As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Rest of the Week In Review

My beloved laptop is actually in the shop at the moment, so I had to commit some of these stories I didn't get a chance to comment on during the week to (gasp!) pencil and paper. I've become quite reliant on my little system for gathering and organizing news. So the next few days should get interesting.

• Aww, the poor White House doesn't have someone they can push around in Britain anymore. How very sad for them, a strategic partner that wants a "partnership" instead of "do whatever I say." Apparently the Administration is mad that Gordon Brown isn't acting all tough and Churchillian by shrieking in public that Iran must be vanquished and resistance is futile. That's definitely a way to get on Bush's bad side.

This is pretty hysterical, considering that a-hole former Rep. John Sweeney's biggest gaffe last year was showing up at a frat kegger and finding the pictures on MySpace. Now he's arrested for DUI. We should have seen it coming...

• Remember when Erwin Chemerinsky, the distinguished legal scholar, was tossed from his new job as the Dean of the UC Irvine law school because of his "liberal" views? Turns out that the guy who gave enough cash to get his name on the school, a conservative activist, had veto power over hiring. But, the school says, that was not a factor in the eventually-reversed Chemerinsky decision. Riiiight.

• Here's a bill I'd like to see put to a vote. Sen. Whitehouse has proposed outlawing caging as a voter suppression tactic. "Caging" is the practice of challenging voters after sending mail to their residences and seeing what gets returned. This has been used to great effect in disqualifying minority voters and members of the military, who aren't there to get their mail. It's a cheap tactic designed to intimidate and deny the franchise to minorities.

• I don't know if this will go anywhere, but I for one would love to see more scrutiny into the garish lifestyles of some of these evangelical ministers. And the fact that Republican Chuck Grassley is heading up the investigation is a big surprise. If these churches are supposed to be nonprofit organizations they should have no problem explaining their expenditures so they can keep that status.

• Here's Nancy Pelosi getting super-mad when confronted about her support for super-sleazebag Al Wynn. His opponent Donna Edwards raised $100,000 online in a week to combat Pelosi's fundraiser for Wynn. Good. We don't have a lot of options to make a corrupt establishment listen to us without the primary process.

• George Skelton raises some similar issues that I did this week about California's coming fiscal crisis.

So you get the picture: The Capitol is like a family that's losing income, but going ahead with plans to build new rooms on a house deteriorating from dry rot.

This governor isn't a just-repair-the-rot kind of guy. No small projects for him.

One indispensable Schwarzenegger asset is his optimism, but he sometimes seems to be living in fantasy land.

Arnold actually claimed this week that a major healthcare entitlement expansion funded on thin air would actually IMPROVE the state's fiscal situation. He's not optimistic, he's deluded and ignorant of the facts.

This is a short but vital piece to read about oil prices by Josh Marshall. The reason for gas prices being at their close to $100 level is, to put it most simply, rising demand. If China and India develop American-type lifestyles, we're finished, and not only will the price continue to appreciate, but the resource wars will begin in earnest.

Krugman on the demand for progressive change, money in politics, and the conflict between those two poles.

• Finally, today's word of the day is "ombudsman," meaning "a mediator of disputes between an organization and the general public." I do not think it means what Bill O'Reilly thinks it means:

O’REILLY: First of all, there’s a couple of things going on with “The Dhue Point” everybody should know, because we depend on your questions to Laurie. No. 1, there are pinheads who want you to try to embarrass me. Those people come from the far-left precincts. Ignore them.

DHUE: Yeah. I’m getting an awful lot of email saying I’m too easy on you.

O’REILLY: It’s all coming — it’s all coming from the haters on the far left. Just throw it in the garbage. But the regular folks who really enjoy this program, what we want you to ask Laurie is why we do things, why we do them. All right? Or “we didn’t really like that.”

You really have to appreciate that. Someone who hires someone to field criticism, and then asks her to ignore the critics.