According to Joop Houtkooper of the University of Giessen, Germany the “soil on Mars may contain microbial life.”
Earlier explorations of Mars had detected no life signs.
But Joop Houtkooper of the University of Giessen, Germany, said on Friday the spacecraft may in fact have found signs of a weird life form based on hydrogen peroxide on the subfreezing, arid Martian surface.
His analysis of one of the experiments carried out by the Viking spacecraft suggests that 0.1 percent of the Martian soil could be of biological origin.
That is roughly comparable to biomass levels found in some Antarctic permafrost, home to a range of hardy bacteria and lichen.
Inspired by Joop Houtkooper we decided to seek out signs of life on the microbial level in the Obama and Edwards campaigns.
We set our political electron microscopes on maximum and proceeded with our examination.
We first uncovered a latter-day Woodstock Summer of Hate on the Big Blogs. The Naderite weeds are in full bloom. These hayfever Naderites are pollinating the Big Blogs with their loathing of all things rational. In 2000 they deplored “Al Bore” and decided not to vote for him based on their very very very high principles. They are still very very very high minded even as they fill their pockets with Ripublican money and deride Hillary and Bill Clinton and swear to repeat the 2000 Naderite travesty. The Naderites believe what the satirical Onion newspaper wrote in January 17, 2001, as a total joke. The Naderite Big Blogs believe, along with Bush, that:
“at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us.”
Bush swore to do “everything in [his] power” to undo the damage wrought by Clinton’s two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.
During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.
“You better believe we’re going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,” said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. “Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?”
On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.
Wall Street responded strongly to the Bush speech, with the Dow Jones industrial fluctuating wildly before closing at an 18-month low. The NASDAQ composite index, rattled by a gloomy outlook for tech stocks in 2001, also fell sharply, losing 4.4 percent of its total value between 3 p.m. and the closing bell.
Asked for comment about the cooling technology sector, Bush said: “That’s hardly my area of expertise.”
Turning to the subject of the environment, Bush said he will do whatever it takes to undo the tremendous damage not done by the Clinton Administration to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He assured citizens that he will follow through on his campaign promise to open the 1.5 million acre refuge’s coastal plain to oil drilling. As a sign of his commitment to bringing about a change in the environment, he pointed to his choice of Gale Norton for Secretary of the Interior. Norton, Bush noted, has “extensive experience” fighting environmental causes, working as a lobbyist for lead-paint manufacturers and as an attorney for loggers and miners, in addition to suing the EPA to overturn clean-air standards.
Bush had equally high praise for Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, whom he praised as “a tireless champion in the battle to protect a woman’s right to give birth.”
“Soon, with John Ashcroft’s help, we will move out of the Dark Ages and into a more enlightened time when a woman will be free to think long and hard before trying to fight her way past throngs of protesters blocking her entrance to an abortion clinic,” Bush said. “We as a nation can look forward to lots and lots of babies.”
Noting the Naderite spawn, we continued our search for even non-carbon based life forms in the Obama and Edwards campaigns. We were saddened to detect no lifesigns in Iowa for Obama, though there was a promise of activity from Edwards.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s decision to opt out of all but a handful of appearances with his opponents this fall means an influential Iowa audience will lose the chance to judge him alongside his rivals next month.
Obama plans to skip AARP’s Sept. 20 forum in Davenport, where New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will address about 2,400 Iowa seniors and a national public television audience.
The decision to not attend the AARP event, aimed at issues important to people 50 and older, could nag at the Illinois senator, some Democrat activists and political observers said. AARP is a national association formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons. [snip]
Obama also has skipped some events in Iowa and elsewhere that would have put him on the same stage as his opponents, including the Iowa Democratic Party’s annual summer banquet in June.
That event drew five candidates and an audience of 1,000 of Iowa’s most influential party leaders.
Obama does not plan to attend a candidate forum Monday in Cedar Rapids to discuss fighting cancer. The forum, hosted by Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation, will include Clinton, Edwards, Richardson and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich. A Republican event Tuesday will include Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
The AARP forum is expected to focus on issues such as health care and retirement security, top concerns for Iowa’s 50-and-older crowd.
That group also has carried disproportionate clout in recent caucuses, according to Iowa Democratic Party statistics.
In 2004, 64 percent of the people who participated in the Democratic presidential caucuses were 50 or older. In 2000, the figure was 63 percent.
Of course Iowa is hostile territory for Obama since it has all those dumb old voters over 50 years of age.
“everybody knows a lot of 50-, 60- and 70-year-olds that don’t have good judgment, because they keep on making the same mistakes over and over again.”
Our search for life in these campaigns continued through the pages of Time:
Once questions have been raised about your foreign policy judgment, it’s not easy to put the genie back in the bottle. [snip]
Whatever it may be saying publicly, the Obama campaign knows its man stumbled in recent weeks on foreign policy and that he needs to start over. But he is not backing away from the idea of changing U.S. foreign policy either. “Barack’s judgment on the war has been good. New thinking without judgment just leads to mistakes.”
Time was no help. We proceeded to examine a quotable mustache:
A top adviser for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said Friday that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), the front-runner for her party’s presidential nomination, is obsessed “with what she calls the Republican attack machine.” “I think we need a candidate who is obsessed with unifying this country again,” said Obama adviser David Axelrod. He added that Obama could break “the sort of decades-long battle we’ve had over this jagged divide — red state, blue state, American against American — and try to bring people together and attract disaffected Republicans and attract independent voters so that we could build not just a victory, but a governing coalition in this country.” Axelrod also took a swipe at former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), who is third among Democratic presidential candidates in national polls. Edwards, the party’s vice presidential nominee in 2004, said this week that the country needs more than rhetoric about change in what was viewed as a jab at Obama.
The quotable, but soup-stained mustache, was no help. The Ripublican attack machine is real and living candidates and living campaigns need to prepare for their onslaught. We persevered in our search for signs of life. The Washington Post, we surmised, might have at least fossil remains. Alas, we only found more Naderite slogans and Naderite thinking:
Toiling behind Hillary Rodham Clinton in most national polls, her two main rivals in the 2008 Democratic presidential field, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina senator John Edwards, are increasingly seeking to contrast themselves with the New York senator.
The sharpest attacks are coming from Edwards, who in a speech in Hanover, N.H., on Thursday took several thinly veiled swipes at both Clinton and her husband’s administration. Invoking the 1990s controversy over the Clintons’ allowing major campaign donors to stay overnight at the White House, Edwards declared, “The Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent.”
Oh, how the Naderite Ripublican PINOs love that Lincoln Bed they are all rolling in. Of course the “Lincoln Bedroom” was yet another Ripublican construct long since debunked. The Naderite ventriloquist dummies persist however in their slurs.
In distinguishing themselves from the front-runner, Obama and Edwards are portraying Clinton as yesterday’s news. Democrats looking for a restoration of the 1990s have aspirations that were “rooted in nostalgia,” Edwards said, while Obama says he’s part of a new generation that will change politics.
Clinton’s communications director, Howard Wolfson, said in response to Edwards’s comments that “angry attacks on other Democrats won’t improve Senator Edwards’s flagging campaign.”
Howard Wolfson is such a kind man. He described the opposition as a “flagging campaign” instead of diagnosing rigor mortis. Such kindness, such Jane Austian condescension. Howie bought tears to our microscope laden eyes. The Washington Post analysis continued:
One of the challenges for Edwards and Obama is that the leading Democratic candidates have few major differences on policy, with all supporting changes to the health-care system, withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and more federal efforts to combat global warming.
Clinton is not only well known but well liked by Democrats. A recent Pew poll showed 88 percent of Democrats have “favorable” views of her, and 38 percent “very favorable,” both higher numbers than Obama and Edwards scored. “Hard-edged attacks can cut both ways, particularly if you’re attacking someone with an 88 percent approval rating among Democrats,” said Stephanie Cutter, a Democratic strategist.
No life signs there. Perhaps in New Hampshire we would detect signs of life.
“I would agree with you that experience doesn’t affect wisdom — we do know that,” responded a woman who was among about 75 squeezed into a home. “But by any stretch of the imagination, it would be a leap of faith to vote for you just because of the lack of years of experience.”
She asked how he would choose the staff and advisers who would help him make decisions. Obama answered that he would surround himself with competent people with integrity and independence — like Abraham Lincoln, he said. He pointed out that Lincoln also was a former Illinois legislator who faced great skepticism about his experience. “I guess that was a leap of faith, too,” Obama said.
Obama has less than four months to persuade skeptical voters to make that jump. His campaign says part of the challenge is getting those who know a lot about Clinton to learn more about Obama.
In New Hampshire, the campaign has set up book clubs to read Obama’s autobiographies and three-on-three basketball tournaments — the candidate’s favorite sport. He is meeting personally with voters who have yet to make up their minds.
Book clubs to read books written by the candidate – how Oprah.
And poor Lincoln. Lincoln, who fought in the Mexican wars, had a long career on the national stage as a respected voice and advocate on national tariffs and abolition of slavery, among other issues in the growing nation he helped expand as a youth, founder of the then honorable Republican Party, Lincoln, the great Lincoln – employed with such tawdry comparisons.
Sickened by that spectacle, the abuse of Lincoln’s good name, we checked the Nevada papers
“The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale. The Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent,” Edwards said to applause, referencing a Clinton-era controversy in which high-dollar donors were allowed to stay in the White House’s famed bedroom.
He said the past isn’t going to solve today’s problems or “a corrupt a corroded system.”
“Those wed to the policies of the ’70s, ’80s or the ’90s are wedded to the past, ideas and policies that are tired, shopworn and obsolete. We will find no answers there,” he said.
Clinton served as first lady during most of the 1990s.
Edwards later said he didn’t mean to target Clinton during his new stump speech.
“Going back doesn’t move us forward and we need to move forward,” he told reporters beside his campaign bus.
Edwards said voters have a choice: “Either move forward boldly into the future for our children … or the alternative, which is to stay in the same stale direction, which we’ve been traveling in the recent past.”
Edwards’ speech, his toughest yet against his top rivals, sought to draw clearer lines between himself and better-polling Democrats.
“Small thinking and outdated answers aren’t the only problems with a vision for the future that is rooted in nostalgia,” Edwards said. “The trouble with nostalgia is that you tend to remember what you liked – am I right? – and you forget what you didn’t. It’s not just that the answers of the past aren’t up to the job today, it’s that the system that produced them was corrupt – and it still is corrupt.”
Edwards said voters can’t simply “replace one group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats, just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of the other.”
No difference between Democrats and Ripublicans. Lord Nader could not have said it better.
By the way, we found more life on Mars than we did in the Obama and Edwards campaigns.