Fresh progressive talking points from MSM columnists:
The Washington Post's David Broder comments that Deans recusal from policy may be a mistake:
His stated inclination to leave the policy pronouncements to elected officials will not be easy for a man of his pronounced views to maintain over a four-year stretch. And there is a potential cost for Democrats if Dean truly tries to foreclose giving the party its own policy voice.
Congressional leaders necessarily trim their views to meet immediate tactical needs. That's why, for example, Capitol Hill Democrats are withholding any Social Security rescue plan of their own until President Bush spells out his own proposal.
But the party needs a longer-term and broader perspective, one that includes and reflects the experience of state and local officials as well as Washington voices. The party chairman is the right person to organize such a policy council, and if Dean doesn't do it, it probably will not get done.
Others below the fold:
As Kos posted on the front page, you can't miss Maureen Dowd's piece on Gannon
, where she provides a tip of the hat to bloggers.
In an era when security concerns are paramount, what kind of Secret Service background check did James Guckert get so he could saunter into the West Wing every day under an assumed name while he was doing full-frontal advertising for stud services for $1,200 a weekend? He used a driver's license that said James Guckert to get into the White House, then, once inside, switched to his alter ego, asking questions as Jeff Gannon.
Mr. McClellan shrugged this off to Editor & Publisher magazine, oddly noting, "People use aliases all the time in life, from journalists to actors."
I know the F.B.I. computers don't work, but this is ridiculous. After getting gobsmacked by the louche sagas of Mr. Guckert and Bernard Kerik, the White House vetters should consider adding someone with some blogging experience.
The NY Times' contributor Dan Savage writes about recently self-outed lesbian Maya Keyes estrangement from her father, rapid gay hater Alan Keyes.
Sadly for Maya Keyes, her father apparently has more affection for his ideology than for his daughter. She says her parents kicked her out of the house and have refused to pay for her education. (Thankfully, some of those evil gay people have come forward to pay her tuition at Brown next year through the Point Foundation.) Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Cheney could find the time to call Mr. and Mrs. Keyes and explain how parents who actually value their families react when they learn one of their children is gay.
But I can't enjoy this news about Maya Keyes as much as most gays and lesbians. As a parent, you see, I feel Alan Keyes's pain - and Randall Terry's too. I can empathize with their desire not to see their children grow up to be one of us because I live in mortal fear of my child growing up to be one of them.
Jim Hoagland slams the Bush regime on the corruption evident in waste and loss of billions of dollars in Iraq:
The wholesale theft and tyranny of Saddam Hussein's regime long ago ceased to surprise Iraqis. But fresh outrage stirs as the shoddy handling of the U.N. oil-for-food program is exposed, and as a stench rises over the cavalier fashion in which billions of Iraqi dollars were used -- misused? -- by the overwhelmed or oblivious U.S. occupation authorities who have run Iraq since 2003.
The LA Times' George Skelton reveals the new flip-flopper on the block: The Governator.
A small example of the language barrier, I suspect, was heard on KFI radio's "John and Ken Show" last week. The governor was asked whether he thought Proposition 98 -- the minimum funding guarantee for schools -- "ought to be rewritten." He instantly replied, "No," even though his proposed budget-control reform would partially rewrite it.
After Schwarzenegger had completed his convoluted answer, one of the hosts pressed again: "I'm wondering if Prop. 98 is flawed in the way it's written."
"Exactly," the governor answered, and proceeded to outline how he was trying to rewrite it.
Arriana Huffington also takes a stab at Ahnold by comparing him to the deceitful Michael Eisner revealed in James Stewart's book, "DisneyWar".
"Eisner's most glaring defect," writes Stewart, is "his dishonesty." Stewart goes on to describe Eisner's "tendency to distort, embellish or forget the truth" until he becomes incapable of distinguishing reality from his own fabrications.
That's when it hit me: Eisner is the Disneyland doppelganger of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's all right there: the unremitting duplicity; the penchant for saying one thing, then doing another; the gift for irrational invective; the way both men forge personal bonds with others, then turn around and stab them in the back--often just hours later.
Mouseketeer Mike and the Governator are pathological peas in a pod.
Finally, Molly Ivins juxtaposes the Senate passage of "tort deform" days after executives from W.R. Grace & Co are indicted for knowingly exposing workers and the public to asbestos ore:
Public Citizen did a study showing that corporations themselves file four times as many lawsuits as do individuals, and they are penalized much more often by judges for pursuing frivolous litigation.
"Corporations think America is too litigious only when they are on the receiving end of a lawsuit," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. "But when they feel aggrieved, businesses are far more likely to take their beef to court than are consumers."
The administration came up with a weird fix for this nonexistent problem (so reminiscent of nonexistent WMDs, the "crisis" in Social Security and other nonproblems): It would severely limit the right of individuals to file class-action suits against corporations by moving such cases from state courts to federal courts.