David Kirkpatrick

December 19, 2008

W. Mark Felt, RIP

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:18 am

Best known as “Deep Throat.” He is the man who took down the Nixon presidency. Felt was 95 when he died.

From the link:

W. Mark Felt, who was the No. 2 official at the F.B.I. when he helped bring down President Richard M. Nixon by resisting the Watergate cover-up and becoming Deep Throat, the most famous anonymous source in American history, died Thursday. He was 95 and lived in Santa Rosa, Calif.

His death was confirmed by Rob Jones, his grandson.

In 2005, Mr. Felt revealed that he was the one who had secretly supplied Bob Woodward of The Washington Post with crucial leads in the Watergate affair in the early 1970s. His decision to unmask himself, in an article in Vanity Fair, ended a guessing game that had gone on for more than 30 years.

The disclosure even surprised Mr. Woodward and his partner on the Watergate story, Carl Bernstein. They had kept their promise not to reveal his identity until after his death. Indeed, Mr. Woodward was so scrupulous about shielding Mr. Felt that he did not introduce him to Mr. Bernstein until this year, 36 years after they cracked the scandal. The three met for two hours one afternoon last month in Santa Rosa, where Mr. Felt had retired. The reporters likened it to a family reunion.

August 29, 2008

Didn’t think the speech …

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:01 am

… was that good to result in the GOP practically canceling their convention. Oh, there’s a hurricane about? That makes more sense.

From the Washington Post link:

Republican officials said yesterday that they are considering delaying the start of the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul because of Tropical Storm Gustav, which is on track to hit the Gulf Coast, and possibly New Orleans, as a full-force hurricane early next week.

The threat is serious enough that White House officials are also debating whether President Bush should cancel his scheduled convention appearance on Monday, the first day of the convention, according to administration officials and others familiar with the discussion.

April 15, 2008

Billionfold increase in technical capacity according to Kurzweil

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:21 pm

This sort of adjunct to Moore’s Law is a Ray Kurzweil specialty and a key component of the “singularity” concept. So far Ray’s predictions, if maybe a bit grandiose, have come to pass. I wouldn’t count this futurist out when contemplating the next few decades.

From KurzweilAI.net:

Making the World A Billion Times Better
Washington Post, April 13, 2008As powerful as information technologyis today, we will make another billion-fold increase in capability (for the same cost) over the next 25 years, says Ray Kurzweil.

“Only technology possesses the scale to address the major challenges — such as energy and the environment, disease and poverty — confronting society. That, at least, is the major conclusion of a panel, organized by the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Engineering, on which I recently participated.”

 
Read Original Article>>

March 22, 2008

What happened to the GOP?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:32 pm

What is going on with the Republican Party? I’ve happily pulled the lever for GOP candidates in the past and expect to in the future, but as a ruling philosophy the GOP is an abject failure right now.

It’s fair to say over the last ten years the GOP has controlled the United States. I’d give the Democratic Party the nod these last two, but can’t because of shrinking violet levels of timidity. Bill Clinton’s last two years in office were clearly defined by GOP opposition, and the Republican Party actually held the presidency, House and Senate for most of the last ten years.

What is the result of this reign? Well, the GOP is certainly “old”, more certainly not “grand” and there’s not much “party” in it. Right now the country is in a very serious recession nobody wants to acknowledge, in an even more serious monetary crisis that could possibly cripple the nation, and we’re caught in a true quagmire in Iraq based on lies.

On top of all this is the ridiculous level of incompetence at the highest levels of governance. If I believed the Bush 43 regime had a plan to give governing a keystone kops sheen, I’d applaud the effort. In reality I think the answer is much more banal and sad. Somehow our entire nation has been turned into the lowest possible level of public service.

And the final indignity is an inability to even handle a scandal correctly.

From the link:

White House Says It Destroyed Hard Drives

Older White House computer hard drives have been destroyed, the White House told a federal court yesterday, and some, but not necessarily all, of the data on those hard drives was moved to new ones.

The White House revealed the information about how it handles its computers in an effort to convince a federal magistrate that it would be fruitless to undertake a plan proposed by the court to recover millions of possibly missing e-mails from 2003 to 2005.

It would be costly and time-consuming for the White House to institute an e-mail retrieval program that entails pulling data off each individual workstation, the White House said in a sworn declaration filed with U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola.

February 25, 2008

Stick a fork in the Clinton campaign

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:58 pm

Bob Novak wonders who will break the news to Hillary that it’s over.

From the linked column:

Even before Sen. Barack Obama won his ninth straight contest against Sen. Hillary Clinton, in Wisconsin last Tuesday, wise old heads in the Democratic Party were asking this question: Who will tell her that it’s over, that she cannot win the presidential nomination and that the sooner she leaves the race, the more it will improve the party’s chances of defeating Sen. John McCain in November?

In an ideal though unattainable world, Clinton would have dropped out when it became clear even before Wisconsin that she could not be nominated. The nightmare scenario was that she would win in Wisconsin, claiming a “comeback” that would propel her to narrow victories in Texas and Ohio on March 4. That still would not have cut her a path to the nomination. But telling her then to end her candidacy and avoiding a bloody battle stretching to the party’s national convention in Denver might not have been achievable.

February 5, 2008

Obama a token?

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:41 am

I didn’t read the entire linked Washington Post op-ed penned by the novelist, and feminist, Erica Jong. I didn’t read it because the three grafs I did scan told me all I needed to know about the column. This Mark Hemingway post at the Corner rightly rips Jong for describing Obama’s candidacy and Colin Powell’s tenure at Foggy Bottom as “tokenism.”

Jong then frames her support for Clinton with the tattered and worn-out victim card comparing the respective plights of black Americans and the entire female gender. Nice.

From Hemingway’s post:

Finally, Jong wants duke it out over who’s been more oppressed — black people vs. mothers and children? Seriously? I hope that Clinton and her supporters do push this because I think I know how the American people will respond to yet another pathetic attempt to derive moral authority from victimhood — not well. The reason why Obama is liked by many Republicans is that he is campaigning as if the content of his character truly is more important than any vestigial constraints imposed by the color of his skin, and no one, especially not a pretentious hack like Erica Jong, is going to tell him that he’s a “token.”

January 28, 2008

Obamamentum

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:10 pm

Obama’s momentum keeps on rolling after Saturday’s impressive blowout victory in South Carolina.

Here’s a quote from a Washington Post article announcing Ted Kennedy is endorsing Obama. An endorsement the Clintons worked to avoid.

The Kennedy stamp of approval was one of the most sought-after prizes of the Democratic nomination battle, and it represents a coup for the Illinois senator, adding an establishment seal of approval to what began a year ago as a long-shot White Housebid. Obama had cultivated Kennedy’s support for months. So had Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who along with her husband, former president Bill Clinton, had pressed Kennedy in recent days to at least remain neutral.

Sure Obama was expected to handily win South Carolina, but the final numbers — 295,091 votes and 55% to Clinton’s 141,128 and 27% — were a much larger margin than anyone expected.