Inhuman Swill : Politics : Page 7

Dropping algebra

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My good friend Michael Harrison has produced a very funny critique of the Iraq Algebra Study Group:

We think that direct talks with these math brains might lead to insights and opportunities for joint studying and maybe even structured tutoring. We know Timmy has differences with these two, accusing them, at times, of busting the curve and intentionally being know-it-all math weenies, but it’s time to focus on the goals and tasks at hand.  [full piece]
Poor Timmy, trapped in a world he doesn't understand.
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My subway reading the past couple of days has been the Bruce Sterling collection Globalhead. This morning I was sailing right through—until I decided to change things up and take a different route to work. When I hopped onto the 6 train downtown, I entered the flow of a voice that made continuing to read impossible.

The owner of the voice wore a strip of newspaper pinned in her hair. She sat looking at nothing and no one, and her first rant was about how Bush should be impeached. Fair enough. Her next rant was a long, vulgar, and virtuoso screed against Condi Rice, which I wish I could reproduce in full but which ended with the phrase "got-damn bitch-ass skank."

I sort of lost the thread when Bill Gates became her next target—don't you know that AIDS isn't the problem, Microsoft is the problem?—but it occurred to me to wonder if anyone had bothered to tell her that the Democrats won Congress last week.

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Break out the rum!

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Holy shit! It's way too late, but Rummy has resigned.

This is too much good news in 24 hours. I'm trying not to be giddy, because we're still deep in the weeds and liable to be there for quite a while. Thanks in no small part to Rummy, who I hope won't let the door hit him in the ass.

Update: The Comedy Central Insider Blog had this last night???
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Nothing's shocking, anymore

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I love the United States. I hate what our government is doing to it. I hate that we're allowing it. I love Molly Ivins, who writes in "Why the Torture Bill Matters," in part:

I'd like those supporting this evil bill to spare me one affliction: Do not, please, pretend to be shocked by the consequences of this legislation. And do not pretend to be shocked when the world begins comparing us to the Nazis.  [full column]
Via [info]14theditch
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From the ever irrepressible Walter Becker:

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I'm your huckleberry

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Strangely, just a few weeks ago I told Laura I'd be willing, if only it would help make the world a safer place, to make the same sacrifice Eric Schwartz proposes at the end of his new song:

"Clinton Got a Blowjob" (mp3)

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The blurb in this Gawker

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The blurb in this Gawker entry literally made me laugh out loud. And the video's not so bad either:

Queens Politicians Stick "Kick Me" Sign On Mayor's Back

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Heckuva job, Burkie!

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New York Times: Mayor Continues to Defend Chairman of Con Edison

"I think Kevin Burke deserves a thanks from this city," Mr. Bloomberg said. "He's worked as hard as he can every single day since then, as has everybody at Con Ed. And it’s easy to go criticize but once this happened, Con Ed has been doing everything they can to bring it back. And I don't think that I could have gone in and done any better."
First of all, doing everything they can to bring power back is not the sole criterion for doing a good job. Con Ed failed miserably at preventing this disaster, and then they underestimated the scope of the problem for days. That doesn't exactly merit thanks.

Second, who cares if Bloomberg couldn't have done a better job? He's a broadcast mogul and a (sometimes decent) mayor. He's not the head of a major metropolitan utility and never has been. So forgive me if I'm making a jacking-off gesture in Bloomie's direction.

And third, as someone on the Times message board observed: "You're doing a heckuva job, Burkie!"

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No end in sight

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Hell, at night there's very little of anything in sight:

Power Failure Lingers as Storm Slows Repairs

The police presence in the neighborhood is very impressive. So are the ConEd work crews we've seen plowing through the roadbeds of many streets in Astoria. I saw a crew on Steinway Street up to their shoulders in the street, flinging dirt out of the hole with shovels. Huge bundles of electrical cables snake out of open manholes and down the street, sometimes buried in trenches of fresh asphalt, sometimes out in the open. The mayor's command center is set up in the parking lot under the Triborough Bridge in Astoria Park, along with dozens of police vehicles. Sirens are the most common sound in the neighborhood, next to birdsong.

At least the weather is relatively cool today, but we groan every time it starts to rain, especially during the thunderstorms, because who's going to be working with electricity in the rain?

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From the New York Times:

From 2002 until this year, NASA's mission statement, prominently featured in its budget and planning documents, read: "To understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers ... as only NASA can."

In early February, the statement was quietly altered, with the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet" deleted. In this year's budget and planning documents, the agency's mission is "to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research."

David E. Steitz, a spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said the aim was to square the statement with President Bush's goal of pursuing human spaceflight to the Moon and Mars.

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William Shunn