Tuesday, February 8

They have a word for it

Recondite readers will find it useful to know that Department of Homeland Security renders to German as Ministeriums für Heimatsicherheit.

Sounds so much better.

Wednesday, February 2

Let's play, "What's the real problem?"

In the spirit of Harper's Index, here are some numbers for you.
  1. Projected federal debt over next ten years: $5.8 trillion.
  2. Social security program surplus, same period: $2.6 trillion.
  3. Anwar estimated reserves: 10.4B barrels.
  4. Anwar reserves into US consumption at current rates: 17 months.
  5. Annual US healthcare spending: $1.6 trillion.
  6. Total costs of malpractice cases: $24 billion (or, 0.024 trillion, if you prefer).
It's not that the administration is on the wrong side of every issue, it's that they pick the wrong issues in order to obscure our country's real priorities. Don't let them get away with it!

One death a tragedy, millions a statistic

I swore I wasn't going to watch the SOTU. Really, I turned on the TV by accident, preparing to cue-up a DVD (Yimou Zhang's Hero, if you must know). I had tuned-in during one of those applause lines for someone being singled-out in the gallery. I saw a close-up on what were probably the parents of some dead soldier, and then cut to our fearless leader...beginning to tear-up.

Gee, as a balance to this cheap sentimentality, maybe the broadcast could have had a crawl at the bottom of the screen pointing out that given the 1440 US troop deaths in Iraq as of today, there are thousands more parents just like these two — only they won't fit in the gallery.