September 25, 2009
From the elite zoological journal "SHIT I SAID FOUR YEARS AGO"
They are cute and cuddly, but one wildlife expert argues that pandas should be left to go extinct.
Naturalist Chris Packham, a BBC nature host, says pandas are an evolutionary dead end. He says they are not very bright, they have many challenges reproducing in captivity, and because they live in the most populous country on the planet, China, their environment is shrinking.
Science hates us
Technological advances yeild a transportation device a fraction of the size of the Segway but makes you look even more like a dork.
You know what a scooter that's embarassing to be seen riding needs? Yeah, that's right, to be made into a unicycle. Thanks, Japan.
September 22, 2009
Wow, when the GOP's anti-ACORN legislation first hit, I had assumed it was specifically worded to affect only ACORN. I was actually planning a cartoon that joked about the idea of agreeing to just ban all funding for government contracts that were targets of corruption or criminal investigation, because it would eliminate Blackwater, Lockheed, etc.
The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.
In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) picked up on the legislative overreach and asked the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) to sift through its database to find which contractors might be caught in the ACORN net.
Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gumman both popped up quickly, with 20 fraud cases between them, and the longer list is a Who's Who of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors.
The language was written by the GOP and filed as a "motion to recommit" in the House, where it passed 345-75. It carried the Senate by an 83-7 margin.
POGO is reaching out to its members to identify other companies who have engaged in the type of misconduct that would make them ineligible for federal funds.
Skipping for a moment that of course this won't possibly happen, I mean, seriously: The laughable irony here is, of course, that the reason this legislation never existed already is exactly because of what you just read above: the glut of government funding for projects without a doubt would uncover countless examples of illicit activity that, if anyone in Congress truly cared about fairness instead of political grandstanding, would make them just as large a social pariah as ACORN now is.
But let's get real here. Military contractors don't employ mostly black people and their main product isn't getting poor people to vote. Understanding why congress rallied against ACORN and not a local tank factory isn't really complicated, is it?
Massachusetts Democrats pass law allowing Democrats to do whatever they want in Massachusetts
Well, at least they're not deciding they're allowed to suddenly redraw the congressional districts, because that would be horrible and a blatant political power grab in a way that's completely different than this.
Passing a law that specifically made sure a Democrat gets a senate seat if John Kerry becomes president was stupid. Passing a law that specifically makes sure a Democrat gets a senate seat if Ted Kennedy dies is just as stupid. Pretending you're doing this "for the people" is stupider than both.
Just pass a law that says "Democrats can do whatever they want in Massachusetts" and get it over with.
September 21, 2009
It's been a banner few weeks for the news media utterly embarrassing itself, but I think it really culminated well in thousands of people pointing out that right-wingers were clearly and blatantly lying about crowd numbers at the 9/12 teabagger rally, and one of the largest and most respected news publications in the world responding with the equivalent headline of "Shape of Earth: Opinions Differ."
Having family who work in the news business, I understand that the financial setbacks of both print and television news-gathering organizations have required their parent companies to reduce staffing fees by getting rid of... what do you call them... reporters. That's still no excuse for pretending they don't have editors, or at the very least, fact-checkers. Or, hell, a twelve-year-old child who could read the article first and identify the logical fallacy as clear as allowing the suggestion that the Washington, D.C. fire department is a "liberal source" make it to print.