Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Assange and WikiLeaks

It has not been immediately obvious to me what the proper reaction ot WikiLeaks continued bombardment of the U.S. State Department. Nor is it apparent to me how to feel about Assange and the organization itself. Chime in with your thoughts.
For starters, here's an interview with Assange just published in Forbes. The interview is sure to get a lot of press since Assange claims to be preparing for a major "megaleak" on a "major U.S. Bank." I wonder how the markets will respond?
But echoing my own dubious attitude, here's what Assange had to say to one of Greenberg's questions:

Greenberg: What do you want to be the result of this release?

Assange: [Pauses] I'm not sure.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cam Newton

I'm monitoring the increasing controversy over Cam Newton, star quarterback from Auburn
The outlook is not good. Even if he didn't receive any money for committing, he is the kind of kid that would. That's the real problem. Add purchase of a stolen computer, and mutliple cheating offenses...
The macro problem is that if he keeps throwing touchdowns while denying everything and getting pat on the back by Coach "He's a Great Kid," he'll just skate on by.
Bench him. Expel him. Make him get a real education.
Or here's a genius idea: Send him over to Northwestern, bench him for the last years of his elgibility, and see if anyone actually notices when he squeezes behind a desk at 8:15 for his 8 o'clock lecture.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It comes with the territory, Mr. President

Prio to the 2010 elections last week President Obama said:
"Lately I feel like somebody made a big mess and I've got my mop and I'm mopping the floor and the folks who made the mess are there (saying) 'you're not mopping fast enough. You're not mopping the right way. It's a socialist mop.'" http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE59Q05Z20091027
Does the President actually expect anyone to feel sorry for him? Yes, Mr. President. Many Americans do think you are mopping the wrong way. And unless you are prepared to write them off as ignorant hicks from the backwoods, you might as well give them a listen. Pardon me if I sound too harsh. I truly have an incredible amount of respect for anyone bright enough and tough enough to serve as the U.S. President. But all the credit, and all the blame, just comes with the territory.
The same goes for any incumbent who lost, or nearly lost, last Tuesday. One always hopes that a stellar record of service to the American people will prevail over the proverbial shifting sand of public sentiment. Yet there is something to be celebrated here, and I do think Obama recognized this in his post election comments. The genius of American democracy is that power is not necessarily settled in the hands of one faction or even just a few. Every two to four years, the American people have the opportunity to sweep a whole new slate of their fellow citizens into a position of authority. An election that brought scores of new faces (and thus new ideas) into public service should be celebrated.
It's just a little less of a bitter pill to swallow when it's the other guys getting dusted.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Shifting Sand

Prediction: The GOP will gain control of the House of Representatives handily tomorrow but fall 3 seats short in the Senate. Congressman Reid will lose his seat.
There will be an unprecedented level of compromise over the next two years, even if it is downplayed or ignored in the media. Republicans, afraid of truly earning the "obstructionist" label, will have to pick their battles wisely. Democrats, relieved to still hold on to the Senate and in an effort to stop the bleeding, will likewise be willing to negotiate modest compromises. Without significant improvement in the U.S. economy, or a positive reason to rally voter turnout, President Obama will not be re-elected.  

Assertion: If there ever was any doubt that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are anything but liberal comedians, I felt like the recent "Rally" tore that cover off completely. The rally was clearly held in reaction to conservative groundswell and attended by an unabashedly liberal audience. Maybe my problem is that I just don't think either of them are that funny (And that, yet more proof perhaps, that they are liberal!).

Interesting: Today I used "Project Vote Smart's" EasyVote web tool to gauge who I would vote for if I had happened to have moved and registered in PA in time. Try it here: http://www.votesmart.org/voteeasy/#
 The tool displays the candidates for federal office and a menu of issue questions above. As you work your way through the questions, the tool gives you a "% similar" for each candidate in real time, adjusting up and down as you complete the survey. I found with the candidates in front of me, I began with something of a bias in regards to who I thought I should be voting for. But when I concentrated on answering each question, however un-nuanced, exactly the way in which I generally think about them, the % match between candidates was surprisingly similar, no more a 10% spread between the front-runners.

Bistro 19 gets the Church Family Treatment

I have a slight aversion to all restaurants named "Bistro x," so we passed over this restaurant once before. This time it was the low-lit bar and warm oak through the stained glass window above the door that caught my eye and convinced me to stop. What we were looking for was just that- warm, cozy, comfort food.
We were seated by an over-enthusiastic bar tender- maybe it was just my mood -in the restaurant seating, a brighter lit and less defined space adjacent to the bar. Less coziness, still plenty of bar noise. "Oh s***!" the friendly Steeler's fans yelled to the roar of the telvised crowd. My wife like the tree branches painted on the walls and unique table centerpieces. The meatloaf with blackberry gravy grabbed me and I didn't equivocate. My wife found a ham and brie pannini. But first we had  to try the egg-roll cheese steak from the appetizer menu.
The food was served quickly. The excellent cheese steak was enough to serve as a meal. The entrees were delicious and heavy. For an awkward, spur of the moment, Sunday dinner, the Bistro 19 turned out to be a decent choice. Recommended.