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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Round-Up - All the News I Want to Read

Remember the good ol' days when "nuclear threat" meant the Soviet Union? The "Rooskies" who wanted our "precious bodily fluids"? Now it's the Senate that's a nuclear threat. NPR has an audio clip that explores the background of one of the "nuclear nominations" - Janice Rogers Brown - here.

ABC News has a story here about the ongoing political theatre. NPR has another profile of Justice Owen here. The Houston Chronicle is concerned that no one really knows that Justice Owen loves dogs and little children. Maybe that's why Michael Jackson isn't on the Supreme Court - he hates dogs.

President Bush's other nomination fight - that of John Bolton - has the Baltimore Sun voting nay.

Of course, the Senate is doing other things, too. Like considering an energy bill. Of course, like most things connected to the Bush Administration, it won't actually do anything.

Let's not forget the House, though. Surely they are looking out for us Americans. Yes, they are busy while everyone is watching the Senate trying to piece together a destructive Social Insecurity Plan.

Yeah, let's focus on that because there aren't any real problems anywhere else to deal with. Nothing like labor and immigration policy. It isn't like there's a problem with anti-poverty programs. It isn't that the State of Kansas is trying to undermine the entire basis of science education for another generation of Americans. Nope. Pay no mind to the silly man behind the screen. We don't need astronauts, physicist, or doctors in Kansas, anyway.

Iraq? Yeah, they invaded us, don't you remember? Didn't Saddam storm North Carolina or something? That's the line we hear from Condi Rice. Yet more evidence that the prime qualification for position in the Bush Administration is the ability to deny reality.

Since we cracked the evolution egg, here's a quiz from the Houston Chronicle. If we share 98% of our DNA with a chimp, how come they're so much stronger? Nah, we don't need to teach that sort of heresy. Who says they need better schools in Texas?

Well, David Gelernter for one. Only his plan for "improvement" is to abolish them. So, his complaint is that the underfunded schools make his kids look like chumps because they are conservative. Let's fix that by sending everyone to schools that make kids look like chumps because they are liberal. But let's be clear - in this argument "liberal" means teaching what has been backed up with science while "conservative" means remaining willfully ignorant of advances made by said science. Here's a clue, buddy. Schools are there to teach facts. If your kid looks stupid because he disagrees with facts, it isn't the fault of the school.

At least we finally have a conservative who will be honest and say they want to destroy public schooling.

This isn't quite on par with the Ivory Billed Woodpecker story, but a Kemp's ridley nest was found at Galveston. Oddly enough, the 103 eggs laid by the turtle would exactly replace the 101 sea turtles that were found dead along the Texas coast this year. Now, if only they had a 100% survival rate....

The Texas House has been busy, too. You can see here that they spent considerable time ensuring that verbal permission is not good enough for a doctor to perform an abortion on a minor. This must be a huge problem - oh wait, twenty-five states have a higher teen abortion rate than Texas. Of course they don't have many teen pregnancies in Texas because they're all good Christian folks - oh wait, they are fifth in the nation for teen pregnancy rate and second in the nation for teen birth rates (Thank you, Mississippi). See Guttmacher Institute for more info.

Yet the Texas House still hasn't found a way to record their own votes. Could it be that all those Republicans really don't want anyone to know what they're doing? Nah, couldn't be. It's obviously the evil Democrats just obstructin' the Lord's, I mean, Republican's agenda.

At least the Dallas Morning News is upset about the Do Nothing Republican State Lege.

The DMN also carries this story that should be a warning to bloggers who want to work. There is no such thing as "anonymous". If I could, I'd hire the Phantom Professor right now just for this: "Come to think of it, I guess the rich have been unfairly segregated by society. All their lives they've been forced to ride at the front of the bus. They live in gated communities designed to restrict their freedom of movement. Their clothes are tagged with identifying logos - little Polo players and crocodiles - that tell the rest of us who and what they are. Their children attend separate schools (and wear uniforms!). Where is Amnesty International? Why isn't the UN working to liberate these rich people and let them mix freely with the rest of us?"

And just to back up the conservative claim that there is no need to have an EPA, we have this story. It's a good thing they bought that hybrid pick-up, what with those industries spewing pollution. How many hybrids does it take to make it dead even with the 48,446 pounds of pollution thirteen industries plopped into the air? The good news: two releases a day should be a record or something.

The Hudson Reporter, back in New Jersey, finally is watching the mayoral race in Hoboken. It's a good thing, too, because no other media is.

Also from New Jersey - can you believe politicians are profiting from stock tips from people who get state contracts? Unbelievable. But politics in New Jersey is so clean.

And these are the people we are trusting to overhaul our state tax system? There's a recipe for disaster only the captain of the Titanic can appreciate.

That's all for now. Don't forget to brush down your ponies and soap up your saddles. Happy Trails.

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