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Inhuman Swill : Politics : Page 7

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:

http://walterbecker.com/escape.html

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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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TGIF?

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I'm afraid we're not surprised by this, but at least everyone seems to be paying attention now:

Queens Blackout May Last Through the Weekend

And it only took four days of complaining!

(Via Laura.)

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Welcome to the club

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But sometimes our mayor is pretty funny, as in this bit from AM New York:

"The sad thing is, this shouldn't have happened," Bloomberg said. "We don't know why, but the most important thing—make sure nobody dies or gets hurt and then help Con Ed to get it back up.

"And then we'll go and try to figure out why and point fingers and beat people over the head and all that sort of thing," added the mayor.  [full story]

Just let me know if I can help, Mike.

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Stet peeve

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Never again would be too soon to hear the phrase "war-torn Lebanon" one more time.

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