June 29, 2004

Around the Web

The Army Times writes about an interview with John Kerry about his defense policy proposals (full transcript here), promising to end what he calls a general disrespect for those serving in the military. Also, he addresses a favorite Bush administration charge head on:

“I didn’t vote against body armor for troops. I voted to pay for the $87 billion, and when they weren’t willing to pay for it, I voted against it because that was a protest against their unwillingness to be responsible. ..."

Blogging News: Allegedly, Bill Gates will start blogging, which even made the news in China, though Gates is very popular there. BostonDParty on blogging and media coverage of the Democratic National Convention. Now that they're educating marketing professionals on blogging, we may all be doomed.

Confined Space with an ergonomics success story, the stories of a Chinese and a Guatemalan immigrant who were killed in separate trench collapses on sites where conditions violated safety laws, and the plan floating around OSHA to start paying less attention to repetitive stress injuries that they already virtually ignore.

How to Save the World writes a commencement address he'd like to hear, begging graduates to sacrifice for future generations. An excerpt:

...Although most of you do not yet know it, you are in the position to volunteer for a self-sacrifice no less noble and no less anonymous than those brave prisoners. The reason you do not know it is that the wardens of the prison in which you live -- in which we all live -- have gone to great pains to make sure you know of no life other than the one you are living, and to make life in this prison sufficiently bearable that you won't rise up and riot. They don't tell you about, or show you on TV, the hopeless squalor, disease, death and terror that most of those in the southern and eastern parts of this global prison struggle with every day. They lock up, behind closed doors so you will never see, the victims right in your neighbourhood -- beaten spouses and sexually abused children and animals in factory farms and the inmates of institutions -- who suffer unimaginable indignities and constant, unbearable pain for their entire, pitiful lives. And they pay you to keep the prison looking as clean and tidy and running as efficiently as possible. And until recently they even promoted some of the most loyal and hard-working inmates to warden status. Unfortunately, due to cutbacks in resources, there are really no openings for new wardens anymore, unless you happen to be the child of someone who is already a warden. ...

Matt Gross with the full text of Gore's recent speech on the balance of power. As he reminded us:

...Richard Nixon told an interviewer, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal… If the president, for example approves something, approves an action because of national security, or, in this case, because of a threat to internal peace and order, of significant order, then the president’s decision in this instance is one that enables those who carry it out to carry it out without violating the law.” ...

Nathan Newman: Vatican says OK to vote for pro-choice politician. The job situation in Iraq is terrible, and plenty of it is the fault of the U.S. Schwarzenneger upholds union standards in his negotiations with the tribes over casino rights.

Pandagon with an economically honest Republican, and the planned increase in New York prostitution in advance of the Republican National Convention.

Political memo found Eleanor Clift's F-9/11 review. Also, an article on Democrats' chances for taking the Senate.

Talk Left on the mother of a soldier who asked the press to take pictures of the returning coffin containing her dead son.

Salon reviews a book that purports to explain why economic populism has been replaced by cultural populism, called What's Wrong With Kansas. A near impossibly nifty paragraph, followed by an important critique:

...Frank borrows his title from an 1896 screed by Emporia, Kan., newspaper editor William Allen White, who was excoriating his fellow Kansans, believe it or not, for being too far left. That was the year of the legendary presidential contest between Republican William McKinley, who forthrightly represented the big-money interests of the Northeast, and firebrand Democrat William Jennings Bryan, who was, impossibly enough by today's standards, a left-wing populist and a fundamentalist Christian. It was almost a photographic negative of the 2000 election: The inflamed rabble of the plains states flocked to Bryan, but the population centers of the East Coast turned out for McKinley, the sober voice of capitalism. (He was elected, and later assassinated by an anarchist -- don't let anybody tell you America was a more orderly place.)

...You blame the Democratic Party, to a significant extent, for its own predicament in places like Kansas. You use the phrase "criminally stupid" to describe its strategy and tactics since the 1970s. Explain what you mean.

There are two different errors that were made, and both of them have amounted to jettisoning the working class, so that the working class is no longer the central focus of the party. In the McGovern era they described this as the "new politics." The error of that was apparent at the time, because McGovern went down in flames. The idea was, we'll build a new coalition around students, feminists, environmentalists and so on.

The Democrats are forever trying to come up with some kind of demographic coalition that will get them to 51 percent. They talk about that all the time. That was one of the first efforts to do that, and it was discredited really fast. But the Democratic Leadership Council is, I think, a far more poisonous purveyor of this idea, getting rid of the working class. Or not getting rid of them, but no longer appealing to them as the center of the coalition, the bulwark of the party. Instead, it's suburban professionals or whoever. ...

Also in Salon: Disney partners with Move America Forward. If Republican groups didn't violate election law to get Nader on the ballot in Oregon, they did a highly creditable impersonation of illegal activity. California prepares for all-out war over emission standards now that the Governator has said he'll uphold the standards approved under Davis. Galbraith on squeezing workers.

Posted by natasha at June 29, 2004 10:05 AM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |