The New Mitt

We’ve heard a lot this election season about how we don’t want to end up like Greece (mostly from people whose policies will duplicate conditions of low tax collections followed by economic austerity that are wrecking the Greek economy). All that aside, we might want to emulate the people of Ikaria, the island where people forget to die.

No Country for Old Dictators“. Cuba relaxes travel policies and tries to modernize their economy, just 50 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

South Korean media reports that a North Korean army minister was executed with a mortar round for drinking and carousing during the official mourning period after the death of Kim Jong-il. It sounds so nutty I’m not sure if it’s probably true or probably made up; it’s that kind of region.

Four scientists, two engineers and a government official were this week sentenced to six years in prison for criminal manslaughter and causing criminal injury for failure to adequately predict the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake. No, I didn’t just make that up to be funny.

Here in America, we’ve got ten filthy rich tax-dodgers are spending $USD 60 million to lobby for a “territorial tax system” under which foreign corporate earnings would be permanently exempted. WTF? With Citizens United declaring free speech = money, how much of a say can you afford?

And again this election cycle, Ohio is the epicenter of political dirty tricks and voter suppression a lá GOP. For a party of patriots, the long-ago “party of Lincoln” sure spends a lot of time acting like a bunch of cynical old crooks.

Send in the GrowBots! Blue River Technology is gearing up to launch Lettuce Bot, which uses machine vision and fast computing to nurture lettuce in the fields. Can “greens technology” outperform cheap migrant labor?

That being all gosh-wow and all, does science reporting tend to promote science fictions as fact, and what impact does that have on public confidence in science?

A Washington State University researcher has found that engaging elementary school students in science for as little as 10 hours a year can lead to improved test scores in math and language arts.

As part of his sweeping jump to the left, the Romney campaign announced new policy initiatives to win over the crucial undecided voter bloc. “It’s all part of our new approach”, said campaign spokesman Carlita Marx. “We’ve played the far right like an old fiddle through the early campaign, now we’ll shake that Etch-a-Sketch, get serious and start doing stuff that actually makes sense”.

The first of his complete policy reversals was introduced by Romney’s running-mate, Paul Ryan, who floated the idea of eliminating the income tax on all income under $150,000 a year and boosting the tax rate on upper incomes to 60% and up. “How many houses do you need, fat cats? It’s time to share the wealth! We’ve realized that the poor outnumber the rich by at least 10 to 1. You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to figure out how those electoral numbers work!”.

On Friday, Romney visited a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco,  produced his “prescription card” and sampled  four different high-end blends before tearing into a package of Twinkies. “Is this what all the fuss has been about? This is a lot better for my head than than watching Ann’s horse dance around, I mean who teaches a horse to freakin’ dance? That’s crazy! Tell you what, man, I’m going to launch my own special strain of ‘Moroni-juana’, and legalize all this stuff on Day One!”.

At a campaign stop in Ohio on Saturday, Romney stated, “The Joint Chiefs have spoken: energy dependence is our greatest national security threat. To end this, I am announcing a plan to put America’s idle manufacturing capacity to work building wind turbines, solar collectors and light rail systems. We will also provide free college educations for any student that qualifies. With these two steps we’ll be able to kick our addiction to foreign oil in five years, be leading the world in exports  of our new technologies in ten and there will be a job for every American worker! I know of no better way to secure our future. And ‘Obamacare’ repeal? I’ll still repeal that mess… but I’ll replace it with a single-payer public option plan! Screw the insurance companies!”.

Middle East policy is the next item on his new agenda. “Can’t they all just get along?”, he earnestly whined. “I mean, Israel has at least 50 nukes right now. Why do you think has kept them from using them? It’s self-interest: they know what would happen if they did.  On Day One I’ll tell the parties in the region that if they can’t work it out among themselves that we don’t need them: I’ll end all foreign aid and enact a total boycott on all their economies. We’ll get along just fine without their endless squabbling, and once we kick the oil habit they can all just go to H-E-double hockey sticks!”.

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