"Many times when I've had what I thought was conviction,
it was actually passionate intensity over an error."
- Louis H. Bryan, Jr.
On Healthcare: John Edwards is right: Those who have caused our health care problem - the insurance and drug industries - are not about to help solve the problem. It is unrealistic to think they will be willing to negotiate away their immense profits. Drug and insurance companies - backed by the "screw you, I've got mine" wing of the GOP - will be implacably opposed to reform.
Tweed Ring: The finger of suspicion In America and elsewhere trial lawyers, state prosecutors and regulators look for the crime in subprime. Lenders are turning on each other. Investors handed out writs instead of Christmas cards. Lawyers are just warming up.
Kansas City: J. Edgar Hoover had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and arrest up to 12,000 Americans he suspected of being disloyal and imprison them in military and federal prisons. Hoover wanted to declare the mass arrests necessary to "protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage." All eventually would have adjudged by a one judge and two citizens panel that would not have been bound by the rules of evidence. The plan has been updated; the President will appoint roving bands wearing distinctive brown shirts to find the accused guilty.
Time: Every 10 minutes an Iraqi civilian is injured or killed in a war that will not end until Bush leaves office. Every 10 hours an American soldier is killed in a war will not end until Bush leaves office. Every 10 days $2 billion is transferred from the Treasury to the accounts of Halliburton, Blackwater and other war profiteers in pursuit of a war that will not end until Bush leaves office. Tick Tock.
Hold Still : The FBI has a $1 billion 10 year project to build the world's largest computer database, named Next Generation Identification, of biometrics (digital images of faces, fingerprints, iris scans, ear geometry, DNA codes,and palm patterns) to give the government more ways to identify people. FBI will also retain the fingerprints of everyone who has undergone criminal background check, gotten a driver's license, or voted Democratic.
Mattress: SunTrust Bank injected $1.4 billion into two of its money-market funds, becoming at least the seventh company to rescue customers from losses on an investment traditionally billed as one of the safest places for cash. The write-down reflects an 18% decline in value. Put it in the mattress.
Biblical Text : America has contrived its own Babylonian Captivity while Russia reinvents the Persian Empire. After 50 centuries, Babylon and Persia still matter. We've found neither WMD nor the Garden. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose