The Decline and Fall of Western Civ for 5 May
Here is today's digression:
- Sarah Baxter, writing in the Times Online proves she is as much deluded as the "Disillusioned supporters of President George W Bush [who] are defecting to Barack Obama." Conjuring up memories of the `06 Congressional elections, Baxter points out that Democrats are once again trying to win against Republicans by casting themselves as more Republican than Republicans. One can't help but notice the constant race-baiting rhetoric, however:
For his optimism about the future, Obama has been dubbed the “black Ronald Reagan.” He frequently challenges the black community to support two-parent families and encourage school students, instead of criticising them for “acting white.”Newsweek reports that George W. Bush has the lowest presidential approval rating in a generation but the online news rag fails to point out the new Democrat controlled Congress is flirting with the same all time low job-approval ratings.
For what it's worth, as long as Democrat candidates are running against Bush they aren't running against the Republican candidates.
- Writing in The Washington Post, Jonathan Weisman and Lyndsey Layton report that Democrats have simply failed to live up the the promise to "Drain the GOP 'Swamp'" in their first 100 hours in office.
In the heady opening weeks of the 110th Congress, the Democrats' domestic agenda appeared to be flying through the Capitol.We will know when Democrats can govern: they will stop acting like they are still the minority party.
But now that initial progress has foundered as Washington policymakers have been consumed with the debate over the Iraq war. Not a single priority on the Democrats' agenda has been enacted, and some in the party are growing nervous that the "do nothing" tag they slapped on Republicans last year could come back to haunt them.
"This leadership, these Democrats have shown that they can fight," he said. "Now they have to show they can govern."
- On the other hand, Democrats are going to have a hard time of it going into the `08 presidential election if the U.S. is still in Iraq. No matter how bad they want Bush to fall under the weight of the war, seasoned Democrats know if they can't saddle Bush with defeat in Iraq, they will still have to deal with the problem if they win the presidency.
The New York Times points out Congressional Democrats are under increasing pressure from the anti-war left and predicts the pressure to grow as Democrats continue to fail at their attempts to govern. The whole thing brings to mind the image of trying to herd a bunch of cats.
- Not to be out-gloomed and doomed by former Vice President, Al Gore, The Associated Press reports former President Bill Clinton said Friday that disasters such as worldwide famine and an obesity epidemic could destroy the U.S. health care system unless politicians begin to look ahead and cooperate. It's all a matter of consensus!
"Each of these are threats that we know are going to happen. This is not like saying, 'What do we do if the president of China is kidnapped tomorrow,'" Stone said. "It's not even that there is really technical disagreement about these things. It's just a matter of figuring how we can get governments to act."
- A soccer game between Muslim imams and Christian priests at the end of a conference to promote interfaith dialogue was canceled Saturday reports AP because the teams could not agree on whether women priests should take part.
- AP reports a music teacher who twice ordered a seven-year-old pupil to hit himself in the head with drum mallets will not return to the Parkway, Missouri School District next year.
State officials say the 36-year-old teacher intended the head-banging as a lesson to Justin Barricklow about hitting the drums too hard.
- And finally, The Independent reports there was an almost audible sigh of relief in parts of America's capital this weekend after ABC News said it would not reveal the identities of scores of clients of the alleged "DC madam" because they were not well enough known to be "newsworthy."
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