Dispatches > The Buzz

QuickTakes

Issue: "Roe vs. Wade at 29," Jan. 19, 2002

DASCHLE'S DEFICIT: Democrats are trying to blame the reemergence of the federal budget deficit on President Bush, but economist Stephen Moore places the blame on their own doorstep, particularly that of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. "Thanks primarily to Daschle, this year's discretionary spending will rise not by the 4 percent that President Bush sought, but by 8 percent," Mr. Moore, president of the Club for Growth, writes in a Philadelphia Inquirer column. Not only does Mr. Daschle push for spending on politically friendly constituencies, Mr. Moore notes, but he also opposes the tax rate cuts that could spur economic growth: "He slams business tax relief as 'corporate giveaways' in one breath, and in the next he sanctimoniously decries savage corporate layoffs." Mr. Moore argues that the slowing economy has squandered much of the surplus, with the growth slowdown from 3.5 percent to 1 percent in 2001 being responsible for at least $100 billion of the lost surplus: "Daschle either doesn't understand or doesn't much care that it is precisely the curse of slow economic growth that is the single largest factor behind the disappearing surplus." ALL-GAY, ALL THE TIME: Is an all-gay cable network in the works? TV Guide's J. Max Robins wrote that HBO, USA Networks, and Viacom have discussed such a project. Now Viacom's MTV and Showtime networks are seriously considering one. Citing industry sources, Robins wrote that such a network could launch "within the next year." He said that both MTV and Showtime were "pioneers in bringing gay storylines to television, long before Will & Grace became prime-time players." The attitude is that the gay audience is too lucrative to pass up; the article cited figures from the trade magazine Brandweek that homosexuals spend between $250 million and $350 million each year. 0THE TRIBE: The "never married" demographic group is on the rise, ABCNEWS.com reports, citing census figures estimating that 10 percent of American adults will never walk down the aisle toward matrimony: "In less than 30 years, the number of people who have never walked down the aisle has more than doubled, as the median age of marriage has reached a historic high: 25 years for women, and 27 years for men." The unbylined story cited the rise of so-called "urban tribes," packs of friends who hang out instead of date. Meanwhile, many 20-somethings and older siblings say they want to find a "soulmate" before they settle down.

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