Tuesday, November 30, 2004

MedPol: Vatican calls AIDS "pathology of the spirit," a result of "immunodeficiency" of moral values

In other news, the pope just made me vomit.

The Vatican on Tuesday blamed the spread of AIDS on an "immunodeficiency" of moral values among other factors and called for education, abstinence and greater access to drugs to fight the disease.

On the eve of World AIDS Day, the head of the Vatican's pontifical health council quoted Pope John Paul as calling AIDS a "pathology of the spirit" that must be combated with "correct sexual practice" and "education of sacred values".

"I highlight his thoughts regarding the immunodeficiency of moral and spiritual values," Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan added in a speech prepared for World AIDS Day on Wednesday.
I'm not sure I can blog much about this without getting so angry that I break my computer. If the Vatican wants to be irrelevant to reality, that's fine. But malevolence like this makes me want to smoke crack.

Media: the new inclusive Republican party

The Republicans better hope that it's not asshats like this that elected them to office. Thanks, Jerry Falwell!

Well the fact that he's a gay Republican means he should join the Democratic party.

Medicine: patient sues healthcare system over ad displaying her patient information

In the medical equivalent of the dumbass of the week award, some healthcare system decided, in an ad, to show a doctor holding a medical chart. The only problem is that it was a real medical chart, and you could read the woman's name and SSN clearly, including the fact that she just had a mammogram. In a commercial! To quote Hipaablog: Stupidity like this can only be rewarded by fat lawsuit the patient has filed against the hospital system.

Monday, November 29, 2004

MedPol: Victory for Brand StemCell

Stem cells might have their poster girl: a 37-year old South Korean woman who hasn't walked for twenty years, but can now, as multipotent stem cells derived from cord blood were used to repair her spinal cord.

It's a start. The article is a little less than absolutely objective about the implications and potentials of multipotent vs. pleuripotent stem cells, and its assertion that embryonic cells cause tumors is, to my knowledge, based on one isolated study (performed by a former Michigan MD/PHD at Cornell) where two kids that were cured of their certain-death disease later developed a rare leukemia due to a procedure-related genetic insertion (8 others similarly cured have not developed the rare leukemia).

Friday, November 26, 2004

MedPol: Cigarettes cost society 40 dollars a pack

Smokers pay about $33 of the cost, their families absorb $5.44 and others pay $1.44, according to health economists from Duke University and a professor from the University of South Florida.

Amazing that this is coming out of Duke, since their entire University is founded on dirty tobacco money. Or maybe not. Hydroelectric power?

MedPol: Abstinence Education Ideological AssHattery

"We don't need a study, if I remember my biology correctly, to show us that those people who are sexually abstinent have a zero chance of becoming pregnant or getting someone pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease," said Wade Horn, the assistant secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in charge of federal abstinence funding.
And the right wonders why the rest of us say that conservatives are anti-science? Since any sort of study addresses whether "people who are sexually abstinent have a zero chance of becoming pregnant or getting someone pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease." Thanks, ass clown. Since THAT's what's up for debate!

I've ranted on abstinence education before for its amazing ineffectiveness. I live in the world of Evidence-Based Medicine. In EBM, we like to know that things we do lead to results. And almost every study that's ever been done by an impartial epidemiologist says that abstinence education is a waste of money and ideologically-centered and can actually lead to increased rates of STD-transmission because of a decrease in unprotected sex. Since 10 million years of evolution hasn't led us to be, at the basest level, really horny creatures.

Ideology wastes money. And last time I checked, we're a little short on that. We don't need balance. We need objectivity.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving from Sparkgrass

Blogging will resume early next week.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Derby's first snow! Posted by Hello

Neuro Exam

Wednesday morning, 7:30 AM. 120 Questions, four hours, plus one hour path final.

Blogging might be sparse for the next week, with that, plus back to Kentucky for Thanksgiving until Sunday.

Update: medical school is a bleak, punishing existence.

Update 2: @ 4:17 AM before the exam, I have officially lost my mind and am seeing various mammals dance around the room with umbrellas. one of them is trying to take my 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew. Go away, various mammal! Get thee to a nunnery!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Media: Angry Conservative Field Day

Besides Rush calling Detroit the "New Fallujah,":

Tucker Carlson: "grouchy feminists with mustaches" control the Democratic Party

Falwell called NOW "the National Order of Witches"

Media: New Fallujah, Michigan

That's what Douche Limbaugh has renamed Detroit in response to the Pacers-Pistons brawl.

LIMBAUGH: There is something about this hip-hop culture business. I'm not going to mention the name because there's thousands of them, but I've been watching interviews with ex-NBA players and current NBA players. You know what the common theme that I'm hearing is? "Well, I'm not going to be dissed. I'm simply not going to be disrespected. Somebody disrespects me, they're going to pay for it." Meaning, "A fan disrespects me, that fan's going to pay for it," not just another player.

And that comes right out of the hip-hop culture, and it's not just that. You look at NBA players and the uniforms, you don't have to go back very far. The uniforms have changed totally. They're now in gang colors. They are in gang styles.

But there's a reason this is happening. I'm not saying it's nothing to be concerned about. There's a reason. But I don't think anybody ought to be surprised, folks. I really don't think anybody ought to be surprised. This is the hip-hop culture on parade. This is gang behavior on parade minus the guns. That's the culture that the NBA has become. So if anybody will be honest with you about it in the NBA, and a very few will have the courage to, because saying what I just said is going to be tagged as racist, but I, my friends, am fearless when it comes to this because the truth will out, and that's what's happening here, and part and parcel of this gang culture, this hip-hop culture, is: "I'm not going to tolerate being dissed. I'm not going to be disrespected," and "disrespected" is now so broad that it includes somebody looking at you the wrong way.


Monday, November 22, 2004

Scary: America doesn't believe in evolution

Some scary results from a CBS News survey.

Trying not to say something mean.

Trying not to say something mean.

Trying not to say something mean.

Politics: 1984 + 20 years: Big W is watching you


War is Peace Posted by Hello

Check out these billboards in Florida. Might be a hoax, but might not.

Media: Michael Moore named Hollywood's coldest celebrity

Moore is followed by Halle Berry, Michael Eisner, and M. Knight Shyamalan.


 Posted by Hello

Media: Washington Posts allows anti-gay insert filled with factual errors

Here's the PDF of the insert.

The Washington Post insert, which sought to dissuade readers of the links between the gay rights and civil rights movement, claimed homosexuality was proven to a choice, rather than genetic. It relied on a study by Paul Cameron, an anti-gay doctor who was thrown out the American Psychological Association in 1983 for misrepresenting the findings of studies, and has since been disowned by most of the evangelical right.

Like any newspaper, the Post has the right to reject advertisements. It has less latitude in rejecting advertisements on issues of race under the District’s civil rights ordinance, but this does not protect gays.

Using the same study, it also claims that gays with long-term partners and without AIDS live on average to be 41, and says that banning gay marriage would avert “an emerging public health crisis.”

The insert claims Dr. Martin Luther King as someone who would have opposed gay rights, even though his widow has said she believes the gay and lesbian rights movements are part of a broader civil rights movement.

Among other claims, Cameron purported that out of all the mass-murders in the US over the past seventeen years, homosexuals killed at least 68 percent of the victims, 29 percent of homosexuals urinate on their partners and 17 percent ingest human feces.

The average life span of a homosexual, Cameron wrote, is 39 years; fewer than 2 percent survive to the age of 65.

“If these statistics are even close to reliable,” writes Derek Grier, the pastor whose church paid for the insert, “this is not only a moral issue, but an emerging public health crisis.”

And my personal favorite part:
Grier also asserts that homosexuality is a choice.

“If homosexuality is a genetic trait and homosexuals were true to their orientation,” Grier adds, “the trait would die in the first generation.”

I love when people say this, because they demonstrate their absolute lack of knowledge of genetics. Since there aren't genetic diseases that are fatal and all, and those don't go away. Beyond the simple existence of recessive genes, trying to explain to an idiot like this anything about non-Mendelian inheritance makes their Punnett-square-filled brains explode.

Books: National Book Award "tanking"

Finalists for the National Book award = 5 obscure women authors from New York. This in a year when Tom Wolfe, John Updike, Philip Roth, etc. ALL have new books out (and in Roth's case, the book release has been a major event). Apparently four of the five books had sold less than 2,000 copies at the time they were named as finalists. Way to make yet another literary award into a joke.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Politics: Arrests at the SOA protest

It wouldn't be November if protesters weren't at the US-run murder/rape training camp in Georgia, formerly known as the School of the Americas. Seventeen arrested this time, some on some pretty lame charges.

Friday, November 19, 2004

MedPol: poor lil FDA

The whole country is hating on the FDA right now over Vioxx and claims that the organization is powerless to stop other such "scandals." Well no shit they can't stop this stuff. Their budget is smaller than the University of Michigan's, and with that, they're supposed to police every drug, herb, and monkey shit sold in the United States. They can't even think about fighting against Big Tobacco, because BT could hire enough lawyers to crap twice on the front porch of every FDA official. So how about we FUND THE FDA?

Media: Going Too Far

Colin Powell = Uncle Tom

Condi Rice = Aunt Jemima

The radio host who said this = bigoted ass monkey

MedPol: Fletcher's medical license at risk

Here's a new article about KY Gov. Ernie Fletcher, a former family doc, may have violated AMA guidelines by signing a death warrant for a lethal injection. Primum Non Nocere or Sic Semper Tyrannus?

MedPol: it's about time, Senator Kerry

I'm liking the 'new' Democratic party already. The "liberal Senator from Massachussetts," free of a presidential campaign, can now live up to the moniker.

This is why on the first day Congress is in session next year, I will introduce a bill to provide every child in America with health insurance. And, with your help, that legislation will be accompanied by the support of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

America values its kids. America values its kids almost irrationally. And it should. This is a great way for Dems to say to the GOP, "you better value kids too." It's beautiful. It's value blackmail.

I mean, if the GOP is raising our budget ceiling by 800 billion, our kids might as well be getting health care for it.

Opponents will say this is just a foot in the door towards a national health care system. Sucks to be them, since that doesn't make as good a soundbite as "health care for children."

I support a national health care system by the year 2247. That gives us 242 years to make the transition. I'm pretty sure we candle that.

Film: Evil Dead Resurrected

Variety is reporting that Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert are teaming up to remake the original "Evil Dead" movie (full story at bloody-disgusting.com). I'm not quite sure how to feel about this. For one thing, it's tampering with an undisputed classic of the horror genre. It also has enough of a cult following to be successful at the box office, more than likely spawning some fresh sequels. While I'm absolutely ecstatic about seeing some new Evil Dead after all these years, it would ruin the whole series for me if it jumped the shark. I'd rather die than watch "Ash in Space" or "Seed of Ash."

For those of you who haven't seen the original trilogy (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness), go rent it this instant or hang your head in shame forever. Perhaps the greatest horror series of all time, it's also pretty damn funny. As a bonus, it's got the best character development I've ever seen in Bruce Campbell's Ash.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Politics: Gay Family Values

A UVA psych professor has made a startling discovery! Teens with same-sex parents are well-adujsted!

On measures of psychosocial well-being, school functioning, and romantic relationships and behaviors, the teens with same-sex parents were as well adjusted as their peers with opposite-sex parents. The authors found very few differences between the two groups. A more important predictor of teens' psychological and social adjustment, they found, is the quality of the relationships they have with their parents.

Hoax: I-69 story too good to be true

This popular post unfortunately panned out to be false, a result of the satirical Hoosier Gazette.

Why did you do this story?

I get my story ideas from a variety of sources, but many of my best ones come from conversations I have with friends--this was one of those. We were talking politics about a week and a half ago one night and came up with the idea. I have nothing against Mr. Hostettler. I actually voted for him three times when I used to live in the 8th district. Just thought it would be a funny news story that some might believe was real.

Why do you think your stories end up getting put out as valid news stories?

Most of my stories that are picked up as real get their start on Fark.com, a clearinghouse for strange or funny news stories, most of which are real. Now and then one of my stories will be posted on Fark---a place where many legit radio, newspaper, and TV media outlets go for interesting news.

Politics: play by your own rules

How convenient!

The Senate Republicans changing Senate rules to protect Tom Delay.

also

Frist wants to change the filibuster rules.

Next up: pesky Dems won't be allowed to enter Senate chamber.

Dr. Strangelove: Russia developing new nukes

The Cold War was so much more interesting than the War on Terror.

And of course, they're modifying their Topol-M because... you guessed it! Missile-defense!

There are reasons why Tracey McGrady makes more money than Ron Artest.

I am sure that in the coming years we will acquire them [new generation of nuclear weapons]. Moreover, these will be things which do not exist and are unlikely to exist in other nuclear powers.
Since Russia is just so good at protecting its nuclear arsenal and all. More Soviet nukes won't make it easier for Rogue states to acquire nukes themselves. NosirreeBob.


MedMedia: O'Reilly the tort reform genius

MMFA shows us everybody's favorite discerning 'independent,' Bill O'Lielly, demonstrating his brilliant knowledge of how to lower malpractice premiums.

From the November 11 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Don't you think tort reform would take care of that? ... If you lowered the medical malpractice, all -- everything would come on down.

From the November 4 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: But the only way that works is if you get the medical malpractice lawyers under control. ... That's No. 1. You can't get health care costs under control unless you stop the chaos in the court system. You can't!

Yes, Bill. It's all that simple. Even though MMFA goes on to properly debunk this myth.

I'm not absolutely against tort reform on principle, and while I'm sure that defensive medicine is a ridiculous cost to our health care system, I'm not so sure that it makes up the large percentage of expenditures some would like us to believe.

But of course, WindBag opens his mouth, and out comes this garbage, and those who choose not to exercise their God-given ability to research on the internet believe him. Since an entirely screwed up health insurance industry has nothing to do with the problems of the American health care system and all. Oh no. It has to be the lawyers' faults. Bad lawyer. Bad! Bad!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Tumescence: Dick's Dick

Andrew Sullivan posted about this a few days ago, but no on-line pic. Leave it to BlueLemur to find one:



That must be some fine frozen custard.

Maybe Cheney should replace Bob Dole as Viagra spokesman?

Film: Hanks to play Robert Langdon?

Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon. Ron Howard directing. Akiva Goldsman writing the screenplay.

The Da Vinci Code movie might actually have a shot at being something other than plot-drivel.

Politics: average IQ in Bush administration plummets

as Colin Powell resigns today. Wasn't expecting that this soon.

Update: Some karma is restored. Education Secretary Rod Paige (who accused the NEA of being a terrorist organization in a meeting with a bunch of governors a while back) is gone too.

Politics: Frist mulling a return to medicine?

We need another transplant surgeon much more than we need this jackass in the White House in '08.

Awesome: is that a french fry in your fuel injector?

The answer to dependence on foreign oil probably isn't engines that run on vegetable oil. But that doesn't mean I don't want one!

Nut Jobs: Indiana State Senator wants I-69 changed to a more "moral number"

The things I couldn't make up:

There are plans to extend the interstate from Indianapolis through southwestern Indiana all the way through Texas into Mexico in the coming years. While most believe this highway will be good for the state’s economy, religious conservatives believe “I-69” sounds too risqué and want to change the interstate’s number.

Hostettler, a proponent of the interstate extension, agrees. “Every time I have been out in the public with an ‘I-69’ button on my lapel, teenagers point and snicker at it. I have had many ask me if they can have my button. I believe it is time to change the name of the highway. It is the moral thing to do.
Update: T-shirts I couldn't make up.

MedPol: Renegade Pharmacists

Pharmacists have made the news for years for refusing to give out the morning-after pill. And that seems to have emboldened them throughout the country, leading many pharmacists who object to birth control to refuse to fill prescriptions. What I didn't realize was that states are actually passing laws saying that this is okay.

Mississippi enacted a sweeping statute that went into effect in July that allows health care providers, including pharmacists, to not participate in procedures that go against their conscience. South Dakota and Arkansas already had laws that protect a pharmacist's right to refuse to dispense medicines. Ten other states considered similar bills this year.

The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill.
Gee, and I thought it was a doctor's job to make a drug plan with a patient. I'm trying to think of some intelligent way to analyze this situation, but I can't. A pharmacist's job is to dispense pills and other meds and make sure there aren't any crazy interactions that could kill a patient that the doctors missed and to answer questions and educate the patients on the administration of their meds. If someone can't do their job because of their religious beliefs, then they can't do their job. And maybe I'm off here, but I thought when you couldn't do your job, you got fired. Or you at least weren't allowed to do the job that you couldn't actually do. But maybe that's just me. If pharmacists have a problem with drugs, they should take it up with the FDA through letter-writing campaigns. Pharmacists should not prevent patients from getting the medicines that they and their doctors have decided are to be part of a treatment plan.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Politics: Liberal Catharsis (and basketball redux)

If you still need to get that last little bit of liberal rage out of your system so you can move on (maybe not MoveOn), this might do it for you.


That said, the SEC (and even the ACC--well, the old ACC) still rocks the hell out of the Big Ten and Big East. And the Pac Ten? What the hell IS that? Pussies.

As far as the Big 12, who even cares? Except gotta give a little Rock Chalk Jayhawk love. But any conference that allows Eddie Sutton to still earn a paycheck sucks. That's the basketball world's equivalent of letting Hitler run another country after WWII if he hadn't blown his brains out.

Nut Jobs: Bob Jones III Congratulates Bush (and the rise of James Dobson)

Overall a fun tongue-in-cheek laugh for liberals wondering what we were up against.

Don't equivocate. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you.
Yup, this guy should be a president of a University.

Luckily, this guy only represents the nut job wing of the evangelicals. Of guys like Bob Jones, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell, none of them have any actual political clout this stage in the game.

The guy that's become dangerous because of his influence with the MSE (mainstream evangelicals) is James Dobson. Dobson, because he's devout, but not insane (well, not in the new inclusive Democratic party). At least, he hasn't been insane in my previous knowledge of him. Obviously he's been more busy around this election cycle than I've followed. But growing up evangelical, this guy was cited all the time in sermons, and not for crazy stuff. For good, run-of-the-mill evangelical stuff that shouldn't particularly scare anybody. Gay marriage has given him an aneurysm, but that's nothing new.

But hey, a nut job is born every minute. And this was a guy who tried to bring spanking back into practice in his 1977 book Dare to Discipline. But not unlikely, he'll get fed up as Bush starts appointing pro-abortion Attorney Generals, and take his ball and go home.

Thanks to Mikey for the Bob Jones link.

Big Blue: Blue Glue

Chuck Hayes falls heir-apparent to Gerald Fitch as the Wildcat's Glue Guy.

Politics: Pennsylvania school adds "intelligent design" to 9th grade biology curriculum

Theory: A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.


Georgia and Kansas, we expect as much asshattery out of you. But Pennsylvania?

With a vote last month, the school board in rural south-central Pennsylvania community is believed to have become the first in the nation to mandate the teaching of “intelligent design,” which holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by an unspecified higher power.
I've always found the phrase "intelligent design" to be pretty humorous, since belief in the "theory" requires absolute ignorance of the current practice of science.

In medicine, sometimes we don't know how a drug works. Yet nobody proposes that it works by "poof!" We assume there are mechanisms, even if our research methods don't allow us to elucidate them. We don't think the drug somehow convinces God that its time to intelligently cure our patients. So what's the difference? The "poof" theory doesn't work in medicine, why do people expect it to work in paleogeology?

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Politics: Vice President presents with dyspnea and insanity...

What happens if something happens to Dick? None of us have really even been going over the scenario in our head at all, since, if Dick did have to leave his post for some reason, obviously whoever was appointed as the new Vice-President would be heir-apparent to the 2008 nomination.

Of course, the greatest asset the 2008 Republican candidate will have is a total lack of connection to the current administration, which--let's face it, kids--is going to be the greatest fiscal disaster in our lifetimes. So in many ways, I think potential '08 candidates would be best served by staying the hell away.

And what if Guiliani, Pataki, or John McCain were appointed? I don't think the South will vote for a pro-abortion candidate, period. If the Dems wanted to do anything to have a shot at winning the South, the easiest thing to do would be to help pave the way for these guys.

So who would get the nod? Frist is set to dominate Congress for the next four years, so he is with no lack of publicity. Romney seems like a natural choice. In a more remote scenario, if Condi were to replace Colin Powell as Secretary of State, would there be any chance Bush could bump her up to the VP slot? A Republican Black Woman running in 2008? Could she win the South? Hell, she might even be able to pick up some of the liberal vote, simply because she's a black woman. That would probably make me look twice at her.

I still think Condi looks like the scary black chick from the Darren Aronofsky movie Pi. Nobody has ever known what I was talking about though.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Medicine: Just Say You're Sorry

Who needs tort reform when we can have God-complex reform?

The hospitals in the University of Michigan Health System have been encouraging doctors since 2002 to apologize for mistakes. The system's annual attorney fees have since dropped from $3 million to $1 million, and malpractice lawsuits and notices of intent to sue have fallen from 262 filed in 2001 to about 130 per year.
Dr. Michael Woods, a Colorado surgeon and author of "Healing Words: The Power of Apology in Medicine," said his own experience a decade ago illustrates the impact of the traditional way doctors have handled mistakes... Woods said his research has shown that being upset with a doctor's behavior often plays a bigger role than the error itself in patients' decisions to sue.


Media: Arafat over CSI

As my wife is a CSI addict, I can only laugh that CBS is now issuing apologies for interrupting the last five minutes of CSI: NY with the news of Arafat's death. As of now she is strongly dedicated to the original series, and sees the Miami and NY versions as something less than pure, but geez, I'm just glad Buffy the Vampire Slayer isn't still on. If WB had interrupted Buffy for Arafat, we'd have had a small riot on every college campus in the country.

we'd have had... subjunctive past perfect? any other English majors want to help me w/ that one?

Politics: history of abortion in the Catholic church

It only takes patience and about 20 pages of Google search to find what you're looking for sometimes.

I'd always heard that the Vatican's position on abortion-as-homicide and life beginning at conception were new developments in the grand scheme of things, stemming from circa Vatican II. Here's a history of abortion in the Catholic church.

Highlights:

Abortion has always been a sin, but more for its effect of covering illicit sex or birth control than for doing anything wrong to the fetus.

Circa 8th Century: "But it makes a great difference whether a poor woman does it on account of the difficulty of supporting [the child] or a harlot for the sake of concealing her wickedness."

The consistent thread through Catholic history has maintained the theory of "delayed humanization," which states that, as "Aquinas had said the fetus is first endowed with a vegetative soul, then an animal soul, and then — when its body is developed — a rational soul."

Only since 1965 has abortion been condemned on the basis of protecting life.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Nut Jobs: Falwell planning "Evangelical Revolution"

I've met Jerry Falwell. In fact, I spent two summers at his Youth camps at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. And I've had some fun conversations with some graduates of that University.

That said, I feel qualified to call the dude a Nut Job.

And now, after Bush won by his oh-so-awesome 51-48 margin, Falwell believes the country is ready for the Evangelical Revolution, specifically a "21st century resurrection of the Moral Majority."

To Falwell, I say "Bring It On!"

Not to put to fine a point on it, Falwell is a devisive figure. Not the entire evangelical wing of the Republican party falls under the 'Nut Job Evangelical' category. There are plenty of intelligent people who voted against gay marriage and think that abortion is murder. On the other hand, Falwell likes to compare homosexuality to bestiality and crack addiction (even though he'll deny it).

I'm not going to guess how many Bush voters were evangelicals, and I'm not going to guess how many evangelicals are Falwell-style bigots. But something tells me it's enough to cause more than a minor rift in the Republican party, but not enough to support, say, a viable Roy Moore presidential bid.

So, Jerry, bring on your revolution. It may be televised, but America is really good at keeping jerks like you at bay.

Film: Farenheit 9/11 1/2

Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election) and we want to educate and enlighten them. They weren't told the truth. We're communicators and it's up to us to start doing it now.
Something tells me Michael Moore is not going to be the one to educate them. Anybody else think that Moore has worn out his welcome on the liberal scene? Moore might be best served by returning to his anti-corporate Naderesque politics, instead of his ultra-left manipulation tactics. Columbine was a lot more balanced than the Right would like to admit, and Fahrenheit more unbalanced than the Left would like to admit.

How about Michael Moore doing a documenatry on obesity? No, I'm serious. Quit laughing.

Politics: Abortion and the Bible

Kevin Drum has a great post on the textual basis of evangelical opposition to abortion. His argument is, which I'm very inclined to agree with, there isn't any.

Politics: Weak Dollar 101

For all of you non-econ majors (myself included) out there, here's a nice summary of how the sagging dollar is good/bad for all of us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Big Blue: Wildcats Sagarin #3!

A 91.92 rating, right behind Duke and UConn, and narrowly above the Jayhawks.

Also: Louisville (26), and Michigan (48)

Medicine: the anti-oxidant of death

This Hopkins study notices that people on 200 IU of Vitamin E or higher have an increased risk of death. Ack!

Browsers: Firefox 1.0 released

Just one more reason to say goodbye to IE.

Medicine: new heart pill for blacks only?

There's a great myth in medicine that African Americans don't respond well to hypertension medications, specifically Ace-inhibitors. Well, it's sorta true--you might have to use a higher dose or an adjunct drug to get the numbers where they're supposed to be. But the pharmacology of these drugs has anything but directly caused the prejudices physicians use in prescribing hypertension meds for African Americans. Bottom line: docs should prescribe to the numbers, not to the race.

Now we have a company marketing their drug, a combination of isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine, thought to affect nitrous oxide pathways (and useless on their own), exclusively for African Americans--in fact, their clinical trials ONLY tested the drug on African Americans, which is a nice change of pace in the white-centric world of medicine, but its more of a business move than any sort of nice political thought.

The scariest part might be that physicians could easily start treating this as the "black pill." And that sort of short-cut is bound to lead to some dangerous practice of medicine.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Politics: which is scarier?

Howard Dean might replace Terry McAuliffe as the chairman of the DNC

or

Kerry might run again in 2008

Doomed, I say! Doomed!

Politics: the colors of America



U of Michigan Physics Prof Mark Newman and two of his grad students have a whole page of different cartograms of the election results. Some fun stuff contrary to the "sea of red."

Politics: who needs ethics?

As an update to this post on whether KY Governor Ernie Fletcher could ethically give an okay for the death penalty, Ernie has spoken: Fry the Bastard!

Here's what Fletcher’s General Counsel John Roach said in a written statement:

Any honest reading of the guidelines of the American Medical Association makes clear that the physician prohibition pertains only to the administration of the lethal means of execution. In addition, Kentucky law only restricts physician involvement ‘in the conduct of an execution.’ By signing a death warrant, in no way is Governor Ernie Fletcher participating in the conduct of an execution.
Way to dodge the bullet, Ernie. We know LEGALLY you can do what you're doing. We were asking if ETHICALLY you could, since you're a doctor. And I'm pretty sure that bold print is an ethical pipe dream. So, by giving the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima, Truman wasn't participating in the end of World War II? By giving the order to go to war on Iraq, Bush wasn't participating in the Iraq War? And by signing a death warrant, Governor Fletcher isn't participating in the conduct of an execution? Right. Any 'honest' reading should be changed to any 'legalistic' reading.

Politics: Bush the Asshole

thanks to Kags for the link.

This is a very humorous if hyperbolic video with a surprisingly cool song in the background from some band I've never heard of. Have fun.

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Politics: Harry Reid, Daschle's would-be successor

If this is the face of a new, more inclusive democratic party, we just might survive the next four years.

Republicans might find it hard to pigeonhole Reid as a liberal since his anti-abortion, anti-gun-control views are contrary to Democratic dogma. He was among the minority of Democrats who voted for a ban on certain late-term abortions and he opposed extending the ban on assault weapons, winning the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.

Yet no Democrat is challenging him for leader.

Politics: the Evangelical Left

It does exist, and belief.net seems to be one of its stomping grounds (though hardly exclusively). Here's a great narrative from a minister who spent the last three weeks of the campaign working for Kerry in Ohio.

Politics: President Obvious

"I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals."

Hmm... somehow that doesn't comfort me very much.

Film: Star Wars III screenshots



Wookies comin' for you!

Idiocy: creationism in Wisconsin schools

Since there are valid scientific theories other than evolution and all

Creationism is already taught. It's taught in church. Schools don't teach church, they teach science. If they start offering a class called Church, then they can teach creationism. Since they can't offer a class called Church in a public school, maybe they should go suck on some primordial ooze.

Saturday, November 6, 2004

Big Blue: video games for better college basketball?

An Israeli company that originally designed video games for pilot cadets to increase their ability to concentrate and many things at once and make decisions has created IntelliGym for basketball players. Apparently the University of Kentucky and University of Memphis are trying it out, hoping to save "one turnover a game."

Politics: Can Gov/Dr. Fletcher ethically give the OK on the death penalty?

From the Herald-Leader.

Death penalty opponents are using unusual tactics to try to persuade Gov. Ernie Fletcher to commute the death sentence of a condemned man.

Fletcher, who campaigned on his medical and religious background, is now being asked to put those beliefs to the test.

Among the many arguments sent to Fletcher, perhaps one of the more distinctive and possibly problematic is a request that he not sign a death warrant because he is a doctor.

A group of more than 30 University of Kentucky medical students sent the governor a letter reminding the governor that the American Medical Association ethics codes say a physician should not participate in a legally authorized execution.

And then there is the law.

In the late 1990s, when the state overhauled its death penalty laws, a provision was added that said no doctor should take part in any execution.

Politics: the right way to frame an argument

I'm quite a fan of Michael Reynold's under-read blog, Counterpunch. Reynolds is a co-founder of Reynolds-Applegate Media, a small firm that specializes in liberal ads. To get a feel for why people like the folks at RAM have an amazing grasp on the new direction for the Democratic party, check out this pro-choice ad. Amazing! Here's the rest of their innovative portfolio, which is surprisingly fun to glance through.

Politics: and the conspiracy theorists cry themselves to sleep

Gee, what was the bump underneath Bush's jacket? Connection to the mothership? His battery for his mechanical brain? An artificial heart since Bush really died twelve years ago in a chemical factory explosion? Nope. It was a bullet-proof vest (scroll down to the 2nd topic). Gee, imagine the secret service wanting to keep info like that quiet, since the dude would rather not be dead. (Not that a would-be assassin wouldn't take a head-shot, but if they didn't graduate from one of our fine sniper schools, they might not think that far ahead, I suppose).

If anything can be said for the liberal 'sphere, at least they weren't seeing things that weren't there. Sadly, they were thinking a little too hard after seeing something. Maybe a microcosm of the party?

My question then becomes: was Kerry wearing a bullet-proof vest as well? And if not, why not?

Btw, info on Dan Brown's next book is right after the Bush bulge story.

Politics: bound for Canada?

Not that I have plans to move anytime soon (nor do I encourage you to do so), Canadian-Americans Dahlia and Alex Lethwick (Alex actually is just Canadian, I think) make a pretty (humorously) compelling case with their ten-item questionaire (including):

1) Do you like to shoot people? Circle one: yes / no

2) Have you recently shot someone? Circle one: yes / no

3) Do you like to smoke pot? Circle one: yes / no / only for medicinal reasons / only with John Ashcroft

4) Are you covered in vast quantities of coarse, black fur? Circle one: yes / no

5) Do you like to wear white sneakers (Canadians call these "running shoes") with jeans? Circle one: yes / no

6) Do you generally find being alive to be just fine? Circle one: yes / no

7) Are you gay, or, alternatively, do you suspect that the institution of marriage should be open to all couples who are committed to living together and/or raising children in a loving environment? Circle one: yes / no

8) Are your political views either too complicated to be expressed in two-word bumper stickers, or, alternatively, do you find that you just don't much care about your neighbors' views on guns/the unborn/or which deity is their copilot? Circle one: yes / no

9) Are you bored to death of razor-thin margins between radical ideologues in every aspect of public life? Circle one: yes / no

10) Does the idea of pluralism appeal to you? Not just in the sense that I-want-to-be-surrounded-by-lots-of-diverse-and-fascinating-
people-who-all-worship-my-Lord, but rather, in the sense, that a country is a richer place for competing values, religions and cultures?
Circle one: yes / no

Check out the article for the 'key.'

For those of you stupid enough to really consider moving to a place that's colder than Ann Arbor, NYC, Boston, or Seattle, here's your ten reasons NOT to move to Canada. These aren't funny though. Dammit. Why can't people just always be funny? Liberals won't listen to you if you're not funny. Even Michael Moore, as angry as he is, is at least funny often enough to keep ADHD liberals watching. That's why we don't go to church much. Church isn't funny!

Maybe our entire party just needs Ritalin?

Politics: history lesson?



With the exception of Indiana, Iowa, and New Mexico, I believe we have a match.

Whoops, forgot Delaware and Maryland.

The 1896 Presidential Election is also being cited for its extremely similar results
. (Democrat William Jennings Bryan lost to William McKinley, who outspent him 20:1.)

Friday, November 5, 2004

Politics: Clinton wanted Kerry to support gay marriage bans

Unfortunate. Unsettling. It's of course important for Dems to remember that it was our Golden Boy who is responsible for the DOMA. Sadly, we can't be a Clinton party again, which isn't to say we can't cheat off his notes.

Politics: First Grade teacher scares children with 'Kerry the baby-killer'

A Rogers School music teacher sent first-graders home on Election Day to warn their parents against voting for pro-choice presidential candidate John Kerry because he "kills babies," according to a School Committee member.

The graphic political lesson so traumatized some of the first- and second-grade students at the Fairhaven school that it prompted a parental backlash and hasty meetings between parents and school officials.
Between Mel Gibson and this, is anyone else wondering if Catholics maybe take the blood and gore of transubstantation just a LITTLE too literally?
I understand she's a devout Catholic, but there's such a thing as separation of church and state. The kids were traumatized. At that age they don't understand death. They think of old people, and now she's talking about babies.

Politics: voting irregularities found all over the South

A national voting rights group said Friday it documented hundreds of voting irregularities affecting poor and minority voters in seven Southern states — from long lines and faulty equipment to deliberate voter intimidation.
Without trying to imply necessarily that these irregularities affected the outcome of the election, we HAVE to do better in the future. It shouldn't be THAT impossible to have a reliable national election, especially in an electoral system that puts emphasis on many potentially close races. When the irregularities seem to affect one demographic of voter, that seems even worse.

Politics: Texas health textbooks changed after declared not mean enough

Making sure that no middle school or high school students got the wrong idea, Texas school board officials decided to approve new health textbooks only after some changes of phrase were made like: "husband and wife" instead of "married partners," "when a man and a woman marry" instead of "when two people marry," and "husbands and wives" rather than "partners."

Thanks to Steve for the link.

Politics: Ohio Voting Machines Fail

Well, it looks like electronic voting machines aren't the infallible solution that the Republicans were claiming them to be. One machine in Ohio has already been found to have given Bush an extra 3,893 votes (in a district of less than 638 voters). You think by now we would at least be able to count votes correctly.

Oh, and that sound you hear is about 10,000 conspiracy theorists salivating all over their keyboards.

Garrett Update: Bush received an extra 11,283 votes in North Carolina, and 4,500 votes are entirely missing in Florida (subscription required).


Derby has officially replaced me in bed. Posted by Hello

Politics: rearranging the cabinet

Here's an FAQ-like AFP article summarizing possible changes in the administration. Among the most notable:

Colin Powell will likely be hitting the road, which seems to me a problem. Powell is still popular on all sides (except in the White House), and there's really no one to replace his star power.

Rumsfeld is expected to leave. Conventional wisdom says it would be impossible for Bush to find a bigger bumbler to fill the position, so nowhere to go but up.

Condi to Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense, or maybe even back to Stanford? I don't love Condi or anything, but at least with her around, I know there's someone who can complete her sentences and, ya know, run a major research university.

John Snow is expected to remain, ensuring that there will be no money in the treasury for generations to come.

As far as Attorney General, Tom Ridge has been mentioned, but from what I've read, Ridge would like to get out of Dodge and go home. The article also suggests Marc Racicot (who is this guy?), Giuliani, and Mitt Romney. Rudy and Romney each seem like impossibilities, since each has presidential aspirations for '08. And the Attorney General job is probably the worst place to be, because no matter what you do, you're going to be pissing somebody off very badly.

But as Courtney heard on NPR today, no politician has been so good at bringing the left and right together as John Ashcroft. Problem is, the left and the right both want the jerk to go home.

Politics: "back to being the party of responsibility"

Every liberal on the planet has a "what went wrong/what next" column out right now, but I particularly like William Saletan's take at Slate.

Go back to being the party of responsibility.

I'm not talking about scolding people. I'm talking about rewarding them. Be the party that rewards ordinary people who do what they're supposed to do—and protects them from those who don't.

There's a definite Nader-esque ring to that. The rest of the article seems fairly logical and not so apologetic. Values Values Values. Values are wearing me out. Aren't we fighting a war? I thought the terrorists were supposed to be scarier than abortions?

That's what I get for thinking.

Politics: no major damage so far

One day after Bush earned his 'political capital,' he has made a move I strongly agree with. He's getting Laura another Scottie! Miss Beazly will join Barney in the West Wing.

Now, I'd be wrong to say I didn't prefer Clinton's black lab, Buddy. But Scotties are awesome too.

So three things I'd rather do with Bush than Kerry: watch a baseball game, throw back a Newcastle, play with dogs. That might be it. But Bush has already raised my approval of him by 50% by getting a new dog.

Now, if he'd just let the Scotties have control over his social security plans, we might all be saved.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Politics: More red states versus blue states

Hmm...seems the last thread started a little bit of a war over assumptions about certain subpopulations and voting behavior. Maybe this will help clarify the issue of education and voting:





But what about this election? Lucky for us, this site has taken the time to compile average IQ's of states (taken from the book "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" and the Economist) and which candidate they voted for. In short, all of the top 16 states (and 19 out of the top 24) voted for Kerry. The bottom 26 all voted Bush.

Disclaimer: I haven't had the time to double check the quoted sources, so I'm taking this with a grain of salt until I do.

Politics: A Modest Proposal

This pic was forwarded to Matt Yglesias:



As unproductive as this sort of talk usually is, I couldn't help but think this pic was really funny.

The worst part of this whole situation is that Dems are fervently mocking exit poll suggestions that the greatest concern of voters was "moral values." Of course, when the folks who responded this way say "moral values," what they really mean is they want their guns, they want abortion to be federally outlawed and its practicioners hanged with hooks from fences, and they want gay people drug out in the street and shot (if thirty minutes of intense 'witnessing' doesn't do the trick to 'cure' them of their abomination). This simply wasn't a campaign of moral values. Kerry was a perfectly 'moral' guy. But the evangelical base is huge, and they've already pretty much won the gun war. Guns weren't even an issue this election. Congrats to the NRA for ensuring that our homicide and suicide rates will be high for years to come!

So yeah, the average white suburban family voter wants to see their way of life protected. Their pulpit says abortion is bad, swearing that the Bible confirms that the spirit enters the body at conception (which is of course theologically arbitrary, revisionary, and very poorly defensible), and nobody they know needs an abortion (or talks about it), so it must be a moral failing--the same sort of moral failing that makes black people have to live in the projects because they're lazy. And gay people, well why can't they just read the Bible and know that God didn't make them that way, that God doesn't want them doing that, that God has a nice house in suburbia with a trophy wife, cocker spaniel, and 2.6 kids waiting for them if they'll just quit sticking their tongues and genitals into people who pee the same way they do?

And as mocking as I'm being, maybe we'd be best to stop acting this way. The religious right (for the most part) doesn't hate gay people. They also don't think that they're protecting an unspoken-for human being by opposing abortion. They think they're doing what they're doing because they honestly believe that God has a better plan for people. And while they insist on shoving everyone in the country into their little suburban box, they're doing so because they think they're happy, and they think that other people aren't happy--or couldn't be happy without Jesus in their lives. And they're partially right. Most of those people are very happy with their philosophies. Christianity is beautifully escapist. No matter what goes wrong, you can pawn it off as transient, or better yet, as a 'test.' Whatever goes right, you can savor it forever as an indication that either you're doing something right, or that God is just that nice. It's not exactly an unhealthy way of dealing with things. It worked great for the lower classes of Rome, and its worked great for lower classes ever since. If you have something worth dying for, you have something worth living for--so it goes.

So how does the left un-wedge the 'moral value' voters? I'm not sure anybody will ever be able to convince them that its less important to worry about gays and abortion and more important to worry that poor people have health care and that we are able to maintain our Social Security and other welfare programs for people who genuinely need help (which are both EXTREMELY biblical values that are more abstract, and thus less polarizeable). But these are our 'moral value' issues. There is nothing 'moral' about 'conservative' economic policies. There is nothing 'moral' about disregarding the public health implications, of education implications, of running the federal deficit up to ensure that in the future, we're not going to be able to afford to give old folks food, nevermind prescription drugs.

The neo-conservatives beginning with Reagan have very effectively co-opted the religious conservative message with their own, which is probably the Republican party's greatest work of trickery ever. If the Democratic Party cannot figure out how to undo this great anti-intellectual robbery, then we face irrelevance in the 21st century.

Big Blue: Cats beat NKU 91-73

Kelenna Azubuike scores 26, freshman PG Rajon Rondo 15 pts, 5 ast. off the bench.

also: Mike DeCourcy's SEC summary:

For the first time in a while, Kentucky has the league's best talent. The Wildcats have been the SEC's best team, but they haven't been talented enough for NCAA tourney success. Four gifted freshmen are changing that, though it might take awhile before they all understand Tubby Smith's approach. The power in the league is shifting to the SEC West, which could make it hard for Mississippi State and Alabama to prevail in the regular-season race.
Next up: Kentucky Wesleyan, Tue 11/09

Politics: Results from Podunk

Here's some results from the KY county where I spent the first eighteen years of my life:

Bush & Cheney R 11,501 52.8% 52.8% percent of the vote
Kerry & Edwards D 10,131 46.5% 46.5% percent of the vote
Nader & Camejo I 99 0.5% 0.5% percent of the vote
Peroutka & Baldwin C 26 0.1% 0.1% percent of the vote
Badnarik & Campagna L 19 0.1% 0.1% percent of the vote









And the gay marriage amendment:

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 01 - YES Votes 16,208 80.7% 80.7% percent of the vote
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 01 - NO Votes 3,880 19.3% 19.3% percent of the vote

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Politics: Your Kids are Screwed Vol. 1 (not a Zappa album)

The estimated federal budget deficit for 2004 is a record $422 billion. The CBO's most recent release projects the FB deficit to hover around $300 billion each year until 2010 with a near $2.3 trillion cumulative deficit from 2005-2014. Now that is what I call fiscal conservatism.

So the question is, which programs on life support get their plugs pulled before Private Joker exits in '08. This regime wants us to believe that they are fighting this deficit, or that the tax cuts will spur some pipedream economic growth that results in higher, offsetting tax revenues. Remember those crackheads who promised they wouldn't steal your stereo--if you just let them in to sell a few magazines? Well, these crackheads are tax hawks, and their goal is to slash and burn. Goodbye, Medicare. Goodbye, Social Security and Medicaid. Goodbye, pork-pie hat. We're about to enter the death metal era of fiscal policy.

Politics: Electile Dysfunction

The skill of James Rodger's writings far exceeds his live journal home:

Bear in mind that at the writing of this entry, I know absolutely nothing concerning the election results. I took a nap this afternoon until about midnight. The only thing I do know is that the proposed amendment to the Kentucky Constitution is currently enjoying upwards of 75% support. I'd just like to take this opportunity to personally thank everyone who voted yes on that for their amazing demonstration of electoral douchery.


This is a picture of a douche, with "YOU" written on it. A picture is worth a thousand words, so basically this picture says "You are a fucking douche" 200 times.

What are you morons afraid of? Are you really that offended by the thought of two men holding hands in public? If you are, then seriously, get a fucking life. Have another worry. Grow the fuck up. Congratulations, you've brought us one step closer to living in a theocracy. If you dipshits want religion to rule this country so damned much, you've convinced me to vote Muslim.

Politics: Amazing -- It's the end of the world as we know it.

Going to bed, fully expecting to wake up to a Bush victory.

I haven't vomitted yet. That's a good sign.

And Bunning narrowly over Mongiardo in Kentucky. How do you say your Italian opponent looks like Saddam Hussein's kids, use a teleprompter in your debate, and win against a perfectly legitimate centrist Democrat?

And 11/11 states w/ a ballot initiative ensuring that homosexuals will be further marginalized for years to come passing that initiative?

And Tom Daschle is still losing. How do you fail to re-elect somebody as important as Tom Daschle? How can you further marginalize your already completely irrelevant state?

And the guy in Oklahoma who says girls can't go to the bathroom but one at a time because of rampant lesbianism in the public schools? They elect that guy?

Is our country this conservative, or is our "liberal" party that pitiful?

The latter seems to be the case.

Blogging: hitting the big time

This has been a productive week for me. First, Matt Yglesias links my post on suicide rates in red states. Then, apparently I've earned the label of "one of the most angry Democrats on the web." Maybe I should quit my day job.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Politics: Inside the mind of an undecided voter

My friend and former sketch-comedy troupe-mate Joe Monfort has written a hilarious expose on the mind of an undecided voter over at Hillzoo.

My favorite part is the weighing of the pros and cons of each candidate. A sample:

President Bush

Pro: I definitely know that he believes what he says.

Con: I cringe when he says these things.

Pro: Something is going to get blown up on his watch!

Con: It might be my right to a fair trial.

Pro: The Bush twins.

Con: They might one day look like Barbara Bush.


Go on over and take a look if you haven't made up your mnd yet. And then vote. NOW.

Monday, November 1, 2004

Politics: Kerry Haters for Kerry (and my excuse for an endorsement)

Hate to rag on my candidate the night before the election, but this was just too funny to pass up.

And this is as close as I'll do for a blog endorsement:

For the record, if I were voting in KY, I'm pretty sure I'd be voting for David Cobb. That's not to say I agree with Greens on economic issues or national security issues--I don't. A couple of college kids could read Marx and come up with a more practical economic platform than the Greens. But the despicable shift towards the center by the Democratic Party in not fighting for the rights of a weak minority, the homosexual community, for obvious political reasons leaves me entirely unable to support my party of registration with the fervency that I would like.

Also, in John Kerry, I have not seen the sort of candidate who will stay above a fray of lies and manipulation in his campaign. I've seen a politician. A politician whose policies have many of the same problems as the current president. A politician who, if elected, will be obstructed by a conservative congress hell-bent on preventing any sort of progress. But, a politician who has some wiggle room to move to the center on economic issues, hopefully drawing our Congress there as well. The future of Social Security and health care may depend on that dynamic.

Both candidates threaten to increase our deficit to dangerously absurd heights.

Both candidates have ridiculous, impractical ideas of how to institute health-care reform. Of course, Kerry will merely make the system more ungainly, whereas Bush will destroy it.

Neither candidate has a clue how to get us out of Iraq before the next presidential election with a strong democractic government.

Neither candidate has given even significant lip service to the problems in Israel and Palestine.

Neither candidate has any sort of plan to ensure that Social Security benefits will be sustainable.

And neither candidate supports measures to ensure that a small portion of our society will not continue to be marginalized for many years to come.

But a few things are nearly certain about John Kerry. John Kerry probably couldn't do a worse job than Bush. He won't have the military to launch another needless war. He won't have the arrogant swagger to piss off the rest of the world everytime he opens his mouth. And he won't appoint judges who have wet dreams about Scalia and over-turning Roe.

So, as a Michigan voter, I am voting for Kerry.

If I were still registered in Kentucky, I would enjoy voting against the gay marriage amendment (me and like 20 other people), I would enjoy voting for Dan Mongiardo against Jim Bunning's incompetence and out-right weirdness, and I would be casting my presidential ballot for the Green Party candidate, David Cobb.

I'm actually not even sure that the Green candidate is on the ballot in Kentucky, which would of course leave me with no other option to express my distaste than to repeat my 2000 vote for Ralph Nader.

Some respectable conservatives who disapprove of Bush are choosing another vote of conscience, Michael Badnarik. If you consider yourself a traditionalist conservative who actually supports small government, he may be your man. Badnarik, like Cobb, has some well-meaning but crack-pot ideas. But so do Kerry and Bush.

If your state is out of play, which is essentially true for every state that is not Hawaii, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, or New Hampshire, then consider a third party candidate. The Democratic party now ignores its socially liberal base. The Republican party now ignores its small government base. Let them know you don't like being ignored one bit.

Politics: Holy Shit

Slate is looking at a 269-269 finish. Please no!

Psych Exam

Only at Michigan do you feel like total shit after you get a 90% on an exam because you're probably in the bottom quartile of the class. I'm thinking about rooting for Bush tomorrow, just to make sure that he doesn't win.

Politics: Slate's election scorecard

Florida moves to Kerry, giving him 299 electoral votes. But his lead is shakier than it looks. Both Florida and Ohio are on a knife's edge. We also think Gallup has exposed Wisconsin as a Tier 2 state, winnable for Bush with the right turnout. Kerry's consolation is that both Iowa and New Mexico now look winnable for him, and as a package, they would negate the loss of Wisconsin or Minnesota. Kerry can now afford to lose any of the following combinations: 1) Florida, Iowa, and New Mexico; 2) Florida, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire; 3) Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Hampshire; 4) Ohio and Pennsylvania; or 5) Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. The good news for Republicans is that even if Kerry wins all the other states within his reach, he can't survive the loss of Ohio and Florida.