Archives for August, 2009

Larry Frankel, ACLU lobbyist, RIP

According to various sources, including Pennsylvania State Representative Mark Cohen, posting at Young Philly Politics, Larry Frankel passed away recently. The cause is unclear. Frankel was the ACLU’s chief lobbyist in state legislatures, guiding state civil liberties unions through the thickets of their states’ legislatures, building coalitions with partners across the political spectrum, and defending…

Ted Kennedy, RIP

Ted Kennedy was a great man, one whose flaws occasionally dominated headlines but whose legacy will be the lives saved and improved thanks to the numerous bills which bear his name, and which benefited from his wisdom as they moved through the Senate. For a man who lived his life as American royalty ? the…

Netroots Nation recap

I know it’s been a week since I got back from Netroots Nation, so this is a rather belated report, but I have a good excuse. I was on the road for 4 weeks before NrN, and it’s taken me a little while to get caught up again. Netroots Nation was awesome. It’ll be in…

In 1925, John Scopes was tried and convicted of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act. His trial was ginned up as a constitutional test case by the ACLU and as an economic stimulus plan for the town of Dayton, TN. The trial was promoted as “the trial of the century,” celebrity lawyers were recruited for both sides,…

Luskin vs. Luskin

Disco. hustler Casey Luskin pleads ignorance to fend off an argument by Ken Miller: In a recent post, I noted that Ken Miller misrepresented Michael Behe’s arguments on the irreducible complexity of the blood clotting cascade in his book, Only a Theory. When I blogged at the end of last year about Miller’s similar mistakes…

On bullshit

Steve Benen reviews the ways in which Republicans now ranting about how insurance reform will kill grandma once loved their ‘death panels,’ adding: If reality had any meaning in modern politics, these “death panel” clowns would be laughed out of the building, and humiliated for life. The whole enterprise of the modern GOP seems to…

Of the assembled luminaries of the science/science policy world, guess who dropped the f-bomb? And guess who was quoting RFK to do that, so it’s totally cool? Anyway, shorter panel: You don’t have to be a scientist to defend science, and you do need to get involved. Schools matter, and politicians need to hear from…

At 3 o’clock today (Eastern), I’ll be on a panel about ways that scientists and nonscientists alike can improve the use of science in policymaking, the use of policy to boost science, and ways to keep denialists from derailing that process. We’ve got Susan Wood, a professor of public policy at George Washington University with…

Big Dog at Netroots Nation

Bill Clinton spoke to the Netroots Nation conference last night. It’s an inspired speech, done without notes and with extemporaneous digressions based on a heckler’s call. Before he spoke, a range of Netroots Nation heroes spoke, including my hero in Congress: Brad Miller. Miller has been awesome for blogger, for sciencebloggers in particular, and for…

According to the Kansas City Fox affiliate (via TPM DC), Congressman Dennis Moore, who represents northeastern Kansas and is the only Democratic representative from Kansas, has cancelled public events after credible death threats. He tells the reporter that he’s gotten two separate threats, and finds this turn of events unacceptable. “I expect to have differences…