What are the nation’s financial priorities these days, besides paying for the cost of invading and rebuilding Iraq? One clue came out of the House of Representatives in March. Seeking to accommodate President Bush’s call for a $1.4 trillion tax cut over ten years, the House passed a budget resolution that included a laundry list of cuts in domestic programs.
The 24/7 news coverage of the Iraq war is often riveting television, but it is not necessarily good journalism. The journalists embedded with coalition forces can’t do what journalists usually do: make sure they get the story correct before they go with it, and set the facts in a larger context.
The hourglass seems to be running out on the chance for a peaceful end to the Iraq crisis. It will take a creative revision of policy—virtually a policy reversal—for President Bush to step back from war.
To hear President Bush speak of late, you might think he was mounting a pulpit, not a podium. With war on the horizon, the Providence of God is especially on his mind. “Events aren’t moved by blind change and chance,” he said at the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, echoing similar sentiments expressed in his State of the Union address.
A global survey by National Geographic indicates that people are eating better—more local food, less meat—yet diets in many countries are still unsustainable environmentally. The best country is India, since many people are vegetarians and those who aren’t tend not to eat beef, the most environmentally detrimental meat. Americans eat the most packaged and convenience foods and the least fruits and vegetables. Mexico ranked last in the rankings due to a diet high in chicken and beef. Japan, which eats the most seafood, is the most resistant to dietary change (National Geographic, September 29).