Once again, here is an enormous present, handed to Democrats on a silver platter. Let's hope that Democrats don't (once again) ignore the present itself, and wind up on the floor playing with the shiny wrapping paper and the empty box.
Archive of Articles for February, 2010
The first privacy issue comes from an interesting story earlier this week about how some states are considering banning the release of recorded 911 emergency calls to the public (or -- more to the point -- to the press). This is an interesting First Amendment hair to split, because a reasonable case can be made both ways.
This will be easy enough for President Obama to accomplish, since he's probably the most Joe-Friday-ish of the bunch. But he should be backed up by Democrats who have the facts close at hand, in detail and in great number, from unimpeachable sources. If Democrats counter Republican rhetoric with hard, cold facts, it may not guarantee success for their objective; but it certainly will go a long way toward showing who is serious about fixing the problem, and who is not.
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: "Chris, it is way too early for baseball metaphors!" You are correct. It is. But "smallball" is the only metaphor which sprang to mind, even in advance of spring training. There's probably a hockey term I should have used, but I don't watch hockey much, so there you are.
A major milestone happened in Iraq recently, but nobody paid it much attention. It's understandable, since there is a lot currently going on to distract both the media and the public, from the Winter Olympics to the Washington health reform "summit" later this week. Even on military matters, the headlines this week will likely be about different subjects, from the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy hearings on Capitol Hill to the progress of a new offensive in Afghanistan. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't also be talking about Iraq. Because, for the first time since the war began, there are fewer than 100,000 American troops in Iraq.
Before we begin here, I'd like to humbly propose a new law. No American television station should be allowed to have an exclusive contract for any Olympic games. Period.
The only proper response to such an action is to resoundingly condemn it for a murderously insane action by one warped individual. That, even in these divided political times, should be the thing everyone can strongly agree upon -- Democrats, Republicans, Lefties, Righties, Centrists, Tea Partiers, Progressives, Libertarians, and all other factions as well.
I'm going to start off today's column with a chart. I'm doing this for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that it's a really good chart. It is simple, easy to read, and involves very little mathematics (meaning it is accessible to a very wide spectrum of the American public). And it is a very effective way of presenting the facts, free of media spin. The chart comes from the White House, and shows the monthly number of jobs lost for approximately the past two years. It also uses color very well, to separate George W. Bush's term in office from Barack Obama's. Without further introduction, here is the chart:
So for all Bayh's posturing about what a partisan, partisan town Washington is, which needs changing and reforming into some sort of centrist bipartisan utopian paradise -- he has chosen the one route which, no matter what the outcome, will guarantee even more bitterly partisan feelings in the near future.
Because we celebrate the birthday of George Washington today, I offer up for your reading pleasure the briefest of his speeches. This, in its entirety, was Washington's second inaugural address -- which set a brevity record that has never been touched since. In this spirit (and in the spirit of taking today as a holiday), this will constitute the entirety of today's column, as well. In his own words, here is President George Washington: