Greenspan defends home debt. The fact remains, whether rolled into a home equity loan or not, debt is debt, and we’re at record levels of it just to make ends meet in this country.
Bush may get a larger portion of the black vote, but in spite of his officials bombarding BET with releases and statements, he turns down a prime-time interview. Mr Kerry accepted the same invitation, and appeared October 7.
Buttonwood, Cover note. “All manner of dodgy practices, and the companies that may have engaged in them, are now under the spotlight. That they haven’t been before is perhaps connected with the fact that, against stiff competition, regulation of insurance in America is even worse than regulation of other parts of its financial-services industry. There is, for example, no overarching insurance regulator: the business is overseen on a state-by-state basis (though, to be fair, federal regulators have not been up to much in other corners of the financial industry).” My italics. Hopefully medical insurances of all types will also become illuminated. One must bring the insurance industry to heel; they’ve been working very hard to stay under the radar.
Bush vs. the Laureates: How Science Became a Partisan Issue. Or, how science became subject to the political version of its own litmus test (which this Administration denies using).
Brazil agrees to limited nuclear inspections. “Under the Space for Peace program, the United States shared re-entry vehicle technology, which is also useful for warheads, with Brazil back in the 1980’s ... [snip] ... That technology ended up in Libya, because Brazil gave it to them. There’s no question about it.” Mr Reagan offers a gift, and it almost comes back to bite us.
Flu, Flu, Flu vaccines. I point out, once again, that what is best for humankind is not necessarily profitable. There is a fundamental disconnect between the finest performance of capitalism, and the well-being of the people. In the past, we used our Federal Government to fill the gap. Unfashionable, post-Contract with America. We suffer as a result.
Later: Apparently, Chiron themselves had doubts 8 days before the British Government closed them down.
NY Times Op-Ed:
I believe Mr Safire is cranking up the frequency of his (as Jon Stewart would term) “political hackery” columns in anticipation of November’s election. Year of Fear? Even if, in the most muddled viewpoint, that was true ... it can’t stand up against the rogue’s gallery of boogeymen this Administration has continually paraded before us since 9/11. Note also, the rote recitation of the ‘false hope’ characterization of the stem cell argument, stamped and approved by the Administration. If stem cells are a false hope, then believing the war in Iraq would promote democracy was much more questionable ‘false hope.’ False hope in one case, dogmatic article of faith in another ... spare us the mimicked drivel, sir.
NY Times Letters to the Editor:
Health Savings Accounts. ‘Popularity’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘good.’ If my casual conversations with others is representative, people are choosing HSA’s not because of their function, but because of the lack of any other affordable options.
Government Ignored Flu Warnings, Democrats Say. Hmmm. Only $50 million of $100 million requested. But after a little digging, “Representative Henry Waxman highlighted gaps in planning and funding, noting in particular that the President’s Fiscal Year 2005 budget ‘undercuts flu vaccination efforts…cuts CDC funding by 3 percent and reduces the amount of money going to state and local governments for public health readiness by over $100 million.’” The GAO’s warned of these risks over the years since the 2000-2001 flu season. Bird flu stats. Cutting CDC funding, in the face of bioterror and avian flu risks, is worrisome, certainly. States won’t be able to cope without strong central coordination.
Frozen by oil price fears. “... economists are now worried that their rough-and-ready rule may not be linear: that is, a rise in the oil price from $45 to $55 may be more damaging than an increase from $25 to $35. Increasingly, economists are abandoning their rules of thumb and crossing their fingers instead.” Lay in that firewood.
CJR Campaign Desk:
“The Bush campaign should be able to make an argument without having it reflexively dismissed as distorted or inaccurate by the biggest newspapers in the country.” The underdog routine again.
Even better, in “Spin Buster” ... Tom Tomorrow gets it exactly right. We should tack that cartoon up on bulletin boards around the US.
High Court Orders Review of Texas Seats in Congress. It would be nice if the new President would address redistricting discursively.
SF New Mexican:
In this political season, Hispanics want actions, not words. As I’ve expressed previously.
National Annenberg Election Survey found soldiers and military families question Iraq strategy.
“September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country.”
Check out another Flickr experiment, just for the political season.
NY Times Editorial:
Dangerous territory. I don’t believe I’ve commented on the Sinclair Broadcasting propaganda effort. I strongly recommend that a network, preferably CBS (since Walter Cronkite was a fixture in the 60’s Vietnam era), go to Angel Fire, NM to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and borrow the film they play for visitors and run it in a decent time slot. It covers the Vietnam war, year by year, in the words of the kids who fought the war. Heartbreaking, heartwrenching to relive those years, in all the red blood and green jungle. Casualty numbers, wounded numbers, escalation, protests. You can walk in a stereotypical modern Republican, but you’ll walk out understanding that Mr Kerry was mainstream, not fringe. Most walk out with tears streaming down their faces, no matter their political caste. Created by Vietnam Vets to increase public understanding, it’s a powerful experience.
Wracking, naked truth is the only counter to snivelling propaganda.
NY Times Letters to the Editor:
The Ambassador of France slaps Mr Safire around, deservedly.
‘Bioshield’ effort is inadequate to counter bioterror or pandemic. I should think that, in light of the flu debacle, it would be patently obvious.
Later: Seems the Republicans are trying to get traction with this. I didn’t much like it when Mr Edwards mentioned it. I didn’t like it any better when Mr Kerry mentioned it, and felt it could backfire. Mr Kerry came across as much more sincere than Mr Edwards; hence my impression of hypocritical reaction on the part of the Cheneys. But the gloves came off in this election a long time ago, personal attacks against Mr Kerry’s service record, wife, daughters. He learned that you can’t hang back. Everything and everyone is in ‘play’ for advantage. Filter this noise. Noise is just noise. Concentrate on the real issues.
Received from a friend via email:
CJR Campaign Desk:
Distortion — on video news releases. Your local news stations have been infiltrated. “It’s one thing for a PR operative to pose as a reporter; it’s another for a reporter to act as a cog in the PR wheel of a government agency.” Amen.
The New Yorker:
Free Air. “The broadcasting industry is well acquainted with political favoritism and corporate welfare. Local TV stations have consistently been among the most lucrative businesses in the country, but they have never been asked to pay for their use of the public airwaves. In a sense, broadcasters are the modern equivalent of the railroads. In the nineteenth century, the railroads were given tens of millions of acres of land (adding up, eventually, to roughly ten per cent of the country); now broadcasters have been given billions of dollars’ worth of electromagnetic real estate.” It was the bandwidth handout during the Reagan years that gifted him with that “teflon” image, so many of us believed. Same for GWB?
Bad news bunch:
The Baghdad “Green Zone”, unsafe. (Come again, Mr Allawi?) Trade deficit second highest in history, jobless numbers up. (It’s all about the oil.) Taiwan has nuclear ambitions. (China will contemplate pre-emption, and who are we to argue?) And Saudis blame America for rise in terrorism. (They should talk with Michael Moore.)