NPR did a story on the Ohio voting issue and I'll try to link to it later today.
This morning's New York Times has a strong front page. I'll even allow that the hockey strike story may be worthy (since it addresses the effects of the strike on Buffalo's economy).
David E. Sanger's "Snow to Remain Treasury's Chief, White House Says" (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/09/politics/09snow.html?hp&ex=1102654800&en=1cd52d08e8129e01&ei=5094&partner=homepage) is revealing for this paragraph explaining why John Snow will remain on the job:
With the dollar hovering at historic lows against the euro and Mr. Bush preparing for a two-day meeting next week to lay out economic strategy for the next term, one senior administration official said that "this was no time to send a signal of uncertainty."
That's what it comes down to, sadly, with this administration. Not whether you've done the job well (and Snow may very well have done the best job possible, I have no idea), but how it will appear. That's what gets "graded" in this administration. And probably why they can never admit a mistake (though they've made plenty), because of how that would "appear" or what message that would "send."
John M. Broder weighs in on with "Groups Debate Slower Strategy on Gay Rights" (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/09/national/09gays.html?hp&ex=1102654800&en=1a33b01b06d0f457&ei=5094&partner=homepage) which is worth a read. I'll note that the much discussed HRC, much discussed in this story, has been put into perspective by Lizz Winstead & Rachel Maddow on Unfiltered this week. This is the group that's "answer" during the convention was to uninvite Margaret Cho to avoid controversy, a group that's just appointed a straight person to leadership in the organization and a group that doesn't acknowledge sexuality in it's name (Human Rights Commission).
Jumping inside to A18, we find Adam Nagourney's "Howard Dean Runs Again. But for What? Stay Tuned" (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/09/politics/09dean.html) which reports on Dean's plans and the speech given yesterday but largely just allows former Senator Bob Kerrey to "advise." No offense to Bob Kerrey (whom I supported in the 1992 primaries) but focus on the New School or focus on the 9-11 Commission.
Mr. Kerrey makes the mistake (one Nagrouney does as well) of thinking Kerrey has some national following. Nagourney shorts Dean on the accomplishments that his group Democracy for America had in election 2004 (and Kerrey seems unaware of the group or else Nagourney elected not to quote Kerrey on that topic). Instead we get talk of "[t]he depth of Dr. Dean's fame and popularity" and quotes from the self-serving Simon Rosenberg (we'll be addressing him tonight because of the constant stream of e-mails regarding him -- you pretty much universally hate him).
From the article:
"But if he runs, he's going to have some 'splaining' to do, as Ricky Ricardo used to say," Mr. Kerrey continued. "People remember him saying, 'I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party' - which means the liberal wing of the Democratic Party."
"Which Howard Dean are we talking about?" Mr. Kerrey said. "If we're talking about the Howard Dean who was governor of Vermont, I would say fine. But if it's presidential candidate Dean, I would say probably no. The committee has got to figure out how to keep people like me in it. If he's firing people up and he's saying we've got to swing to the left - it's harder to swing along with him. And hell, I live in New York City. I don't live in Nebraska anymore."
Bob Kerrey's qualified to speak of the national needs of the party based on? His failed run for presidential nominee in 1992? No, he doesn't live in Nebraska anymore. He also doesn't date Debra Winger anymore. And both of those items have about the same weight, which is to say, none.
Lastly, be sure to check out Matthew L. Wald's "U.S. to Specify Documents Needed for Driver's Licenses" (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/09/politics/09license.html). Why?
The intelligence agency overhaul given final approval on Wednesday by the Senate also reorganizes the way the states grant driver's licenses, a change that civil liberties advocates and some security experts say could have far-reaching consequences.
Issuing driver's licenses has always been mostly a state function, but the new law requires the federal Department of Homeland Security to issue regulations on what documentation a state must require before it can grant a license. It also requires that the licenses be "machine readable," which will probably be accomplished through a magnetic stripe or a bar code or both.
Get it? Clinton's national health care plan led to hand wringing by some over a national i.d. card with some evangicals saying it was the "mark of the beast" and warning "end of times." But who does it appear will be bringing us the national i.d. card? George W. Bush. There's some irony in that. Though I doubt the evangicals will do any hand wringing or fretting over this national i.d. card.