Monday, January 16, 2012

American Science Funding

Just encountered a really good article about the sorry state of American science funding over at

Sunday, January 15, 2012

SuperPAC Schizophrenia

This is fun. For those who haven't followed this particular political mini-drama, the Newt Gingrich super PAC, "Winning Our Future," has been running a "documentary" excoriating Romney for the time he spent at Bain Capital, a company that bought businesses, fired their workers, and sold off their assets for a profit.

Repurposing the assets of failed or failing businesses is a necessary task in a free market economy, but it makes Romney look like he got rich(er) by firing people, so the Gingrich camp is using it to reinforce the anti-populist image of Romney that they (and the other candidates) have been trying to build in their attack ads.

This is where it starts to get good. Since he legally can't "coordinate" with it, Gingrich publicly called on the super PAC (which is populated with his former staffers and business associates) to stop running the ad. And....

Wait for it....

They refused.

So now Gingrich gets to have his cake and eat it, too; he can run attack ads while publicly denouncing attack ads. What can poor old Newt do if these scallywags insist on running ads he doesn't approve? The law says he can't "coordinate" with them, so he just has to sit there and watch helplessly as his good friends drag his opponents through the mud.

Poor, poor Newt.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Obligatory Presidential Race Breakdown

I called the 2008 election for Obama in March of that year, but I was told by a friend that he remembered me making the call at a New Year's Eve party, a full ten months before the actual election. As an exercise in having the courage of my convictions, here is my layout of what's going to happen in presidential politics between now and November.

Romney's going to get the Republican nomination. Santorum may carry a bit of momentum into the other caucuses, but it's going to fall off. There may be Gingrich resurgence in a couple of states, but it won't last. Ron Paul's crazy ass is going to keep on keepin' on and will probably attract enough of the right wing fringe vote to help minimize the damage done by Romney's centrist cred. It will be exciting. It will be dramatic. It will be good television.

All the liberals who have been disappointed in Obama will remember why they loved him when the general election comes around. Watch for Obama to hammer away at the fact that he ended Don't Ask Don't Tell, and watch for him to seriously put the screws to Congress. Expect big promises on clean energy, education, and healthcare. Expect paternal disapproval of partisanship.

I'd say Romney had a chance if he weren't up against a sitting president. Nobody can call Barack Obama inexperienced any more, and that was his biggest weakness last time around.

Obama beats Romney in November.