Friday, December 11, 2009
2) Oh, that Bush administration! Their screw-ups will be with us for decades...
3) This is the kind of aggressive thinking we need in America.
4) I guess the bailouts worked for the most part. We seem to be getting repaid pretty promptly.
5) Russian missile?
6) Poor AT&T. It never stood a chance with the iPhone onslaught. Call a whaaaaaambulance.
7) Speaking of bandwidth, are you on a "data diet"?
8) A hedgehog with a personal trainer. Apparently, someone in England has wayyyyyy too much money.
9) Example of your conservative-appeasing media: Seven Foods You Should Never Eat. Cheetos nowhere on the list.
10) Just what we need: a beer mug, with an optional bayonet attachment. You know, for those barfights when a cue stick just doesn't seem sufficient.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
With aplomb and humility, apparently:
OSLO — President Obama, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize here on Thursday, acknowledged the age-old tensions between war and peace but argued that his recent decision to escalate the conflict in Afghanistan was justified to protect the world from terrorism and extremism.
“We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth,” Mr. Obama said. “We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.
[...]“I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage,” Mr. Obama said. “Compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize — Schweitzer and King, Marshall and Mandela — my accomplishments are slight.”
This was your basic "damned if you do, damned if you don't" moment: Obama could not possibly have said anything that would have satisfied his critics.
From the left:
"Obama refused to renounce war for his nation or under his leadership, saying defiantly that 'I face the world as it is' and that he is obliged to protect and defend the United States,"
"They wounded two doves with one stone. No matter how much you like Obama and his foreign policy, it is patently ridiculous that a man who's served less than nine months as President should earn a prize that eluded even Mahatma Gandhi."
Nevermind, shithead, that non-northern hemisphereans were ROUTINELY denied the Peace Prize by your forefathers in feigned enlightenment! No! But a black man wins in America and suddenly you find the cojones to stand up for Gandhi, someone you've probably mocked as wearing a really bad toga.
My take on it is this:
Matt. 10:13: "And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you."
We are human. Barack Obama is human, but he stands for more to the rest of the world as well as to this great nation. His symbolism is profound. His election is a demonstration that, despite the hatred from the bigots and ignorant of the right, the country is healing from the terrible shame of slavery and discrimination. We have far to go, and so we cannot make it to Dr. King's Promised Land in one stride, but we must continue to take the steps, small and large, halting and fluid, until we do get there.
Likewise, the Promised Land of Peace beckons us on. Some would criticize this award as undue, as a down payment on a promise.
So? IF ONLY FOR THE HEALING HIS ELECTION BROUGHT TO THE SHAME OF AMERICAN HISTORY, he has earned the prize. He accepts it on behalf of us all, black and white, who voted for him and against him, for bringing the United States finally into the latter 20th Century. And if there is more to come, if indeed he can make inroads in the Middle East conundrum, or calm the waters in Pakistan and Afghanistan, if he can persuade Iran and North Korea to use atoms for peace, if he only brings China into the fold of fighting global warming, he will have accomplished more for peace than the sum total of every President up to this point.
Of course, there's no rule that says he can't win a second one...
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
President Obama outlined a response to the nation's intensifying job crisis Tuesday that encourages businesses to hire new workers by easing the flow of credit and implementing a series of tax cuts, but leaves important details -- including the cost of the plan -- to be hashed out by Congress.
Obama's job-creation ideas build largely on elements of the $787 billion economic stimulus package passed this year, including tax cuts for small businesses, incentives to hire new workers and a fresh round of infrastructure spending.
The president also recommended that Congress pass a "cash for caulkers" plan that would offer financial incentives for home weatherization. Senior administration officials said the program, based on the popular "cash for clunkers" automobile rebate program, would leverage hiring in construction and manufacturing -- sectors especially hard hit by the recession -- while promoting energy efficiency, resulting in long-term savings for homeowners.
Obama, who has been under pressure to lay out a specific jobs strategy, also called on Congress to extend unemployment insurance, emergency aid to cash-starved states and cities, aid to senior citizens, and health-care help for the jobless -- aid he called essential as his administration grapples with ways to reduce the nation's highest unemployment rate in more than a quarter-century.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
As President Obama heads to Copenhagen next week for global warming talks, there's one simple step Americans back home can take to help out: Stop "going green." Just stop it. No more compact fluorescent light bulbs. No more green wedding planning. No more organic toothpicks for holiday hors d'oeuvres.
December should be national Green-Free Month.
Instead of continuing our faddish and counterproductive emphasis on small, voluntary actions, we should follow the example of Americans during past moral crises and work toward large-scale change. The country's last real moral and social revolution was set in motion by the civil rights movement. And in the 1960s, civil rights activists didn't ask bigoted Southern governors and sheriffs to consider "10 Ways to Go Integrated" at their convenience. [...]
For eight years, George W. Bush promoted voluntary action as the nation's primary response to global warming -- and for eight years, aggregate greenhouse gas emissions remained unchanged. Even today, only 10 percent of our household light bulbs are compact fluorescents. Hybrids account for only 2.5 percent of U.S. auto sales. One can almost imagine the big energy companies secretly applauding each time we distract ourselves from the big picture with a hectoring list of "5 Easy Ways to Green Your Office."
As America joins the rest of the world in finally fighting global warming, we need to bring our battle plan up to scale. If you believe that astronauts have been to the moon and that the world is not flat, then you probably believe the satellite photos showing the Greenland ice sheet in full-on meltdown. Much of Manhattan and the Eastern Shore of Maryland may join the Atlantic Ocean in our lifetimes. Entire Pacific island nations will disappear. Hurricanes will bring untold destruction. Rising sea levels and crippling droughts will decimate crops and cause widespread famine. People will go hungry, and people will die.