A UNITER. I think it's time for liberals to admit that, at least in Iraq, George W. Bush is a uniter, not a divider. For instance: He's united more than 60 percent of Iraqis in support of attacks on U.S. troops. He's united even more than that in terms of those who the Americans out within a year. And he's united nearly 80 percent behind the proposition that our presence provokes more violence than it prevents. That's some impressive uniting! Now, if only his administration would listen:
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING. As per usual, if anyone is still confused as to the median voter's stubborn resistance to admitting the economy's overall awesomeness, new data showing that health premiums went up 7.7 percent in 2005 may help illuminate things. After all, 7.7 percent was more than twice the inflation rate and the growth in worker's wages. In fact, since 2000, health premiums have gone up by 87 percent. Somehow, I doubt the average worker's salary has done the same.
SPEAKING OF POST COLUMNISTS...David Broder continues his "political independence" jihad today, this time with a column celebrating Arnold Schwarzenegger's political transformation from righty to moderate deal-maker, which "demonstrat[ed] in the most dramatic way possible the value of political independence." But now I'm really confused.
"VOTE"? I don't think George Will actually knows what the word "vote" means. He appears to believe that it has something to do with purchases. So since I, say, don't actually buy cholesterol-lowering drugs for myself, I am registering a "vote" against their existence. Or since many taxpayers forget or don't care enough to donate three dollars to a public financing system that doesn't work, they are against public financing.
Reports on August new home sales initially touted the unexpected uptick from a 1,009,000 annual rate in July to a 1,050,000 annual rate. Fortunately, some folks noticed that the July numbers had been revised down from a previously reported 1,070,000 annual rate. Still, some reports noted the goods news that inventories of unsold homes had declined modestly from a record 570,000 in July to 568,000 in August. Well, that one isn't exactly right either. The July inventory numbers had previously been reported at 568,000.
HOW ABOUT SOME SOS LOVE? Massive disenfranchisement in the closest swing states have marred the last two presidential elections, and with that in mind, now would be a good time for progressives to focus on putting control of election oversight in the hands of competent and honest officials. While Secretaries of State Ken Blackwell and Katherine Harris have made nakedly partisan rulings to the benefit of their political patrons, progressives should focus on protecting every citizens' right to vote. Efforts like the Secretary of State Project (SOS), which attempts to raise money for incorruptible secretary of state candidates, are one way to go about this.
MIKE'S PLANS. Everyone is missing the point. I mean, seriously, look at this schedule. More cupcakes than Hostess makes in a month. The SEC is full of good teams that are all going to have one loss by Thanksgiving. The PAC-10 and Big 12 are landfills. Mountaineer Mike's firing up the black-and-gold RV and we're not going to see him until WVU beats Ohio State for the BCS national championship next January.
GOODBYE, HELLO. To say a bit more than the shadowy "Editors" did, we learned today that Mike is stepping down. The Big Bossman, Supreme Leader, Creator of Light and Bringer of Fire wants to get back to writing. So, for all of us at The Prospect, there is little joy in Mudville today.
BOSSMAN, WE SALUTE YOU. Speaking for myself, I just wanted to say it's been a great couple of years working for Mike and, while he'll certainly continue to be a part of the enterprise, I'll miss having him around the office every day; he's been a supportive editor and friend. But Harold's great, too, so it's all okay. Meanwhile, to put on my web editor hat for a moment, I'll just say the website's going strong (I hope readers agree) and the only changes you might expect looking forward are further expansions and new folks coming on board. At any rate, regularly scheduled Tappeding shall resume soon!