blueollie

I Agree with Dick Morris…sort of? (Republican Primary)

September 8, 2011 Posted by | 2012 election, Dick Morris, Mitt Romney, Republican, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, rick perry | Leave a comment

23 May 2011 (am)

Workout notes
Nothing yet; I am planning to swim and lift over lunch.

Politics
This is Dick Morris: this is his take on Michelle Bachmann and with Tim Pawlenty.

You see, in their world, Ms. Bachmann isn’t the clown that everyone else sees. I sure hope that she is the next GOP nominee; this would be a 400 electoral vote landslide for Barack Obama. Remember this is who we are talking about:

1. “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.” -Rep. Michele Bachmann, on the 1976 Swine Flu outbreak that happened when Gerald Ford, a Republican, was president, April 28, 2009

2. “I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America?” -Rep. Michelle Bachmann, calling for a new McCarthyism, Oct. 2008

3. “Take this into consideration. If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the Census Bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations at the request of President Roosevelt, and that’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying that that’s what the Administration is planning to do, but I am saying that private personal information that was given to the Census Bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up, in a violation of their constitutional rights, and put the Japanese in internment camps.” -Rep. Michele Bachmann, June 2009

4. “During the last 100 days we have seen an orgy. It would make any local smorgasbord embarrassed … The government spent its wad by April 26.” -Rep. Michele Bachmann, accusing the Obama administration of premature fiscal ejaculation, May 2009

5. “That’s why people need to continue to go to the town halls, continue to melt the phone lines of their liberal members of Congress, and let them know, under no certain circumstances will I give the government control over my body and my health care decisions.” -Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a pro-lifer who completely missed the irony of using the same slogan as the pro-choice movement in arguing against health care reform

6. “Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” -Rep. Michelle Bachmann, April, 2009

7. “There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.” -Rep. Michele Bachmann, Oct. 2006

8. “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people — we the people — are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country.” -Rep. Rep. Michele Bachmann, March 2009

More:

Now think about what Dick Morris said about her. I sure HOPE that she wins he GOP nomination.

Dick Morris doesn’t like Tim Pawlenty:

Note on the Sharia law canard: as far as the loans go, I don’t like kow-towing to religion. But if that special “lease” program was available to everyone, regardless of religion, then I’d accept it. If not, I’d protest it.

As far as the United Kingdom: remember that country does NOT have separation of church and state; they have an official state church.

Economics
Paul Krugman talks about some reasonable people who want to embrace (as “serious”) something coming out of the Republican camp so as to appear to be fair:

Brad DeLong praises Jacob Weisberg for noticing, finally, that the GOP has gone off the deep end — then asks why Weisberg hasn’t written a piece about how he got snookered by Paul Ryan just 6 weeks ago.

And more important, what will happen when the next charlatan comes along?

John Quiggin is optimistic: he thinks that we may have reached a real turning point. I hope he’s right. But I doubt it. There’s a large cohort of people in the commentariat (and one in the White House, I fear) who are more or less liberal in sentiment, but desperately want to see themselves as men who transcend partisan differences; and to serve their self-image they keep looking for what Atrios calls “GOP daddies”, supposedly serious, sensible Republicans they can praise to show their open-mindedness.

So what happens when this intense desire to find sensible Republicans faces the reality of a GOP gone bonkers? The answer is a series of unrequited crushes.

Science and technology
Beyond Cool: check out this African frog;

Here is one from South America:

Medicine:
Do you want to see what science can do? Check this out: a paralyzed man is getting some limb function back, as well as some control of body functions:

Baseball champion Rob Summers was hit by a speeding car three years ago, and was told he would never walk again. But, despite being unable to use his brain to control his limbs, Summers has regained the ability to stand and walk.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Louisville used an electrode array to stimulate the spinal cord’s own neural network.

It appears that there’s enough control circuitry in the lower spinal cord – below the level of Summers’ injury – to control standing and stepping motions.

Through earlier research, the team had discovered that animals with spinal-cord injuries could stand and take coordinated steps while being stimulated epidurally — in the space above the dura, the outermost of the three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. However, it was unclear whether the same would apply to human beings.

But, says Joel Burdick, a professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering at Caltech, high-density epidural spinal stimulation, which uses sheet-like arrays of numerous electrodes to stimulate neurons, can “stimulate the native standing and stepping control circuitry in the lower spinal cord so as to coordinate sensory-motor activity and partially replace the missing signals from above, and shout ‘get going!’ to the nerves.”

Before being implanted with the array, Summers had hundreds of training sessions over more than two years, during which he was suspended in a harness over a moving treadmill while therapists manipulated his legs in a repetitive stepping motion. This had essentially no effect.

But after the device was implanted, Summers was able to push himself into a standing position and bear weight on his own. He can now remain standing, and bearing weight, for 20 minutes at a time. With the aid of a harness support and a little assistance, he can make repeated stepping motions on a treadmill, and can voluntarily move his toes, ankles, knees, and hips.

He also has some bowel control, bladder control and the ability to control the body temperature (involuntarily, as warm blooded animals do).

Of course, this is, in part, a testimony to his own grit and determination, but that determination can work because the science and engineering is there.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | 2012 election, biology, Dick Morris, economics, economy, frogs, nature, political/social, politics, politics/social, religion, Republican, republican party, republicans, republicans politics, science | 1 Comment

16 March 2011 pm

Posts
Science
Check out some WISE telescope images; note that these images are composites of many different wave lengths.
Here is one to tease you:

There are nine more. This one is of the Tycho supernova which occurred in 1572.

More on the Japan nuclear accident: the MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering department has a website that explains most of what you are hearing about.

Of course, the real issue might be the economic pressures to cut corners and underestimate risks that might be the ultimate culprit, as Robert Reich explains:

Can we please agree that in the real world corporations exist for one purpose, and one purpose only — to make as much money as possible, which means cutting costs as much as possible?

The New York Times reports that G.E. marketed the Mark 1 boiling water reactors, used in TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, as cheaper to build than other reactors because they used a comparatively smaller and less expensive containment structure.

Yet American safety officials have long thought the smaller design more vulnerable to explosion and rupture in emergencies than competing designs. (By the way, the same design is used in 23 American nuclear reactors at 16 plants.)

In the mid-1980s, Harold Denton, then an official with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said Mark 1 reactors had a 90 percent probability of bursting should the fuel rods overheat and melt in an accident. A follow-up report from a study group convened by the Commission concluded that “Mark 1 failure within the first few hours following core melt would appear rather likely.”

[…]

Don’t get me wrong. No company can be expected to build a nuclear reactor, an oil well, a coal mine, or anything else that’s one hundred percent safe under all circumstances. The costs would be prohibitive. It’s unreasonable to expect corporations to totally guard against small chances of every potential accident.

Inevitably there’s a tradeoff. Reasonable precaution means spending as much on safety as the probability of a particular disaster occurring, multiplied by its likely harm to human beings and the environment if it does occur.

Here’s the problem. Profit-making corporations have every incentive to underestimate these probabilities and lowball the likely harms.

This is why it’s necessary to have such things as government regulators, why regulators must be independent of the industries they regulate, and why regulators need enough resources to enforce the regulations.

Animal altruism It exists:

Entertainment
Dick Morris says “No way Obama wins in 2012”.

Sure Intrade lists the Democratic nominee at 62.1 but what the heck.

We’ll see before too long.

More entertainment:

Latin American companies know how to get a guy’s attention! (click on the image to see the full sized version at Girls in Yoga Pants).

March 17, 2011 Posted by | 2012 election, astronomy, Barack Obama, big butts, Dick Morris, economics, economy, energy, evolution, political/social, politics, politics/social, science, space, spandex, technology, world events | 1 Comment