Saturday, July 24

News & Comment

Well, it's almost time to go catch my plane for Boston. I'm done packing, but I can take my pick of being a) too hot to sleep, or b) too wound up to sleep. Thought I'd leave you with a few last minute links to stories that you may want to read if they hadn't come to your attention already:

The situation in Iraq is completely under control. Look, here's a Constitutional amendment on gay marriage! Pay no attention to that kidnapped Egyptian diplomat. If there's a bright side to this mess, and it's very hard to find one, it's this:

...The beheading of hostages has stirred opposition in Iraq, with radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who led a two-month uprising against U.S. forces beginning in April, joining the criticism.

"We condemn what some people are doing regarding the beheading of prisoners, and it is illegal according to Islamic law," al-Sadr said at the Kufa mosque south of Baghdad, where he led Friday prayers. "Anybody doing this is a criminal, and we will punish him according to Islamic law."...

An older article about WA 8th Congressional candidate Dave Reichert's campaign stance that there should be budget cuts to a program that helped catch the Green River Killer.

The politics of Costco and Walmart. You've heard the stories about how each company treats its workers, based on that, take a guess which respective political parties they contribute to.

Compassionate conservatism in action: 145,000 children lose healthcare due to cuts in federal programs designed to help low-income families. The programs are administered by the states, but federally funded, and we all know how well the federal government has been doing lately in keeping up its end of the funding bargain. The state of Texas is noted for both a large share of the cuts, and significant reductions in service to children still covered.

Whiskey Bar: Americans have taken a pay cut since 1972. With the aid of the Wall Street Journal and an economist from J.P. Morgan Chase, Billmon makes the case that not only does John Edwards' two Americas theme hold water, but that Republican policy is undoing a century of progress that made a middle class possible. It's very easy to forget that the existence of a middle class is a fairly new invention.

George Paine talks about the level of political discourse.

Avedon Carol has some things liberals should read, notably a pointer to a story where a Republican was caught in public talking about the need to supress voting.

Daily Kos: How mercenaries hurt the military and the war effort. Claims of mass graves in Iraq were highly exaggerated, not that it makes it any better for those who lost their lives. Why Democrats in safely 'blue' states shouldn't be surprised when elected Democrats in more conservative parts of the country don't toe the line on every vote, which seems only reasonable.

Body and Soul chronicles Bush's history of offending the religious.

Atrios: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz didn't believe Bin Laden was a threat before 9-11.

Have a good weekend & I'll see you Monday, live from Boston!


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