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

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Rest Of The Week In Review

And we'll just have to save the big posts for next week. Because I'm down to tidbits:

• Presenting the simple life with George W. Bush. It's no surprise that W. ran from the White House never to look back. Destroying the country and possibly the world kind of forfeits your opinion for at least a few months, if not ever. You can't read any paragraph of that article without wanting to hurl. The fact that he still wears clothing with that damn Presidential seal all over it really got to me.

• Jacob Hacker released another report about the public option for universal health care, and he rightly points out that a watered-down public plan would be "a grave mistake." The devil really is in the details here. Meanwhile, Olympia Snowe sounds ready to talk about major reforms to the system, putting 60 votes well within reach. I know Congress will be deliberative to the point of distraction about it, but I truly think this gets done this year.

• Speaking of health care, implementing medical records between DoD and the VA should be seen as a test of the promise of health IT. To me it's a no-brainer; servicemen and women get to move through each part of the system with their caregivers having instant access to their records and their medical history. The same could be done on a national scale.

• More thuggery out of Zimbabwe, as Robert Mugabe's top lieutenants are kidnapping and torturing members of the opposition so their leaders will exonerate them of crimes. It's quite the system they've got over there.

• According to Ray Odierno, the top US general in Iraq, America remains on course to fully leave the country by the end of 2011. Given that Americans are still dying in Iraq, this is welcome news and will only enhance global stability, contrary to some opinion.

• Sen. Jim Bunning was already in big trouble in Kentucky, and now he has a Democratic challenger in Attorney General Jack Conway who's actually half-decent on the issues as well. Bunning is toast in 2010.

• Here's a very interesting article about Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech, where the word "malaise" was never uttered and which was a major success until Carter fired the entire cabinet a few days later and threw the nation into a bit of uneasiness. That misunderstood speech contained themes of national service and shared sacrifice that the current President could pick up and run with if he so chose.

• I think the PMA scandal, where the head of the lobbying group may have funneled donations through front groups to members of Congress in exchange for spending programs, is important, and if Democratic Rep. Peter Visclosky or anyone else is involved, let the chips fall where they may. However, considering how blithely lawmakers of both parties break the laws when it comes to spending and earmarks, let's get some perspective. This is a problem of the institution, not one party or another.

• The great Hilzoy unfurls an incredible post about domestic abuse.

• Can we please look into the mulch under the Obama's swingset at the White House? I understand the use of recycled tires on freeway roads, but a swingset where children are running and playing is a different matter.

• When things get so bad that our political leaders are seriously looking at cooling the air to fight global warming, um, we have a serious problem. Calling it "geoengineering" makes it sound more formal, but face it, you're talking about using a giant space fan.

• Does anyone know what to make of the Turkish anchor who addressed Obama in blackface while the President visited the country? Cenk Uygur, who speaks Turkish, finds the content of the address to be almost as racist as the presentation.

• I'm cool with Kal Penn joining the White House. He seems like a committed guy, and giving up fame and fortune on House for a gig that probably pays $50K a year has some nobility to it. Good for him.

• And finally, the comments to this post about science words that came from science fiction are much better than the post itself. Don't fudge facts around sci-fi fans. The geek sarcasm is withering.