Friday, July 21, 2006

Personal Asides: Startling Number of Dissenters to Blagojevich’s Stem Cell Executive “Appropriation”…Mike Fiasco Wins Trivia Quiz…Guess What Country Lost 4.5 Million Factory Jobs?...New York City Confidential



One would usually expect that the executive “appropriation” of several millions of dollars by the liberal Democratic governor for embryonic stem cell research would be cheered by liberal respondents to a generally liberal blog—but not so. Rich Miller’s thoroughly grounded and smartly edited which is an excellent hour-by-hour source of state political news (as is his newsletter) Thursday showed a preponderance of contributors solidly opposed to Blagojevich’s action to bypass the legislature and set aside $5 million without any vote taken…seeing it as a kind of extra-legal show-boating with which the governor has been identified in many areas. State Sen. Bill Brady has questioned the constitutionality of this act in the past and presumably will again. When will Lisa Madigan act? When will we hear from Ms. Topinka on this subject?


Reader Mike Fiasco wins the latest trivia contest! The question: who was the MIT physics and math prof who wrote the catchy satirical song during the Cold War about missiles? Answer: Tom Lehrer who made the hit recording where he sang: “`Once the rockets go up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department’ says Werner von Braun.” Mike says he wouldn’t have known except that his father played the record seemingly from morning to night.

What Country?

To hear Lou Dobbs of CNN tell it out-sourcing has robbed the U. S. of millions of factory jobs which have gone to India, China--. China? The Ameican Enterprise Institute’s economic division reports that since 2000 more than 4.5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost by China alone due to…are you ready?...productivity! Productivity as well as outsourcing has lost jobs here, too: Before the last recession there were 17.2 million U.S. manufacturing jobs; now there are 14.2 million. But U.S. productivity in manufacturing has averaged more than 5 percent annually over the last three years. Total manufacturing output here is the highest ever. The Conference Board finds that from 1995 to 2002 we lost 2 million manufacturing jobs but China cut 15 million over the same period. Here, in textile manufacturing there were 202,000 fewer jobs; in China it was 1.8 million.

Things We Learned While Looking Up Other Things…

…was a moniker under which the late, great Daily News columnist Syd Harris disseminated interesting facts. Here are some ones we just came across: Seven percent of the U.S. population lives in New York City which is also home to 23 percent of the nation’s psychiatrists...The Dalai Lama wears Doc Marten footwear as did the late John Paul II…About 50 million Americans get their news from the web each day, says the Pew Research Center, double since 2002…Over half of all U.S. employees spend most of their day working on computers…Gruibine, Croatia has the highest level of Mercedes-Benz owners in the world.

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