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My ratings (R) are from 1 to 9. My Dates are also permalinks. Click on the column headers to sort Jots. Feel free to use the address bar like a command line interface by setting the optional query string parameters: Dtm1 (10, 20, 30, YYYYMMDDhhmmss), Dtm2 (YYYYMMDDhhmmss), IsJot (Jot or Not), Tag (zero+ times), NotTag (zero+ times), OrderBy (PostForDate, PostTitle, PostLink, PostText, PostSource, PostRating, PostSize) & Desc(Desc), and Limit(integer).
|20080911 230318 Z||Transcript: Obama Sits Down With Letterman, Discusses Pigs||elections.fo … -letterman-pigs/||Julia||Barack Obama, Politics, Transcripts, TV, USA||Nice. Sometimes what you want is to hear a person have a long, decent conversation. Obama and Clinton can do that. I haven't seem McCain or Palin do that.|
|20090925 184623 Z||Rachel Maddow Show Sep 16 - Frank Schaeffer Explains the Insanity & Racism of the Religious Right||www.youtube. … ch?v=uYn9at5hiE0||Barack Obama, Faith, News, Politics, TV, USA, Videos||According to a poll in New Jersey, 18% believe President Obama is the Anti-Christ and 17% believe he could be. These are probably the same "Birther" folks who doubt he was born in America. It's amazing that these crazy Evangelicals have such a vise-like grip on the Republicans.|
|20091016 171036 Z||Boy Asks Obama, 'Why Do People Hate You?'||www.youtube. … ch?v=Py15owTneag||digg.com/pol … veryone_Hate_You||Barack Obama, Cool, Inspiring, Live Action, News, Politics, USA, Videos||A clean, intelligent, down-to-earth, and respectful answer.|
|20100131 035727 Z||President Obama Full Q&A||www.youtube. … ch?v=oBuG2TdgMn0||digg.com/pol … e_at_GOP_retreat||Barack Obama, Live Action, News, Politics, USA, Videos||Republican congressmen drilling a Democratic President in public. Whee!|
|20100502 213402 Z||Imagine if the Tea Party Were Black||www.jackandj … nt=Google+Reader||Barack Obama, Politics, USA||An article like this can irk people but it certainly is interesting.|
After two years of this Presidential election cycle, and eight years of George W. Bush, and over two hundred years of white Presidents, I am still recovering from Barack Obama's win last night.
I telecommuted yesterday but I was mightily distracted by the election. I voted, made calls on behalf of the Obama campaign to Ohio, took a break to get the kids, then I spent the evening watching CNN and MSNBC. The biggest moments were probably when they projected Pennsylvania and Ohio for Obama. My daughter Connie sat-slept in a chair until Obama won.
"Rosa Parks sat down. Martin Luther King marched. Barack Obama ran. And my grandchildren will fly." This was a statement that the Chicago Red Eye newspaper attributed to an anonymous African American man on the Chicago "El". There are many variants of that phrase flying around, but I think the original phrase was coined by the singer Jay-Z on Tuesday: "Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run.". The pride and joy apparent in African Americans is powerful and moving.
The fact that America elected Obama yesterday is meaningful in so many ways:
Obama has a very big and hard job. Obama has shown that he will not run away from a problem, but instead will see it as an opportunity for greatness. Obama has shown that he can recognize the opportunity, see it, study it, plan for it, gather advisors for it, honestly discuss it, gather a community to do it, that he can do it, that we can do it.
Yes we can. Yes we can! Yes we can!!
Here's the whole joke:
This comment in the reddit thread was painfully true:
Hahaha. Finally I can read the Onion without double checking I'm not reading a White House Press Release.
There are so many articles out there about the hope and change that the Obama era brings. From "Obama promises new era of scientific innovation" [http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/dn15130-obama-promises-new-era-of-scientific-innovation.html?feedId=online-news_rss20], to restoring American respect of rights, to restoring respect of Americans. I have great hope for what the Obama era will bring. I have a soft spot for the return of science and "sending a man to the Moon" sort of effort towards sustainability.
Victors are prone to hubris immediately after a victory, so I want to be cautious about all the good news. This article has in interesting perspective on a potential historical pattern in the US.
As I see it, to date there have been three American republics, each lasting 72 years (give or take a few years). The First Republic of the United States, assembled following the American Revolution, lasted from 1788 to 1860. The Second Republic, assembled following the Civil War and Reconstruction (that is, the Second American Revolution) lasted from 1860 to 1932. And the Third American Republic, assembled during the New Deal and the civil rights eras (the Third American Revolution), lasted from 1932 until 2004.
Policy shifts, more than public opinion polls or election results, suggest that a truly transformative moment may be upon us. The first three American republics display a remarkably similar pattern. Their 72-year life span is divided into two 36-year periods (again, give or take a year -- this is not astrology). During the first 36-year period of a republic, ambitious nation-builders in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton strengthen the powers of the federal government and promote economic modernization. During the second 36-year phase of a republic, there is a Jeffersonian backlash, in favor of small government, small business and an older way of life. During the backlash era, Jeffersonians manage to modify, but never undo, the structure created by the Hamiltonians in the previous era. We see this pattern of Hamiltonian nation-building and Jeffersonian backlash in the First, Second and Third Republics of the United States.
George W. Bush was not only the final president of the Jeffersonian backlash period of Roosevelt's Third Republic, but the last president of the 1932-2004 Third Republic itself. The final president of a republic tends to be a failed, despised figure. The First Republic, which began with George Washington, ended with James Buchanan, a hapless president who refused to act as the South seceded after Lincoln's election. The Second Republic, which began with Abraham Lincoln, ended with the well-meaning but reviled and ineffectual Herbert Hoover. The Third Republic, founded by Franklin Roosevelt, came to a miserable end under the pathetic George W. Bush.
The latter half of the article is even more interesting. In the article, the cycles manifest politically but stresses the technological and economic factors. This meshes well with social evolutionary theory as in Guns, Germs, and Steel. A case of practice/pragmatics coming first, followed by theory/ideology.
If this analysis is right, what causes these cycles of reform and backlash in American politics? I believe they are linked indirectly to stages of technological and economic development. Lincoln's Second American Republic marked a transition from an agrarian economy to one based on the technologies of the first industrial revolution -- coal-fired steam engines and railroads. Roosevelt's Third American Republic was built with the tools of the second industrial revolution -- electricity and internal combustion engines. It remains to be seen what energy sources -- nuclear? Solar? Clean coal? -- and what technologies -- nanotechnology? Photonics? Biotech-- will be the basis of the next American economy. (Note: I'm talking about the material, real-world manufacturing and utility economy, not the illusory "information economy" beloved of globalization enthusiasts in the 1990s, who pretended that deindustrialization by outsourcing was a higher state of industrialism.)
The Republicans are so out of touch.
Chip Saltsman, a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, sent a compact disc to committee members over the holidays. It includes a tune titled "Barack the Magic Negro," which first aired on Rush Limbaugh's radio show in 2007.
The song is a parody of "Puff the Magic Dragon" by conservative satirist Paul Shanklin, who does it in an impersonation of Rev. Al Sharpton. A sampling of the lyrics: "Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C. . . . he makes guilty whites feel good. They'll vote for him, and not for me, 'cause he's not from the hood."
Yesterday I watched the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of these United States of America. I watched it with York, my son, at home on TV. He was home sick, otherwise I probably would have watched it at work online.
I was moved by the historic event, the enthusiasm and mix of the crowds, the song of Aretha Franklin, the story and speech of President Barack Obama. I am proud to have made my small contributions to his election: Supporting him on my website, a small financial donation, phone campaigning for him on Election Day 2008, and wishing and hoping. My feelings after he took his oath were similar to my feelings when he won the election: I was vastly relieved, thankful, and hopeful.
Obama's inaugral address [W] was as spot on. He would have us face these sobering times while keeping up our hope and strength. He managed our expectations of him, ourselves, and our neighbors: Both raising them up and yet staying grounded.
Obama said the "the time has come to set aside childish things" and thus he invokes Corinthians 1:13 [W]. It is not elitism, it is not saying that he has more knowledge or better theories, of small or big government, but of the limitations of our knowledge and foresight, and hence the need for patience and mercy. We should stick with our ideals, but we need pragmatism and empiricism, we need to see what works.
I admire that Obama had the courage to acknowledge atheists during his inaugural address [W].
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
I have small group of friends from college. I'm the only one who leans left, the others are right of center or far right. One of the die-hard Republican friends sent out this email recently about a speech by Rush Limbaugh on 2009-02-28:
Rush gave the keynote address to the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) two weeks back. CPAC holds the biggest annual conservative convention in the country. This year FOX aired the keynote address, and knowing this Rush took the opportunity to explain to the nation what conservatism is. It was basically a Conservatism 101 class and really boiled down conservative thinking in one speech.
I thought of myself as a liberal until I listened to Rush. He was my mentor in political thinking. So if you’d like to get a idea of how conservatives in general and myself in particular view the world, please consider listening to this (the link is weird, after getting to the site, I had to hit refresh to start the video):
I replied with the following:
Sigh. The things I do for my friends. I just watched all 1:28:50 of the Rush "address to the nation". I even rewound it a few to times to make sure I heard it right. Unlike his all pro-Rush audience, I personally did not appreciate his going over his allotted time by an hour.
It seemed that his speech was largely to to explain who conservatives are to a larger audience, but he was also giving conservatives suggestions about what to do especially in response to having lost the 2008 Presidential election.
Whether Democratic or Republican, conservative or liberal, I think most Americans love people, the Constitution, life, liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. I find this funny because as much as he accuses libs/Dems of fostering a victim mentality, he and the cons/Repubs so often play as if they are victims to the media. Is the media saying that libs/Dems have those qualities and that cons/Repubs don't? Is he saying that cons/Repubs love those things and foster those things more than libs/Cons? Silly. But in a sense everyone regardless of party has to promote these thing in order to avoid looking like they're not against those things.
In order to define conservatives, Rush had to draw the distinctions between libs/Dems and cons/Repubs with using less general stuff. In many models there are two axes of freedom/permissiveness: personal/social and economic. The usual definitions roughly follow the attached chart.
On the personal/social axes Rush talked about how cons/Repubs like people, see individuals and not groups, how people should live lives according to their values, about how they should make suggestions and then let people do as they wish, they want everybody to succeed, etc. Rush tries to make it sound as if cons/Repubs are live and let live, and are not racist, sexist, or homophobic, but then does not bring up cans of worms like affirmative action, abortion, or gays. (Otherwise his speech would have been even longer!) These are issues of fairness, morality, and taste, and I find it odd to parse these issues by party. If anything, it seems that Rush is leaning toward moderate on these issues (as would be expected of a capitalist according to the chart).
Rush largely focused on the economic axis, especially with taxes, regulations, and role/size of government. (Regulations and role of govt can also fall in the pers/soc axis.)
I think the tax issue is overplayed. Raising taxes is never popular with the voters, so why would either party want to be pro-tax? If anything, Obama is giving 95% of America a tax cut. We've only had income tax since the Civil War, but I consider the existence of taxes a separate issue. As far as punishing achievement (the rich), these Republican Presidents had these tax rates for the rich: Eisenhower 91%, Nixon 70%, Reagan 50%. Obama is just rolling back Bush's tax cuts from 35% to 39.6%. Perhaps cons/Repubs want bigger tax cuts all around and for the rich but then there's the national debt. Obama is setting a moderate progressive tax, he's no wild-eyed socialist, punishing the rich.
As far as regulations: It was lax regulations that enabled bad securities to get AAA ratings. All the politicians can point the fingers this way and that. We, the people, don't care, we just want regulations in there to prevent this from happening again. Perhaps bubbles will always happen but a robust system with redundant systems can handle failures. These securities were opaque, were pervasive enough to take everything down with them, and should be illegal. I don't consider this to be overly authoritarian, any more than having traffic laws for safety. The true costs of things eventually get revealed. Of course we need to weed out the bad regulations too. Keep things simple as possible, but no simpler.
As far as role/size of government: Bush did the bailouts and TARP --everyone agrees we need a stimulus package. As far as a perpetual War on Poverty, a welfare state, entitlements, redistribution of wealth, and destroying ambition: America isn't socialist. In the US budget: 23% is Medicare/Medicaid, 21% Social Security, 21% Defense, 17% discretionary, 10% mandatory, 8% interest. The government is not a for profit organization. It's supposed to provide some public services. I don't think folks are living high on the hog on food stamps, unemployment benefits, NASA, and college grants, or that we aren't following our dreams. Libs/Dems have nothing against people getting rich or being happy.
Rush seems to stress more on what cons/Repubs would not do, as opposed to what they would do. It's almost Taoist in the sense that those in touch with the Tao appear to do nothing and yet accomplish so much. His advice to his flock of beating libs/Dems by talking about principles instead of trying to make better policy, is akin to being more and doing less. I'm greatly amused by this because that's my general mode of operation. I only step in and tweak things as needed, otherwise I let the people live for themselves.
Rush says that libs/Dems are about fostering fear, defining who can have freedom, being authoritarian. That all sounds like the Bush admin to me. The war and the economy foster enough fear by themselves, thank you. I don't think libs/Dems are out to destroy and remake the country, or destroy people's futures: Who's fostering that fear? Libs/Dems have blood in Iraq and Afghanistan and did not want want the Iraq war to fail, period.
What's with all these petty attacks on Biden? Jokes about Indians at the 7-11? Biden forgot the name/number of a website? Perhaps Rush was trying to lighten things up, but it comes across as petty and emotional manipulation. He keeps saying he sees Americans individuals instead of groups, but he keeps playing us versus them.
I find the joke of Rush thinking so highly of himself, as in being God-like or having crowds cheering him wherever he goes, sort of warps his perspective. I don't think too many people cared what Rush was doing while Obama met with moderate cons/Repubs. It's all Rush self-promoting.
I was hopeful that he'd present a view of conservatism that I had not grasped before, but it was pretty familiar stuff. He is still largely concerned about the political GAME of us v them, as opposed to acting like a public servant --which is OK because he's not a public servant --he's a political entertainer profiting off of a captive audience that he cultivates. His statements about wanting to see Obama fail (and his weak defense) highlight this.
The people and I are watching actions, and examining the reasoning, evidence, heart and laws supporting those actions, and the results of the actions. We don't care what you're party is.
His reply so far has been this:
Thank you, Thank you George! A very reasoned response. You’d might be surprise on how many points we agree (I sure was). I will respond when I have more time. Nice chart BTW, although I’m not sure what the "You" button stands for...
Tao? Hmm... I’ll have to give some thought to that one...
To be continued...
So far so good. It's often more fun to "fight" with your friends than your enemies. Even though we may seem politically opposite according to the two party system, I'm hoping that our differences are actually manageable, because on a grander scale we have the same political interests of looking after our friends, family, and neighbors.
Ha ha ha! I love it when President Barack Obama hits back. He usually does it in an intelligent and respectful manner too.
What I reject is when some folks say we should go back to the past policies when it was those very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place. (Applause.) Another way of putting it is when, you know, I'm busy and Nancy's busy with our mop cleaning up somebody else's mess --- we don't want somebody sitting back saying, you're not holding the mop the right way. (Applause.) Why don't you grab a mop, why don't you help clean up. (Applause.) You're not mopping fast enough. (Laughter.) That's a socialist mop. (Laughter and applause.) Grab a mop -- let's get to work.
Grab a mop!
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