First, I want to thank all those who have followed this blog since Mike and myself launched it last semester. Your comments and feedback have been valuable.
I will be leaving The Beacon to begin a co-op with The Boston Globe next semester. My assistant Britt will be moving on to the sports page and our editorial cartoonist, busy with his BFA, will not be staying as a weekly contributor.
So that means I will no longer be maintaining this blog. That job will go to the new opinion co-editors, Chris Auclair and Chris Girard, who will begin in September. Both currently bloggers, they should have no problem taking over and improving the blog.
Thanks again and see you in September,
I watched the debate preceding the vote on C-Span, and was pleased to see champion of such legislation and frequent Colbert guest Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) lay a verbal smackdown to the opposition. Hopefully this footage will surface online soon, because it was AWESOME. Tom Davis, a Republican of Virginia's 11th district (my home turf), also showed his support, stating that his fellow Republicans needed to "see through the fog of armchair constitutional analyses and do the right thing."
The "fog" that Davis is referring to is the argument that the language of the Constitution states that members of the House shall be chosen "by the people of the several states." Many Democrats, however, cited multiple examples where similar language has been bypassed by Congress in order to apply certain federal principles to DC citizens (i.e. Income Taxes, etc).
Furthermore, it is my sincere belief that this matter should be observed from a perspective that looks to the inherent morals and values of this country. We are a Representative Democracy. The 23rd amendment already affords DC residents the right to vote for President. There is no reason these people should not have equal say in the coequal Legislative branch. A citizen of DC is a citizen of the United States, and now for the first time in over 200 years, our government is treating them like one.
Yes, I found it!
While I understand the mindset behind such an act, I'm surprised and a little disappointed that it is coming from a journalists union. Does such a policy not compromise the objective perspective reporters are supposed to have? A journalist union should not be in the business of taking one position over another in such a tangible way.
The Presidential salary is $400k. The Vice President makes $200k. Considering the time commitment these jobs require (or SHOULD require), it seems inherently excessive that so much extra money is being collected. When exactly are they taking a break to pursue other financial interests? SHOULD they be pursuing other financial interests? I imagine they have people working for them who do all of their investing, and that they probably don't forgo their administrative duties to direct these people. However, based on Cheney's ties to Halliburton it is not far fetched to theorize that such investments may affect policy decisions.
To put things into perspective, the Clinton's actually left the White House in debt. The Washington Post reported that they were approx. $12 million in the hole (due to campaign and legal fees) to be exact. Sure they're worth a combined $60 million now, but at least they waited until AFTER Bill's Presidential term to make that money (it came almost entirely through book deals and speaking fees for non-charitable events).
It seems practical that a President's financial sources should be limited to taxpayer dollars. It would certainly help to fix the problem so many have with lobbyists and the private sector holding too much sway over the federal government.
Obama's family income came in at $991,296 last year. This number, while also high, has been fully accounted for by the newsmedia. $506,618 are from book royalties, and the rest is largely salary money from him and his wife (who technically makes more than he does). I suppose its fair to say that transparency along these lines would be adequate and perhaps more ethical than restricting income for politicians.
One of the reasons I cut the Bush administration some slack is that Snow answers my questions on and off the record. And if Tony Snow tells me something, I can bank it. He doesn't lie or mislead, ever.Wow.
The future of technology in general and the Internet specifically remain to be seen. But The Christian Science Monitor has reported a really fascinating story that shows how it is now easier than ever to take a close look at the world thousands of miles away without ever leaving your computer.
Even more interestingly, that world is the war-torn nation of Sudan in Africa. From the article:
How truly incredible this story is. If the Internet can be used in this way, imagine how it will change our very concept of history. The genocide in Sudan can never be denied; the evidence, in the form of decimated villages, is right here on our hard drives.
"Now anyone with a high-speed Internet connection can zoom in on satellite images of any of the 1,600 devastated villages and get detailed information provided by the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington.
The collaboration is an effort to raise awareness about the three-year-old conflict that has killed more than 200,000 and displaced more than 2.5 million people by giving ordinary people access to images generally available only to spies, diplomats, and heads of state."
The world lost one of its funniest and most irreverent voices with the passing of Kurt Vonnegut. I'm not going to describe his wit and brilliance for you. He can do that himself:
"Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe."
"The effort to stabilize Iraq is making strides, if Gen. Petraeus is to be trusted. But one wonders how many politicians, looking at the next elections, can shake themselves free from Weltschmerz long enough to greet, with gratitude, the possibility that time, finally, is working in behalf of the great endeavor to maintain an element of freedom in that critical area of the Middle East."
HARRIS: It is intellectually dishonest, frankly, to say that you are sure that Jesus was born of a virgin.
WARREN: I say I accept that by faith. And I think it's intellectually dishonest for you to say you have proof that it didn't happen. Here's the difference between you and me. I am open to the possibility that I am wrong in certain areas, and you are not.
HARRIS: Oh, I am absolutely open to that.
WARREN: So you are open to the possibility that you might be wrong about Jesus?
HARRIS: And Zeus. Absolutely.....
WARREN: There's no doubt where you're born influences your initial beliefs. Regardless of where you were born, there are some things you can know about God, even without the Bible. For instance, I look at the world and I say, "God likes variety." I say, "God likes beauty." I say, "God likes order," and the more we understand ecology, the more we understand how sensitive that order is.
HARRIS: Then God also likes smallpox and tuberculosis.
"Instead, we are sorry to say, he has mostly gone into reverse. Since his announcement, he has said that, in his mind, a strict constructionist judge could as easily rule to keep Roe as to scrap it. He has continued to misrepresent pro-lifers as seeking to throw pregnant women “in jail.” He has refused to rule out signing federal legislation codifying Roe should it be presented to him as president. And, most troublingly, has reiterated his longstanding support for taxpayer funding for abortion."
So what now? I am actually surprised that, given the opportunity in the past few weeks to clarify his stance, Giuliani has continued to stress that he is a pro-choice moderate. I suspect the campaign has decided at this point that it is better to be seen as strong and unwavering than a pro-life flip-flopper. Romney is struggling, and it is no doubt due to his almost daily reversals of position.
This isn't going to get any easier for Rudy. He's a Weekly Standard conservative, not a National Review one. But we'll see what the voters ultimately say.
Although the 11 people who agreed are far too few to draw any conclusions about the Emerson body, I was very surprised to see that not one chose Barack Obama. Two, however, did pick Hillary Clinton.
CNN is reporting that a number of child molesters in Florida are being forced to live under a bridge because the state's strict regulations have left them with little other options. From the article:
"The Julia Tuttle Causeway, which links Miami to Miami Beach, offers no running water, no electricity and little protection from nasty weather. It's not an ideal solution, Department of Corrections Officials told CNN, but at least the state knows where the sex offenders are.
Nearly every day a state probation officer makes a predawn visit to the causeway. Those visits are part of the terms of the offenders' probation which mandates that they occupy a residence from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m."Sex offenders are probably the most hated and feared people in the States today, as evidenced by the attitudes towards them when they attempt to reintegrate into society, the attention they get in the media and the laws that we allow our state and local governments to pass.
They are difficult to defend, but this situation is simply unacceptable. I am also opposed to Jessica's Law because I believe it punishes people beyond their jail time and probation, stigmatizes them for the rest of their lives and puts one category of crime way, way above all others.
We must never as a society let our instinctual reaction to a crime or type of criminal let us come in the way of our obligation to humane and fair treatment for all.
--The always credible Cal Thomas.
Fawning over the president's press secretary? Is this journalism?