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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Political Jumbalaya

Leeroy Jenkins = G.W. Bush
I don't play any video games at this point, and if I did, I'm not sure I would spend my time on World of Warcraft. Regardless, I was able to appreciate the humor inherent in this clip from a WoW game, which has become a widely circulated meme that is working its way into everything from Jeopardy! to South Park. But it was Wil Wheaton who connected the dots for me to see that Leeroy Jenkins and George Bush share some similarities.

Condoleeza Rice on Capitol Hill today
"It's bad policy to speculate on what you'll do if a plan fails when you're trying to make a plan work."
Huh? Even criminals in the movies have a plan B. Is she really telling us that they are not thinking about what to do if their brilliant plan doesn't work?

Apparently so:
Pressed on why he thought this strategy would succeed where previous efforts had failed, Mr. Bush shot back:
“Because it has to.”

Rice is Foxy:
Thursday she was recorded saying:
"My Fox guys, I love every single one of them."
Not that we didn't know this, but it is nice to see it put right out there.

Bush Hearts the Environment:
From the NY Times (via Tree Hugger)
"The Bush administration yesterday withdrew a proposal to change the way federal agencies assess environmental hazards, health threats and other risks, after an expert panel declared that it was so scientifically flawed that it “could not be rescued.”"
Finally some good politics:
From CNN:
"The Senate on Friday approved a measure stripping taxpayer-funded pensions from members of Congress who are convicted of serious ethics offenses, such as bribery and conspiracy."
Now that's a bill that makes some sense. More:
"If passed by the House and signed into law by President Bush, the bill would eliminate pensions only for future members of Congress convicted of ethics offenses. Ex-congressmen such as Randall "Duke" Cunningham -- collecting an estimated $64,000 a year although he pleaded guilty to charges of accepting bribes"
Sure sounds good to me; too bad it doesn't mention stiff criminal charges for these slimeballs.
I hope this makes it past the House.

Psychology of Political Stance
Here is a fascinating study in Psychology Today (via Kottke). A snip:
"We tend to believe our political views have evolved by a process of rational thought, as we consider arguments, weigh evidence, and draw conclusions. But the truth is more complicated. ...The fear of death alone is surprisingly effective in shaping our political decisions—more powerful, often, than thought itself."

"Asking people to be rational was enough to neutralize the effects of reminders of death. Preliminary research shows that reminding people that as human beings, the things we have in common eclipse our differences—what psychologists call a "common humanity prime"—has the same effect."


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