Thursday, April 29, 2010


A GOP candidate for governor of Alabama wants to give drivers' license tests only in English. "This is Alabama; we speak English," Tim James says in a new ad.

That, of course, is a debatable assertion.

Give it back

I didn't see the Senate hearings where Goldman Sachs executives got grilled for sending the financial system into a ditch, but from what I've seen and heard about it, something was missing.

At one point, Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO, was asked how much of a bonus he got last year. $9 million was the answer.

And that was where one of the Senators should have told him to give it back. Indeed, all of the 2009 bonuses at G-S--which were "earned" directly or indirectly thanks to the willingness of the American people to clean up the mess the bankers made--should be given back.

Now I know that G-S did not get bailout money, at least not directly. And no part of it is owned by the government; whether the reverse is the case is an open question. But its bankers could return some of the largesse they received by contributing their bonuses to the Treasury. That's legal. Indeed, every year, the Treasury receives gifts from grateful citizens. The bankers could even earmark (yes!) their contributions to reduce the deficit, to which they contributed so mightily.

So, why didn't any of the Senators say, "Give it back!"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just a thought

The conventional wisdom is that the greatest contribution to resolving the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would be a peace between Israel and the Palestinians. While that would be a development of tremendous importance, wouldn't a peace between India and Pakistan be of even more value?

And while we're talking about the sub-continent, isn't the obvious solution to more than sixty years of war and tension to re-unite the two parts of what was India before the partition of 1947?

Is he a Senator or a 4-year old?

The Constitution says you have to be 30 to serve in the Senate. But that doesn't mean that you have to act like an adult.

Exhibit A: Lindsay Graham (R. SC), who has withdrawn support for climate change legislation, because he's in a snit over Harry Reid's decision to advance immigration on the Senate agenda.

Graham charges that Reid is playing politics over immigration. Well, duh. What game does Graham think he's in?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What I've been up to

Well, one thing: Three of my friends in the plaintiffs' civil rights bar and I went to today's Tea Party rally in Boston to distribute free copies of the Constitution.

In case you can't read the sign, it says: Unconstitutional?
Read the actual Constitution of the United States

We gave away our entire supply (approximately 300 copies) of Constitutions in 40 minutes. At which point I left. So, no, I did not have to listen to Sarah Palin's maunderings.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

President Hu is coming to Washington

Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend a summit conference on nuclear security later this month. Which, inevitably--given a sophomoric sense of humor--inspired the following (with obeisances to Bud Abbott and Lou Costello):

President Hu is coming to Washington!

Who did you say?



That's right!


I just told you, President Hu is coming.

He is?


Who is he?

Yes, that's it.

Ok, let's try it this way. What is he president of?


Who is?

you've got it. He is!

That's what I'm trying to find out. Who is he?

He's the President.

Who is?

Haven't you been listening to me?

Yes. And I'm still waiting for you to tell me who is the President of China.

I've BEEN telling you that.