I just can't get across all the beauteous links I have to share with the world with the space I am fortunate enough to be given at FDL as I await the dedicated site. So, um, here:
• Gavin Newsom has a new ad up doubling down on changing the Constitution and ending the 2/3 rule (he mentions it twice in a 1:00 ad). I think this is the beginning of more to come, as Newsom recognizes that moving into an aggressive reform pose is the only way for him to differentiate himself from Jerry Brown, who will find this too hot to handle.
• The unions are coming out hard against the Baucus bill, for two reasons: the public option and the tax on high-end insurance plans. On the former I'm glad to see them so aggressive; on the latter I just don't think it's good public policy to prop up an inefficient system of providing health care to people. Congress is debating this intensely, and my hope would be that the public option would be enough for the unions to back the bill even with a high-end tax, although I do think it should be indexed so we don't get a perpetual problem like the AMT.
• A deal in Honduras? But President DeMint said that the coup plotters were freedom fighters!
• Nancy Pelosi wants to allow children to remain on their parent's health plans up to 26 years of age. Great policy and great politics. This is one of those short-term deliverables that Mike Lux is talking about.
• Republicans are going to lose a House race in New York because of a third party from the far right getting all the attention and all the money. The Democrat in NY-23 (no great shakes himself) is outspending her 12-1 on TV. Nobody should trust Republicans to get their act together long enough even to make a dent in the Democratic majority.
• Abortion bans do not cut the abortion rate. They kill women.
• Why should the public be allowed to see Blackwater on trial for the Nissour Square murders? You'd think we have an open and transparent judicial system or something! I'm not talking about putting them on Court TV, the public would be banned from even ATTENDING the hearings.
• Wow, this isn't good.
American officials in Baghdad urged Iraqi lawmakers Tuesday to pass an election law crucial for organizing a January vote that the Obama administration considers key to withdrawing U.S. combat troops.
In a statement, U.S. Ambassador Christopher R. Hill and Gen. Ray Odierno, the American military commander here, said they were concerned that parliament hasn't yet reached an agreement on the law. They urged lawmakers "to act expeditiously on this important legislation that will set the terms for successful, transparent political participation in this milestone event." A day earlier, Ad Melkert, the U.N. representative in Iraq, voiced similar concerns.
The Iraqi Parliament doesn't exactly move swiftly, and we're talking about an election scheduled for just a few months from now. In addition to delaying withdrawal it could throw Iraq's political system into crisis. Yikes.
• The green jobs bill in New York could be a model for the nation. It creates jobs and reduces emissions. Win-win.