Archive for the ‘Politics and News’ Category

Ted Kennedy and the Civics Lesson

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

In 1970, when I was in eighth grade, I took a Current Events class. During the previous summer, Ted Kennedy drove his car into the Chappaquiddick, leaving his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, in the car; she was found dead the next day. The case came up in Civics class. I defended ...

The corrosive nature of political contributions

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

From the Washington Post, "Big donors drive Obama's money edge": Lost in the attention given to Obama's Internet surge is that only a quarter of the $600 million he has raised has come from donors who made contributions of $200 or less, according to a review of his FEC reports. That ...

How many ways to win the election with nothing to spare?

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Over at FiveThirtyEight, the following 'homework assignment' was given: How many unique ways are there to acquire at least 270 electoral votes without any excess? I figured it would be a 'large' number, but I was surprised at the actual total: 51,199,463,116,367 (or, fifty-one trillion and change). about 2.3% of all possible ...

Reviewing my Prediction—I was wrong.

Monday, June 9th, 2008

I was wrong. And I've very glad.

Maxine Ethington

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

From: Sheby County, Ky: SHELBYVILLE, KY. Local law enforcement along with Shelby County Emergency Management are asking if anyone has any information leading to the whereabouts of Maxine Ethington. Maxine is an elderly citizen of Shelby County suffering from Alzheimer's. She was last seen on May 25, 2008 at ...

ACLU links Rice, White House to torture, as early as 2002

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

ACLU report: NEW YORK - The results of an internal Justice Department investigation released today reveal that officials at the highest level of government — including the White House — received reports on the abuse of prisoners in U.S. military custody overseas as early as 2002. Congress called on the department's ...

New compromise plan to seat Michigan delegates

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

The Detroit Free Press is reporting on a new plan to seat Michigan delegates at the Democratic convention. The idea is to give Clinton 69 regular delegates, and Obama 59. "The proposal also would seat the state's 29 superdelegates." I suspect the hidden (Clinton) agenda is to seat the superdelegates. Since ...

Bush personally approved meetings to arrange torture

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Bush personally approved meetings to arrange torture, which were led by Cheney. If you consider what the government did to be torture, which is a crime according to U.S. and international law, Bush's statement shifts his role from being an accessory after the fact to being part of a conspiracy to ...

A day off

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

I have a couple of days off, so I'm writing a bit on 'a simple desire', hanging out with Bess and Jane, uploading MP3 of the afternoon session of the 2008 Golden Gate singing to my website, and watching a waterboarding video.

Cost of the Iraq War and the Economy

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

More stuff worth reading: Joseph Stiglitz's testimony before Congress on the cost of the Iraqi War (pdf): I have, so far, emphasized the direct economic costs as well as the opportunity costs—the diversion of funds that could have been used in so many other and better ways. I would be ...

Barack Obama on Race and Politics

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Obama's speech is well worth watching. For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as ...

McCain on torture restrictions, just to be clear

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Update: Good comments by Fred Clark at slacktivist. From the New York Times: Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has been an outspoken opponent of torture, often referring to his own experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In this case he supported the administration’s position, arguing as Mr. ...

Michigan’s primary

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Should Michigan redo its Democratic primary for president? I think it was shameful, scandalous and grossly stupid that our Governor Granholm, Senator Levin, and the state Democratic and Republican committees disenfranchised Michigan voters. Millions of dollars were spent holding a sham election in which the only Democratic front-runner on the ticket ...

The Iowa Caucuses

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Hitchens on the Iowa caucus racket: I was in Des Moines and Ames in the early fall, and I must say that, as small and landlocked and white and rural as Iowa is, I would be happy to give an opening bid in our electoral process to its warm and generous ...

Republican words and Republican popularity

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

As a followup to my post on the correlation of the popularity of Democratic presidential debate, and the number of words they were allowed to utter, here are the results from last nights debates, using data in the New York Times interactive graph of the Republican candidates' debate. As before, ...


Thursday, November 15th, 2007

One year from now, we'll be electing a new president and voting for new members of Congress. Has our next eight years ever been so predictable? November, 1998. Hillary Clinton wins the election with a large electoral vote majority, and about 55% of the popular vote, the first woman elected president ...

Democratic words and Democratic popularity

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

I was looking at the New York Times interactive graph of the Democratic candidates' debate this morning, and noticed that the number of words spoken by each candidate correlates with their perceived popularity. Here's my table of the numbers (click on the headers to sort by that column): Dodd is listed ...

“When you mix politics and religion, you get politics”

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Second thoughts, perhaps, on the part of the religious right, according to the New York Times Magazine's David D. Kirkpatrick. (Perhaps I should tag this under 'politics' alone).

What’s the opposite of ‘hype’?

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

There must be an antonym for 'hype.' To hype something is to engage in hyperbole about it: Apple products have generated their share of hype. (For example: Steve Jobs said, "We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.") I don't mean 'anti-hype' ...

Joining the geek rebellion

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

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