Saturday, Nov 3, 2012
1. THE ROMNEY TAPE: AM I TOO OLD TO ENLIST IN THE CLASS WAR?
I don't think anyone has a problem figuring out where I stand on science,
religion or politics, but a month ago I watched the now notorious "Romney
tape. Surreptitiously recorded at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser for Mitt
Romney, held in the palatial Florida residence of one of his supporters, it
was deeply disturbing. The Mitt Romney on that tape, openly sharing his
plans for the presidency and his contempt for the ordinary wage earner is
unknown to the general public. Why don't we withhold our vote? Who would
2. THE REPUBLICAN STRATEGY: EVERYONE AGREES IT WORKS SO FAR.
The GOP problem in 2008 was dire; the administration of George W. Bush had
been a disaster, squandering the record budget surplus, of Bill Clinton.
Republicans could only invoke memories of the mythic era of Ronald Reagan.
But Ronald Reagan used his personal charm to persuade Democratic leaders to
work with their Republican colleagues in the interests of the nation.
Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, however, are short on personal charm.
Saboteurs by nature, they devised a strategy more suited to their talents:
a thin Republican majority in the House was enough to block whatever the
President sought to do, as long as Republican ranks are purged of those
with cooperative tendencies. I already miss Dick Lugar. One of the finest
people to ever serve in the U.S. Senate, Senator Lugar worked tirelessly
for the dismantlement of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons around
the world. Alas, he lost the Republican primary for a seventh term to
Richard Mourdock, state treasurer of Indiana. A tea-party conservative,
Mourdock said in a televised debate that, "I think even when it begins in
that horrible situation of rape conception, it is something that God
intended to happen." Although Mourdock says he meant that only the
pregnancy was Gods will, not the rape, the remark identified him as part
of the so-called "Republican War-on-Women," along with Missouri Senate
Republican candidate Todd Akin, who invented the term "legitimate rape."
3.SCIENCE ADVICE: NEAL LANE COMMENTS ON THE KEY TO GROWTH.
The last time the federal budget showed a surplus was in the Clinton
administration. The driving force behind the huge surplus was technological
progress resulting from federally funded research. The architect of science
policy in the Clinton administration was the President's science advisor,
physics professor Neal Lane of Rice University. A NY Times op-ed by Neal
Lane on October 28 points out that Mr. Romney is planning deep cuts in
investment in science, technology and education. Mr. Romney seems to have
lost sight of the critical role of research investments, not only in
developing new medicines and cleaner energy sources but also in creating
higher-skilled jobs. Neal Lane uses the example of Google, which was
started by two graduate students working on a project supported by the
National Science Foundation (which Neil Lane headed). Today Google employs