Monday, January 7, 2008

The Daily Pulse

What are people thinking about and writing about beyond the Beltway and the national press? That is the question we try to answer here at The Daily Pulse. We do random surveys of editorial pages for political content, with the idea we learn more about what America and Americans are thinking for themselves, instead of what classed punditry is thinking for them.

Would you like to be a part? Can you contribute a weekly, or monthly, Daily Pulse? Are you interested in foreign papers, alternatives (GLBT, African American, religious, ethnic community), or can you translate (I would kill for somebody to do a weekly Spanish editorial pages)? Let me know, and join one of the tubes' longest-running features.Tuscaloosa News

In my opinion, this editorial hits all the high points of Iowa- the strong Democratic turnout, answers to the question "is a black man viable," and what a disaster Huckabee would be for the Republicans.

Winds of change blow through Iowa results

The surprising results of the Iowa caucuses may set the tone for the election season or they may be just a bump on the road to politics as usual.

However, contrary to the spin of a Republican spokesperson who claimed the results signal continued GOP occupancy of the White House and gains by the party in Congress, it's hard to see the result of the caucuses as anything but a victory for Democrats.


But Obama's win in a heavily majority-white state shows that a black man can be a viable candidate for president. His electability, along with his lack of experience, has been one of the main questions surrounding his candidacy, which trailed Clinton's by 30 points in some polls only last summer.


There's also the fact that 220,500 Democrats participated in the Iowa caucuses, while about 114,000 Republicans took part. In 2004, Bush took the state by a narrow margin.


If [Huckabee's] juggernaut continues and he finds himself nominated, however, the Republicans could be in deep trouble.

Democrats won't have to try hard to paint him as what Rolling Stone magazine termed "full-blown nuts, a Christian goofball of the highest order."

Connecticut Post

States' rights? What States' rights? We didn't mean that. At least, not unless it was about them black folk. You see, when it comes to ACTUAL States' rights, like the right to keep air breathable, corporate donors come first.

Emissions change must be allowed

Following California's lead, Connecticut has joined a lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to approve strict vehicle emissions standards. It's a good move, and one that has the backing of dozens of other states where people are concerned that the federal government is not going far enough in terms of environmental standards.


The dismissal by the EPA of the proposed changes is nothing but a slap in the face to the supposed "states' rights" crowd. It turns out federalism is only preferred when it's OK with big campaign donors. The courts must rule against the EPA, allow the state regulations to be passed and stand in the way of an administration with no respect for the demands of its citizens.

The Pueblo Chieftain

How many people reading today remember whether they had an odd or even license plate number in the 70s? How many even know the relevance of the question. Ladies and gentlemen, oil prices and the economy are going to only get bigger as issues between now and November.

The really fun part, though, of this editorial is the blame on "radical environmentalists. ANWAR would not have been on line for years even if it was passed the first time around. The blame isn't "radical environmentalists." The "blame" (corporate donors call it "credit") goes the the buffoon in the White House.

Some perspective

LAST WEEK oil traded briefly at about $100 a barrel, 10 times the price a decade ago. Still, analysts don’t expect record-high prices by themselves to send the economy into recession, simply because expensive as oil is, energy doesn’t consume as big a chunk of Americans’ budgets as it did a few decades ago.


It would not have had to come to this, though. Oil industry experts say there are huge reserves beneath the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off our shores below the seas.

That oil is staying put, for the time being, at least, thanks to radical environmentalists. As far as ANWR is concerned, measures to open up that rich energy trove have died in the Senate, most recently in 2005 and 2006.


Drilling would not harm ANWR. But drilling there has been precluded time and again by a Big Lie.

Remember that the next time you fill up at the pump.

San Bernardino County Sun

Yes, we need a new surveillance law. No, we don't need retroactive immunity. Not much here to disagree with.

Don't give up freedoms to fears

After spending the holidays on hold, the controversy about government wiretapping practices is about to pick up volume this month.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) expires on Feb. 1, and Congress needs to revamp it to limit the government's warrantless surveillance powers.


In no way is corporate immunity more important than the tried and true American system of checks and balances inherent in requiring judicial approval of the executive branch's use of wiretaps to track private conversations.


In the "long war" against terrorism, intelligence is a powerful weapon. But as we defend ourselves from enemies, we must not sacrifice our freedoms to our fears.

Herald Tribune (SW Florida)

Conservation is not a virtue- it is a duty we owe to each other. Would you call the police if you saw a man breaking into your neighbor's home? Every day we steal our children's birthright with every mile we drive.

Energy and the economy


When the price of crude oil reached $100 a barrel last week -- hitting a mark 44 percent higher than in August -- economists offered up a timely history lesson.

A few decades ago, they pointed out, a spike like this would have had a much greater impact on the U.S. economy.


The change in the share of GDP is little comfort, of course, to low-income Americans struggling to pay for gas for their automobiles or heating oil for their homes. Energy prices play an oversized role in their personal finances.


The gains in efficiency should embolden U.S. policymakers to continue to push for more improvements in the years ahead. And those gains should encourage all Americans to make conservation a routine part of their lives.


The effect on the economy may not be as severe as it might have been a few decades ago, once inflation and efficiencies are factored in.

But the impact will be felt --and it will be felt more deeply by more Americans if efficiency and conservation don't become a greater part of everyone's life.