Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Crucial or Negligible? Writing in Salon about the Ashcroft road show promoting the virtues of the PATRIOT Act, Michelle Goldberg makes a good point: In the face of such opposition, Ashcroft has taken to the road to try to convince America of two somewhat contradictory propositions. On the one hand, he argues that without the […]

The Spoils of War The Texas Republicans, with the aid of the cowardly John Whitmire, have won the battle in Texas. Governor Perry has called a third special session and redistricting (to give Republicans 5-7 more seats in the US House) will soon be underway. The one bright spot is that redistricting may not go […]

Foreign Policy? Or just a Visa commercial? National security adviser Condoleezza Rice defended the administration’s supplemental spending request. “Yes, the price tag may be very high,” she told Washington-based foreign reporters. But, she added: “Freedom is priceless.” In the same story, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Richard Meyers–apparently unaware that for a few years in […]

Since We Invaded Iraq… …a few other things have happened on the world stage North Korea announced that it would continue developing nuclear arms and the missiles to deliver them. The Middle East Peace Roadmap collapsed and the comparatively moderate Mahmoud Abbas resigned. Iran may have or be close to having actual nuclear weapons (in […]

Health Insurance Rates Up 13.9 Percent in 2003 Which is, of course, bad news for the job market–at least, it’s bad news in the market for jobs that come with benefits. Even for jobs that carry benefits, look for rising premiums, rising copayments, and higher deductibles. Apparently, prescription drug costs and rising prices for hospital […]

Brushed Off by the World I guess insulting much of the world and then asking for help wasn’t such a great idea. Here are some salient excerpts from a story, Brushed Off by the World, Bush Calls India for Help, in today’s Washington Post: From Asia to Europe to Africa, President Bush’s televised appeal Sunday […]

Tours of Duty Just heard on NPR that some reservists tours will last for one year, rather than six months. AB UPDATE: Here’s a link to the story.

Democratic Ranks Swelling in Texas Not really, but there are now or will soon be ten more Democrats in Texas than there were last week: The runaway senators had vowed to stay out of Texas until another redistricting session was called and a quorum established on the Senate floor. However, Ms. Van de Putte said, […]

Talking Points Memo This is a good example of why Josh Marshall is one of my favorite political writers. AB

2004 Projected Deficit Now Over Well Over $500 Billion Way back on 8/24 the projected deficit was $480 billion (see this post). Now it’s $525b and counting. That’s another $45 billion in 15 days–deficit projections for the next year are growing by $3 billion per day. If current trends continue then by New Year’s Eve, […]