Words fail me. But the electorate didn’t.
It’s it for now. Thanks,
Words fail me. But the electorate didn’t.
It’s it for now. Thanks,
We’ve written before about our hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune.
Taken most seriously in its home town.
But proud of its Republican tradition. Its first editor of any distinction, Joseph Medill, was influential in winning the presidency for Abraham Lincoln.
That Republican heritage caused it to be newspaper non grata in my grandparents’ and my parents’ households, and indeed, our household for many years, until its more favored tabloid competitor, the once scrappy and progressive Sun-Times, was eviscerated by Rupert Murdoch, the first of a series of newspaper bandits that have effectively destroyed it. The latest in that series, Conrad Black, is in federal prison, convicted of fraud in connection with his newspaper properties.
But we digress.
The Tribune is <so> Republican that once, the year yr (justifiably) humble svt was born, they allowed wishful thinking to trump reality, resulting in the headline illustrated at the top of this post, a photograph that Wikipedia rightfully describes as one of the most famous ever published.
That was then.
Times, even for the 161 year old Chicago Tribune, have changed.
FROM THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD
Tribune endorsement: Barack Obama for president
2:33 PM CDT, October 17, 2008
However this election turns out, it will dramatically advance America’s slow progress toward equality and inclusion. It took Abraham Lincoln’s extraordinary courage in the Civil War to get us here. It took an epic battle to secure women the right to vote. It took the perseverance of the civil rights movement. Now we have an election in which we will choose the first African-American president . . . or the first female vice president.
In recent weeks it has been easy to lose sight of this history in the making. Americans are focused on the greatest threat to the world economic system in 80 years. They feel a personal vulnerability the likes of which they haven’t experienced since Sept. 11, 2001. It’s a different kind of vulnerability. Unlike Sept. 11, the economic threat hasn’t forged a common bond in this nation. It has fed anger, fear and mistrust.
On Nov. 4 we’re going to elect a president to lead us through a perilous time and restore in us a common sense of national purpose.
The strongest candidate to do that is Sen. Barack Obama. The Tribune is proud to endorse him today for president of the United States.
Do you get it yet?
In over 160 years, forty (40!) elections, the Tribune has NEVER endorsed a Democrat for president in a general election.
The last debate.
Three weeks to go.
Got me to reminisce about my early exposure to politics.
The first presidential debate I ever watched was the first modern presidential debate: Nixon v. Kennedy, 1960.
I was a kid, growing up in a very political household. My dad had been a precinct captain, and was soon to become Democratic township committeeman of our (before he took over) rock-ribbed Republican suburb.
My mother was the brains of the outfit, who had helped my dad go door to door to elect a Democratic congressman whose name was always gold in their house, even 40 years later, Barratt O’Hara.
The first television we had was purchased not to watch Uncle Miltie and the antics of Lucy and Desi, but rather was acquired to watch the conventions of 1952.
In late 1959, my parents began an impossibly quixotic quest: from our family room they created a national campaign to nominate Chester Bowles of Connecticut for president. Where this cockamamie idea came from I have no idea to this day. A very distinguished progressive politician. Before that, a phenomenally successful advertising executive. Once and future ambassador to India and Under Secretary of State.
Way too qualified for the presidency.
Yr (justifiably) humble svt spent many a weekend that year and through mid-1960 stuffing, addressing and stamping envelopes.
It was a simpler time. Stuffing envelopes in support of a national presidential campaign by hand, indeed.
Sometimes good things happen to good people.
Paul Krugman of Princeton University and the NYTimes, frequently quoted in this space, was awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics today.
This is worthy recognition to an outstanding thinker, who not only thinks the deep thoughts of his “dismal science,” but articulately delivers complex concepts with clarity.
Well done, Nobel committee, and Paul Krugman!
Last post, I spoke in glowing terms of one of my favorite progressive blogs, First Door on the Left.
Len did it again today (recognizing Paul Krugman, by the way) by posting the complete transcript of Barack Obama’s fleshed out economic rescue plan delivered in Ohio today.
A Rescue Plan for the Middle Class
Posted by Len on Monday at 1:19 pm in Democrats, Election 2008, Politics
I know these are difficult times. I know folks are worried. But I also know this – we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. Because we are the United States of America. We are the country that has faced down war and depression; great challenges and great threats. And at each and every moment, we have risen to meet these challenges – not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as Americans.
We still have the most talented, most productive workers of any country on Earth. We’re still home to innovation and technology, colleges and universities that are the envy of the world. Some of the biggest ideas in history have come from our small businesses and our research facilities. It won’t be easy, but there’s no reason we can’t make this century another American century.
But it will take a new direction. It will take new leadership in Washington. It will take a real change in the policies and politics of the last eight years. And that’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.
My opponent has made his choice. Last week, Senator McCain’s campaign announced that they were going to “turn the page” on the discussion about our economy so they can spend the final weeks of this election attacking me instead. His campaign actually said, and I quote, “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” Well Senator McCain may be worried about losing an election, but I’m worried about Americans who are losing their jobs, and their homes, and their life savings. They can’t afford four more years of the economic theory that says we should give more and more to millionaires and billionaires and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. We’ve seen where that’s led us and we’re not going back. It’s time to turn the page.
Away (from blogging — the writing, not the reading) and the economy, and especially the stock markets, continues in free fall.
Everyone is on edge, if not downright frantic, because if you’re too young to be that concerned about your retirement account and pension, you very well might be looking over your shoulder for economy-related pink slips.
The presidential campaign continues its free fall, from idealism and straight talk to Republican distortions and lies, and increasingly strident (and quite rapid, altogether a nice improvement over the “gentlemanly” Kerry debacle) Democratic responses.
And chanting relentlessly about Bill Ayers to mad-dog mobs (did Sarah Palin bring out every last one of this country’s rednecks?) while 401Ks keep decaying and mortgages keep resetting is making ordinary, moderate people downright angry.
Fiddling while Rome burns, indeed.
My approach to the meltdown? I just don’t look at my funds.
If you’re not spending it tomorrow, why make yourself crazy? If you live long enough, you’ll see the markets come back. And I’m not retiring until my 90th birthday.
Of course those now living off of their pensions and especially their IRAs and 401Ks have a right to be furious with the criminal class of plutocrats running (yeah, and ruining) this country’s biggest financial institutions. And the Republican politicians who made the world safe for their crimes.
I can imagine some really juicy show trials come January.
Meanwhile, I’m reading lots of good stuff, enough so that this past week I find myself rather tongue-tied as a result.
So, rather than fight to get the words out, here’s a laundry list of worthwhile reading.
Trying not to feel too guilty about this month’s continuing violations of the blogger’s prime directive: Thou Shalt Blog Daily!
Guilty, your honor, with an excuse.
It’s not like there haven’t been extraordinary events to write about, in the big world out there, and in the not quite silent interior world each of us populate, eternally alone.
Faithful reader will have noted the personal elements that seem to have cost us our creative rhythm.
Complicated, lately, by the recent edition of MUDGElet No. 3’s 50-inch HD plasma television (if the empty nest had to be invaded, at least there’s an extra dividend!), just in time for the football season and the exciting (for Chicagoans, surprisingly exciting) baseball late and post-season.
Football, especially, on the elderly 13-inch conventional TV that sits on a file cabinet in our home office, pales in comparison. And the only laptop in my possession (two, actually, in my custody) belongs to my employer, and it wouldn’t occur to me to blog on those machines. Inappropriate.
So, it’s a tough call, choosing between blogging and high-definition spectator sport, especially in these personally emotionally draining times, and especially on this Sunday evening when the often frustrating home team Bears are giving the Eagles a fight.
Just don’t know where to start.
The news is bleak, nearly everywhere one cares to look.
Somehow, John McCain is still taken seriously, even as he escalates the stunts.
First, adopt wholeheartedly with relish the Karl Rove/Swift Boat outrageous Big Lie protocol that obliterated the last nice guy to try to win the White House.
Next, kowtow to the restive Christian wingnuts by selecting for his running mate wingnut magna, herself, Sarah Palin.
Now, clothe his attempt at abject ducking of the first debate in the name of somehow intervening in Congress’s Wall Street bailout negotiations. Senator “Fundamentally Sound” McCain. Whose economic advisor, the next Secretary of the Treasury should this country wake up to a nightmare on Nov. 5 is Phil “Stop Whining” Gramm. Yeah, I’m certain you can guys can be of assistance.
If it wasn’t so serious, it would be laughable.
George F. Will is one of the best known conservative commentators writing for a major daily newspaper. And, he makes no bones about his appreciation for the Chicago Cubs, who in the past few days have reached the next milestones in what should, by all rights, be their Brigadoon Year (go ahead, click the link — it’s one of my favorites, and you read it here first!).
Mr. Conservative Pundit George F. Will had some very cogent observations regarding the character of one John S. McCain, Republican presidential candidate. Unexpectedly, at least to this progressive observer, and to others who have picked up on this today, Mr. Will is not happy with Sen. McCain.
McCain Loses His Head
By George F. Will | Tuesday, September 23, 2008; Page A21
Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.
Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked the Wall Street Journal to editorialize that “McCain untethered” — disconnected from knowledge and principle — had made a “false and deeply unfair” attack on Cox that was “unpresidential” and demonstrated that McCain “doesn’t understand what’s happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does.”
Senator, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission regulates the stock-related activities of publicly traded corporations.
Once again, it’s nearly 9:00pm as I begin to figure out what to say tonight, pretty late for a guy whose alarm goes off at 5:10am, and who lived a full day’s worth already.
The pace and obligations at work are picking up, heading for a crunch. Admittedly, I’ve been coasting a bit, working best, I’ve found after 42 years and counting in the workforce, with do or die deadlines. Well, it’s that time.
Meanwhile, the home front is typically turbulent. Our L.A. daughter is finally (after more than two weeks) home from a hospitalization caused by her continuing battle with Crohn’s disease, a devastating intestinal condition that I have underlying guilt about since it seems to be inherited from my side of the family.
Our youngest, who himself was hospitalized the same day and released two days later, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, for which, thankfully, there is effective pharmaceutical treatment; unlike, we’ve all been dismayed to learn, my daughter’s Crohn’s; very serious surgery is going to have to be her relief. And, guess what? MUDGElet No. 3’s bipolar disorder? Also from yr (justifiably) humble svt‘s side of the family tree. Oy, the guilt!
He is living here with us (unable as yet to support himself while he recovers from his breakdown), which is a disconcerting alteration in Mrs. MUDGE‘s and my reasonably comfortable empty nest routine, as well as a financial, and emotional burden.
And, speaking of routine, our middle son, and his wife, and our granddog, greet us every day around 6:00am, as their nearby condominium’s one and only bathroom is being rehabbed, and showers before work, for the humans — I do draw the line! — are necessary.
And my dear mother continues to battle her dread disease, acute myeloid leukemia; still living on her own at age 81, but lately causing her family increased anxiety after taking a fall last weekend. That black eye at the top of this post doesn’t do justice to hers.
So that’s why Faithful Reader has seen more than a few of our recycled posts over the past several weeks.
Not for lack of material, however, as the election circus goes into its final stage.
As some observers have noted after the two conventions, there were lots of distractions, lots of words, but not much in the way of substance.
Especially regarding this nation’s number one concern.
Iraq, you ask?
That’s so 2007.
No, it’s the economy — rather, the very dangerous state of the economy.
Our Republican friends, plutocrats, or plutocrat wannabe’s, don’t believe we have a problem. McCain is and has always been insulated from the real world by, first, years as a Naval officer, where the pay might not be royal but subsidized expenses are low; then years as a prisoner of war, where the cost of living takes on an entirely ugly but non-financial meaning; then many more years as a Senator, married to wealth, a combination as isolated from the real world as it gets. He relies on his good buddy and close advisor on topics economic, former colleague Phil Gramm of Texas, who believes we’re all whiners.
The Democrats talked a spectacularly good ball game, but had little substantive to offer us.
Even so, based on their track record, one has to believe that the Democrats are more likely to get it than the Republicans, who have spent the last eight years aiding and abetting the liars and thieves on Wall Street and beyond.
Meanwhile, the news, and its import, is grim and becoming even more so.
The Power of De
Op-Ed Columnist | By PAUL KRUGMAN | Published: September 7, 2008
Save the home lenders, save the world? If only it were that simple.
The just-announced federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant mortgage lenders, was certainly the right thing to do — and it was done fairly well, too. The plan will sustain institutions that play a crucial role in the economy, while holding down taxpayer costs by more or less cleaning out the stockholders.