Wildfires in California, a “murder epidemic” in Philadelphia, a proposal to turn Hanford’s B reactor into a hot new tourist attraction… two wire stories and a feature dominate the Seattle Times front page today. Meanwhile, the P-I is less newsy but more local, filling the front of their dead-tree edition with features on Seattle’s condo wave, new migraine research, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s race (… partisan candidates running a partisan race for a partisan office…? Who’d a thunk?)
So apart from just getting everybody’s name right, how would I prioritize the front page on a typically slow Seattle Monday? Well, I could feature the Seahawks 33-6 win over the hapless St. Louis Rams. (In the news biz’s corollary to Intelligent Design, if God hadn’t intended Monday to be a slow news day, he wouldn’t have put football on Sundays.) Or I could dwell on a spree of bizarre deaths that seems to be plaguing our regional newswires. Nah.
Nope, given my druthers, if there isn’t any compelling local news to report, I’d try to focus on national headlines, but within a local context. You know, like…
Everybody Hates Hillary. At least, that seemed to be the consensus opinion at the Republican presidential debate last night, where the GOP hopefuls mentioned the Democratic frontrunner’s name 34 times, compared to twice for President Bush. Mike Crowley of the New Republic believes the Republicans did Hillary Clinton’s Democratic opponents “a big favor“, with the audience whooping it up every time a candidate (or FOX News “reporter”) mocked or derided her:
It’s hard to watch that spectacle and feel that Hillary doesn’t have a unique visceral effect on Republican voters likely to galvanize them in an general election. Which is exactly what Hillary’s primary rivals want you to believe.
Yeah, but then, this is the same audience that booed 70-percent of their fellow Americans for wanting to pull out of Iraq.
So is Hillary really the great GOP uniter…? Is she really the Democrat the Republicans want to face off against most? Or, as Digby contends…
She obviously scares the living hell out of Republicans, whose macho pretenders would rather band together, whimpering like a bunch frightened little boys in the dark, than take on each other. So they are preening for the easy applause from their Cro-Magnon audience. It’s a little bit pathetic.
It certainly is. And I expect Hillary will get an entirely different reception tonight in Seattle when she speaks before state Dems at their annual Maggie Awards. Every doubter I know who has seen Hillary speak these past few months, has been disabused of the notion that she just can’t win. I’ll be looking to see if local doubters have the same reaction tonight.
Everybody Hates Brown People. Ethnic cleansing proceeds apace in Prince William County Virginia, as fear of mass deportations has led thousands of Latino residents — legal and illegal alike — to pack up and leave. The brown flight comes in the wake of an anti-illegal immigration resolution passed this July by county supervisors, and then approved this Wednesday. Message sent. Message received.
“This is not something that only affects the undocumented,” [real estate] agent Rosie Vilchez said. “Because in the same family, it’s so common to have some people who are citizens, some people who are residents and some who are undocumented. And those with papers are going to do whatever is necessary to protect those without.”
Within hours of the board’s vote, Salvadoran-born Aracely Diaz instructed her real estate agent to put her townhouse on the market. […] “Even after they passed that July resolution, I had hope that [the supervisors] would change their minds,” said Diaz, 37, who has legal status but worries about relatives who do not.
Now, she noted bitterly, “I’ll be selling at a loss. But I don’t care. I no longer have any affection for this place that treats us this way. I just want to get out.”
Which of course, is the point… we want people like Diaz to leave. Sure, our immigration laws need to be either enforced or amended, but I doubt there would be this public uproar if we were talking about millions of undocumented white people pouring across the Canadian border. (Well, maybe French Canadians.)
Here in WA the anti-immigration fervor is wreaking its own selective havoc. While economic concerns leave migrant pickers largely unhassled in the apple orchards of Yakima (at least during harvest), Immigration agents make a show of arresting an 18-year-old Seattle girl on her way to school, and then shipping her back to Mexico, dashing the high school senior’s dreams of becoming a doctor. Yet another one of our state’s hardworking immigrants being officially terrorized in the name of our War on Terror. Aren’t you proud to be an American?
Everybody’s Gonna Die! Turkish troops are moving toward Iraq, Bush wants yet another $196 billion for his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Vice President Dick Cheney warns that “we will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon”… I suppose even if that means using nuclear weapons ourselves. Doesn’t all this ratcheting up the rhetoric about Iran remind you of 2002 when we were ratcheting up the rhetoric in preparation for invading Iraq? When Bush warns about “World War III,” is he really warning about Armageddon, or just cheering it on?
We’re all gonna die. Really.