Category Archives: history

So what is the chance of Obama winning right now?

Bob Cesca published Nate Silver‘s graphic projecting the election winner which appeared in the NY Times. I’d like to reproduce it as well since it seems to show the start of a legitimate bounce for Obama after the last debate.

Here is Nate Silver’s most recent projection:

Monday’s debate (the last one) may give another push to Obama if he pulls of a victory as he did in the second round. And remember, the election is only 18 days away. Focus on both campaigns will become very tight in the next few days.

An Architectural Marvel is up for trashing in Chicago…

I am deeply upset with my alma mater, Northwestern University, as they attempt to tear down a particularly special architectural classic from the 70s. This  preservation battle has been building for months in Chicago on the fate of the old Prentice Women’s Hospital, a concrete, cloverleaf structure from 1975 by Chicago architect Bertrand Goldberg.  Famous architects and designers like Frank Gehry, Jeanne Gang, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have signed petitions entreating Northwestern, who owns the building, not to tear it down, pleading for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to give it landmark status.

The university says it needs new biomedical research facilities and that Prentice is too small, old and quirky to adapt. A new building would bring to the city millions of investment dollars, create jobs and save lives – that’s Northwestern’s argument.

So here is a suggestion: Build a research tower on top of Prentice. The architect Jeanne Gang has a proposal for a new research tower on top of the hospital:

Why save Prentice? There are  Chicagoans that hate it. Concrete buildings from the ’70s are becoming  unpopular outside architectural circles, although it’s spreading, and rightly so. Great late-Modernist buildings, innovative and ruggedly beautiful, deserve respect and careful custody. Prentice is a good example.

Architect Goldberg, who died in 1997, used a pioneering form of computer modeling to engineer a tour de force: an open, seven-story maternity ward inside the cloverleaf shell, cantilevered 45 feet from the supporting core.

Great buildings have often survived the wrecking ball by being added to, incorporated into larger structures or updated for a new era — in Rome and Istanbul, New York and Chicago.

 

 

Here’s a sign of the new embodiment of journalism…

Newsweek will discontinue it’s printed edition  with the December 31st Issue. All of Newsweek’s information and branded publications will be on line after that, making it the leading news publication to make its entire presence on the web.

The all digital format is being adopted after more than 80 years in print. Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. It will be a paid subscription site (like the NY Times) and will be available on both tablets and the Web, with select content available on its current bl9g, The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast, which depends on Newsweek’s editorial content, now attracts more than 15 million visitors a month.

Tina Brown is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and Newsweek. Baba Shetty is CEO of The Newsweek Daily Beast Co.

 

Obama can be proud of accomplishments…

I’m so tired listening to Romney saying that Obama did nothing in his first term as President. We all know that’s not true… just another of Romney’s lies.

We know that the Bush Administration (the Republican years that Romney seems to be basing his proposals on) left Obama with many problems and that the President cured many of them:

 

So let’s keep this in mind as we watch the last 18 days of this campaign… and make sure we spread the word to our friends who appear to be making up their minds.

 

President Wins Endorsement From Winston-Salem Journal

Here’s a great piece by

There are certain rules in the universe. The sun rises in the east, the moon controls the tides, Seattle can’t keep an NBA team…. and the Winston-Salem Journal endorses the Republican candidate for President of the United States.

Today, the universe just shifted, with the Winston-Salem Journal‘s glowing endorsement of President Obama in his re-election bid. From foreign policy to the economy, the Journal finds Obama the better candidate. They find him strong on defense, capable on education, wise on healthcare. They find Romney weak, inconsistent, and dismissive of the population at large.

In North Carolina? Wow! I’m impressed.

 

Gosh… did you see the news about recovery of a missing Roy Lichtenstein painting?

Famed Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s “Electric Cord” was painted in 1961.  If you weren’t an active viewer of pop art in the 60s, you have most likely never seen it. Why? Because in January 1970 art dealer Leo Castelli sent it to art restorer Daniel Goldreyer for cleaning. It was never seen again.

Lichtenstein, of course, is best known for his paintings based on printed cartoon images. The black and white electric cord painting was announced missing in 2006 by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the artist’s legacy. The Foundation published an image of the black and white work on the front of its holiday card and appealed to its community for help locate the work.

The late Roy Lichtenstein

Last summer, the painting was discovered at the Hayes Storage Facility in New York, where it was being stored by the Quinta Gallery art gallery of Bogotá, Colombia, on consignment from restorer Goldreyer’s widow, Sally Goldreyer. Apparently someone connected with the restorer’s consignments asked her to sell the “Electric Cord” for him. She claims that she offered to sell it to the Quinta Galeria, but refunded the gallery’s deposit when she found a missing notice for the painting posted on the Internet. It was not something she had been aware of.

“Electric Cord” has been returned to Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, Leo Castelli’s widow.

Romney elected would mean the end of Roe v. Wade and the criminalization of abortion…

From this morning’s editorial in the NY Times:

Mr. Romney has called for overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to make her own childbearing decisions and to legalized abortion nationwide. He has said that the issue should be thrown back to state legislatures. The actual impact of that radical rights rollback is worth considering.

It would not take much to overturn the Roe decision. With four of the nine members of the Supreme Court over 70 years old, the next occupant of the White House could have the opportunity to appoint one or more new justices. If say, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member, retired and Mr. Romney named a replacement hostile to abortion rights, the basic right to abortion might well not survive.

The result would turn back the clock to the days before Roe v. Wade when abortion was legal only in some states, but not in others. There is every indication that about half the states would make abortion illegal within a year of Roe being struck down, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which challenges abortion restrictions around the country, puts the number at 30 states. For one thing, abortion bans already on the books in some states would suddenly kick in. And some Republican-controlled state legislatures would outlaw abortion immediately.

Even with Roe and subsequent decisions upholding abortion rights, more than half the states have enacted barriers like mandatory waiting periods, “counseling” sessions lacking a real medical justification; parental consent or notification laws; and onerous clinic “safety” rules intended to drive clinics out of business.

We do not need to guess about the brutal consequences of overturning Roe. We know from our own country’s pre-Roe history and from the experience around the world. Women desperate to end a pregnancy would find a way to do so. Well-to-do women living in places where abortion is illegal would travel to other states where it is legal to obtain the procedure. Women lacking the resources would either be forced by the government and politicians to go through with an unwanted or risky pregnancy, attempt to self-abort or turn to an illegal — and potentially unsafe — provider for help. Women’s health, privacy and equality would suffer. Some women would die.

…and women still have the ability to get Obama re-elected and protect their right to choose. I’m always amazed at middle-class Republican women who support Romney. Essentially they are making themselves potential victims.

 

Getting ready for tonight’s debate…

I really want to think about those things Romney is lying about so that when they pop up in the debate I can yell at the television and wish him ill results in the election.

For instance, when Mittens says Obama added more to the deficit than any previous President, we should look at the facts:

 

Did you see what those Repiglicans did?

 

It’s interesting, then, that Obama has the trust of Americans on most issues, but somehow Romney has labeled himself as the deficit reducer — given the things he seems to be representing, this is really impossible. I think people need to think this over and I hope Obama clarifies everything tonight.

 

Great lead for Obama on handling an unexpected crisis.

And look what Obama scored in government spending vs. the Repilicans’ great hero Reagan:

 

Ok… I have high expectations for Obama tonight. I hope you do, too.

 

Ex-Senator and former Presidential Candidate George McGovern in a South Dakota Hospice.

“He’s coming to the end of his life,” McGovern’s daughter, Ann, stated. She didn’t elaborate but noted that her 90-year-old father has suffered several health problems in the last year.

George McGovern became a leader of the Democrats’ liberal wing during his three decades in Congress but lost his 1972 challenge to Richard Nixon. McGovern turned his focus in recent years to world hunger.

It was after a lecture tour a year ago that he was treated for exhaustion, then two months later, he fell and hit his head.

McGovern spent several days in a Florida hospital in April for tests to determine why he occasionally passed out and had difficulty speaking. His daughter said he has moved in the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD, where he moved in August to spend more time near his family.

McGovern was a member of the U.S. House from 1957 to 1961 and a U.S. senator from 1963 to 1981.

We say farewell to former Senator Arlen Specter, dead at 82.

Arlen Specter, who spent 30 years representing Pennsylvania in the Senate offended Republicans and Democrats in almost equal measures with maverick votes and a frank cockiness that finally ended his career in politics, died Sunday at his home in Philadelphia. He was 82

Specter, who had battled a number of major illnesses in recent years, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was a hard-driving former prosecutor described even by some admirers as sarcastic. But he stood well above many of his Senate colleagues in his combination of intelligence and effectiveness.

Specter won no lasting gratitude from either liberals or conservatives during his career, and he especially alienated women.

After yet another “betrayal” of Republicans on the 2009 stimulus plan, he was forced to make the most dramatic leap in a career that was full of them. But this time he did not make it across the chasm. Facing defeat in the 2010 Republican primary election, Specter surprised the nation by announcing in April 2009 that he was switching parties – for a second time. (In 1965 he switched from Democrat to Republican after winning election as Philadelphia district attorney on the Republican ticket in an end-run around the city’s Democratic machine.)

His Senate change delivered a veto-proof majority there to President Obama. But not for long. Pennsylvania Democrats, many of whom had voted against him for years, refused to accept his final conversion. The party change did not secure his position, however. He avoided the Republican primary but got smacked in the Democratic primary. His career ended.

I’m wondering if Halloween is turning into a sexually demonstrative holiday…

Have you seen some of the Halloween costumes, both for kids and adults, that are popping up on the web looking for buyers to turn on? I’m finding them amazing…what was always, to me, a kids’ holiday with a spooky, witches and ghosts attitude seems to be changing radically.

The first costume I saw that made me look for more was this kid’s costume:

The idea that mothers are going to let their young ‘uns out as contraceptive packages surprised the hell out of me… not that I didn’t think it was hilarious.

Then again, there are adult costumes that are making me wonder what folks are looking to communicate.
Perhaps there are too many things in our society that aren’t getting enough attention… or the conservative attack on a woman’s right to choose has results that appear unnatural.

I’m not about to think of Halloween as an obnoxious holiday… it never has been during my life.

It does seem that some folks are having lots of fun with this. I’m not sure if the penis here is for kids or adults. Whatever, it certainly seems happy.

Can you picture moms and dads in the costume shop with junior shopping for this year’s appearance. And then there are girl’s costumes, too. A used feminine napkin is something I would never have imagined as something to walk the neighborhood looking for candy as.

When you think of it, there are many similar things which could be turned into Halloween costumes and some designer somewhere is having an emotional roller coaster ride.

How we see members of the opposite sex is something that expresses an unusual opinion. Men are, perhaps, looking for ways to make a statement as to how he sees the woman in his life. A joke? An insult? A confused thought? Who can tell?

Then, of course, there are costumes looking for some kind of action. Does it make you wonder what occurs during the free mammogram? One can guess.

There is, however, a view of the man/woman relationship as a plug-in idea… and energy will probably be passed on. This is pretty neat, but still highly suggestive.

So… I hope at the end of the month you have an interesting and revealing Halloween.

 

I’m watching the VP Debate…

If you listen to Ryan, if we are going to deal with Iran‘s coming nuclear capacity (the capacity of which both the candidates disagree on) we are going to have to insert troops. This means a new war – probably in partnership with Israel.

Biden brings up the fact that Iran has been weakened during the Obama administration – primarily in cutting back their oil sales by 20% or so. They don’t yet have a completed delivery mode, either.

Ryan is also going after Russia as an enemy… especially if we go to war in the middle east. In his opinion, Russia is the leasing supporter of the Arab countries. Biden, of course, gets back to the fact that Russia is currently our ally.

I’m curious as to how many of the current questions of the Romney / Ryan campaign get answered. I hand it to Biden that he has already put up the 47% as an issue related to taxes. Ryan seems to ignore it.

This is going to be an entertaining night.

 

How in hell can we understand what Mittens stands for when he changes direction daily?

Like on the question of abortion and a woman’s right to choose:

It’s too bad this is funny, because it’s really very disturbing. To elect a man President we have to confirm our trust in what he believes in and what he says about those beliefs.

Romney leaves us confused. If you vote for him you get what you deserve.

 

When Romney questions Obama’s achievements, remember what the Congress did to most of his proposals.

 

No Congress has ever done to a President what the Republicans in the Senate and the House have. Given the House’s Republican majority and the Senate’s need for 60% of votes to avoid filibuster, the President has been a victim of politicians who put their party ahead of the needs of Americans.

Take a look:

 

And if you listen to Romney accuse Obama for not making enough happen, wonder why he is not aware of the stance taken by his fellow Republicans in elected office.

 

Thinking about flying!

Sitting around the house now that I’m not allowed to drive due to my seizures, I’ve been thinking about my life and trying to figure out what I’ll do now. I don’t know why, but I started thinking about my father and the airplanes he had when I was a kid. The first plane he owned and the second, too, as a matter of fact, werea 1946 Stinson 180’s.

1946 Stinson Voyager 180

My mother was scared to death of airplanes and eventually my dad got rid of the first one. I was really sad, since I loved to go flying with him.

Eventually he bought the second Stinson and it was not one he kept for a long time…primarily because he had to make a forced landing on a farm in northeast Connecticut while flying back from Cape Cod. My mother, my sister and I drove back… and when we got home we got the phone call. When he made the forced landing it was downhill and the propeller ended up twisting barbed wire around itself from the fence it rolled into.

Needless to say, this was enough to make my Mother totally certain that she’d make him sell the plane… and she did.

I was 12 or 13 during our couple of flying years and I remember buzzing over Connecticut small towns, flying near the shoreline and then bringing it to the little airport in Plainville. Every kid should have a flying experience!

Why Obama Now…

An animation by Simpsons/Family Guy animator Lucas Gray:

Pass it around. It sums up the issues very well…very understandably. Entertaining, too.

Obama was blocked by Republicans from passing so many bills. Romney doesn’t seem to know that.

In 2010, Mitch McConnell set the Republican Senators’ goal to make sure Obama didn’t get the legislation he promoted approved. Both the Senate and House Republicans set working AGAINST Obama as more important than working FOR America.

Here’s the Republican record for the past 3.5 years:

  1. Tax companies that ship jobs overseas – BLOCKED (Source)
  2. The Dream Act – BLOCKED (Source)
  3. Political Ad disclosure Bill – BLOCKED 2x (Source)
  4. Small Business Jobs Act – BLOCKED 2x (Source)
  5. Anti- Rape Amendment – BLOCKED (Source)
  6. Benefits for Homeless Veterans – BLOCKED (Source)
  7. Affordable Healthcare for America – Voted 33x to Repeal (Source)
  8. Healthcare for the 9/11 First Responders – BLOCKED (Source)
  9. The Jobs Bill – BLOCKED (Source)
  10. Wall Street Reform – BLOCKED (Source)
  11. Oil Spill Liability – BLOCKED (Source)
  12. Immigration Reform – BLOCKED (Source)
  13. Fair Pay Act of 2009 – BLOCKED and DEFEATED (Source)
  14. Unemployment Extension Bill – BLOCKED (Source)

In 2012 they want you to think that Obama is to BLAME!! What do Americans think? If your neighbor blames Obama, pass this list on and let them know the way the GOP congress has acted.

Unemployment rate drops to 7.8%!

 

After listening to Romney accusing the President of not being able to get the unemployment rate below 8.1%, today the newest rate report was released. At 7.8% it’s lowest level since January 2009.

Let’s hear it for the President as the rate came down and jobs, even though just a little (114000 jobs in September), moved up.

Meanwhile, what has Romney done to support his country in helping promote unemployment activity? Why, nothing. Nothing at all.

 

The Supreme Court is one of the best reasons to re-elect Obama:

 

Given the fact that probably three Supreme Court justices will retire in the next presidential term, we should think about who the elected leader of the country will nominate to fill the jobs. Right now there is a small tip toward conservative thinking on the SCOTUS, but if Romney is elected the right wing could end up in complete control.

Here’s something to think about:

This, in itself, is one of the best reasons not to vote for Mittens. It would be important to preserve a court that upholds civil rights, women’s rights, diversity in college admissions and support of health care legislation. Should we lose these, the United States goes back to where it was in the first half of the last century and years of development and reform will get flushed down the drain.

It’s up to us to preserve years of important reform.

 

I imagine that Romney will accuse Obama of not having created jobs…

 

… but I doubt if he will identify the actions of the Republican House majority or the Senate Republican filibusters in preventing Obama‘s 17 jobs bills t6o go through.

So what were the results of the Republican refusal to work with their president? Take a look:

Remember this when Romney brings up the 8.1% unemployment rate… remember it when he says Obama has done nothing to even attempt to create jobs.

 

 

Ready to do some investigating of Romney’s business success?

 

Take a look at this article in Salon (click on title to read it.)

How Mitt Romney’s Bain “harvested” Sealy mattress company

Sealy was America‘s No. 1 mattress brand — until Bain Capital got its hands on it.

As Josh Kosman says at the end of the article:

“I hope one of the debate moderators asks Romney how Bain helped Sealy.”

 

Environmental Scientist Barry Commoner Dies at 95

One of the men I admired most in the early environmental movement, Dr. Barry Commoner, has died at 95 at his home in Brooklyn Heights, and I think the world experiences a great loss. He was an early champion of recycling, organic food and reducing fossil fuel use… and, of course, he took a firm stand against nuclear testing.

Commoner was trained as a biologist at Columbia and Harvard and combined scientific expertise and leftist zeal. His work on the global effects of radioactive fallout, which included documenting concentrations of strontium 90 in the baby teeth of thousands of children, contributed materially to the adoption of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963.

He was a popular speaker and author 1n the 1960s and ’70s, and even campaigned for president in 1980.

Time Magazine called Commoner the Paul Revere of Ecology on the first Earth Day in 1970.

His four informal rules of ecology were:

1. Everything Is Connected to Everything Else

2. Everything Must Go Somewhere

3. Nature Knows Best

4. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

Dr. Commoner’s was both concerned with ecology  and an ideal of social justice in which everything was indeed connected to everything else. Like some other leftist dissenters of his time, he believed that environmental pollution, war, and racial and sexual inequality needed to be addressed as related issues of a central problem.

Commoner insisted that the future of the planet depended on industry’s learning not to make messes in the first place, rather than on trying to clean them up after they were made. He thought scientists in the service of industry could not just create some new process or product and then remove themselves from a moral responsibility for the potential results. He was a lifelong opponent of nuclear power because of its radioactive waste and scorned the idea of pollution credit swaps because an industry would have to be fouling the environment in the first place to be rewarded by such a program.

He saw that social needs were tied up with environmental ones… for instance:

“I don’t believe in environmentalism as the solution to anything. What I believe is that environmentalism illuminates the things that need to be done to solve all of the problems together. For example, if you’re going to revise the productive system to make cars or anything else in such a way as to suit the environmental necessities, at the same time why not see to it that women earn as much as men for the same work?”

Harvard paleontologist Steven J. Gould’s summary of Barry Commoner’s work and achievements is clear:

“Although he has been branded by many as a maverick, I regard him as right and compassionate on nearly every major issue.”

Do you go to a Regal Cinema in your community? Are you a woman?

 

Jim Hightower just wrote a very interesting column – “The Price of Admission”.

DaysofThunder46/Flickr

Here’s the beginning:

Gosh, I feel so much safer now that teenage ticket takers at the Regal chain of movie theaters have been directed by corporate chieftains to search the purses of their female customers.

Responding to that horrible mass murder in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, the Regalites say they’ve begun rummaging through movie-goers’ purses to protect us from…well, from what?

The Dark Knight Rises shooter had an armory of weapons that wouldn’t fit in any purse. And need I point out that he was a he? Yet, Regal’s rummaging is apparently reserved for women, even though practically all mass shootings have been committed by male specimens of our species.

Read the whole column HERE. And thanks to Hightower for making this absurdity visible to us all.

 

 

Arthur Ochs (Punch) Sulzberger, former NY Times publisher, dead at 86.

 

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, known to his colleagues as “Punch“, the fourth publisher of the New York Times, is famous for his decision to publish the Pentagon Papers and to promote a radical redesign that set a new standard for newspapers in the last quarter of the 20th century, has died at age 86, after a long illness.

Sulzberger was publisher of the Times from 1963 to 1992 and chairman and chief executive of the parent company from 1973 to 1997. These titles were passed on to his son, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the fourth generation of his family to head the paper.

Publishing the Pentagon Papers were the defining moment of three decades of transformation at the Times under Sulzberger. He also automated the Times’ production, unified the Sunday and daily news operations under one editor and  divided the paper into four brightly written sections.

Hampered by dyslexia, he was an indifferent student who daydreamed in class. His grades were so poor that he repeated the first year of high school. In 1943, the 17-year-old joined the Marines. His desire to prove himself on the battlefield was thwarted by his father, who arranged a transfer to Gen. Douglas MacArthur‘s staff as driver and jack of all trades. After World War II, Sulzberger earned a degree at Columbia University in 1951. He served in the Korean War as a public information officer.

 

Debate in a week… Is Romney ready?

 

We are a week away from the first debate and folks are wondering if this is where Romney will turn around the devastating performance and low poll numbers he has been experiencing as of late. We’re all watching closely as he campaigns today in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts today – two turn-around states where he is currently lower in the polls than Obama. Will he make a new gaffe..or tell of his support of Romneycare which still operates in Massachusetts and is literally the model for Obamacare,

Mitt the gaffemonger has to face a premiere challenge in the debates. More Americans will be watching him at one time than at any other time during the campaign. He can’t do obvious flip-flops for an hour or  talk in vague sound bite generalities on the issues. He has to be at least marginally specific and lay out the so called “plans” he keeps claiming he has. Wii he do it? Doubtful.

As to Obama in the debates, the general feeling is that this is his event to win and he probably will.