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Wednesday, December 7, 2005
Recommended Readings

Recommended readings on Iraq, the President, Wal-Mart, abortion, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the 2008 presidential election, good books, oil company profits, "stupidization," and more.

Iraq and the War on Terror dominate the list this week, not for the first time. But first, the two articles I wanted to write.

In honor of the President's new-found desire to communicate what's actually going on in Iraq and on other issues, instead of letting the Democratic leadership win the ongoing debates by default, I was going to write, "We Have a President Again," or something like that, but Wes Pruden is close enough. For what it's worth, I wasn't going to use the word scabrous.

I've been watching and listening as federal funding for digital cable converters for you and me worked its way through the House and Senate. I realize that auctioning off the old analog frequencies and completing the national conversion to digital television by 2009 will bring in some money from the folks who want to use those frequencies, such as cell phone companies. It will probably even bring in more money than the converter subsidies. But isn't a little embarrassing for the government to treat digital television as an entitlement? Does the phrase "bread and circuses" come to your mind, too? Anyway, I very much enjoyed George Will's commentary on the subject, which illustrates why commentary is his day job, not mine.

Now, to Iraq. Michael Barone discusses progress in Iraq, and the lack of progress in reporting progress. The line which most resonates with me is, "It's about time." Mark Steyn and Jack Kelly take slightly different approaches to the same general subject. On a related topic, Dan Abrams wonders when the federal government will start to take the War on Terror seriously here at home.

In case you were wondering, it turns out that premier gang-banger Stanley "Tookie" Williams, our death row celebrity du jour, is not the reincarnation of Mother Theresa after all. Who knew? Jeff Jacoby explains.

. . .Jeff Jacoby also has some interesting things to say here about the politics of abortion (not to be confused with the abortion of politics).

Meanwhile, I'm not really swallowing the year-long "Wal-Mart is Satan" campaign. Neither is Rich Lowry. If you are, that's actually okay with me. The lines at my local Wal-Mart are pretty long most of the time, these days. They certainly don't need to be any longer.

It seems a little early, still, but if you're captivated by the 2008 presidential election already, like nearly every US Senator and about that many normal people nationwide, Dick Morris has some thoughts on the Republican side of things.

Leonard Pitts, Jr., coins the term "stupidization" and provides a British example. Quoth he, "I had always thought of stupidization as an American affliction, so I don't know whether to be relieved or appalled to see it also showing up in Britain, where erudition was raised and eloquence keeps a summer home."

Thomas Sowell recommends some good books for the holidays on history and politics.

George Will adds an interesting snippet of history in his discussion of oil company profits and Washington's attempts to get some of the money.

Finally, Lori Borgman responds to Maureen Dowd's new book, Are Men Necessary? by giving numerous reasons why they are, and by wondering in passing, Is Maureen Dowd necessary? (Apparently, the New York Times finds her so.)

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