Morning news bits

Katrina has opened up an opportunity to talk about class and race in America. If you read anything today, read “Still Separate, Still Unequal: America’s Educational Apartheid” in Harpers magazine. There has been terrific progress in Philadelphia, but there are many, many factors stacked against us. A recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer shares a major case in point – “Philadelphia (is) among the nation’s poorest counties and Chester, Burlington and Bucks among its richest”. How do you think this helps or hurts education funding? And don’t you think that’s self-reinforcing?

Ed Cone takes note of John Edwards who has been championing how “Personal responsibility combined with smart government can beat poverty, that’s the message. Don’t have babies out of wedlock in your teens and we’ll make sure you’ve got a chance.” That’s Bill Clinton’s old message. Notice the two part goal here: Personal responsibility and smart government. It’s a message I believe in.

Speaking of Bill Clinton, he has finally begun to share his views on how things have been going – and it’s not pretty. Tellingly, if you watch Memeorandum it appears that most folks talking about this are Republicans who are appalled that Clinton opened his mouth. And most Democrats are just sitting idly by when they should be cheering him on. Just like old times. Pandagon tears apart one of the popular ones.

America’s response to Katrina, and the two-tier society it exposed for all to see is not looking so good abroad, even in Britain. Just look at the tone of recent articles in the Mirror or Sky News.

Amongst the stories of system failure that have come out of Katrina, folks should recognize there are many more times the number of stories of survival (Washington Post) that tell of strength, ingenuity, quick thinking, courage and compassion.

Rita is growing to hurricane strength and Galveston might issue an evacuation order today.

A shout out of thanks to all who have been donating and finding ways to help in the wake of Katrina. There are so many great examples to share across the web, but one I’ve been meaning to mention is Shelley Powers and her Critters for Critters campaign. The auction she is running I believe ends tomorrow, check it out. And if you can donate to the Humane Society.