• What It's About

    This bit from is fairly illustrative of what the election in Ohio-02 will turn on: Hackett is a far left Democrat using his experience in the military to beat up the President and the war. According to Hackett, Bush saying "Bring 'em on!" was "the most incredibly stupid comment I've ever heard a president of the United States make." If you live in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District, remember to go vote today. Be sure to vote for Jean Schmidt. So what will today's election be about? Paul Hackett. Republicans know Schmidt is, in her better moments, an empty suit. There's no appeal to voting for her, no reason to line up with her. But against Hackett? Against a Democrat? Now we're talking. Democrats, of course, feel the same way, except that the candidate they're voting for is the one they're genuinely moved by. In this race, Schmidt barely even exists. It's Democratic war hero Paul Hackett or not Democratic war hero Paul Hackett.

    Joe Biden's op-ed on the dangers posed by chemical attack is worth a read, not just for its terrorism implications, but what it says about the Bush administration's priorities: The Chlorine Institute has estimated that an assault on a chlorine tanker could create a toxic cloud extending up to 15 miles. If this poisonous fog drifted over Capitol Hill, where deadly chemicals are transported just four blocks from the U.S. Capitol, thousands of people could be killed and Congress and the Supreme Court could be shut down for an extended period. In fact, the Naval Research Laboratory has estimated that up to 100,000 people could be killed or injured in less than a half-hour by such an attack. Hospitals would be inundated with patients seeking treatment for burns to the eyes, skin and lungs. Thousands of panicked residents would need to be evacuated. To address this threat and protect the millions of people who live in, work in and visit our nation's capital, the D.C. Council recently passed...
  • Precedent

    This is what I call a great find: Richard Holbrooke, who Republicans delayed for 14 months as Bill Clinton's nominee to the U.N., refused to bypass the Senate with a recess appointment, saying that it would introduce him to the world body with no credibility or authority. Wow.
  • Mushy Moderates and Timid Traditionalists

    Interesting article in the Washington Post: Under President Bill Clinton, multiple clashes with Congress, the judiciary and independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr chipped away at attorney-client and executive privileges on sensitive documents and conversations. But since coming to power, Bush has doggedly reclaimed turf that eroded under Clinton, asserting the power of his office to shield everything from energy policy deliberations to the papers of past presidents. ... In a showdown with the Senate opposition over something like the Roberts papers, Klain recalled, a politically and legally weakened Clinton White House often would find a compromise to end the dispute. "I have no doubt that if that had been us, we would have turned over the papers," Klain said. "I'm not saying that's a good thing; I'm not saying that's a bad thing. But whenever we walked up to the brink, we blinked. And these guys don't, and they're prepared to pay the price for it." What's interesting, though, isn't...
  • Hilarifying

    Heh , but I can't bring myself to utter an "indeed".
  • Our Nuclear Inheritance

    File under "That's Freaky": It was a dispute over whether the cortex ever makes any new cells that got Dr. Frisen looking for a new way of figuring out how old human cells really are. Existing techniques depend on tagging DNA with chemicals but are far from perfect. Wondering if some natural tag might already be in place, Dr. Frisen recalled that the nuclear weapons tested above ground until 1963 had injected a pulse of radioactive carbon 14 into the atmosphere. Breathed in by plants worldwide and eaten by animals and people, the carbon 14 gets incorporated into the DNA of cells each time the cell divides and the DNA is duplicated. So a variety of nuclear tests 40-some years ago blasted enough radioactive carbon into the atmosphere that we all carry bits of it in our DNA. It's really a wonder that humanity hasn't destroyed itself yet.
  • Check Those Goalposts!

    Am I the only one unimpressed by the Dove ads? I mean, I'm all for curvy women getting their media due, but this doesn't quite seem the vehicle. Dove is not saying Big is Beautfiul, Real is Beautiful, or anything similar. They're not putting everyday bodies on billboards for their soap or commercials for their lotion. These are husky girls on billboards promoting a product for husky girls. It's firming cream, the sort of thing most thin people don't need. What's fascinating is that Dove's got all this good press for doing the only thing, in a rational world, that makes sense: putting heavy people on ad for a product aimed at heavy people. That's not to say we have a rational advertising industry or that there's no imaginable world in which Kate Moss would be posing in front on this product she'd never need, but it's fairly pathetic that they get all this good press for something so small. More to the point, Dove is doing exactly what's always done: creating an impossible standard. The...
  • Regulating the Regulator's Regulating

    From an article on Barry Goldwater's nephew's gubernatorial campaign: "Goldwater, the recently retired director of special events at the state Department of Administration, has never before held elective office and has been (to put it charitably) a low-profile presence on the political stage." How excellent is that? Department of Administration. It's like bureaucracy squared! And a relative of Barry Goldwater worked at it! It gives me chills. Brings me back, too. UC Santa Cruz's student government had an arm called the Student Committee on Committees. What all that time spent discussing themselves amounted to, I don't know, but the idea of it certainly amused me.
  • Hackett

    You know the situation: Hackett vs. Schmidt, Hackett good and Schmitt bad, Hackett sane and Schmitt not, Schmitt favored and Hackett fighting uphill. This is the final push, and a couple bucks will help him push harder. Plus, you were just going to blow it on beer and hookers or something. For those of you not particularly interested in Ohio 02, though, there's a second reason you should think about whipping out the wallet. The networks love electoral news. Love it. And, right now, there's none of it. If Hackett wins, a military vet, a Democrat in a solid-red district, it's going to be the story for awhile. And that means the story will feature a tough-talking Democrat who looks like a soldier, just returned from the war, and loudly, loudly stands up for our party and loves lashing out at Republican incompetence. Hackett strikes at their strongest issue and shields our weakest. If Rove were a Democrat, this is the guy he'd run. And his win could, in fact, become one of those...
  • I Am a Building Block

    It's always nice to see someone take a piece you wrote and spin it into something much grander, more profound, and important. Pay attention to the last line, too: Lance is right .