Sunday, February 02, 2003

Morning Musings-Eileen's really under the weather this morning, so we're playing hooky from church; she dragged herself out of bed for some breakfast an hour ago then went back in. We're planning to make the evening service if she's feeling better. Punxsutawney Phil, the semi-official arbiter of Groundhog Day, saw his shadow this morning. With highs in the low 70s and evening lows about 50, I can live with six more weeks of winter. We had been having a cold snap down here in January where those figures were more like 60 and 40, to which all you northerners can say "Awwww, poor boobie." Keep an eye on this one-Germany's having state elections in Hesse and Lower Saxony today, and the Social Democrats are poised to get a can o' whuppin applied to them. It does have minor implication for national politics, as the state governments send representatives to the upper house, the Bundesrat, but it will serve as a referendum on the Schroeder government, who's standing in the polls has gone into free fall after winning reelection four months ago. Czech president Vaclav Havel is stepping down today; they've yet to come up with a replacement, as the two chambers of the legislature haven't agreed on a successor. It seems like ancient history hearing NPR pieces in the 80s about the Charter 77 movement he headed up, trying to get the then-communist government to live up to their human rights pledges of the Helsinki Agreement. He served time in prison for that. Later, he masterminded the Velvet Revolution and served as a statesman-president while maintaining the heart of a writer; he's been one of the good guys. If he'll take the job, show Kofi the door and name Havel UN Secretary-General.

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