzgerald is not expected to discuss any aspect of his probe into the President’s senior adviser because Rove may be called to testify as a prosecution witness against I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby was indicted last month on five counts of lying to investigators, perjury and obstruction of justice related to his role in the leak."

Rep. Cunningham pleads guilty to tax violations

Josh Marshall sinks one of their battleships.

Tuneful icebergs reveal an unsung secret

An appropriate analogy for a singing iceberg is the "singing" of household plumbing as water rushe through it. Water is flowing through channels in the berg. Volcanoes make similar noises and molten rock flows through channels in them.

Secrets of bee flight revealed

Finally they have proven that honeybees can fly. And forget the fancy explanation, what the bees are doing is sculling. They flip the angle of attack 90 degrees when the wing changes direction.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The List

of the distorted intelligence this administration (hswib) used to get our soldiers killed. As the weight of this ignominy begins to bear down I expect to see resignations at the top prior to the 2008 elections. Republicans will be forced to act against the President if they want to retain any chance at the polls.

Sometimes, a Tax Cut for the Wealthy Can Hurt the Wealthy

From the New York Times. The poor surely suffer as programs are cut. Our capacity for growth suffers as basic research falters. And the rich gain nothing on the Layard scale of happiness. And the deficits are going to put the bite on them as well.
"Large federal budget deficits and low household savings rates have also forced our government to borrow more than $650 billion each year, primarily from China, Japan and South Korea. These loans must be repaid in full, with interest. The resulting financial burden, plus the risks associated with increased international monetary instability, fall disproportionately on the rich."

Bullshit disguised as "truth"

Hugh Hewitt smugly tries (and fails) to make some sort of case for the Bush (hswib) War.

His cases hinges on 20/20 hindsight in positing that it would have been better to take out the Taliban in 1999 or 2000. But it simultaneously fails because the same 20/20 hindsight with regards to Iraq shows that our adventure in Iraq had no grounds except for neo-con fantasies.

His position is the basically the same bully/chicken-shit one of the current administration (hswib). This position says that we must strike preemptively because we can strike and because we are too chicken to wait for the other guy to throw the first punch. In the real world such behavior constitutes felonious assault. Self-defence it isn't. No matter how often you say otherwise.

But the righties are all a-twitter nonetheless.

But is reassuring to know that this is the best argument they may have and that it's so abysmally lame.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bill Moyers on The Texas Observer at 50

Bill Moyers gives well-deserved props to a feisty Texas publication that has now made it to the half-century mark.

This guy is on the Supreme Court?

Antonin Scalia attempts to rewrite history. There seems to be quite a bit of that going on from the right.
"It's Gore's fault the Bush campaign asked the Supreme Court to override a state court on a state ballot issue? The Supreme Court had to take the case? Is Scalia serious?"

Monday, November 21, 2005

DU and WP

Recent white phosphorous discussions have brought out the knee-jerk reactions to depleted uranium. This is to remind people that the effects of post-combat DU are negligible.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A lie for a just cause?

Jonah? Is that the best you can do?

The problem, Mr. Goldberg, is that 9/11 wasn't Saddam's doing and is therefore irrelevant to the Bush (hswib) War.

Knight-Ridder calls bullshit on the administration (hswib)

The MSM factchecks the White House. Boy, do we need more of this.


Even though it is targeted at the world’s poorest countries, I'm sure it will spill over into the commercial world. It's like a super PDA on the cheap. Most peripherals will be USB-ported in. It has a hand-cranked charger so it can easily operate off-the-grid or where no grid exists.

Math Breakthrough

Project managers alert. There has been a breakthrough in complex task assignment theory. A new algorithm optimizes significantly better than any preceding method.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Shoot a picture first, focus later

This is cool. Digital technology enables them to make a camera that captures light from all angles at once. No trade-off between aperture and depth-of-field.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lincoln Canard

When a righty tries to justify Bush's unpopularity by invoking Lincoln, remind him that Lincoln came into office because both Dems and Repubs were so factionalized they couldn't agree sufficiently among themselves on a candidate. Most people didn't know him and few liked him but no single group was strong enough to oppose him. He persisted despite his unpopularity because he had a strong and worthy guiding principle, the Union must be preserved. In the end that principle carried him through the unpopularity.

What is Bush's worthy principle that could eventually vindicate him? There is none.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005

Where Health Insurance Dollars Go

California has done a study of where the dollars are spent. 25% goes into the overhead of shuffling the papers.
"After reviewing the study findings, Kevin Grumbach, MD, professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine and an expert on health policy, commented, 'Research conclusively demonstrates that public insurance systems in Canada and other nations have avoided the costly administrative inefficiencies that plague the market-oriented US health system. Reading this study, people may well ask why our nation tolerates such an inefficient system where 45 million Americans lack insurance coverage.'"

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Boot gets it

LeBoutillier is one of the few rational conservatives out there and he makes the case against the Bush (hswib) war and the administation as a whole. He also takes shots at the spineless enablers in the media and the Democratic party.
"No, sadly there were no WMD in Iraq since the end of the Gulf War in 1991 and the imposition of sanctions. Saddam from that point on bluffed his enemies - internal and elsewhere - into thinking he had them because in the past he had used them on his Kurdish enemies. And in the Middle East fear and bluffing are instrumental in maintaining a hold on power.

Today in Washington, the very same politicians who got us into this mess in Iraq - a mess which can only result in an Iraq in alliance with Tehran (our worst nightmare) - are running scared trying to place blame elsewhere.

Bush is in a total meltdown - in great part because Iraq has sapped his credibility - and the Congress is held in almost the same level of disdain. Iraq, gas price rip-offs, illegals swarming unabated into our nation and Katrina have soured the American people."

What is a Liberal?

Dwight Merideth has the code.
"A liberal is a conservative with an autistic son. A liberal is a conservative with a lesbian daughter. A liberal is a conservative who has been tortured. A liberal is a conservative who has felt the sting of racial discrimination. A liberal is a conservative with a mentally ill relative."

Who Lied about Iraq?

Kevin Drum takes apart the Podhoretz canard that everyone believed Saddam had WMD. The WMD case became weaker and weaker as March 2003 approached. But the concerted effort to muffle the dissenters became stronger and stronger.

More bang for the buck

This is an interesting idea. Take the waste heat that is dispersed in a cooling tower and vector it in such a way that a vortex is produced. Then use the vortex to augment the power production. Almost like an afterburner.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What the 'Shield' Covered Up

E.J. Dionne points how the Plame coverup allowed Bush to get reelected. One measly indictment is not too great a price.
As long as Bush still faced the voters, the White House wanted Americans to think that officials such as Libby, Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney had nothing to do with the leak campaign to discredit its arch-critic on Iraq, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.

And Libby, the good soldier, pursued a brilliant strategy to slow the inquiry down. As long as he was claiming that journalists were responsible for spreading around the name and past CIA employment of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, Libby knew that at least some news organizations would resist having reporters testify. The journalistic "shield" was converted into a shield for the Bush administration's coverup.