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    • Remember Colin Powell
      Colin Powell was the first black secretary of state. He was the consummate insider, who climbed the military bureaucracy with great skill and vigor. A man who always knew what had to be done to get ahead and get along. In Vietnam, for example, he understood his role perfectly: his time as a young U.S. Army Major posted in Saigon, when, after the My Lai Massa […]
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Friday: Geezers

Who is this man?

He is OLD, dude.  He’s 88.  And he is one of the only things that stands between you and the loss of your constitutional rights at the present time.  This man is John Paul Stevens, appointed to the US Supreme Court by Gerald Ford and, ironically, one of its more “liberal” members.  (Think about that.)

For some reason, no one is refering to John Paul Stevens as old.  Nope.  We keep hearing about how he still plays tennis a couple times a week.  No one is suggesting that JP Stevens is too old to sit on the Supreme Court.  In fact, I’m guessing that many of us would be perfectly happy if he stays on when he turns 100.  Heck, if he dies, what would be the harm of having his law clerks taxiderm him and roll him into chamber on a dolly?  Maybe they can wire him so they can make it look like he’s asking questions, sort of like Disney animatronics.  That would be fine with me.  One of the senior clerks can write a suitable Stevens-esque opinion.  Can I get a show of hands to see who would be cool with this?

Jeez, John McCain’s practically a young whippersnapper. *

In other news:

  • The Clinton’s are busily upstaging The Chosen One.  I can almost hear the Obamaphiles now. “They’re only defending equal pay, reproductive choice and malarial drugs because they know that Obama won’t and they want to make him look bad.  Damn, Hillary Clinton!”  Bill Clinton is getting some major global pharmas to bring down the cost of anti-malarial drugs and provide mosquito netting.  Wait for it… {{Clutch pearls}} “He’s grandstanding!  He still thinks he’s president!”  Well, he *could* stop doing all of those things and campaign with Obama.  He said he is just waiting for the call, no doubt sitting beside the phone between global conferences and conferring with his wife about the nasty machinations of the Bush executive branch.  Ahh, yes, I can see him nervously tapping his fingers as he waits for that phone to ring, “Ring, Dammit! I need to feel relevent again.  Obama has to know that I would do anything, *anything* to bask in his reflected glory.”  That magical day will someday soon come when the last successful two term Democratic president of the United States will stand cheek by skinny jowl with the Dauphin to whom he will pass the torch of responsibility for the mightiest nation of the world.  The Big Dawg will drape his powerful arm around Obama’s fragile shoulders and grin at the assembled throng and say, “You will be lucky to get Barack Obama to work for you.”  Any day now, I know he’ll call any day now.
  • I found this history lesson on LadyBoomerNYC.   It seems that this year is not the first that the Democratic party has endeavored to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Like, where would the country be if Al Smith or Nance Garner had been nominated.  Holy Hemiola!  Did you see how many delegates Smith had compared to Roosevelt?  I’m amazed they let him be nominated at all.  And here’s Hillary Clinton who is virtually tied in pledged delegates (if you strip Obama of his ill gotten gains in Michigan, Texas and many of the other caucus states where the mysterious Hillary caucus goers whose intentions we can fairly estimate were not counted) and she’s having problems getting the evil triumvirate to even put her name in nomination.  Let’s think about that for a sec: an African-American male is all but anointed because his candidacy is historic but the female who came in second in a squeaker can’t get nominated at all because she came in second in a squeaker?  This after frickin’ Al Smith who had a lousy 201 delegates to Roosevelt’s 666.5 (that half delegate just barely saves him from accusations of backing by demonic forces) puts FDR through *FOUR* ballots.  PLEASE.  This is just fucking nuts.  Put the lady’s name up for nomination and quit embarrassing yourselves, DNC.
  • Alegre has this fascinating post on Choosing Girls in math and science.  I have some recent first hand experience with this subject.  Brook is in the top 2% nationally in math according to her recent NJASK and SSAT scores (perfect score or 24/24 in Algebra and Geometry facts for the lower school test).  But headed into seventh grade, she couldn’t get her teacher to recommend her for enriched algebra.  In fact, her teacher wouldn’t recommend her for Algebra at all next year.  She has to repeat pre-algebra in spite of the fact that she cosnsitently scored in the 90’s on her quizes and tests.  It gets worse.  The only students recommended for the enriched algebra course were… wait for it… boys.  Yep.  Don’t tell me what avenues to pursue.  I’ve done everything I can short of throwing a fit at the next board meeting (scheduled for July 21, 2008.  I have my alarm set.)  I’m trying to get her in a private school that won’t wait list her for lack of space (already happened at two of the best in the Princeton area).  So, if anyone out there has any connections and wants to help a gifted but mouthy 12 year old who hates homework but has a wicked sense of humor and is really a very nice girl, please let me know.  Other than that, if this is something Hillary Clinton would like to take on in the Senate before Brook becomes a classic underachiever, I would be forever grateful.  If anyone reading this can pass the message on to her, that would be very helpful.
  • Friday FAST is back. Here’s the deal: give up breakfast, lunch and dinner, send your savings to Hillary.  Click on the lunch bag in the side panel to participate.  If you can only skip one meal, that’s OK too.  If you can give a little more, consider sending it to America’s Second Harvest to help poor families feed their kids.  You’ll feel full all day.  I promise.

*I’m not voting for John McCain.  I just think the “old” argument is lame.  It’s like, “He’s  ollllld”, that’s all you’ve got Barack?  He’s old?  {{sigh}}

Friday- Follies

Chew on some of this for breakfast:

  • Keith Olbermann is a lousy lay, so reports the New York Post. A woman claiming to be a one-night stand of Keith’s, says he is inept and didn’t want to stick around afterwards. He didn’t call either. Hmmm, let’s just say I have my doubts about this gossip. Oh, not about whether Olbermann is lousy in bed. No, it’s the source I question. From what I recall, Keith Olbermann hooks up with rich, young chicky babies and has no reason to start up email relationships with what might be loopy groupies. But, hey, after what Eliot Sptizer did, what do I know? Anyway, I took KO off my oogle list after I found out he was hanging out with women who just graduated from the jailbait list.
  • Barack Obama’s extraordinary mother, Stanley Ann, Dunham, gets a nice piece in the New York Times. Ann Dunham had a PhD in anthropology and wrote her dissertation on the lives of Indonesian blacksmiths. She was an iconoclast, a liberal and probably an atheist. I think I would have liked her very much. I wonder what she would say about how Obama is handling his campaign right now?
  • Speaking of women, commenter Jawbone pointed me towards this defense of Hillary’s work on Northern Ireland by Nuala O’Faolin.  There are many sides of peace negotiations.  And the people who get it done don’t put all of their faith in just the paperwork.  There is a personal aspect to it, a need to understand what is going on at a human level and the knowledge that comes with that can be invaluable to the people hammering out the details.  This is the role that Hillary played.
  • Paul Krugman writes an ominous column about the uncertainty of the financial market and how economists are entering unknown territory. Last night on the way home, NPR discussed the declining dollar and how the worst case scenario probably won’t happen but if it did, there would be a sudden, extreme and precipitous decline in the dollar that would send shockwaves around the world. Yesterday, my friends and I discussed the rising cost of milk and other good and how it must be affecting people who are living on the margins. This is the oil crunch hitting close to home. It made me think that now might be a good time to make a donation to a food pantry. Brook always makes me buy a coupon for the food bank at the supermarket cashier as we are checking out. (I like that about her) America’s Second Harvest might be a good place to start if you feel like donating a percent of your tax return. In fact, NJ often gives taxpayers an opportunity to donate a portion of their tax returns to worthy causes like breast cancer research and wetlands protection. Every little act of good strengthens us against the destructive effects of selfishness. It doesn’t take much.
  • I see you guys have been busy, sending out very well thought out and polite (for the most part) emails to Mr. McNamara. I’m sure he appreciates all of the fan mail. If you need further encouragement, you might want to check out this piece on NPR this morning about how Obama sees Michigan and Florida redo’s as being unrealistic. I love this quote:

    “We were told that these contests would not count,” he tells Steve Inskeep.”Sen. Clinton agreed. Our name was taken off the ballot in Michigan, and in Florida we did no campaigning. Now, if people think that that is a normal democratic way of running an election, then that’s not the America that I know.”

    Does the America that Obama knows include the voters of Florida and Michigan, ‘cos the last time I checked, it did. Hmmm, are the redos as unrealistic as hoping the Floridians and Wolverines will turn out for you in the fall in spite of the fact that you dissed them and millions of others in NY, NJ, CA, AZ, MA and OH? You mean *that* unrealistic? Hokay.

  • One last thing: Today, we are nearly two months old at The Confluence. I’d like to thank all of you for making this blog such a success. We have had over 70,000 hits and many of them have come in the last two weeks. I couldn’t do it without all of your contributions and comments and good wishes. You guys are the best. 😉 I’m getting all verklempt. Talk among yourselves.
  • One MORE thing: I was perusing the NPR website and found this piece on one of my favorite electronic music artists, Cheb i Sabbah. I have his CD Shri Durga and absolutely LOVE listening to it while I work. It is a rich combination of ragas, ambient sounds, Muslim calls to prayer and electronica. Sublime and almost synesthetic. I swear I see colors when I listen to it and feel sparkling water from cooling fountains. Highly recommended.