Monday, September 20, 2004

Weekend Roundup

For those of you who wondered what the hell PoTUS meant when he declared a desire for an "ownership society" during his acceptance speech at the RNC, take a look-see at what privatizing K-12 education looks like in California. One man's "ownership society" is another man's educational disaster, but hey why be nitpicky when it's only your health care, pension and your kids' schooling. That stuffs for pussies, so quit yer whinin'!

The Bush Administration has now decided that Cuba may not be armed after all. Glad it didn't take an invasion to figure that out. Apparently they are still worried that the Cubans might be making "dual use" products. The NYTimes gives this helpful definition for clarity: "The term "dual use" refers to items that could be used for both civilian and military programs." That's about as broad as the side of a barn and as easy to hit. Wouldn't underpants go into that category?

The WP notes that tax reform "in Mr. Bush's hands, it would probably be bad." At least for the 99% of us who won't benefit, one might imagine.

There was further grist for the mill of the Frank Rich/David Brooks debate (appearing to lean more towards Rich) on the question of whether people vote against their economic interests because of "values," (Rich) or because the Dems are a snooty coastal people (Brooks). Apparently the economy might be an issue in the campaign upon which voters will decide, unless they're in Missouri, in which case making sure gays are discriminated against is far more important than one's own access to health care. Or so it seems.

Perhaps the most interesting story of the weekend was the interruption of a speech made by Laura Bush in New Jersey by a woman whose son had been killed in Iraq. She demanded to know why her son had been sent to die, and was drowned out by a crowd that boxed her in and yelled 'four more years' at her. What kind of compassionate conservatism is this? Give us your sons and daughters while ours sleep tight (and for Jenna that should be taken in Dashel Hammett sense), but dare not question. Sue Niederer, whose son Seth Dvorin died in Iraq in February, was arrested for having the audacity to ask why her son, and not those of the men and women who sent us to war. Mrs. Niederer can't have her son back: the least they can do is give her an answer.


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