• Living Wills

    Can I use Greg's ? And, so long as we're being a bit morbid, PZ Myers has written an uncommonly beautiful post on an uncommonly beautiful fluid...
  • Forward-Looking

    I'm not really sure what Garance Franke-Ruta is getting at in this post . She moves from saying that the task for Democrats is "finding the big story that explains our world and politics today in a way that sounds real and fresh" -- a true, if less than novel, assertion -- to arguing that conservative ideas aren't wrong just because they were thought up by conservatives. Well no, they're not. Indeed, conservative ideas are often quite right, which is why Democrats have adopted so many of them in recent times. Welfare reform was not identified with our side of the aisle, no matter how many times Moynihan is invoked. Deficit reduction was not thought to be a particularly Democratic thing to do, at least not until Bill Clinton did it. And James Galbraith not withstanding, we're not going back on it. We also pushed NAFTA through, passed a crime bill, and began adopting sensible, targeted tax cuts as a cornerstone of our economic policies. In fact, Democrats have been surprisingly willing...
  • One Dollar UN Girls

    This is fucking tragic . Would that our government called special sessions and our president returned from vacations to address the rape that's driving 14 year old girls in the Congo to become prostitutes. Did you know that if a Congolese woman (or, more accurately, girl) is raped, she loses her honor and is barred from marriage? Did you know that a UN employee was found with hundreds of tapes showing him torturing and sexually abusing young girls? Did you know that Congolese children are often either conscripted into militias, hooked on drugs and turned into killers, or raped and left with no options save continual prostitution? Did you know that we could help fix that by committing some cash that would create opportunities for them? Did you know that we don't? But did you know our entire government has mobilized to consider the case of a brain dead woman who has been hooked up to machines for 15 years at a cost of $80,000 annually? Yeah, I bet you knew that.
  • Tom and Terry

    It's becoming cliche to point out this or that statement of Tom DeLay's as enough to make you ill, but his latest on Schiavo is really unconscionable: "She talks and she laughs and she expresses likes and discomforts," he said Sunday evening. My God, you'd think her a three year old, giggling at Blue's Clues and slapping away the mashed peas-bearing rocket ship when it approaches her mouth. That she's really an inert woman whose cerebral cortex has liquified and whose every twitch is being interpreted as signs of higher consciousness makes DeLay's lie all the sadder -- he's misrepresenting the brain damaged. Over at the Stakeholder, Jesse Lee notes that, unlike Ginny Brown-Waite, a Republican who " burned up " the phones talking to medical experts in Florida and voted against the bill, Tom probably hasn't spent that long doing his research. Oh how right he is. The bugman not only didn't do his research, he hasn't been doing his speaking, either. Turns out DeLay only started mentioning...
  • Schiavo Numbers

    Via Think Progress , comes this new ABC poll : - 70% of Americans say it is inappropriate for Congress to involve itself in the Schiavo case. - 67% of Americans “think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved.” (Just 19% believe the elected officials are acting out of concern for her or their principles.) - 58% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 63% of Democrats oppose federal government intervention in the case. - 50% of evangelicals oppose federal government intervention in the case, just 44% approve of the intervention. - 63% of Catholics and a plurality of evangelicals believe Schiavo’s feeding tube should be removed. Looks like America isn't quite as stupid as the Republicans thought, huh? If you haven't read Digby and Amanda on the subject, it's time you did. As I said this weekend, Democrats should be fanning out to the media and repeating the simple refrain that...
  • So Says the Brit

    Ian Duncan Smith, leader of Britain's Conservatives from 2001-2003, has penned an excellent op-ed counseling America's conservatives to keep minority right's sacrosanct, lest they find themselves eventually marginalized and steamrolled, much as their British counterparts have. It's far and away the most convincing broadside I've read against the nuclear option, take a look .
  • That Heroic Volokh

    In the aftermath of Volokh's descent into barbarity, I've seen more than a few bloggers rejoice that this should deny him the judgeship he's rumored to be shortlisted for. Probably true. But Volokh knew that. And the truth is, the guy's been pretty damn brave in the face of it. Back when I began blogging I, like most young activists, hoped one day to run for office. And so a friend who worked for Gray Davis told me this maxim: Never write it if you can say it, never say it if you can imply it, never imply it if you nod it, never nod it if you can nudge it, and never nudge it if you can wink it. A long trail of written statements is not exactly conducive to a campaign, nor a nomination fight. Eugene is no kid, he knows that full well. And so I have to give him respect for hanging out in the blogosphere, enriching what we do he here (except when talking about strangling folks), and doing it all with a stunning lack of regard for his future prospects. Maybe he doesn't want a judgeship, I...
  • The Immokalee Workers Get a Raise

    Eleana Berkowitz reports that the Immokalee workers have won their ongoing campaign against Taco Bell, receiving their long-demanded raise of a penny per pound of tomatoes. Yeah, you read that right. They've spent the last 8 years organizing against the contractor, and turned their attention towards Taco Bell (who buys from the contractor) in in 2001. And yet the chain fought their miniscule demands tooth-and-nail. Be honest -- would you even notice if they added a cent onto the Chalupa? Of course not. Those things are so cheap that my friends and I pause before we eat them to check for rat meat. But now the tomatoes in them, picked by immigrants who haven't received a raise since the 70's (and have watched their real income plummet because of it), will have some modicum of compensation, Si se puede! Pero todavia presionando. This win holds particular significance for me. My first self-directed political act ever, as a senior in high school, attending an Immokalee march. I brought...
  • Weekend Roundup

    Stuff you may have missed: • The Center for American Progress's Progressive Problem. • The Unbearable Lightness of Wal-Mart's Fine • Why Punting Schiavo Back to the Courts is a Stupid Idea for Democrats.
  • Unanimous?

    I'm going to quote the Rude Pundit in full on this one: the AP story , the CNN story , the Fox "News" story and others all say that the Senate "unanimously" passed the thank-Christ-we're-not-talking-about-Social-Security Terry Schiavo bill. Technically, this is true. But all these articles fail to mention what the Miami Herald does distinctly note : "Only three members were on the floor and the bill's prime sponsor, Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, served as presiding officer." And those three members proudly raised their voices, and yes, technically the bill passed unanimously, just as technically Terry Schiavo is still "alive." Welcome to the circus.