politics

Obama's commerce secretary to petition Silicon Valley on jobs

US Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker will be visiting Silicon Valley next week to sit down with some of the top companies in the area and talk jobs, data sharing, and more, according to a new report.

Secretary Pritzker will meet on Monday with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Recode reported on Friday. Facebook is also on the docket, though it's not clear who Pritzker will meet with or what topics they'll touch on. Recode didn't say which other companies might be included on the secretary's docket.

In addition to meeting with companies, Prtizker will announce a … Read more

'Fat-Bottomed Girls' ringtone interrupts BBC politics show

What does your ringtone say about you?

If your phone or tablet alerts you with "Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth, I'm Kissing you Goodbye," would anyone who heard it think you have green beans for brains?

If it emits "I Wish You Were a Beer" from touchingly tight girl metal band Cycle Sluts From Hell, might someone think you were an alcoholic -- or had a questionable relationship history?

And where do you stand on "Fat Bottomed Girls"?

This Queen classic -- of a sort -- suddenly emerged during a live … Read more

City councilman pens resignation letter in Klingon

It takes a special kind of politician to end his term by signing a resignation letter "chaq DaHjaj QaQ jaj paj." That's "maybe today is a good day (to) resign." In Klingon.

David Waddell, a city councilman for Indian Trail, N.C., decided to send his resignation letter to Mayor Michael Alvarez written in Klingon as an inside joke. "Folks don't know what to think of me half the time," Waddell told The Charlotte Observer. "So I might as well have one last laugh." … Read more

Sheer genius: Silicon Valley as a separate state

I'm going to give you a choice.

You can have all the nerds or all the wine.

Come on, you've only got 30 seconds to decide.

No, I haven't already hit the Christmas cabernet franc. Instead, I've merely been bathing in the frank proposal to split California into six separate states.

As TechCrunch reported Thursday night, this marvel is the brain offspring of venture capitalist Tim Draper. And truly, it's an excellent idea.

Living in Northern California, it's hard for us to accept that we're lumped together with the likes of, for example, … Read more

Biting tweets get White House official fired

In these days of zero secrecy, you'll always get found out -- even if you're a National Security official.

Yet for quite some time, many on the island of the insane known as Washington, D.C. couldn't work out who was writing the @natsecwonk Twitter feed.

This was full of more barb than your average prison fence. It was apolitically cutting.

Sample One: "Was Huma Abedin wearing beer goggles the night she met Anthony Wiener?"… Read more

Yale prof: Tea Partiers know more science than you think

Prejudice, like beauty, comes in many forms.

The assumption is that if you hold a particular opinion, it follows that you must hold a particular other opinion. If you don't, goes the argument, then you must be stupid.

It's a little like those who believe that a smartphone is its specs, therefore you can't possibly want to buy an iPhone.

Such logical thought-extension can sometimes pollute science. There are fears that researchers try to find evidence that satisfies their own assumptions.

Some might find it marginally heartening, then, that one researcher, Dan Kahan, admitted to his prejudices being slapped on the behind by actual results.

Writing on the Yale Cultural Cognition Project blog, Kahan described his analysis of research into possible correlations between religious or political beliefs and grasp of science.… Read more

Anthony Weiner: I'd probably be mayor if it wasn't for the Web

The past is a great place to live.

There, everything is tainted with a certain beauty, a soft-focused purity which the present cannot match.

There, there was more justice and more sense.

There politicians didn't take photographs of their nether regions and mail them to unknown women. Or, if they did, people didn't hear about it.

Because in the past, there was no Web.

Anthony Weiner, a recent candidate to be the Democratic mayor of New York, seems wistful about the past.… Read more

How to get drunk and yell at random members of Congress

The buffoons in Congress might now be talking.

But you, I feel, are beyond all that. You want to ululate. You want to fulminate. And you want to lubricate.

There is a new site that will help you do all three.

Welcome to DrunkDialCongress.org. It's a .org because its intentions are entirely public-spirited, with equal emphasis on the "public" and the "spirit."… Read more

App releases Azerbaijani election results a day early

Dear governments of perhaps-slightly-less-democratic-than-it-appears regimes: the appearance of democracy is quite important. Just for, you know, appearances sake.

So, even though everyone might have an idea that your free and fair elections are as free as OJ Simpson and as fair as the average January day in the north of England, you have to at least pretend.

This is something that the oil-rich Azerbaijani government might have overlooked. Or, rather, whoever is in charge of its Central Election Commission election mobile app.

For, as The Washington Post reports, the app dutifully pumped out marvelously accurate election results, heralding a stunning … Read more

Political bias! 58 percent of US House of Reps. have iPhones

As you watched the hordes line up to buy the new iPhones -- or merely to be photographed standing in line -- one question might have been playing on your mind: how many of these people are currently in the House of Representatives?

This has been bothering me since Friday.

The House hasn't exactly been a hive of action recently, so I can imagine that the politicos had plenty of time, should they be Apple fanpersons.

Now NBC's David Gregory has revealed what a den of Apple enthusiasm the House of Representatives truly is.

Some 58 percent of … Read more