NY Times Editorial:
‘Pay to Play’ in New Jersey. Once again, another example of “states’ rights only when convenient.” What’s wrong with Jersey ... for the immediate future I predict potholes. Lots of ‘em.
SF New Mexican:
Lawmaker brings home stem cell discussion. Save or donate umbilical cord blood.
New chairman for House ethics panel. Rep. Hastings, on the issues. He is one of the “Contract with America” kids, who never honored his commitment to term limits. I was never for term limits, but if one promises, one should follow through. Part of that “morals” thing, the President talked about ... it would be the ‘ethical’ thing to do.
State of the Union was merely more of the same, couched in the amplifier of media coverage. Blah, blah, blah. The “Uniter” called out only Democrats’ suggestions for Social Security [ignoring similar suggestions by Republicans over the years], forgot that Republicans nominated the majority of his ‘activist judges’ ... tired of pointing these things out, tired of hearing them. I admire the devious skill of the speechwriter, knifing Roosevelt in the back at the end of this descant.
Of course I didn’t watch, Bill, preferring to read rather than live through another labored Bush delivery.
Later: I should have watched, and kept the volume off. There was some real entertainment.
Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling. “How is it that you stand on a moral footing to go after the U.N. when they’re responsible for 15 percent maybe of the ill-gotten gains, and we were part and complicit of him getting 85 percent of the money?” A pillar of the ‘intent’ argument seems to have been a set-up.
SF New Mexican:
“New Mexico will be the first state to underwrite the cost of $250,000 in life insurance for its National Guard members under a bill lawmakers sent Gov. Bill Richardson on Tuesday.” While others dither, we act.
London Review of Books:
What I heard about Iraq. “I heard an American soldier say: ‘There’s a picture of the World Trade Center hanging up by my bed and I keep one in my Kevlar. Every time I feel sorry for these people I look at that. I think: They hit us at home and now it’s our turn.” My italics.
Nepal, in destabilizing, will have ripple effects.
Sharansky, from Soviet dissident to Bush’s muse. Since it seems this is going to be a theme of our foreign policy for the next four years, it is worth picking up this book.
Happy to see that Mr Bush is finally contemplating raising benefits for those who die in war. Once more, he ‘backs into’ doing the right thing.
SF New Mexican:
Republican-sponsored state bill seeks to overturn Santa Fe’s wage law. Thou shalt not pay more than the Federally-set minimum wage. Or, states’ rights only when it serves the greater ideological good.
Does the Market Know How to Price Al-Qaeda? “What you might never have guessed is that Wall Street would be behaving as if the boom in political chaos was otherwise financially irrelevant.”
Sister Hillary. “It is no coincidence that the only prominent white Democrat who has made a good fist of talking about religion is Bill Clinton. Mr Dean’s quest for the religious vote during his presidential run was not helped by his locating the Book of Job in the New Testament (nor by the discovery that he’d abandoned Episcopalianism for Congregationalism because of a dispute over a bike path).” Hah. See my post about Mr Dean below.
Shock and Awe. “In pursuing his earlier aims, Mr Bush either had the country behind him or, if not, could get his policies implemented because they united his party and divided Democrats (this was the case with the tax cuts). But now, his ‘discretionary’ wish-list is not popular (most people oppose Social Security privatisation). And it is dividing his own party while uniting Democrats.”
It Helps to Remember that the Wolves Arrive in Sheepskins. “Journalism is a constant struggle against the official story ... [snip] ... It’s not that we hate the right or hate the left. But we know that a lot of the stuff we’re getting is packaged [and] it may or may not be the truth. It’s a tug-of-war.” Beware Op-Ed contributors, if you weren’t already sensitized to the issue.
The UN says Darfur is not genocide. Definition of genocide. Split your semantic hairs where you will, millions of people have been displaced, and tens of thousands have died. This is not permission to ignore the tragedy.
Dean Rival Gains Strength in Bid for Chairman. You will, no doubt, guess that I believe Mr Dean is wrong for the DNC. As James Carville said during the primaries, “I’m scared to death that this guy just says anything. It feels like he’s undergone some kind of a political lobotomy here.” Then again, the entrenched Democratic establishment needs a kick in the pants, and I theorize his Chairmanship would be entertaining in a “Survivor: DNC” sort of fashion. If he screws up, we end up with a revitalized and clearly progressive Green Party. It would be better than the DNC’s efforts, failed up to now, in trying to be everything to everyone.
Talk of Taxes, Social Security and Blogs at G.O.P. Retreat. “... Senator John Thune of South Dakota introduced senators to the meaning of “blogging,” explaining the basics of self-published online political commentary and arguing that it can affect public opinion.”
For Iraq’s day of democracy,
I desperately hope the rumors of violence turn out to be significantly less than hyped.
Congressional Study Notes Ways to Collect Billions More in Taxes. Makin’ them tax cuts permanent, yessirree Bob ...
SF New Mexican:
Lawsuit: Anti-Bush bumper sticker led to attack. There was bad behavior on both sides this election, but this really exemplifies the stark polarization and associated frustration.
Later: An addendum. Thanks, Rob!