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Roundup: Tiny Four-Eyed Turtle Edition

June 18th, 2007 · No Comments · Activism, Climate Change, Comics, Culture, Education, Health, Human Rights, Internet, iTunes, Labor, Law, LGBT, Music, Nature, News, Pets, Politics, Science, Tech

Tiny turtle

  • POLITICS: In “Hillary’s Labor Problem,” Joe Conason points out that Hillary Clinton’s top political strategist, Mark Penn, is the CEO of a union-busting law firm. “Having started in a tiny, two-man polling operation in a New York City mayoral campaign, he is now the CEO of Burson-Marsteller Inc., one of the planet’s largest P.R. shops, with corporate clients ranging from Microsoft to Shell Oil and Pfizer. For progressive voters, those connections should raise questions about Penn’s dominant role in the Clinton campaign, especially because he has reportedly boasted about the business benefits of his political power.”
  • Conason links to this piece in The Nation, which digs deeper into Mark Penn’s unsavory background. Penn is apparently an old buddy of Dick Morris, who helped Morris push the Clintons to the right in the mid-90s. Triangulation and welfare “reform,” anyone? Penn’s polling firm during the Clinton era “defended Procter and Gamble’s Olestra from charges that it caused anal leakage, blamed Texaco’s bankruptcy on greedy jurors and market-tested genetically modified foods for Monsanto.”
  • THE PINK SECTION: Too bad — Dallas won’t be getting a gay mayor after all. Your loss, miss things.
  • Colombia is on the verge of becoming the first Latin American country to give gay couples in longterm relationships full rights in the areas of health insurance, inheritance, and social security.
  • Meanwhile, in Chile, homophobes calling themselves “skinheads” have repeatedly hacked the Web site of the country’s leading gay rights organization, and sent them emails with threats of violence. Via Towleroad.
  • THE GREEN SECTION: 2007 is officially the hottest year on record so far. Which has been fairly evident in my 90-degree home office lately.
  • A rare endangered turtle has hatched at the Tennessee Aquarium. The baby turtle hatched June 9, weighing only 0.21 ounces and measuring 1.52 inches long. There are currently only 18 known members of its species in the US and Europe. Once common in southern China, the Beal’s four-eyed turtle (named for the white spots on the back of its head that look like an extra pair of eyes) “has been over collected for use in the Chinese food and traditional medicine trade.” (Photo credit: AP Photo/Tennessee Aquarium.)
  • Better lab techniques may reduce the use of animals for toxicity testing as well as speeding up the process. That would be nice.
  • SOCIAL STUDIES: Kids in Oakland are learning “mindfulness” techniques drawn from Buddhist meditation to quiet and focus the mind during their schoolday.
  • Two women at Yale Law School have filed a suit that includes subpoenas for 28 anonymous posters at AutoAdmit, a site that’s become famous for racist and sexist defamatory attacks on female law students.
  • “Tattoo Regret”: According to the NY Times, the tattoo removal business is growing, with chains of tattoo removal stores like Dr. Tattoff doing brisk business.
  • MUSIC: Amnesty International’s album of John Lennon covers Instant Karma: the Campaign to Save Darfur (which I wrote about previously here) was officially released last Tuesday. You can get it from iTunes or from Amazon.
  • “Fake Empire” by The National is all over the Internet — Atrios posted it as a promo MP3 last week and I can’t stop listening to it. It’s from their new album, Boxer. I remember liking The National’s album Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, but they seem to have made a real leap forward with this one. After the song got stuck in my head I wound up downloading the whole thing from iTunes and I’m glad I did. Here’s an iTunes link (yeah, I just figured out how to do those and I’m drunk with power).
  • THE COMICS SECTION: Tom the Dancing Bug: Pop culture was better when you were twelve. Plus Bob Geiger’s Saturday Cartoon Roundup, and a handy guide to upcoming Doonesbury strips.
  • THE SOCK DRAWER: Someone has invented a pillow that will shake the stuffing out of you and wake you up if you start snoring.


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