Monthly Archives: September 2004

Instant Debate Comments

I watched the debate on C-SPAN’s internet feed. Bush is not very impressive in this format—he kept repeating the same phrases, frequently hesitated, and often came off as whiny when making a rebuttal. Kerry seemed uncertain at first but gradually became more confident. I particularly liked Kerry’s answer on nuclear proliferation, although I worry that his position on “bunker buster” nukes is the sort of thing that plays into a “soft on national security” line.
Anyone else watch? What were your impressions?

Strategic Slacking in Congress

Here’s a big surprise: Congress didn’t pass its appropriations bills on time.

Congress Passes Bill to Keep Government Running
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress on Wednesday passed a stop-gap bill to keep the government running into November avoiding some tough election-year votes as Republican admitted they could not finish their budget work.

So what were they doing instead?

U.S. House rooting for oak as national tree
WASHINGTON — The national bird, the bald eagle, will have a national tree, the oak, to alight on if legislation passed yesterday by the House makes its way through Congress and is signed by the president.
The oak tree, said the measure’s sponsor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, is present in all 50 states and “represents the fundamental characteristics of this great nation: strength, endurance and beauty.”

I notice the oak tree does not embody the fundamental characteristic of doing your fucking job.
It’s not like this is an accident, though—”Oops, we missed the deadline.” There’s a strategy to this, as the first article points out.

Republican leaders must also decide how to deal with the third increase in the nation’s debt limit in three years. Republicans want to put off the embarrassing vote on adding to the debt until after the election. Democrats blame Bush’s tax cuts for turning the surplus he inherited into a huge deficit and will seize the chance to question Bush’s policies.

I’m so glad we have responsible adults running the country.

I’ve been watching too much Angel.

Top four Google News US headlines at the moment:
Debate could be Kerry’s last best hope of catching Bush
Aftershocks rattle Parkfield day after strong quake
Scientists Find Mount St. Helens Movement
Jeanne Soaks South, Moves North
Earthquakes, volcanoes, Bush polling well… this is apocalypse stuff. I’ll be watching for the plague of locusts and the dead rising from the grave.
…on the other hand, the Rapture Index is at a relatively low point, so maybe we’re safe.

I’m not dead… I’m getting better! [Open Thread]

I was really tired yesterday for non-obvious reasons, so I didn’t get the new quote up. Today I am completely rejuvenated! Well, I could use some coffee actually. And maybe a nap. Not in that order.
If you didn’t recognize last week’s quote (That’s the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!), then I cast you out of this blog! Go forth and wander the Internet like the wretch you are! Or, just go watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
New quote is almost as easy. 1 point.

Friday Catblogging: Ivy League

I haven’t seen much of this blog’s photogenic stray this week, partly because I’ve been in lab a bit more. This photo’s from almost two weeks ago.

There’s another stray that I see fairly regularly, but she sprints away whenever I approach. So no pictures yet.

Blogging is thirsty work.

I just wanted to point out that I am not the only blog discussing the UC Berkeley soda market: Brad DeLong finds an opportunity for arbitrage.
Given the frequency with which the Evans Hall machine sells out, another route to profit might be to buy up the supply and sell it back to parched students at inflated prices on a hot day*…
*For example, today, at 81 degrees Fahrenheit, is a “hot day” by Berkeley standards.

The word “Wookie” has been changed to “hair challenged animal”.

This is the Star Wars on DVD thread. I am paralyzed with indecision on whether to buy it.
Pro: It’s Star Wars! On DVD!
Con: But Lucas fucked with it again!
Pro: But the changes are small!
Con: But what if there’s another release later with the original versions?
Pro: Not gonna happen. Meanwhile, you deprive yourself of all those great Star Wars moments that remain untouched. “Chewie, take the Professor in the back and plug him into the hyperdrive.”
Con: I never thought about how dirty that quote sounds out of context before.
Pro: Eww.
Con: Also, Ewoks!