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    • Inequality is Unnatural
      I’ve been reading UltraSociety, by Peter Turchin. Turchin’s a biologist turned to mathematical models of human society, and he’s done interesting work, not all of which I agree with (or agree is quite as radical as he claims.) But one of the points he makes in UltraSociety, which has been made by many archeologists and […]
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Mixed Emotions

Mike Leibovich of the New York Times Magazine wrote a profile on Chris Matthews for this Sunday, titled, The Aria of Chris Matthews. The piece depicts an insecure man with the hyperactivity of a 4 year old on 10 bowls of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs. It’s much as you might expect. Matthews doesn’t think he’s sexist, doesn’t think he’s ever acted disrespectfully towards women on his program and hates Hillary for reasons I still can’t understand but may be rooted in his intense desire for acceptance by his peers. (More on this later.) In the meantime, here are a few passages that made me go Hmmmmm.

For example:

Friends say Matthews is wary of another up-and-comer, David Gregory, who last month was given a show at 6 o’clock, between airings of “Hardball.” It is a common view around NBC that Gregory is trying out as a possible replacement for Matthews. Before the flight from Cleveland to Washington took off, an NBC staff member noted that Matthews, Russert and Andrea Mitchell were all on board, and if the plane were to crash, it would devastate the network’s talent pool. Matthews quipped that Gregory was outside the plane arranging for just that. (“I hadn’t heard that,” Gregory told me. “I’m quite sure he was joking.”)

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Today in Post-Racial Politics

Remember Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski? The Obama campaign announced she’s resigning as an Obama delegate to the National Convention because she told the (African-American) kids next door to stop swinging on a tree like “monkeys”.

… Obama’s campaign called Ramirez-Sliwinski and persuaded her to step aside as a delegate because the campaign felt her remarks were “divisive and unacceptable.”

Today, Ramirez-Sliwinski announced she’s not resigning.

…. Ramirez-Sliwinski changed her mind Tuesday night, after getting a lot of positive reaction from people who thought the incident was being overblown, said Ramirez-Sliwinski ally, Town President Bill Sarto. Continue reading

Down in the GUTTeR

Eriposte at TheLeftCoaster * has an excellent post on the Grand Unified Theory of Teh Race (GUTTeRTM) But is eriposte referring to the campaign or the racial makeup of the candidates? It seems very strange to me that the so-called post racial, transitional candidate continues to benefit from a racial bias by the rest of us, as if there are no other reasons for us to reject him except the color of his skin. It’s the stupidest thing I think I’ve ever heard from a candidate since George Bush asked us if we wanted to buy some wood at a debate.

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Wednesday- Wunnerful, Wunnerful

Morning all! I fell asleep during Nitecap and didn’t get to wish RonKSeattle a Happy Birthday. So, let me do so now. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RONK!!! How old are you now? 20 something? (insert your favorite multiple) If you feel so inclined, you may wish to send your birthday wishes to RonK in the form of a donation to Rep. Jim McDermott’s legal fund. Our gentleman colleague from Ohio, John “weepy eyes” Boehner, took him to court many years ago over a serendipitously intercepted cell phone call involving nasty Newt Gingrich. Boehner’s been vindictively pursuing the case ever since (because it contributes so much to Congressional harmony?) Anywho, if you would like to help Rep. McDermott retire this debt to society (/snark), please visit this site and mention it was for RonK.

Here are some other things to ponder this morning:

  • Following up on Hillary’s plan to increase spending on breast cancer research by $300 Million dollars and what this exciting news portends for the research industry in general, I thought I would try to bring everyone up to date on what really goes on in biomedical research. Specifically, how do we researchers discover, design and develop treatments for various diseases? Well, the first place to start is with the Human Genome and, once again, Terry Gross has a first rate interview with Craig Venter, head of Celera, who along with government scientists cracked the DNA code for the human species. I hope you will find this interview as fascinating and informative as I did.
  • Elizabeth Edwards, who is so far not endorsing any candidate, has some positive words for Hillary’s health care plan. Elizabeth knows that in order to achieve a real cost benefit, universal coverage is the key. When everyone is covered, there will be fewer emergency room visits and lengthy hospital stays for untreated illnesses. Did you know that in the state of NJ, taxpayers fork out $700 million each year for hospital costs of the uninsured? That’s a hidden tax on all of us that could be put to better use keeping people healthy.
  • Who is Luke Ravenstahl? He’s the 28 year old mayor of Pittsburgh and he’s a Clinton supporter. Read all about him and his unlikely rise to prominence in my home town. This is a kid who understands hard work and what it will take to help Pittsburgh make the transition from industrial to high tech age. With Pittsburgh, he’s got a lot of good material to work with. I see a bright future for Ravenstahl and the city. And with Clinton as an ally, well, it’s going to be wonderful.
  • One more thing: Did you know that you can now direct where your contribution to Hillary’s campaign in PA will buy?  Yep. So far, contributors have bought $15,000 worth of door signs, $25,000 worth of van rides for seniors and the disabled to make it to the polling places and we are now closing in on $50,000 worth of yard signs.  But you can still help with radio and TV ads.  Barack Obama is spending $2.2 Million in TV ads throughout the state, more than any other candidate in PA history (not that it will help him much).  It would be great if Hillary could roll out some of her own optimistic ads and show those of us who aren’t internet junkies what a great president she’d be.  So, if you have a few bucks and want to buy 10 seconds of ad, send it her way.  Here’s the link.