October 8, 2008

Make That 63...

Nobel prize season is upon which makes me a little giddy, along with the rest of the science community. So far prizes in medicine, physics, and chemistry have been handed out, with literature, peace, and economics still to come.

Today three Americans were rewarded for their work on Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), which I'll try to get to later this week (damn development exam tomorrow). Well one of those winners, Martin Chalfie, made quick work to put his name on the list of laureates who have signed an open letter in support of Obama's presidential aspirations.

Just today Martin was announced as one of the winners of the Chemistry prize and he called up his friend and fellow laureate Robert Horvitz (Medicine, 2002) in order to join the list.

"I said, 'Bob, the one thing I really want to do is, I understand there’s a list of Nobel Prize winners supporting Barack Obama, and I want to get my name on the list.’”
That takes the count from 61 to 63 as shortly after the letter was published Murray Gell-Mann (Physics, 1969) came forward to add his name to the list.

This is by far the largest number of top Nobel laureates to ever endorse a candidate. I have yet to hear of any putting their support behind McCain, but I could be wrong, or they could be scared to be shunned by the scientific community.

I am interested to see if any other winners of this year's prize add their name to the list, and tomorrow I'll have the opportunity to talk with one of the 2008 awardees in physics, Yoichiro Nambu from the University of Chicago, to discuss his thoughts on the presidential race! I am honored to be able to share a bit of time with him and look forward to being able to share first hand experience here on stifledmind with one of the brightest minds on the planet.

Here's the link to the updated Nobel endoresement letter.

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October 7, 2008

Obama v McCain Debate II - LiveBlog

I love it, two debates in one week. Politics junkies like myself are definitely getting our fix.

This should be an interesting debate. McFAILin's campaign has taken a nasty turn this week, both in tone and in polling. They have apparently decided that discussing the issues facing the nation is a losing strategy, and looking at the polling as of late, coupled with McCain's disastrous policy history and proposals, I kinda have to agree with them.

So he's taken a drubbing in the polls, but this debates format is supposed to be McCain's strong point. For some reason, the conventional wisdom is that McCain excels in "town hall" style events, while Obama does not. I know, I laugh too. The idea that in any speaking role, McCain could surpass Obama in coherence, eloquence, or poise is completely ridiculous.

The bottom line, the economy is still the number 1 issue facing Americans today, followed by the Bush/McCain wars. Both issues are losers for McCain; public opinion and reality both favor Obama's positions in each area. So whatever character assassination, slime politics, "Johnny Drama" bullshit McCain wants to throw around is only going to further alienate him in the eyes of American voters. Americans are smart, whatever McCain may think, and they want to see answers. They want strong leadership, not playground politics. We shall see tonight which candidate can offer us what we are looking for.

Edit: Damnit Barack, that was such a non-answer. Gonna need to do better than that. Eh, McCain's answer was no better.

Edit: Did McCain just tell that questioner that he was wrong? Bailout vs rescue, who gives a damn? And here he goes on a Freddie and Fannie rant. Johnny Drama, there are more than 2 companies involved in this crisis. Jesus.

Edit: Fantastic rebuttal by Obama. Well done.

Edit: What the hell is he talking about? An overhead projector? Who gives a damn? Can McCain please answer a question?

Edit: I hate it when Obama starts talking about offshore drilling and "clean coal." Bullshit proposals that don't offer any solutions. We need to move away from these archaic energy sources, towards new, cleaner types of energy. And damn it, he should be leading on that point, not merely co-signing the same tired policy that has gotten us where we are.

Edit: I'm not happy. Obama keeps making the same points over and over again. Move on man. Make a new point, or change the damn topic. I know, 95% of tax payers will get a cut under your plan. Move the fuck on! Talk about McCain's plan to tax employers healthcare expenditures. Something. McCain is actually talking about policy, Obama is floundering. Shit...

Edit: Shut the hell up Tom.

Edit: Ok, Obama recovered a little on the healthcare debate. M looked petty and spiteful on his "how much is the fine?" comment. On to foreign policy.

Edit: Shit. I give the debate to McCain. It was exactly what he needed to do to get his campaign back on track. I hate to admit it, but Obama looked befuddled and slow. McCain was crisp and likable. I'm going to have a drink and try to not think about politics for a while. As a better man than myself likes to say, good night and good luck.

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