Cleaning up some stuff I didn't get to last week:
• Middle-class Americans are having lots of trouble paying for health care. Not surprising, but consider that we knew precisely that rising health care costs were a problem during the 2000 election. It's stunning how little has been done about it, even rhetorically. They don't even talk a good game on health care at the White House.
• John McCain, Mr. Straight Talk, the maverick reformer who's going to clean up Washington, is breaking the campaign finance law that he created. He's raising soft money. Curiously, this did not come up on McCain's lengthy interview on Meet the Press. Of course, a lot of bullshit and incoherent logic did come up.
• This is a good summation of the issues surrounding the employing of the Espionage Act in the prosecution of two AIPAC staffers. Basically this recent ruling says that the recepients of classified information can be punished for receiving it as much as the leakers can, even if they do nothing with that information. This is nothing but an opportunity to punish the press for doing their job.
• Alan Keyes: no difference between stem cell research and Josef Mengele's experiments. I hope he will sign the pledge not to accept future treatment from any cures discovered as a result of that research. Oh, and Keyes is a completely irrelevant crank, except he said this execrable quote at the keynote speech for Missouri Right to Life, a key supporter of the campaign of Senator Jim Talent. Wonder if he agrees with Keyes.
• Fox News producers resign in protest of the network's coverage in the Middle East. You probably won't hear about this on Fox News. Or anywhere else but Democracy Now.
• Yes, Lieberman's got a double digit lead. And I think it's completely expected at this stage of the race. The incumbent still has the advantage, and I think a few people on this side are spinning those numbers in unfortunate ways. All you have to watch Lieberman's silliness on Face the Nation to know that beating him a second time is a high priority for me. But there's a lot of work to be done. The real problem is that Lamont is outpolling Schlesinger (the Republican candidate) among REPUBLICANS. If Schlesinger was in any way credible the situation would be different.
• The latest Survey USA poll shows that George Felix Macaca is up by only three points on Jim Webb. Quite a swing over the past month. This is the race that the DSCC would have been fairly content to unilaterally disarm from and focus on opportunities elsewhere. Now it might just decide control of the Senate.