Grab Bag – Wednesday Evening

I first read about the blogger Jon Swift dying from the update below.  Jon, which wasn’t his real name, was one of the first major bloggers to answer one of my e-mails. He put my little blog on his blog roll. He engaged me in conversation. After a while, I was able to engage just about all of the major bloggers except for Jane, Huffington and Digby (they have never answered any of my e-mails). Jon was the rarest of conservatives, he was thoughtful, open, humorous and engaging. I know that the world would be a better place if there were more people like him around.

From Political Animal:

  • Iraq: “Three powerful suicide bombings killed at least 33 people and wounded more than 50 Wednesday in the restive Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, authorities said. Most of those killed and wounded were Iraqi police officers charged with securing the province’s capital city ahead of elections Sunday. “
  • Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) announced a “leave of absence” from his powerful post as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee today. Whether he’ll ever get his gavel back remains unclear.
  • Marriage equality reaches the nation’s capital. Western civilization remains unaffected.
  • Matters get slightly worse for New York Gov. David Paterson (D).
  • Greece tried to alleviate creditors’ fears today with a new $6.5 billion austerity plan.
  • Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) is blaming Harry Reid for Bunning’s five-day hostage standoff over unemployment benefits.
  • On a related note, Kevin Drum explains, “Bunning is a moron.”
  • Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is threatening to vote with far-right Republicans to kill health care reform. This isn’t the first time Grijalva has talked like this.
  • I was very sorry to hear that the blogger known as “Jon Swift” has died.
  • Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is not above trying to connect his hatred for gays to his opposition to federal wage requirements.
  • As part of our ongoing coverage of SUNY Binghamton’s troubling transition to Division I athletics, the school announced this week that its basketball team will not be participating in the America East tournament this year.
  • Leave Grant’s picture on the $50 alone.
  • And finally, Rod Blagojevich was — in all seriousness — the “guest of honor at a Northwestern University panel on ethics in politics last night.” The disgraced former governor reportedly “elicited laughs from the audience — and not necessarily intentionally.”