Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
There's been a lot of talk about how the mainstream media failed the country during this last election cycle, and that because of that failure their days are numbered.
I have to disagree. I think the media performed flawlessly during the two year election cycle. They managed the story, shielded their candidate, attacked the opposition, sat on damaging stories, and in short did everything a good state run media should do during an election cycle.
US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.
Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the (ISI).
Friday, November 21, 2008
U.S. economic and political clout will decline over the next two decades and the world will be more dangerous, with food and water scarce and advanced weapons plentiful, U.S. spy agencies projected on Thursday.
The BBC view.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The analysis indicates that the author of Chairman Ku's Little Blue Book is of the type: ISTJ - The Duty Fulfillers.
The responsible and hardworking type. They are especially attuned to the details of life and are careful about getting the facts right. Conservative by nature, they are often reluctant to take any risks whatsoever.
The Duty Fulfillers are happy to be left alone and to be able to work at their own pace. They know what they have to do and how to do it.
Analysis: This shows what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.
Thinking: logical, mathematical
Sensing: order, habit, details
The demographics are changing, and it's probably true that the proportion of voters who identify as conservative evangelicals -- white conservative evangelicals -- will decline over time. It's also probably true that white conservative evangelical identifiers will become less focused on the cultural issues that defined our politics in the 1990s and more focused on the challenges of globalization, the environment and technology. That's the generational ticking time bomb for single issue pro-life voters. But the realities of politics today are such that the GOP cannot win national elections without the enthusiastic support of white evangelical Christians. They can try; it won't happen. That depresses moderates in the party, it depresses atheists and agnostics in the party, but it's the reality. The results of 2004 showed that, given certain conditions and issue sets, winning coalitions can be formed. Maybe the Bush-Iraq-Terrorism-Economy-Katrina event chain has changed all of that forever; maybe not.
To throw this out there: it will be easier for a conservative Catholic nominee, like, say, Bobby Jindal, to expand the Republican coalition rather than a white evangelical protestant like Mike Huckabee.
“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Stafford said, comparing America’s future with Obama as president to Jesus’ agony in the garden. “On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake.”
Zawahri calls Obama "House Negro."
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
These things shouldn't be decided by voters.--Gay rights leader Geoffrey Kores, on why his group wantscourts to overturn the California vote banning gay marriage (San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday, November 12, 2008).
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
"Whoever thinks that the Democrats are less hostile to [the Arabs] than the Republicans should know that the number of Iraqis killed during the siege [of Iraq] by the Democrat Bill Clinton is twice as high as the number of [Iraqis] killed by the Republican [George] Bush.
"The Democrats kill you slowly without you noticing it - and therein lies the danger. They are like a snake whose touch is not felt until its poison enters your body.
Congress is crafting a second economic-stimulus bill, and the nation’s colleges, hit by the deepening fiscal crisis, want a share of the money.
Over the last few weeks, colleges and their lobbyists have bombarded members of Congress with letters and phone calls seeking money for research, student aid, and infrastructure. Their appeals emphasize the role colleges play in the nation’s fiscal health, not only as educators but also as employers and innovators.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Later it states: Most of the hoopla about him has been about what he is, rather than what he would do. His identity is not as irrelevant as it sounds. Merely by becoming president, he would dispel many of the myths built up about America: it would be far harder for the spreaders of hate in the Islamic world to denounce the Great Satan if it were led by a black man whose middle name is Hussein; and far harder for autocrats around the world to claim that American democracy is a sham. America’s allies would rally to him: the global electoral college on our website shows a landslide in his favour. At home he would salve, if not close, the ugly racial wound left by America’s history and lessen the tendency of American blacks to blame all their problems on racism. It seems the writer has doubts about what Obama "would do."
And it continues: There is no getting around the fact that Mr Obama’s résumé is thin for the world’s biggest job.
But in the end the magazine feels all of the negatives pale in comparison to McCain/Palin. So America has thrown the dice and will be gambling on Obama.
Obama won, and he won big enough that nobody can claim that the--undeniable--irregularities in this election were enough to make a difference. His win was beyond the margin of fraud.
But that doesn't mean that there wasn't fraud and there weren't irregularities. In fact, there were a lot. And while, as in 2004, we have been fortunate enough to have an election that was beyond the margin of fraud, it was nonetheless the case that the election system once again demonstrated that it's not up to the demands of the 21st century.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.
According to recent Gallup polls, the president's average approval rating is below 30% -- down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.
This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, "Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties.
Monday, November 03, 2008
But here's the rub. Now enter the government and the prospects of a kinder and gentler economy. To alleviate the obvious hardships to both homeowners and banks, the government commits to buy mortgages and inject capital into banks, which on the face of it seems like a very nice thing to do. But unfortunately in this world there is no tooth fairy. And the government doesn't create anything; it just redistributes. Whenever the government bails someone out of trouble, they always put someone into trouble, plus of course a toll for the troll. Every $100 billion in bailout requires at least $130 billion in taxes, where the $30 billion extra is the cost of getting government involved.
If you don't believe me, just watch how Congress and Barney Frank run the banks. If you thought they did a bad job running the post office, Amtrak, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the military, just wait till you see what they'll do with Wall Street.
Since I don't have a lot of confidence in Congress based on its passed economic decision-making, I just don't see how Frank, Dodds, Pelosi, and Reid will make good decisions in the future. And congress and Bernanke are talking about another $300 billion stimulus package.