Underwhelming

Why does the DLC always make one think of this bit from The Empire Strikes Back?

Han Solo: All right, Chewie, let’s get outta here!
Princess Leia: The Empire is still out there! I don’t think it’s wise to—
Han: No time to discuss this in committee!
Leia: I am not a committee!

Sigh. Is it so very wrong to long for bold direction and decisive action from those who carry the official Democratic banner? Or is it simply naive? I must admit to being throughly underwhelmed by the latest pronouncement from the Democratic Leadership Council – hey, we’re all about commonsense! Yeah, there’s a banner for you. May the Force – or for the Barack Obamas out there, a merciful and nondenominational Providence – save us from leadership-by-committee:

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DeLay and Blunt: Joined at the wallet

When one of them sneezes, the other catches a cold

The indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on criminal conspiracy charges should surprise precisely no one. DeLay’s history of flouting finance laws in order to enrich Republican campaign efforts has been well-documented, and awaited only a prosecutor with the stones to charge him. What’s interesting here is that only one charge was levied against him by Ronnie Earle’s office (indictment here). TRMPAC, Blunt’s money-making machine, raised a lot of cash. You’d expect that Earle would choose to go with the case he felt was strongest, but it is possible that he has further action – other charges – waiting in the wings?

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Got irony?

.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote:
Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3– United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam’s presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.

According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here. […]

A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson’s policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in January, 1966, to which President Johnson gave his personal commitment when he met Premier Ky and General Thieu, the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.

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Genocide Now?: Sudan alert poster

The following text is reprinted entirely from Jim Moore’s post at Sudan: The Passion of the Present:

Many many many thanks to Katrin Verclas of Passion of the Present and Greg Moore of Blockstreetandbuilding.com for collaborating on this darkly beautiful and powerful poster, and accompanying fact sheet.

The poster and flyer are undated, so they are appropriate both for today’s Sudan: Day of Conscience events and for ongoing use, such as postering of public spaces and using in conjunction with the green ribbon campaign. Print the poster and put it up in buildings you frequent! Schools, offices, churches!!

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Talent on Sudan: Parsing the response

Got a reply from Sen. Jim Talent’s office to my email on the plight of the civilian population of the Darfur in Sudan (so charmingly classed by one blogger in the category of “obscure current events in 5th world countries”). Talent’s is the only response I’ve received so far, and is probably typical of the replies one might expect. Let’s look it over:

Like you, I find the crisis in the Darfur region disturbing. Since the fighting in Darfur started just a little more than a year ago, the United Nations and USAID estimate at least 30,000 people have been killed, more than 130,000 people have been forced from their homes and have fled to neighboring Chad, and more than 1,000,000 people have been internally displaced.

The situation in Darfur is something more than “disturbing.” Still, those distressing estimates match up with figures from other sources, so it’s clear that Talent is at least aware of the extent of the problem.

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