Saturday, June 6, 2009
And completely unrelated news: in a World Cup qualifying match North Korea and Iran tied 0-0. There must be a joke in there somewhere, but I just can't think of one.
(added: never mind. Iran won the rematch 1-0)
Friday, June 5, 2009
One thing (almost) everybody agrees on is that Obama is a powerful speaker who can articulate his message clearly. Speeches don't change the world, but they sometimes shape perception And that was Obama's goal for this speech. On that criteria, the Cairo speech appears to be a success.
The thought that kept bouncing into my mind was "what if it were McCain on that stage?" While I actually doubt that McCain would have even attempted going to Cairo to make such an outreach, he would be compelled to articulate some Middle East position in some forum. And I just cannot imagine that his views would generate a positive resonance.
That's the crux of it. When progressives feel disappointed by Obama's moderation (and we feel it a lot), we must remember that the alternative we faced in McCain was a continuation of Shrub and the Republican international disaster. When Obama speaks on a global platform, it's a positive. Shrub and McCain induced a global cringe.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Remember June 3rd, 2008? The fist bump heard ‘round the world? Now we can celebrate it as another holiday!
This June 3, a group of media and design impresarios are promoting “National
Fist Bump Day” in honor of the anniversary. They want to celebrate a new iconic American expression of authenticity, political transparency and of course, change we can believe in.
"The idea behind National Fist Bump Day is to give Americans a chance to make the world a slightly better place with a simple and fun gesture of respect," says David Weiner, one of the organizers, along with Sarah Greenwalt. “It may not solve the world's problems, but it can at least reaffirm the fact that in the end, we all can get down with each other.”
Sweaterman, I expect you to be out knocking knuckles for the good of America today.
(H/T Booman Tribune)
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Remarkably short-sighted, but Californian's have a long history of bad planning in their quest for immediate gratification. Cutting taxes and hoping that magic elves will take care of everything has been the California system for decades. Here's a simple equation: a study by the University of California-Berkeley found that for every $1 in public money spent on state parks, $2.35 is returned to the state in taxes from tourism and other revenue they generate. So the current proposal will only make the deficit worse in the future.
Nearly every state park in the Bay Area — from the towering redwoods at Big Basin to Angel Island, Mount Tamalpais to Mount Diablo and every state beach from Año Nuevo in San Mateo County to Big Sur — would close as part of budget cuts proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In all, 220 of California's 279 state parks, about 80 percent, would be padlocked starting as soon as Labor Day, under details of a historic closing plan released Thursday night by the state parks department.
On Tuesday, as part of an effort to close the state's $24 billion deficit, Schwarzenegger unveiled a series of proposed cuts. They included a plan to eliminate $70 million in state general fund money to parks in the year that ends in June 2010 and $143 million of that funding by June 2011. The latter number represents 40 percent of the state park system's $387 million operating budget.
Layoffs could hit 1,500 or more of the 2,900 state parks employees