Archive: September, 2008
Hats off to still-partially-adopted Philadelphian Jim Thome, who hit a massive home run, and Ken Griffey Jr., who threw out a runner at the plate to preserve a shutout -- both 38, which is 90 in baseball years -- and to their Chicago White Sox, winners of the American League Central in a dramatic tiebreaker with the Minnesota Twins tonight.
I always liked that Thome guy -- too bad the Phillies couldn't find a way to keep him (anyone remember the Ryan-Howard-in-left-field talk?). The Phillies are still paying half his salary, believe it or not -- so I guess they own 1/50th of this AL division crown.
OK, just kidding....but there is this news:
Hey, remember this?
So....comes now the New Yorker with this:
Did you watch Friday night's debate? If you did, you're a bit of a political geek, because millions of Americans found something better to do:
SOMETHING funny happened at the debates last Friday - no one watched, relatively speaking.
For years, George W. Bush and then John McCain have been promising to restore the era of Ronald Reagan.
Today, they succeeded. The plunge in the stock market was the biggest one-day drop since the crash of October 1987.
Bailout is getting voted down. Dow is down 500, which is actually a slight improvement from a minute ago (almost 700).
Who's to blame? Everybody.
As you may have heard, Wachovia -- which has a huge presence here in the Philadelphia area -- is the latest casualty of the crisis on Wall Street, not surprising when you look at investments like this one. As this economic mess continues to unfold, it's the biggest direct hit on our town.
And then there's the collateral damage. What about the CoreStates/First Union/Wachovia and now possibly soon to be Citi Center, the arena that's been host to some cool history, including the Sixers' awesome 2001 run and a Republican National Convention -- a center with a history but no real name, just a bricks-and-mortar monument to the corporate folly of the 1990s and the 2000s?
It's been interesting to see how the disastrous reign of error from the far right in America has caused a surge of nostalgia -- for the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower. When I was growing up, Ike was a war hero whose White House years were a mirror on the bland conformity of the 1950s, but now he's increasingly viewed as our last leader who brought common sense to the Oval Office.
Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki compares Ike to a later GOP icon:
Just some quick follow-up points on Friday's debate -- I was going to write a longer post but frankly this ground was plowed over a lot over the week. Two things, though:
1) Every poll I've seen suggests that among the only judges that count -- rank-and-file voters, especially that small pool of undecideds -- Obama was the clear winner. I haven't seen one survey in which McCain came out on top, even though the instant pundit reaction (my own included) leaned heavily toward calling it a draw.
There's been a huge debate within the newspaper world -- and beyond -- about a fiery DVD targeting Islamic extremism called "Obsession" that over the last couple of weeks has been packaged in newspaper ads and distributed to hundreds of thousands of readers, especially in swing states. (The Philadelphia Inquirer was one of those papers.) Proponents say its an honest portrayal of anti-American jihadism, while critics said the video would stir up hatred toward decent God-fearing Muslims, not just those involved in or supporting terrorism. Some wonder if it's all just a big ploy to help John McCain and the GOP, who want to focus the campaign on the threat of Islamic extremists. Here's a review from the Orlando Sentinel, for example:
It's a complicated mess, but if you invoke Neville Chamberlain's "appeasement" of Hitler (not sure what anybody could have done, other than force a confrontation years before Germany or the Depression ridden, war-weary West were really "ready" for WWII ) often enough, show enough snippets of Michael Moore (yeah, I want HIM making Middle East policy about as much as the accident prone GOP) and reduce things to "the culture of hatred," you can certainly stir folks up. I stopped counting the historic Mein Kampf/Hitler comparisons at about the 50 minute mark.