5 More Months for Bin Laden's Driver or Not?

"The military judge, Capt. Keith J. Allred of the Navy, had already said that he planned to give Mr. Hamdan credit for the 61 months he had been held, meaning that Mr. Hamdan could complete his criminal sentence in five months. After that his fate is unclear, because the Bush administration says that it can hold detainees here until the end of the war on terror."

Looks like the Bush Administration doesn't believe in justice and the rule of the law.

Michigan (Wrongly) Clings to Comfort Issues

Sometimes, public opinion is just wrong and the government needs to intervene. The Supreme Court of Michigan obviously does not feel this way.

"An amendment to the state constitution approved by voters in 2004 to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman also prohibits public employers from providing health care and other benefits to the same sex partners of employees, a divided Michigan Supreme Court ruled today."

"The court majority found that language in the amendment prohibiting recognition of other unions “for any purpose” included the extension of benefits to gay and lesbian partners of public employees. Several Michigan universities, including U-M and MSU, along with various municipal and school employers had offered the benefits as a means of attracting workers."

[Photo credit: powerbooktrance]

Can We Just Raise Gas Taxes and Get it Over With?!

"Certain realities need to be faced, even in an election year. First, oil prices are likely to remain high for some time as demand for energy continues to grow at a fast pace in China, India and other developing countries. Second, there is an urgent need to curb the world’s carbon emissions to address the threat of global warming."

"Americans — like the rest of the world — must find ways to curb their use of fossil fuels. Higher, not lower, prices are an important way to spur the needed technological innovation and curb demand."

"The Bush administration’s answer to high gas prices — increasing domestic supplies — is equally simple-minded. On Tuesday, President Bush again lamented Congress’s unwillingness to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration or to allow more refineries to be built on abandoned military bases. He said efforts in Congress to impose restrictions on carbon emissions and tax oil companies’ windfall profits “would make energy even more expensive."”

"There is not enough oil in Alaska to provide a lasting solution. And Mr. Bush’s prescription would do nothing to address climate change or quench the thirst for oil."

"Fortunately, Mr. Obama has not caved to the rising calls for cheap energy and has refused to follow his rivals down this misguided path."

An increase in the gas tax could possibly be a great catalyst to spur innovation in the stale energy sector. While it would be difficult for lower income individuals and the middle class who can hardly fill their tanks currently, the Congress could suspend other taxes for these populations that would put extra money in their wallets. As Thomas Fridman said yesterday, a temporary suspension of the gas tax is not an energy policy. Instead, we need some critical thinking in Washington and not the usual going at it alone policies of the Bush administration and his cronies.

Update: Bloomberg agrees that that gas tax holiday is a stupid idea. [Image credit: cobalt123]

A Crumbling Foundation: A Nation at Risk


It is hard to fathom that we can fund numerous projects such as the Iraq War and the fight against terrorism, but investing in our future (education) gets short changed and ignored. I know I want the individuals who will be paying into the social security program at the time I am about to retire to have the best education.

"To put it bluntly, American students may not know as much as their counterparts around the Pacific Rim, but our society allows them to make better use of what they do know. The question now is whether this historic advantage will suffice at a time when knowledge of math, science and technology is becoming increasingly critical. Maybe we need both the enabling environment and more rigor in these areas."

"Most troubling now are the numbers on educational attainment. One reason that the American economy was so dominant throughout the 20th century is that we provided more education to more citizens than other industrialized countries. “A Nation at Risk” noted with pride that American schools now graduate 75 percent of our young people from high school."

"That figure has now dropped to less than 70 percent, and the United States, which used to lead the world in sending high school graduates on to higher education, has declined to fifth in the proportion of young adults who participate in higher education and is 16th out of 27 industrialized countries in the proportion who complete college, according to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education."

[Image via: Laffy4k]

Bill O'Reilly and His Mob

On February 19th, Bill O'Reilly's radio show had  a caller who brought up Michelle Obama's recent quote about just recently being proud of her country.  O'Reilly responded to the caller's comment with his usual oratory skills, by being racist and being blind to injustices that not to long ago were imposed upon African Americans.  Here is the audio.

[Via Media Matters