Some memes obscure deeper truths. "Liberal" and "college town," for example, often go together, as in the lede from a story in Tuesday's New York Times:
BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 14 — Voters in this liberal college town have approved what environmentalists say may be the nation's first "carbon tax," intended to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases.
This lede bothered me for several reasons. First, I don't believe that wanting to reduce catastrophic climate change is so much a "liberal" idea as it is a "sensible" idea. Second, if Boulder is "liberal," that makes my home town (Evanston, Ill.) "socialist" and puts Cambridge, Mass., on the loony fringe. And I'm not sure Greenville, S.C. really wants the label "liberal" any more than Evanston wants the label "reactionary right-wing religious nuts."
We get this via Talking Points Memo: Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) explains what's really causing global warming.
We'll be watching him lose his chairmanship as the new Congress takes office in 46 days and 20 hours.
From one of today's posts at Talking Points Memo:
Was anyone besides me delighted to note that the last two Republican senators to concede were Burns and Allen?
We won the House. We'll probably win the Senate. And we've clearly won the governors' races.
I wish I had time to write more this morning. I will say this to the President, however: MENE MENE TEKEL PARSIN.. Get ready for the subpoenas.
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) is out. Now he's only a punchline. Rick: we'll miss you like, well, santorum.
The Baghdad court trying Saddam Hussein handed down its sentence overnight, just three days before the U.S. elections. Who could have predicted it? I mean, other than anyone paying attention?
Some Iraqis are dancing in the streets; other Iraqis are shooting at them:
Celebratory gunfire rang out over Baghdad as jubilant Iraqis expressed their happiness with the outcome by racing to rooftops, front yards and windows to fire into the air. National television showed smiling Iraqis dancing in the streets of cities around the country, including in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, which technically was under an all-day curfew.
In the Tikrit, Saddam's home town, thousands of people reportedly took to the street in defiance of the curfew, many crying and screaming and firing guns into the air in anger. "With the soul and blood we sacrifice for you Saddam!" some protestors screamed. Protestors in Tikrit attacked the local Iraqi army base with light weapons. No casualties were reported.
We've heard many reports of Hussein's antics during the trial; but there were American antics as well:
Today's session began with the eviction of former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark for insulting the tribunal as "a mockery of justice" in a memo he sent to Chief Judge Abdel-Rahman, a no-nonsense jurist with a perpetual scowl who ran a tight courtroom. "This statement presented by the American lawyer Ramsey Clarke -- how would I describe it? I don't know. He presented a statement ridiculing himself, not the country. He's a laughing stock. Get him out of the court."
I can't wait to hear what the Sabbath Gasbags have to say.
From the Houston Chronicle this morning:
Early voters in the heart of the heated race to succeed former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay were greeted Wednesday with red and white signs that read: "Want more illegals? Vote Democrat" and "Encourage Terrorists. Vote Democrat."
Precinct 3 Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers acknowledged paying $2,800 to the Republican Victory Committee PAC for 75 signs that tied Democrats to terrorists, higher taxes and illegal immigration.
"All I am doing is repeating what the leadership of the Democratic Party's position is. So I am not sure why they would be upset about that," Meyers said.
In today's FoxTrot strip, Jason reveals a truly scary Hallowe'en costume. (The strip is now shown as Flash so I can't
steal post it here for you. I'll update the link tomorrow.)
Cintas, a uniform company (they make and launder uniforms for nurses, security guards, etc.), has decided to follow a DHS proposal—it doesn't have the force of law—that encourages employers to fire workers who have Social Security-number mismatches or in other ways fail to re-verify that they are authorized to work in the U.S. The effect of this action will be to intimidate immigrant workers, legal or not, and help them keep their payroll costs down.
The thing is, this is none of the company's business. The affected workers may have legal problems with the IRS or with ICE, but for all practical purposes this doesn't affect the company one way or the other. I don't think Cintas can make a straight-faced claim that the legal status of a minimum-wage seamstress or launderer threatens their business. On the other hand, if their workers worry that in addition to having an expensive and frightening experience with Immigration they also might lose their jobs, they'll be a lot less likely to agitate for a living wage or safe working conditions.
One of my long-standing clients, a labor-rights organization, has documented so many of Cintas' anti-worker policies (starting with poverty wages) that this is really only the latest, not the worst. So if you ever have to rent uniforms for your business, don't use Cintas.
The Greedy Old Party (Gay Old Party?) made a massive advertising buy yesterday, $8.5 million, almost all of it for negative advertisements. Tammy Duckworth is the "beneficiary" of the largest single expenditure: $870,000. That's how scared the Republicans are they're going to lose the district. They should be.