Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
And they sent the oil to China
Iraq's government signed a deal to sell $3 billion of oil to... Chinahttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7585790.stm.
So the Bush administration starts a war over aggression over oil and they don't get the oil. Not only that but it goes to our biggest competitor.
Nice one, morons.
Seriously I could have stolen that oil. I'd have just bribed Saddam for it.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Having a hard time getting excited for it. Joe Biden just seemed like such an uninspired choice. Maybe I'm too hard on Obama. But he really could have done better than that.
Reading Michael Moore's new book, "Mike's Election Guide." In it he has a chapter called how to elect John McCain, a sort of blueprint for failure. Picking an insider, conservative white guy running mate was one of the ways to do it. I think Moore really meant "don't pick some guy just because he's a military vet." But Biden really is a conservative Democrat (as a Senator from Delaware he's entirely beholden to the banking industry) and he's an insider and he was wrong about Iraq, which is what Obama bludgeoned Hillary with for months.
Hopefully McCain will just hand us the election by picking Joe Lieberman as a running mate.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Jamaica Wins the Olympics!
UPDATED & EXPANDED!
I went through and ran this again with the final numbers. Basically, Jamaica kicked ass.
Yes, I'm still avoiding the Democratic convention.
The Chinese government put concerted and massive effort into winning the most (gold) medals during the Beijing games, and it paid off. Chinese athletes won 100 total medals, 51 of them gold. US athletes won 110 total medals, 36 gold. China finished first in the gold medal race, the US second. In the total medal count, China & the US flipped positions.
By simple measurements, the usual suspects did quite well for the summer Olympics. The top five nations by total medal count were: USA (110), China (100), Russia (72), Great Britain (47), and Australia (46). By weighted medal count (in which a gold medal equals 3 points, a silver 2, and a bronze 1), that doesn't change much: China (223), US (220), Russia (139), Great Britain (98), and Australia (89).
But I'm less interested in which nation won the most medals than which nation did the best with what it has.
First, population. Among the top thirty medal-winning nations (actually thirty-one due to a tie) the top five nations by per capita medal count were: Jamaica (4.07 medals per million people), Australia (2.15), Cuba (2.12), New Zealand (2.09), and Norway (2.08). The US was 25th out of thirty-one with 0.36, and China was dead last with .08.
Next, wealth. Among the same thirty-one nations, the top five medal winners were: Jamaica (1,100 medals per US$1 trillion GDP), Cuba (480), Kenya (467), Belarus (380), and Ethiopia (368). China was 17th (30), and the US was 29th (9).
To measure both wealth and population, I set up a formula by which the richest country (the US) got a wealth value of 1.0, and all the other countries got lower values based on their percentage of the US' GDP. I did the same with population, and then I divided each country's total medals by the sum of its wealth value and population value. The resulting quotient is to me the ultimate measure of doing the best you can with you've got:
1) Jamaica--3,983(By this formula, the US's score of 89 ranked 26th, and China's 81 ranked 28th.)
5) New Zealand--711
Unsurprisingly, John McCain's house count becomes less impressive if one adjusts for wealth.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Gloat, Gloat, Heh
French xenophobe Jean-Marie Le Pen and his ultranationalist party the National Front have become increasingly unpopular and are consequently having financial difficulties. The National Front's most recent notable fundraising effort is to sell its national headquarters in Paris to a Shanghai university.
John Edward Wins Silver
So by now we all know that John Edwards cheated on his cancer-stricken wife.
I suppose one up side of this is that it spares us any chance of Newt Gingrich's making a last-minute run as an independent. Everybody's justifiably laughing over Edwards' attempt to mitigate his assholery by pointing out that his wife was in remission during the affair, but after one of his affairs Gingrich actually asked his wife for a divorce while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. So despite a strong kick at the end Edwards will have to settle for silver in the 400m Freestyle Big-Haired Douchebag
But keep at it, tiger. You're an up-and-comer.
Yet again, I'm having a hard time getting scandalized by this. Mostly, as Mike and I have been saying for a long time, Americans need to stop pretending that monogamy is easy. People cheat on each other. People have open relationships. Spouses should care about that stuff, but I don't think the rest of us should. Not unless a candidate has made his or her own monogamy or celibacy a selling point or has spent a lot of time demonizing others for violating sexual taboos that he or she is also violating.
Still, I'm curious: should I be a bit upset? Is there some hypocrisy here (mine or Edwards')? Edwards, after all, was trying to position himself as a "values" Democrat. I guess my thought is that despite the occasional nod in the direction of the religious right, what Edwards meant by "values" always seemed to have a lot more to do with social justice than sexual conduct. But maybe I'm letting him off the hook too easily. Anybody have thoughts?