(58) Please provide the URL address of any websites that feature you in either a personal or professional capacity (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, etc.)
Just three pages.
The real revelation of the last few weeks, however, has been just how erratic Mr. McCain’s views on economics are. At any given moment, he seems to have very strong opinions — but a few days later, he goes off in a completely different direction.
Thus on Sept. 15 he declared — for at least the 18th time this year — that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” This was the day after Lehman failed and Merrill Lynch was taken over, and the financial crisis entered a new, even more dangerous stage.
But three days later he declared that America’s financial markets have become a “casino,” and said that he’d fire the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission — which, by the way, isn’t in the president’s power.
And then he found a new set of villains — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored lenders. (Despite some real scandals at Fannie and Freddie, they played little role in causing the crisis: most of the really bad lending came from private
loan originators.) And he moralistically accused other politicians, including Mr. Obama, of being under Fannie’s and Freddie’s financial influence; it turns out that a firm owned by his own campaign manager was being paid by Freddie until just last month.
Then Mr. Paulson released his plan, and Mr. McCain weighed vehemently into the debate. But he admitted, several days after the Paulson plan was released, that he hadn’t actually read the plan, which was only three pages long.
So, maybe putting Sarah Palin out there in public where she has to answer questions from a reporter, as opposed to running circles around a fast-reeling TelePrompTer, isn't in McCain's "best interests?''If Sarah Palin can't face George Stephanopoulos, how will she face down Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
Palin, conspicuous by her mere absence: This booking strategy may speak volumes about the McCain campaign's confidence in the governor from Alaska.
Did you ever see the movie Mrs. Doubtfire? Where the guy, Robin Williams, fails as a husband, and he comes back dressed as a housekeeper, and he gets a job so he can have responsibility for the kids again, having failed them as a dad and a father and as husband.Now that our American family is eight years older, let's Hope they will see through this clownish facade.
Is this what John McCain’s doing, and what the Republican’s party doing out there in St. Paul—coming back as Mrs. Doubtfire? ‘We’ve failed in our role for eight years We’ve got a new costume on, accept us and give us custody of the country again, ’cause we look a little different.’
It’s a Mrs. Doubtfire strategy!
Your Chicago Sun-Times asks the musical question, "Why is GOP sneering at Obama's work as community organizer?":
Republicans insist that people should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Communities should take care of their own and not depend on big government to do the job. And the folks who do make it should give back.And that, gentle reader, is why the GOP fears and loathes community organizing.
We agree wholeheartedly.
But on what is the job of community organizer premised, if not those very principles?
Community organizers come into poor neighborhoods and try to get people knocked down by life back up on their feet.
They tell them where to find jobs, where to send their kids for day care, where to get drug counseling.
They show residents how they can organize to protest poor housing conditions, low pay and other inner-city woes.
When the job is done right, a community organizer helps the most powerless among us gain some small sense of power over their lives.
Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that [John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah] Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which, since the 1970s, has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.Remember when we took for granted the GOP vice presidential candidates' unconditional support of our Union of the States.
And while McCain's motto -- as seen in a new TV ad -- is "Country First," the AIP's motto is the exact opposite -- "Alaska First -- Alaska Always."
Lynette Clark, the chairman of the AIP, tells ABC News that Palin and her husband Todd were members in 1994, even attending the 1994 statewide convention in Wasilla. Clark was AIP secretary at the time.
"We are a state's rights party," says Clark, a self-employed goldminer. The AIP has "a plank that challenges the legality of the Alaskan statehood vote as illegal and in violation of United Nations charter and international law." ***
Clark says that Palin left the party and became a Republican in 1996, when she first ran for mayor of Wasilla. ***
Earlier this year, Palin sent a video message to the AIP for its annual convention, where AIP vice chair George Clark told the small crowd that Palin "was an AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town –- that was a non-partisan job. But you get along to go along -– she eventually joined the Republican Party, where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and well, I won’t go into that."
Democrats accused Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on Sunday of misrepresenting her role in scuttling a controversial bridge project to a remote island in southeast Alaska.
On Friday, the day she was introduced as Sen. John McCain's running mate, Palin touted her opposition to a bridge originally championed by Alaska's most prominent officials as an example of her fiscal conservatism and reformist credentials.
"I told Congress, 'Thanks but no thanks on that Bridge to Nowhere,' " Palin told a crowd in Dayton, Ohio.
But prominent Alaska Democrats said Palin supported the bridge while campaigning for governor ***
"She was the only candidate who was saying, 'We're going to build that bridge,' " said former governor Tony Knowles (D), who lost to Palin in the 2006 general election. "She's taking a position now which certainly wasn't what it was when she was campaigning."***
While campaigning in Ketchikan in September 2006, Palin indicated support for the bridge project, assuming there was no better alternative. "This link is a commitment to help Ketchikan expand its access, to help this community prosper," she told the local chamber of commerce, according to an account in the Ketchikan Daily News. ***
Palin's [ultimate] decision resulted in no savings for the federal government. The bridge money is being spent on other highway projects in Alaska.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began building clout in her state's political circles in part by serving as a director of an independent political group organized by the now embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.Stevens and Palin also filmed a campaign commercial together to highlight Stevens's endorsement of Palin during the 2006 race.
Palin's name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. *** She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings. ***
A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., has accused Stevens of concealing on financial disclosure statements lucrative gifts from the now-defunct oil company Veco and its top executives. At one point, Veco employees and contractors jacked up the senator's mountainside house on stilts and added a new first floor, with two bedrooms and a bathroom, the indictment says.
Stevens became the first sitting U.S. senator to face criminal charges in 15 years.
Bristol Palin, the 17-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin, is pregnant and will keep the baby and marry the father, a senior aide to Sen. John McCain confirmed to CNN Tuesday. ***And now is a fine time to review a few highlights of John McCain's family planning voting record:
The 17-year-old, a senior in high school, is about five months along, in her second trimester, according to the aide.
Sarah Palin is Harriet Miers -- A conservative dame who's hollow resume would have been tossed in the trash if it had been submitted by a fella.True. But say what you will about Harriet Miers -- she wasn't just another pretty face.
I'm watching TV, waiting for John McCain to appear to formally announce his veep pick. If I were staging this event, I don't think I'd have brought high school cheerleaders in to warm up the crowd. ***Fallows:
Okay, he just introduced her and a hall full of people who never heard of Sarah Palin until they got up this morning is on its feet, cheering for her.
And out walks Tina Fey.
The Palin pick is not like the choice of Dan Quayle. But it is exactly like the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. That is, an unbelievably obvious but potentially effective attempt to jiu-jitsu the standard identity politics of the moment in a way that flummoxes the Democrats. ***UPDATE
Always and only the comparison should be with Clarence Thomas -- with this one interesting difference. Thomas was a shrewd choice not simply because his race made it more complicated for Democrats to oppose him but also because, once confirmed, all evidence suggested to conservatives that he'd be the kind of Justice they were looking for.
In Palin's case, this seems to be a choice that looks forward to Election Day, and not one day beyond that.
Alaska's Palin Faces ProbeIn 1984, Ms. Palin took the crown at the Miss Wasilla pageant. At the time, Wasilla, Alaska had a population of between 1,600 and 4,000 individuals. If half of them were female, Ms. Palin triumphed over no fewer than 800 other possible Miss Wasillas.
Now, one of the bright new stars in the Republican Party has suddenly become tarnished. The state legislature this week voted to hire an independent investigator to see whether Ms. Palin abused her office by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from his job as an Alaska state trooper.
"This is a governor who was almost impervious to error," says Hollis French, a Democratic state senator. "Now she could face impeachment, in a worst-case scenario." ***
The controversy now surrounding Ms. Palin stems from a messy divorce between state trooper Mike Wooten and his wife, Molly McCann, who is Ms. Palin's younger sister. ***
On July 11 of this year, Ms. Palin fired Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Mr. Monegan then complained that she and her husband had pressured him to fire Mr. Wooten. Ms. Palin, in a statement, denied that, saying she had removed the commissioner she had appointed 18 months earlier because she wanted "a new direction."
Eight years ago Barack Obama was thoroughly humiliated at the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles.Sometimes even those of us in Illinois forget that Barack Obama has not always been on the assent. That before he was a rising star, he was a fallen star -- a premature has-been and a never-was. But when he was knocked down, he didn't give up -- he got up.
He had recently lost a congressional primary in Chicago, and both his political and personal bank accounts were empty. The rental car company rejected his credit card. He failed to get hold of a floor pass and ended up watching the proceedings on a big screen in a car park.
He returned home with his tail between his legs before the week was out -- and left the celebrations to the people who mattered, not least the Clintons, who took every chance to seize the limelight from the Gores.
This year Mr Obama is the Democratic convention.
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.In each of those instances, on a scale from one to 100, I would score in the single digits.
As some of you might know, John McCain is a long-time acquaintance of mine that goes way back to our time together at the U.S. Naval Academy and as Prisoners of War in Vietnam. He is a man I respect and admire in some ways. But there are a number of reasons why I will not vote for him for President of the United States. ***Ouch.
I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that red button.
It is also disappointing to see him take on and support Bush's war in Iraq, even stating we might be there for another 100 years. For me John represents the entrenched and bankrupt policies of Washington-as-usual. The past 7 years have proven to be disastrous for our country. And I believe John's views on war, foreign policy, economics, environment, health care, education, national infrastructure and other important areas are much the same as those of the Bush administration.
I'm disappointed to see John represent himself politically in ways that are not accurate. He is not a moderate Republican. On some issues he is a maverick. But his voting record is far to the right. I fear for his nominations to our Supreme Court, and the consequent continuing loss of individual freedoms, especially regarding moral and religious issues.
John is not a religious person, but he has taken every opportunity to ally himself with some really obnoxious and crazy fundamentalist ministers lately. I was also disappointed to see him cozy up to Bush because I know he hates that man. He disingenuously and famously put his arm around the guy, even after Bush had intensely disrespected him with lies and slander. So on these and many other instances, I don't see that John is the "straight talk express" he markets himself to be. ***
In short, I think John Sidney McCain, III is a good man, but not someone I will vote for in the upcoming election to be our President of the United States.
So I read this book called Drunkard by Neil Steinberg. The cover had lime green lettering with a large ice cube and it screamed "You need to read me!" from the shelf of a Barnes & Noble and I purchased it on Friday night. I was done by 3:30pm on Saturday. It is not a thin book. It is the memoir of one man's struggle with alcoholism.As someone who has occasionally struggled with weight, I too have found myself wondering, "Why couldn't I have a health problem that everyone else would take seriously and allow me to take seriously?"
But it is not just for alcoholics.
It is a book for anyone facing an addiction, anyone trying to climb a mountain, anyone who is not perfect, and anyone who maybe thinks they in fact are perfect... and they've always wondered what the other side is like. I'm pretty sure that having read this book is going to be one of those important turning points in this journey for me. I can't be certain, but I have that feeling... that mattering feeling you get when you know something is important.
It's not a how-to book. I like those. The lists and forms and calendars in them make me feel calm and in control.
Drunkard is a tale, a chronology, a documentary. It is honest and it does not suppose to tell you there is hope for you... the only message is "This is my story" ... not to discount the actual many messages... but really, that's the bottom line. ***
The catalyst to change for the Drunkard in the book was a night in jail. The law forced him into rehab. No one is going to force me into anything over weight loss. There is no crime. There are no legal ramifications. There are mostly only serious health consequences... those clearly aren't having any effect on my actions...
But this book, this book opened my eyes to the true nature of my habits... almost all of them... they are an addicts habits. The cravings, the needs, the price and joy in the ritual, the feeling that it my god damned right to do as I please if it makes me feel good, the shame, the disbelief at how much of a choke-hold it has on your day-to-day life, the unforeseen triggers, the unfolding hell with strict, dark, blinders on.
But it opened my eyes -- and reminded me that if I am to eliminate some habits or activities or joy -- that I better find something to replace it with. Hopefully I'll be willing to keep my eyes open long enough to make some real, actual, measurable, progress.
Read Neil’s book if you’d like a better understanding of why alcoholics do the batshit crazy things they do. Read it if you’ve always been skeptical about Alcoholics Anonymous and the whole higher power thing.The Second:
Don’t read it if you want a juicy, emotionally charged account of Neil’s battle back to sobriety. He’s a journalist. Plus, he just ain’t that kinda guy.
And the jury’s still out if Neil is the sort of guy to stay sober.
Having grown up in a family where alcohol was literally non-existent, I can’t begin to know what it’s like living with an alcoholic.Unimaginable, but for too many families, all too real.
I do know that it means a cycle of profound pain and anger and disappointment and grief for those touched by it. And I’ve seen how that deep, in-your-bones brand of hurt bruises generations because it changes people and their relationships and their view of the world.
But here’s the deal.
Anytime learning about a topic takes me from a place of anger and judgment to a place of compassion and understanding, I feel like I’m growing a bit and doing my part to become a better citizen.
I wrote on this for one reason and one reason only: Because Neil Steinberg’s book Drunkard transformed my perception of alcoholism. This is a Very Big Deal, as Mom can attest. She was shocked by what I wrote because we’ve argued repeatedly (and sometimes rather loudly) about the alcoholism/disease thing over the years.
Beyond the small miracle of changing my narrow opinion about alcoholism, Neil’s book has me assessing our family history to determine if we’re at risk of allowing it to ruin our lives. It's entirely possible. And it is frightening.
Again, I can't imagine what Neil's drinking put his wife and children through. But his book helped me understand that alcoholism isn't about wanting to hurt your spouse or family, it's about your body and your brain making it damn near impossible to avoid hurting them.
And that kind of pain is simply unimaginable.
According to an analysis of campaign contributions by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Democrat Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain, and the fiercely anti-war Ron Paul, though he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination months ago, has received more than four times McCain's haul.Deployed troops want a withdrawal timetable that begins on January 20, 2009.
The 3-year-old boy who fell into Lake Michigan's frigid waters while strapped in his stroller in April has fully recovered, defying the odds and celebrating today with the firefighters, paramedics, doctors and nurses who saved him.I guess the best way to learn a new language is still immersion.
Little Lazar Ognjenovic was out for a walk with his grandfather on April 18 when the stroller he was strapped in blew into Belmont Harbor, where water temperature was 42 degrees.
After weeks in intensive care and months in rehabilitation, Lazar is scheduled to start pre-school in a few weeks, officials said today at a press conference at Children's Memorial Hospital.
"He is absolutely normal," said Dr. Leon Epstein, chief of neurology at Children's Memorial Hospital. "He walks and talks and acts absolutely like a 3-year-old boy."
He also now speaks English. The boy, whose parents are Serbian, only spoke Serbian when he entered the hospital. Now, after months surrounded by English-speaking hospital staff, he is fluent in a second language.
You know... sighDan is a pro-life/anti-war Republican. Dan will not be casting a vote in the presidential election.
Hi [Austin] this is Dan... and I was listening to the radio and in the lead story on the news was George Fucking Bush talking about how wrong Russia's aggression is... sigh...
I have no idea what the facts are about the Russian involvement in Georgia and... sigh... and I don't care... except to the extent that "Who is George Bush to say that somebody needs to respect someone else's territorial boundaries?" Give me a fucking break!
I just couldn't take it... I had to turn it off.
Talk to you later.
The Yemeni man convicted at the first Guantanamo war crimes trial will be eligible for release in less than five months after receiving a light sentence from a jury made up of U.S. military officers.I'm starting to suspect that the Muslims held at Gitmo might not, in actual fact, be the "worst of the worst."
McCain Pimps Out His Wife in SturgisA lesser blogger might note the prominence of bottle-blonds -- particularly those with substance abuse problems -- at the Miss Buffalo Chip contest, but I'm gonna try and keep it classy.
While at the Buffalo Chip Campground near Sturgis for the Sturgis Bike Rally yesterday, putative GOP nominee John McCain essentially pimped out his wife Cindy to the rowdy throng. ***
I can see wanting to seem like you’re one of the Peeps. But to offer your own wife to enter an often salacious and nude beauty contest? That’s pretty pig-like like, fellow babies, even to this less than enlightened male. It is particularly undignified for a Presidential candidate.
Can you imagine the uproar if Sen. Barack Obama had done something like this to Michelle?
Oak Park resident Bill Thomasson may be legally blind, but he doesn't feel all that disabled.Be sure to read the full article.
Macular degeneration hasn't prevented the freelance medical writer and political activist from serving on the organizing committee for the 11 a.m. Saturday, July 26, Disability Pride Parade though the Chicago Loop.
"It's an inconvenience, but not such a huge deal as you might think," Thomasson said of his fading vision. ***
Purpose of the Disability Pride Parade is to change how people - including many disabled - think about disability, said Thomasson, adding that many people are technically disabled though they don't consider themselves disabled.
"They somehow never got society's message, and hopefully they never will," he said.
Q.1 Whom will Barack Obama choose as his running mate?Bonus Prediction: On September 1, after the dust has settled on the Beijing Olympics, Americans will wish they had invested their US dollars in gold.
A1: Chelsea Clinton. She will secure the Clinton supporters and make Obama seem much older.
Q.2 Whom will John McCain pick as his running mate?
A2: Joe Lieberman. He will unify the Death Before Diplomacy vote and make McCain appear steadfast and loyal.
Q.3 Will the White Sox be in first place on Sept. 1?
A3: Yes. And then they will implode.
Q.4 Will the Cubs be in first place on Sept. 1?
A4: Yes. And then they will implode.
Q.5 What will the average price of regular gas be in Chicago on Sept. 1? Q5: Between $4 and $4.30
Q.6 Will State Sen. James Meeks abandon plans to bus Chicago children to Winnetka on the first day of school to try to register at New Trier?
A6: No. Meeks' plan is a brilliant, made-for-tv political stunt.
Q.7 How many gold medals will U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps win in Beijing?
Q.8 Will Gov. Rod Blagojevich sign the ethics bill banning "pay-to-play" campaign donations?
A8: No. But he will be indicted.
Q.9 Will Drew Peterson be indicted for murder?
A9: No. But he will sign the ethics bill.
Q.10 Will state lawmakers and the governor agree on a capital spending bill?
A10: They will agree to disagree so that the money can be spent.
I ran out of gas.Regular blogging has resumed.
I, I had a flat tire.
I didn't have enough money for cab fare.
My tux didn't come back from the cleaners.
An old friend came in from out of town.
Someone stole my car.
There was an earthquake.
A terrible flood!
IT WASN'T MY FAULT -- I SWEAR TO GOD!
[Steinberg's] amazing snobbery does not help endear him to the reader. He sees the people in his AA group as beneath him; he blames [his wife] Edie for his troubles; he gets bored listening to the "woes of others" at his meetings and itches to get back to talking about himself.Ouch.
But it is his shallow self-image that it is most galling, the way he embraces the mystique of the hard-drinking, Robert Benchley/James Thurber/Mike Royko-type journalist.
He looks at his young sons and thinks, "It kills me that they'll know I'm not the sophisticated dad swirling the wine in his glass and casting off confidence like a glow. They won't admire me."
After 270 pages, he finally has stopped drinking, but you are not at all convinced that it will last. And the emotion you're left with, sadly, is not empathy, but schadenfreude.
In a phone conversation (where Steinberg sheds his acerbic self, seems eager to please) he says, surprisingly, that "what helped me get through this was studying Talmud."4. The Jewish News piece also includes this micro-review from Mrs. Steinberg:
Talmud? That wasn't in the book ...
"Talmudic thinking," he amplifies. "Thinking your way out. If you can't drink your way out, you think your way out. The route most people take, putting your faith in Jesus, wasn't really an option for me. I had to think it through really on my own. Being Jewish teaches you to think - the same way when you're six years old you stand up in a room full of gentiles and hold up a menorah and tell them you're Jewish."
I think it's a magnificent book. It can really help people understand the nature and obsession of addiction, which I think is great. *** Almost everyone can enjoy it. It really can help people understand addiction. So many people know someone who is addicted to something or other - alcohol, illegal or legal drugs. It can really help people.3. Steinberg's interview with Fox News Chicago is available here.
Incredibly honest (perhaps too honest for his fellow AA members), Steinberg initially wants no part of rehab or Alcholics Anonymous. For one thing, he doesn’t believe in a higher power, and if he did, he would not be inclined to surrender to it. Nor does he have much affection for his fellow addicts, “characters in a mediocre play.” What he loves is booze, and his tone turns almost jaunty as he describes his lapses. He wants a sophisticated life where he can drink, hoping liquour will turn his nebbish-like persona into Mike Royko.At which point, we ask ourselves, "Just what would it mean for Neil Steinberg to turn into Mike Royko?" Actually, we needn't ask ourselves, because last year Steinberg himself told the Chicagoist exactly what that would mean:
C: Did you know Royko?Now I don't profess to know all the magical powers of alcohol, but I do know that turning a man into "an asshole" is well within its meager abilities.
NS: Yeah, I did. He was an asshole.
The guy really loves to drink.Now that is a pithy writer.
Steinberg did a brave thing writing Drunkard: A Hard-Drinking Life, a post-arrest/rehab memoir -- a memorial of sorts to the once-cherished and romanticized former version of himself as a whiskey-swilling journalist.The S-T wisely looked outside its offices for the official Chicago Sun-Times Review which was provided by Roger K. Miller, a former Wisconsin newspaper editor:
Steinberg calls himself "a functioning drunkard," a more colorful "slur" he prefers over the clinical word "alcoholic." It fits his sometimes debased behavior, including fishing a bottle of cherry brandy out of the recycling bin to lap the dregs and "snorting" booze by inserting an empty airline minibottle into his nostril and inhaling the alcohol vapors. ***Sadly, Mr. Miller is wrong.
As a former ink-stained wretch myself, I greatly admire Steinberg's reason for writing Drunkard; not to help others avoid going through what he did -- the high-sounding motive you typically get from people who write about struggles they went through -- but because telling their stories is what writers do and "because doing so somehow redeems us."
It is part and parcel of his honesty in examining his life. Mr. Steinberg, consider yourself redeemed.
Barack Obama is telling supporters to watch for his critics to play the race card, even if it is turned over in a subtle way.And if voters really want to cast their ballots based on fear, they should try this on for size: "Ninety-five more years in Iraq."
The Illinois senator cast the the coming election as a choice between hope and fear, with, in his view, Republican opponents stressing fear of the unknown. That, he said, is likely to encompass his youth, his slim public record, his strange name, and, yes, the idea of a black man in the Oval Office.
"The choice is clear. Most of all we can choose between hope and fear," Obama said at a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday evening. "It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy.
"We know what kind of campaign they're going to run," he continued. "They're going to try to make you afraid. They're going to try to make you afraid of me -- 'He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?' ''
We are committed to determining the basic architecture and sectioning of the paper within 30 days; deciding on paging (how many and where) within 45 days; understanding our staffing levels throughout the paper in 60 days; and being ready to launch a rethought and redesigned Tribune within 90 days in mid-September.Fortunately, the best plans are those developed and executed in great haste.