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Thumbs Down to Robot Dominance: Well, the United States is not number one in one category that is worth noting: robots. According to the IEEE Spectrum, Japan has the greatest number of industrial robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers. America has a robot density of 86, which pales in comparison to Japan’s density of 295. While the Japanese may currently have a higher number of our future overlords in their country, we still have time to catch up in the race to enslave ourselves to these cold, heartless machines. May they be merciful rulers in the not-so-distant future.
Thumbs Up to the New Mexico Department of Health: Marijuana dealers can now be officially licensed in the state of New Mexico, which is the first state to offer such a program. While there are many regulations that dealers and individuals have to follow in order to grow their own pot, individuals and non-profit organizations can grow a nice little stash with the new licensing program. Already over 200 New Mexicans have official approval to use medical marijuana. Officials might want to prepare for an increase in that number if stoners flock to the state. Then again, it’s still New Mexico and legal pot for “medical conditions” can’t make it that much better of a place to live.
Thumbs Up to the New Intelligence Regime: In a sign that the United States is returning to the rule of law and the maintenance of international standards, President-elect Obama’s new picks for the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the CIA, Dennis Blair and Leon Panetta, respectively, have demonstrated in statements to the press that they will match Obama’s emphasis on “adhering to our values diligently and with no exceptions,” which means no torture and a repudiation of tactics that reflect an “ideological agenda.” Another strong pick is Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel, as she will actually serve as a strong check on the executive branch instead of blindly following, in her own words, “unlawful executive action.” It’s about time that America will once again have some intelligent intelligence at the wheel.
Thumbs Down to Hardball: Pennsylvanians will apparently be spared a political campaign from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to become the state’s next senator, as reports have swirled that he was flirting with the idea of challenging Republican incumbent Arlen Specter in 2010. While the campaign would have been undoubtedly entertaining for Pennsylvanians and the country at large, it’s unfortunate that viewers cannot be spared from still seeing his show, as he will now renew his television contract. Perhaps that decision should be subject to a vote.

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