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July 29, 2005


What's up with the latest panic over Fitzgerald's tenure as special prosecutor? I see that the word is that Fitz's friend at the DoJ is on his way out, to be replaced by yet another Bush-Cheney Florida recount alum. And so the question is asked there, and repeated here in light of my own questions about how big the big lie is: Would a premature firing of Fitzgerald be seen as a legitimate use of the executive power, or are we far enough along that the frame changes to it being yet another act of obstruction of justice? Or for the really tightly-wound, another act in furtherance of a conspiracy to impede and impair the intelligence services of the United States?

I posted a comment about the Bush EPA holding back a report on fuel efficiency that may have had an effect on the Energy Bill, at least in a reality where congress wasn't a rubber stamp. The best part of the article for me was their reasoning.

Eryn Witcher, a spokeswoman for the E.P.A., said the timing of the release of the report had nothing to do with the energy bill deliberations.

"We are committed to sharing our scientific studies with the public in the most comprehensive and understandable format possible," she said. "Issue experts are reviewing the fuel economy data and we look forward to providing a summary of the information next week."

A minor transltion error in the times print program substituted the words "Issue" for "industry," "reviewing" for "changing" and "summary" for "spin."


Mike S, thread killer extrordinaire.

Mike, I ... I can't go on!

Think Progress links some maps of the current heat wave to Bush's stance on global warming and an article that shows hear waves are four times more likely because of increased carbon dioxide levels. Don't discount this issue just yet.

Science magazine navel-gazes this week about the absolute lack of women at the top of biotech/pharma companies, and manages to catch a few of the (by definition, male) heads of these firms having their own personal Lawrence Summers moments:

But most pharma executives acknowledge that family responsibilities do matter. "One possible reason [for the dearth of women] is that any senior position requires a huge commitment," says Knowles. "It would be difficult for someone to do that type of job while also looking after a home and small children."

Amgen's research chief Richard Perlmutter offers similar thoughts. "I'm reluctant to generalize about gender differences," he says. "At the same time, you can't get around the fact that the burden of early child rearing may be a career breaker [for some women]"

That burden can show up in subtle ways, notes Lynne Cannon, vice president for human resources at NIBR. "It's not just a question of having the door open to women," she says. "Sometimes it's about how the door gets opened. If I can't stay until 8 p.m.--when a lot of decisions get made--because I have to pick up my kid at 6 from daycare, then I may miss out on something important."

It's something that was brought up in the Summers brouhaha but got lost amidst all the brewing and haha'ing. The hours for a scientist are difficult - though not impossible, as has been shown by many people I respect - to reconcile with a full home life.

Good on-site daycare helps a lot. Some universities are even offering to provide personal assistants for female faculty hires, to pick up the kids at daycare, drop off the dry-cleaning. Everything helps. Some people want to be able to raise their own kids themselves (not put them with nannies) and be full-time scientists. Good luck.

Oops, I posted this on the wrong thread:

Can we talk Frist?

What happened? Has he been reading DemFromCT's and Page's posts about stem cell research? Did he do a poll and realize the fundies aren't going to win an election the next time? And before you answer, consider how much more irked Scottie McC is than he was over the Rove revelations:

Q The Republican Party appears to be moving away from this President on this issue. How does he react to that?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that there are many Americans that share the President's view that we need to continue to explore and advance science, but we need to make sure that we maintain ethical standards. As I said, these are decisions that have far-reaching consequences. And that's why the President worked to find common ground on this difficult issue.

Q Okay, let me just interrupt. Most Americans --

MR. McCLELLAN: Hang on, hang on.

Q Most Americans don't support the President's decision, according to polls.

Does anyone have an explanation? How did the guy who diagnosed Schiavo via a videotape cause such a stink? And what will the stinky Tennessean do when Bush recess appoints Bolton?

Re future terrorists, we should not expect ethnc consistent ethnicity.

We should also not expect a consistent agenda. Terror is a school of methods, and students of various and sundry ideologies plagiarize each others' work.

The next wave could just as well be pan-Africa, or pan-Latin, or homegrown "populist", or something else entirely ... any clique with the ability to see evil in the worldsystem (or parts thereof), and the imagination to manufacture an argument by necessity for killing innocents, and a penchant for the heroic.

Today's scripts will be played out in different theaters, with different casts of characters.

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