Thursday, August 06, 2009

Bits and Pieces - August 6, 2009

Congratulations to Sonia Sotomayor and to the United States Senate!

You do not have health insurance. A very good response to those opposed to the reform bill.

This is a move forward in the nuclear talks between the United States and Russia. Tactical nuclear weapons have not been regulated by previous arms control treaties, although both countries withdrew many of them from forward bases and probably destroyed many of them. Tactical nuclear weapons are the most likely to be stolen by terrorists, because they tend to be small and relatively portable. Russia has many more than does the United States and tends to feel that they make up for weakness in its conventional forces, so it will probably be resistant to reductions. But the United States still has a couple of hundred in Europe, so removing them might give Russia a bit more confidence about the US role in Europe.

Two resupply ships for the Antarctic science base may have to be replaced because they use potentially environmentally damaging fuel.

A photo from inside Israel's secret Dimona reactor installation. I have no idea what the apparatus is. Possibly a water purifier.

A lot of the criticism of Sheila Bair is due to sexism. I wish Tkacik had made a stronger case, although "personality conflict" and the other oblique accusations frequently are just a way of saying the boys' club doesn't want any of your kind.

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