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Rob Salkowitz

Thanks for the ups, P. Just to be clear, "conservative" does not equal "right wing." And even the more socially conservative Dems are not interested in making culture-war issues the centerpiece of their agenda. Harry Reid, for example, is opposed to abortion (also, he's a Mormon), but I'd put money on the proposition that there is no chance whatsoever that any abortion-related legislation will come before the Senate or the House while Dems are in charge, and reactionary activist judges will die quietly in committee.

I am very hopeful that divided government will help restore some fiscal sanity. Apparently one of the top-line items for Dems in the House is to lower a particularly odious and regressive tax, the AMT, and to extend tax credits for high-tech R&D. Dems lowering taxes - on rich people and businesses no less. What's the world coming to?

BTW, how are you feeling about the filibuster these days?


Howdy, Rob.
First, about your last point -- filibusters. I like the idea of the real Jimmy Stewart talk-for-three-days-straight filibuster, but I always hated the filibuster-lite we've experienced lately, even when/if Republicans do it, which I don't think they will. Aside from immigration, on which the President might as well be San Fran Nan, I think we might just see a veto or two. The Republicans don't need to filibuster, and wouldn't survive the screaming hypocrisy of using that tool.
I'm not sure what "right wing" means to you, and I don't think there are very many of them, whatever they are, in Washington these days. I personally only know one person who would call himself that (my wingnut ophthalmologist).
Abortion, especially after South Dakota, has pretty much been taken out of the legislative arena. I agree there is no way any abortion legislation will come up while the Democrats are in charge -- why would it? As to "reactionary activist judges", I don't want them either. I don't want legislation from the bench from "my" guys any more than I want it from "your" guys. Judicial activism stinks. However, I don't consider putting the constitution above stare decisis reactionary at all. With the right nominees we might see some constructive compromise on this, but we'll have to wait and see. (Please don't ask me to explain the Harriet Myers nomination; I can't. That was the moment when a lot of conservatives jumped ship.)
As to "divided government restoring some fiscal sanity", I couldn't agree more. Had we been at peace, I would have been tempted to vote D for that very reason. Maybe what we saw last week was term limits in action as it was meant to be. Certainly the elected Republicans had fallen into many of the same traps as the pre-'94 Democrats, and were given the same treatment by the voters. I dearly hope the Republicans can get their act cleaned up in the next two years. Although their behavior this week hasn't been very promising, we'll have to see what new leadership has to offer.
This is going to be interesting...

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November 2008

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Seen at low tide

  • American White Pelican
    Saw 30 in one flock on a weptember evening while fishing
  • Hummingbird
    Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
  • Flamingo!
    One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
  • Falcon!
    Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
  • Black Skimmer
    These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
  • Dead sea turtle
    cool, but smelly
  • Reddish Egret
    These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
  • Sand Piper
  • Brown Pelican
    I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
  • Wood Pecker
    They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.
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