Sunday, September 13, 2009

I guess it's time..

... to bid this blog an official adieu.
I just haven't had the time to keep up with my older blogs, and this one was the last to go. But it bugs me when people just abandon blogs without a parting post, so here is mine.
I really have enjoyed keeping this blog for the last three years, especially in the early days of my politically-oriented job. In the first year or so, I was pretty prolific.
But there's no sense in dragging things out now that I'm down to a post every other month.
So here's to radical moderation, moderate radicalism, etc.!
To anyone out there who read this blog, especially those who really believe that there's power and sanity in the middle way (much of the time, anyway), please keep (nonviolently, always, and with respect for all humanity) fighting the good fight!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

On a Lighter Note (Congressional Quote of the Year So Far)

from The Huffington Post: "That Crack Cocaine Thing"

Senator Jeff Sessions simultaneously shocked and cracked up the Sotomayor hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday afternoon when he said he was looking forward to doing "that crack cocaine thing" with Senator Patrick Leahy and Wade Henderson, the president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Sessions, in a casual tone, said "Mr. Henderson, It's good to work with you. Senator Leahy and I are talking during these hearings, we're going to do that crack cocaine thing that you and I have talked about before."

After an awkward pause, Henderson laughed to himself and said, "Thank you, Senator, I appreciate that."

While the Senate gallery laughed, and witnesses including NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former FBI director Louis Freeh snickered, Sessions sputtered, "Let me correct the record."

Sessions explained: "I misspoke. We're going to reduce the burden of penalties in some of the crack cocaine cases and make them fair."

Friday, June 19, 2009


... for the young students and other supporters (more of freedom itself -- for the first time in many of their lives -- than specifically) of Moussavi in Iran. This is courage and patriotism if I've ever seen it.
Things are getting dangerous over there and the supreme leader (whose names says it all) isn't giving an inch, yet the movement persists. What happens tomorrow will be pivotal.
For diplomatic reasons, the U.S., particularly at the administration level, is understandably cautious. If the new administration learned anything from the past administration's mistakes in Iraq (or Palestine), it's not to meddle directly in other countries' elections. And all we can do as citizens is assist in providing the protesters an international voice via reporting and technology, and wish them the best, which doesn't seem like enough. It's hard to just watch.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On Dreams... I sort of knew this, actually.

It makes intuitive sense. Dreams help us process the emotional component of memories, and being sleep-deprived makes us paranoid and cranky (for evolutionary survival reasons.)
This would explain why, even after a bad day, "things look better after a good night's sleep."

from Time magazine

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Obama On Why We Need Health Care Reform Now

I think he makes a pretty good case here, and it's the first time I've heard him directly address the reasonable objections that have been made in a concise, straightforward manner. He should say this more often.

from his townhall meeting in Green Bay on Thursday:

PRES. BARACK OBAMA: So I just want to repeat, the single biggest problem we have, in terms of the debt and the deficit, is health care. It's Medicare and Medicaid.


That -- that is -- when you hear all these projections about all these trillions of dollars and red ink going out as far as the eye can see, almost all of that is because of the increase in Medicare and Medicaid costs that are going up much, much faster than inflation.

It's undoubtedly true that this economic crisis has hurt our budget situation. Because, again, a lot less money is coming in from corporate taxes, sales taxes, et cetera. So that reduces the amount of money coming in at the same time as we're having to put a lot more money out for food stamps and for unemployment insurance and all kinds of other help that people need when they get thrown out of their jobs, subsidizing COBRA so they can keep their health care.

That's contributed to some of it. Some of it is that I have proposed some investments in education and in energy and in health information technologies.

But there was just an article in the New York Times yesterday that showed that all that stuff -- everything that I've proposed, my stimulus package, what we've done in terms of bailing out the financial system, all that stuff -- that accounts for maybe 7 percent, 8 percent of what you've seen in terms of increased debt and deficit.

The real problem is Medicaid and Medicare. That's the nightmare scenario. If we can bend the curve, the cost curve down, so that health care inflation is no more than ordinary inflation; it's matching up with the amount of increases that you're seeing on your paychecks in your wages and your incomes, then we're going to be OK. And if we don't get a handle on it, we're not going to be OK.

It doesn't matter, you know, that we eliminate earmarks or do all that other stuff. That won't make any difference. We'll still be consumed by huge debt for the next generation.

That's why it's so important. That's why we're going to get it done. That's why I need your help, Green Bay.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

With Time, A Grim and Haunting Perspective on the Toll of War for Iraqis

While we were debating whether or not to call what was happening between sectarian militias "civil war," Iraqis were living it, and still are.

Inside Iraq: Living With the Enemy