Driving Off the Cliff

As we speak, the Senate is voting on two tax bills. Both are failing of course, since the GOP is holding tough with its demand that the rich get even richer. They take care of their own.

Sadly, this might have turned out differently had the White House not waved the white flag almost immediately after the midterm elections. Emboldened, the GOP knows that it cannot really fail since the President apparently doesn’t have the stomach to do as the American people ask: actually fulfill a campaign promise to end the tax cuts for the rich.

As we have said before, Obama can win this if he holds the line and lets the GOP argue that it is better to increase the deficit by 4 trillion in order to protect the buying power of the likes of Paris Hilton and as Think Progress suggested LeBron James. Where are the jobs after 10 years of tax cuts for the rich? I ask ya?

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One of the things we expected from this Administration, was scientific integrity returned as the standard of doing business. Obama promised that scientists would be free to do their work and report their findings without being edited. A policy statement was authorized. To date, no such policy has been forthcoming, and a significant number of scientists in the FDA and AG, report being urged to exclude or alter information. Read about it at New Scientist.

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For a different prospective on DADT: The Reaction asks: What do Bulgaria, Jordan, Poland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the US have in common? Go read the article and see. Oh oh, yes, we do have friends in low places.

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Ethics Daily reports that a slew of right-wing Christians leaders met a couple of months ago at a Dallas airport to work out how to get rid of Obama and install a right-wing friendly president in the Oval office. Scary rundown of names.  (H/T to Ahab at Republic of Gilead.

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Don’t know if you caught the big news from NASA. Life as we know it, has well, you know, C H A N G E D. It’s a subtle point, but once “gotten” its like huge. It’s like Star Trek! Okay, thoroughly confused? Let me ‘splain. (Remember I told you a couple of years ago, that most anything can be explained or understood via an episode from Star Trek?)

The Enterprise went to investigate a mining colony on a dead planet. Miners were turning up dead. What they discovered was that the planet was not dead, but a silicon-based life form was doing fine there, except that miners were killing the “eggs” of the mother Horta.

Once they made contact, they patched up the wounded Horta with some cement which worked just fine, and everybody got along famously.

The point is, that we have so far only identified life as being carbon based. And that requires a number of other elements to be viable. One of those elements is phosphorus. Trust me on this, I just read it in a book I’ll be reviewing for you next week.

Anyway, in a lake in California Mono, to be specific, a microbe has been found that doesn’t have any phosphorus in its DNA. Rather it has arsenic, yes you heard that right. It’s a bacterium that is different from any life form on this planet. No idea how it got here either.

What this means is that when we turn on the telescopes and scan for the stuff we think means life, we can’t just stop at the carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulphur, nitrogen and phosphorus, but must also scan for arsenic. What is life just got a whole lot broader. The possibilities are well, huge.

I feel all warm and cozy now, sure that surely we are not alone. A little alien may be among us, or perhaps even in our carbon based environment, other types of life can arise. Who knows? Science is wetting its pants and agog with excitement. But they get excited about a new species of newt too. :/  (Note the link is to the post of Dec. 2–I have loads of trouble with this reader feed)

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See, there are theologians and biblical scholars. And then there are wannabes. I’m one of those. But in this category, theology,  there are Wannabes and wannabees. I’m the latter. John is the former. If you are feeling all theology-y, then drop over and read what John has to say about how Paul acquired his theology on the road to Damascus. (pssst. it probably didn’t happen there, since Luke is probably not giving a historically accurate account of Paul’s travels here, but it assuredly happened to Paul somewhere!)

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If’n you want to see a psychoanalysis of Mr.’s McCain and Obama, then Crooks and Liars is your choice. Lots of interesting commentary from varied sources, make these two almost equally delusional.

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We got about two solid inches of snow. We can get out. We tidied up the bird feeder and put the “open” sign up. The dogs are sleeping. The cats are sleeping. I’m being a good wife and cooking liver ‘n onions for my husband. Don’t mind eating it, just hate fixin’ it. Going to church tomorrow. Lookin’ for some college football to watch. Havin’ ham for Christmas. Reading a lot these days, publishers have been kind. That is a tour of my synapses, known as roamin’ round the noggin.

Laters.