This Krugman piece from the NY TIMES is all over the Internet today, but just in case you missed it, I’m putting it here to help you understand why the next generation will be less and less attracted to the once-Grand Old Party, the Tea Sub-Party of which is its dying gasp (thanks to the so-called Christian Right):
Jon Huntsman Jr., a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isnâ€™t a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. And thatâ€™s too bad, because Mr. Hunstman has been willing to say the unsayable about the G.O.P. â€” namely, that it is becoming the â€œanti-science party.â€ This is an enormously important development. And it should terrify us.
To see what Mr. Huntsman means, consider recent statements by the two men who actually are serious contenders for the G.O.P. nomination: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
Mr. Perry, the governor of Texas, recently made headlines by dismissing evolution as â€œjust a theory,â€ one that has â€œgot some gaps in itâ€ â€” an observation that will come as news to the vast majority of biologists. But what really got peoplesâ€™ attention was what he said about climate change: â€œI think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. And I think we are seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.â€ [Rest of article]
From the NY TIMES on August 24, 2001 (Aw, c’mon–this stuff’s still funny!):
CRAWFORD, Tex., Aug. 24 â€” President Bush said today that there was a benefit to the government’s fast-dwindling surplus, declaring that it would create “a fiscal straitjacket for Congress.” He said that was “incredibly positive news” because it would halt the growth of the Federal government.
In a 45-minute news conference in a community hall next to a recreational-vehicle park here, Mr. Bush avoided giving specific answers to several questions about how he would find the money for his next big initiatives â€” from missile defense, to overhauling the military, to reforming Medicaid â€” without dipping into Social Security surpluses that both parties have declared off-limits. And he made it clear he would not re-think his tax cut, saying, “I can’t tell you how proud I am to be traveling around the country and people say, `Thanks for the $600.’ ”
At the same time, Mr. Bush talked in some detail about the economic slowdown, which he called a “correction,” and left open the possibility that he might dip into the Social Security surplus if a further economic stimulus was needed.
“I’ve said that the only reason we should use Social Security funds is in the case of an economic recession or war,” Mr. Bush said….[Rest of article]
In January, at the newly opened $4-billion Cosmopolitan casino in Las Vegas, a gang called the Cutters cheated at baccarat. Before play began, the dealer offered one member of the group a stack of eight decks of cards for a pre-game cut. The player probably rubbed the stack for good luck, at the same instant riffling some of the corners of the cards underneath with his index finger. A small camera, hidden under his forearm, recorded the order.
After a few hands, the cutter left the floor and entered a bathroom stall, where he most likely passed the camera to a confederate in an adjoining stall. The runner carried the camera to a gaming analyst in a nearby hotel room, where the analyst transferred the video to a computer, watching it in slow motion to determine the order of the cards. Not quite half an hour had passed since the cut. Baccarat play averages less than six cards a minute, so there were still at least 160 cards left to play through. Back at the table, other members of the gang were delaying the action, glancing at their cellphones and waiting for the analyst to send them the card order.
The gang had just walked away from Macau, the largest gambling city on Earth, with millions. They took $100,000 from the Bicycle casino in Los Angeles only weeks after the Las Vegas run. The Cuttersâ€™ scam did not require marking or switching cards, so casinosâ€™ card scans and tracking software was irrelevant. Security consultants say that the gang numbers about 70. (With so many players, facial analytic software is easy to beat.) [Rest of article]
I have an alarming number of picks that have lost half of their value over the last little while. It’s hard to admit mistakes, but…yep–I made ‘em with those. Sorry. (To my credit, however, I don’t believe that there’s anyone in Congress that I actually have voted for–so you can’t blame me for the underlying problem).
If anyone is still paying attention, here’s what I’m replacing my losers with: TNS, Inc., (TNS), which provides networking, data communications, and value added services to retailers, banks, and payment processors worldwide–although I’m always a little nervous with technology stocks; Sauer-Danfoss Inc. (SHS), which designs, manufactures, and markets hydraulic, electronic, and mechanical components (Yikes! More technology); and Rudolph Technologies Inc. (RTEC) which–you guessed it–designs, develops, manufactures, and sells process control defect inspection, metrology, and process control software systems to microelectronics device manufacturers. Quite a few eggs in the technology basket this month. We’ll see how that works out.