Thursday, October 16, 2008

You, Ma'am, Are No Margaret Thatcher

Take that, bitch!

Europe mocks 'half-baked Alaskan' Palin

LONDON, England (CNN) -- There's no doubt about it. The European media has given Sarah Palin a hard time.
One European newspaper called the idea of a Palin presidency a "half-baked Alaskan nightmare."

One European newspaper called the idea of a Palin presidency a "half-baked Alaskan nightmare."

Things started quite well, with the curiosity factor. To many Europeans there is something exotic about snowy Alaska. Viewers and readers were intrigued by the shots of the outdoorswoman with her eyes squinting fixed along a gun barrel, the thought of a vice president who had once been a beauty queen.

Columnists were approving that here, for once, was a politician in the higher reaches who probably actually knew the price of a loaf and a pint of milk. Women writers in particular responded warmly to her joke about the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom --"Lipstick."

But soon the carping began, and it was not confined to what U.S. rightists like to dismiss as the "liberal media elite."

We were, the Irish Times warned, "just a heartbeat away from the biggest half-baked Alaskan nightmare." Britain's Financial Times said his selection of vice president raised serious questions about John McCain's judgment and added: "The Palin appointment is yet more proof of the way that abortion still dominates American politics."

Prominence was given to an onslaught on Palin's environmental and animal rights record by veteran ex-film star Brigitte Bardot. Spain's left wing El Pais described Palin as "a figure who comes from the America that is farthest removed from and incomprehensible to the European spectator."

Since then the scorn has been constant, the jokes unrelenting, the YouTube exposure devastating. But let us dispel one bit of nonsense from the start. It is nothing to do with Sarah Palin being of the feminine gender.Sound Off: Is it fair for Europeans to criticize Sarah Palin?

Europeans have been astonished that America has never had a woman president. After all we in Britain elected the redoubtable Margaret Thatcher three times as prime minister. Norway did the same with Gro Harlem Brundtland. Germany has a female chancellor, Angela Merkel, even if she does tend to underline the remark I once heard from a British Ambassador: "A German joke is no laughing matter."

Nicolas Sarkozy's socialist challenger for the French presidency was the elegant Segolene Royal.

When Sarah Palin first became McCain's running mate there were even headlines in some British media suggesting that America had found its own Margaret Thatcher.

That certainly was overdoing it. So much so that after 20 years close up reporting on the original I can't resist the temptation to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen's comment when Dan Quayle unwisely compared himself to John F. Kennedy. "I've interviewed Margaret Thatcher, Governor Palin and I can tell you that you are no Margaret Thatcher."

No, the problem for Sarah Palin in terms of her acceptance in Europe has been the deep wave of Obamamania that had already swept through the European media before her appointment, the self-inflicted wounds of her early media appearances and the apparent box-ticking cynicism of her choice.

That was summed up for some by the appearance of those women at McCain rallies wearing T-shirts emblazoned "Small Town Gun-Totin Christians for McCain."

For Europeans, who were alienated during George W. Bush's first four years by a president who showed little interest in their continent and patently cared nothing for the opinions of its leaders, the turning point probably came with the appearance on the Katie Couric show when Palin confessed to not having had a passport until 2006.

Europeans are appalled at the thought that someone who wants to be vice president of the most powerful nation on earth had so little interest in the rest of a world which is so vitally affected by the decisions of the man, or woman, in the White House. iReport: Why are the 2008 U.S. Elections important to you and your home country?

And they are not much impressed by explanations that her parents did not have the money to send her on a fact-finding tour of the world as a student. Anybody with the money to own an SUV, hunt moose and drive a snowmobile has the money to travel.

It was the American Mark Twain who reminded us all that "travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness." If Sarah Palin wanted to be loved in Europe she should have got about a bit.

Calling All GW Wonks

Its time to step up our game...mentor our GW legacy!

American University Students are 'Most Politically Active' According to 2009 Edition of The Princeton Review Guide : 'The Best 368 Colleges'

See the whole release 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dear America: Fuck Bush, Vote Obama! Love Always, Nobel Laureates

An Open Letter to the American People

This year's presidential election is among the most significant in our nation's history. The country urgently needs a visionary leader who can ensure the future of our traditional strengths in science and technology and who can harness those strengths to address many of our greatest problems: energy, disease, climate change, security, and economic competitiveness.

We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in supporting him.

During the administration of George W. Bush, vital parts of our country's scientific enterprise have been damaged by stagnant or declining federal support. The government's scientific advisory process has been distorted by political considerations. As a result, our once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk. We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security, and improve our economy.

We have watched Senator Obama's approach to these issues with admiration. We especially applaud his emphasis during the campaign on the power of science and technology to enhance our nation's competitiveness. In particular, we support the measures he plans to take – through new initiatives in education and training, expanded research funding, an unbiased process for obtaining scientific advice, and an appropriate balance of basic and applied research – to meet the nation's and the world's most urgent needs.

Senator Obama understands that Presidential leadership and federal investments in science and technology are crucial elements in successful governance of the world's leading country. We hope you will join us as we work together to ensure his election in November.

Alexei Arikosov Physics 2003Roger Guillemin Medicine 1977
Peter Agre Chemistry 2003John L. Hall Physics 2005
Sidney Altman Chemistry 1989Leland H. Hartwell Medicine 2001
Philip W. Anderson Physics 1977Dudley Herschbach Chemistry 1986
Richard Axel Medicine 2004Roald Hoffmann Chemistry 1981
David Baltimore Medicine 1975H. Robert Horvitz Medicine 2002
Baruj Benacerraf Medicine 1980Louis Ignarro Medicine 1998
Paul Berg Chemistry 1980Eric R. Kandel Medicine 2000
J. Michael Bishop Medicine 1989Walter Kohn Chemistry 1998
N. Bloembergen Physics 1981Roger Kornberg Chemistry 2006
Michael S. Brown Medicine 1985Leon M. Lederman Physics 1988
Linda B. Buck Medicine 2004Craig C. Mello Medicine 2006
Mario R. Capecchi Medicine 2007Yoichiro Nambu Physics 2008
Martin Chalfie Chemistry 2008Marshall Nirenberg Medicine 1968
Stanley Cohen Medicine 1986Douglas D. Osheroff Physics 1996
Leon Cooper Physics 1972Stanley B. Prusiner Medicine 1997
James W. Cronin Physics 1980Norman F. Ramsey Physics 1989
Robert F. Curl Chemistry 1996Robert Richardson Physics 1996
Johann Diesenhofer Chemistry 1988Burton Richter Physics 1976
John B. Fenn Chemistry 2002Sherwood Rowland Chemistry 1995
Edmond H. Fischer Medicine 1992Oliver Smithies Medicine 2007
Val Fitch Physics 1980Richard R Schrock Chemistry 2005
Jerome I. Friedman Physics 1990Joseph H. Taylor Jr. Physics 1993
Murray Gell-Man Physics 1969E. Donnall Thomas Medicine 1990
Riccardo Giacconi Physics 2002Charles H. Townes Physics 1964
Walter Gilbert Chemistry 1980Roger Tsien Chemistry 2008
Alfred G. Gilman Medicine 1994Daniel C.Tsui Physics 1998
Donald A. Glaser Physics 1960Harold Varmus Medicine 1989
Sheldon L. Glashow Physics 1979James D. Watson Medicine 1962
Joseph Goldstein Medicine 1985Eric Wieschaus Medicine 1995
Paul Greengard Medicine 2000Frank Wilczek Physics 2004
David Gross Physics 2004Robert W. Wilson Physics 1978
Robert H. Grubbs Chemistry 2005

The views expressed in this letter represent those of the signers acting as individual citizens.

They do not necessarily represent the views of the institutions with which they are affiliated. The Medicine award is for “Physiology or Medicine.”

Future Us?

I'm fairly certain that this will be one of us in the future...

Beyonce = Fierce!

Unfortunately embedding for this video has been disabled, BUT you have to watch it! Beyonce, bless her soul, is fabulous...

Take That Reaganomics

Paul Krugman wins Nobel Prize for economics

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — American Paul Krugman won the Nobel economics prize on Monday for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity.
Krugman, born in 1953, and a professor at Princeton University in New Jersey and a columnist for The New York Times, formulated a new theory to answer questions about free trade, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
"What are the effects of free trade and globalization? What are the driving forces behind worldwide urbanization? Paul Krugman has formulated a new theory to answer these questions," the academy said in its citation.
"He has thereby integrated the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography," it said.
Krugman was the lone of winner of the 10 million kronor (US$1.4 million) award, the latest in a string of American researchers to be honored.
The award, known as the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, is the last of the six Nobel prizes announced this year and is not one of the original Nobels. It was created in 1968 by the Swedish central bank in Nobel's memory.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better....?

Nothing like an Army 10-miler through our quaint Crystal City neighborhood to inspire greatness right? Well amid Linds and my leisurely stroll down to the pentagon to check out the newly unveiled 9-11 memorial, we seemed to be swimming upstream against a current of extremely fit Army runners.

Rather than feeding into the intimidation, we channeled the Powerade and are now kick-starting our 5k training program (same difference right?!) The couch to 5k program lasts 8 weeks and promises to have us jogging the three miles with ease. I'm a week into it with minor injuries (sore tush) but with a finish line in sight.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

At least there's one profession to always fallback on

Sunday, October 12th 2008, 10:38 AM
Hermann for News

Escorts Dylan, Nadia and Sarah know when a story's got legs.
It's still a good time to be morally bankrupt.
The plunging Dow Jones and panicky investors are hardly a problem for the world's oldest profession, where business is still brisk.
"The market is down, business is down, but we feel it less," said Dylan, 24, a promotional model-turned-Manhattan prostitute. "We're still busy."
The long-haired, long-legged hooker then explained why the red-light district remains a blue-chip commodity: "If men are horny, they're going to come in here."
Take that, Ben Bernanke.
Dylan works for a Manhattan madam who runs a pair of prostitution dens north of Wall Street. Unlike the $4,000-an-hour girls of male fantasies or gubernatorial road trips, Madam Sadie's employees charge $260 for 60 minutes - or $160 for 30 minutes.
"The $1,000-an-hour girls are just not making it" with the economic downturn, the madam said. The faltering economy actually drove two of her newer employees to the madam's sex-peddling service from other careers.
Shana, 42, lost her $45,000-a-year job as a secretary last year. Sienna was laid off in July from her job as an executive assistant with a travel agency.
Shana, who worked briefly as a waitress before hooking up with her current gig, is putting her son through college.
"He's trying to get an engineering degree," she explained. "With the economy the way it is, how is my son going to get a loan? And he's going to finish college."
Co-worker Sara, a 26-year-old former hairstylist, said her services provide businessmen with a break from the grim realities of their 9-to-5 jobs.
"Some of them seem depressed, and they just want a place to get away from it," said the petite, dark-haired woman.
Sadie admits her business has suffered a bit in the fiscal crisis. Some clients are cutting back on their spending, and some aren't returning, she said.
Sienna, who's earning a graduate degree in English literature, mentioned a Manhattan banker who's among her regulars. He now spends less time and money - although he doesn't miss his regular appointments.
"He used to spend at least an hour or two," she said. "Lately he's down to a half-hour, and he's no longer a big tipper."
But Dylan said business was steadier in her new position than when she was chasing down modeling jobs.
"The money is good in that field," she said, "but you don't always get the work."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If Only There Were a Similar Function for Phones...

New in Labs: Stop sending mail you later regret

Monday, October 06, 2008 6:25 PM

Sometimes I send messages I shouldn't send. Like the time I told that girl I had a crush on her over text message. Or the time I sent that late night email to my ex-girlfriend that we should get back together. Gmail can't always prevent you from sending messages you might later regret, but today we're launching a new Labs feature I wrote called Mail Goggles which may help.

When you enable Mail Goggles, it will check that you're really sure you want to send that late night Friday email. And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you're in the right state of mind?

By default, Mail Goggles is only active late night on the weekend as that is the time you're most likely to need it. Once enabled, you can adjust when it's active in the General settings.

Hopefully Mail Goggles will prevent many of you out there from sending messages you wish you hadn't. Like that late night memo -- I mean mission statement -- to the entire firm.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sarah Palin: The Dan Qualye of Our Generation

Palin, A Journalism Major, Can't Name A News Source She Reads

Sarah Palin said she does not support the morning after pill as a form of contraception, strongly implied that homosexuality was a choice, and could not name a single source of news that she turns to for information, in yet another installment of her interview series with Katie Couric.

Appearing on CBS Evening News, the Alaska Governor seemed calmer than she had been in previous sit downs. But while she only occasionally provided the type of befuddled responses that had even conservatives scratching their heads, her interview was nevertheless shaky.

Asked what newspapers and magazines she reads, Palin - a journalism major in college - could not name one publication.

"I've read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media," she said at first. Couric responded, "What, specifically?"

"Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years."

"Can you name a few?"

"I have a vast variety of source where we get our news," Palin said. "Alaska isn't a foreign country, where it's kind of suggested, 'wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?' Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America."

Later, when pressed on a variety of cultural issues, Palin provided red meat for religious conservatives. But her answers seemed to fall on the far edge of mainstream political thought. She said she was "unapologetically" pro-life when asked if she opposed abortion even for a 15-year-old raped by her father.

"[I would] counsel that person to choose life despite the horrific, horrific circumstances," she said, before moderating her position a bit: "If you're asking, though, kind of foundationally here, should anyone end up in jail for having an ... abortion, absolutely not. That's nothing I would ever support."

Asked whether she believed that the morning after pill should be outlawed, Palin did not directly address the question, saying only: "Personally, and this isn't a McCain-Palin policy, I would not choose to participate in that kind of contraception."

And quizzed about her position on gay-rights, Palin cited a homosexual friend whom she is close with before noting that she "made a choice" about her sexuality.

"I have," she said, "one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years who happens to be gay and I love her dearly. And she is not my gay friend. She is one of my best friends who happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice that I would have made."

These positions may, in the long run, endear Palin even more to her conservative following. But combined with her failure to name a source of news she turns to, they are also bound to have people buzzing up through Thursday night's vice presidential debate.

Watch the interview below!