Preparing to Rescue Hubble

Some shuttle pr0n from The Big Picture:

The Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to launch next month (October 8th), carrying new instruments, batteries and gyroscopes to the Hubble Space Telescope. This will be the final servicing mission to Hubble, the 30th flight of the 23-year old Atlantis, and one of the final 10 flights of the Space Shuttle program, which will be retired in 2010.

The Right to Choose

From The American Prospect:

Now today comes the news that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant. In the news release, the McCain campaign made sure to state that:

Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.

While it’s obvious why they made this statement to assure the public that Bristol was not coerced into keeping the baby (after all, she does have a parent who is a staunch opponent of the right to choose and is currently on the Republican presidential ticket), as my significant other pointed out, there’s some serious hypocrisy at play here. I mean, John McCain and Sarah Palin don’t believe women have a right to choose. It’s absolutely absurd for the campaign to emphasize the fact that Bristol “made this decision,” and then push for policies that take away that choice.

YouTube Comment Snob

Reducing YouTube to about a four comments:

YouTube Comment Snob is a Firefox extension that filters out undesirable comments from YouTube comment threads. You can choose to have any of the following rules mark a comment for removal:

* More than # spelling mistakes: The number of mistakes is customizable, and the extension uses Firefox’s built-in spell checker.
* All capital letters
* No capital letters
* Doesn’t start with a capital letter
* Excessive punctuation (!!!! ????)
* Excessive capitalization
* Profanity

How the Republicans Win

Outline of some dirty tricks used by the GOP since Nixon.

Over the past four decades, Republicans have dominated the outcomes of presidential races by mixing negative campaigning in public with illicit dirty tricks behind the scenes, as I’ve recounted in my last two books, Secrecy & Privilege and Neck Deep.

As a party, the Republicans have not only refined the art of the political smear – with such memorable moments as the Willie Horton ads in 1988 and the “swift-boating” of John Kerry in 2004 – but they also have defined the concept of the October Surprise, manipulating late-breaking events to drive the electorate toward their candidate.

Much of this Republican behavior traces back to their perceived victimization at the hands of John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in the razor-thin 1960 race. Though many historians dispute the significance of alleged voter fraud in that election, the notion that Richard Nixon was robbed became an article of faith inside the GOP.

In 1968, Nixon and his operatives were determined that they wouldn’t get outmaneuvered again. As the race entered its final weeks, their great fear was that President Johnson would negotiate a settlement to the Vietnam War and thus push Vice President Hubert Humphrey over the top to victory.

So, although a half million American soldiers were in the battle zone and the war was tearing the United States apart, Nixon’s campaign made secret contacts with South Vietnamese leaders, allegedly offering the assurance that if they refused to cooperate with the Paris peace talks, they could expect a better deal from Nixon.