VA’s Republican Governor has proposed a special sales tax on consumers who shop with coupons. “Because they pay less for their groceries,” he said, “they are not paying their fair share of sales tax, even though they take up as much room in the store.” Sound ridiculous? How is that any different than taxing hybrid cars for not using enough gasoline?
It has been an exhausting and exhilerating few days, and I will have much to write when I can make the time. Until then, I want to posit this simple question.
The McCain campaign and its supporters have proclaimed that Barrack Obama is a Socialist. For the past several weeks, at every opportunity, they have trotted out this trope. Surely, anyone who voted for Obama must have heard this.
Which leaves me with this interesting question for my conservative brethren: if Barack Obama is a Socialist, and we just voted him into office with impressively large numbers, then does he now have a mandate to make ours a Socialist government? I mean, you believe in democracy, right, and the rule of the people? So if we willingly put a Socialist into the office of the President, then that must mean we want a Socialist government. As as supporters of Democracy, you will, of course, recognize that The People have spoken, and you will support our right to be governed following the principles that we choose.
Isn’t that what the war in Iraq is all about? Giving a people freedom from tyranny, so they can self-determine? Well, the American people have made their choice: by your own words, we have elected a Socialist to govern, and now you must support that.
Yeah, I thought so.
Although we’ve known for some time that it might come to this, it is only now starting to settle on me that the next Democratic candidate for President will be either a woman or an African-American. It is a stunning turn of events. As I have watched the process these past few months, and sensed which way the wind was blowing, I have said to all who care to listen that this is a good field of Democratic candidates, that any one of them would make a fine President, and that I will be happy to support whoever is chosen by the national party.
Not that I haven’t had my favorites. I’ve admired John Edwards for the past four years and enjoyed watching him evolve into a populist candidate as he refined his message about the two Americas. Dennis Kucinich is (was) the only candidate this year that I had the honor to meet in person, and although we all knew he would not be the final nominee, he was my heart’s choice. (Actually, I did meet one other candidate before: twenty years ago, when I was living in New York, Rudy Guliani dashed across the street to shake my hand. He was running for State Attorney General and I didn’t like him then, either.)
After seven years of unbelievably inept “governing”, I have found myself nostalgic for the simple scandals of the Clinton years, not to mention the reassuring financial scene of the 1990s. And I have always liked Hillary Clinton the person, so I find her candidacy exciting on many levels.
Four years ago, the American Geophysical Union released a statement about human impact on the global environment. The 744 word document began with the sentence “Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth’s climate.”
In a revised position statement issued today, the society offered additional evidence that recent changes in climate are attributable to human activity. The terse 482 word document begins with much stronger statement “The Earth’s climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming.”
The 50,000-member strong organization posits that we will need to cut emissions of greenhouse gases globally by more than 50 percent to avoid warming the planet by 2 degrees Celsius. Much of the statement matches conclusions drawn by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which released its multivolume report last year and later shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. In fact, the society notes that many of its members helped write the panel’s report.
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