Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Official

The general election has officially begun! Congratulations to Dr. Davis (and Mr. Walz, I suppose) on his primary win and also to Mr. Day for a well-fought campaign and not-too-shabby showing against a much better-funded candidate.

Now it's time for Dr. Davis to answer some important questions. More on this after work today!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

MTP

I hope Brian Davis was watching Meet The Press this morning. The ever-insightful Thomas Friedman directly addressed the chants of "Drill, baby, drill" at the Republican convention (via Lexis-Nexis):

BROKAW: It's hard to get the kind of focus that we need on this kind of a challenge in the midst of a political season. Last week they were chanting "drill, baby, drill," at the Republican convention. Senator Obama, speaker Nancy Pelosi have said recently, well they'd be willing to take a look at offshore drilling, even though we know that there wouldn't be any real productivity for 10 more years. Both parties, it seems to me, share a responsibility here and blame at the same time.

FRIEDMAN:
No, there's no question this has been a bipartisan effort to get us into this alley, dead end, that we're in right now, Tom. But when I hear, drill, drill, drill, or drill, baby, drill, I try to imagine--Tom, you were at the convention, I wasn't, what would happen if the Saudi, Venezuelan, Russian and Nigeria observers were up in a sky box in that Xcel Center listening to the crowd chant, "drill, drill, drill"? What would they be doing? They'd be up there leading the chant. They'd be saying this is great. America isn't sitting there saying, "Invent, invent, invent new, renewable energy," they're saying, "drill, drill, drill." And you know, for me, yes, we do need to exploit our domestic resource. I'm actually not against drilling. What I'm against is making that the center of our focus, because we are on the eve of a new revolution, the energy technology revolution. It would be, Tom, as if on the eve of the IT revolution, the revolution of PCs and the Internet, someone was up there standing and demanding, "IBM Selectric typewriters, IBM Selectric typewriters." That's what drill, drill, drill, is the equivalent of today.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

ScienceDebate 2008

I also promised to get back to more science and technology policy issues this fall. ScienceDebate 2008 is a grassroots effort with the goal of hosting a presidential debate that focuses on science issues, which are traditionally ignored in most elections. Prominent scholars, community leaders, and legislators, including Tim Walz, signed on to support the debate. Unfortunately, neither candidate was willing to schedule an actual joint appearance, but both candidates have committed to sending written responses to 14 questions. Barack Obama's are here.

The Stakes

As fun and exciting as it is to follow the horse race aspect of politics, I think we all, and I am often guilty of this, sometimes forget exactly what is at stake. Check out the conclusions from the latest data released by the Census Bureau about the economy from 2001-2007:

Since 2001, poverty has worsened in Minnesota

Nearly 1 in 12 Minnesotans do not have health insurance.

Minnesota faces an economic downturn with a lower median income than in the last recessions.