The NY Times is so-so today, but the Washington Post has some really bad signed pieces.
The first NY Times editorial says America needs to cut its energy use if it wants to cut gas prices. The second is how cancer doctors are trying to spook their patients into complaining about Medicare reimbursements by telling them only half the story. The third is on how the delisting of Love Canal from the Superfund list should highlight the fact that Dubya administration has seriously weakened the Superfund. The fourth editorial calls for a Justice department investigation into the truth about the death "of 14-year-old Emmett Till, a black boy who was brutally murdered for supposedly whistling at a white woman in 1955."
William Safire puts on his extra-strength rose-colored glasses to review the progress of "democracy creep" in the greater Middle East. Safire practically skips over Afghanistan, goes on about how great things are going to be in Iraq after we spent $18 billion more there, then says that the democratic changes in Iraq are prompting Syria to a new action - shooting unarmed protesters. If you can believe shooting unarmed protesters is a sign of success, you can believe anything. Bob Herbert writes about how Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making the New York City schools worse. The Times then has two guest editorials on Cuba here and here.
More summaries below
The first Washington Post is on Trade and Labor Rights in China
. It asks the Dubya administration to do something to help workers in the US and China - what a pipe dream! The second reprimands Congress
for responding to "news that obesity was catching up with tobacco as the nation's leading cause of preventable deaths" with a bill to "immunize the fast-food industry against lawsuits by those who gain weight as a result of overeating." The last editorial is on a small step forward in Virginia to improve lawyering for the poor
Condi Rice has a guest editorial that is just a big bunch of lies. From Condi's editorial:
In response to my request for a presidential initiative, the counterterrorism team, which we had held over from the Clinton administration, suggested several ideas, some of which had been around since 1998 but had not been adopted. No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration.
We adopted several of these ideas. We committed more funding to counterterrorism and intelligence efforts. We increased efforts to go after al Qaeda's finances. We increased American support for anti-terror activities in Uzbekistan.
Contrast that with this from a Time article (via a blog
The terrorism briefing was delivered by Richard Clarke,  who had served in the first Bush Administration and risen  to become the White House's point man on terrorism. [He was] chair of the interagency Counter-Terrorism Security Group (CSG)[...]. Since the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole [...] he had been working on an aggressive plan to take the fight to al-Qaeda. [...] Berger and the principals decided to shelve the plan and let the next Administration take it up. With less than a month left in office, they did not think it appropriate to launch a major initiative against Osama bin Laden. "We would be handing [the Bush Administration] a war when they took office on Jan. 20," says a former senior Clinton aide. "That wasn't going to happen." Now it was up to Rice's team to consider what Clarke had put together.
Clarke's proposals called for the "breakup" of al-Qaeda cells and the arrest of their personnel. The financial support for its terrorist activities would be systematically attacked, its assets frozen, its funding from fake charities stopped. Nations where al-Qaeda was causing trouble "Uzbekistan, the Philippines, Yemen" would be given aid to fight the terrorists. Most important, Clarke wanted to see a dramatic increase in covert action in Afghanistan to "eliminate the sanctuary" where al-Qaeda had its terrorist training camps and bin Laden was being protected by the radical Islamic Taliban regime. [...] In the words of a senior Bush Administration official, the proposals amounted to "everything we've done since 9/11."
Gee, isn't amazing how what Dubya came up with on their own sounds exactly like the plan the Clinton administration didn't give them?
A Washington Post editor has a fairly clueless piece on how the US should deal diplomatically with Europe.
The question is whom to blame for these numbers [of falling American popularity in Europe]. Bush partisans can fairly point at feckless European leaders, who have refused to respond robustly to the age of terror and who have stoked anti-Americanism to win elections -- think Germany as well as Spain.
Hey idiot - terrorism didn't start with 9/11. Europe has suffered terrorists attacks for decades. The big split between the US and Europe came over invading Iraq, which had nothing to do with the war on terror.
Fred Hiatt continues the streak of bad columns with a piece that suggests the world would be better off it overlooked the fact that Dubya and his administration lied about everything about Iraq. Fred's position seems to be that we went into Iraq for all the wrong reasons, but the world needs to support us because we are Iraq's only hope. For Fred's next column, he is going to advise battered wifes to stay with their abusive husbands because they have to make the best of a bad situation.
William Raspberry's continues his columns on his road trip to South Africa. His conclusion - that South Africa has made huge strides in 10 years through a massive public spending program, but it is still a "race between the hope that a successful jobs campaign could bring and the crime-spawning despair that already is a major problem in Johannesburg."