The trillion dollar bet. Cheap credit (home equity) is one of the reasons stratification in society seems less wide than it really is.
Schiavo Autopsy Renews Debate on G.O.P. Actions. Accountability ... ?
Lawyers Fought U.S. Move to Curb Tobacco Penalty. “We do not want politics to be perceived as the underlying motivation, and that is certainly a risk if we make adjustments in our remedies presentation that are not based on evidence.”
House limits Patriot Act rules on library records. “If the government suspects someone is looking up how to make atom bombs, go to a court and get a search warrant.”
Iran admits to processing plutonium in 1998: IAEA. The “I’m innocent” line is less and less convincing.
The Revolution Begins in the Pews. A quite interesting article. I like the differentiation between ‘values’ and ‘practice.’ Try this for a sample: “Thus, while President Bush’s evangelical faith petrifies most liberals, his administration is more aptly characterized as evangelical-Straussian. Its foreign policies, as by now widely documented, are the progeny of an unnatural embrace between conservative evangelicals and devotees of the philosopher Leo Strauss, whose epigones now infest political science departments throughout the nation. And the Bush Administration’s secrecy, duplicity, and indifference to empirical evidence derive heavily from that second faction, whose utterly utilitarian conception of religion—Athens for the elite, Jerusalem for the rabble—apparently does not concern or even interest evangelical leaders.”
Worth your time, certainly.
NY Times Letters to the Editor:
Truth About the War, Before the War. “The bloggers have every right to be disgusted with the mainstream media, which once covered every stained dress, cigar and rumor (even giving advice to the parties in a presidential sex scandal); while pretending to be interested only in the ‘lies,’ they now deem evidence of lies in a rush to war ‘not quite so shocking.’”
NY Times Editorial:
Squelching Public Broadcasting. “Federal money amounts to 15 percent of public broadcasting’s budget revenues, but it plays a larger and particularly crucial role for smaller rural stations.”
The end of the saga, one hopes. Schiavo’s Brain Was Severely Deteriorated, Autopsy Says. “The brain weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of a human brain. ... This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons.” Rest in peace, dear lady.
SF New Mexican:
The Administration official who ‘corrected’ climate change reports gets hired at Exxon.
Another Federalist Society member appointed to the Federal Court system, this time in the ostensible “second most important court” in the land ... Washington, D.C. This is the man who was dropped last year for practicing without a license. Twice he did this. The junto’s working ... carefully, premeditatedly, strategically.
Rich/Poor gap gaining attention. “America’s powerful central banker hasn’t suddenly lurched to the left of Democratic National Committee chief Howard Dean. His solution is better education today to create a flexible workforce for tomorrow - not confiscation of plutocrats’ yachts.”
This, though: “On the other hand, some conservatives label the whole inequality debate a myth. The media’s recent focus on the subject stems from its liberal bias and clever press management by Democrats, they say.” If Democrats were so clever, Senator Kerry would be President.
All we seem to get from either ideological side is “chicken little” references. The sky has repeatedly, consistently, not fallen. Who listens anymore?
NY Times Op-Ed:
Kristof, Raped, Kidnapped and Silenced. Mukhtaran Bibi has been incarcerated by President Musharraf. I agree with Mr Kristof: President Bush, invite this young woman to the White House. Today.
SF New Mexican:
Forest Service ends fees for recreational areas. I’m surprised by this; they could certainly use the money, and I don’t believe anyone would begrudge them the fees.
If you haven’t read about it,
What debt relief means for Africa. It’s great, but it’s a mixed bag, too.
For a Tribe in Texas, an Era of Prosperity Undone by Politics. “In one message dated Feb. 11, 2002, the day of the court ruling against the Tiguas, Mr. Abramoff wrote to Mr. Scanlon: ‘I wish those moronic Tiguas were smarter in their political contributions. I’d love us to get our mitts on that moolah!! Oh well, stupid folks get wiped out.’”
Follow the Leader. “DeLay is under attack because he stood up to the judiciary, she said. ‘The liberals are going after him because of what he said about bringing out-of-control judges under control. That’s why they’re targeting him ...’” My italics for emphasis. I assume everyone knows the problems with Mr DeLay far precede his comments on the judiciary ... but maybe that’s not a safe assumption. Especially when citizens think Obi-Wan has become Darth Vader (see yesterday).
Attack of the drones. Interesting info on the US arsenal of UAVs.
Montana’s Governor defends bolo ties. For the West, it’s appropriate. Not elsewhere.
Editor of Climate Reports Resigns. Gone, but the damage is not addressed.
Hearing on Patriot Act Ends in an Angry Uproar. Childish and petulant. A very poor example.
The insidious wiles of foreign influence; How much are other countries’ laws influencing America’s? Another mixed bag, resembling the vaunted “states’ rights”. As practiced in our postmodern world, only when convenient.
NY Times Op-Ed:
Krugman, Losing our Country. Familiar theme. I just wanted to make a comment. Nobody seems to care. The middle class, the lower class. Nobody. The majority of people seem to feel plenty affluent. And there’s the concept that, once they hit the ‘big time’, they will want to enjoy true affluence the way the well-off do today. The common folk believe affluence is meritocracy. So most are OK with the economic situation as it stands right now.
Problem is, statistically, moving up in class is getting less and less likely to happen. Meritocracy? Hah. That’s what needs to be communicated. The American economy is dealing marked cards. And Americans traditionally hate ‘dirty dealers.’