Friday, November 21, 2008
2) Of course, I wish Michael Mukasey all the best, even if he's one of them.
3) Al Franken seems to be closing on Norm Coleman in the Minnesota Senate race, but I suspect this one lands in the courts before Franken takes a seat.
4) Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Bush Legacy.
5) Y'know, I'd be all for letting the automakers fail, but for the fact that one of the few remaining viable unions is the UAW, and the thing we need more of, not fewer, is unions. A bankruptcy would void the latest contract and allow the automakers to walk away from pension and health care obligations. People worked their entire lives for the promise of a comfortable and healthy retirement.
6) Remember how the right wing went nuts when a few intrepid folks investigated Joe The Plumber? Wonder how loud they'll be this time...
7) How sad is the state of health care in America when this is legitimized? Nothing against either India or its doctors, but come on!
8) I have to wonder about how panicked people are when Citibank, who hasn't asked for a dime of bailout money...yet...and has deep pocketed investors in Saudi Arabia has to sink to this level to raise its stock price.
9) Oh Canada!?!?!?!?! Sorry, I disagree with this. Take two, buy two, and maybe the national insurance should pick up the second one if it's disability-related.
10) Where there's ice, there's water, and where there's water, there's life.
11) NOTE: NOT for the faint of heart. Ignore Palin. Watch the background about a minute in:
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Antiwar groups and other liberal activists are increasingly concerned at signs that Barack Obama's national security team will be dominated by appointees who favored the Iraq invasion and hold hawkish views on other important foreign policy issues.To quote Captain Jack Sparrow when accused of cheating, "Pirate."
The activists are uneasy not only about signs that both Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates could be in the Obama Cabinet, but at reports suggesting that several other short-list candidates for top security posts backed the decision to go to war.
"Obama ran his campaign around the idea the war was not legitimate, but it sends a very different message when you bring in people who supported the war from the beginning," said Kelly Dougherty, executive director of the 54-chapter Iraq Veterans Against the War.
What makes this whinging particularly annoying are a few facts:
1) No one is really giving a good goddamn about the war anymore. It has become so little of an issue that the right wing warhawks, the guys who really want this war, are unilaterally declaring it is over.Barack Obama sees what I see, and let me tell you, it's terrifying me.
Not that it matters much, of course, what a bunch of Cheeto-stained cowards who couldn't get up off their asses and pick up a gun and fight say, but the sentiment is appreciated by those of us who thought long ago the invasion was a horrible idea.
2) It's the economy, stupid.
And I'm not talking about just the stock market tanking or the housing meltdown or the impending depression that's sitting on top of Christmas like a fat bully.
I see 600 million angry young single Chinese men who don't have brides because of China's ill-conceived (pun intended) population control policies. I see 600 million angry young single Chinese men out of work for long stretches of time.
I see a half-billion starving people on the subcontinent of India and Pakistan, ripe fodder for Al Qaeda.
I see hundreds of millions of starving and angry Africans.
I see interest rates in Argentina of 30-50%.
In short, I see a lot of suffering and a lot of anger. Even change we can believe in only goes so far.
I'm not suggesting. I'm not hinting. I won't be as coy with this as I was with my stagflation predictions: we will be at war within the decade. History insists, and we are doomed to fail if we do not take this lesson to heart.
And since Barack Obama stands a very good chance of being President when that occurs, he needs to have a check on his ego around. He needs people around who are going to stand up and give him prudent counsel when war-like situations arise and help him determine which fights are worth going after and which we can avoid.
No one wants war, except a true warmonger. To call Hillary Clinton or Bob Gates, who has been surprisingly vocal in his assessments of the mess in Iraq, "warmongers" is hardly fair or accurate.
This is the hand we are dealt. The only alternative is to fold, and if we fold on this issue, Democrats may as well fold on everything else, because Republicans will run the show for millennia.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
New York City's Triborough Bridge will officially be renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in a dedication ceremony Wednesday.The New York senator was assassinated in 1968 while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.Speakers at the morning ceremony are expected to include former President Bill Clinton, Governor David Paterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Kennedy's widow, Ethel, is also expected to attend.The bridge will be the first major public work dedicated to Robert Kennedy in the state he represented from 1965-1968 in the U.S. Senate.
The ceremony is being held a day before what would have been Robert Kennedy's 83rd birthday.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
On Sunday night, President-elect Barack Obama told CBS' "60 Minutes" that Franklin D. Roosevelt would be a model of sorts for him. "What you see in FDR that I hope my team can emulate is not always getting it right, but projecting a sense of confidence, and a willingness to try things. And experiment in order to get people working again."This is a problematic standard. What do you want in a surgeon? One who "gets it right" or who projects "a sense of confidence?" Ditto accountants, defense lawyers, mechanics and bomb-disposal technicians: Cocky and self-assured, or gets it right?
Monday, November 17, 2008
If President-elect Barack Obama selects Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state, she will oversee many of the U.S. government's foreign aid programs, potentially turning the couple into an overwhelming force in global aid, say some leaders in the philanthropic community.
"It boosts her stature, it boosts the work of the Clinton Global Initiative, it boosts the whole concept of American partnerships making a real difference on the global level," said Steve Gunderson, president of the Council on Foundations and a former Republican congressman.
[...]The choice of Clinton would present other potential problems for Obama. He would be investing his fortunes not only with his former rival for the presidency but also in an outsize figure on the global scene who has been conducting a kind of privately financed foreign policy all his own since leaving office. Obama and the former president have also continued to share a somewhat strained relationship since the end of the Democratic nominating contest.