Friday, January 8, 2010
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Did you know that computer hackers from a foreign country put two cities in Brazil in complete darkness for hours in 2005 and 2007? Did you know that computer hackers (working for a consulting company in the US) were able to remotely blow up a piece of equipment in a power plant?
This is what the future looks like and it's a bit scary:
Watch CBS News Videos Online
Monday, November 9, 2009
The White House pushed the only Republican to vote for it, Rep. Joseph Cao, very hard. They sweetened the deal. A lot. And I think it's a sign.
Not only did they offer those assurances, they also pushed to have the Stupak amendment included so they could get his vote (something he said in other interviews was the only way he'd even think about voting for the bill).
Cao said the Obama administration invested considerable time in him. He said President Obama spoke with him for "a period of a couple weeks" and that Obama's staff spoke with him "on a number of occasions."
The final pitch came Saturday around noon, when Obama called Cao and apparently offered assurances that he would help economic recovery in his district, which is mostly minority and poor. Obama got 75 percent of the votes in Cao's district in last November's presidential election.
They're going to do exactly the same thing to get the one thing they want in the Senate: Sen. Olympia Snowe's vote. And I'm not sure that's a good sign for the bill.
Cao was fairly easy since his district is overwhelmingly African-American and heavily Democratic. Snowe represents the entire state of Maine which, while supportive of Obama and progressive policies generally, is fairly moderate (see: Gay Marriage vote last Tuesday).
This leads me to believe that the White House is very serious about the whole bi-partisan shtick (to the point of obsession) and will do whatever they can to get her vote. If that means including a trigger, so be it. If that includes scaling back other portions of the bill to fit whatever her "conservative" mode is for that particular day, so be it. If Democrats don't like it, so be it.
This strategy is not about getting a good bill, it's intended to show political compromise and bi-partisanship on the part of the Obama administration. Instead of saying in public they'll do this without Republicans through reconciliation if they have to and then work with Republicans under the radar to get their votes (a strong negotiating position), the White House is doing the opposite. It's letting Republicans set the negotiations and the framing...and in the end, we all lose because of it.
Memo to the White House: let the bi-partisan shtick go; it won't get you any votes if the bill stinks. And once you've ditched that, grow a little backbone, will ya?
Sometimes there are moments in our lives that push us in one direction subconsciously before we even realize what we are doing or why. Those are the moments of BIG CHANGE. Yet, we sometimes don't even recognize we're making decisions that will change our path. There is something deeper, that push, that we don't see until after all is said and done.
And that's what makes "Mad Men" on AMC such a great show. We get to see that push from the outside. And it's a story we believe.
In the season finale, I saw the ground shifting under all of the characters' feet and could feel the momentum through the television. And my heart raced a little bit. For some reason, I thought their BIG CHANGES and their adventure.....was mine. I felt it.
And that's what makes "Mad Men" one of the best slices of drama that's ever aired. And we're better off for it.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I guess the biggest mystery is what drives this mentality? If I were elected as a Senator, I would embrace it completely and consider it the best thing to have happened in my life. I would jump in and learn the ropes and spend my time trying to make a difference. To push for things that I believed in and vote for things that reflect my constituents' needs. But, I wouldn't spend a ton of time trying to be re-elected. My view would be that if people didn't believe I was doing a good job, I'd lose next time. It's not the end of the world and I'd probably have much more lucrative opportunities once I left, but while I was there, I'd consider it a public service to be in the Halls of Congress. And I'd act that way.
But that's not what most of our leaders seem to think (or, if they do, it's not the way they seem to act). The political mentality of today is simply based on hanging on to that power at all costs. Instead of, you know, actually legislating. It's a mentality that I just don't get. I really don't.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
GOP Governor: Congressional Leadership 'Inconsequential' (VIDEO)
"I don't even know the congressional leadership," Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. told the paper's editors and reporters. "I have not met them. I don't listen or read whatever it is they say because it is inconsequential -- completely." Huntsman added that he would not reject any money from President Obama's stimulus. While he criticized what he saw as misdirected spending in bill, he said Republicans had no credibility on fiscal responsibility."Our moral soapbox was completely taken away from us because of our behavior in the last few years," he said. "For us to now criticize analogous behavior is hypocrisy."
Until Wall Street CEOs admit that their blind ambition and ravenous greed resulted in decision after decision, year after year that put their firms, and now our financial system and way of life, at perilous risk, there can be no healing, no redemption, and no recovery. The sooner we squeeze the life out of the pathetic myths that Wall Street continues to perpetrate as if we were all idiots, and the sooner we face the truth of what happened and why, the sooner we will be able to put this dreadful chapter in our history behind us. Let’s get on with it already.It's time for the CEOs and banking executives who got us into this mess (who seem very quick to blame homeowners, but not themselves), to own up to their failures as leaders. And the honest thing to do would be resign for their bad decisions.
But I ain't holding my breath.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Chase Bank CEO Jamie Dimon:
Um, when your company just took $25 Billion of taxpayer money, you should be banned from lecturing the American people on meeting obligations.
"I don't think just because someone's underwater they say I don't have to stay there. But they're supposed to pay the mortgage, and we should teach the American people, you're supposed to meet your obligations, not run from them. Because you have a mortgage doesn't mean you should run away as it goes down."