Thursday, July 31, 2008

Semantic games in California

Prop 8 backers angry about description of the proposition on the ballot.

"Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry."

Backers of Proposition 8 argued that they are not trying to eliminate anyone's rights but are simply seeking to restore the definition of marriage that existed in California before May 15, when the state Supreme Court struck down the law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Of course, eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry in California is exactly what they want to do. And if the prop somehow didn't do that, they would keep at it until their goal is realized. The title seems entirely truthful to me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WTO Doha round collapses

The WTO's Doha round collapses, mostly (it seems to me) as a result of US protectionism infused in the last farm bill. We should be used to this by now, I suppose.

The Progressive Policy Institute chimes in, including the interesting factoid: No Republican president has concluded a multilateral trade agreement since Dwight Eisenhower oversaw the Geneva II Round of the GATT in 1956.

Pejman Yousefzadeh at is simple in his post: This is a disaster, and clears the field for new protectionist trade policies.

Yet another reason, IMO, to do away with the yearly porkfest that is the Farm Bill.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

McCain on Osama bin Laden

Sounds a lot like Bush. All gung ho, then peters off...

This TPM post says it all

For those of you trying to sell your house

You have my sympathy. Really: Home prices drop by a record 15.8% in May

Ted Stevens going down?

As we know from the Middle East, oil and power politics often combine to despots out of politicians. So the news today shouldn't be a surprise: Ted Stevens indicted Is the the end of corrupt Alaskan politics? Maybe Don Young is next?

TPM's rundown of Stevens' stories

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Video trailers for books

Maybe this has been around awhile and I'm just coming to the party. Have these things been around awhile? Here's one for a book I did some work on:

Monday, July 21, 2008

How dispersing Section 8 housing vouchers dispersed crime throughout Memphis

Much of this article seems to be about people being overly sensitive to potential criticism about racism. But sometimes (like the widespread failure of bilingual education in early public school grades), the truth needs to be told so that the problem can be addressed.

Web site comparisons, Obama & McCain

Hilzoy with an excellent comparison of the two candidates' campaign web pages. It is important to note (as she does late in her post), that the web pages (good and bad) don't reflect the actual candidate positions. But the do reflect upon the candidates' professionalism, which reflect upon the candidates themselves, good & bad.

Obama's web site has, from day one I believe, been full of detail, and while McCain shouldn't be held to the standard of being as familiar with a web page as Obama, we can certainly fault those who advise and support him for not holding to that standard.

I suspect that the McCain campaign will start feeling some heat for the differences between the two, and start filling in more on their campaign site. At least, I hope so.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A million! And counting!

On a related note, the terrorist watch list is now at one million names and counting.

Feel safer?

Begun, grown, and developed by a political party who came to power lamenting the size of government, including how bureaucracy can self-perpetuate. Irony, anyone?

Massachusetts moving to allow same sex marriages for out-of-state residences

Looks like a racist law, which Mitt Romney used to temporarily bar the no-doubt deluge of gays rushing into the state with their dirty, perverted money, is about to be overturned.

Amazing how things have turned around in just a relatively short number of years. Next up: Removing the HIV travel ban, in which the chief sponsor of keeping it on the books apparently doesn't even have his facts straight.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tony Snow

How much time does one wait before calling a spade a spade?

Never? I've never gotten the whole "respect for the dead" thing, so maybe that's my problem. Respect for the survivors, sure. Absolutely. But Snow was a dick, and proud of it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Run, don't walk, Olga!

The biggest dick on earth?

Reasons he gives for "Olga" not returning his call:

"Maybe you were abused in your childhood?"
"Maybe you have an anxiety disorder?"

I said it three times so it must be true!

Federal government references itself three times as "evidence" that a man is an enemy combatant.

Mr. Parhat, a former fruit peddler who in recent years sent a message to his wife that she should remarry because his imprisonment at Guantánamo was like already being dead.

We've gone from the "city on the hill" to a "thousand points of light" to a country which claims a fruit peddler is an "enemy combatant."