Friday, November 13, 2009
2) Pushed, jumped, or thrown under the bus? Gitmo was a centerpiece of Obama's campaign pledges, and he needs to get this done today. You'd think one of them there wide open flat spaces in the middle of the country would jump at the chance to receive the federal funds that would generously flow from this.
3) It looks like we are going to have to come up with a better definition of what constitutes an intelligent species, or be prepared to stop using the denigration "when pigs fly"...
4) Gee...only took them, what? 35 years? to live up to their principles. We should assume this means they're getting serious about abortion reform. No! Really! They really really mean it this time!
5) Imagine that: a news organization that honest-to-god just wants to report the news without spin!
6) PROTIP from a former backpacker: If ur in the woods, eatin' 'shrooms you find, ur doin it rong!
7) Of course, this guy can say this, his bank is doing nicely. Now let him endorse my position, and then I'll believe he's sincere.
8) Headline The Catholic Church Really Didn't Want To See: Irish priest kidnapped in Philippines released by MILF I'll throw out the first joke: Well, at least she was an adult!
9) He must have been one very well-hung teenager.
10) Finally, a fashion trend that will take the sting of my teen years Nehru jackets away...
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration's special master for executive compensation, said he is "very concerned" about the possibility his pay cuts may drive talent away from companies bailed out by U.S. taxpayers.
"Maybe I've struck the right balance," Feinberg said, referring to criticism that he has been too harsh and too easy on executives. "Hopefully some of this will percolate into the private sector, we'll have to see," he said today at a Washington conference held by Bloomberg Ventures, a unit of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News.
Feinberg has ordered pay cuts averaging 50 percent for the top 25 executives at Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., American International Group Inc. and four other companies that took U.S. bailout money. He will rule on pay structures covering the next 75 highest-paid employees at those firms by year-end.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It's hard to overstate the crisis facing charitable giving today. So let me just say it as plainly as I can: Much of current philanthropic giving, by foundations and individuals, neither meets the needs of our charitable organizations nor addresses some of our most urgent public needs.
Foundation practices today are too bureaucratic, inflexible and cautious, and too focused on short-term objectives. Too often, the process and procedures of grant making are more tailored to the needs of foundations and their trustees than to the requirements of nonprofits.
At the same time, our depressed economy is exacerbating this crisis—and making it all the more crucial that we address it. A severe reduction in available public and private funds has put many important nonprofit groups, especially at the local level, in grave danger. Cutbacks in their budgets and programs are depriving their clients of essential health and social services.
A number of nonprofit associations and foundations have called on the government to provide more funds and loans to struggling nonprofit organizations. Such aid would no doubt help, but the primary responsibility for maintaining the strength of the nonprofit community should rest with philanthropic institutions and individual donors.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I mention those names, and what image appears in your head? Soft, fuzzy puppets, the Muppets, who teach pre-schoolers and elementary schoolchildren, some of whom cannot afford books and can't get to the (now shut) libraries of the inner cities and rural counties, how to read, and how to do basic math.
Oh. And give them tools and teach them good Judeo-Christian messages of peace and harmony, of getting along in your community. Of how you don't need to fear differences, because underneath it all, we're all just people.
For forty years, these messages have been brought to you courtesy the Children's Television Workshop.
You think, "How can anyone find fault with the basic messages inherent in any church service?"
You'd need to think again. Meet Adam Baldwin:
Our tax dollars by the $tens of millions$ have been redistributed to the CPB/PBS for decades to ‘help’ its social change agents reach into our homes and preach the gospel of multiculturalism.
It is both ironic and hypocritical that the folks producing and airing such socially conscious segments for “Sesame Street” would certainly be among the very first to intolerantly decry the holy leftist “separation of church and state!” political canard.
In fairness to Alec Baldwin and that family, this is not a family member, but is desperate to hang onto the coattails of his in-name-only family.
Baldwin goes onto to point out that the Star Spangled Banner is never sung on Sesame Street, nor is God Bless America. Nevermind that the message it teaches, without referencing any church, is precisely identical to the secular messages he received while wearing his "big boy panties" in Sunday school at Our Lady of Whateverthehell.
Nope. Sesame Street, because it is publicly funded, MUST be part of the Islamofascistcommiepinkohippiefaglesbowymnist movement.
Well, Bert & Ernie DO live together, after all.
I guess Ol' Adam missed this while wearing his (faux) uniform, filming Independence Day:
And indeed, I pointed this out to him in comments and challenged HIS patriotism, since Sesame Street has been to military bases around the world.
But I digress...
Not every patriotic effort has to be borne in with flags waving and guns blazing, or morons in red, white, and blue clothing shouting "USA! USA!" at a sporting event or concert.
Sometimes, a patriotic effort is a matter of teaching a fellow countryman a fact he did not know before. How to count. How to read. How to look at the family down the street wearing yarmulkes and understanding that it's no different than the cross your daddy or older brother wears.
I admit, when Sesame Street started devoting a portion of its show to teaching in Spanish, I got a little uneasy.
Until I thought about it: how do you reach a kid who's parents may not even speak English, yet have thrust him into an English language school system?
And notice, this isn't about illegal immigration. Foreign language students have been in school systems for the past century and more. And we're fortunate here in America that much of the world, much of the wealthier parts at any rate, teach English in their school systems too.
But it's the poor that need our help, it's the poor that need to be given the tools to compete in society, to fully engage in the American dream of getting a job and paying taxes and buying a home and building a life.
It's sad to think that Baldwin, himself just one or two generations away from being a "filthy Irisher" doesn't understand this. A chicago native, a truck driver, and a representaitve of the target audience of Sesame Street, an inner city working class kid, he apparently has forgotten the lessons of the street: pick on someone your own size.
It even appears that in his cups, Baldwin has forgotten the lessons of his own movie debut My Bodyguard. Sometimes, kids in scary situations need a hand from a friend, no matter how tough they think they are.
Even if that friend is a fuzzy little puppet.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Yes, the House passed, barely, a bill that includes a public option, but at the price of for all intents and purposes banning abortions for the weakest women among us.
As Jesus put it, "As you treat the weakest among you, that is how you are treating me."
And now, here's Joe Lieberman (I-Dickheadton) wailing that even this watered-down version of helping people stay healthy is too hard to deal with, will cost too much.
He's not alone in his handwringing.
The gloves have to come off, and here's what I propose: this legislation is so important to America, that President Obama, through his channels, ought to send the following message to Sen. Lieberman:
You're right. We can't afford meaningless gestures and foolish money spent. Therefore, I am authorizing that a new bill be proposed in Congress, the "Lieberman De-Fund Israel's Defense" bill. We can't afford it any longer.
Wanna bet that not only he, but all the other fence-sitting corporatists suddenly come to God?
After all, it was with Obama's help that Lieberman even has a seat at the table. Joe ought to be reminded of that, now. He's abused that courtesy countless numbers of times this past year.
If Obama would merely show the stones that he showed back in 2006, when nearly everyone wanted to see this abortive embarassment to the Democratic party ousted in a blizzard of contempt, we can have healthcare reform.
He's taken a million bucks in insurance contributions. It's about time he screwed them, then called it a night. His presence in the Senate is amongst the most odious in history, and that includes some God-awful Senators, like Joe McCarthy. He can make this one last gesture and indeed go out a hero to Americans.
He'd get the ego boost he's been craving ever since the Democrats took control back in 2006, in other words.
It would also serve as notice that the White House will play hardball on a bill it deems to be the centerpiece of the Obama legacy. It will drive the Lincolns and Nelsons right into the camp and may even drag a couple of weak Republican candidates...you listening, Olympia?...right into the arms of Obama.
They don't call it the "bully pulpit" for no reason, Mr President.
UPDATE: Paul Krugman gave me a new idea. Just roll Holy Joe the videotape of the people he's genuflecting to.