Monday, January 21, 2008

More of the same

Newsweek asks "Did Vytorin's makers intentionally suppress unfavorable trial results?" The answer looks like Yes--I am shocked, shocked.

From NPR--

Iraqi ground forces say their units are under strength and that better weapons are needed. They say they need U.S. to stay for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Iraq's minister of defense doesn't have much positive to say about Iraq's army, charging the country's security forces wouldn't be ready to control internal security for four years. And he predicted they wouldn't be able to protect against an external threat until 2018.
I am shocked, shocked.

The Washington Post (among many others) reports that--
The White House possesses no archived e-mail messages for many of its component offices, including the Executive Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President, for hundreds of days between 2003 and 2005, according to the summary of an internal White House study that was disclosed yesterday by congressional Democrat [Henry Waxman].

Waxman said he decided to release the summary after White House spokesman Tony Fratto said yesterday that there is "no evidence" that any White House e-mails from those years are missing. Fratto's assertion "seems to be an unsubstantiated statement that has no relation to the facts they have shared with us," Waxman said.
I am shocked, shocked--and wish Waxman would stick to stuff like this instead of grandstanding about steroids in baseball, about which he appears to know as much as a poodle groomer might.

The Los Angeles Times notes that the Bush administration has now taken to prying into the private lives of space scientists--apparently because some of them believe--gasp!--in global warming, and design spacecraft that report data showing it to be so.

I am shocked, shocked.

At The New York Times, Bob Herbert opines to the effect that it might be a good idea for the federal government to realize that instead of tax cuts and paltry one-time cash handouts, the best way to keep the economy stable would be to provide jobs for those willing and able to do them. Well, I'm not shocked, but I reckon President Cheney Bush would be.

The Clintons are taking some flack for suggesting that Barack Obama's paeans to Ronald Reagan are, one might say, misplaced. Paul Krugman has some sound thoughts on the matter:

And it’s also why the furor over Barack Obama’s praise for Ronald Reagan is not, as some think, overblown. The fact is that how we talk about the Reagan era still matters immensely for American politics.

Bill Clinton knew that in 1991, when he began his presidential campaign. “The Reagan-Bush years,” he declared, “have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.”

Contrast that with Mr. Obama’s recent statement, in an interview with a Nevada newspaper, that Reagan offered a “sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.”

Maybe Mr. Obama was, as his supporters insist, simply praising Reagan’s political skills. (I think he was trying to curry favor with a conservative editorial board, which did in fact endorse him.) But where in his remarks was the clear declaration that Reaganomics failed?

For it did fail. The Reagan economy was a one-hit wonder. Yes, there was a boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen.

Now that John Edwards seems to have succumbed to the media's utter refusal to grant his candidacy legitimacy, I reckon its Mrs. Clinton who makes the most sense. Mr. Obama may well have a career as a major player in the world, but he needs to get beat up a little before he's ready for it: so far, everything has come to him on a platter, apparently leaving him thinking that wishing hard on the first star you see tonight is a practical way to get things done against ruthless, experienced, heavyweight bastards.

And finally, the Washington Post offers yet another opinion on the Congressional hearings about baseball and steroids. Curiously, it actually makes some sense. I am shocked, shocked.

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