Friday, October 13, 2006

Republicans in Trouble?

Paul Krugman:

Bear in mind that the GOP isn't in trouble because of a string of bad luck. The problems that have caused Americans to turn on the party, from the disaster in Iraq to the botched response to Katrina, from the failed attempt to privatize Social Security to the sudden realization by many voters that the self-proclaimed champions of moral values are hypocrites, are deeply rooted in the whole nature of Republican governance.
More specifically, John Sweeney:

The contest is front and center for the national Democratic Party, which sees the upstate 20th as an only mildly Republican-leaning district — President Bush took a modest 53 percent there in 2004 — that is ripe for a partisan takeover. This is in sharp contrast to the Democrats’ approach in Sweeney’s three previous re-election campaigns, in which the incumbent cruised to easy wins over little-known and poorly funded challengers.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Breakbone Fevers - Stuff I Didn't Know

When it comes to virology I’m pretty ignorant. I was reading an article in the NYT Science section today about an outbreak of Chikungunya virus in India. Now I do know what Chikungunya is just like I know what O’nyong ‘nyong and Dengue Fever are. Maybe I was asleep when we discussed those diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine or maybe it wasn’t known then (it was over 30 yrs ago) but I thought all three diseases were the same. It turns out they all arboviruses (transmitted by insects) and the symptoms of the diseases are very similar, but they are not the same viruses

Chikungunya is caused by infection with an Alphavirus (positive sense, single-stranded RNA virus) and is transmitted by the bite of certain Culicine mosquitoes, usually Aedes aegypti.

O’nyong ‘nyong is a closely related virus of the same genus but is transmitted by the bite of an Anopheline mosquito.

Dengue Fever is caused by infection with a Flavivirus (also a positive sense, single-stranded RNA virus) but is also transmitted by the bite of Culicine mosquitoes, usually Aedes aegypti.

All of these viral infections cause such severe pain that they are often described as ‘breakbone fevers’. Dengue fever can be transmitted in the USA but only in warm climates. Aedes mosquitoes don't like cool weather. Also, there is no direct person-to-person transmission of these viruses.
Tom Mabe Pranks Telemarketer With Fake Death Scene

This is so priceless. I can't wait for my next call from a telemarketer! BTW is a great website.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Is Bush Keeping His Oath of Office?

He tells us time and time again that his primary job is to protect the people of the United States. Not true. He took a presidential oath that I did not realize is part of the US Constitution, Article II, Section 1, last paragraph:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Can anyone seriously argue that Bush is keeping this oath? Thanks Keith Olbermann.
Jon Stewart on Foley child predator sex scandal

Evidently gay staffers control everything in congress - except for policies towards gays.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006