S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Looking For Excellence

Senator Barack Obama should be in an excellent mood after a pretty good outcome to the candidates' second debate. [Ann Althouse Wordle of the Second Debate]  Also, Wired -Threat Level's story about Wordle and the party conventions is where my fascination with the idea began.

Obama's campaign for CHANGE has been marked by excellence almost from the beginning.  From announcing his candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, to last night's debate, Senator Obama has gotten the support of millions because of his excellent approach.  From bringing hope to exercising leadership, Barack Obama may be our next president.  His theme, "Change We Need, resonates because of realities such as this poll highlighted at Think Progress: "Americans’ satisfaction drops to all-time low of 9 percent*."

"A Country in Shambles, Under GOP Rule#" is a result of Republican disdain for excellence. George W. Bush dismissed global warming, even though thousands of scientists knew it was there.  Our current president (OCP) appointed hacks and cronies to high administration positions; and many of them were just awful. To quote from AlterNet, "The overarching reality of the country is that we've lived under unchallenged Republican rule, and the country has virtually collapsed on every level."

This is not what signifies excellence according to lawmakers#, but the very opposite : "Waxman bashes AIG's luxury spending," from The current world wide economic crisis has been precipitated in part by the lack of excellent people in charge in the economic arm of the Bush administration. It is hard to see even a glimmer of competence here.  Henry Paulson, Chris Cox and Ben Bernanke are cited for lack of consistency of policy views in a very fine piece of investigative journalism by Kristen Jones at ProPublica. It is titled "Top Regulators Once Opposed Regulation of Derivatives." To quote:

The chiefs of the federal regulatory agencies -- Henry Paulson, Chris Cox and Ben Bernanke -- have each called for better regulation of derivatives, the financial instruments at the center of the current crisis. Yet a look at their Senate confirmation hearings suggests they once held quite different views.

In what other time would job search amount to good news? Two of the excellent core decisions of the Obama campaign have been, 1) a commitment to helping jumpstart the economy with jobs, and 2) U.S. energy independence. In that vein this dual good news story comes from Cathy Zoi, CEO of the WE campaign ( 10/3/08: "This past Saturday, tens of thousands of people attended more than 670 events in all 50 states for the Green Jobs Now National Day of Action. The rallying cry: "Hey Washington -- It's time to Repower America with clean, green jobs!"

Excellent comic relief is featured every day at the end of my Congressional Quarterly-Behind the Lines Newsletter by David C. Morrison. I conclude today's post with this very funny example.  It is quoted from the 10/7/08 newsletter: "First, do no harm:"

“Thirty dual-use robots dispatched to help victims of last week’s massive mudslides in Ecuador have malfunctioned, leaving their rescue mode software inoperable and their warfare programming on autodrive,” Future Update updates. “The broken robots have killed at least 10 survivors of the disaster whom they mistakenly identified as terrorists. Federal Emergency Management Corporation which manufactures the robots, has a team working around the clock to try to reboot the units’ rescue functionality, company spokesman Elmer Gensee said yesterday in a news conference. The Pentagon first introduced the dual-mode robot during the hurricanes that ravaged the Texas gulf region in 2008. Halliburton, the parent company of FEMC, acquired the devices as part of its purchase of departments of Defense and Homeland Security in 2021. The company then upgraded, rebranded and integrated the robots into its international security and disaster relief operations.”

Hat Tip Key: Regular contributors of links to leads are "betmo*" and Jon#.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

[My first Wordle @left]

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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