Quote of the Day

“Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight.  He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service.  It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger over-sight of the runaway intelligence community.”

NYT Editorial, “Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower”

I think our Founding Fathers would sign off on this.

Quote of the Day

“That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.”

Edward Snowden

Snowden has asked for temporary asylum in Russia until he can go to one of the Latin American countries that has offered him asylum.

If I were sentencing him here in the U. S., I think I would have a hard time doing more than a slap on the wrist.

My Yellow Brick Road

I would be heartbroken if yesterday’s bombing had happened in Boise or Birmingham.  But to have it happen in Boston is like breaking my heart and then stomping on it.

I grew up believing that I was incredibly lucky to be born an American and especially to be born a Bostonian.

If you were a bookish child in the 50′s and 60′s, especially a girl, Boston was a welcoming place to be.  Give us your near-sighted, your uncoordinated, your always-picked-last-for-sports…

I grew up not just in Boston, but in Dorchester, where Martin Richard was from.  It didn’t matter that I was poor because I knew that when I grew up, I would never again live in an apartment like my parents’.

When I passed through the doors of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, where I spent many Saturdays between 7th and 12th grades, I wasn’t just  on my way to whatever research I was doing that day, I was on my way to my future life.   Boylston Street was my yellow brick road.

At the library, I did the research and analysis and writing that didn’t just get me into Wellesley and then Yale when it went co-ed, but also made it easy to excel once I got there.  I was a student at Girls’ Latin School, but I became a scholar at that library,  learning to use and value original sources, learning to think critically and draw my own conclusions.

To see death and blood and severed limbs right outside my library, this home to all the wisdom men and women have achieved, this sanctuary where the poorest of the city can enjoy the same resources as the richest, is unbearable to me.  My brain and body ache.

The Phony Patriots of “Fix the Debt”

The NYT has a terrific take-down on the front page today* of that “Fix the Debt” group.  They’re not high-minded at all, just a front for high-value tax benefits and defense contracts.

It’s a bunch of lobbyists trying to protect stuff like the “carried interest” loophole for private equity, tax breaks for multinationals, military spending, etc.  They want to fix the debt on the backs of others while keeping their goodies.

For example, their core principles argue that we should cut entitlements dramatically, but don’t say a word about cutting even a penny from the defense budget.

The story links “Fix the Debt” leaders to specific companies:  Sam Nunn to General Electric;  Erskine Bowles to Morgan Stanley; Judd Gregg to Goldman Sachs, Honeywell, and International Exchange.

The article is sickening, but a must read.  They pretend to be about patriotism, but really it’s all about their perks.

* “Public Goals, Private Interests in Debt Campaign,” Nicholas Confessore

Madly Spinning

With the emphasis on madly…

Charles Krauthammer has gotten a lot of press for his comment to Sean Hannity that Obama is trying to provoke a “civil war” in the GOP.

Now pretend that Bush is president, that the Dems control the House, and that the GOP has a majority in the Senate, but not a filibuster-proof one.

What would Krauthammer say if Bush was trying to keep us from going over the cliff?

He wouldn’t say Bush was trying to provoke a civil war among Dems, he’d praise him for trying to reach out to what he’d call the “reasonable” Dems, who weren’t “crazy, far-left types with San Francisco values.”

Bush would be heroically trying to save the country, while the Kenyan Muslim Socialist is heinously trying to destroy it.

We need intelligent policy debates about the right level of taxing and spending, but all we’re getting is stupid personality attacks.

Quote of the Day

“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.”

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) about his never-raise-taxes pledge to Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform.

Norquist wasn’t on the ballot, but he lost big in the election.  His days of getting all the GOP lunch money may finally be over.