HEY, JEB: ASK YOUR BROTHER! The Washington Post today includes a woe-is-us quote from Florida governor Jeb Bush about the recent run of devasating hurricanes that have hit his state. "It's sad," Jeb said. "I don't know quite why we've had this run of storms. You just have to accept that."
But rather than embracing the fifth and final stage of grief, Jeb ought to think about what could be done to prevent such calamities. Because most scientists say that global warming has resulted in an increase of all kinds of extreme weather, including hurricanes. And though Jeb's brother can't be held responsible for the global warming that has taken place up until now, he has been unusually aggressive about making sure that it gets worse - much worse - in the future.
This story, from London's Guardian, shows that scientists are not unanimous on the link between global warming and hurricanes. However, you will see that there is no question that the ocean has warmed up a lot in recent years. That can't be good, can it?
Just another world-threatening issue that has somehow not managed to work its way into the presidential campaign. But hey, did you see that Poppy once wrote a letter guaranteeing that George W. was "gung ho"?
Reuters reports that global warming is accelerating to such an extent that mussels are growing near the North Pole. So here's an idea. After both Bush brothers are mercifully out of public office, they can open up a business taking tourists to the North Pole, so they can go clamming beneath what will then be called the Polar Slush Cap.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will all be living in oceanfront refugee camps - just outside of Denver.
LOSING HEARTS, MINDS, AND LIVES. The New York Times' Sabrina Tavernise reports today on the targeting of Iraqi civilians who work on American military bases. The bad guys here are clearly the murderous thugs who are killing their fellow citizens. Still, this passage near the end really grabbed me:
Layla said she begged administrators at the American-run hospital in central Baghdad to admit her brother, who was alive after being shot but whose condition was rapidly deteriorating because he was being treated in an ill-equipped Iraqi hospital.
She said she was told that she had to collect her brother's documents before he could be admitted. But there was not enough time, Layla said, and her brother died a short time later.
"I've been working for them for about a year and a half," she said. "I wasn't asking for a house, for a visa, for a trip abroad. I was just asking them to save a life.
"He works for the Army washing soldiers' clothes, and they can't save a life."
Elsewhere, a new Times/CBS News poll shows that John Kerry continues to lag behind Bush, in large measure because poll respondents say that Kerry "has not laid out a case for why he wants to be president." Respondents also express "strong concern about his [Kerry's] ability to manage an international crisis."
Sadly, it's hard to disagree - although I can't imagine why anyone would think Bush would do better at managing an international crisis, unless the theory is that he who creates the crisis is the best qualified to manage it.
Kerry's better than this. But it's time to show it, don't you think?