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February 20, 2003


The Rest of the Story
I just spotted this claim in a Flash animation at
Number of new jobs that the president's economic plan would create by the end of 2004.
Okay. Since we're counting and all, we may as well ask: how many new jobs has the president created with the economic plan he brought with him in 2000?


Correction: he's actually destroyed, oh, a few jobs — 1.7 million of them, to be precise. Which means — let's do the math — that the president's plan could meet the White House's lofty expectations and still leave the economy 300,000 jobs in the hole.

Somehow, I'm guessing that's not what the president had in mind back when he was calling himself a reformer with results.

Greg G. @ 12:33 PM | # |


The White House's Lighter-Than-Air Policy
Gregg Easterbrook raises the smart questions about the Bush administration's infatuation with the notion of a hydrogen-fueled car:
Indeed, the big misconception about hydrogen is that it is a "source" of energy. Pure hydrogen is not an energy source, except to stars. As it will be used in cars or to power homes and offices, hydrogen — like a battery — is an energy medium, a way to store power that has been obtained in some other way. Hydrogen makes an attractive energy medium because its "fuel-cycle" calculations — the sum of all steps of manufacture and use — show reductions in greenhouse gases compared with any automotive fuel burned today. But hydrogen is going to be an expensive energy medium and, in the early decades at least, will be a medium either for natural gas, a fossil fuel, or for atomic power. . . .

. . . [T]he downside of Bush's hydrogen proposal: the announcement makes the president sound interested in dramatic future action regarding petroleum imports and greenhouse gases, while distracting attention from the reform that is practical and affordable using technology that exists right now: higher miles-per-gallon (MPG) standards for cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs.
What he said. If Bush wants to dream about the clean-burning car of the future, that's well and good — but I would have more confidence in his motives if the White House would work on cleaning cars up in the here and now.

Greg G. @ 11:54 AM | # |

February 19, 2003


Zell Miller, Crossover Artist
I try to swat down barbs about Senator Miller from fellow Democrats, but this decision of his to back the president's tax proposal makes no sense whatsoever. What caucus does he think he's leading — Democrats Against Fiscal Probity?
Progressives Against Progressive Taxation? Americans For Gladly Paying Tuesday for a Hamburger Today?

I try to square the hardnosed governor who plowed money into education by pioneering the Hope Scholarship program and got rid of the sales tax on groceries with this fellow who — by putting his name to this red-ink leaking sieve of a budget — has endorsed a massive campaign of government disinvestment and aided an effort to squeeze spending on Medicaid, public housing, and other programs that comfort the poor. But I can't. The profiles don't jibe. One has to wonder whether he realizes that — by working on behalf of a budget that offers not a red cent in aid to fiscally strapped states — he's undermining the work he did here in Georgia as governor. [Just a couple of weeks ago, a few legislators floated a trial balloon about bringing the grocery sales tax back.]

Whether that troubles him, I can't tell. But then, he didn't earn the nickname Zig Zag Zell for nothing.

Update: Yeah, this pretty much sums it up. [Link via a comment at Notes from Atlanta.]

Greg G. @ 11:21 PM | # |


Notes on Suburbia
  • I spent a few minutes flipping through the Pazz & Jop issue of The Village Voice at the local Borders bookstore a second ago, and came across a line about the war — relayed via rock critic Rob Sheffield — that struck me as less than apt, but funny as crap:
    Rock & roll moment of the year: the antiwar march in D.C., 10/26/02, feet exhausted from trudging, ears exhausted from a full day of "the people united will never be defeated," and suddenly hearing the chant go up from the crowd, right up ahead of me: "It's getting hot in herre! I'm burning too much oil! I am getting so hot! I wanna start a world war!" I almost wept for joy, no shit. Nelly in 2004!
    Like I said: maybe not apt, but funny as crap.

  • This is scary: on the drive back from the mall, I spotted a new restaurant sign going up on one of the outparcels. Guess what's coming to my neighborhood? Get this: a Gladys Knight joint serving chicken . . . and waffles. I kid you not.

    Only in America, folks. Only in America.

Greg G. @ 10:23 PM | # |


The New New Testament
And now, introducing the blogger who belongs in everyone's keiretsu: God.

Greg G. @ 12:08 PM | # |


Getting Better All the Time
Busy week for work here at the Green[e]house — I put in eight-hour days at the state Capitol on Monday and Tuesday, a rarity for me. I also began to see some of the fruits of my handiwork this session — watching legislation I wrote pass the Senate [well, it was just a proclamation]; helping to bottle other legislation — a committee chairman's pet bill, in fact — up in the House Rules Committee; spotting a ghostwritten editorial of mine in this morning's paper; putting my lawyer hat on for [exceedingly] brief testimony before the Senate Science & Technology Committee yesterday; seeing legislation I had a small hand in introduced on the Senate floor. Oh, and whipping up some test designs for business cards — not to mention getting a couple of surprise phone calls from a fellow lobbyist I've had my eye on.

All in all, I'd have to call it a pretty productive time for me, one of the most fruitful I've had for a while — excepting all the time I've frittered away on Civ 3, that is. That game can be instant death for your social life, I swear. Tim Jarrett can attest to many a night I spent in a computer lab back at U.Va., eyes fixed on the blue glow of the monitor way past the time when most mortals would have gone home out of sheepish embarrassment.

Hope you don't mind too much that it's taken a chunk of time from my blogging — but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day. It's taken me at least two nights.

Over lunch yesterday I told my boss about my little problem — it played hell with my punctuality over the last couple of years, so I felt I owed her an explanation. She reacted well to it — in fact, like most folks I mention the topic to, she said that she "figured something was up." Her clue? That I'd suddenly started to get tons of work done.

Here's to hoping that stays par for the course for a long, long time to come.

BTW: What with the title of this post, I couldn't help having in the back of my mind John Lennon's riposte to that bit of Paul McCartney sunshine . . .

Greg G. @ 11:40 AM | # |

February 18, 2003


It Ought to Be Obvious . . .
It amazes me that France — the nation that dynamited the Rainbow Warrior and committed massive atrocities during the Algerian war for independence — has to go to the ridiculous extent of trotting President Chirac out to protest that it "[isn't] a pacifist country." It just goes to show how far removed from reality a fair number of Americans' viewpoint on world affairs has become — and how much havoc sentiments like theirs can wreak when the people with the daftest perspective of all set policy for the White House.

Greg G. @ 1:00 AM | # |

February 17, 2003


Do You Have to Ask?
Sometimes, you stumble across a question that just cries out for a one-word answer. Take this one, from Eric Alterman:
Will history forgive George W. Bush?
Ummm, no.

Darn it — that was two words . . .

Greg G. @ 11:47 PM | # |