Friday, October 31, 2008

The Economist for...Obama!

Yes! It's Time. While not entirely unexpected, I had been waiting to read the rationale from The Economist, which again debunks this absurd soundbite about Obama being a "socialist" because some plumber in Ohio was concerned about his business when his profits might quadruple at some undisclosed future date.

There is certainly praise for McCain's past leadership and early primary victory, but that went downhill.
...the Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated.
And crucially:
The choice of Sarah Palin epitomised the sloppiness. It is not just that she is an unconvincing stand-in, nor even that she seems to have been chosen partly for her views on divisive social issues, notably abortion. Mr McCain made his most important appointment having met her just twice.
In contrast:
Of course, Mr Obama will make mistakes; but this is a man who listens, learns and manages well.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Power From the People"

Just had a conversation with my wife about the potential for connecting energy producers, so as I troll through my backlog of, I was excited to see this post on the potential to have kinetic energy production in the less developed world. Maybe she'd already read this. Ah, the trials of keeping up with the blogoshpere...a topic for another post.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thank you, Colin Powell!

Photograph by Platon from The New Yorker

Since it was said, I only read or saw the Daily Show take this on, albeit in its own sarcastic way. But they took it on...until Colin Powell, who cut through this humiliating issue and spoke to the absurdity of it all.

A column in the Times summed it up perfectly. "It was a tonic to hear someone push back so clearly on ugly innuendo."

But it hasn't only been the McCain campaign. It was shameful that two young women in headscarves were asked not to stand behind Obama at a speech in Detroit. I don't like that this happened, but can almost empathize with people who asked them to move. It appears to be that bad and it has to stop. All I know is that it will require leadership to address it and so far the only person I have seen to demonstrate that kind of leadership is Monsieur Obama.

"These are the kinds of images going out on Al Jazeera that are killing us around the world," Mr. Powell said. "And we have got to say to the world it doesn't make any difference who you are and what you are. If you're an American you're an American."

Thank you, Colin Powell. The whole slide show is excellent.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"A Conservative for Obama"

Barack Obama is not my ideal candidate for president. (In fact, I made the maximum donation to John McCain during the primaries, when there was still hope he might come to his senses.) But I now see that Obama is almost the ideal candidate for this moment in American history. I disagree with him on many issues. But those don’t matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world. Nobody can read Obama’s books (which, it is worth noting, he wrote himself) or listen to him speak without realizing that this is a thoughtful, pragmatic, and prudent man. It gives me comfort just to think that after eight years of George W. Bush we will have a president who has actually read the Federalist Papers.
Thank you, Wick Allison.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Help us, please!

What times! SNL merges with CBS news and Jon Stewart's life has never been easier.

When John McCain won the Republican primary, I was genuinely proud. His integrity showed that something can defeat cash in an election. But what a difference a few months can make. The bile coming out of the election, especially since the selection of Sarah Palin, has thrown us back into politics being no more than a screaming match at a football game. How dismal.

Is Sarah Palin that important? You betcha! Cynical. Divisive. Condescending. I wouldn't mind so much if she ever made a point that was of policy substance. And seeing her with McCain, hearing his approval of her and watching Fox News applaud her reminds me how far away we are from having serious discussions about economics, the environment, terrorism, much less places like Russia. The ultimate insult was this clip, when asked about Hamas. Oh, yes, the issue of democracy in the Middle East is absolutely a superficial question - sorry, she was impatient! Good thing the question didn't register in her brain due to it being so superficial, also, you know.

But it's between McCain and Obama. When I ask myself why, the answer is that Obama isn't being controlled by this perverse force of Fox/Rove that celebrates ignorance, American exceptionalism and Us(a) versus Them. We are digging a deep grave for ourselves if this wins the day again. What a contrast to listen to the mad rantings of McCain and Palin this week and then hear Michelle Obama today.

Obama isn't going to fix it all overnight and maybe we are too far gone. But he represents such a refreshing breathe of air that the thought of losing it makes me feel like choking already.

The New Yorker lays it out for us. The choice, this time, on every issue is very, very simple.