The headlines today: Abroad, Bailout Is Seen as a Free Market Detour ; Supreme Court's Global Influence is Waning; and there's Timothy Egan's Moo at http://egan.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/17/moo/index.html:
....Crony capitalism is how things are done in Alaska. They reward failure in the Last Frontier state. In that sense, it's not unlike Wall Street's treatment of CEOs who run companies into the ground.....
Lest we forget the rest of the world: this morning's IHT had a front page article on 9 Million Afghans Facing Acute Food Shortage Soon which is sadly no longer on its website at www.iht.com.
The following might be useful as 'ears and eyes' for what is going on politically in the campaign in the US. At the very least these articles help sift through the spin and bring a bit of clarity:
Obama: The Price of Being Black by Andrew Hacker at www.nybooks.com/articles/21771:
Barack Obama can only become president by mustering a turnout that will surpass the votes he is not going to get. ..... What seems more needed , in my view, are two parallel campaigns: a quiet one to assure a maximum black turnout, and a more public one to make the most of the white backing the Obama-Biden ticket already has. His rallies, appearances, and advertisements would benefit from featuring white faces, and they should be accompanied by endorsements from white military veterans, union leaders, police chiefs, and firemen. His black supporters will know what is going on, and not take this as a rebuff.
Sad and troubling, but probably true.
As one friend wrote from the US, this had to be one of the weirdest weeks on record as far as politics is concerned. Stomach turning and nauseating are two words repeated over and over again.
Does anyone remember a scene that occurred in St Patrick's Cathedral when Robert Kennedy was lying in state in June 1968? The TV lights were constantly on as thousands of citizens came to pay their respect. At the end of the day his widow came to his casket and knelt there. One by one the TV lights were turned off to leave her alone in her prayers and thoughts. It was a stunning, moving tribute to common decency. These days as Judith Warner points out in her blog and as we have seen on front pages of newspapers around the world infants and children are used mercilessly in pursuit of personal ambition and fame.
Warner in The Mirrored Ceiling: Why does this woman (Palin) --- who to some of us seems as fake as they can come, with her delicate infant son hauled out night after night under the klieg lights and her pregnant teenage daughter shamelessly instrumentalized for political purposes --- deserve, to a unique extent among political women, to rank as so 'real'? Because Republicans, very clearly, believe that real people are idiots. This disdain for their smarts shows up in the whole way they've cast this race now, turning a contest over economic and foreign policy into a culture war of the Real vs the Elite.
.....One of the worst poisons of the American political climate right now, the thing that time and again in recent years has led us to disaster, is the need people feel for leaders they can 'relate' to. This need isn't limited to women; it brought us after all, two terms of George W. Bush.
There is no way to comment on McCain's pick for vice president from here. However, it might be interesting to see how one US conservative from New York City and one who claims to have lived and worked in Alaska sees it:
What about personal -- professional background? Some perspectives: I've both lived and worked in Alaska and have been to Wasilla. .....Wasilla is a nice town in a great state. But there's Hawaii, Indonesia, Kenya, Washington and the south side of Chicago. And there's Wasilla. There is absolutely no way you can stand in the middle of the small town and think that a 44 year-old whose formative personal and professional experience comes from there is ready to lead the free world.