war is fun

by twit

Bush listens to military and civilian personnel on the front lines describe how difficult operations are in Afghanistan, and in a Ferraro-esque display of self-absorption and abandonment of reality, suggests they should quit complaining and instead be more appreciative of the ‘fantastic’ and ‘exciting’ experiences of war and reconstruction.

From Reuters on March 14, 2008, with emphasis added:

http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/N/b/bush_finger_thumbnail.jpg

I must say, I’m a little envious,” Bush said. “If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.”

It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger.

You’re really making history, and thanks,” Bush said.

The Raw Story notes on March 13, 2008 that an upcoming conference is going to highlight “some pretty fucked-up shit” from the experiences of combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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the language of altruism

by twit

here’s a reason to have a little hope about the capacity of our world to survive human stupidity:

A dolphin appeared to “talk” to two stranded whales before leading them to safety.

… Before the bottlenose dolphin turned up, the beached pygmy sperm whales were in clear distress.

But when Moko arrived at Mahia beach on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, their mood changed and they followed him to safety.

and if that doesn’t work, there is always the traditional method of cheering up, courtesy Douglas Adams and with thanks to lestro:

why is the twit so particularly glum about the fate of humankind today? Horrific video evidence after the jump…

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pay no attention to the war in Iraq

by twit

MSNBC reports on a recent study from the Pew Research Center that suggests “public awareness of developments in the Iraq war has dropped precipitously since last summer, as the news media have paid less attention to the conflict.”

And maybe they have a point. I had figured that the graphic story about the five severed fingers sent to US officials in Iraq would dominate the news today, but apparently it is (mostly) flying under the radar. DNA tests confirm that the fingers belong to military contractors kidnapped in Iraq in 2006. McClatchy reports:

The first four men were security contractors with Kuwait-based Crescent Security and were captured in a brazen ambush of their 43-truck supply convoy in the southern Iraqi town of Safwan, near the Kuwaiti border, on Nov. 16, 2006.

The Crescent contractors appeared in two hostage videos released in December 2006 and January 2007 in which they pleaded for the United States to withdraw troops from Iraq and to free all Iraqi prisoners. In the videos, they appeared in good condition and said that they were being treated well.

No financial demand has been made public and it’s unclear what group is holding the men. All of the hostages were seized in southern Iraq, an area swarming with powerful Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim militias.

Image via Drudge, representative of what the American news prefers to think about instead.

http://www.drudgereport.com/sw.jpg

The Washington Post points out that only “[t]wenty-eight percent of the public is aware that nearly 4,000 U.S. personnel have died in Iraq over the past five years, while nearly half thinks the death tally is 3,000 or fewer.” For the record, via Think Progress, “[a]s of today, the Department of Defense has confirmed the deaths of 3,973 U.S. soldiers.”

UPDATE: The Raw Story reports on March 24, 2008:

The remains of two American security contractors who were kidnapped more than a year ago have been found in Iraq, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday.

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Olbermann calls Hillary a Republican

by twit

among other things…

a video with better sound quality is available via Raw Story.

thank goodness we don’t have to restrain ourselves here.

more ‘obvious truths’ for ms. ferraro

by lestro

First, it is important to note that I do not think Geraldine Ferraro is a racist. Rather, it is just her old-world, has-been view of the world that is boxing her in and preventing her from seeing the whole story; another reason generational change is the only realistic solution.

Now, after doing her part and delivering the Clinton Campaign’s most recent bit of slash and burn race-based vitriol, which the candidate has apparently ‘rejected’ but not ‘denounced,’ Geraldine Ferraro – a then-unknown US Rep from New York who was plucked out of obscurity and placed on the 1984 Democratic presidential ticket because the nominee wanted to make a statement – is stepping down from her official role in the campaign.

Interesting to note though, that according to the Washington Post, a senior Clinton adviser said “Nobody told her to step down.” Nice, Hill. Demand that Samantha Powers be fired, but cling tight to Gerry. Well done.

Her campaign says they couldn’t fire her because she is not an adviser, but one has to imagine that nobody gets a title like “Honorary New York Leadership Council Chair” on the campaign finance committee without approval from the top.

Ferraro is still not backing down from saying “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept,” instead sticking by it and calling it an “obvious truth.”

well, then, since we’re on the topic of obvious truths, let’s look at a few others, shall we?

here’s one: Hillary Clinton is only in this race because she marries well. period. Hillary Clinton is a nobody unless she marries a future president.

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baby robot overlords and other morning cartoons

by twit

It has been a long couple of days of chronicling the slow-motion train wreck of the Democratic Party, but there’s good news, at least by comparison, as the world welcomes its new baby robot overlords:

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44482000/jpg/_44482307_e136d46d-e213-4964-a1b4-f412e5f474cb.jpg

A tiny chemical “brain” which could one day act as a remote control for swarms of nano-machines has been invented.

The molecular device – just two billionths of a metre across – was able to control eight of the microscopic machines simultaneously.

“… this is the first time we have created a nano-brain,” [Dr Bandyopadhyay] told BBC News.

… One day they may be able to guide the nanobots through the body and control their functions, he said.

and if the baby robot overlords can’t save us in time, there’s always galaxy-crushing gamma rays:

http://msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photo_StoryLevel/080310/080310-sstack-rainbow-hmed-8a.widec.jpg

The spooky thing about this pinwheel is that it appears to be a nearly perfect spiral to us, according to new images taken with the Keck Telescope in Hawaii. “It could only appear like that if we are looking nearly exactly down on the axis of the binary system,” Tuthill said.

… Unfortunately for us, gamma ray bursts seem to be shot right along the axis of systems. In essence, if this pinwheel ever releases a gamma ray burst, our planet might be in the firing line.

… Both the massive stars in WR 104 will one day explode as supernovae. However, one of the pair is a highly unstable star known as a Wolf-Rayet, the last known stable phase in the life of these massive stars right before a supernova.

When the Wolf-Rayet goes supernova, “it could emit an intense beam of gamma rays coming our way,” Tuthill said. “If such a ‘gamma ray burst’ happens, we really do not want Earth to be in the way.”

Since the initial blast would travel at the speed of light, there would be no warning of its arrival.

hooray! now on to the funnies:

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/PE/333592~Army-of-Darkness-Posters.jpg“The Clintons have always had a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward, propelled by a bloodlust for Republicans or uppity Democrats who dare to question their supremacy.”

“Will Hillary win Pennsylvania? Who Cares?”

bonus points: “The next time Hillary uses the recycled red phone ad, counter with one of your own. When the phone rings in the middle of the night, have a woman’s voice, with a flat Midwestern accent, answer it and say, “Hold on” into the receiver.

Then she should shout, “Bill! It’s for you!””

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Incompetence We Trust

by twit

http://justintrawick.com/journal/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/Simpsons_3EyeFish.jpgThe Associated Press is on fire this week, releasing several reports on American food safety and water quality that highlight horrific, decades-long failures of the EPA, FDA and the Agriculture Department to protect public health and safety.

We’ve learned this past week that the light in the fridge has been broken for some time, it’s just been hard to tell with the food glowing in the dark. We’ve also learned that in order to calm down about that alarming discovery, we should simply drink a nice glass of tap water, because there are plenty of pharmaceutical goodies in there that could help.

Today, in the second of a three-part series, the Associated Press is looking at “Mutated Fish Swimming In Tainted Water,” hooray.

It’s going to take a lot of tap water to take the edge off the twit’s keen anticipation for the third installment in this series…

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pick a day, pick a message

by twit

Hillary Clinton has been asked to explain the contradiction within her idea that Barack Obama would be a great Vice President and her constant refrain that he lacks enough experience to be Commander-in-Chief:

From The Hill on March 10, 2008:

Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s chief spokesman, said during a conference call with reporters that Clinton would not pick a running mate who has not met the “national security threshold” — as Clinton’s military advisers and Wolfson put it on the call — but that it is possible Obama could meet that threshold by this summer’s Democratic convention.

A March 9, 2008 report via MSNBC supplies some context to what Clinton means when she talks about “experience,” at least when it comes to her campaign:

Again and again, the senator was portrayed as a manager who valued loyalty and familiarity over experience and expertise.

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Florida and Michigan are spoiled little brats

by lestro

Right off the bat, it is important to mention that I am not a fan of Florida. Most years I find myself rooting for hurricanes as they take aim on what Homer Simpson once called ‘America’s wang.’ I have nothing against Michigan, however.

This year, Florida and Michigan are acting like spoiled children who purposefully broke a toy and want a new one.

Late last year those two states voted to move their primaries ahead of every other state in an attempt to boost their own importance. It wasn’t enough that both play important roles in the fall, they wanted to be first.

The parties, looking at the already front-loaded schedule and the lateness of the attempt to leapfrog over everyone else, made the right decision and told the states that it would not be allowed and there would be consequences for their actions.

But Michigan and Florida threw a big ole tantrum and then not only took their balls and went home, they threw their balls onto the roof, moving their primaries to the front of the line, sticking their tongues out at the national parties and daring them to do something.

Now they want a new ball.

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Thanks Boomers, now you’ve poisoned us all

by lestro

Thank you Baby Boomers. Thank you for your total lack of foresight and inability to recognize the consequences of everything you have done. You guys did a great job of making the world great for you and leaving it a total wreck for everyone who comes after you.

This morning’s report that millions of Americans are drinking water polluted with multiple pharmaceuticals reminded me of the movie “Idiocracy,” where all the crops die because the idiots in charge decide that if water is good, Brawndo (a gatorade-like substance) would be better and start using it to irrigate their crops.

It’s kind of like that, only slower and real:

“A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

But the presence of so many prescription drugs — and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.”

But wait, it gets better:

“And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies — which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public — have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife…”

I’m no expert, but isn’t “persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals” ostensibly what killed Heath Ledger?

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“There is no crisis to be dealt with or managed when you are first lady”

by twit

zing. From the Associated Press on March 8, 2008:

http://ak.imgfarm.com/images/ap/thumbnails//Clinton_s_Experience.sff_WX104_20080308110145.jpg “Her experience speaks for itself,” says former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who is advising Clinton’s campaign. She wasn’t the one making the final decisions on U.S. policy, he says, but “no one in the world got a better idea of the countervailing pressures. The most important decision a president can make is to send Americans into harm’s way. She knows what that entails.”

A contrary view comes from Susan Rice, a former assistant secretary of state from the Clinton years and an Obama campaign adviser. She said Clinton’s involvement with foreign policy as first lady was “laudable and important, but it is hardly the same thing as the kind of crisis management” that is required of a president. “There is no crisis to be dealt with or managed when you are first lady,” Rice said.

hm. Hillary Clinton’s adviser says that the most important decision “a president can make” is about sending the military into harm’s way. So she gets a big ‘fail’ for voting to start the Iraq war, right?

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Why I can’t vote for Hillary

by twit

It has come to this. The zen-like realization, thanks to several insightful comments, that a side effect of mercilessly blogging about Hillary Clinton is that it feels impossible to vote for her, if she somehow manages to secure the nomination of the Democratic Party.

Recently, there has been “NAFTAgate,” with the Clinton campaign alleging that the Obama campaign assured Canada that his anti-NAFTA rhetoric was not sincere. It became the issue in the Ohio primary and NAFTA is expected to strongly influence the upcoming Pennsylvania contest. However, now we learn that it was actually the Clinton campaign reassuring the Canadian government that she stands by her earlier support of NAFTA, and she’s simply putting on a show for the voters.

This isn’t the first time that the Clinton campaign has been caught saying something when it was politically expedient, then completely changing course when it suited the constituency of the moment. For example, there is what happened in Florida, with all candidates agreeing to not campaign in the state, due to the early primary scheduled in violation of Democratic Party rules. The agreement to not campaign in the state didn’t stop Hillary, though.

It isn’t just the impossibility of trying to figure out what Hillary Clinton stands for. The behavior of her campaign makes it increasingly clear that the only consistent position she will take is whatever she thinks you want to hear. There’s an implied insult to the intelligence of the American people, as if we can’t watch television or work the internet well enough to see that she is playing fast and loose with her message by tailoring it so closely to the daily needs of the campaign.

Hillary’s campaign has been divisive, focusing on various demographic groups, including attempts to play women against men with her ludicrous assertion that it is her gender that has cost her the presumption that she would be the Democratic nominee. Nothing says ‘elect me’ like ‘I can’t win,’ but that apparently means little to a campaign making an appeal to specific demographic groups.

I also see the conduct of her campaign as a distinct warning about how her administration, if ever elected, would behave, not to mention how painful it would be to experience the meltdowns and infighting during the campaign for the general election. Clinton campaign insiders repeatedly run to the press en masse as they wage their wars against themselves.

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but will it give us superpowers?

by twit

It looks like there has been “widespread contamination” of the American food supply over the past 30 years, with arsenic, toxic heavy metals, PCBs, you name the nastiness and it may have found its way into milk, corn, beef, basically anything raised on a farm that has accepted the government’s idea of cheap fertilizer.

On March 6, 2008, the Associated Press reports on an ongoing “30-year government policy that encourages farmers to spread millions of tons of sewage sludge over thousands of acres each year as an alternative to commercial fertilizers.”

Why are we spreading sewage sludge instead of commercial fertilizers? “Giving it away to farmers is cheaper than burning or burying it, and the government’s policy has been to encourage the former.”

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/5/58/WonderWomanV5.jpg/180px-WonderWomanV5.jpg

Also, the government has been claiming that the sewage sludge is safe to use. However, in a recent lawsuit, a judge found “along with using the questionable data, “senior EPA officials took extraordinary steps to quash scientific dissent, and any questioning of EPA’s biosolids program,” and that the sewage plant in the case “was sending out hundreds of truckloads of sludge daily with dangerously high levels of cadmium, molybdenum and chlordane.”

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so Hillary lied about NAFTA

by twit

It turns out that it was actually the Clinton campaign that told Canada not to worry about all of the anti-NAFTA rhetoric.

with thanks to Wonkette, for the link to this:

“Quite a few people heard it,” said one source in the room.

“He said someone from (Hillary) Clinton’s campaign is telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt. . . That someone called us and told us not to worry.”

Government officials did not deny the conversation took place.

the content of Mr. Brodie’s remarks was passed on to CTV’s Washington bureau and their White House correspondent set out the next day to pursue the story on Ms. Clinton’s apparent hypocrisy on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Although CTV correspondent Tom Clark mentioned Ms. Clinton in passing, the focus of his story was on assurances from the Obama camp.

… The report wound up on YouTube and caused an uproar in the U.S. race — influencing the final days of the critical Ohio primary, with every indication it will also play a role in the upcoming Pennsylvania vote.

via Beertap, here’s Keith Olbermann spelling out the latest news:

I said it before and I’ll say it again…

Super Tuesday II: Electric Boogaloo

by lestro

Super Tuesday II: Electric Boogaloo was quite an evening for Hillary Clinton. She won – rather convincingly – in Ohio, eked out a primary victory in Texas and rolled in Rhode Island.

Her campaign really has been on the upswing lately. She has been able to raise more money than before (though not as much as her rival) and finally stopped his winning streak at 12. Vermont, the first to report last night, went for Obama. After that it was all Hillary…

These recent wins certainly do change the Democratic primary map. A quick glance makes it really look like a horse race, with Clinton taking many of the big prizes like New York, California, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas. However, the map includes Michigan and Florida in the Clinton column, which is unfair considering the delegates from those states will not [and should not] count at the Democratic Convention because the states held their primaries in violation of party rules. Clinton won both states, although in Michigan, hers was the only name on the ballot and all of the candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida, making their contest one of name recognition more than anything…

It makes a compelling case for her candidacy when you ignore the larger issues and facts, like the idea that the math does not work in Hillary’s favor unless she goes BIG in every remaining primary.

But even just looking at the states won, it doesn’t really look good for Clinton either. For example, last time around, the Dems won New York, Cali and New Jersey but lost the presidency. Why? Because though they are big, important states, lots of little ones stacked up to beat them.

Part of the Clinton argument is that because she won the big states, the party elders should give her the nomination. It’s a dubious suggestion at best, but let’s look a little deeper.

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why is Bush tap-dancing?

by twit

From Think Progress, including an MSNBC video:

Today, President Bush is meeting with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for lunch at the White House, where he is expected to endorse his presidential bid.

… while waiting for McCain to arrive, Bush stood outside on the North Portico and entertained the press corps by tap dancing, doing a goofy walk, winking, and smiling.

http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2008/03/05/PH2008030501917.jpg

theories abound after the jump…

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a friendly reminder: Hillary can’t win

by twit

from Newsweek and the department of ‘math is tough,’ with emphasis added:

Hillary Clinton may be poised for a big night tonight, with wins in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. Clinton aides say this will be the beginning of her comeback against Barack Obama. There’s only one problem with this analysis: they can’t count.

http://images.starpulse.com/Photos/Previews/Wizard-of-Oz-w24.jpg

I’m no good at math either, but with the help of Slate’s Delegate Calculator I’ve scoped out the rest of the primaries, and even if you assume huge Hillary wins from here on out, the numbers don’t look good for Clinton. In order to show how deep a hole she’s in, I’ve given her the benefit of the doubt every week for the rest of the primaries.

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that’s not manhattan… that’s a space station

by lestro

Rem Koolhaas is truly a visonary

except for leaving a small exhaust port leading to the main reactor at the end of a trench in the middle of that round thingy. As long as the rebels don’t use small, one-man fighters to attack it, we should be okay.

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Karl Rove advises Clinton campaign

by twit

Rove wants Clinton to keep fighting, and he’d like a nice party-busting fight at the convention, too…

http://images.starpulse.com/pictures/2007/04/21/previews/Hillary%20Rodham%20Clinton-JTM-024416.jpg

Karl Rove, the former political adviser to President George W. Bush, said the exhortations from some Democrats for Clinton to bow out seemed unwise.”I think it’s a mistake for his campaign to be calling for her to drop out,” Rove said on Fox. That would be seen as “rubbing her nose” in the fact that she is trailing, he said. “It’s up to the delegates at the convention to decide who wins and loses.”

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Live From The Campaign Trail, It’s Saturday Night!

by lestro

Every four years or so, one television show manages to shake off the “not as good as it used to be” detractors and once again become the single most relevant 90 minutes on network television: Saturday Night Live.

Even with the rise of cable television, “The Daily Show” and YouTube, SNL remains THE place to go for political satire, especially during election years.

On the air for almost 35 years, the show has lampooned politics and presidents since Chevy Chase fell down stairs as a clutzy, slightly confused Gerald Ford, forever locking in the idea that Ford himself – a collegiate football star with two national championships to his name – was a clutz.

For me, SNL’s political hook was set back with Phil Hartman playing a totally-in-control Reagan organizing his political machine until it was time to play dumb for a photo with a girl scout. My most distinct memory of the 1988 election was the debate between Dana Carvey’s hysterically twitchy George H.W. Bush and Jon Lovitz’s confused and very short Michael Dukakis. During the debate, Lovitz used a lift to raise himself behind the podium and then, after Carvey repeated “thousand points of light” for his entire response, uttered one of my favorite lines ever: “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.”

During the first Gulf war, Carvey’s Bush opened the show from the Oval Office almost every week, warning Saddam Hussein about the impending attack and then gloating when it was over.

During 1992, Carvey did double duty in the debates, playing both the president and Texas wackadoo businessman Ross Perot, while Phil Hartman’s Bill Clinton ran away with the oval office, with a memorable jogging trip to a McDonald’s in one sketch and the line “there’s gonna be a whole bunch of things we don’t tell Mrs. Clinton. Fast food is the least of our worries”.

Despite left-leaning writers and performers, the show more than anything skewers power. During the Clinton years, he got it pretty good, especially during the Lewinsky scandal in 1998. The season premiere that year opened with a sketch set on an Oprah show of the future, reuniting the cast of the Clinton Scandal to talk about the incident (Hillary, in the sketch, was a crunchy hippie-esque lesbian. John Goodman played Linda Tripp). Later in the episode, the Ladies Man and host Cameron Diaz offered advice to the President on how to get rid of unwanted interns once they were done “mouthifying his wang”:

“Yeah, that’s nice. Now how ’bout you be going?”

In 2000, Will Ferrell’s George Bush became the most popular character on the show, so popular in fact that last week on Nightline, while plugging his new movie, Ferrell was asked if he takes any responsibility for the Bush victory because people liked his impression of Bush so much. The best moment of that election season was a debate sketch in which Tim Russert asked each candidate to sum up their campaign in one word. Gore responded “Lockbox,” while Bush gave us a new word, one that has stuck with us since: “Strategery.”

After Sept. 11, 2001, Saturday Night Live’s first live episode featured Mayor Rudy Guiliani (a regular guest during his time in Gracie Mansion) and members of the NYPD and NYFD during the cold opening. When Lorne Michaels asked Rudy if they could be funny, Rudy responded “Why start now?” and SNL was back.

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morning cartoons

by twit

this can’t be real… yet…

http://www.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/tattoodisplay.jpg

Jim Mielke’s wireless blood-fueled display is a true merging of technology and body art. At the recent Greener Gadgets Design Competition, the engineer demonstrated a subcutaneously implanted touch-screen that operates as a cell phone display, with the potential for 3G video calls that are visible just underneath the skin.

The basis of the 2×4-inch “Digital Tattoo Interface” is a Bluetooth device made of thin, flexible silicon and silicone. It´s inserted through a small incision as a tightly rolled tube, and then it unfurls beneath the skin to align between skin and muscle. Through the same incision, two small tubes on the device are attached to an artery and a vein to allow the blood to flow to a coin-sized blood fuel cell that converts glucose and oxygen to electricity. After blood flows in from the artery to the fuel cell, it flows out again through the vein.

this can’t be real… still…

63%

That’s the number of 18-25 year olds who say that humans and other living things evolved over time; only 33% say all living creatures have existed in their present form since the beginning of time

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Hillary’s big tent

by lestro

No, not her pant suit.

Jesus, you’re horrible. Stop it. That’s just mean and there’s no place for it in intelligent political discussion.

This week the Clinton Campaign launched a new Web site called Delegate Hub to address “The facts and myths about the race for delegates.” It functions mainly as blog to collect articles and clips about the superdelegates that present issues in a Clinton-favorable light.

Here’s the intro statement:

As more voters make their choice for the Democratic nomination, there is growing interest in the facts and myths about the race to reach 2208 delegate votes – the number required for a candidate to secure the nomination with Florida and Michigan included. The Obama campaign is claiming, without precedent or justification, that automatic delegates (commonly referred to as “super delegates”) should switch to Sen. Obama en masse based on arbitrary metrics, with the aim of tilting the delegate balance in his favor. The fact is: no automatic delegate is required to cast a vote on the basis of anything other than his or her best judgment about who is the most qualified to be president.

Did you catch that part about Michigan and Florida? Those are the states whose delegates that Clinton agreed should not count, until she realized she was getting beat pretty much everywhere except the states where her opponent agreed to not campaign in.

One of the first links on the new site is a Slate column in which Christopher Beam reports on some “number crunching” that shows Hillary has actually received 52 percent of the vote among people who identify as Democrats. The post gives some good reasons about why the numbers are a bit hinky, but despite that concludes “Clinton’s lead is still large enough to be significant.”

However, it’s the closing paragraph that disturbs me a little:

It helps you understand why the party gives so much power to its 796 superdelegates. If they didn’t, independents and Republicans could essentially hijack their election. It also makes you wonder whether Clinton should start citing this number, if she maintains her lead through the convention in August. Even if Obama leads in the popular vote and among pledged delegates, it might disturb party gray beards to learn that the nominee has essentially been chosen by outsiders.

While in many ways that is understandable, it is hard to imagine that the Clinton Campaign is actually pushing a message of exclusion. Essentially they say that unless you are a party member, they don’t want you there. The Democratic Party as invite-only.

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