Saturday, January 31, 2004

A buzzword that causes a lot of negative reaction

Dress George W. Bush, just like Laura does every morning.

Latest rules for Californian voters re “open primaries”: they’ve changed yet again, this time some of the way in the direction demanded by voters at 2 elections. If you are not registered with any party, you may request a Democratic or Republican ballot on March 2nd. Oddly enough, the R’s will let you vote for any elected office except president.

Sharpton in the most recent debate: “As far as Mr. Bush saying that he doesn't need a permission slip from the U.N., he doesn't think he needs votes from the American people to be president.” You’ll miss him Reverend Al when he’s gone, you know you will.

The Post says that Bush’s drug prescription plan will cost, according to the White House, 1/3 more than they said it would just 2 months ago. Well, what a surprise, and if this country had an opposition, they’d be pointing out that nothing Bush says before a vote in Congress ever turns out to be true. The reasons he gives are always false, the price-tag is always a lie.

Which reminds me that I forgot to send the link to an op-ed piece in the NYT 2 days ago, in the style of the Harper’s Index. Favorite bit:
Average elderly American's drug costs in 2002: $2,400

Portion of his drug costs covered by the new Medicare drug
benefit: 45 percent

Average markup on United States drug prices relative to
Canadian drug prices: 45 percent

Nailing the Bushies to the wall, using only Google.

One of the effects of the Gropenführer’s refusal to raise state income taxes while piling on “fees,” is to increase the degree to which California is screwed at the federal level, paying much more in federal taxes than it gets back. See, state income taxes are deductible, but not the fees. So he’s keeping one set of our taxes artificially low, while effectively increasing our federal taxes.

That comes from a discussion somewhere online of an op-ed NYT piece which notes that states that receive more money from the federal government than they pay it in taxes voted for Bush in 2000 (78% of his electoral votes), while the Giver states voted Gore (76%). (Florida is a Taker state).

Also a good Paul Krugman column Friday on how “nobody in the Bush administration has ever paid a price for being wrong” while others are punished for telling inconvenient truths, and attempts to check on Bush performance are thwarted, stonewalled and intimidated.

AP: “The Bush administration is moving to replace safety requirements at federal nuclear facilities with standards written by contractors, according to a draft regulation.”

The German cannibal was sentenced to prison. You know the saying: a minute on the lips, 8½ years in the pokey. I believe they got through the entire trial without anyone asking him what human tastes like.

The last British soldier who won a bravery medal in World War I dies, at 104.

Israel has finally conducted its little prisoner exchange, releasing 429 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners & 59 Hezbollah corpses in exchange for 3 dead Israelis and one live Israeli drug dealer. The Lebanese were held without trial as hostages, pursuant to a 1994 Israeli Supreme Court decision that the Geneva Accords could be so violated. (There is another story about the drug dealer, that he is actually a Mossad operative who had been kicked out of Switzerland after a botched assassination attempt on 2 Hezbollahites on the condition that he never return; when he was sent back, the Swiss shopped him to Hezbollah).

It’s not just evolution: Georgia’s history curriculum starts world history in 1500 AD, and American history does the founding of the country and then skips to 1876. Picture Basil Fawlty with a Southern accent: Don’t mention the Civil War. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Though teachers supposedly have no time to discuss topics essential to understanding our heritage, the curriculum suggests they have their students write a 1920s radio drama. Teachers are also encouraged to assign essays about dating in the Jazz Age and to show segments from "All in the Family," "Good Times" and "Chico and the Man."”

Suggested final exam question: would Freddie Prinze Sr have killed himself if he had known that one day his son would marry Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Anyway, the idiot schools supe says she removed the word evolution because it’s "a buzzword that causes a lot of negative reaction." At the same press conference, she advocated the “theory” of “intelligent design,” which she called a scientific theory appropriate for science classes. Jimmy Carter has denounced her.

I missed this week’s debate, in which immoderator Tom Brokaw said “there is a great war going on in the world between the West and the Nation of Islam.”

Just read a really interesting article from the Nov-Dec Mother Jones on religious programs in prisons. It’s worse than we thought. The Christians get their own wings, where they get many privileges unavailable to other prisoners. It’s the details that make this story (after a bit of a slow start).

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