“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

01/23 Morning Report

I was really wondering how much longer it would take before private money bought financed elections again. Sir Hillary announced she would ”forgo” public funding of her campaign.

People involved in the Republican primary campaign of Senator John McCain of Arizona say he, too, is beginning to seek private donations for the primary and general elections, albeit with the option of returning them. A longtime proponent of campaign finance change, Mr. McCain has recently removed his name as a co-sponsor of a bill to expand the presidential public financing program.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, another Republican primary contender, has already decided to forgo public financing for the primaries. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a rival to Mrs. Clinton for the Democratic nomination, declined to comment, as did spokesmen for several other candidates.
It is interesting that Sir Hillary gets the headline on this, since others have already beaten her to the step—all Republicans, apparently. Still, without revealing who and how, it says a lot about her backing. The Times says it places her adversaries at a disadvantage. Given the right “spin,” I’m not so sure. Do we want a President paid for by private interests or public backing? How that gets presented in the media could make all the difference in the 2008 elections.
(…of course, with over $500 million needed to run a campaign all the way to the election, we already know it’s a private interest bought and paid for deal anyway…)

On the other side of the world, given yesterday’s announcement of no unity agreement among the Palestinians, was anyone really surprised by the explosion of violence today in Lebanon? It does seem to go in cycles—like they play off of each other or something.
What had been planned as a peaceful work-stoppage around the country turned into the worst violence since the pro-Syrian Shiite Hezbollah movement and its allies launched its campaign two months ago to oust the government.
And, once again, as Hamas in Palestine, so is Hezbollah in Lebanon. Neither one is willing to allow the other side to have their portion.

Still further over, on the really other side of the world, China confirms destroying a sattelite with an anti-sattelite missile. The fact that the Chinese have developed this while here in the US such defense oriented programs cannot get funding because “it’s not possible” is really frightening. 20 years after the last known test by anyone, the Chinese made it work. Of course, this isn’t really new news, milbloggers and others have been reporting on this for a week. But, suddenly, the MSM is jumping up saying this is a regional political problem:
Several countries, including Japan, Australia and the US, have expressed concern at the test, amid worries it could trigger a space arms race.
(…really?…like it didn’t matter before?...I’m so relieved…)