The primary election this week is a good reminder that politics is the ultimate example of "you can't win if you don't play." The candidates for governor have a range of plans for what they want to do to make Iowa's economy grow, and if you didn't take the time to get involved in the process early on -- like during the primary -- you're going to have a hard time influencing what they end up doing. The governor's attitude about things like abuse of eminent domain isn't inconsequential.
On a related note, the idea of a unity ticket, though superficially appealing, isn't really worth the effort.
Here's a comparison of values: We're sending $5 million to Indonesia to help with earthquake relief, but $800 million hasn't been enough to get the flood defenses back up in New Orleans in time for hurricane season. This brings to mind an important issue: Natural disasters don't necessarily kill, poverty kills. We're in a bad position when there's lots more news about Britney Spears than news about Norman Borlaug. Norman's the only one of the two whose work has saved lives.
And a scary step towards a Big Brother world: The Justice Department wants to play the "just in case" card and force lots of Internet-related companies to keep mountains of records on Internet users' behavior.