APPEASING THE EVIL-DOERS. Among the many nasty developments from which yesterday's speech by President George W. Bush has proved to be a distraction is the recent, uh hem, appeasement deal made by Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf with the resurgent Taliban. Musharraf is expected to visit the United States less than a week after it marks the 5th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
NYT columnist David Brooks weighed in on the origins of inequality in his column (sorry�it�s NYT select and therefore not linkable). While he wants to assure readers that inequality is not a serious issue, and not caused by policy, he gets almost everything in his article wrong.
Both the NYT and Post had articles this morning that warned about the 4.9 percent annual rate of growth in unit labor costs in the second quarter reported yesterday, and indicated that this could cause the Fed to raise interest rates further to combat inflation. Whatever the Fed does on interest rates, let�s hope that the quarterly data on unit labor costs is not the reason.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: STILL NOT THE ONE. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to vote on John Bolton's renomination as U.N. ambassador tomorrow. Mark "Fast Leon" Goldberggames out the votes in the Senate and argues that Bolton is facing an uphill battle.
WHERE'S BILL? As Ezra has noted, ABC has decided to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the September 11 atrocities by broadcasting a documentary that has tripped over itself a bit here in the reality-based community. Here�s an interview with the auteur, and here�s one of the minor factual errors that mar his upcoming opus.
YOUR LIBERAL MEDIA. ABC will apparently air a hatchet job on the Clinton administration's terrorism record in the form of a special program that is supposedly based on the 9/11 Commission Report but is in fact composed of rightwing hagiography and bizarre smears. Early reports have them laying Osama bin Laden's actions at the doorstep of Bill Clinton, and those worries aren't easing as the network steadfastly refuses to provide Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger, or any of the other major Clinton-era figures an advance copy to review for accuracy. The stonewalling prompted a concerned Albright to write this letter:
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE COST OF HIGH COSTS. Harvard scholar David Cutler has made waves arguing that high health-care costs in the U.S. have actually been advantageous and provided real bang for the buck in terms of health outcomes. As Maggie Maharputs it today, "If only it were true." Alas, it ain't.
ACCOUNTABILITY '06. Democrat Bill Nelsonwon the Florida Republican Senate primary yesterday. Okay, technically, recount queen Katherine Harris won it. But her victory practically ensures Nelson�s re-election this November.
FEAR FACTOR. With the American people now soured on the war in Iraq, President George W. Bush today turned his attention to the subject of military tribunals for terrorism suspects, demanding that Congress legislate just what rights are to be granted to evil-doers like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, believed to be the mastermind of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, in those tribunals.
BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL AT THE AIRPORTS. The Department of Homeland Security may claim that the nation's airlines are still taking additional security precautions because of the "elevated threat" of terrorist attack. Yet I just accidentally took both a reasonably sharp set of scissors and a five-inch tube of hand-cream through airport security here at Boston's Logan Airport, without incident.