July 28, 2005

News, Damn News and Statistics

Iraq's Al Qaida branch has announced their murder of two Algerian diplomats they kidnapped in Iraq, after Algeria had pulled out their last representatives in the country Monday. An Islamic extremist group in Algeria has praised the killings, and Al Qaida has said that they were meant as a blow to Algeria's support of the United States.

dKos: Switzerblog highlights why terrorism should be a law enforcement issue. The Army is missing its recruiting goals, leaving Kos wondering who's going to fight these wars. Hunter explains at length and in detail why he despises the DLC, to which I say 'amen.' (Alternately, amen!, which is to say amen factorial, and not AMEN.)

Brad DeLong illustrates that not only do Republicans take umbrage at the biological sciences (in which crusade they're aided by ignorant reporters), they seem to have a beef with mathematics. At least their commentators. In public. I hear that when it comes to making the accounting ledgers scream, they're pretty handy.

TalkLeft: A Medicaid tale and the war against pain medication indicate that when Republicans tell you that your biggest worry about healthcare should be government rummaging through your medicine cabinet, what they forgot to add was that when they got hold of the government, they'd get started rummaging at once. The specter of congressional immunity for the treasongate participants looms. It looks like at least one Iraqi detainee was beaten to death with sledgehammer handles.

Political Animal: Republicans demonstrate their commitment to national security and the state secrets of the US. Also, it's nice to see a judge recognizing that contraception is a serious health issue, every bit as important as male pattern baldness and erectile dysfunction.

Ms. Musings: The US is keeping company with Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland in having no paid maternity leave. Why the tendency to leave women out of news stories confers greater social power on men.

On the Left Coaster, we get Wednesday's GOP outrages, along with even more disheartening news of Democratic capitulation. Capitulation, as Steve notes, in face of a president with only a 41% approval rating.

How to Save the World: A tantalizing review of Freakonomics and the study of complex systems. The prevalence of corporate greenwashing to cover egregious environmental track records. Dave attempts to channel a mushroom.

TPM Cafe: Thomas Frank explains the relationship between people and corporations, and how the Republicans are milking it from both ends. Larry Johnson repudiates the latest treasongate lies. Nathan Newman points out that labor isn't going to forgive and forget over CAFTA.

From The Hill, there's another investigation going on over Republican cronies leaking classified information. The case of Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) is being investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee, and is expected to come to a conclusion within a couple months. Shelby was described in the Washington Post as having "divulged classified intercepted messages," while serving on the Intelligence Committee, passing the information to news anchors from Fox and CNN. This was after Bush pulled security clearance from 92 Senators, excepting the caucus leaders and the chairs and ranking members of the Intelligence Commitee, following a hint that there might be post-9/11 intelligence leaks from the Senate in 2001. If this were a plot device in a novel, I'd be inclined to put the thing down in disbelief.

Posted by natasha at July 28, 2005 01:54 AM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |

What exactly is the value of Amen factorial? (a * m * e * n)?

Posted by: (: Tom :) at July 28, 2005 09:19 AM

Why, it's 1*2*3*4*...*((amen-2)*(amen-1)*(amen), of course. And though I think a good case could be made for your interpretation, I think it would be difficult to represent the formula if amen is taken as a multiple of variables instead of a single discrete variable, and therefore I argue from laziness that my formula is correct ;)

Posted by: natasha at July 28, 2005 12:27 PM