I probably won’t be doing much of anything on the Internets tomorrow, so let me take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. And to go with the Tofurkey and homemade organic cranberry sauce (this is a liberal site, right?), some links:
• Late word tonight that the CBO will do an estimate of the Senate health care bill’s impact on premiums. I don’t think they’re at all equipped to perform that assessment, but they’ll try anyway. The report is due next week.
• Iran is actually starting to hedge toward the uranium enrichment deal rather than rejecting it outright, asking that the uranium swap take place on Iranian soil. Western powers are already refusing to agree to this deal, but it’s actually a bit of progress.
• Great Chris Hayes article on the terrible traditional media reporting on US-China relations. The “they own us” narrative is far more complex and far less true than imagined.
• Don Siegelman says that there’s no different between the Bush and Obama Justice Departments. From his perspective, since both are arguing against his appeal to the Supreme Court in his corruption case, that’s true; what is disturbing is that most of the Bush-era US Attorneys remain in practice across the country, instead of the standard practice of Obama asking for their resignation. And that lingering presence of Bush operatives in the Obama DoJ is quite troubling.
• A coalition of multiple pro-choice and progressive groups have formed Stop Stupak, to ensure that the restrictive amendment on abortion services comes out of the health care bill.
• I haven’t closely followed this “Climategate” scandal, but can tell it’s becoming a full-fledged right-wing talking point. Enviroknow has a good precis of the story. The short version is that this is a distortion being pushed by far-right denialists. The long version is in this post, and it’s extremely comprehensive.
• Though the Obama civil liberties record has been disappointing thus far, it has led to an interesting and admirable coalition across party lines in favor of a return to sanity in our criminal justice system. This by-product will hopefully gain resonance in the years ahead.
• The Obama Administration is backtracking today after the State Department apparently concluded that the US would not sign a global treaty banning the use of land mines. At least they listened to criticism, but how could they possibly have concluded that policy in the first place?
• AARP takes a bite out of clueless pundit Robert Samuelson. I especially liked this:
“If Mr. Samuelson is willing to match his outrage with action, he could insist that his employer renegotiate its health plans to discriminate against his fellow fifty- and sixty-something coworkers. He could offer to reimburse his younger colleagues who have paid the same premiums and incurred, according to him, lower health care costs. Or, immediately, he could decline his employer-provided care and try his luck on the individual market.
“We’re guessing that Mr. Samuelson will keep what he has, and we stand by him.”
• California, which on non-budget issues actually still has a progressive legislature, put forward the nation’s first cap and trade program, which would aim for a 15% reduction in greenhouse gases from current levels in the state by 2020. It affects power plants and big factories.
• Ethiopia should not have invaded Somalia, and the Bush Administration should not have enabled it, particularly becaused it has only exacerbated the problem of radical extremism in the region.
• The numbers for African-American unemployment is staggering.One in three black men aged 16-24 are out of work.
• Mel Zelaya is still out in Honduras, and still angry about what he perceives as an abandonment by US policymakers in the wake of Honduras’ upcoming election.