From the daily archives: Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I’m not against earmarks (aka Pork) in appropriation bills.

It’s how congressmen/women get re-elected; how they prove to their constituents that they are working for THEM in Washington.

It’s also how a lot of good things get done. Museums get funded. Roads get built. Parks get maintained. Earmarks aren’t all bad.

But some people/groups think they are. Wingnut groups like Citizens Against Government Waste- who this week turned on one of their own (Dave Hobson, Republican Rep from Springfield) for bringing home some crazy pork projects:

Citizens Against Government Waste today named Republican congressman David Hobson of Springfield […]

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Alternative voting systems

On January 9, 2008 By

With all the recent talk of primaries and “undemocratic caucuses” and the like, it’s pushed the idea of alternative voting systems to the front of my mind. I’ve written about them in the past, and generally posited that Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) was wildly superior to plurality voting in both choosing a winner and encouraging diversity in candidates. I made this conclusion based on limited test cases, and the fact that IRV is simple to understand and likely appealing to voters.

Well, it turns out I was wrong. Not completely, mind, but I was very wrong about IRV’s superiority in […]

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No joke – researchers have uncovered a monkey prostitution ring.

According to the paper, “Payment for Sex in a Macaque Mating Market,” published in the December issue of Animal Behavior, males in a group of about 50 long-tailed macaques in Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia, traded grooming services for sex with females; researchers, who studied the monkeys for some 20 months, found that males offered their payment up-front, as a kind of pre-sex ritual. It worked. After the females were groomed by male partners, female sexual activity more than doubled, from an average of 1.5 times an hour to 3.5 times. […]

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John Hockenberry tells us of his time at [i]Dateline[/i]. A teaser:

The falling confetti transported me back three years to the early days of the war in Iraq, when the bombs intended to evoke “shock and awe” were descending on Baghdad. Most of the Western press had evacuated, but a small contingent remained to report on the crumbling Iraqi regime. In the New York offices of NBC News, one of my video stories was being screened. If it made it through the screening, it would be available for broadcast later that evening. Producer Geoff Stephens and I had done […]

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According to a new SurveyUSA Poll, Governor Ted Strickland’s approval rating is now at 61%- an all time high.

The coolest part is that he popular across all groups- Republicans (63%) and Democrat (63%), Men (61%) and Women (60%), Young (18-34: 58%) and Old (55+: 65%), Black (64%) and White (61%). He even appeals to people with differing views on abortion (Pro-life: 60%, Pro-choice: 61%).

Congrats, Ted! Keep up the good work.

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