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March 11, 2005

Workday mornings, around nine, I usually saunter over to Starbucks for my morning latte. This morning I made the trip at 11:15, which says something. Either I'm really busy, or I need to get better organized.

And yet...I still find myself sitting on "hold" for minutes at a time.

A link worth spreading around. Via Editor and Publisher,

The Associated Press has posted a new section on its corporate Internet site that is dedicated to raising public awareness of its efforts to press for government access. The launch of the "AP and Freedom of Information" Web pages coincides with the first national "Sunshine Week: Your Right to Know" initiative, a weeklong media coalition project scheduled to officially get under way March 13.

Browsing the 'net, I see that Sean Hannity is not the flavor of the month at the moment.

And I see some people are asking silly questions. We didn't invade Iraq just to bring them the fruits of sweetness-and-light democracy that they're enjoying today, you know. A permanent foothold in the oil-rich Middle East just might have had something to do with the whole getting our war on thing. Have I not been saying this?

For those of you still trying to deny that we've brought the fabulousness of democracy to Iraq, allow me to mention that you could be wrong. After all, Iraq has achieved that pinnacle of democratic success, an in with some K Street Lobbyists.

Bush Administration judicial nominees are a mixed bunch. Some of them are downright scary.

Terrence Boyle, who has been nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, based in Richmond, is also a troubling choice. He has an extraordinarily high reversal rate for a district court judge. Many of the decisions that have been criticized by higher courts wrongly rejected claims involving civil rights, sex discrimination and disability rights. Mr. Boyle's record is particularly troubling because the court reversing him, the Fourth Circuit, is perhaps the most hostile to civil rights in the federal appellate system, and even it has regularly found his rulings objectionable.


And, speaking of the Bush Administration. Remember Karen Hughes? Looks like she's back.

The sources said Hughes will not be a formal member of the White House staff but will take on a specific and particularly important assignment involving international affairs, but they would not identify it.

What's that all about?

Outsourcing. A contentious topic, but there has to be a point at which it becomes ridiculous.

Ideology check on Social Security overhaul

A January limited-circulation memo by Peter Wehner, director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, said that the overhaul of Social Security "will be one of the most conservative undertakings of modern times." And, if successful, "will rank as one of the most significant conservative governing achievements ever."

Color me so astonished.

In case anyone doubts the ideological underpinning of the campaign for Social Security overhaul, Wehner writes that "we consider our Social Security reform not simply an economic challenge but a moral goal and a moral good." And he predicts that the debate over Social Security "is going to be a monumental clash of ideas" that will help the nation "to move away from dependency on government."

Okay...I know this is futile, but I'm going to try it once again.

#1 - "The Government" is not some evil entity that exists separately from the rest of the country. It is a service bureau. It exists to allow us to do big things involving big groups of people in an organized way while overseeing that small groups of people are not unnecessarily or unjustifably oppressed.

#2 - "The Government" is, at least in theory, directly answerable to us, The People. Wall Street is not. If I get a choice of who "oversees" my retirement account, I want accountability.

#3 - "The Government" is something we're all dependent on in a hundred ways every day.

#4 - "The Government" is the implementation of society's needs and desires. For instance, society might need and desire a safe haven for retirement accounts. Voila! Social Security. My money. Put into my retirement account. Paid back to me when I retire.

#5 - If you make One. More. Statement. implying that this money is some kind of charitable handout "The Government" is giving me, you're not getting any dessert for a week.

I'm just saying.

What do you think the odds are that 30% interest rates might cause a few bankruptcies?

No...wait. We're having bankruptcy reform, aren't we?

Gosh. It's sure not a good time to have debt in the USofA, is it?

Posted by AnneZook at 01:57 PM