Aside from the "Being Poor" piece, I’ve largely been out of the news commentary business around here for the last couple of weeks, so let me catch up on a couple of things briefly:
The Roberts Confirmation Hearings: I don’t really have anything useful to say on this matter, largely because I’m of the opinion that Roberts is the best we’re likely to get out of Bush in terms of a Supreme Court candidate, and because I think he’s a reasonable choice for the bench — probably not my top choice for Chief Justice, I suppose, although anyone’s preferable to Scalia, who would have been my next guess. I’m not at all convinced he’s anything approaching the stealth fundie boogyman some of the more fervent of liberal set adjudge him to be, so my opposition is correspondingly lower; so low, in fact, that I guess I would actually have to say I don’t oppose him at all.
Bush and Katrina: Bush wants to spend $200 billion to rebuild the South, which is good in theory, but I expect his administration to do a good job at the effort about as much as I expect my cat to whip up a light and tasty souffle. Word has reached my far province that Karl Rove will be in charge of the reconstruction, which I find as appalling as can possibly be, since it just about assures that everything related to the rebuilding will be turned into an exercise in ideological fealty to the administration. Which means that my cat-fashioned souffle is actually more likely than this reconstruction being done in any way other than the most petty and political way possible.
I also note the Bush doesn’t expect we’ll need to raise any taxes to pay for the $200 billion. This is not in the least bit surprising, since the current crop of tax jihadists would try to rescue a choking man by giving him a tax cut instead of the Heimlich maneuver, and then when he’s dead would try to comfort the grieving family by assuring them they’re working to repeal estate taxes. But it does remind me yet again that anyone who still actually believes that the Republican party is the party of fiscal intelligence needs a 2×4 upside the head. There hasn’t been a day in the last five years that Bush adminstration has shown even the slightest bit of fiscal acumen, and when Bush says the answer to finding the $200 billion is to slash through the federal budget, if you think those slashings are going to be balanced across the ideological spectrum, you need another wood kiss from that 2×4. Leave it to this administration to take a national tragedy and turn it into an opportunity for some nice political ball-cutting.
"Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People": I don’t think this is true at all. He cares about black people just fine, as long as they make more than $100,000 a year. His concern for white people runs at roughly the same level. Outside of interns and a few lackeys, one does wonder if Bush has ever spent any useful amount of time with people who makes less than that amount. Certainly growing up as a scion of the Bush family he did not, nor does anything in his work life suggest that he did, either. He’s got a blind spot at the 100 large line, which is a real shame because that’s where most people live, including the vast majority of the people who voted for him, being as they were under the impression that he "got" their needs.
Mike Brown Resigns: Well, yeah. He may have been dim and incompetent, but was not so dim and incompetent as not to realize the Bush administration couldn’t been seen firing him, because that would be an admission that they’d hired a moron. One does wonder what would have happened had Brown not resigned; whether he would have been actually fired, or whether the administration would have simply kept routing around him, leaving him to stare at empty walls for the next three years. Naturally, I would hope for the former and honestly expect that eventually the Bush folks would have pulled the trigger, but one does wonder how long it would have taken.
Pledge of Allegiance Ruled Unconstitutional: I find it deeply amusing to see so many conservatives get so worked up over a bit of doggerel that was written by a rock-ribbed socialist, but other than that I find this a true waste of time. I have no more objection to the "under God" portion of the Pledge than I do the "In God We Trust" saying stamped on my coins, and God knows that hearing "One Nation Under God" thousands of times over the course of my educational career did absolutely nothing to endear Him to me, as evidenced by the fact I am entirely agnostic, and will likely be so up until the moment before I die, at which point I might believe it to be prudent to hedge my bets. But even if I do that it won’t be because of the Pledge.
There, I think that gets me all caught up for now.