Friday, June 23, 2006

We Support All Free Speech That We Support

Republicans don't have a Herbert Marcuse to give them cover (however imaginary) for their efforts at repression of spending and speech.
Excerpt from the linked piece:

Republicans, of course, used to be against allowing politicians to decide what's good (legal) and bad (illegal) speech -- because, oddly enough, when politicians have that power, they tend to come to the conclusion that any speech that could cost them their jobs is the bad kind. A president named George H.W. Bush vetoed campaign-finance reform. Speaker Newt Gingrich did everything he could to keep such bills off the House floor in the 1990s, and Majority Leader Trent Lott did the same in the Senate.

But, now, all the Repubs have is this guy.

Or, soon they will. He has 2008 Prez written all over him.

(nod to Anonymous. You know who you are....and so do THEY)

Monday, June 19, 2006

It Just Gets Better...

Remember the Ohio election, with the guy whose kids didn't vote and the election ended in a tie? Well it gets better (or worse) when you see who his opponent is...

Her goal: eliminate drunk driving laws on weekends.

My question: why do people GO ON THAT SHOW? Why, why, why?

(thanks to JP)

A Burr Under Their Saddle

Curious sequence of events....

1. Senator Richard Burr, R-NC, introduces bill on labeling for food products. It may be a good idea, or a bad idea. Federal preemption of states' power, but lots of food is shipped interstate, and having accurate and uniform labels might help both companies and consumers. Consumers know where to look for info, all the info is there, and companies don't have to put different labels on cans or bags depending on which state they are going to send the thing.

2. Raleigh News and Observer delivers its opinion on this activity. "Bad Taste", says the finest paper east of Charlotte.

3. Senator Burr sends a letter to the editor, responding to the editorial.

4. N&O editor Steve Ford edits the letter fairly significantly (my own subjective judgment), but when the letter is printed the standard disclaimer ("Length limits waived to permit a fuller response") is appended. Here is the letter that was published.

Now, separate from the merits, on which reasonable people might differ, the "We waived our usual limits" bit might be taken to imply the letter was NOT edited. This implication is at best...well...implied, since it is not explicit. So, no actual skullduggery. But a little icky.

(Full disclosure: (a) I am not really a fan of the Senator, though I think he is right on this bill. (b) I have written for the N&O pretty often, and have found their editing of my work to be both entirely fair and extremely helpful)

5. Senator Burr buys a full page ad to supply the text of the full letter. If you compare it with the letter the N&O printed, it is (again, IMHO, as in #4 above) significantly different.

My questions:

a. The N&O reserves the right to edit letters for length; fair enough. But why edit the letter for length, but then still put in the "length disclaimer"? Possible answer: because the editing was about content, not length?

b. If you can edit letters' content to suit your own editorial perspective, without informing either the letter writer or the readers that you have done so, then how honest is this whole process?

c. What kind of econo-challenged person would believe that having different labeling standards in every state is a good thing? Why not have 50 state currencies, and let each state decide whether to drive on the left or right? Odd that the N&O has suddenly discovered the "states' rights" cause.

Truly Quirky

One of the great things about blogs is that some of them are TRULY quirky. the first birthday of UW, by Dr. Nokes: Many happy, and quirky, returns!