Friday, February 23, 2007

Brian Williams, less cut

For someone who "doesn't do opinions," Brian Williams certainly can be forceful when he wants to about things. He's not completely "uncut" as it were, but he's closer.

It's interesting to watch him talk when he's not constrained by 15-second story introductions. Check out this 10-minute interview (Video/Audio) of Williams by Chris Matthews.

In some ways, this is even more about Brian Williams and his non-opinions on things than when he and Tim Russert do their all-day, all-night coverage on elections (which are then about other people).

Journalists feel less constrained about offering opinions on political figures who cannot be a part of the current political dialogue. In this case, that would be Lyndon Johnson.

Brian Williams explained to Chris about Walter Cronkite's commentary that "You get one of those" with his finger distinctly raised, twice. Even though he deferred to Tom Brokaw and the Greatest Generation as an example, one has to wonder, for what one particular instance is Brian saving up his credibility that he can then lob at a particular issue on which he does officially have an opinion.

When Brian mentioned the "strange bedfellows" and John McCain hiring the guy who coordinated the attacks on him in South Carolina during the 2000 collection, I wonder if he's talking about the racially tinted phone call attacks. (This might have been before the days of push polling that we have today.)

Tim
10,855 days

Hat Tip: Today's Early Nightly

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Reach

This so could be my kid someday, Lord willing.



YouTube: NASA Public Service Announcement

Coalition for Space Exploration

Via: NASA Watch, SpaceRef

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Email Intersection

Mark Batterson posted about the WSJ article recently on email addiction. I couldn't resist these quotes:
A bill introduced last Thursday in the New York legislature would make it illegal to use a BlackBerry or any other electronic device while crossing the street.

Last month, Global Ideas Bank held its fourth annual "International Internet-Free Day." Nick Temple, the director of the online London think tank, estimates that at least 8,000 people logged off this year, compared with a few hundred four years ago. This year's event was also referred to as "Web 0.0."
And finally:
Eventually, he says, he realized his job could wait. "I'm a graphic designer, not a doctor," he says. He read books, and picked up a newspaper for the first time in memory. He gained a sense, he says, of what life felt like a decade ago when he was only 14 years old and had neither a computer nor email. "I have no idea how people did it 10 years ago," he says.
I don't know, I can still read books just fine. I'm not as regular about those, but they still happen. There are things you find in books that you don't fine online (not even in Google Book Search).

And then there are the people that go online to find ideas for books to read!

I'm actually catching up from about three days of not touching Google Reader because I had to get some billable work done for a change. When Google Reader comes out with a mobile version, then I'll be in trouble. Until then, MSNBC pointed me to LiteFeeds recently. We'll see how that works.

Tim
10,850 days

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Birthday



YouTube: Flipsyde - Happy Birthday

Thanks, Jill.

How to Invest

AP Breaking News today:
Wednesday, February 14, 2007, 5:31 AM PST

WASHINGTON (AP) The Commerce Department reports that retail sales, hurt by a big drop in auto purchases, were flat in January, the poorest showing in three months.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007, 5:40 AM PST

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) The Chrysler Group says it will cut more than 13,000 jobs as part of its restructuring plan.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007, 7:01 AM PST

WASHINGTON (AP) The Commerce Department reports that business inventories were flat in December, the poorest showing in 17 months.
However:
Wednesday, February 14, 2007, 7:00 AM PST

WASHINGTON (AP) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says economy should grow modestly this year and that inflation, while ebbing, is still a concern.
Therefore, this Yahoo! Finance Market Summary:
Stocks rallied Wednesday as a lack of overly hawkish commentary from Fed Chairman Bernanke eased the worst of fears about a possible rate hike. Speaking before the Senate Banking Committee, Bernanke stated that "inflation pressures are beginning to diminish." He also said the Fed remains comfortable with rates at their current levels, easing recent concerns about the prospect of another rate hike and painting the goldilocks scenario the bulls were hoping for.

Something about all that just seems a little odd to me. There can be signs all over that the economy is tanking, but if the Fed says it's looking good, by golly, invest!

Want to invest? Apparently just listen to one person: Ben Bernanke.

Tim
10,846 days

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rep. Moran: Cats Are Not Clothes

House Jim has introduced legislation:

H.R. 891 - Rep. James Moran [D-VA]
To ensure that domestic dog and cat fur is prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, or advertised in the United States and to require the labeling of all fur products under the Fur Products Labeling Act.

A recent constituent letter declared:
Americans don't agree with dogs and cats being used to make garments sold in the U.S. So why then are coats from major designers being found to include the fur of our companion animals?
It further explained:
It is illegal to import, export, sell or advertise any domestic dog or cat fur in the United States. But unfortunately for consumers and the animals involved, garment labels only have to identify a product's fur if the value of the fur used exceeds $150.
While not a passion of mine, I don't oppose this legislation. I do, however, oppose putting animals before people when it comes to our legislative priorities.

Baby Rowan Flagged




YouTube: Baby Rowan (Flagged)

If you try to watch it anonymously on YouTube itself, you'll get this: This video may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube's user community.

This video explains why it is important to revisit the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (P.L. 107-207) and give it some teeth.

Hat Tip: Jill Stanek

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Form of Man



YouTube: Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

By Michael Wesch
Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology
Kansas State University

Highlights:

Form and content can be separated.
XML facilitates automated data exchange.
We Are the Web
The machine is us.
The Web is linking people.

We'll need to rethink a few things ... copyright, authorship, identity, ethics, aesthetics, rhetorics, governance, privacy, commerce, love, family, ourselves.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

LIHEAP and Global Warming

How much does the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program do to cause Global Warming?

This is a government institution with the sole purpose of using energy.

One has to wonder.

When the former vice president and others begin to march before Congress and testify, it will be interesting to see if anyone raises this question.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

GQ Feature: Senator Tom Coburn

HI, I’M SENATOR COBURN, AND I DON’T WANT YOUR VOTE
But I do want you to know that the new Democratic leadership is just as corrupt and irresponsible as the Republicans, and together they’re trying to destroy our country

STS-117 Communicator in Jail

Of course Lisa Nowak is the big news of the day, especially in Houston and Cape Canaveral.

ABC News' Ned Potter points us to an ABC News story with more detail. He highlights this quote:
Friends and colleagues are baffled over the allegations. One astronaut told ABC News that the astronaut corps at the Johnson Space Center was "totally, totally stunned. Everyone is just stunned."
Right after that, on the same Page 2 is this:
Nowak is scheduled to be a capcom — capsule communicator — on the next space shuttle mission, STS 117, which is targeted for a March 15 launch date.
Oops!

Given that this is a ground position, NASA should be able to replace her in the next 37 days.

Monday, February 5, 2007

C-SPAN Q&A: Senator Tom Coburn

Senator Tom CoburnBRIAN LAMB, HOST: Senator Tom Coburn, are you glad you came to the Senate?

U.S. SEN. TOM COBURN, (R-OK): Sometimes.

Update: Highlights

"The answer to the ethical problems in the United States Congress, is full disclosure; timely and full disclosure.

"If you can say that a lobbyist can’t buy me a meal to discuss an issue that is a legitimate issue, out in the open and me put on a Web site that I had a dinner with ABC lobbying interest group on this subject ... but they can turn around and give $2,000 to my campaign or $5,000 for a PAC to my campaign and I could have the meal with them any time I want, as long as, I’m doing it in campaign mode, you haven’t done anything.

"You’ve washed the outside of the cup but the inside of the cup is still dirty.


"When I can earmark, even though it’s out in the open but I might identify it a little different, a $100 million project for a $2,000 campaign contribution but I can’t have a meal with the same individual, something’s very wrong."


On S. 1: "I was one of two people who voted against that ethics bill because it’s going to tear up the Senate. It’s going to tear up the ability for the American people to have great people come and represent them."

"Because you will be at such risk to have made an innocent mistake that you will spend $300,000 to $500,000 defending yourself, in terms of an allegation against you, in a court of law.

"Not as a rule, this is a statute that we passed. This is federal law. This isn’t a senate rule. This is federal law.

"If this becomes law, I will guarantee you I won’t run again. I’m not about to put what I’ve worked for, for 35 years as a physician and a businessman, at risk, so I can represent the people. I will say I’m cashing it in. We’ve just imploded ourselves."


"I’ll guarantee you citizen legislators are much more likely to solve that problem than career politicians and people who have never been in the public eye and people say, well they’re not qualified. They’re more qualified because they have a perspective outside of Washington and outside of a re-election cycle."

"This isn’t a fun job. I mean I don’t know anybody who really thinks this is that great of a job. It’s not a fun job. It is a tremendously burdensome job, knowing that you can’t change things to fix the future and you have to work every day to try to do that."

"People have stomach acid over me. I don’t deny that. I’m probably really good for the drug companies in terms of senators."

"There’s no reason for everybody else to get mad at the people that are helping me, when they can be mad at me and so, I don’t mind taking that heat. The fact is, is the American public agrees that we shouldn’t be spending money we don’t have."

"We’ve made a great deal of change. I mean this transparency and accountability act is a big deal."

"I think things have shifted since the early 60’s, in our government, when John Kennedy was President. I think it used to be that the thought of the federal government was, is we’re going to assume people are going to do things right and we’re going to catch them if they’re doing them wrong. The assumption is now, as you interact with the federal government, you have to prove you’re not a crook. You have to prove you’re not doing things wrong."

"He taught me the work ethic that I have, which is horrendous, in terms of work ethic but he was still somewhat balanced in how--what was he working to achieve. He was working to achieve something for other people."

"I
f I’m on the floor and I lose a debate with a vote, I have advanced my position to, at least, people get to see what that position is."

"W
e have not seen the strength, at the administrative level, on trade issues where we are unfairly treated, like the pharmaceutical industry is; it is tremendously and so we have, as a consequence, Americans are paying much more for their drugs than what they should."

"
I’m getting ready to introduce a global healthcare bill."

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Amazing Grace

The best movie of 2007:



Trailer on YouTube

Official Movie Site

Jim on both sides

Maybe I'm a little slow, but last month, a couple weeks after Jim Webb was sworn into the Senate, I realized that I'm represented by a Jim on both sides of Congress:
And they're both Democrats from Virginia!

Despite often having more differences than agreement, I'm sure there are some areas where I agree with each. I just haven't noticed that many yet. :)

Tim
10,835 days

Faith on Both Sides

One of the great things about this year's SuperBowl is that both teams are led by men of faith.

I've long thought we'd have a more interesting political dialogue in this country if we could say the same thing about both major political parties in this country.

This isn't about having two Republican parties. It's about having both sides argue over how to best and most honor God in our public policy, how to uphold both righteousness and justice.

Tim
10,835 days