Friday, June 26, 2009

Take a Deep Cleansing Breath

There are several things that we really ought to be discussing. And if you've been following me on Twitter we may have already discussed some of them. One thing about the 140 character limit, discussions are short and sweet. But some things need more than 140 characters.

We really ought to be discussing
the disastrous economic outlook. Thing are not getting better. In fact they are getting much, much worse. The Economic Stimulus Package is not working... at all. Of course we should not be surprised. The Pelosi package was absolutely the single worst piece of legislation ever passed by Congress up to that time. Of course no Congress Person ever read it, so what should we have expected.

How bad is the economy? Just look at what Warren Buffet had to say this week:

The world's second richest man, veteran investor Warren Buffet, has given a blunt assessment of the state of the United States economy - it's still in a shambles.

In an interview with US business television channel CNBC, Buffet said that he doubts whether the economy has made much progress since May, when he declared the economy was at war.

"I get figures on 70-odd businesses, a lot of them daily," Buffet said. "Everything that I see about the economy is that we've had no bounce."

We really ought to discuss the economy, but it is just too damn depressing.

We ought to be discussing The Waxman-Markey Energy Bill or Cap and Trade and Pork as it should be called. Up until today students of modern government had believed it was impossible to pass a worse piece of legislation than the Pelosi Stimulus Bill. It appears they were wrong. Once again the House, under Pelosi's non-existent leadership has passed a disastrous bill without reading it. That's right folks, not one single Member of Congress read this bill before passing it.

I want a job where I can simply not do the work! And when things go bad, I can avoid all blame. But I digress.

We really ought to be discussing the recent Supreme Court Rulings, all of which were excellent. Most important was the landmark ruling that guaranteed a defendant could face and cross-examine his accusers in court, even if that accuser was a laboratory technician or forensic scientist. Please take a few minutes and listen to
this excellent report by National Public Radio and then we'll discuss this further. Maybe.

I can hardly wait to Sonia Sotomayor to join the High Court. She will be an excellent addition.

We ought to be discussing the death of local radio. Fortunately, Jerry Del Colliano has done this for us. Please read his rather frightening and eye popping analysis. And do join us on Twitter to discuss this further.

There are so many things we need to be discussing. But.... let's just take a deep breath, cool down and fight off this summer heat wave and listen to some excellent music by the wonderful Regina Spektor.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In Praise of The Huffington Post

The Wizard is praising The Huffington Post?

O.K., O.K., I know it's impossible, but it's true. I have been a harsh critic of Arianna Huffington and her cadre of Hollywood Glitteratt for years. At times her corral of bloggers smell a lot more like a pigsty, wallowing in a mud hole of hate. A quick review of today's blog posts show that nothing much has changed.

But let's give Arianna and her news staff a great deal of credit and prise for their 24 hour a day reporting of the Iranian Election and subsequent protests. While our cable news networks slept and generally ignored this extremely important story, The Huffington Post was all over it.

Using every resource available to them from bloggers, to Twitter, to international news networks, including
al-Jezeera, Huffington has continuously put together one compelling story after another.

A great deal of praise and credit goes to the legions of people worldwide who contribute daily or hourly to Twitter. The Twitterati have provided much needed information and solidarity and support for the people of Iran. Twitter has been so fascinating it is literally difficult to turn off at night. It is our window tot the world. Literally.

Which brings me right back to The Huffington Post. I've "tweeted" several times in the last 72 hours that
Nico Pitney deserves and should win a Pulitzer Prize. In fact, if he doesn't win, they simply need to throw the prize away, because it will be meaningless. He writing and editing of video, stories and tweets has been nothing short of masterful. Using the methodology often referred to as "live blogging" he has chronicled the unfolding story in the way television should, but hasn't.

I believe we have actually learned the weakness of television. It is a singular medium, video only. Pitney can seamlessly combine video, written word, audio and still images to a maximum effect.

We can only hope and pray for a good and safe outcome for the people of Iran. But I am certain this is the event that changed the nature of news forever.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Speech of the Century

President Barack Hussein Obama has rocked the world to its very core.

Speaking before a very diverse crowd of 3,000 people yesterday at Cairo University, Barack Obama did the unthinkable. He spoke from the heart and spoke the truth, two things most politicians rarely do. That he did it in a hostile part of the world, among people who hate American and all it stands for, made it all the more remarkable.

A transcription of his complete speech is available

President Obama spoke with his usual polished eloquence, mixing his personal history with the history of the region and the history of the Muslim people.

What was most remarkable was that President Obama DEFENDED the United States and its principles and its policies in the only way possible before the worldwide Muslim audience, he told the truth!

In taking this amazing path, Obama gained credibility and honor. When he said the United States stood for Democracy, peace, respect and honor, the Egyptians in the audience and the millions watching worldwide in every Muslim country believed him.

Voice of America has some remarkable feedback, including some personal stories and reactions from the region:
Obama's Speech to Muslims Well-Received in Egypt

The path forward will be difficult and may not, in the end, yield any positive results. But in one single, honest and honorable speech, Barack Hussein Obama has done more to bring peace to the region that his last three predecessors accomplished, combined.