Friday, November 20, 2009

Bits and Pieces - November 20, 2009

The negotiations with Iran haven't collapsed yet. And, from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
I met recently with the Iranian foreign minister. We did discuss the nuclear question. The message he left with me was that they feel encouraged by the messages they are receiving from the Obama administration.
The Guardian's Week in Wildlife, with a photo of a Galapagos finch, as of Darwinian fame, whose species was observed in development. A counter to one of the anti-evolutionists' claims.

Speaking of such things, I've been impressed by the level of dumb displayed in our national dialogue (as they call it) this week. Almost wrote some posts on it, but found that too discouraging. So here are some fragments, along with a tiny bit of almost positive spin I've been able to work up.

Chris Cilizza has some polling results that show that more than 80% of voters in Nebraska, Louisiana, and Arkansas favor allowing the Senate's health bill to come to debate and majorities favor its passage. The poll is by an advocacy group, but those numbers are really, really high. Could the Senate take note? Better yet, could the Democrats change the rules and get rid of the ridiculous filibuster threats?

But then there's this and this. My almost positive spin: The polling on the health bill measures the desire for an action; on the budget deficit, a policy; and on ACORN, facts. I also read somewhere else today (link lost) that people tend to answer the latter two sorts of poll questions as questions about their political affiliations, so I'm hoping that our elected representatives understand this and make their judgements accordingly. That's why we've got republican rather than democratic (small-letter) government, after all.

And the answer to William Marshall's implied question in his last paragraph, why we haven't paid more attention to the discovery of water on the Moon, seems to be covered by the bits and pieces above: it's not news we can use in the narrow personal sense, nor does it play to party loyalties. So far, Marshall and Helmut seem to be tied for best commentary.

No comments: