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Science and regulation

The Union of Concerned Scientists has just published a paper on science and governmental regulatory bodies and policy advisory panels.

The United States has enjoyed prosperity and health in large part because of its strong and sustained commitment to independent science. As the nation facesnew challenges at home and growing competitiveness abroad, the need for a robust federal scientific enterprise remains critical. Unfortunately,an epidemic of political interference in federal science threatens this legacy, promising serious and wide-ranging consequences.Political interference in science has penetrated deeply into the culture and practices of federal agencies. These systemic problems cannot be resolved quickly or simply. Leadership and an unwavering commitment to scientific integrity from our next president, continued oversight from the legislative branch, and the persistent and energetic engagement of many different stakeholders are critical. The balance of poweramong the three branches of government should be restored, to enable each to playits part in keeping science independent.This interference in science threatens ournation’s ability to respond to complex challenges to public health, the environment, and national security. It risks demoralizing the federal scientific workforce and raises the possibility of lastingharm to the federal scientific enterprise. Most important, it betrays public trust in our government and undermines the democratic principles upon which this nation was founded.

Update: MG sends additional links here and here.

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Not policy in the thread

My apologies for simply punting on the thread on Iraq, but I was not going to spend the time to evaluate each comment and post a note on why it was deleted. The policy was designed for individual and relatively infrequent use, not half the comments and taunts.

Hence comments were deleted en mass, and not for opinion. It certainly would not be policy to censure opinion on its own merit, but also includes other things as stated.

It is not policy to stop comments…it was overwhelm for me on the thread. There was no way to edit and remark on so many without a lot of time, which I refuse to do, so I punted and figuratively yelled shut up.

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Bill Polley noticed that stats are getting worse.

The news isn’t good. The PPI is on the rise. (MSNBC)

WASHINGTON – Battered by bad economic news, consumer confidence plunged while wholesale food, energy and medicine costs soared, pushing inflation up at the fastest pace in a quarter century.
The Labor Department said Tuesday that wholesale inflation jumped by 1 percent in January, more than double the increase that analysts had been expecting.
The next paragraph isn’t about inflation, but isn’t great either…

Meanwhile, the New York-based Conference Board reported that its confidence index fell to 75.0 in February, down from a revised January reading of 87.3. The drop was far below the 83 reading that analysts had forecast and put the index at its lowest level since February 2003, a period that reflected anxiety in the lead up to the Iraq war.
And on another note, I was revising my homework solutions for my principles of macro course this semester. I always ask students to find the most recent rate of inflation by the CPI (12 month % change). Last semester, the answer was 2.0% at the time I asked the question. The answer now? 4.4%. (4.3% not seasonally adjusted)

uh-oh.

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Another thought on the ME

Another post from the counteterrorism blog from WAPO has a different twist:

What the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan have in common is that it will take a major and consistent U.S. effort throughout the next administration at least to win either war. Any American political debate that ignores or denies the fact that these are long wars is dishonest and will ensure defeat. There are good reasons that the briefing slides in U.S. military and aid presentations for both battlefields don’t end in 2008 or with some aid compact that expires in 2009. They go well beyond 2012 and often to 2020.
If the next president, Congress and the American people cannot face this reality, we will lose. Years of false promises about the speed with which we can create effective army, police and criminal justice capabilities in Iraq and Afghanistan cannot disguise the fact that mature, effective local forces and structures will not be available until 2012 and probably well beyond. This does not mean that U.S. and allied force levels cannot be cut over time, but a serious military and advisory presence will probably be needed for at least that long, and rushed reductions in forces or providing inadequate forces will lead to a collapse at the military level.
The most serious problems, however, are governance and development. Both countries face critical internal divisions and levels of poverty and unemployment that will require patience. These troubles can be worked out, but only over a period of years. Both central governments are corrupt and ineffective, and they cannot bring development and services without years of additional aid at far higher levels than the Bush administration now budgets. Blaming weak governments or trying to rush them into effective action by threatening to leave will undercut them long before they are strong enough to act.

(Bolding is mine)

So this person says to stay, and by implication tar and feather the people who got us into this mess. Hmmmm. I like this counterrorism blog. Thanks Red State.

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