Today's Blogs

Pork Roast

Bloggers are skeptical about the pork-laden Iraq war supplemental bill, sympathetic to John and Elizabeth Edwards, and cheering a cuddly polar bear.

Pork roast: House Democratic leaders are luring lawmakers to an Iraq funding bill, which would place a timetable to remove U.S. troops from Iraq, with promises of funding pet projects ranging from money for rice farmers and spinach growers to funds for wildfire prevention. Bloggers are skeptical.

Michael Linn Jones, a contributor at The Gun Toting Liberal, grumbles at the patchwork legislation: “Spinach? Peanut Storage? What do Popeye and Jimmy Carter have to do with the war in Iraq? This bill is about funding the TROOPS. Period. End of story. It does not MATTER what one’s position on the war, or the Bush administration is. Those men and women have their trousers hanging over the edge, and deserve far better than this.”Conservative Gateway Pundit sums up the feelings of many war supporters: “Holy,Honey Baked Ham! Democrats are out buying votes to lose a war. Honestly, could there be anything more disgusting?”

Donny Shaw at Congress Gossip Blog, an arm of watchdog organization OpenCongress, takes a step back from the ire to award an A for effort: “Whether or not you like the bill, you have to be impressed by how precisely the Democratic leadership has crafted the war supplemental to get the maximum support of House Democrats. … The leadership’s skill is in finding the right balance of provisions in the bill so that it rests it in a spot where it can withhold as much swelling as possible without bursting at the seams and deflating entirely.”

The conservative Discerning Texan sees blatant hypocrisy: “Remember when the Democrats ran for Congress last fall, promising to clean up the pork and all the special interest money in Congress. As I recall that was the entire raison d’etre of their campaign. … So that has been, what… 5 months ago now, right? Well, the baby has officially been tossed out with the bathwater.”

Read more about the legislative haggling. The Victory Caucus has posted the full bill.

Staying on the trail: John Edwards will keep campaigning despite the fact his wife, Elizabeth, has had a recurrence of breast cancer *. Bloggers are full of good wishes and discussing the political ramifications.

Andrew Sullivan thinks well of Edwards after the press conference: “What I saw in this press conference was the reality of family values - not the rhetoric, not the divisiveness, not the politics, just the reality of an actual family dealing with real issues. We all face such issues…In this, John Edwards is doing a public service. He was admirably candid about his wife’s cancer being treatable, if not curable. That paradigm is increasingly common - and it’s affirming to see someone in public life live through it so positively, so admirably and so passionately.”

Conservative Kleinheider at Volunteer Voters sympathizes: “She has cancer and she will never be cured. The cancer is treatable but she will never get free of it. That has to affect this man’s mind. John Edwards may not have suspended his campaign in deed but in his mind he has to have.” At the Huffington Post, Edwards supporter Linda Milazzo commiserates: “With all my heart I want Elizabeth Edwards to be our First Lady. What a White House she would have. … A genuine, warm and gracious woman who would restore honor, gentility and humanity to the leadership of this nation which it desperately needs. I don’t know what lies ahead for Elizabeth. What I do know is that millions are pulling for her. Millions believe in her. And millions believe in her husband, John, too.”

Politico blogger Ben Smith declared before the announcement that Edwards would suspend his campaign, only to retract his post and apologize later. David Corn, Washington editor for the Nation, says the mis-scoop is no big deal. But it’s a reminder of the truism that since most journalists are now able to post what they know (or think they know) immediately, there are more opportunities to get things wrong.”

Read more about Edwards. See what Edwards’ stock is doing in the political markets in Slate’s “Political Futures.”

Polarizing bear: The Berlin zoo is not giving in to calls from animal-rights activists that it should euthanize an abandoned polar-bear cub because hand-feeding is not “species appropriate.” Bloggers are besotted with “Cute Knut.”

Economics student Kitty at catallaxy questions the assumption that rights supersede life: “It’s a presumptuous assumption and one that fails to adequately value the very strong will to survive that animals, human or otherwise, naturally possess. One only has to look at how animals chew their own limbs off in order to survive to see some evidence of this.”

The South Carolina conservative at Mike’s America pokes fun at the contradiction in liberal stereotypes: “And the same loony tune lefties who would go ballistic if a sparrow were killed to build a freeway are still demanding the death of Knut… for his own good. No doubt to save him from global warming.”

Dan at Skirl | Dan Dickinson thinks the activists are going too far: “If the question were whether we should be going into the wild to adopt abandoned bear cubs, I’d say no, that’s disrupting the natural cycle. But, as I said, I also don’t think we should be putting animals in zoos, so until that practice ceases I don’t think we should be euthanizing healthy zoo-born animals just because, all other things being equal, they’d die in the wild.”

Read more about Knut.

Correction, March 23: Because of an editing error, the article originally stated the Elizabeth Edwards had been diagnosed with bone cancer. Rather, the breast cancer that was first diagnosed has metastized in her bones. (Return to the corrected sentence.)