Friday, January 24, 2003

The next time some Green nut insists on the general sameness of Democrats and Republicans, point out this rather significant difference. Yes, both sides tend to come from affluence, or come into it once their careers take off. The difference is that there is genuine dedication to social responsibility on the part of the Democratic rich which isn't nearly as obsessed with amassing more and more wealth. Can you picture Cheney saying this?

...he outlined steps to try to halt the growth of the uninsured, such as pruning Bush's proposed $674 billion tax cut and sending money instead to help states shore up health programs for poor people and uninsured children, programs that are being pared by the states' worsening budget crises.

Clinton noted his own post-presidential affluence as he echoed the Democratic attack on Bush's tax cuts as a boon for millionaires. Instead of spending the money on Medicare and Social Security (news - web sites), Clinton said, Bush wants "to give it to me!"


"It's bad ethics and terrible economics," he told an enthusiastic audience at the Families USA health advocacy conference. "Take my money and make America well."

He also said he couldn't figure out why the Republicans wanted tax cuts that would deepen the deficit.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

This is so obvious it's pathetic. Repubs have sex on the brain.
I feel a complicated mixture of horror and glee at this.

President George Bush is determined to go to war with Saddam Hussein in the next few weeks, without UN backing if necessary, according to authoritative sources in Washington and London.
The US president is "to turn up the heat" in his state of the union address on Tuesday.

"The pressure comes from President Bush and it is felt all the way down," a European official said. "They're talking about weeks, not months. Months is a banned word now."

Mostly horror. This war will be bad on so many levels. It will also be the nail in Bush's re-election coffin. What worries me is that the more reluctant the American public gets at going to war, the louder the drumbeats get. He must be either so oil-hungry he doesn't care, or just totally in denial. The only good thing to come out of war with Iraq would be that Bush's numbers might get so bad he has to resign. And I would far rather see Bush serve out his term than drop out early because he's blown it to the tune of thousands of lives.

“The United States should never go to war because it wants to. We should go to war because we have to...”

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Watched The Murder of Emmett Till last night on PBS. I almost didn't but I had it on pretty good authority that it was worth watching. I tend to initially balk at watching these programs because I always end up feeling so angry and depressed after, but after the whole dismal weekend of affirmative action debate I really needed to see something relevant.

It was worth seeing, although somewhat lacking. I don't think an hour is enough time to get into everything that the case embodied. For one, the antipathy that African Americans have towards the south continues today and has it's roots in the ideology of Mississippi. And the sexual politics of race is worth a documentary in itself. They also didn't get into the question of the whistle which surprised me. One story has it that Till would whistle to counteract his stutter. They mentioned the stutter briefly but not the whistle. My feeling is that whether the whistle was intentional or not isn't important. The point is that he was killed for it. Still that they didn't at least mention it was odd.

One of things that struck me was how large a part the northern press played in bringing the story out. How depressing is it the press in an era of segregation was in some ways more progressive than our press now?