Saturday, October 21, 2006

First Snow

Snow just starting to stick yesterday afternoon about 4 PM. Lot's more fell and we even lost power for a couple of hours. Today is a travel day for me so expect some more snow pictures.

It Doesn't Look Like This Today

We got about 4 inches of snow last night. Pictures to follow.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sue Kelly Runs Away

Yet another NY Republican involved in Foleygate. She needs to go.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Do Yourself a Favor

Add The Consumerist to your favorites.

Is Rep. John Sweeney a "Blind Pig"?

TPMmuckraker implies that he might be. Mr. Sweeney doesn't see any sweatshop conditions in the Northern Mariana when he visited the island courtesy of his buddy Jack Abramoff. Rep. Sweeney says he actually sees far worse sweatshop conditions in his own State. However:
Rep. George Miller (D-CA), who's worked for more than a decade to improve conditions there, said that "a blind pig could run into the human rights violations and the exploitation of workers on the islands." Abramoff's travellers, of course, ran anything but a blind course.

What Democrats Would Do

I like Harold Meyerson's editorial today on what legislation we can expect a Democrat controlled congress to pass. Here are five things he suggests will happen immediately.

Raising the minimum wage

Repealing the Medicare legislation that forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices

Replenishing student loan programs

Funding stem cell research

Implementing those recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission that have thus far languished

I also hope Meyerson is correct on this:
Cognizant that they will owe their victory in part to the public's revulsion at the way Congress does (or avoids) business, the Democrats also plan to revise House rules to enable the opposition party to introduce amendments and to sit on conference committees, from which Republicans have routinely excluded them since Tom DeLay became majority leader. They also will ban members from accepting gifts and paid trips from lobbyists.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Evolution Of Beauty

I knew something screwy was going on. You can't fool me.

N. Korean Nuke

So it was a flub, probably due to pre-detonation. Nukes are really not that easy to build. But today we learn that the N. Koreans used plutonium (because uranium isotopes are so hard to purify) to make the nuke they exploaded. The plutonium was produced either during Bush I or the Bush II administration.
As president, Mr. Clinton negotiated a deal that froze the production and weaponization of North Korea’s plutonium, but intelligence agencies later determined that North Korea began its secret uranium program under his watch. The plutonium that North Korea exploded was produced, according to intelligence estimates, either during the administration of the first President Bush or after 2003, when the North Koreans threw out international inspectors and began reprocessing spent nuclear fuel the inspectors had kept under seal.

What's the Difference Between a Sunni and Shiite Muslum?

Hell, I've known the answer to this almost from the day after the 9/11 attacks if not before. But do our government officials know? Do they know which states are primarily Shiite? Not too well according to this article.

Element 118, Californium and 'Pocket Nukes'

Will I get in trouble for blogging about this? I sure hope not. This mornings NYT Science section discusses the possibility that a new element has been created - element 118. Element 118 was created by bashing atoms of Calcium into a Californium target using a cyclotron. Californium is highly radioactive and a very, very dangerous material. It has a very small critical mass and thus theoretically could be used to make a "pocket nuke", a term I've never heard before (I've heard of suitcase nukes). Unlikely, primarily due to expense of producing enough Cf I imagine.

One more thing I found out. The USA passed a law in 1994 making it pretty unlikely that the USA would make a nuke with a yield smaller than 5 kilotons of tnt. I guess this was to prevent the manufacture of "pocket nukes".

The law was repealed in 2004.

USA 300 Million

This morning at 7:46 a.m. EDT. We are officially at a population of 300 million people. Although this number was probably actually reached months ago.

Monday, October 16, 2006

10 Dumbest Congressmen

From Radar Online:

10. Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) - His is a tragic case of descent into senility

9. Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) - In 1988, during his maiden campaign for Rhode Island's state legislature, Kennedy was stumped when radio callers asked him for the location of his campaign headquarters.

8. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) - Jack Abramoff"s favorite Senate bag man

7. Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) - With her famously bad hair and even worse manners...

6. Representative Jean Schmidt (R-OH) - "Mean" Jean Schmidt

5. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) - a limousine liberal running a few gallons short of a full tank

4. Representative J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) - Hayworth's dimness is so legendary on the Hill that one Arizona colleague told a reporter that he's a textbook example of the power of gerrymandering

3. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) - I'm really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we've never had a divorce or a homosexual relationship."

2. Representative Donald Young (R-AK) - responsible for Alaska's fabled "Bridge to Nowhere

1. Representative Katherine Harris (R-FL) - If dumb Congress members were the X-Men, Harris would be their Wolverine

What It Means to Be a Republican

This from a conservative Kansas newspaper, The Johnson County Sun:
To win a Republican primary, the candidate must move to the right.

What does to-the-right mean?

It means anti-public education, though claiming to support it.

It means weak support of our universities, while praising them.

It means anti-stem cell research.

It means ridiculing global warming.

It means gay bashing. Not so much gay marriage, but just bashing gays.

It means immigrant bashing. I'm talking about the viciousness.

It means putting religion in public schools. Not just prayer.

It means mocking evolution and claiming it is not science.

It means denigrating even abstinence-based sex education.
They are endorsing a slew of Democrats for office.
Walsh Stem Cell

Yes, he represents a district in NY. Let's get rid of him.