S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My nominees for Today's Four Best.

4444 We are folks who like to reward excellence. The Grammy Award show was last night. Great fun! (Their equally teriffic web site is linked to my blog title above).
Today S/SW blog gives out awards for the Four Best Reads, exerpts included:
1. This recognition is given to the best set of paragraphs on the Muhammad cartoon controversy. The author's blog post lays our the story of the furor in a brilliant way. Go to "Lost in Translation:Cartoons, Cultures, and the language of art," a blog post by Michael J.W. Stickings:
As I've said before, that violent reaction should not and must not be condoned. And, indeed, it has no doubt in part been stirred up by extremist demagogues who are all too happy to deepen the fissures that separate the Muslim world from the secular West. I wonder how many of the protesters even know what they're protesting against, how many understand the concept of free political speech and the ironic detachment of the Western secularists they so loathe.
But I wonder, too, whether we have any clue ourselves. We and they seem to be speaking radically different languages, but shouldn't we at least make a greater effort to understand theirs? We may demand the same of them, of course, but it seems to me that we must assume the burden of bringing freedom to the unfree and of explaining our way of life to those who simply don't understand it, let alone admire or long for it. A provocative cartoon depiction of Muhammad isn't the best
place to start.
2. "Ro" fans are rewarded by almost every one of her free verse posts. She has the lasting ability to be poignant, original, and dead on with each little piece. Her "Now Iran" blog by Rosie O'Donnel is gut wrenching. Here is a bit of it:
there r other options
we know this spiritually
war is terrorism
every life counts

3. The third award goes to the"Bucking Bush on Spying," column by David Broder. One of our most respected pundits gets the statue today for the manner in which he lays out what is a very hopeful story. His good news is that a number of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are willing to go agains our current president over domestic spying. Here is a clip:

In questioning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Brownback said, "It strikes me that we're going to be in this war on terrorism possibly for decades . . . [and] to have another set of eyes also looking at this surveillance technique is an important thing in maintaining the public's support for this." What Brownback put in gentle terms is exactly the issue that clearly troubled all but six of the 18 senators in the hearing -- the absence of any external checks on the secret wiretapping the president ordered after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

4. The final award is for comedy. My favorite columnist is Molly Ivins, and she scores again with her

"Take this Administration--please," a column by Molly Ivins.
I tell you, this bunch of cut-ups just keeps the fun coming. Just a few weeks ago, the House cut $16 billion from Medicaid over 10 years, which means that states will increase co-payments on poor people and drop preventive care -- which will cost more in the long run. They also cut $12.7 billion in student aid and loan programs over five years, because who needs that? And cut another $1.5 billion in child support enforcement in the next year, which is positively brilliant and will result in a drop of at least $8.4 billion in child support collected over the next 10 years. Oh, and a measly cut of $577 million in foster care over five years, making it harder to take care of neglected and abused
Now here's a little howler: Bush proposes cutting $36 billion from Medicare over the next five years only ... wait for it ... he's not cutting the money -- he's saving it! A $36 billion Medicare savings. That's so clever.
Tune in again, folks. It has been great!

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