AFGHANISTAN BLINKING RED. In case you aren't worried enough about Iraq, you should start worrying about Afghanistan, because the Bush administration is screwing that up, too. Big time. That was the thrust of this Timespiece by David Rohde from this past weekend.
CLARIFICATION. The House ethics committee is launching an investigation into the institution's handling of information about Mark Foley; you may be hearing about Bill O'Reilly's involvement in this subcommittee probe (as you may have heard ranking Democrat Howard Berman's remark at yesterday's press conference about having "a great deal of confidence in Bill O'Reilly"), but that's in reference to the staff investigator and not to, um, this guy.
THE HARD PART. All due respect to the Reverend Schenck, but this is more than touching. This is the one of the most purely Christian acts of public Christianity since Himself blew town. For almost 30 years, we've had to put up with reactionary politics and retrograde social idiocy gussied up in Scripture. We've had to pretend that the near-sedition that the crackpot Richard John Neuhaus and the Pharisaical crowd down at Crisis Magazine were preaching was worthy of something more than ridicule and contempt.
WHITHER THE PRICE OF OIL?Newsweek's Leonardo Maugeri seems pretty confident that oil prices are staying down for the time being, even as OPEC is discussing possible cuts in supply (there are conflicting reports about this, but there will at least be a meeting to consider the possibility).
To its credit, the New York Times can occasionally present substantially diverse viewpoints. Today�s paper includes an excellent piece by Paul Krugman, one of the country�s leading economists, about Wal-Mart plans to reduce its wage bill by hiring more part-time workers. Part-time workers get lower pay and fewer benefits.
Right next to Krugman�s column, it has a piece by columnist Tom Friedman (sorry, both Times Select and not linkable). In this column, Mr. Friedman proclaims himself a �radical free trader� and criticizes the people who oppose a new WTO treaty and the other trade agreements being pushed by the Bush administration.
LOUIE, LOUIE, WHOA, BABY. If you ask Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, the reason former Rep. Mark Foley hit on teenagers was specifically because Foley is gay. (In fact, you don't even have to ask Tony; he'll spout this stuff without solicitation.)
If you ask Mark Foley why he hit on teenagers, he'll have his lawyer tell you it's because he was molested -- by a clergyman, no less -- when he was a teenager.
David Leonhardt sought to make amends for some of his recent columns by posing a very simple question, if corporate CEOs face a normal market, how come they never end up quitting jobs because of a pay dispute? He points out that the cases of CEOs just quitting for another job, as opposed to retiring or being dumped, are few and far between.
THE CARE CRISIS Over at TPM Cafe, Ruth Rosen has a stirring post on the glaring absence of child care and family issues from the national agenda, and the total inadequacy of the currently family support net. Reminds me of something Jacob Hacker said in his book The Great Risk Shift: "U.S policy treats families almost entirely as a personal responsibility, not a social priority." He's right, and it's weird.