• We Don't Believe

    QandO's got an interesting table on evolution beliefs by party affiliation. Turns out 9% of Republicans believe in evolution without God, while 16% of Democrats and 14% of Independents feel similarly. 23% of Republicans are fans of intelligent design, as are 28% of Democrats and Independents. 66% of Republicans are creationists, while 51% of Democrats and Independents are. Huh. So Republicans are substantially more creationist than Democrats and Independents, but the difference is between a bare majority and a large majority. Not the most heartening of news. QandO says the President is reflecting mainstream opinion. True enough. But that's no excuse. Leaders should lead, not follow, and they should consider it important that the countries they run have some respect for science and evidence, as those two tend to fuel the global economy. Americans can believe what they want, but with Republicans doing their damndest to discredit everything from biological science to climatological...
  • In Which Your Faithful Narrator Engages in a Bit of Gallows Humor

    This is fairly good news: we seem to have created a vaccine for Avian Bird Flu. Huzzah! Now all I have to worry about are super volcanoes under Yellowstone , nuclear/biological/chemical terrorism when I move to DC, incurable illnesses, mad cow disease, plane crashes and car accidents, lighting strikes, that massive earthquake LA's supposedly due for, household accidents, being drafted into a calamitous war with Iran, asteroid impact, and some miscellaneous disasters I'm forgetting. I'm off to curl up in a corner now.
  • GM Begs

    The best part of the unshockingly bold crony-captialism Matt ferrets out is that it won't work. GM is suffering from a cash flow problem in the same way I'm suffering from old age arthritis: it isn't. The company is still paying a stock dividend, their CEO still got a $2.5 million bonus this year, and they've got $20 billion in on-hand cash. The company's got money, the problem is nobody buys their cars. And that's not because of retiree health care costs or unions, it's because they make poor-quality automobiles that are totally unsuited for today's gas prices. So GM, I'm sure, can get Congess to bail them out. But it won't do them any good. GM's problem isn't in their bank account, it's in their product line. Pumping up the former won't do them a damn bit of good; it's the latter that needs an overhaul. And they're going to have a hard time doing that with a furious workforce and congressional oversight. Reacting with cries for help, as they are, is so wholly pathetic, so obviously...
  • Hillary Gets It?

    Who'd have thought the Democratic politician to best deal with Southern resentment and insecurity might be... Hillary ? Upstate New York, the state's Republican stronghold, is an area accustomed to being neglected in favor of the more populous downstate region. But Clinton has paid it special attention. She once persuaded dozens of New York City chefs, restaurant owners and wine retailers to join her on a bus tour of upstate wineries and enjoy a four-course meal featuring New York produce. She recruited investment bankers and the head of EBay to help arrange for rural small-business owners to learn how to use the online auction site to sell their products. She instituted an annual "farm day" reception in Washington to display the state's produce, including apples, oysters and wine. Not bad. Very smart, actually. And pretty damn applicable. Hillary, by virtue of being a walking spotlight whose New York tenure was assumed to be the simple result of an affection for the Upper West Side,...
  • Jennings Dead

    Peter Jennings has died. And with Dan Rather in disgrace and Tom Brokaw in retirement, it seems like a coda on an era, the end of a time when Americans could agree on where they got their news from and how reality looked. Maybe not -- maybe I'm young and packed with nostalgia for a consensus I never experienced and that never existed. Maybe. His obituary is here .
  • Down For the Count

    Posted by Nick Beaudrot It looks like I'm finished for this weekend now. You can find more of my Reality-Based content at Electoral Math . 'Hope you've enjoyed everything!
  • Harry Reid: The Man, the Myth, the Legend

    Posted by Nick Beaudrot Via Neil the Ethical Werewolf , some good hero-worship for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid: In July of 1978, a man named Jack Gordon, who was later married to LaToya Jackson, offered Reid twelve thousand dollars to approve two new, carnival-like gaming devices for casino use. Reid reported the attempted bribe to the F.B.I. and arranged a meeting with Gordon in his office. By agreement, F.B.I. agents burst in to arrest Gordon at the point where Reid asked, “Is this the money?” Although he was taking part in a sting, Reid was unable to control his temper; the videotape shows him getting up from his chair and saying, “You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me!” and attempting to choke Gordon, before startled agents pulled him off. “I was so angry with him for thinking he could bribe me,” Reid said, explaining his theatrical outburst. Gordon was convicted in federal court in 1979 and sentenced to six months in prison. The whole article is worth a read...
  • Sunday Music

    This week's been all about The New Pornographer's Electric Version for me. If anyone can recommend more bands like them, I'd be stoked. When I needed a break from the indie, I got Arrested Development to belt out some tunes, namely "Fishin 4 Religion" and "Natural". What're you spinning?
  • Never Enough

    By Ezra In comments, Iron Lungfish writes: If the bar's fallen so low that Huckabee is now the standard for what makes a grownup Republican, this is a hideous portent that there are no potentially tolerable Republican presidents. But were there ever? We always say that the Republivan party of today is so much more unacceptable than the Republican party of yore, but I can't think of a single Republican president who Democrats held anything than broad antipathy for. Eisenhower was neither Republican and Democrat, he was some fourth-dimension political being who simply acted the steward as America normalized after World War II. But his VP? Well now... The campaigns against Eisenhower, particularly against his reelection, were largely conducted against Nixon, the devilish lackey who was a heartbeat from the presidency. Democrats hated Nixon. Even Bush bashing looks light compared to the scorn, distaste, and revulsion we felt for the guy. Now, of course, we look back and wonder why we...
  • Say "No" to Newt Nostalgia

    Posted by Nick Beaudrot To respond to some comments in the Huckabee thread , let me say that in no way am I endorsing the nascent Huckabee '08 campaign. But given the non-McCain, non-Giuliani alternatives (since, let's face it, neither of those guys will get through the primary), I'd rather roll the dice with Huckabee than with Brownback, Frist, Romney, or any other oft-mentioned potential Republican candidates. A commenter writes on another potential Grown-Up Republican, "I'm alright with occasionally reminiscing about soft spots for Newt Gingrich, but Huckabee is much worse." At the risk of piling on, the burgeoning " Newt wasn't that bad" meme is highly dangerous , because he really was that bad. The are three good things about Newt: he's a significantly more honest conservative than the current bunch; he's learned enough political lessons from the Clinton years that he wouldn't try to dismantle the federal government completely; and he does a lot of reviews at [full...