The news and the politics are boringly what they have been for a good while now. The Sotomayor nomination passed out of committee and the only real surprise was that not EVERY Republican voted against. The Blue Dog Democrats are holding health care reform hostage and again there are no real surprises. The bill that will come out, as of now, will have lost any possibility of a public option and will not likely require big business to fund employee health care. In other words--the status quo. The 47 million who don't have health insurance--thrown under the bus. But that is pretty well business as usual. If you look at the budget compromises that have passed in California and Illinois you see the same pattern. The compromises are achieved at the expense of those least able to bear the costs. But mean spiritedness has been a hallmark of modern American politics. Think of what Bush tried to do with Social Security 'reform.' He tried to convert the program into a welfare program for destitute old folks which a new effort could be launched to kill it entirely by whipping up a war between recipients on one side and the young and the rich on the other. It isn't much different with the budget battles.
This story hit the national news last night--without many details except, of course, the savings to New York City. It seems a kinder, gentler version of the old process of moving 'vagrants' out of the tourist and business districts so they won't bother the 'good' people. They just become a problem for someone else somewhere else. It is just a band-aid but I guess if we don't see what festers underneath we won't worry about gangrene.
I found a couple of very cute ideas for any of the crafty among you. Making really pretty pincushions out of found objects. Take a look at the pictures here, and here. And a big thanks to Craft Gossip for the links.
Another story that hit the national news last night and this morning, finally, is the Texas drought. It has been going on for two years and now is likely to have a serious impact on prices in the rest of the country. The losses are estimated at between $2 and $4 billion, depending on who you read. The weather forecasters expect that the rain will return in the fall but way too late for this season. Hope they are right and that they get enough to break the drought.
Rain at Rainy Day Thoughts has some appropriate thoughts concerning the 'compromise' on health reform I mentioned above. Sounds like we have been reading from the same hymnal.