Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dems' agenda;mixed bag

For the most part, I endorse most of the proposals that will be brought to the floor by the Democrats. I don't support the minimum wage increase and wish they would be more aggressive on Iraq, but they are bringing some good proposals to the table. Two particularly good ideas are federal funding for stem-cell research and allowing the government to negotiate directly with the drug companies to keep prices low. Both of these plans should pass with bipartisan support. If the Dems can't come through on these, they might as well kiss 2008 goodbye now.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

End the gag rule

Bradford Plumer has a must-read article at the New Republic about the harm the global gag rule is putting on women in developing countries. See here . To put it honestly and bluntly, thousands of women in Africa are dying because U.S. health policy is being controlled by anti-abortion, anti-contraception lunatics. Notice I don't say pro-life. As the article points out, the gag rule actually increases the amount of abortions performed by denying women the access to contraception they desperately need. The Democrats desperately need to address the issue.

Hold them accountable for being wrong

Glenn Greenwald has an excellent article in the American Conservative about how pundits who supported the Iraq war and made ridiculous Pollyannish predictions are still taken seriously by the mainstream media. (I cannot find the link, regrettably). He names several, primarily Charles Krauthammer, Peggy Noonan, and Ralph Peters, but neglects to mention many others equally culpable. Take William Kristol, please. He dismissed the idea that Shia and Sunni would fight among themselves as the stuff of pop psychology. Now he wants us to attack Iran, predicting (shock!) that the Iranians will welcome us as liberators. As Bill Maher said: Take this war off, Nostradamus.

Kristol, Krauthammer, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the National Review- in sum, basically all the neocons were wrong about Iraq. I want one thing from them: a big mea culpa. Just once on national TV is all I ask. And Michael Ledeen and Grover Norquist: don't say you were against the war in 2003 when you weren't. This is the age of instant Googling. We can find your true statements online in seconds. You were wrong; don't be dishonest too. Just say two words: My bad. You'll feel better.