Never trust anyone under 30

Back on Campus, Bush Gets Passing Grades

A survey of college students, conducted this month for Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, found that 61 percent approve of Bush’s job performance. That is significantly higher than what most polls of the general population have reported. The most recent Washington Post-ABC News survey placed Bush’s approval rating at 53 percent.

The students also preferred Bush to a generic Democratic presidential candidate, 39 to 34 percent; 18 percent said they were undecided.

Campuses, contrary to image, are not bastions of liberalism: 38 percent of the students identified themselves as independent or unaffiliated, 31 percent said they were Republican and 27 percent said they were Democrats.

Among those who called themselves Democrats, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) led with 17 percent, followed by former Vermont governor Howard Dean, with 16 percent. …

Despite the students’ support for Bush, many reported significant qualms with his policies: Eighty-seven percent said the administration has been “hiding some things” or “mostly not telling the truth” about the situation in Iraq.

So, most students believe Bush is lying to them AND they approve of that. Young Republicans. mjh

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Eat the Rich!

‘The rich are coming back’ and retailers are hungry

Luxury is making a comeback.

This holiday season, upscale retailers are selling mega-high-end merchandise like $5,000 handbags, $15,000 diamond necklaces and even $8,500 caviar servers. And they expect consumers to splurge again after two years of hunkering down. …

Well-heeled shoppers, whose spirits have been lifted recently by stock market gains and a lessened fear of terrorism, have been spending more freely the past few months. …

”This year, the rich are coming back,” [some idiot] said.

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Janice Rogers Brown

Out of the Mainstream, Again

Of the many unworthy judicial nominees President Bush has put forward, Janice Rogers Brown is among the very worst. As an archconservative justice on the California Supreme Court, she has declared war on the mainstream legal values that most Americans hold dear. And she has let ideology be her guide in deciding cases. …

She has attacked the New Deal, which gave us Social Security and other programs now central to American life, as ”the triumph of our socialist revolution.”

Justice Brown’s record as a judge is also cause for alarm. She regularly stakes out extreme positions, often dissenting alone. In one case, her court ordered a rental car company to stop its supervisor from calling Hispanic employees by racial epithets. Justice Brown dissented, arguing that doing so violated the company’s free speech rights. …

President Bush, who promised as a candidate to be a ”uniter, not a divider, has selected the most divisive judicial nominees in modern times. The Senate should help the president keep his campaign promise by insisting on a more unifying alternative than Justice Brown.

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No stopping the Religious Right?

Victory in Florida Feeding Case Emboldens the Religious Right

Religious conservatives say that with an arsenal of prayer vigils, Christian radio broadcasts and thousands of e-mail messages to Florida lawmakers, they played a pivotal role in the legislative battle this week over whether to feed a brain-damaged woman who has been kept alive artificially for 13 years.

Now some conservatives are hoping to use similar tactics to help them challenge court rulings they opposed in other states. …

”The Republican Party wants to present itself as the pro-life, pro-family party,” Mr. Terry said. ”This pro-life, pro-family governor could not afford to not intervene in some way.” …

[Jeb] Bush is in his second and last term as governor, but many politicians believe he may run for president in 2008. In the meantime, he is the point man in Florida for his brother’s presidential campaign. And after 2000, when George Bush carried Florida by only 537 votes, the Republicans are doing everything they can to ensure a decisive victory next year.

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Where’s MY pay raise?

ABCNEWS.com : Senate Approves Pay Increase for Itself

”At a time when our country is facing record annual deficits, this automatic stealth pay raise system is absolutely wrong,” said [Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis]. He has a policy of returning to the Treasury any pay he receives above his salary at the beginning of his six-year term.

With the raise, lawmakers will have received five straight pay increases totaling $21,000, he said. …

”I think that our representatives of government deserve a pay raise consistent with the work that we’ve produced,” said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

”This is not a pay raise. This is an increase that’s required by law,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Stevens’ remark may win the prize for disingenuous crap. Alaskans: boot Stevens! mjh

Senators vote to raise their pay by $3,400

”How can Congress give itself a $3,400 pay raise while nearly 9 million people are unemployed, and 2 million have been out of work for more than half a year?” Feingold asked.

Senators vote to increase their pay by $3,400 Jan. 1

”In this time of out-of-control federal deficits, it is essential to put the interests of taxpayers ahead of our self-interest,” said Sen. John McCain, AZ-R, who is running for re-election next year.

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More Tax Cuts?

House Leaders Are Pushing to Cut Corporate Taxes

House Republican leaders are nearing agreement on a bill to give nearly $60 billion in additional tax breaks to corporations, brushing aside Democratic complaints that the measure would deepen the federal budget deficit. …

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal policy research group, said preliminary tax data for this year indicated that corporate taxes accounted for just 7.4 percent of total tax receipts, down from about 21 percent of total receipts in the 1960’s.

I was sure there would be no more talk of new tax cuts until after 2004. But maybe the Republicans sense the end is near and they need to raid the Treasury completely while they can. mjh

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"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." — Sam Adams