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March 03, 2006

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Bush defends nuclear pact with India

when you're untrustworthy, you're untrustworthy. Everything has to be defended.

Bush Defends Outsourcing of Jobs During India Visit
You get the picture...

The other shoe:

In its substance, the video reveals nothing that was not already known from previously released transcripts and government investigations. But in politics, images carry a power far beyond written words, and the video, played again and again on cable television, instantly provided new fuel for an emotional debate.

Dem,

you are correct

that is why it is a scandal the media does not publish pictures and film of Iraq daily

From First Read:

Two new national polls show Bush and Republicans taking a hit on handling terrorism, presumably due to the majority opposition both polls show to the DP World deal. A new Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll shows majority (54%) disapproval of Bush's handling of terrorism for the first time in that survey, and 58% objecting to the ports deal. Gallup shows 66% opposing the deal and the GOP's advantage over Democrats on handling terrorism down to 45%-40%. Bush's job approval rating in both surveys is 38%.

Link to Bloomberg/LA Times:

Ports Deal Faces Wide Opposition

Bush's ratings sink, weighed down by the Dubai firm uproar and discontent over Iraq

And, in a trend that could affect turnout in the November midterm elections, Bush confronts what might be called an intensity gap: The percentage of Americans who said they strongly disapproved of his performance on a wide range of issues greatly exceeded the share who strongly approved.

more:

Debbie Davis, a Republican in Middleport, Ohio, who responded to the new poll, remains positive about Bush. "He does a good job," the sales representative said. "He has just been put in tough situations."

But Beverly Greenwald, a Democrat in Atlanta, expressed the intensity registered by many Bush critics in the survey. "He's an incompetent, ignorant man who looks for simple answers to complex issues," the psychotherapist said. "He shouldn't even be allowed to run a small Texas town."

So he breaks 40% even in Gallup. I don't see him coming back that easily.

Apparently the tape of that videoconference was languishing in the vaults of every network news division. The WH must have released it months ago, or they filmed it. But as Dana Millbank said, "no one could have foreseen that the tape would be made public."

Yesterday on Hardball Byron York tried to explain it all away as a distinction between the levees "breaching" or "overtopping". Ron Reagan callied it "like what the definition of 'is' is", to which York took great offense.

When levees overtop they begin to erode and that frequently leads to breaching. Not such a big difference. Bush was just hearing what he wanted to hear on the day after landfall, thinking he didn't have to pay attention any more.

With Duncan Hunter (R-San Diego area, chair of House Armed Services) now saying he opposes the Dubai port deal, things may get interesting. He may just be taking a popular stand because he is potentially in ethics trouble, but it is significant.

Dubai ports, like immmigration, is a serious wedge issue for the GOP. Numbers on one side, money on the other. Who will win? Can't say, given how it plays into the fear that BushCo has nursed so carefully and now seems less than capable of assuaging.

this month's column from the president of the amer. soc. of cell biology (pdf) is about diversity in science -- or rather, lack of diversity in science.

what she means by diversity is muddled, but it seems to be skin color & gender (she refers at one point to "individuals of each race, ethnicity, and gender" -- there are at least two categories there).

There is no question that minorities and women are underrepresented. She notes among the top 50 bio depts, 89% of faculty are white, 8% asian, 2% hispanic, 1% black, and only 20% female. She notes the lack of a 'pipeline' to bring minority students into faculty as a critical factor: 7% of bio PhDs go to blacks, hispanics, & native americans even though they are 25% of the general population.

The argument falls apart a little when it comes to WHY it's important in science to have proportionate representation. She makes a strong case that role models of one's own race or gender play a big role in recruiting one into the sciences, so there is a sound circular argument -- we need more minorities to get more minorities. And there is a straightforward gut-feeling argument: she says, "Why should we care about promoting diversity..? Well, first of all, it is clearly the right thing to do." Maybe we can just stop there.

I had one black classmate in my class of about 20 PhDs. From when he came into the program he was focused on going into industry after getting his degree. We had no black faculty, that I recall. The halls of every dept where I've worked are filled with white and asian scientists -- blacks and hispanics are usually present in high numbers but as technicians and support staff (there is a good-sized number of scientists coming in from South America to do post-doctoral work in the U.S.) When I taught a high-school outreach program, the class was almost entirely black and hispanic, and more than half girls.

My instinct is that it would be good to get those kids into a 'pipeline' as she says, and add a little color to our halls. Whether that's really good for them, good for science, or just good for our race-conscious consciences.... I don't know.

choice quotes:

Most of the substance of the discussions between Bush and his top disaster officials has been reported previously. Yet the pictures provide a rare glimpse into the government's preparation for a disaster and fodder for Democrats such as Rep. Rahm Emanuel, head of the House Democrats' campaign committee, who took to the House floor Thursday to declare: "Forget the compassionate conservative we were promised in 2000. At this point, I would settle for a competent conservative.''

I'm quite certain that Bush was acutely focused on the minute difference between "overtopped" and "breached" when he made that infamous statement. Yeah, right. Just more of the same hooey we've seen time and time again from the apologists. "He never said Saddam was an imminent threat... he just said he was a grave and gathering threat, which is obviously different!" "He never said you need a warrant any time you wiretap someone... he clearly meant to imply that you need a warrant any time you wiretap someone under this one particular provision of the Patriot Act, and that other times people might very well be wiretapped without a warrant, and if you're too distracted by your moonbat hatred to pick up on that you really can't blame the President for it!" Blah blah blah...

Digby has more polling fun.

My instinct is that it would be good to get those kids into a 'pipeline' as she says, and add a little color to our halls.

Diversity is a positive value, because - paradoxically - the normal cultural selection for this kind of academic success is actually rather arbitrary, like our whole political economy is arbitrary - millions of talented people never get the ghost of a chance, no matter how bright they may be. Despite what conservatives of the vaguely (or explicitly) bell curve-variety say (with their fake science), it is moronic to think that, genetically, white people (whatever they are) and asians are overwhelmingly more talented at math and science (or anything else) than other people. We know now scientifically what we've always known: 'race' is merely cultural; genetics is destiny. If we would ever at least aspire again to the idea of fluid lines of class in this country (instead of coopting it via lip service, and thereby voiding the idea), mere racial and sexual diversity would take care of itself. As we've talked about before, science is a *creative* field which attracts creative people; and I'd bet that plenty of science people would not resist a break away from insularity.

On another note, I just had to blog about the article peanutgallery cited many posts ago, called Lessons from Wal-Mart and the Wehrmacht: Team Wolfowitz on Administration in the Information Age. Maybe I'm the last one to read it (it's from Summer '04), but just in case I'm not... I have nothing substantive to add to Prof. Hudson's review, but if anybody feels like commenting directly on it, the post is here.

Tammy Duckworth does not work. We need reformers in Congress, not puppets controlled by DC lobbyists. How are we to discuss corruption when we support Ladda "Tammy" Duckworth?

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