Race to the Bottom, Cont’d

Here is our latest salvo.

And while I’m at it, how about a Race to the Bottom: Countries entry. This one will work.


Got Republican?

If your main concern in this year’s election is the economy and you feel the Obama administration has not done enough to help the economy and the Republicans have the answer, consider this (for some reason I could not embed the video here).

Your choice seems pretty obvious to me.

Attention Apple Acolytes

My lifelong friend (and one-time college roommate) and his brother have started a new company and have just released their first iPhone application.

It is a task manager and it looks great. Sadly, I do not have the necessary hardware (iPhone or iPod Touch) to take full advantage of this app, but the least I can do is share the news to those who, like me, are always on the look out for tools that make life simpler. That is the aim of CDEV, their company, and hopefully this app is the first of many to come.

I know for a fact CDEV is willing to listen to any ideas for new software, so if you have an idea for something that your iPhone, iPod Touch or Macbook are not doing right now, contact these guys on their website. I know what I want: CDEV’s app on my MacBook Pro.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention what may be the most important part to some of you, and that is that the app is FREE! Gratis. Yep. So go and download it from the iTunes App Store, try it out, and give CDEV your feedback.

Race to the Bottom

The State of Texas decided back in August not to apply for federal aid that would go towards establishing comprehensive sex education classes in public schools. Of course “we” did. It is not like having the third worst teen pregnancy rate in the country is worth addressing.

I love how the Governor’s Office attempted to distance itself from the decision by saying the final decision was made by the Health & Human Services Commission. Yeah right. More petty politics from Rick Perry.  I hope you all registered to vote; we need to get him out of Austin pronto.

Obama’s Defense of Self

I finally got around to reading Obama’s interview from this month’s Rolling Stone.  Rolling Stone has published a few articles very critical of the administration and its policies so a lot of the questions are based in a skepticism and disappointment in the first two years of the Obama presidency.

But ever the thoughtful and intelligent politician, Obama deftly responds to his critics by pointing out that his administration has gotten a lot done in a very difficult political climate.  Add to that, he says, progressives who complain about him may be right to be disappointed, but they should not for a second think that what has been accomplished will not have a significant impact in the years to come. Count me as one who has been disappointed, but I also am pragmatic enough to realize that compromise on some of the major progressive issues was needed to get shit done. And whatever this administration’s faults, in no way is allowing Republicans to regain control of Congress a better option than giving Obama and the donkeys more time. And progressives should know this and do something about it.

I will let the man himself elaborate:

One closing remark that I want to make: It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election. There may be complaints about us not having gotten certain things done, not fast enough, making certain legislative compromises. But right now, we’ve got a choice between a Republican Party that has moved to the right of George Bush and is looking to lock in the same policies that got us into these disasters in the first place, versus an administration that, with some admitted warts, has been the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward.

The idea that we’ve got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible.

Everybody out there has to be thinking about what’s at stake in this election and if they want to move forward over the next two years or six years or 10 years on key issues like climate change, key issues like how we restore a sense of equity and optimism to middle-class families who have seen their incomes decline by five percent over the last decade. If we want the kind of country that respects civil rights and civil liberties, we’d better fight in this election. And right now, we are getting outspent eight to one by these 527s that the Roberts court says can spend with impunity without disclosing where their money’s coming from. In every single one of these congressional districts, you are seeing these independent organizations outspend political parties and the candidates by, as I said, factors of four to one, five to one, eight to one, 10 to one.

We have to get folks off the sidelines. People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up. Bringing about change is hard — that’s what I said during the campaign. It has been hard, and we’ve got some lumps to show for it. But if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.

If you’re serious, now’s exactly the time that people have to step up.

Indeed! If you live in Texas, deadline to register to vote is Monday, the 4th of October. You can fill out a registration form online, print it out and mail it in tomorrow. It is a postmarked deadline so send it in tomorrow and you should be fine. Then come out and vote in November and do your part to, at the very least, renounce the extreme conservatism taking hold of the GOP and that shows nothing in the way of advancing policies that  benefit working and middle-class Americans.

My Wish

Fire Mack Brown now!! Then fire Greg Davis. No, wait. Fire Greg Davis, then fire Brown. I hate having to root for this team. Actually, I have another wish:

I wish I had it in me to stop watching UT football. But alas, I am too weak.

De Minimis Redux

During the halftime of tonight’s NFL game between the Redskins and Cowboys, Bob Costas took a minute to discuss a play earlier in the day which cost Detroit a win in Chicago. Here is the play:

The rule governing the play states that a player must hold on to the ball all the way to the ground in the process of making a catch. Perhaps the officials correctly interpreted the rule, which Costas and others have conceded.  But to say Calvin Johnson did not “catch” the ball and score a TD there is simply wrong.  He had possession when he hit the ground and only lost the ball after using it to lift himself up from the ground.

I have never liked this rule and though I feel bad for Detroit, I am glad this happened because I hope that the NFL will revise the rule to accommodate a situation like the one that occurred today. But hearing Costas talk about it the way he did reminded me of a paper I wrote my last semester in law school for a Law & Sports class. The paper was pretty much exactly what Costas was talking about, which is that sometimes strict enforcement of a rule leads to unjust and unfair results. That is what happened today and it is a shame.

Here’s the paper if you care to read it.  Warning: It is a little over 32 pages long. And its a law school paper. So, I do not blame you for passing on this one…