Had a great dinner with Linda Monk, constitutional scholar and great friend.
Another shooting. It is so crazy. I would say, “Something would happen in this country if there were…” But we’ve seen almost every scenario imaginable. We’ve seen a shooting in the middle of an army base. Fort Hood. We’ve seen a shooting in the middle of a elementary school. Sandy Hook. These horrors simply keep happening. Aaron Alexis, someone with mental illness, opened fire and killed 14. The Washington Post has several great articles. There’s one about the anatomy of the shooting with exactly what happened inside of building 197. Then there’s more and more background on the shooter, Aaron Alexis. As I’ve mentioned before, I think we have to approach this problem from two separate vantage points. First of all, we have to do a better job of taking care of mental illness in this country. Secondly, too many people have too many guns (recent study shows that more guns equals more gun violence). Gun ownership is a privilege. If you had a run-in with the law in Seattle which seems to suggest mental illness, you really shouldn’t have a gun a decade later unless you’ve proven to be mentally stable. I guess the biggest question that remains unanswered is how did this gentleman, Aaron Alexis, pass a background check? How was he allowed on a Navy shipyard?
Oh, by the way, I didn’t talk about the election that was going on in Colorado. Colorado voters who were infuriated over their representatives’ having the audacity to pass a bill that limits gun violence, had a special recall election. Basically, the NRA decided that they did not want two progressive state Senators and signed a petition to have both senators removed. Yes, the actual details are more complex, but that’s basically what happened. There was a special election which included many special caveats, like no absentee ballots, which seem to always benefit the conservative candidates. The bottom line is that two progressive senators are out and 2 NRA stooges are in. DKos has more – 1) Core Democratic groups (Latinos, African Americans, youth voters, single women) have the worst voter performance, and 2) Republicans will do everything they can to prevent our people from voting.
It’s important to remember that it is still extremely early in the political season. Eight years ago Wesley Clark was leading the Democratic field with 22% of the support, followed by Howard Dean at 13%, John Kerry with 11%, and Dick Gephardt and Joe Lieverman with 11% and 10 %, respectively.
The Senate has filibustered a huge number of Obama’s appointments to the federal bench. It appears that Harry Reid has figured out how to get some of these nominees through the Senate.
I’m sorry I haven’t been able to post much over the last couple of days. Part of the problem has been a persistent bug in my blog. The other part of the problem has to do with being too busy… and mourning the Dallas Cowboys’ last disaster.
If I see another commercial for Tom Cruise’s new movie, Valkyrie, I may feel compelled to storm City Hall, asking them to pass a law banning the movie from being shown anywhere within the city limits. I understand the concept of saturating the market but this is ridiculous.
The New York Times has another excellent article on our financial crisis. It’s another in a series called The Reckoning. This article outlines how the White House and George W. Bush wanted to increase home ownership at almost any cost. It discusses how White House ignored warnings. One of the most interesting contrasts in this whole story is how Mr. Deregulation, George W. Bush, wanted tougher regulations on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae but was unwilling to compromise with Congress. This article is worth reading in its entirety.
For those of you conspiracy buffs, you’ve probably already read about the death of Michael Connell. I’d never heard of him. Mr. Connell was a top Republican information technology consultant, the IT guy for Karl Rove. Cornell’s company, New Media Communications, did the website for George Bush’s 2004 campaign and also for John McCain’s campaign. He had been subpoenaed to testify in Ohio to talk about some of the shenanigans that went on within the campaigns, but his single engine private plane crashed about three miles shy of the Akron runway. Was he killed because he was going to talk? I’m sure that we will hear a lot more on this story.
Do you remember the five Muslims that were going to attack the Army base, Fort Dix? After a 14-month investigation and a trial, all five were found guilty of conspiracy to kill US soldiers. Well, this is a step in the right direction. Now, can we go after bin Laden?
Toyota has announced that it expects to post its first quarterly loss in its 70-year history. Well, I guess it is now official. The economy is really in the tank.
Israeli archaeologists have found over 200 gold coins in an early seventh-century collapsed building. Excavation of the site is ongoing.
A Continental 737 jet slid off the runway at Denver International Airport on Sunday. The circumstances of the crash are unclear but the NTSB has released a statement saying that neither the wheels nor brakes caused the crash. Although it appears there were injuries, as of now, no one was killed.