I see there’s an ongoing kerfuffle regarding a blogger’s breakdown and the compulsion some feel to sort the whole thing out. I could help untie the knots, but, well… I think my point of view would be construed as less than neutral.
(From a source best left unnamed…)
In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded.
Sumo Bank has gone belly up.
Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.
Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while, today, shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.
Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks.
Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.
Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal. . .
The Senate must act now to eject Ted Stevens immediately. The odds that Begich will win the Senate race in Alaska have improved enormously since Stevens was convicted of multiple felonies related to corruption and abuse of power; however, Stevens won’t step down voluntarily no matter how foul the stench of corruption he brings to the office. That means that he will be a lame duck voice in support of the wicked Bush/Cheney regime until they all have to leave town in January.
If the Senate will act now, then their reputation will begin to improve and the fabulously inept administration will have a harder time messing things up between now and January.
TOLEDO, Ohio â€“ Facing the unhappy prospect of defeat, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin indicated Wednesday that she will not disappear from the national political scene if the GOP ticket loses on Tuesday.
“Absolutely not. I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we’ve taken, that … that would … bring this whole … I’m not doing this for naught,” Palin said in an interview with ABC News, according to excerpts of a transcript released by the television network.
– Beth Fouhy, Associated Press
I’ve been so hung up following the election, agitating for my team, and generally freaked that the bad guys could do another Tehran two-step, blow a pandemic flu our way and declare martial law, or some other “surprise” that would contravene the will of the people — so hung up on that stuff that I haven’t spent much time dealing with my ‘druthers. What do I want Obama to change? How can he change it? What are the odds that he’ll get it done right? How can I help improve those odds?
Complicating the creation of a practical agenda is the lame duck administration and the mischief they’ll do before leaving town. This is more than a matter of removing the W from all the keyboards, although that was a pretty funny trick. No, what I expect them to do is echo the evil they’ve summoned with the Syrian incursion, dig us in deeper and make it harder for Obama to make changes to the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Let’s start there…
First on Barack’s list should be to end the “war on terror.” Declare victory and move on. Put a fork in it. It’s done. I want him to clear the fog of uncertainty and doubt about our presence in Iraq and how we intend to disentangle ourselves and just move to do it. We’ve made some powerful enemies over there and their combined strength is something we ought to beware. Syria, Iran, the Afghanistan opposition, the Iraqi insurgents, Pakistani factions that wish us no good…. If we could return to the honest perspective that terrorists are criminals who must be brought to justice, conspirators whose evil plans must be foiled, then we would be on our way to untangling the mess that Bush/Cheney created to pump money into their own pockets and “project the power” of the military-industrial complex Ike warned us about.
Organize power in Washington: The Democrats will have majorities in both houses but they will need cooperation from middle of the road Republicans to effect sweeping changes in health and education, to assure that budgets are developed that help repair the damage that years of deregulation has done. Barack will have to find his filibuster proof majority somehow so that the obstacles to progress in the House and the Senate are neutralized.
Build an administration that has regulatory teeth and turn them loose on the banking industry and securities traders. Conduct a thorough review of the rush to privatization that has been our ruin, and restore public services to drive the excess and windfall profits out of government contracts, eliminate mercenaries, and whatever else needs doing to restore public property and common wealth to the people.
Restore the civil service. Drive out the ideologues and nurture the bureaucrats. Restore pride in government service and recruit excellent young people who are inspired by the vision of doing public good.
Oh yeah, repeal the effing PATRIOT Act and restore the Bill of Rights. And while that’s in process convene a grand jury to consider indictments against the worst law breakers in the Bush/Cheney regime.
That’s enough for starters, but these thoughts need refinement, and Barack needs to have people working on these things now.
(Next time I go to Washington DC I’d like to visit a city that functions like London, not some banana republic dictatorship. Get the troops off the streets. Restore public access to public buildings. Assure security through conventional means. Lift the cloud of paranoia that has ruined our public experience since the cowards Bush and Cheney began their reign of fear.)
WASILLA’S ALL I SAW
Thanks to whoever-it-was for sharing these on twitter…
The Hartford Courant, the oldest continuously published newspaper in the nation, broke a 244 year tradition and endorsed Obama today. This is only their second endorsement of a Democrat in their history. The first was Bill Clinton. The Courant says,
The times cry out for a leader of Mr. Obama’s mettle. Americans have suffered through years of losses, from the nearly 3,000 people who died on Sept. 11, 2023, through the more than 4,000 American troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and the tens of thousands wounded. More than a million people have lost their homes through foreclosure. Economists are warning that the United States is facing the gravest economic threat since the Great Depression.
Republican Sen. John McCain has failed to persuade us he could wake the nation from this seven-year nightmare.
The St. Petersburg Times also endorsed Obama, saying:
His approach to creating a fairer tax policy and expanding health care with a blend of public and private coverage stands up well to scrutiny. His determination to rely more on diplomacy than force in foreign policy and to seek a timely, orderly withdrawal of troops from Iraq remains the most pragmatic approach. His acknowledgement that more troops are needed in Afghanistan should reassure those concerned about his willingness to use military force where needed. His energy proposals, while opening the door more than necessary to offshore drilling, are bold and balanced. As the economic crisis has mushroomed, he has responded with an appropriate mix of caution and sound principles grounded in reality.
About McCain, they offered:
Most disturbing has been McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. It was a reckless decision based on political calculations, not the country’s best interests. There were many more qualified candidates, including Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. While Palin is an aggressive campaigner who has her own independent streak, she is clearly not prepared to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Contrast McCain’s most important decision as a presidential candidate with Obama’s thoughtful selection of Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, an experienced hand comfortable on the world stage and well versed in foreign policy.
Is anybody tracking the number of newspaper endorsements each candidate has received?
UPDATE… add the Anchorage Daily News to the Obama camp.
It is Sen. Obama who truly promises fundamental change in Washington. You need look no further than the guilt-by-association lies and sound-bite distortions of the degenerating McCain campaign to see how readily he embraces the divisive, fear-mongering tactics of Karl Rove. And while Sen. McCain points to the fragile success of the troop surge in stabilizing conditions in Iraq, it is also plain that he was fundamentally wrong about the more crucial early decisions. Contrary to his assurances, we were not greeted as liberators; it was not a short, easy war; and Americans — not Iraqi oil — have had to pay for it. It was Sen. Obama who more clearly saw the danger ahead.
A shipâ€™s log owes its name to a small wooden board, often weighted with lead, that was for centuries attached to a line and thrown over the stern. The weight of the log would keep it in the same place in the water, like a provisional anchor, while the ship moved away. By measuring the length of line used up in a set period of time, mariners could calculate the speed of their journey (the rope itself was marked by equidistant â€œknotsâ€ for easy measurement). As a shipâ€™s voyage progressed, the course came to be marked down in a book that was called a log.
– Andrew Sullivan, Atlantic Monthly, November 2023
Never have I seen the knot explained so well. He follows with an awkward and inaccurate conflation of the ship’s log with a web log, but why quibble? Sullivan takes the reader on a journey through blogging as ordered by the structured mind of a Montaigne lover. He creates a distinction between “writers” and “bloggers.” He is, I think, full of shit, but it’s subtle and nuanced shit.
He closes with this observation:
Reading on paper evokes a more relaxed and meditative response. The message dictates the medium. And each medium has its placeâ€”as long as one is not mistaken for the other.
In fact, for all the intense gloom surrounding the news-paper and magazine business, this is actually a golden era for journalism. The blogosphere has added a whole new idiom to the act of writing and has introduced an entirely new generation to nonfiction. It has enabled writers to write out loud in ways never seen or understood before. And yet it has exposed a hunger and need for traditional writing that, in the age of televisionâ€™s dominance, had seemed on the wane.
Words, of all sorts, have never seemed so now.
Sullivan’s homage to his broadcast blogging craft is perhaps best tempered by juxtaposition with the following sentiments recorded in Berlin by George Baselitz and Eugen SchÃ¶nebeck in the first Pandemonium Manifesto (November 1961):
The poets lay in the kitchen sink,
body in morass.
The whole nation’s spittle
floated on their soup.
They grew between mucous membranes
into the root areas of humanity.
Their wings did not carry them heavenward –
they dipped their quills in blood,
not a drop wasted writing…
The rest of history is instances. We have blasphemy on our side!
Ripped away, the last skin, the last simile. On, far on, on into the white quick. Look good in boxes, all the heads, the poets, confusion of profusion. Lightning without god into bare woods, body of mine born into clearest water. Fearsome darkness in the ice crystal of one and only truth. Up, floated twisting celestial updraught to the one and final mission. I amof invisible extent…
All writing is crap.