Thursday, January 10, 2008

Slogging right along . . .

I have said before and will no doubt say again that our next president's knowledge of and attitudes toward science are going to be crucial for this nation. If a candidate's views and positions on science matter to you, you can check them out--to some extent, anyway--at Science magazine's page "Science and the Next U.S. President", which has click-on links to information for each candidate.

Slate has an article on the Supreme Court's review of the Indiana "voter-ID" law. It seems some of the justices think that for a poor or elderly person to make a 17-mile bus trip to present credential at a county seat is no burden at all. Why don't they try it themselves a few times?

At The Nation, Barbara Ehrenreich points out (rightly) that economists are in cloud-cuckooland when they natter on about "growth" rather than concentrate on how people in a "growing" or otherwise economy are actually doing. It is perfectly possible for "the economy" to be doing just fine while most people comprised in it are doing lousy.

Well, well, what do you know: someone besides me is taking the Huckabee-backed "fair tax" plan seriously. Steven E. Landsburg at Slate observes (in "Huckabee's Tax Plan Is Brilliant - So why is it getting trashed?") that a sales-tax-only tax system is very much like an income-tax system with unlimited IRA availability. That is, if you could put aside all you make but don't spend tax-free in an investment whose earnings are also tax-free till spent, it's mostly a push. Are IRAs a "nutty idea"?

Congressman Robert Wexler repeats what not enough people are understanding, that the "success" of the surge is a Big Lie. The phony "success" is a process that started before the surge, that goes on where troops are not surging, and that has plain causes quite unrelated to U.S. troop strengths in Iraq.

Murray Chass at The New York Times seems to have built a major career as a sportswriter by being a fool at the top of his lungs again and again and again. His latest bizarre demonstration is his article positing that as Andy Pettitte goes, so goes Roger Clemens, as if what one of them says has some occult controlling effect on the validity of what the other says. And while he's at it, he throws in his apparently mandatory snide cheapshot at Barry Bonds.

As it happens, my new web site, Steroids and Baseball, which deals with demonstrable fact instead of Chass-like wet dreams of scandal, is getting some nice comments from the "beta testers" I have asked to look it over, and they are people with a right to an opinion on these matters.

Lats for today, but far from least, Glenn Greenwald once again has intelligent and pertinent comments, this time on the increasingly bizarre tale of the Navy's weird recounting of the events in the infamous "motorboat buzzing" by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. It seems the descriptions and even the videos released by the Navy to the press are either doctored or interfered with in the strangest ways. For one, the radio voice supposedly coming from the Iranian boats apparently could not possibly have originated from them, and may not even be from Iran or any Iranis. Read all abaht it, as they used to cry out.

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