Monday, May 12, 2003

Morning Musings-This isn't good news for the Alliance party; presumptive new Liberal Party leader Paul Martin is not promising cabinet positions to his two more-socialist-leaning rivals for the leadership/Prime Minister post. It might be good news for Canada in the short run, for a more business-friendly regime in Ottawa would be helpful, but bad in the long run, for Martin might just turn the Liberals into the PRI of the Great White North, as a solid neoliberal government would be hard for a fractured right to beat. Small-c conservatives might have to wait another decade, barring some major screw-up from the Liberals. The manure may be about to hit the fan in Ache; a no-holds-barred war of independence might be starting, for monitors have bugged out prior to an army offensive. Keep your eye on this one, it could be messy. It's not a religious fight, since Ache is a nominally Muslim area, unlike the nominally Catholic East Timor which got its independence earlier in the decade. However, the chaos might give al Qaeda outfits like Bali bombers Jemaah Islamiyah some room to maneuver. Interesting obit of Russell Long, Senate tax guru and son of archetypal populist Huey. My favorite quote from him was "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the guy behind the tree." If you want to place the blame for the complexity of the modern tax code on any doorstep, Russell's is as good a place as any to dump it. However, he was a old-school, pro-business Southern Democrat in the Zell Miller mold rather than his more socialistic dad. Bad news for the Pistons, home court held over the weekend, as Philly evened it up 2-2 yesterday, as did the Lakers. Only the Nets are cruising; they can get the broom out tonight against the Celtics.

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