The Call of Duty

By Phil Plait | November 10, 2008 11:48 am

I’m kinda busy right now, but y’know, if this gets traction, I may have to free up my schedule. As an added bonus, I might get to hang out with a friend.

But I dunno, do you want these guys running the country’s Scitech?

We’ll promise bacon and a Mintie in every pot.

Sigh. I guess if I get a phone call from the 202 area code I’ll be sure to be on my best manners.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Humor, Politics

Comments (37)

  1. Jeff Fite

    Your first agenda item: install the red phone inside a blue police call box.

  2. Damien

    Phil Plait,

    Funny picture

  3. Adrian Lopez

    Would being appointed science adviser to the president affect your position with the JREF?

  4. Todd W.

    Phil Plait, bringing dignity and sobriety to the White House.

  5. Gary Ansorge

    I prefer Dr. David Brin for that position. He has a 50 % prognostication accuracy.
    What’s your, Phil?

    I expect anyone stuck in this position will certainly earn their pay. White House politics makes running for the presidency seem like childs play,,,

    GAry 7

  6. “But I dunno, do you want these guys running the country’s Scitech?”

    Yes! Yes! Yes!!!

  7. Ignorant Atheist

    Phil,

    You would be great, but I was thinking Neil Tyson (sp?). It helps that we share a first name :) .

  8. Todd W.

    Oooh! If you did get, that could be your ticket onto Colbert! That’ll show that uppity Tyson. :P

  9. You should be more careful, Phil. What if your fingers had been loaded, huh?

  10. I don’t know Phil. It looks like you never contributed to Obama’s campaign at least according to the FEC web site:

    http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/norindsea.shtml

    Someone named James Plait in Mesquite, Nevada contributed $225 to the McCain campaign. A relative perhaps? Oooo, say it ain’t so.

    Someone named David Plaitt in Brighton, Michigan contributed $208 to a congressman named Michael Rogers. But the last name has an extra T so I’m guessing no relation.

    So there are no Plaits in the entire country who contributed to the Obama-Rama campaign at least according to the FEC. Of course, maybe you checked off your $3 contribution for public financing of Presidential elections on your income tax return, but I guess that doesn’t count since Obama opted not to use any of that money.

    So this is typically a bad sign in terms of receiving appointments to the governing class. Apparently you didn’t get the e-mail from David Plouffe asking for $30 in exchange for a chance to meet Obama, his lovely wife Michelle, and their two wonderful daughters backstage at Grant Park in Chicago after his victory speech. If only… if only you had gotten that e-mail then perhaps you would have a shot at Science Advisor.

    Well, maybe next election.

  11. Shoeshine Boy

    I guess that would complete your meteoric rise.

  12. Elmar_M

    Autch, Phil, you do not know what you are doing! I have seen people full of enthusiasm and ideals go into politics only to turn into hypocritical liers and lobby- baits within no time.
    Still, I cant think of anyone better for the job!
    Approved! ;)

  13. Cheyenne

    I’d vote yes!

    But I’m pretty sure with health care, Africa, and global warming on the table they’ll go with Peter Agre (and he was on Colbert already so….).

  14. David D.

    Wait–hasn’t this blog been ranting about the politicization of science in the White House? Wouldn’t someone a little more neutral be appropriate?

    Or is “our” politics better than others?

  15. IA, I was thinking Neil Tyson, too.

    This picture needs a caption contest!

    Phil: before you get serious about that job, have a chat with Alan Stern…

  16. bjn

    Phil, stick to your day job. Really. Whatever it is.

  17. RL

    Cynical me wondered if the earlier politics posts were tryouts for presidential or Hollywood science advisor. I thought that could be unfair but now I wonder. Was I right?

  18. I would support this. Who do we call?

  19. There are some pretty interesting numbers on campaign spending for the last election out on:

    http://herndon1.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/cancomsrs

    If you sort the numbers from most money to least you get the following list. So Obama outspent McCain by $153 million or 42 percent. He outspent Hillary Clinton by $279 million or more than double. There were a total of 143 presidential candidates. Four of them (Obama, McCain, Clinton, and Romney) spent more than $100 million. Twenty of them spent more than $1 million. 111 of them spent less than $100,000. Thirty of them spent exactly $0 – I guess they were counting on name recognition to carry them over the top (with a name like Hoa Tran Giannibicego why wouldn’t you? – you’re sure to lock down the half-Vietnamese/half-Italian vote).

    If you take the top two Democratic spenders (Obama and Hillary) they spent a combined $764 million compared to $482 million for the top two Republican spenders (McCain and Romney). Thus, the top two Democrats spent 58 percent more than the top two Republicans. So I’d better not hear any Democrats complaining about campaign finance anymore – that horse is dead and Obama has the smoking gun gripped in his hand.

    Candidate Name Net Receipts
    ——————————————– ————

    OBAMA, BARACK 521,869,310
    MCCAIN, JOHN S. 368,609,473
    CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM 242,517,659
    ROMNEY, MITT 113,605,272
    GIULIANI, RUDOLPH W. 64,463,489
    EDWARDS, JOHN 62,237,632
    PAUL, RON 35,119,157
    RICHARDSON, BILL 24,585,985
    THOMPSON, FRED DALTON 24,439,260
    DODD, CHRISTOPHER J 18,457,188
    HUCKABEE, MIKE 16,460,354
    BIDEN, JOSEPH R JR 14,132,893
    TANCREDO, THOMAS GERALD 8,447,279
    KUCINICH, DENNIS J 5,509,630
    BROWNBACK, SAMUEL DALE 4,451,259
    NADER, RALPH 4,109,285
    HUNTER, DUNCAN 3,044,949
    BARR, BOB 1,240,265
    THOMPSON, TOMMY G 1,227,228
    VILSACK, THOMAS J 1,038,467
    COX, JOHN H 620,036
    JUDD, KEITH RUSSELL 532,837
    GRAVEL, MIKE 497,490
    KEYES, ALAN L 465,765
    GILMORE, JAMES S III 404,879
    LAMAGNA, DAL 382,310
    JINGOZIAN, MICHAEL PAUL 255,442
    BALDWIN, CHARLES OBADIAH 241,934
    PHILLIES, GEORGE DAVID JOSEPH 211,173
    MCKINNEY, CYNTHIA 187,852
    GILBERT, DANIEL AYERS 183,060
    CLARK, WESLEY K 112,122
    IMPERATO, DANIEL J 88,995
    FENDIG, H NEAL JR (CAP) 84,031
    ROOT, WAYNE A 79,091
    ALLEN, JONATHAN EDWARD 75,482
    DEAN, HOWARD 65,420
    CURRY, JERRY RALPH 58,817
    KLEIN, MARK IRWIN 55,598
    BLYTH, JOHN DOUGLAS 48,219
    ALLEN, DONALD KENNETH 45,382
    WUENSCHE, VERNON EDGAR 38,845
    SHEPARD, JACK 31,925
    KOENIG, WILLIAM RONALD 30,743
    BUSH, GEORGE W 27,097
    WILLIAMS, JOMO K MANUAL 24,500
    LA RIVA, GLORIA ESTELA 24,231
    SMITH, CHRISTINE 17,583
    MCCALL, JAMES HATTON 16,776
    SCHRINER, JOSEPH CHARLES 16,019
    GEPHARDT, RICHARD A 15,959
    GRASSO, PETER SAMUEL JR 13,466
    WILSON, D WAYNE 13,297
    ASHBY, BLAKE 12,189
    LAROUCHE, LYNDON H JR 11,545
    KUBBY, STEVEN WYNN 11,130
    LINK, ALDEN 10,389
    HEWES, HENRY 10,280
    MOORE, BRIAN PATRICK 9,516
    MESPLAY, KENT PHILIP 9,133
    SWIFT, KAT 8,840
    KINGERY, DANIEL MELZINE 8,787
    ROSENBERGER, PAUL RUSSELL 8,500
    CARTER, WILLIE FELIX 8,353
    MCENULTY, FRANK EDWARD 7,440
    POWELL, MICHEL ANISSA I 7,404
    HATCH, ORRIN GRANT 7,300
    ZILAITIS, FRANK 7,050
    ARNOLD, KEITH L 6,744
    DORNAN, ROBERT K 6,000
    BACON, DANIEL AVERY 5,683
    BAUER, GARY L 5,541
    PARKER, GLENDA GAIL 5,479
    SMITH, RICHARD MICHAEL 5,382
    FLEHARTY, RICHARD EARL 5,316
    LYNCH, FRANK 5,150
    ARANJO, ROLAND 5,011
    WILES, VIRGIL L R 5,000
    SHARKEY, JONATHON THE IMPALER 4,810
    MULLINS, GROVER CLEVELAND JR 4,673
    SPRANKLE, KEITH ROBERT 4,468
    WASHINGTON, LANAKILA 3,821
    CROW, RANDOLPH W 3,665
    BOWLES, JOHN TAYLOR 3,305
    DUCEY, SUSAN GAIL 2,844
    FELLURE, LOWELL JACKSON 2,773
    BROUGHMAN, DEWEY R 2,760
    VAUGHN, CORROGAN R 2,288
    HUNTER, D R 2,285
    RUFF, GARY 1,448
    BEIL, JAMES FRANCIS 1,325
    MCKINNEY, RAYMOND LOUIS 1,310
    MUZYK, GEORGE ALEXANDER 1,225
    RAGHAVAN, RAJESH SRINIVASA 1,097
    KRUEGER, KARL EVERETT 1,029
    HOWARD, MILDRED (MILLIE) 898
    FORRESTER, MICHAEL KEITH 649
    SMITH, CHRISTOPHER POPHAM 595
    GREENSPON, JON ADAM 400
    SMITH, MICHAEL CHARLES 397
    CLARK, RICHARD HOWARD 200
    MILLS, WILLIAM LOUIS JR 175
    CRUISE, CLAIRE 159
    CARROLL, JERRY LEON 140
    ADAMS, STEPHEN PAUL 115
    FURNISS, DAVID ERNST 108
    BANKS, JEDIDIAH ELIJAH WENDELL KENNEDY 100
    GONZALEZ, MATT 100
    JOHNSON, JERRY ROLAND 20
    MIANNAY, ANDY CLOWN 20
    BUCHANAN, PATRICK J 1
    BARNETT, DANIEL JAMES 0
    BAYH, EVAN 0
    BEHM, KARL 0
    BERG, WILLIAM F 0
    BLACK, GREG 0
    BORMAN, MATTHEW JAY 0
    BRAUN, CAROL MOSELEY 0
    CARTER, JAMES (JIMMY) HARLIN 0
    CHERRICKS, LIZA DAWN 0
    CLINTON, WILLIAM JEFFERSON 0
    COBB, DAVID KEITH 0
    EPSTEIN, PHILIP 0
    FERGUSON, BENNIE LEE BEN 0
    FORTHAN, BOB LEONARD 0
    GARZA, IDA CECILIA 0
    GIANNIBICEGO, HOA TRAN 0
    GODWIN, WRENDO JOHNSON P 0
    HINCHY, CLARENCE ALLEN 0
    HOFF, SAMUEL B DR 0
    HOWARD, ALBERT 0
    JACKSON, ROBERT G 0
    KOCH, DAVID ALAN 0
    LEONAITIS, JOSEPH FELIX 0
    MACMILLAN, STEPHEN D 0
    MALONE, YEHANNA JOAN M M 0
    MITCHELL, JAMES CREIGHTON JR 0
    MUHAMMED, JESUS BILAL ISLAM ALLAH 0
    SANDERS, COLONEL LAUNEIL 0
    STATH, JEFFREY DENNIS 0
    WILLIAMS, DANIEL E 0
    LIEBERMAN, JOSEPH I -119,757
    KERRY, JOHN F -9,140,729

  20. RL: No… with Phil, it’s the enthusiasm!

  21. I support it, and no bacon or Minties required! You had me at “I’m kinda”.

  22. You serious, Phil?
    I mean, I have no say whatsoever in it (being a dirty dirty forgeiner) but DUDE you would have my support!

    BA in the HOUSE!

  23. Daniel

    You know…The capital could use an observatory.

  24. “Wouldn’t someone a little more neutral be appropriate? ”

    I really don’t think your definition of “neutral” exists in the science world. after all, both Bush an McCain have done their best to look anti-science.

    And having an actual scientist (and a popular one, at that!) at the head of science would be at least sensible.

  25. David D.

    Whether or not my definition of “neutral” actually exists or not, we certainly should strive to have someone who most closely approaches that idea. Phil is an actual scientist and popular no doubt, but his political bent is loudly trumpeted here, and the politicization of science is one of the issues he has disagreed with. It would at the very least appear hypocritical.

  26. Dave Hall

    Jadehawk Says: “And having an actual scientist (and a popular one, at that!) at the head of science would be at least sensible.”

    But Carl Sagan is dead! ;)

  27. Dave Hall

    Seriously, it might work if you and Scalzi could find a beard pattern you could both agree on.

  28. David D: if one is a scientist and involved with Big Science in any big way, one can’t SPIT without it being political. When big money is involved, politics rears its ugly head. that’s a given.

  29. David D.

    @ccp–

    That’s a given doesn’t make it alright. Isn’t this about “change,” or at least a change from the last 8 years?

    I’m not naive to understand that politics will enter into the situation, esp. in Washington DC. The point I am trying to make is that if you say (as Phil does) that the politicization of science is bad, then you would want someone as science advisor to Obama to be as politically neutral as possible. BA does not make the cut in this regard.

  30. Don Snow

    Oh, those two will do, fine; just as long as ya’ll dress and act like that on the job.

    Then, all the anti-science people will have a hizzy fit, when they discover that these are two…liberal…skeptics who can hold their own.

    Yeah, you’ll do; your political stance will fit right in, with the coming administration’s politics.

    Whistling as I fade away.

  31. track

    hey phil ..or anyone .. what is the name of the store or company in the back ground of the pic above behind phil. the banner reads .. the missing .. but cannot see the rest. i’m dyin to check out the website!

  32. changcho

    That’s a very good rock n’ roll picture – now learn to play some instruments!

  33. Nemo

    Tom Marking: I think they only record donors over $100 or something. I know my mother donated, and she doesn’t show up.

    RL: No, you weren’t right. This is someone else’s idea… Phil’s just linking to it. And I don’t think he takes it too seriously…

  34. LOVE YOUR BLOG, AND LOVE YOUT T- SHIRT :D

  35. Who’s the guy in the background getting the crotch massage?

  36. mandydax

    I thought you’d make a great SciAdvi. I do wonder how being the Prez of a non-profit affects that possibility, though. Either way, good luck. Our blogrolls are filled with excellent candidates. :)

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