“…the way Ronald Reagan did it.”
“Ronald Reagan used to talk about that.”
“[Ron Paul’s attitudes toward Iraq] That kind of isolation caused WWII.”
John McCain, which came with both boos and cheers
“I came in with Ronald Reagan.”
“I was the third ranking official in the Reagan justice department.”
“Not to follow Hillary Clinton to the left, but the path Ronald Reagan blazed.”
“There is move towards a North American Union… Our national sovereignty is under threat.”
“The first thing I would get rid of is the Internal Revenue Service.”
“I was wrong.”
“Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office.”
“None of us believe we should go pluck out our eye.”
“…after September 11th”
“Not bad to have a Republican that can beat Bill Clinton.”
“When I was mayor of New York City the Yankees won 4 championships.”
“We waited 87 long years…We hate the Yankees.”
“We’re not going to do what Pol Pot did.”
John McCain, referencing torture
“I need the support of anybody I can get.”
“Maybe Hillary could be on the first rocket to Mars.”
“I just want to throw something at the TV.”
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
“…the way Ronald Reagan did it.”
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Yes, then Israelis and Palestiians appear to be finally making some progress. But it is hard to be optimistic. Beyond the Cusp (a fantastic blog/blogger) takes a cold, hard look at reality. What happens if Annapolis does succeed? He goes on to make 3 main points:
1. Implementation of the agreement would be extremely difficult
2. Once Israel withdraws from the Palestinian territories (which will be certainly part of the agreement), Hamas will take power from Fatah and declare any agreement invalid.
3. If the agreement appears unsuccessful, Iran and/or Syria could take advantage of the situation and could possibly invade Israel, leading to a regional war.
Hits the nail on the head.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Written in correlation with Thoughts on Global Warming, Thoughts on the World, and The Statistics Monster.
Humanity is facing quite a serious epidemic: farts. Humanity’s gaseous eating habits are causing methane and CO2 to be released into the atmosphere. Your buttocks are like factories wearing pants.
The average human farts 12-18 times a day. That means, every day, the average human produces 45 milliliters of CO2 and 35 milliliters of methane. Methane, by the way, is 25 times as potent of a greenhouse gas as CO2.
That is a lot of gas. Therefore, my friends, I have come up with a solution to our flatulence-epidemic.
Every time one farts, one must turn off one lightbulb for thirty seconds to offset the greenhouse gases produced by one’s anus.
Simple as that. We don’t even need oversight or regulation. Just keep track for yourself, like the guy in the picture.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Today, Australians went to the polls and voted for a new direction. They voted out the incumbent, John Howard, and voted in Kevin Rudd.
The opinion is held wisely that Howard was voted out because of his failing economic policies – wait, excuse me, I’m being handed a note by my producer. It appears that – no! Howard’s economic policies were hugely successful! High economic growth, low unemployment, relatively low interest rates, tax reform, a more flexible workplace, zero Government debt, excellent international credit rating, strong investment in defense force funding, the list continues. This is strange…
Why was Howard voted out? Because of global warming. Australia is the only major industrialized country other than the U.S. not to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Howard was the staunchest backer of the Bush administration’s environmental policy. Australians seem to be very displeased not with the economic direction of their country, but the environmental direction.
Why? One report suggests that Australia, because of its geographic position and natural climate, will be hit hard by global warming.
Okay. Maybe there were one or two other policies the Aussies didn’t like. Like his support of the Iraq war, and his decision to send troops there.
But it is pretty safe to say that one of the major issues this election was global warming. Hopefully, the environment will be just as important in other elections.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Nawaz Sharif has announced that he will return to Pakistan on Sunday, begging the question: will General Musharraf allow him to stay?
Last time Sharif attempted to return, he was promptly shipped back out. Then, Musharraf had not declared martial law, was on good terms with Benazir Bhutto, and was not politically isolated.
Does that make Musharraf more likely to kick out Sharif once again? On one hand, Musharraf seems increasingly desperate to hold onto power. On the other hand, the General needs to placate the West in order to continue receiving our support. What will Musharraf do?
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Russia gets worse by the day. Coming out today: Russian opposition candidate shot.
Farid Babayev, who will lead the regional list for the liberal anti-Kremlin Yabloko party was in a serious condition in hospital, RIA novosti news agency reported after an unidentified gunman fired on him in the regional capital Makhachkala.
This comes as Putin continues his maneuverings that will essentially allow him to stay in power indefinitely. He has dissolved parliament recently, and appointed a close ally prime minister. He has promised to take part in parliamentary elections, with victory assured. He will be elected prime minister. From there, Putin will either sap powers from the presidency making the prime minister’s office the most important one (which has no term limits, by the way), or will manipulate the lame-duck president from the shadows.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Yesterday I wrote that “Kosovo declaring independence would be bad, because it would anger Russia, who the U.S. needs to help sanction Iran at the Security Council.”
One thing I didn’t mention at all throughout the article is another reason some are concerned about Kosovo declaring independence. Countries of the E.U. are worried that, should Kosovo break away, it will set a precedent for break away regions in their own countries. Specifically:
• Catalonia (Spain)
• Basque (Spain)
• Ossetia (Georgia)
• Abkhazia (Georgia)
• Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan)
• Transnistria (Moldova)
Not mentioned on this list, but making many more headlines than these regions, is Kurdistan. Though the countries which Kurdistan has ‘citizens’ in are not part of the European Union, the Kurds will be affected just as strongly by a declaration of independence.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Kosovo partial official results confirm Thaci win
This is very interesting. Hashim Thaci, besides being the newly elected prime minister of Kosovo, is the president of the political party PDK, Democratic Party of Kosovo. But what is even more interesting is that he headed an ethnic-Albanian guerilla group, the Kosovo Liberation Army, which fought for independence from Yugoslavia and Serbia in 1990’s. In other words, he is very much an Albanian nationalist. Kosovo has said it will declare formal independence in December if a deal cannot be reached.
So Kosovo might gain independence. What’s the big deal? The region of Kosovo exists in Serbia, which Russia supports extensively. Russia is very much pro-Serbian, and has made its position very clear to both the E.U. and U.S. The U.S. Russia has given special attention to because the U.S. has a large amount of influence over Albanians.
Once again, so the Russians care. What’s the big deal? Well, it’s kind of a big deal that the Russians control a permanent veto-wielding seat on the U.N. Security Council.
The United States needs the United Nations, specifically the Security Council, to impose sanctions on Iran, so Iran can be isolated (once again, coming back to that in a couple of weeks). The sanctions will only be effective if the United States can prove international unity on the issue, which right now it has not, primarily because of Russia and China.
Let’s recap. Kosovo declaring independence would be bad, because it would anger Russia, who the U.S. needs to help sanction Iran at the Security Council.
Expect to see Russia flexing its muscles for two reasons in the coming days and weeks. One, to send a message Mr. Thaci and the rest of Kosovo. Two, to publicly remind the U.S. Kosovo declaring independence would not help the American cause at the U.N.
Want more on Russian influence? Check out last week's post Russian Chess
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Expect Hillary to be attacked. Over and over again. Obama and Edwards will be gunning to kill at tonight’s debate.
Hillary has a solid 20+ lead, and those numbers are not going anywhere. After not so successfully attacking Clinton at the last debate, they will be trying even harder to expose her flaws.
Especially since illegal immigration is a huge issue in Nevada, Clinton will be attacked on her position on driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. This will be the primary source of ammo for Clinton’s opponents.
Most likely, Clinton will also be assaulted for planting questions at a campaign stop.
I think it will be interesting to see if Hillary will respond with the whole boys-are-attacking-me thing.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Seeing that Veteran's Day was this weekend, I'll leave this post at this:
Later Army test finds more mental health issues
U.S. soldiers are significantly more likely to report mental health problems six months after returning home from combat than on initial assessments, Army researchers said on Tuesday.
Soldiers reported greater concern about interpersonal conflicts, post-traumatic stress, depression and alcohol problems in the second mental health screening, the researchers said.
They also found that one in five active-duty soldiers and almost half of reserve soldiers were receiving or in need of mental health services after combat.
Monday, November 12, 2007
5. He wants to get rid of the U.N.
But supports peaceful solutions to conflicts?
4. He wants to allow prayer in public schools
3. He thinks we’d be safer without the CIA
And he’s a conspiracy theorist.
2. He wants to get rid of the EPA
After the Bush Administration’s 8 years of butchering the environment, I think many of us environmentalists would have a heart attack if this happened.
1. He wants to leave abortion up to the states, ban funding for stem cell research, stop campaign finance reform, end the minimum wage, and he doesn’t support gay marriage
Yeah, that’s more than one. I wanted to only have 5, and so I had to condense this into only one. That shows how bad he is. Check out his votes at On The Issues, it’s all true.
# Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Jan 2007)
# Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. (May 2005)
# Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)
# Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
# Voted YES on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions. (May 1998)
# Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. (Mar 2006)
# Voted YES on withdrawing from the WTO. (Jun 2000)
# Voted NO on requiring lobbyist disclosure of bundled donations. (May 2007)
# Voted NO on campaign finance reform banning soft-money contributions. (Feb 2002)
# Voted NO on banning soft money and issue ads. (Sep 1999)
# Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)
# Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Mar 2007)
# Voted NO on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Jan 2007)
# Voted YES on making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Apr 2002)
# Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax (”death tax”). (Apr 2001)
# Voted NO on establishing “network neutrality” (non-tiered Internet). (Jun 2006)
Sunday, November 11, 2007
On Friday, I wrote that the current situation in Pakistan is a Bhutto-Musharraf power play. More famous pundits have not been discussing this theory as much, but there is a growing number of blogs that are stating the fact that Bhutto isn't the democratic savior she is made out to be.
The Boston Globe, as well, essentially agrees with the theory I described, as does fellow blogger Frank Hagan.
...Ron Paul. Surprise surprise Stat :D.
In the USATODAY quiz I took, none of my answers matched Paul's.
Chris Dodd was most like me, mainly because he agrees with me that the best way to solve global warming is through a carbon tax.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Stat blogs at The Statistics Monster
Over the last month:
Friday, November 09, 2007
While Pervez Musharraf attempts to calm Pakistan after his declaration of emergency rule (effectively a declaration of martial law), Benazir Bhutto waits eagerly and the U.S. waits nervously.
That just about sums up Pakistan’s most recent conflict. But we need more detail.
If you aren’t living under a rock, you know that this is at its most basic level an attempt to hold on to power by President Musharraf.
Musharraf has been in a continuous power struggle with the Pakistani judiciary ever since the 1999 coup which brought him into power. The issue at the forefront of the confrontation has been the fact that Musharraf holds both the office of President and of Chief of the Army, constitutionally illegal. This struggle escalated this year, with the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry being suspended, reinstated, and suspended again during the current crisis.
The motive of the suspension was widely (if not universally) seen as a move to hold on to power by Musharraf. Elections were coming up in October, and it was essentially assured that the Supreme Court would not allow the Pakistani President to hold on to both his military and political posts.
The elections in October overwhelming went to Musharraf, though the election has yet to be certified by the Supreme Court. That decision was expected to come Monday, and was also projected to not be in favor of the President.
This led Musharraf to make the decision to declare martial law.
Benazir Bhutto has been cast as the democratic savior of Pakistan by hopeful analysts in the U.S. and hopeful citizens in Pakistan. But Bhutto is still a politician, and a corrupt one at that. She presided over two administrations overflowing with corruption and human rights abuses.
She is hoping to gain a third term as Prime Minister in the recently delayed parliamentary elections, though laws created by Musharraf block her and other former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from seeking third terms. This forced Bhutto to try to cut a power sharing deal with Musharraf to secure her position as prime minister, which appears to have been successful.
While the full details have yet to emerge, a consensus among analysts has emerged: the deal has hurt Bhutto’s image as a democratic leader and threatened her credibility.
This was the setting for the current power play. Rumors were swirling that Bhutto was aware of Musharraf’s emergency plans, and this was only the next step in their plan. They are both losing power and popularity, and know it. They had to take this step in order to have a chance at staying in power.
In fact, Bhutto knew well enough last week that there was a possibility of martial law being declared. But she left for Dubai anyway, after ‘delaying’ her trip temporarily.
Yes, Bhutto has been leading protests. But that is all to put on her democratic public face. Though she leads protests, she is still in league with the General.
Expect to see Bhutto in power next year, alongside Musharraf.
This is a military and diplomatic nightmare for the U.S. After months of diplomatic pressure, in Pakistan, a nuclear armed state teeming with Islamic terrorists, the President effectively declares martial law solely in order to hold on to power. Anything elections Musharraf’s government holds, any attempt to reconcile with political opponents, the sincerity of anything he does will be questioned.
Nevertheless, the U.S. must continue to rely on Musharraf. Even if Pakistan was not the hiding place of Osama bin Laden, withdrawing the support of General Musharraf would send the country and its multiple nuclear missiles into total anarchy.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Hawks on the right are screaming for war, and it’s scaring a lot of people. The good news is the Bush administration isn’t listening.
After years of ignoring advice from anybody but itself, the Bush Administration is accepting the fact that it cannot do whatever it wants with no respect for the wishes of other nations and cultures. The Administration and its allies are realizing diplomacy is the first step before war. See: North Korea.
The same tactics we successfully applied to North Korea we are applying to Iran, for the same reasons. We are isolating them internationally through sanctions at the U.N. and public statements hinting at military action. The right’s lust for blood has only made the threat of war seem more real.
Once the Iranians are completely isolated, as the North Koreans were, we will offer them a deal diplomatically, as we did with the North Koreans. But that is not the point of this article. The point is how easily extremists on the far left and particularly on the far right have fallen for this faux threat of war.
Not since November 3, 2004 have so many Republicans wet their pants. Candidates have been giddy, bloggers have been going wild, and Fox News is throwing a never ending fiesta (no illegal immigrants allowed, of course).
Maybe if they sat down seriously, thought about it, and maybe even read this article, they'd realize we're not going to war with Iran.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Colbert released a presidential statement today (he won't have a show tonight):
"Although I lost by the slimmest margin in presidential election history - only 10 votes - I have chosen not to put the country through another agonizing Supreme Court battle. It is time for this nation to heal.
I want to say to my supporters, this is not over. While I may accept the decision of the Council, the fight goes on! The dream endures! ... And I am going off the air until I can talk about this without weeping."
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
This is the guy who said he'd allow a Colbert campaign over 'my dead body'. Please copy this and email it to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 843-722-8269! (change your name obviously)
Dear Mr. Howe,
I'd like you to reconsider your rejection of the Colbert Campaign. You are missing a huge opportunity that is unlikely to come again unless we vote in another president as unpopular as the current president.
By denying Colbert even the chance to run, you are effectively throwing away the youth vote. By allowing Colbert to be on ballot, the percentage of young voters would increase beyond what it has been for years. This has been proven through the '1 Million Strong for Stephen T. Colbert' Facebook group, which, at the time of this writing, has over 1.3 million members. Yes, 1.3 million members.
Second, you are denying South Carolina the chance to be a powerful primary state. A Colbert campaign in the state would bring unprecedented media coverage. Not only the media, but a new candidate with such media attention would cause campaigns locked in the lead to consider the possibility of a poll shake up.
If Stephen T. Colbert does not get his well deserved spot on the ballot in January, trust me, he will collect the signatures to get on the ballot in general election. And that can only hurt the Democratic party.
Carrots and sticks, Mr. Howe.