Friday, January 4, 2008

The Daily Pulse

Second day back, and I'm remembering why I took a year off. But hey, it's primary season, it's getting real again, let's see what is in the air.

The Daily Pulse is a regular survey of editorial content around the country and around the world. Methodology- I pick a group of editorial pages, for example American papers A-G (like today), H-M, etc., or Asian papers, or European, or Middle Eastern, or college, etc., then randomly it editorial pages within that group. Without any additional selection process, I take any editorial with political content of national interest, make a comment or two, boil it down for fair use, and voila!, The Daily Pulse.

Also, if anybody is interested in helping let me know.

Note- You won't find a lot here about last night's caucus. Editorial pages tend to run a day behind the news pages. Look this weekend for a round-up of caucus content.

The Gainesville Sun

Down in Gainesville most of the news is still mourning for the Gator's loss to Michigan and wondering whether the defense will look any better in '08. Fortunately, the editorial page seems to have recovered and is starting to look at a few other issues. Voter ID laws exist to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters. Find me a similar law passed in a State run by Democrats and I will rethink it. Until then, that will be my operating assumption.

A bad voter ID law

Election fraud is bad, but the disenfranchisement of citizens is worse. That is the essence of a federal judge's 27-page order Dec. 18 to suspend a Florida voter registration law. The statute denies voter registration to applicants whose names or identification numbers do not match official records.

Continue to 2nd paragraph The problem is the law does not allow for the likelihood of common administrative errors, such as misspelled names, transposed numbers and other data entry mistakes.

Florida's secretary of state, Kurt Browning, has filed an appeal, but we think Judge Stephan Mickle is right.


Verification issues remain unsettled in the courts. But the Legislature would be wise to repair the Florida statute to make it both fair and effective.

Tuscon Citizen

In Arizona, Governor Napolitano (GREAT! VP candidate, by the way) is asking for domestic partner benefits. What a wild thought- treating people like equals. Whodathunkit?

Expansion of benefits would make UA more competitive

Arizona is considering a proposal by the administration of Gov. Janet Napolitano to extend domestic partner benefits to state government employees and retirees.

We favor the expansion, and not just because it's the right and fair thing to do, although it is.

Extending benefits is a sound business decision that will make the state's universities more competitive in their attempts to attract and retain top-flight academicians.


We would rather that government not "encourage," "discourage" or in any way "define" marriage or any other social institution. Social engineering isn't the province of government. Stay out.


Asheville Citizen Times

Our primary/caucus system is utterly inane. That was driven home to me last night watching Obama give a speech trumpeting that "America" has made a new decision. "America"? 200,000 of the whitest people in one of the smallest whitest States is not "America." Yet by the time much of America gets to vote, it will be all over. That, whoever you may prefer, is utterly absurd.

Time to level the playing field on these primaries

In the wake of all the attention focused on about 200,000 Iowa voters’ choices Thursday for Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, it’s worth pondering whether North Carolinians are being shortchanged.

Our voters won’t have an opportunity to make their preferences known until May 6. By then, it’s a very good bet the nominees will be all but anointed, though that won’t happen formally until the party conventions in August for the Democrats and September for the Republicans.


How did two states with small, unrepresentative populations end up with so much clout?


In 1920, New Hampshire began its still unbroken tradition of holding the nation’s first primary — a tradition that required some jockeying this year. For 30 years, New Hampshire almost always elected slates of unpledged delegates. It was not until 1952 that it played a major role in the parties’ nominations. ...

It’s time for another commission, like the one chaired by McGovern, to create a fairer and more representative system of rotating primaries so that diverse groups and states have an opportunity to be heard early in the process.

The Dalles Chronicle

Apparently, North Carolina is not the only State noting the absurdity of the Iowa caucuses. Here is another editorial headlined, simply, "Iowa, Schmiowa."

Iowa, Schmiowa


OK, Iowans are nice, if a bit stubborn sometimes. Why do they exert such an influence in presidential elections?

Here are some reasons why they shouldn’t have that kind of political muscle.

1. Iowa isn’t representative of the nation.


2. Candidates devote a disproportionate amount of time catering to Iowa concerns.


3. It isn’t a perfect indicator. Candidates who win Iowa caucuses don’t always win their party’s nomination.


4. Sometimes a win in Iowa isn’t even considered a win in Iowa.


But there are some strong pluses for the Iowa caucuses as well.
It can anoint an unknown and give them vital momentum.


Montgomery Advertiser

And finally, a wing-nut LTE, just because it is at the same time so wonderfully entertaining yet terrifying. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how some minds work. Do with it what you will.

Executions not inconsistent with respect for life


Two men are sailing uncharted waters. As they approach an unknown island, they can make out the silhouette of a gallows against the sky.

One says, "Well, we don't know anything about the people who inhabit this island except it is obvious that they respect life."

How do we balance a murder, the ending of someone's life? With imprisonment? I don't think so. Any culture which respects life must kill those who do not. It is only fair, and a necessity.

Well, you say, what about errors and injustice in the system? Yes, but would you abolish appendectomies because of their 5 percent fatality rate?