West Bank Realities

10 03 2009

A good visual description of the current geographical limitations of the two-state plan.

Inauguration Day

20 01 2009

I got up this morning and took Jack out of his crib because he was squirming around and I wanted to let his mother sleep some more.  Then for the next two hours we watched CNN and the inauguration day events.

The only other inauguration I remember was Reagan’s in 1985.  I was 2 and half years old.  The only reason I remember that one  is because during the pledge of allegiance I was standing and my mom said that if I was going to stand I had to put my hand over my heart, but I didn’t want to.

Suffice to say that I will remember this inauguration for other reasons.  The festivities surrounding the oath and address were appropriate.  Aretha, Yo Yo, Perlman, et. al. were wonderful as usual, Warren and Lowery gave wordy, non-prayer prayers as usual, and the interactions between former presidents, vice-presidents, and honored guests were all fascinating as usual.  However two things were unusual.  First, Chief Justice Roberts screwed up the oath saying “execute the office of the PUS faithfully” instead of saying “faithfully execute the office of the PUS.”  This moment was fairly humorous as Obama smiled slightly and started to correct the Chief Justice, before Roberts realized his mistake.  Has a Chief Justice ever screwed up the Presidential Oath before?

Secondly was Obama’s address, which was fairly brilliant.  Touching on the civil rights movement, the Revolutionary War, and our current economic struggles the speech jumped between historical moments and current events deftly.  As is typical of Obama’s best speeches, this one wasn’t just about ephemeral ideals but also about what we as American citizens must do in the weeks ahead and what Obama as President will do differently.  He concluded by quoting George Washington and drawing a comparison to the birth of our nation

At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:”Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America.  In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words.  With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come.  Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Watching this speech with my 2 and a half week old son was an emotional experience and one I will not forget.  So, 24 years after my first inauguration I have watched a second one, I was a child for the first and now I have a child of my own, there is a sense of new beginnings and dare I say it . . . change.

Curtain Around Gaza

5 12 2008

Living conditions in Gaza are getting worse and worse, hunger and disease are widespread.  Tim McGirk has a good post on this on Time’s Middle East Blog.  Israel is now even keeping international reporters out, in the name of “security”.   Having lived in Jerusalem for two years and being able to put human faces on the conflict going on between Israel and Hamas, really makes me feel for all those suffering in Gaza.  These problems are largely the fault of the Israeli government, but Hamas and Islamic Jihad must be held accountable.  Unfortunately the current tactics being used by Israel make this nearly impossible.

Two Years Later

9 11 2008

This will probably be my last post on the election and probably my last on politics for awhile, but I thought the difference between these two maps is fairly astonishing and speaks to the work that Obama and his team has done.

The first map is from a Survey USA poll taken in 2006 where they put together all different combinations of possible presidential candidates to see who would come out ahead.


And then this next map shows the current results of the election.


Election Day

4 11 2008

Even though I sent in my absentee ballot a couple weeks ago, I still went to the polling station with my wife.  Buchanan is a small town, with a population of around 4,000.  Angela and I arrived at the poll a little after 7:30 and we didn’t get out of there until close to 8:30.  When we arrived there was a line of 30-35 people and when we left the line was around 45 people long.  I heard one older woman comment on how this was the most people she’d ever seen vote in Buchanan, and that there were never lines.  I’m proud of the little town I live in.  So just one more reminder to please go out and vote.

Saturday Night Live: Countdown with Keith Olbermann

3 11 2008

This clip reminds me of the comedic genius that is Ben Affleck. That’s right, I said it, pure brilliance.

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The Changing Narrative of John McCain

23 10 2008

A fascinating article in the New York Times Magazine on the making and remaking of John McCain throughout the course of his presidential run.  An absolute must read, a real behind the scenes look at the process of creating an image for a campaign.  We will just have to wait and see what the end result will be.