It is always nice to see Little Rhody looking good on the national scene. In this case, old pal Senator Sheldon Whitebread is doing very well for the Ocean State.
A recent article about the solon in the Washington Post was headlined, “Early Verdict on White¬house Favorable.” This humorous exchange was reported by Paul Kane:
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) was getting needled by his peers from the moment he walked into his first meeting of Judiciary Committee Democrats in early January.
“Hey, Sheldon,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) barked at the newcomer, a member of one of his state’s oldest families. “Normally, you’ve got to be a Jew or a Catholic to get on this committee. You’re the first WASP.”
“Hey, Chuck,” Whitehouse shot back, looking over a room filled with four Catholics, five Jews and himself. “This is the first time in my life I’ve brought diversity to a group.”
The committee chair, Senator Patrick Leahy, praised Whitebread’s work, saying, “Here’s a man who knows what it’s like to be in the courtroom.” Sheldon’s past posts as US attorney and attorney general in the Biggest Little make him the first Democrat on the Judiciary Committee with practical legal experience in the past 15 years.
The new senator has also done a good job in tearing US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his staff new freckles during hearings, with one exchange landing him on NBC’s evening news.
Keep up the good work, Sherbet. We knew you had it in you.
More than 100 US troops were killed in the war during April, making it the worst month of this year for the loss of American lives.
This comes four long years after Karl Rove dressed up his boy Dubya in a little Top Gun outfit, having him make the preposterous claim, under the now-infamous “Mission Accomplished” banner, that we had won the war.
Surge that, Dress-up Boy.
Class warfare update
“There has been a growing conviction that high taxes drive people away from Rhode Island and deplete the lifeblood of the private economy. Whether the world really works that way is debatable.” So wrote reporter Brian C. Jones in last week’s Phoenix. Jones has a well-cultivated social conscience, so he knows that this economic perception is debatable.
But you won’t find too many legislators — Republican or Democrat — who acknowledge this in Vo Dilun. This is the home of the on-all-fours Cro-Magnon Democrats, generally of the Irish-Catholic persuasion. This is really crazy, because many of the most progressive and enlightened public policy advocates here also happen to be Irish-Catholic. Since this is the most Catholic and most Democratic state, it helps to differentiate among the Catholic Democrats. Perhaps people react quite differently under the heavy cultural baggage wrought by being the keepers of some of the world’s greatest poetry.
At any rate, it is debatable whether high taxes deter rich people from living in RI, just as it is debatable whether Vo Dilun’s near human-like social assistance programs attract poor folks from across the country who, as we speak, are hitching from Sandusky, Ohio, to Olneyville.
People with the mentality of Governor Carcieri do not want to do any actual research into questions like this. They don’t want to give Keynesian economics any credibility and already take it for granted that they are right.
Of course, like Carcieri, P&J lived through the post-war ’50s and ’60s, and we remember that era as the golden years of the US of A. We suspect that even Republicans will agree that the period from the end of WWII until the first half of the 1970s was truly a halcyon era. What they won’t acknowledge is how, during that span, we had the most liberal federal government in our history, and that it just might have created positive results, enhanced hope and opportunities, and constituted a genuine effort to lessen the gap between rich and poor.
Carcieri doesn’t care about the gap between rich and poor (ever hear him talk about it?). He fully believes in the right-wing Reagan attitude on taxes and trickle-down economics. There’s absolutely no proof that Reagan’s voodoo “blow the rich and the poor will score” economics are at all valid. So it looks like the legislative boneheads will again have to bail out the poor and working class, except, as Jones reported, many of them now seem to actually agree with Carcieri.