Well, this is interesting. MSNBC is reporting this hour that White House Chief of Staff Andy Card has resigned, to be repleced by Budget Director Josh Bolten.
There's a privacy bug in Mozilla that has ended at least one relationship.
By Joyce Appleby and Gary Hart.
Joyce Appleby is professor emerita of history at UCLA and co-director of the History News Service. Gary Hart is a former U.S. senator and Wirth Chair in the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado, Denver.
About a month ago, I promised to write about traveling for business. I only now have a little time to do so.
One question I get from many who live near my client (in Merrimack, N.H.) is, why do I fly into Boston Logan instead of Manchester? Simply put, it's faster and cheaper.
Faster, because the trip from my home to O'Hare takes about 30 minutes, while the trip to Midway would take closer to 90. That is significantly greater than the difference between travel times to Logan (60 minutes) and Manchester (20).
Cheaper, for many reasons. Chicago (O'Hare) to Boston is served by four or more major carriers; Chicago (Midway) to Manchester by only one. Consequently, it's often, but not always, cheaper to fly to Boston. Next week, for example, my fare on American is $134; this week it's $168. Compare with Southwest's minimum for any round-trip, which seems to be $198. Even when my fares are higher at more popular times, like at the end of April ($313), they're also higher into Manchester.
Finally, Logan gives me more options, should weather or airline management affect the flight schedule. American has 8 non-stop flights daily in each direction; Southwest only has 3.
So, Logan it is.
From today's Washington Post:
Sewage Tested for Signs of Cocaine
Fairfax Participating In Federal Program To Assess Drug Use
Earlier this month, [Fairfax County, Va.,] agreed to participate in a White House pilot program to analyze wastewater from communities throughout the Potomac River Basin for the urinary byproducts of cocaine.
No, uh, kidding.
This time the appointee was NASA Inspector General Robert "Moose" Cobb, refusing to allow further investigation of a 5 June 2002 incident in which the Shuttle Endeavour launched despite a "no-go" from both Air Force safety officers:
Two range officials—the mission flight-control officer and the chief of safety—are responsible for determining whether the command-destruct system is working and the public is protected. During the final poll before liftoff, both responded "no go" because of the system's problems.
[Brig. Gen. Donald] Pettit overruled them, however, and declared the range green "with little if any discussion," according to the briefing document drafted by investigators. Shuttle managers launched Endeavour without ever knowing of the safety officers' actions.
No one interviewed by investigators, or by the Orlando Sentinel, was aware of another example in the history of U.S. human spaceflight in which the range's top two safety officials were "no go" and the range commander overruled them.
But wait! There's more:
Cobb, a White House political appointee, is under investigation by an administration integrity committee after being accused of repeatedly quashing cases and retaliating against those who resisted.
Let's see...groupthink, suppression of dissent, bad decision-making, and a total inability to accept responsibility for dangerous choices. Yep, that's a Bush guy.
Back in the day, when computer pointing devices had little spheres that rolled around table tops to move the on-screen pointer, I used to joke about "dirty mouse balls" requiring a thorough and intimate cleaning of the afflicted device.
Apparently mouse balls are much more important than I thought. Maybe I should re-think my switch to optical pointing devices...
This week's Science has a special collection of stories about climate change. The evidence is getting better for a 1–3°C (2–6°F) increase in global average temperatures, with concomitant sea-level rises and significant shifts in local climates:
Recent research papers in Science and elsewhere are pointing to a major acceleration in the loss of mass from the world's great ice sheets. That means that the sensitivity of these giant storehouses of water to climate warming may be far greater than expected—with potentially dire sea level implications during the next several centuries.
Since the current administration doesn't believe in evidence, the new findings aren't likely to spur change here in the U.S. Fortunately, we will have a new administration in less than 1,033 days. One hopes Miami will still be dry by then.
The Economist has a (surprisingly cliché-ridden) story of Tuesday's primary election (sub.req.) in Illinois:
IT MAY be the Land of Lincoln, but it is a long time since Illinois had a leader of Honest Abe's reputation. Four of the state's governors have been indicted in the past half-century, and federal investigators are now looking into ties between fundraising by the current governor, Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, and the awarding of state contracts. Unfortunately for Mr Blagojevich's Republican challenger, Judy Baar Topinka, the state treasurer, her own party may be too damaged by infighting and past scandals to mount a serious challenge. Having won the nomination on March 21st, in a bitter and surprisingly close primary race, she now must find a way to circle her party's wagons.
[S]ince [Topinka's] ethics have now been questioned by Republican rivals, and given the investigation hanging over Mr Blagojevich's office, it may not be long before the whole race degenerates into wanton mudslinging. The Chicago Tribune, licking its lips, predicts a campaign that will be "absolutely brutal."
Of course, Illinois is 70% Democrat, so really the governor's race got decided Tuesday.
First, the local story: Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich will face Judy Baar Topinka in the November election. Former Chicago alterman Edwin Eisendrath, for whom I voted, polled 32% to Blagojevich's 68%; Topinka got 38% of the Republican vote to dairy owner Jim Oberweis' 32%. No one appears surprised by the results, nor will anyone be surprised when Blagojevich is re-elected.
Now, the international story: The Basque separatist group ETA has declared a permanent cease-fire, as the Irish Republican Army did a decade ago that ultimately led to the IRA renouncing violence.