Thursday, March 23, 2006

My apologies, but I'm pissed

Posted by Craig Westover | 2:10 PM |  

I have to do some reading to prepare for an interview tomorrow and make some phone calls, so posting will be light. That’s frustrating because it’s just noon and it’s already been a frustrating day. So if I may borrow from my friends at the Nihilist in Golf Pants, here’s the top six things that have pissed me off already today.

6. All the letters to the editor today in the Pioneer Press today taking a hunk out of Pastor Brent Waldemarsen for taping Sen. Johnson’s incriminating remarks about the Supreme Court. Maybe his action means you aren’t going to invite pastor Brent to your next secret circle discussion of the Da Vinci Code, but the big issue is still the impact of Johnson’s comments on the integrity of the Court. That doesn’t go away by changing the subject.

5. Laura Billings column excusing Dave Thune and brother-in-law Mayor Chris Coleman for smoking in public. Laura, the problem is not that they smoke in public, it’s that they implemented a smoking ban based on the public health issue that secondhand smoke kills people. Sorry, but if you believe that secondhand smoke kills people, and you expose people to secondhand smoke, just what does that make you? Or were they merely embellishing and sanding the truth in the name of a good cause when they said secondhand smoke kills? Smoking ban proponents don’t get a pass on this one.

4. Eric Schubert’s overwrought Op-Ed on making the marriage amendment a “wedge issue.” Now, I’ll be among the first to say I am not especially proud of the GOP when I hear party members emphasize that the marriage amendment will drive conservatives to the polls in November and that’s the reason it must be kept alive. But understand, a wedge issue is made a wedge issue not by the side that brings it up, but by the side that doesn’t want to vote on it. Same-sex marriage is divisive because Democrats don’t want to be put in the position of taking a stand on the amendment. They can’t vote for it, because that goes against the party principle of inclusiveness; they can’t vote against it, because the majority of their constituents favor it. Sorry, principles are a bitch. You gotta take a stand, guys, and then the issue goes away.

3. The whole Bush lied meme that is being tossed around in response to the Dean Johnson controversy. Let’s set that one straight. Just like Johnson’s lie is not the issue -- it’s the impact on the Court, stupid -- if Bush lied (which I don’t agree with, but let’s say he did) that is also not the issue. The issue is the Democrats had a chance to join those damn libertarians on the moral high ground before the war -- (simplistically) invading Iraq was wrong because regime change is not a moral reason to go to war. But the Democrats didn’t take the high ground. The public was security mad after 9/11 and the Dems were as eager as the Republicans to flex their strong-on-defense muscles. Now things are a little tough, public attitude has changed, and they want to cut and run for political reasons, so blame Bush. It’s like excusing your robbing a bank because someone said there was more money in it than there really was. Democrats, deal with it. You went to war for the wrong reason, to make a political statement, not because somebody lied.

2. Today‘s front page of the Pioneer Press that featured “a guy who's still beeping after he's dead. The ex-football hero in a sex scandal trial. Developments in a sex slavery case. A millionaire trying to set up a murder for hire from jail. The Easter Bunny banned by some bureaucrat -- in a story written, as a sharp-eyed reader pointed out today, by a guy named Hoppin.” What? The National Enquire is buying the Pioneer Press? I’m spiking my column on the consequences of changes in judicial campaign laws and working on this one -- "Alien obelisk in Fridley attracts tornados."

1. But the number one thing that has pissed me off today is the House Education Policy Committee that today voted down the Educational Access Grant Bill. I am too mad to write about it. The arrogance of those voting against the bill that would have allowed a small percentage of low-income families in city schools to use limited vouchers to attend private schools is incomprehensible to me. I doubt this makes the front page tomorrow. Maybe if they held the committee meeting naked and spent some time stomping bunnies instead of trampling the future of young children the story might get some ink. Like I said. I’m pissed.