Saturday, October 31, 2009

Smorgasbord Saturday

There should be warning signs on the outskirts of the ISU campus. Today's Idaho State Journal has news of the firing of embattled engineering professor Habib Sadid plastered across the front page. Despite a faculty grievances board finding in favor of Sadid, President Arthur Vailas has chosen to dismiss Sadid for what amounts to Sadid's vocal opposition to the changes being emplemented by the Vailas administration. To put it simply, this is not going to be well received by a faculty at odds with the administration.

I suppose the only thing stranger in the Idaho State Journal today is a story about Pete Peterson who is running against Butch Otter. On the strange-o-meter, his campaign is almost as bizarre as Rex Rammel's. Almost...

From time to time I read the official Google blog and find some of the things Google is doing absolutely fascinating. This week, the Google blog featured news on how they are trying to make searching for music online a little bit easier and hopefully more effective. Now when you do a search for music, you will find audio previews of those songs provided by Google, mySpace, iLike and Lala. How cool is that? Not only will it be easier to find the music you're looking for, Google has partnered with Pandora, Rhapsody and imeem to help users discover music they might enjoy based on their searches. Very cool.

Blue Moose Democrat has a great synopsis of the uphill battle Congressman Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) faces when re-election time rolls around. He points to a piece at MyDD that discusses the numbers Randy Stapilus first presented several months ago in respect to conservatism among northwestern members of congress. It will be interesting to see what comes of the Republican primary for the 1st CD seat, as it stands now Vaughn Ward is raising quite a bit of money while Ken Roberts is piling up endorsements. It will be interesting to see in coming weeks how the IDP and progressives across the state react when Minnick votes against health care reform and other progressive legislation that will come to the floor of the House. It isn't impossible for a Blue Dog Democrat to vote for health care reform that contains a public option (or "socialized medicine" as Minnick likes to call it). In fact, two fairly prominent Blue Dogs will be voting in favor of the public option--Congresswomen Jane Harman (D-California) and Loretta Sanchez (D-California).

News out of the executive branch--this week the White House released visitor logs containing information on those who have had meetings with senior staff and the administration from the time of Obama's inauguration through July. This was good news for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), an organization that has been asking the White House for these logs since July and earlier. It has been a busy week for CREW with the release of missing White House emails, the 2004 transcript of the interview of Dick Cheney by Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald in the CIA leak case that outted Valerie Plame and sent Cheney's aid to prison, and the huge news of leaked documents regarding ongoing House ethics investigations of individual members of congress. Seems like visitor logs are small potatoes, but this is a huge victory for ethics and history.

At the top of the hour my kid brother is playing in a state playoff game here at Holt Arena. Best wishes to the boy that just got over the swine flu!

I have piles of information for upcoming posts (a few on Congressman Minnick, one on my completion of the complete Cantos of Ezra Pound, and probably a few others), but I don't have a plan of attack as of yet. And I'll hopefully update my reading list and blogroll soon. You'd think I could get these things accomplished while I am spending so much time not sleeping lately...

Saturday tunes (all but ended now as I've been watching Animal Planet non-stop with my older brother) include the great song I spotlighted in yesterday's TGIF Tunes, Train's newest songs "Breakfast In Bed" and "Parachute," and Lee Ann Womack's "Have You Seen That Girl?"

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