Friday, November 28, 2008

Chris Matthews to run for senate.

I must say this caught me a bit off guard. MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews will be running for senate in 2010.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

Update: February 2, 2009. Apparently Matthews decided not to run. So he will not be running after all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

To President - Elect Obama and Roger Gates

This is a powerful video from an evangelical group. Given that Obama has decided to leave Gates on, I think they would do well - as would we all! - to remember the message here.

Newt Gingrich's sister lays the smack down on him!

The Huffington post recently published Candice Gingrich's letter of protest to her brother Newt:

What she is reacting to is this:

Here is her reaction as the Huffington post presents it:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Inspiration for the Holidays

This young man should remind us of what we all, at our best, can and should be:

Babette's Feast: A Film for Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we want to be reminded of our need to share and commune with one another. In that vein, the Film Babette's Feast is a great reminder of what communing with each other really means:

check out the N. Y. Times Critic's Pick of this film here:

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sarah Palin's Lowest moment

What?! This "Wattlegate" business about Sarah Palin has been all over the news. But I thought I'd post it here as Sarah Palin shows a dramatic lack of awareness in this video interview. In this clip we see Keith Olbermann reacting to it, his responses pretty much sum the whole thing up.

Oh Sarah! You need some better advisors!

The Obama Economic team.

I said that I would respond today to Obama's economic team.

A good analysis of the team can be found at

In short, Obama has chosen to go with seasoned veterans of the economic world. This means more Clitonites. The Largest problem is that Mr. Summers is going to be Obama's top economic advisor. Though he has experience and reputation, Summers forceful advocacy of deregulation is a major cause of the economic problem we are already facing. With Summers on board in so important a role we have good cause to be concerned about Obamanomics. mind you: concerned; not cast into despair, although This pick in particular makes me very wary of the Obama Economic team.

On the other hand, as today's press conference made clear, The obama team, despite Summers' past, is going to push - so they say - for re-regulation. Perhaps Summers has learned form past mistakes? let us hope so!
Regardless, the plan Obama laid out - to enforce and increase regulations, to stimulate the economy with aid, to create jobs in green energy - sounds like a good plan. I can only hope that Obama and his team can make the plan happen as Obama claims it will.

Finally, the pick of Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury seems like a very fine pick : And I like the idea of Bill Richardson in charge of commerce, as he tends to be quite successful at all he does.

For the full blown Obama Economic team information check here:

More on Prop 8.

As the California Supreme Court continues to ponder whether or not to overturn the voters' decision to constitutionally ban same-sex marriages they should meditate very deeply on Keith Olbermann's commentary a couple weeks back:

Well Said Keith! The issue is indeed about the right of homosexuals not only to love but to have that love publicly recognized and supported.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Ghost of FDR

Interesting Article in the N. Y. Times today on the New Deal:

It is good to be reminded that, although the New Deal was an incredible success in Many ways, it was a process of trial and error.

I don't agree with a great many assertions in this article. In fact I think it is often flat wrong. But it's a good example of how to use careful economic reasoning in the present crisis. So I'm not recommending the conclusions here, just noting that there is something to the approach.

There is much that the incoming Obama administration could learn from a careful study of the New Deal as it really was.

The Picture by David G. Klein (above) says it all!

Let us hope that Obama does indeed tap into the spirit of FDR.

He announces his full economic team tomorrow. I shall share my thoughts on that and his admimstration's proposed economic stimulus/job creation package then.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The woes of our economy

A friend of mine sent me the following email about how our stores are suffering during the present economic crisis. The email is exaggerated, but there is a kernel of truth to it.

For the truth and falsity of this email (for it has both) check here:

This is what the email sent to me actually says:

"I wanted to give everyone a heads up that if you tend to give gift cards around the holidays, you need to be careful that the cards will not be honored after the holidays.

Stores that are planning to close after Christmas are still selling the cards through the holidays even though the cards will be worthless January 1. There is no law preventing them from doing this. On the contrary, it is referred to as 'Bankruptcy Planning).

Below is a partial list of stores that you need to be cautious about:

Circuit City (filed Chapter 11)
Ann Taylor 117 stores nationwide closing
Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug ,and Catherine's to close 150 stores nationwide
Eddie Bauer to close stores 27 stores and more after January
Cache will close all stores
Talbots closing down specialty stores
J. Jill closing all stores (owned by Talbots) Pacific Sunwear (also owned by Talbots)
GAP closing 85 stores
Footlocker closing 140 stores more to close after January
Wickes Furniture closing down
Levitz closing down remaining stores
Bombay closing remaining stores
Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January
Whitehall closing all stores
Piercing Pagoda closing all stores
Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January.
Home Depot closing 15 stores 1 in NJ ( New Brunswick )
Macys to close 9 stores after January
Linens and Things closing all stores
Movie Galley Closing all stores
Pep Boys Closing 33 stores
Sprint/Nextel closing 133 stores
JC Penney closing a number of stores after January
Ethan Allen closing down 12 stores.
Wilson Leather closing down all stores

Sharper Image closing down all stores
K B Toys closing 356 stores
Loews to close down some stores
Dillard's to close some stores."

Although this is overblown and exaggerated, again there is a good moral here and that is this: Be careful out there folks! Stores that are closing down do not have your interests at heart in the slightest. I'm afraid we are in for a long and miserable time economically.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Clinton accepts post

So it's official. Hilary is our next Secretary of State.

In many ways she is a very good choice. By incorporating her into his administration Obama is healing the rift that they may have created in the democratic party during their primary battle. Furthermore she has extensive contacts with foreign leaders and strong knowledge of foreign governments and foreign affairs.

What remains to be seen is whether Clinton will follow Obama's agenda or her own. How well will these two work together? She gives every indication of being more hawkish than Obama. And we don't need hawks anymore! Nevertheless, I'm in a state of guarded optimism. There is every chance this will turn out to be a very successful move.

We shall wait and see . . . .

Justice Returns

It looks like the Bush administration's days of neglecting the rule of law are over.

5 Gitmo detainees have been ordered released. Nothing justified the suspension of habeas corpus Mr. Bush! Finally! At least some others in government recognize it.

let's hope this is the beginning of some big changes

The immorality of Proposition 8

California's supreme court is set decide whether or not the passing of Prop. 8 will stand.

Let us hope that they decide it will not. No doubt many will argue that it is a violation of democracy for the court to simply overturn the voters decisions. That may sound high and democratic but it really is not. Democracy does not allow us to vote on human rights issues. Would anyone in this country seriously allow voters to decide if a particular religion was to be outlawed? Or if segregation, slavery, interracial marriage, due process, trial by jury, free speech, free assembly, free press, and other such fundamental human rights should be permitted? Nobody would stand for these matters being put to a vote!

You do not subject basic human rights and fundamental human dignity to a majority opinion! If you allowed such things to happen, imagine the rights the majority would deny the minority in many cases!

Bill Clinton's third term?

I still retain my hope that the Obama presidency will really bring about some real change. But I can't help but wonder if Obama is surrounding himself with too many Clintonites. I mean, granted, we need experience - and Democrat experience must come from the Clinton camp - but so few fresh faces and new directions? I'm not sure yet what to make of it. Not that the Clinton group was so awful, but we need to go beyond the Clinton-world if we are to really change American for the better.

Here is the latest on the Obama "Dream Team:"

On that note, I am greatly encouraged by the pick of Tom Daschle as HHS. It does indeed signal that Obama truly intends pretty far reaching health care reform. Perhaps not all the reform that is needed - in fact, probably not. But certainly some key steps in the right direction.

Daschle's book on Health Care reform by the way, is on my "to read list". I'll post a review up here eventually.

Crossing the Border for health care

Newsweek recently posted an article on Texans leaving the country to afford surgery and prescription drugs in Mexico.

Is it just me or is there not something terribly wrong with the fact that we do not provide a massive number of our citizens with affordable Basic health coverage? Should not affordable health care be considered a basic human right to which all are entitled? And should our nation not treat it accordingly?

47 million uninsured! 16 million under-insured! Drugs and surgeries often still cost too much for those who are fully insured!

Hopefully Our President-Elect and his HHS appointee can get across radical reform promptly! The situation is really intolerable.

On that note, check out the following grassroots movement: