A handful of things in the paper this morning grabbed my attention, most notably this news about how the Democrats continue to roll over on this Homeland Security deal. I quote from David Firestone and Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times: "The agreement gives the Bush administration a free hand to jettison civil service rules in promoting and firing workers in the new agency, and allows the president to exempt unionized workers from collective-bargaining agreements in the name of national security." Sweet Jeebus, what's this man really after? The only thing the Dems managed to get in there is a caveat that the collective bargaining exemption must be renewed every four years. Any Democrat worthy of being elected to the presidency would have to let that exemption slide right on into oblivion.

The second bit of political polemic comes from Bob Herbert, again of the NY Times: "Over the next couple of years as many as three (or more) Supreme Court vacancies could open... Bush has made it clear that he favors justices in the mode of Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. With two more justices like that, progressive government would be caught in the devastating trap of a right-wing assault from all sides - the White House, the Congress and the courts, with the Treasury drained of all money for new initiatives." (Thanks to tax cuts).

Doesn't anyone else see what's going on? The most blatant, un-democratic power grab in recent memory, by a party with no ambitions but saving money by cutting taxes and programs, fighting a suicidally unpopular war, and removing the US from any international treaty which pretends to make life better for millions of poor people around the globe. As far as I'm concerned, Americans didn't vote for this agenda (not with a 32% turnout rate), the GOP just has the loudest voices.

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