Sep. 10th, 2003

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First Leni Riefenstahl, now this.

Edward Teller, 95, the Hungarian-born physicist who blended a persuasive personality with keen scientific creativity to become known as the father of the hydrogen bomb, died yesterday in California.


After the war's end, when many of his fellow physicists, for a variety of reasons, appeared to show little enthusiasm for designing and developing the next and more powerful stage in nuclear explosives, Teller worked with steadfast vigor to persuade the nation's leaders to push ahead with the hydrogen bomb.


In the 1980s, undaunted by the controversies that continued to swirl around him, he was credited with playing a major role in convincing the Reagan administration of the value and feasibility of developing a space-based defense against nuclear missiles. This was the Strategic Defense Initiative, whose prospects remain uncertain.

He also was a key figure in the proceedings that stripped J. Robert Oppenheimer, the leader of the team that built the A-bomb, of his security clearance.

Teller's testimony at the proceedings, in which he maintained his belief in Oppenheimer's loyalty but complained that he nevertheless distrusted Oppenheimer's behavior, polarized intellectual circles and remains a subject of debate to this day.


Once, after he had suffered a stroke, he was asked by a doctor trying to assess his condition if he was the famous Dr. Teller.

No, he declared, "I am the infamous Dr. Teller."

Jesse Helms has got to be nervous, is all I'm saying.
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Poor people in Alabama and their organized Christian right political leaders show the political advantages to the party in power of having the fiftieth-ranked schools in the nation by defeating a chance to stop paying state income taxes and not have the fiftieth-ranked schools in the nation.


Sep. 10th, 2003 10:27 am
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Natalie Davis pays tribute to her dad, who passed on today after a long series of illnesses.
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Looks like the organized Christian right in California may try to make it up to the rest of us for the disgraceful show their compatriots in Alabama just put on:

Wearing star-studded GOP elephant brooches and red, white, and blue neckties, they huddle around a polyurethane picnic table on the town green. With the gazebo draped for a campaign talk by their chosen candidate for governor - Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock - a group of inland, rural voters chats about the long decline of America's largest state and the man they say will fix it.

They are self-declared "political purists," die-hard activists, vocal and proud of it. Yet these are the same right-wing conservatives, say analysts, who've handed every top state office - and control of both legislative houses - to Democrats in recent years. By knocking off moderate candidates in two previous primaries for governor, and nominating dozens of conservatives whose social agendas are out of step with most voters here, they've brought state Republican fortunes to their lowest levels in 30 years.

By strongly supporting Senator McClintock - the more conservative Republican in California's historic recall vote - analysts say they're in danger of repeating the shotgun-to-foot scenario.

"If the election were held today conservative Republicans [would] siphon off just enough votes from Arnold Schwarzenegger to guarantee the election to [Democratic candidate and Lt. Gov.] Cruz Bustamante," says Tony Quinn, a political analyst in Sacramento. The most recent polls have Mr. Schwarzenegger as the leading Republican, with 25 percent of likely voters. McClintock's numbers have doubled since July, but hover around 13 percent.

"For the past several years they have pushed conservative candidates whose social views do not jibe with where most of California has moved on the key issues. It looks like they will do it again."...
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You know Those Blogs I Don't Read?

Very Very Happy lays them out for you.

Save your keyboard. Put down the beverages first.
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HM: we can go up there and around and through the alley and take a shortcut
me: but, mother's own darling, if we just turn the corner we'll be there two blocks closer
HM: mother, don't agitate me.
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Cheney's been asked to stay away from the main 9/11 ceremony.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday he asked Vice President Dick Cheney not to attend the city's World Trade Center anniversary ceremony because Cheney's security would have ‘‘inconvenienced" family members of victims.

‘‘Because of concerns that the increased security measures required for vice presidential travel would have inconvenienced or delayed family members, I have asked Vice President Cheney to attend a memorial service later in the day honoring fallen Port Authority officers and employees, instead of the morning's commemoration at the World Trade Center site," Bloomberg said in a statement.

A call to Cheney's office was not immediately returned Wednesday. He will attend a memorial service at ground zero.

OK, class, can anyone think of a reason why Mr. Cheney is being asked to come to the memorial service that's only being attended by people whose pensions Mr. Pataki controls?

Bueller? Anybody?
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from the Observer, via Salon:
I’m trying to imagine Joan Didion’s campaign for governor of California: a long silence punctuated by a sigh.


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