US Republican presidential hopeful John McCain has picked Sarah Palin, the female governor of Alaska, as his surprise running mate.
At 44, she is younger than Barack Obama and is credited with reforms during her first term, but she is relatively unknown in US politics.
McCain is betting the farm that the female Democratic PUMA voters who said they would vote for McCain will now really do it. Also, like many Alaska politicians these days, Palin is involved in an ethics scandal. Her sister was married to a state trooper named Mike Wooten. The two of them got divorced and were involved in a bitter child custody battle. Sarah wanted to help her sister so she asked the state commissioner of public safety, Walt Monegan, to fire Wooten. He refused, so she fired him. He protested so loudly that the Republican-controlled state legislature appointed a retired prosecutor, Steve Branchflower, to investigate whether she abused her power as governor. Needless to say, Monegan is about to get a small army of reporters camped on his doorstep.
Don’t get me wrong, on a PR level this is masterful for McCain. He’s killed all the momentum and press coverage about Obama’s amazing speech last night. So I really am amazed they think that one shot at gaining the press advantage was worth the most unbelievably inept VP pick I could have possibly imagined. If McCain wanted a former beauty queen with no experience and a criminal investigation on her record I don’t know why he didn’t just pick his own wife.
The Wellcome Trust would like to apologise for any concern caused by the recent technical error in its Biometrics interactive exhibit at Wellcome Collection. The exhibit captures a person’s pulse rate, height, age, fingerprint and iris scan and generates a “biometric identity” expressed as a graphic icon. The user is then invited to receive a copy of their biometric identity by email.
It has come to our attention that a technical error has resulted in users of the exhibit receiving URL links to data sets of around 40 other users. These profiles do not contain identifiers such as names or email addresses.
The Wellcome Trust has investigated whether erroneous transmission of the data captured could constitute a breach of confidentiality or pose a security risk. It is satisfied that this is not the case.
To change your password, please contact your nearest ophthalmologist for an eye transplant. Also, please revoke your fingerprints…
Intellectual property laws which were designed to protect inventors are actually stifling innovation, according to a leading US law academic.
“I discovered a paradox in the free market and it is this: usually private ownership creates wealth, but too much ownership has the opposite effect – it creates gridlock,” he said. “When too many owners control a single resource – it can be a patent, a copyright, land – when too many people control a single resource, co-operation breaks down and wealth disappears. Everybody ends up losing.”
Heller has expanded on his theory in a just-published book, The Gridlock Economy – how too much ownership wrecks markets, stops innovation and costs lives.
He uses the example of someone who has come up with a new medicine and is trying to get it to market. To do that they must use systems, processes and tests which are owned by other people.
“Imagine a drug developer walking into an auditorium and seeing 50 or 100 or several hundred patent owners, each with their essential patent on their lap, and the drug developer knows that unless he’s able to negotiate successfully with every single one of those patent owners, his drug can’t come to market,” said Heller.
We provide an outlaw view of the underbelly of the beast during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Such as this one:
How low will they go?
I don’t really have the answer, but my suspicion is that before this election season is done, right-wing Republicans will have hit new depths of campaign distortions and outright lies.
One prime example: The phony $3 bills that were being hawked by GOP volunteers out at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe.
Featuring a picture of Barack Obama decked out in an Arab headdress with the words “da man” under his picture, the mocking merchandise was prominently displayed alongside the “proud republican” bumper stickers and the “Dino Rossi for Governor” paraphernalia.
In addition to perpetuating the lie that Obama is a Muslim, the fake bill also has some openly racist aspects to it.
Gerri Modell, the head of the Snohomish County Republican Party, says she had no idea how the bills magically appeared at the GOP’s booth.
Look at this product you can purchase from McCain’s official site:
1) to form possessives of nouns
2) to show the omission of letters
3) to indicate certain plurals of lowercase letters.
Okay, let’s see if there’s a comment from the McCain campaign:
One last thing. Someone on the McCain team has already anticipated the connection between Moses/Joshua and King/Obama. It’s what was driving that weird ad from last month. People recognized the creepy messianic overtones and rightly saw it as a dogwhistle to the evangelical right. The use of Charlton Heston as Moses crossing the Red Sea was meant to inoculate evangelicals against recognizing in Obama the realization of Dr. King’s legacy. Irresponsibly, the McCain campaign raised the imagery of apocalypse and anti-Christ to blunt Obama’s ability to draw upon scriptural language and its particularly American transformations.
That’s why it’s astonishing for me to realize, just now, that Obama ended his speech with a dogwhistle so beautiful and so profound as to make a mockery of Michael Gerson‘s most sublte efforts. The final words of his speech were: “Let us keep that promise – that American promise – and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.” This is a quote from Hebrews 10, one that would (I think…a MeFite more pious than me can correct me if I’m wrong) have considerable resonance for evangelicals, since it precedes a very dramatic expression of God’s absolute sovereignty and the essential role of a Christian’s complete trust in God’s will.
The actual quote from Hebrews 10:23 is: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful”. In a speech whose theme is “promise” and which invokes King’s legacy of transforming the “promised land” into an American pastoral of freedom and equality, this quote does something quite profound. Obama speaks the first half of the quote, “the hope that we confess”, seeming to be burnishing his Christian credentials. But the second half of the verse “for he who promised is faithful” emphasizes in a very powerful way Obama’s message that his success is not about him. Those of us who are secular see him as an eloquent spokesman for our collective aspirations. But an evangelical could see him as the agent of divine providence. By ending his speech in this way, he challenges religious people either to deny the validity of his hope and his promise (something they cannot do without also denying the providential power of King’s legacy and his death), or to deny the faithfulness of the God who promises (something that would undo their own confession).
To an audience that is used to having its scripture invoked with a nudge and a wink, this beautiful citation is a kind of a puzzle, challenging them to meditate on the relationship between their faith and their citizenship, Barack Obama’s success and their idea of God’s will realized on the landscape of American politics. They may not wind up agreeing with him, of course. But they will still have been challenged to think in ways far more profound than ham-fisted apocalypticism and B-movie portrayals.
The Hebrews quote continues: “and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. ” This is as devastating a rejection of irresponsible invocations of the apocalypse as you could hope for.
And remember folks, our next president wrote this speech himself.
Transcript below the fold;
Comcast has confirmed that all residential customers will be subject to a 250 gigabyte per month data limit starting October 1.
“This is the same system we have in place today,” Comcast wrote in an amendment to its acceptable use policy. “The only difference is that we will now provide a limit by which a customer may be contacted.”
The cable provider insisted that 250 GB is “an extremely large amount of data, much more than a typical residential customer uses on a monthly basis.”
Actually, no, it isn’t an “extremely large amount of data”. It’s about one HD movie per day, and that makes this simply an attempt to cut off services like iTunes and Amazon Unbox, which are increasingly competing with Comcast in the “making content available” business.
China and Iraq have signed a $3 billion deal revising an earlier agreement for China’s biggest oil company to help develop the Ahdab oil field, an official at the Iraq’s Oil Ministry said Thursday.
The deal, restoring a project canceled after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, was signed late Wednesday by Chinese officials and Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani.
Gee, and it only took a bit over 4,000 dead US soldiers to get to this point…
As I sat in my seat at the Bird’s Nest, watching thousands of Chinese dancers, drummers, singers and acrobats on stilts perform their magic at the closing ceremony, I couldn’t help but reflect on how China and America have spent the last seven years: China has been preparing for the Olympics; we’ve been preparing for Al Qaeda. They’ve been building better stadiums, subways, airports, roads and parks. And we’ve been building better metal detectors, armored Humvees and pilotless drones.
The difference is starting to show. Just compare arriving at La Guardia’s dumpy terminal in New York City and driving through the crumbling infrastructure into Manhattan with arriving at Shanghai’s sleek airport and taking the 220-mile-per-hour magnetic levitation train, which uses electromagnetic propulsion instead of steel wheels and tracks, to get to town in a blink.
Then ask yourself: Who is living in the third world country?
Vice President Dick Cheney’s office announced today that he will speak at the upcoming Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN, offering farewell wishes and personal observations about John McCain to anyone in the vicinity of his seat in the upper balcony. “The vice president has prepared a number of remarks to mutter angrily during Sen. Tom Coburn’s speech,” Cheney spokeswoman Megan Mitchell said. “We cannot divulge the specifics of his address at this time, although I imagine it will begin shortly after he spots [Sen. Joseph] Lieberman.”
When he first ran for Congress in Arizona nearly three decades ago, John McCain had one clear liability: he wasn’t from the state, and he could count the number of years he had lived there on a couple of fingers.
So his primary opponent, state senator Jim Mack, attacked him as a Johnny-come-lately. To counter the charge, at a candidate forum, McCain offered a decidedly pointed response. “I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the first district of Arizona, but I was doing other things,” he said. “As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.”
for their freedom…