Archive for January, 2009
“The causes of the impeachment are because I’ve done things to fight for families,” said Blagojevich, who was joined by some beneficiaries of his health programs during a news conference in Chicago.
Blagojevich dismissed the impeachment as inevitable from a House that has resisted his efforts to help real people instead of “special interests and lobbyists.”
“The House’s action today wasn’t a surprise,” said Blagojevich. “From the moment of my re-election, I’ve been engaged in a struggle with the House.”
He ended the news conference by quoting a poem from “Ulysses” by Lord Alfred Tennyson, ending with: “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” — The Associated Press
Honestly, this guy might (I’m just saying might) have some mental problem (or some megalomania problem). The causes of impeachment are that he attempted to sell Obama’s vacant Senate seat for profit and have nothing to do with any fight for families, whatever that means. Through this whole process, this dude has appeared unscathed and emotionally detached from the stiff crimes associated with him.
In short, he’s appeared cocky. Yet, to deal with it all, oddly, he quotes poetry.
This time around, it’s Tennyson. “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” Nice quote, but the problem is that he will yield because he has no choice. He’s done. Ousted. Finished.
” … the moment is ripe for both sides to realize that the path that they are on is one that is not going to result in prosperity and security for their people that instead, it’s time to return to the negotiating table.” — President Barack Obama
I think this is one of the greatest arguments against the philosophy of the terrorist and the Taliban: That their philosophy is defunct and not resulting in furthering education, commerce or bettering society there in the least. They aren’t making their region a better place, just a more helter skelter one, and so, what is the goal?
1. I rarely wear jeans and would probably never where jeans lest they were given to me. If you gave me a pair of jeans as a gift, rest assured I DO wear them. I just wear slacks more often.
2. I can eat multiple packs of Twizzlers in one sitting.
3. I’m a fan of the Denver Broncos and the Clemson Tigers, the former mostly because of John Elway and the latter mostly because I went to school there and live there.
4. Can’t for the life of me beat Lou on Hard in Guitar Hero III. Stupid “Devil Went Down to Georgia!”
5. Listening to less new rock ‘n roll and more synth, spacey, emo, something or another music.
6. Can balance up to 20 or so pennies on my elbow and catch them into the same hand.
7. Can spin a mean yo-yo.
8. Can eat breakfast anytime, day or night … and would, in fact, if it were practical.
9. Can drink coffee anytime, day or night … and would, in fact, if it were practical.
10. Has to avoid bookstores lest I walk out with five books that I won’t have time to read until 2012.
11. Plays guitar and to a lesser extent, piano. Used to play trumpet, but at this point, I think it’s safe to cross that off the list.
12. Likes to travel and experience the feeling of being nowhere in particular.
13. Has a constant nagging that I should devote more time to writing.
14. Feels more alive in the winter than in the summer.
15. Career goals include becoming an editor of some form at a major newspaper, preferably The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and having at least one book published and some short stories.
16. 25 of these? For real?
17. Plays a first-person shooter called Counter Strike: Source under the name Paripatetic. The real word begins with “peri,” actually.
18. Thinks one of the greatest tragedies of modern America is that most work their entire lives at jobs that may or may not like just to make ends meet, when, in the end, they are for the most part, only putting more money in the someone else’s pocket. Teachers, nurses, doctors and scientists are largely excluded. I’m certainly not.
19. Is scared of heights and tries to avoid anything that may cause me death via freefalling. Rollercoasters are a no-go for that reason. The Scooby Doo ride at Carowinds: No sir! I sometimes have a dream of freefalling from a light pole. Bizarre stuff.
20. Somewhat frequently has dreams about relatives who have passed away.
21. Misses his grandfather.
22. Has a large collection of live Counting Crows shows on CD.
23. Wanted to be a computer programmer, hence, creating cool programs like facebook, hence, making more money, but my left brain seems to be entirely non-functional.
24. Has an extensive collection of song lyrics floating around in the attic and sometimes posts them as my status. Before there was free access to computers, I wrote them in some school notebook.
25. Wonders what everyone did before there was facebook … or Google … or computers. I remember those days. OK Computer.
Bonus No. 26! Wants to visit California, London, Ireland and Alaska at some point. (Runners-up: Chicago and Holland)
After dancing until after midnight with wife, Michelle during an inaugural ball, Barack Obama arrived for work at 8:35 a.m. Wednesday and undertook these actions:
- Read a customary good luck note from former President George W. Bush, which was introduced thusly: For #44 to #43;
- Attended a prayer service
- Had aides circulate a note calling for the closing of Gitmo within a year. In the meantime, stop all war crime trials;
- Held a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and military officials on the latest from Afghanistan and Iraq. According to The Associated Press, “Obama asked the Pentagon to do whatever additional planning necessary to ‘execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq;’”
- Made calls to leaders in the Middle East, including Israeli, Palestinian, Jordian and Egyptian leaders;
- Imposed a pay freeze to aides who make $100,000 or more;
- Within hours of being sworn in, his administration, “… froze last-minute Bush administration regulations before they could take effect. Among them was an Interior Department proposal to remove gray wolves from Endangered Species protections in much of the northern Rocky Mountains, and a Labor Department recommendation that would allow companies that manage employee retirement plans to market investment products to plan participants; and
- “Obama and his wife also played host and hostess for a select 200 at an open house.”Enjoy yourself, roam around,” a smiling Obama told one guest.
“Don’t break anything.” — The Associated Press
Watching the inauguration speech today, it seemed evident to me from Barack Obama’s tone and content that, while the speech included much of the inspirational verbiage we heard in Philadelphia’s Speech on Race and Denver’s Democratic nomination address, we were listening to a man who’s position in history — and his high calling amid numerous national and global crises — had been fully realized.
As was mentioned in a local newspaper editorial, the irony of the moment was palpable. Forty-five years to the day that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington, Obama stood in Denver and accepted the nomination to lead the Democratic ticket. A day after the holiday honoring King for his service to the country, we inaugurated Obama as the first black president.
King Jr. famously said: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Today, Obama stood inside both those moments. Surely, it was a happy, triumphant occasion for his family and himself. But it was also a day where the critical position he found himself in, as frigid air beat down on the crowd of a million or more — the largest ever to assemble in Washington — must have come crashing down around him.
Some Republicans have claimed he’s just another politician. And he may very well prove to be nothing more. And even if he is nothing more, we will still be able to say that, for a time, he made many hope and believe a better day was coming — that a betteer day and a more perfect union was within our grasp, just as 40 years prior, King helped us believe the same. Even if Obama turns out to be a dud, at least he gave us that.
But, of course, I sincerely hope (and think he will) turn out to be much more. He’s not a wonder-worker. But these things he brings to the table, which have been missing for awhile: poise, thoughtfulness, careful deliberation (almost to a fault), compassion and erudition.
As the next months and years play out, we should get behind him and remember his Inaugural Day words:
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
Those who blog anonymously, behind some WordPress (or Blogspot or whatever) screen name that shields you from the blowback of your own views, you are bored, pathetic liars, at least according to Sarah Palin, in these comments.
“Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie annoy me….I’ll tell you, yesterday the Anchorage Daily News, they called again to ask — double-, triple-, quadruple-check — who is Trig’s real mom,” she said, in an interview to be published in the magazine’s (Esquire’s) March issue.
The Anchorage Daily News’ editor supplied his response here, attempting to validate rumors (the real story was, in fact, to the advantage of the Palin family!) that the “nonsense” heard surrounding the kid’s true birth mother, was just that.
Over the last year or so, Palin has had an odd relationship with the media. Recently, she has been conducting a voluminous amount of interviews after her ticket lost the election — perhaps as early preparation for Campaign 2012. But prior to Election Day, she was scarcely allowed to be interviewed, and the few sit-downs she did were disastrous. Also, for all her wailing against the media, she seems to now be using it in some way toward her own ends. Interesting. The fact is that if she is to advance her political career, perhaps to a White House run in a little less than four years, she will need the media — and she knows this. If that’s the goal, it would probably also behoove her to read more, particularly the media outlets she bashes, and to learn more, so that when asked which newspaper she regularly reads for information, she can not only be more qualified and well-informed to make a case for herself on a presidential ticket, but be able to give intelligent answers to convince the rest of us — if that’s even possible.
I was listening to the Arnie Spanier show some tonight, and as he must have 75 percent of the three-hour show talking about it, he was seemingly fixated on the 10-year anniversary marking Michael Jordan’s retirement from basketball. He enumerated some sports figures, with Jordan topping the list, who had transcended their sports and who have become worldwide figures. From what I could gather, his list ran thusly:
- Michael Jordan
- Muhammad Ali
- Jack Nicholson
- (Honorable mentions: Jim Brown and Tiger Woods)
He also mentioned Wayne Gretsky, O.J. Simpson and a few others as possible candidates (some at the suggestion of call-ins).
I think Jordan is unquestionably the leader, but when talking about names who would be recognized all over the world and who transcend their sports, I think guys Hulk Hogan, O.J. Simpson, Pete Rose, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Dale Earnhardt and Hank Aaron should probably be in the discussion as well, though no name one could mention would approach Jordan’s influence, perhaps with the exception of Robinson. Of course, when placing Jordan in this position, one must limit oneself to modern times, say, the past 50 years or so. Going back any further, of course, we can name those pioneers in the negro leagues, Pele and others.
In the modern era, I can think of none other than the aforementioned. If anyone has ideas for more candidates who would fall into this category, feel free to comment and let us know …
Stupidity No. 1: We at the newspaper I work for attempted to write an editorial about this foolishness, that is, the porn industry’s plea for a $5 billion bailout, but found it far more of a challenge to write the piece without including 10 puns rather than flesh out the 500 words required for the piece.
(Larry) Flynt’s and (Joe) Francis’ announcement coincides with the start today of the four-day Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. They hope to find support for the bailout bid from other industry leaders.
“People are too depressed to be sexually active,” Flynt said in a news release. “This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such, but they cannot do without sex.”
Too depressed to be sexually active? Heck, that’s one of the few joys folks have left: the mortgage payment is beyond reach, credit cards have thousands of dollars in balances and the recently bought Christmas presents are being more a burden than a joy on the giver. Flynt is right: Perhaps aside from the joy of enjoying the outdoors and natural wonders or the joy of raising children, sex is at least in the top 3 joys of being human. I don’t think folks are going to neglect it; I don’t think folks can.
But that’s a moot point. Of course it’s a publicity stunt. For financial security, one can seek one of a few professions: nursing, teaching, law, modeling, the gambling industry and porn. (Notice, I listed them descending further down the moral rabbit hole.) But I digress. …
Stupidity No. 2: Palin (urgh). She’s not going away. You know, it’s amazing to me that whenever I post something on this blog and mention her name, my hits go up exponentially. But if I attempt to talk about something vastly more important, and meh, the hits are minimal. I suppose that begs the question: Am I only mentioning her now so I can get hits? While I admit there is a level of euphoria involved in seeing that magical WordPress stat graph go up and up after a Palin post, I mention her occasionally as I do simply for that reason: She’s not going away and there is a good chance she will vie for the presidency in 2012. Why shouldn’t she? She’s clearly still got the media and certain segments of Republicans captivated by … something … I’m not sure what. Her knowledge of moose and grizzly bears? Her “You betcha’s” and “Darn tootins?” Pleasant she is, but competent enough to lead the free world, she is not, and unless she suddenly becomes a tower of erudition and foreign policy, my view won’t change.
For many, I’m sure the thought of a genuine “soccer mom” sounds like a dream come true, but soccer moms aren’t qualified to negotiate with folks like Putin and Kim Jong Ill. The thought of Palin and the latter sitting across from each other in serious negotiation can’t even be rendered by my feeble mind.
In this most recent story, Palin thinks the coverage on Carolina Kennedy has been soft and the result of some “class issue.” In favor of Kennedy because of her family? Because the Kennedys are richer than the Palin? We aren’t talking about the difference between Tiny Tim and Donald Trump. We are talking about levels of richness. The Palins and Kennedys have it. Most of us do not. The complaining over favorable press coverage can stop there. The fact is that Katie Couric (though a bit brashly) asked tough questions, most that even average citizens could answer, and got insufficient answers (from a vice presidential candidate!).
Columnist Kathleen Parker said it best:
Summing up, let me just say that I reject, repudiate, renounce, denounce, dismiss and utterly regret 2008.
Better late than never, I suppose. Having taken a few days break away from the blogosphere over the holidays, I have continued this weekend, hoping my muse will return happy and foretelling more blessings in 2009 than we got in 2008.
With, perhaps, the exception of Barack Obama’s election, ending the eight-year long spiral down toward hitting rock bottom with the international community on our imperialistic foreign policy, it has by all accounts been the most dismal year news-wise in recent memory. Time’s top 10, with the exception of the top two, wasn’t even close in my book. Instead, here’s what I consider to be the top stories of the last year, in order:
- Economic turmoil — From Lehman Brothers, AIG, Morgan Stanley, to the auto industry’s near collapse to the stock market’s latest trend downward, this story was so huge it could have been broken into three separate stories within the list. From the standpoint of the banks, it’s frustrating that they received all that cash and refused to tell the public how the money was being used. I write about that here. What’s more, we have no guarantee the auto industry will handle the situation any better or will institute the barebones, leadership changes needed to right the industry and make it more sustainable for the long haul. As for stocks, the numbers speak for themselves. A quick glance at the 1-year graph at the bottom of this page will show the Dow Jones has slipped from a 52-week high of 13,136.69 to a low of 7,449.38. When folks start mentioning the Great Depression in the same sentence as 2008, you know it’s time to say, “Good Riddance.”
- Obama’s election — The Sacramento Bee led its post-Election Day paper with the headline: “Change has come to America,” on the heels of the election of the first black (more accurately, mixed) president in our history. But the president-elect scarce had time to revel in the victory before he had to get busy appointing members to his cabinet and preparing his administration to be able to hit the ground running come Jan. 20. And we barely had time to consider what his election means to the social conscious of the country before residents were again labored with the bad news of the auto industries failure, Gaza and other troubling news. Of course, the election could help improve our shredded PR around the world and help to further make this union a more perfect one. Obama’s Speech on Race in Philadelphia, though in context, was a refutation of Jeremiah Wright’s more bombastic comments against America, should and no doubt will be studied in school’s as one of the greatest speeches delivered in this century or any other. And for a brief little while, the president-elect helped us think about a kind of hope that had all but been snuffed out since the Civil Rights movement. His ability to inspire and communicate good ideas, coupled with folks’ general disdain for the current administration and its policies were enough to win the election. Now, it’s time to see what he’s truly made of in the face of a recession, two wars and the conflict in Gaza.
- Disaster in Myanmar — About 150,000 dead and 95 percent of all buildings in the affected area were destroyed.
- China earthquake — More than 85,000 dead in the massive earthquake hitting southwest China’s Sichuan province.
- Russian forces in Georgia — In a modern version of what could be a rebirth of Russia’s more imperialistic and communist tendencies, after Georgia launched a smaller attack of South Ossetia, Russia then pushed into Georgian territory before an agreement was eventually reached.
- An aging Castro releases power to his brother, Raul.
- Oil prices go up an up and up after a hurricane strikes Gulf Coast, then through the late fall and early winter, they take a dip.
- Mumbia shootings
- Pirates hijack cargo ships off the coast of Africa
- The Rod Blagojevich scandal (obviously still unresolved)