I wanted to ask the community who is the next likely "vacancy" on the SCOTUS is. But then I figured, hell with it, I'll research it myself. (And no, little voice inside my head, it's not too soon.)
Despite my hyperbolic diary title, there are two ways from retiring from the best job on Earth*. Retire, or die. Since I can't really predict who will retire while the gettings are good, or die while they're not, I put together a list of the nine justices, their ages, and try to see if President Obama will get any more appointments during his second term based solely on life expectancy.
The death watch begins below the squiggly thingy.
I've got my June 5th Primary voting guide, and I was giddy with excitement to see that Orly Taitz is on the ballot! Since it's an open primary, I'd thought I'd weight the pros and cons of casting my vote for the craziest would-be politico my state has produced in a generation. Here's a choice quote from her candidate statement:
"You deserve the truth, respect, and answers: why Barack Obama is using a Connecticut Social Security number, which was never assigned to him according to E-verify, why his alleged copy a a birth certificate is deemed to be a computer generated[sic] forgery, why his school records show him as an Indonesian citizen and many others."
(Italics and grammar in the original preserved)
Anyone who has spent more than five minutes with me (in a non-work setting, unless you're name is John Quaresma) knows that I'm a political junkie and Democratic partisan. The next logical question might be: why don't I blog about it (anymore)?
One important reason: Other people do it better. Much better. With more snark (though no finesse, but one can't have everything). I'm a fan of the The Great Orange Satan, where I occasionally post under the name "Vince CA" (lovely pseudonym, n'est-ce pas?).
Recently I put to the community whether a Romney or Santorum majority of delegates at the GOP convention would be a boon or bust for the Democrats. My thesis: Romney is better for Democrats in the general because he's so blah that he can't inspire the base to vote and would be a disaster to down-ticket races (where control of Congress lies). The counter-thesis was that Santorum is better because he's so incredibly despicable that he turns off all voters of all stripes so long as said voters are literate and have a pulse.
My contention is that there are voters who are basically zombies: they have a heartbeat, can read (or at least watch Faux News), but other than that, so far as civics are concerned, think that Cokie Roberts is representative of the heartland and that David Brook's Applebee's salad bar was a funny.
That's a problem.
While my respect for Keith Olbermann knows no bounds, I cannot find find any energy to protest his suspension.
On Sunday, brooklynbadboy had a frontpage diary entitled In Praise of Let's Move. In what was an otherwise a worthy defense of Michele Obama's plan to alleviate the obesity epidemic in the US, he disparages "play dates" (a term he finds 'awful').
Without knowing brooklynbadboy's exact life circumstances, it seems fair to say that he and the commenters in the diary who agree with him do have children (or not recently), and misunderstand how play dates play out. Let me elucidate.
My house was built in 1954, in the new suburbs of a relatively insignificant Bay Area train-stop town. An onion field was torn up to make way for the development. Prefacing "sub" doesn't quite make sense as it was still within one mile of the depot and downtown. It was probably built to accomadate the burgeoning military complex's employees who supported the Air Force base one train stop away.
I was wondering the other night what my 1954 doppelganger thought about his predicament, and what he thought about as he looked back two generations ago and how he had it made. Then I wondered if I could brag the same.
From an email I received today encouraging me to donate to Boxer's re-election campaign:
Late Thursday night, just as the Senate was poised to extend unemployment benefits to those Americans who are struggling to find work, gridlock returned with a vengeance.
Shockingly, Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky objected over and over again to efforts to pass this critical extension, and now unemployment benefits for more than a million Americans -- including 201,000 Californians -- will expire tonight.
I can't believe that a single senator would be so callous and insensitive to the well-being of more than a million American families. By blocking efforts to extend unemployment benefits, the tone of the debate sunk to a new low.
I receive several daily emails from various Democratic outfits and candidates. My Senator, Barbara Boxer, is up for re-election this November. She wants money. My President, who is not up for re-election this November, wants me to contribute, too. Other Democrats I've given to in the past are emailing me. Not to mention the updates I get from my Congresswoman, Anna Eshoo, on the goings-on of Capitol Hill She's always up re-election, and she's never going to lose the Silicon Valley.
This election cycle, none of these folks will receive a funds from me, even though I've readily donated to my favorite candidates ever major election cycle since registering as a Democrat.
This is a short diary, but I was struck by something State Representative Janet Johnson said in response to the tragic shooting of Chairman Bill Gwatney:
State Rep. Janet Johnson started to cry when she talked about Gwatney.
"This is like something you would see in New York or Pennsylvania or California, but not here," Johnson said.
HR 2082 passed the house of representatives 225 to 197. This is a good, because it outlaws domestic wiretapping outside of FISA (you know, in accordance with the law).
Everybody knows the honeybee. Its familiar yellow and black body can be found in nearly every corner the globe. Its famous product, honey--the original sweetener--has been cultivated for millennia. Nearly everyone I know has been stung by one (ouch!). And beeswax is the original candle. Lastly, and most importantly, it is an integral part of agriculture. Without the honeybee, there would be no fruits, vegetables, and grain.
The honeybee is the premier pollinator of choice in the Unite States. It will fly year round and is less picky than other bee species about it pollen and nectar sources. Each hive comes packed with tens of thousands of bees (65,000 on average), each of whom is capable of pollinating tens of thousands of flowers.
Best of all, hives are easy to manage and easy to propagate. What's not to like about the world's most famous domesticated insect?
Last time, I talked about how global warming is going to affect our pollinators, and alter our food supply. Not only are water resources going to shift as average temperatures increase, but also the life cycles of our pollinators are going to change dramatically.
To understand how and what that will mean for our farmers, it's important to know about the insects themselves.
In this part of the series, I'm going to talk about mason bees. This
gentile gentle pollinator is a new favorite of orchard farmers, owing to their extremely efficient pollination of fruit trees.