The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson wonders why the President (959 days, 2 hours) thinks anyone really believes gay marriage is the most important issue right now:
Let's check in on what's happening in the real world:
Iraq has become a charnel house for the victims of escalating sectarian slaughter. On Saturday, a car bomb killed 28 people in Shiite-dominated Basra, and hours later gunmen killed nine Sunni worshipers in a mosque. On Sunday, on a road near Baghdad, assassins pulled travelers out of their minivans, sorted them by faith, killed nearly two dozen Shiites and let the Sunnis go. Yesterday, men wearing police uniforms grabbed at least 56 people from bus stations and travel agencies in Baghdad and took them away—no one knows why, no one knows where.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's new government remains toothless and ineffectual, despite his pledge to end the sectarian violence. On Sunday, he failed yet again to reach agreement on who will run the only two ministries that matter—the ones in charge of the army and the police. The butcher Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most prominent figure in the armed Sunni insurgency and the most hunted man in Iraq, remains at large and periodically manages to issue messages inspiring his followers to continue their jihad. (Just like his hero, Osama bin Laden.) Yet the president spent his weekend radio address pushing "a constitutional amendment that defines marriage in the United States as the union of a man and woman."
In other news, California is having a primary election today that will determine which Democrat will lose to sitting quasi-Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November. Turnout is expected to be so low that the San Francisco Chronicle's story about the election is third down, under the top story that people really like Trader Joe's. (I have to say, Anne and I care more about TJ's than about the California Primary, so maybe the Chronicle's Web site is just playing to a more national audience.)
Suffering in Carmel again:
The dog suffers too:
And remember those minor renovations? Here's the "before:"
And the "after:"
In her column today (sub.req.):
There's no way to teach someone not to shoot an unarmed woman or child. If somebody doesn't already know why they shouldn't murder a baby, it's not clear that a refresher course will help.
If you're not from Chicago, you should visit in early June or mid-September. It's 22°C (72°F) and crystal clear. Tomorrow I'll be in fog central; today I'm enjoying the best of the Midwest.
After Katrina, all the major news outlets are reporting the start of the Atlantic hurricane season today. None seems to have reported that the East Pacific season began May 15th, which has already seen its first tropical storm. Perhaps Americans really don't care what happens to Mexico?
Again, probably because of increased media interest, this morning's "Tropical Weather Outlook" newsletter had a lot more information than usual:
TODAY MARKS THE FIRST DAY OF THE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON...WHICH
WILL RUN UNTIL NOVEMBER 30TH. THE LIST OF NAMES FOR 2006 IS AS
NAME PRONUNCIATION NAME PRONUNCIATION
ALBERTO AL BAIR- TOE LESLIE
BERYL BER- IL MICHAEL
CHRIS NADEEN NAY DEEN-
ERNESTO ER NES- TOE PATTY
FLORENCE RAFAEL RA FA EL-
HELENE HE LEEN- TONY
ISAAC EYE- ZAK VALERIE
THE GREEK ALPHABET...ALPHA...BETA...GAMMA...ETC...IS USED SHOULD THE
STANDARD LIST OF NAMES BE EXHAUSTED...AS IT WAS LAST YEAR. IN
2005...A RECORD 28 STORMS FORMED...INCLUDING AN UNNAMED OCTOBER
SUBTROPICAL STORM THAT WAS ADDED TO THE OFFICIAL LIST IN APRIL. THE
LONG-TERM AVERAGES FOR THE NUMBER OF NAMED STORMS...HURRICANES...
AND MAJOR HURRICANES ARE 11...6...AND 2...RESPECTIVELY. THE NOAA
SEASONAL OUTLOOK FOR 2006 CALLS FOR ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS OF ACTIVITY.
(I think it's cute how the National Hurricane Center, which has some of the most powerful computers on the planet, still puts out 1970s-era block-letter reports. It's their own form of bureaucratese.)
Keep in mind, November 30th is only a guideline. We had a named Atlantic storm in January this year. In fact, let me make a prediction you can tease me about later: by 2010, the NHC will track the Atlantic hurricane season from May 15th to December 31st, and by 2025, they'll abandon the concept altogether and just start the name list on January 1st each year.