Sunday, June 12, 2011

Last Call

How much do Republicans hate their current crop of 2012 "hopefuls"?  This much.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday morning, three-quarters of Republicans and GOP leaning independent voters say they want a party nominee who can defeat President Barack Obama in 2012, even if that person doesn't agree with them on every issue. That's up seven percentage points from January.

OK, with you so far...

The poll also indicates that the two best-known potential GOP presidential hopefuls - Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani - are also the ones with the highest favorable rating among Republicans.

I don't know what's more amusing, that Republicans actually think Moose Lady and Mr. Noun-Adjective-9/11 could beat Obama, or that the two Republicans with the highest marks in this poll are the two who will never actually run because they know damn well they're getting far too much attention (not to mention cash flow) by not running.

Frothing At The Mouth

Just in case we're still hanging on to the "Obama, Republicans, what's the difference in 2012?" silliness, here's one real big one.

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press this morning, former Senator and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum offered two stunningly maximalist positions on abortion — abortion should be flatly banned even in cases of rape or incest, and doctors who perform abortions should face criminal charges.

Now let's keep in mind Ricky here is considered possible Presidential material of high enough caliber to be granted a Sunday show interview when he says things like this:

QUESTION: So even in the case of rape or incest, that would be taking a life?

SANTORUM: That would be taking a life, and I believe that any doctor that performs an abortion, I would advocate that any doctor that performs an abortion, should be criminally charged for doing so.

Just ignore the law of the last 40 years, that makes you a serious, unifying force in politics.  "Maybe if someone like Santorum ended up as President, progressives would finally rally."  Sure, and then they would be put down brutally by the Republican evangelical police state that not only sees them as expendable, but as the enemy.

I still say they entire point of the 2012 race is for Republicans to lose in such a way that Republicans and Democrats start wishing for the days of "a real moderate, respected, visionary world leader like George W. Bush" heading into 2016, and then under that Republican administration finish off the rest of the civil liberties and freedoms we take for granted by 2020 or so.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

Even if Anthony Weiner survives this scandal, keep in mind New York is losing two congressional districts due to the 2010 census numbers.  Guess who just "volunteered" for that honor on the Dems' side?

There is much speculation about whether Representative Anthony D. Weiner will remain in Congress or resign his seat. But there is a politically expedient solution for Democrats if they want to show him the door: Neuter his district in the redistricting process, which will require New York to lose 2 of its 29 seats in the House of Representatives.

Either way, he's not a Congressman in 2012.  That's just political reality.   Hell, John Cole doesn't see him making it another 48 hours.

Flexibility? They Has It.

Sometimes you just gotta report on something so cool it grabs your attention.  This may turn out to be an epic fail, but way to think out of the box.  Bless Wired for sharing this one:

Move aside slate tablets and sleek MacBook Air style ultraportables. The Roll Me could be the future of mobile computing.
Er, maybe.
Roll Me is comprised of a flexible, bendable e-paper-based display that can wrap around an oblong keyboard unit. The keyboard features a hollow center that acts as cooling system when the device is in use, and stores its flexible solar panel charger when not in use. Similarly to the display, the charger rolls up when it’s not juicing up the conceptual computer.

If this actually takes off, it has the potential to change portable computers forever.  It's flexible enough that you can create all the peripherals you need to support it.  It's ergonomic, brilliantly designed and could lead the way to a new family of devices.  It's worth looking into, for sure.

I hope to have a follow-up or two on this.

Sleep On It

A new study has looked yet again at how our brains function when they have plenty of sleep and when they do not.  A game with a trick was solved easier by those who rested than those who did not.

What happens when we sleep is still largely a mystery.  However, with our limited understanding of what happens when we dream, it appears we process, file and discharge memories from our brain.  It's no shock that resting our mind will improve performance, the question is how and in what manner our brains purge and process.

I'm both fascinated by the idea of getting an answer to that question, and the methods that we may use in the future to map the brain.  What makes us who we are, defines us as a race and as individuals, is still the least understood thing about mankind.  It's great to see any steps towards a better understanding of ourselves.

The Whole World Smiles With Her

As doctors consider when to release her from the hospital, Rep. Gabrielle Gifford's office has released new photos of the Congresswoman smiling and in excellent  health, considering all she's been through.

This, most recent photo of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords since she was shot, was posted to her Facebook page. | AP Photo

Two photos of a smiling Rep. Gabrielle Giffords were released early Sunday by her office, her hair shorn short but few other telling signs of her gunshot wound to the head.

The Facebook photos, the first clear snapshots of Giffords since the shooting five months ago, showed how far she has come since a gunman shot her in the left side of her forehead during a constituent meet-and-greet in a Safeway parking lot in Tucson.

But her spokeswoman, Pia Carusone, has cautioned that Giffords still has a long way to go in her recovery.

The photos show the congresswoman outside. She smiled directly into the camera in one, while she sat next to a woman in the other while smiling downward.

Giffords has been in a Houston rehab facility since two weeks after the Jan. 8 shooting. Six people were killed and 13 were injured, including Giffords.

Carusone said Friday that Giffords could be released sometime this month.

It's spectacular to see her making it this far, and more power to her.  This is certainly heartening news.

It's A Dry Heat In Arizona

The wildfires current raging across eastern Arizona are rapidly becoming the worst wildfire event in that state's history.

Firefighters claimed progress in battling a 15-day-old blaze in eastern Arizona as it inched closer Sunday to becoming the worst fire in the state's history.

The second-largest blaze had scorched 430,171 acres, firefighters said late Saturday, an area bigger than most of the largest cities in the United States.

The so-called Wallow Fire is 38,467 acres shy of matching the Rodeo/Chediski wildfire of 2002, Arizona's biggest.

Firefighters said they are making progress as they dig trenches, set their own fires to take away natural fuels from the advancing blaze and dump retardants from the air on the 100-plus-foot flames.

It "has been chasing us around, but after today we're feeling very optimistic," Jerome MacDonald told reporters late Saturday.

The fire, which broke out May 29 in the Apache National Forest, is 6 % contained, said MacDonald, the operations chief for the Southwest Interagency Incident Management team, which is fighting the fire. 

Two weeks and only 6% contained:  everything you need to know about how serious this blaze is.  President Obama has already contacted Gov. Jan Brewer and offered her whatever Federal help necessary to help the state and its residents.  For her part, the Republican has graciously accepted because after all, the federal government is bearing most of the cost to battle the massive wildfire.

Yet another red state Republican example of "we'll gladly take Obama's help and federal taxpayer money" while ranting about the federal government failing their state's citizens nearly every other second of every other day that doesn't include disasters to clean up.
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