4A - Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
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Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
EDITOR IN CHIEF
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position oftthe Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
F ROM T HE DAI LY
Wh ile you were away
Looking back on the summer and forward to a new semester
Whether you spent your summer taking classes in Ann
Arbor, fetching coffee in New York City or saving the
world somewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere, those
days of fun are over. Welcome back to college. And because the last
thing on your mind during the past four months was keeping up
with the news, the Daily's editorial board is here to get you up to
speed. So put away your swimsuits and unpack your "Change We
Can Believe In" signs; here's what you missed this summer and what
you can look forward to this fall.
It's important to have a president who doesn't
choke on the word 'union:"
-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, speaking in Detroit's Hart Plaza yesterday.
The Palm problem
s I tried to think of how I felt things like "I'm trapped now, please ence as a judge. Worse, the pick had
about John McCain naming rescue me." It isn't a huge shock that the odious stench of tokenization: one
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin his Brown was in too far over his head woman for another, regardless of how
running mate last - at least not since we learned that he dissimilar their ideologies may be.
week, one name had fabricated even the little relevant And so we come full circle back
jumped to my mind. experience listed on his r6sum. to McCain. Granted, Palin is not his
No, it wasn't Sen. Brown resigned a couple of weeks close friend (alarmingly, he seems to
Hillary Clinton or later, and you would think we would have only met her once before select-
former Democratic all come away a little wiser. Posi- ing her as his running mate), but he
vice presidential tions within the government and its did pick her for reasons of political
candidate Geral- bureaucracy, even those, ho-hum, expedience rather than qualifica-
dine Ferraro; it associate-director-of-something-or- tion. She's been governor of our most
was someone much other variety, are very significant and removed state, and even that for
more ideologically IMRAN cannot be taken lightly. The president only 20 months. Before that, she was
congruent to Palin. SYED must consider the importance of each mayor of a townwith less people than
But before we name and every one of his appointments my high school (it's a big school, but
names, let's remi- because they all serve a purpose. still).
nisce a little. Mayhem can result if the wrong peo-
Let's go back three years to Oct. ple are in charge.
2005 when this other woman had AndthenU.S. Supreme CourtChief
her 15 minutes of fame. Hurricanes Justice William Rehnquist passed Experience
Katrina and Rita had just over- away. Bush appointed John Roberts
whelmed the Gulf Coast and virtually as the new chief justice, but with Jus- matters - Just look
destroyed a major American city. In tice Sandra Day O'Connor's prior res-
the weeks that followed, government ignation creating another vacancy, he at Bush's terms.
officials began to admit that not all had to make another appointment.
had gone right, mistakes had been We don't really need the parable of
made and apologies were in order. Michael Brown to understand that a
We learned in that tragedy the many Supreme Court appointment is a very The stench of tokenization? It's
faults of our bloated bureaucracy. serious matter. And who should know here, too; apparently McCain believes
Exhibit IA was Michael Brown, that better than Bush, who owes his that Hillary Clinton's 18 million sup-
former director of the Federal Emer- very presidency to the high court's porters will jump at anything in a
gency Management Agency. He was ruling in Bush v. Gore? pantsuit. And in the greatest of iro-
generally a good guy with one big But it turns out there were no les- nies, even Mother Nature showed up
problem: He was completely unquali- sons learned. Bush's nomination for for this hapless re-enactment - in
fied.for his job. Before joining FEMA, the second Supreme Court vacancy is the form of Hurricane Gustav.
Brown had spent about a decade in the answer to our little game: Harriet And let's face it: John McCain is
a high-level position at the Interna- Miers. True, Miers was at least a law- very old. If he manages to pull off a
tional Arabian Horses Association. yer and White House counsel. She miraculousnwin in November, we can
He was essentially fired from that was also a close friend and impor- safely say that the heartbeat separat-
post for what The Boston Herald tant advisor to the president. But as ing Palin from the Oval Office isn't
called "alleged supervision failures." far as convention for Supreme Court a reliable one. Can we really afford
Talk about foreshadowing. appointments, Miers was an ineape- to hae a person as far removed and
Despite garnering some kind rienced pick out of left field: irrelevant as Palin as our president?
words for his efforts from President That Miers's nomination was even- Of course not, but try telling that to
Bush ("You're doin' a heck of a job, tually withdrawn because of political McCain: He's too busy hugging Bush
Brownie"), it was clear that Brown pressure is not the issue. What mat- on yet another issue.
himself felt completely inadequate ters is that the president chose to go
to handle the massive disaster relief with a close friend and party-base Imran Syed was the Daily's fall/
effort following Katrina. In e-mails pleaser for a powerful post, instead winter editorial page editor in 2007. He
to his friends, a desperate Brown said of someone who actually had experi- can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANT TO BE AN OPINION COLUMNIST DURING THE FALL?
E-MAIL GARY GRACA AT GRACA@MICHIGANDAILY.COM
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be less than 300 words and must
include the writer's full name and University affiliation. All submissions become property of the Daily.
We do not print anonymous letters. Send letters to email@example.com.
This summer was all about the economy.
After seven years of a lonely recession, the
rest of the country decided to join.Michi-
gan. The housing market collapsed. The U.S.
dollar's value plummeted. Unemployment
became such a concern that even President
Bush took notice, signing a bill to extend
unemployment benefits from 26 to 39 weeks.
Meanwhile, the cost of everything - wheth-
er it's gas, milk or steel - soared.
The University kept up with the trend. In
case you haven't checked your tuition bill on
the new-and-improved Wolverine Access
yet, the University tacked an extra 5.6 per-
cent onto undergraduates' bills. To be fair, it
also increased undergraduate financial aid
by 10.8 percent. So,.together the increases
in tuition and aid bring the cost of the atten-
dance to the level of "barely manageable"
for in-state students and "better leave it to
mommy and daddy" for their out-of-state
Speaking o'ffiscal responsibilityat the Uni-
versity, the Athletic Department chipped in
$2.5 million plus attorneys' fees to end head
football coach Rich Rodriguez's embarrays-
log scandal with West Virginia University.
But whether that money could have been
better spent on the tuition, room and board
of 113 undergraduates is a moot point, as the
Athletic Department's budget is separate
from the University's. That makes 't all bet-
If big-budget college football isn't your
sportef choice, you had 28 other sports to
choose from during the Olympics in Bei-
jing. The games doubled as a rise-to-power
party for China and the perfect backdrop
to ignite a second Cold War. During this
Red Scare, though, we can keep a few
extra handguns around the house thanks"
to newly expanded Second Amendment
rights. Unfortunately, also thanks to the
, U.S. Supreme Court, our president won't
be able to detain Russians indefinitely at
And alas, after eight torturous years, the
reign of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney is
soon to end. Replacing them will either be
the keeper of the American dream, -Barack
Obama, and his worldly gaffe machine, Joe
Biden, or the straight-talking corpse, John
McCain, and former-beauty-queen-turned-
politician Sarah Palin. While Obama looks
like he's on his way to a unanimous victory
from inside the Ann Arbor bubble, in the
rest of the state and country there is actually
So whenyou're thinking about the upcom-
ing semester, do yourself a favor: Plan ahead.
Assume that Ramen noodles will be the only
product cheaper than a dollar. Estimate that
attending the University will cost you a few
extra thousand dollars next year. Learn a
foreign language - maybe Mandarin.
More importantly, register to vote before
the volunteer army of election workers
marks you with a scarlet letter. Apply for an
absentee ballot if you don't plan to vote here
- Michigan's deadline is Oct7. Make plans
to vote in person if you're a first timer. And
put Nov. 4 on your calendar so you remem-
ber to vote. In the meantime, we'll help keep
the debate civil.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Harun Buljina, Emmarie Huetteman, Emily Michels, Kate Peabody, Robert Soave, lmran Syed
ANDREW GROSSMANE 'NOTE
user's guide to the Daily
KATE PEABODY VIEWPO
You, your e-mail and the election
It's good to be back. Today marks the start
of the 118th school year in which the Daily
has been published. For many students, the
way the Daily works is a mystery. It shouldn't'
be. This is your newspaper. Here are some
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Can you really print whatever you want?
Yes. All editorial decisions are in the hands
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Of course, we don't print whatever we want.
We strive to tell the most important, inter-
esting stories about life at the University of
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But sometimesyou aren't fair or accurate.
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Please let us know by e-mailing us at correc-
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Who runs the Daily?
The Daily's editorial staff(as opposed to the
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editor in chief and the editorial page editor,
the entire staff) and field questions for hours
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responsible for managing the paper for a cal-
Can Ijoin the Daily?
As long as you're a University student.
The Daily hires dozens of new staffers every
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ism experience or be an English major. We
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dent Activities Building. Here are the dates:
e Thursday, Sept. 4, 8p.m.
* Wednesday, Sept. 10, 8 p.m.
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Thanks forreading. I'm serious aboutread-
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ideas and comments. This is your newspaper.
Don't let us screw it up.
l .-....1 ,.
Editor in Chief
Did you takea shower this morn-
ing? If not, first apologize to the
person next to you, then answer
me this: Did you check your e-mail?
That's what I thought. Because of
your late alarm, you sacrificed your
neighbor's nose in order to see if
that kid you met Friday night final-
ly accepted your friend request.
You're connected. Whether you
check your e-mail once a day or
every time your BlackBerry hums,
you are a part of the digital age. I
don't blame you for being obsessed
with your colorful Gmail tabs or
your new iPhone application. But
take five minutes that you would
have spent Facebook stalking and
stalk a different - albeit relevant
Did you know that both John
McCain and Barack Obama have
comprehensive technology policy
plans? Undoubtedly, you will be
affected by these policies when one
of these two men becomes presi-
So check the candidates'websites
and then take a detour to a Google
news search. Did you realize that
former Hewlett-Packard execu-
tive, Carly Fiorina, is an economic
advisor to McCain? Ask yourself
how that's going to affect McCain's
technology policies. If you read his
website, the overall picture looks
pretty corporate friendly. Who
should the president be looking out
for: the public or private sector?
In contrast, Obama plans to use
technology to hold government
more accountable and make it more
transparent. He also .intends to
appoint the nation's first chief tech-
nology officer to focus on techno-
logical issues, including updating
the nation's surveillance policies
to better protect citizens' privacy
rights. He also plans to reform the
patent system to encourage innova-
Both candidates want to expand
Internet access, making high-
speed, wireless connections avail-
able to everyone. Such an ambitious
plan would improve education in
this country. But it might also gen-
erate new economic competition.
Will McCain be up to the task if it
upsets some of his party's corpo-
rate base? Will Obama be up to the
task if it sacrifices some American
How are the candidates going to
target piracy and intellectual prop-
erty? Will colleges be required to
turn over names of students who,
illegally download music? Trends
suggest that this could be a possi-
bility. Likewise, Internet provid-
ers could be required to collect and
turn over names, too. Will individ-
ual privacy be exploited to protect
Policy is broad and sometimes
blandly impersonal. It's hard to
relate to something when you have
absolutely no idea how it will affect
you. A lot of the time, these presi-
dential policies seem bigger than
But it's in the simple tasks like
your morning routine that these
policies will crop up. When you
flood your Cinnamon Toast Crunch
in milk and check the latest Perez
Hilton update, will you have a reli-
able and private connection to the
Internet? That's something that
should matter to you. These types
of issues are also the ones that can
make a presidential election too
often diluted by shameless gossip
Now go check your e-mail. I'm
pretty sure your GSI e-mailed
you back about not having section
Kate Peabody is an LSA senior
and a senior editorial page editor.
HARUN BULJINA E-MAIL BULJINA AT BULJINAH@UMICH.EDU
The face behind the boogeyman at the
Democratic National Convention.