Quote of the Day

If you get involved in a major ground war in the Saudi desert, I think support will erode significantly. Nor should it be supported. We cannot even contemplate, in my view, trading American blood for Iraqi blood.

–John McCain in the New York Times Aug 19, 1990, quoted by Cliff Schecter, who found McCain Was Against War In Iraq Before He Was For It

Federal Way Advised to Teach the Science

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer had an editorial calling on the schools to teach the science following the story reported last week on schools in Federal Way, Washington giving into conservative attacks:

Climate Change: Teach the science

Friday, January 12, 2007

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD

Those Federal Way School Board members are such clever politicians. They have used bureaucratic rules to gore classroom exploration of climate change, a critical topic for students’ futures.

In responding to a parent complaint about Al Gore’s documentary on the threat of global warming, the board put a mythical pursuit of balance ahead of reality. They enacted what is apparently a first: a virtual ban on showing “An Inconvenient Truth,” hidden behind hobbling of teachers’ options through demands for principal and superintendent OKs and presentation of opposing views to Gore’s stirring calls to concern and action.

Any classroom teacher worth his salt is going to let students know about debates on the science of global warming. But equating the consensus on mankind’s role in causing the problem (which even the Bush White House now acknowledges, for crying out loud) with the voices of doubt is a flat misrepresentation of prevailing views.

As school board members well know, teachers have only so much time. Teachers also need a certain amount of freedom in using it. Maybe the duck-and-cover board members forgot that.

Pelosi Warns Bush About Abuse of Power

The words we choose to use are important. I’ve already noted some of the ways in which Bush has worded things to suggest a lack of respect for the other branches of government including threatening to go ahead with the escalation of the war regardless of what Congress does. Nancy Pelosi responded with words which frame the issue correctly when she said, Bush “should not abuse his power” with regard to troop escalation in the Iraq war and said it is the duty of Congress to “exercise oversight over his power.”

Abuse of power has been an underlying problem with the Bush administration from the beginning. He got away with it when he had a Republican Congress that was willing to go along. Now that Congress is willing to exert its Constitutional responsibilities, with a mandate from the people, we may be in for some major confrontations. Some issues will likely be decided by the Supreme Court which contains many of the same members who prevented a Florida recount to place him in office. While I fear that some members support too much power in the Executive branch, it cannot be assumed the full Court will necessarily side with Bush on fundamental Constitutional issues. While Pelosi has stated that impeachment is not planned, should Bush abuse his power during her term as Speaker she may see a need to reconsider this.