Kind of Like Starting Again 

Kind of Like Starting Again

Do I still exist? Of, if I don't, does the blog?

Yes and yes. I had a whirlwhind trip to Edmonton to visit family. My mother is making the momentous decision to move from her house to an apartment. My brother and his wife, her only close relatives of our generation who live there, are going to Australia for 8 months. And my niece had her graduation. I had a great visit. I can't really help much with all that's going on there, but I hope they know I care.

Blogging seems to have become unbelievably lame. The Newsweek story may have been a bit careless, but it turns out to be more or less vindicated. (Shakespeare's Sister via Kevin Drum). Likewise Amnesty International's use of the word "gulag." (Reynolds shows at great length that there were far more Soviet gulags, and they were secret. He probably adds that people were far more likely to die in horrible ways there. But that seems to mostly concede some important similarities: indefinite detention with no semblance of a hearing; a certain degree of indifference as to guilt or innocence; hope that by interrogating/abusing/torturing, some information can be generated.)

Kaus is a lonely voice asking intelligent questions: isn't it possible the Bushies are trying to get of Bolton, packing him off to a job they consider strictly for losers, simply because Condi wants to get rid of him? Why does that possibility get no real coverage from left or right? (Skip to "Noumenal News," or word search "Bolton").

Why should Democrats oppose any change to Social Security when big problems are coming with Medicare as it is now, and Democrats presumably want to work for national health insurance when they get a chance. Aren't these things much more important? Wouldn't some means testing help Social Security?

Why not keep the filibuster only for judicial appointments, not for legislation? This is the opposite of what the Republicans say they want, and Democrats seem to feel they have to defend all filibusters. Judicial appointments are more or less forever, virtually impossible to change.

Kaus also had a nice link to a study of voting patterns in the US in 2004. The strongest demographic link to the outcome is not religion, guns, hanging or whatever but: white women marrying, buying homes, and having children. (See above here, here, and here). Areas where it is affordable to do these things, and it is at least somewhat plausible that you can look after yourself/your family, your family can look after you, vote Republican; areas where it is not affordable, and you can reasonably expect to be dependent on the government, vote Democrat.

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