Monday, March 29, 2010

Explain this

The current Republican message is that the Democrats rammed through a healthcare reform program against the wishes of the American people and they are going to pay dearly in November for this atrocity.

Oh yeah?  Explain this.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Economic catastrophe

Republicans have predicted economic catastrophe as a result of the passage of the the Health Reform legislation.  It is reminiscent of the predictions of disaster after the Clinton budget of 1993.   That budget led to the best economy in a generation and, for the first time in decades, a federal budget surplus.

Their predictive powers are apparently undiminished as the stock market cast its judgment on health reform with a triple digit rally today.

If I were a Republican today, I would feel a cold chill.  Some, like David Frum, can see the future and it's not pretty for them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Obama is Doomed!

Here are some quotes that Mark Mellman repeats in his column of last week that declare an end to a presidency:

The press purports to explain the problems. “Why The President’s Men Stumble,” a New York Times headline promised to explain.

Another lede concluded that the president’s “once-dazzling political momentum … has stalled.”

A noted columnist captured the pack’s mood: “the Washington press corps is suddenly in hot pursuit of ‘an administration in disarray,’ which is coming apart at the seams under … a ‘detached President.’ ”

The distinguished dean of Washington columnists opined, “it is becoming increasingly clear” that the president’s marvel “was a one-year phenomenon … what has been occurring since is an accelerating retreat … a process in which he is more spectator than leader.”

These quotes are from 1982 and are about the collapsing Reagan Administration.  We all know how that ended, right?

I just hope the Democrats in Congress realize that their only hope is to "PASS. THE. DAMN BILL." with apologies to Andrew Sullivan.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Coolest Video Ever

Someone took a movie on a trolley in San Francisco traveling down Market Street four days before the earthquake of 1906. The resolution is amazing and it's got a nice music track behind it. Dozens, if not hundreds, of people are shown walking nonchalantly along the street and skipping past the tracks..

Play it full screen with good sound to get the full effect.

Sad to think what became of these people four days later.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mexico City

I'm finishing up a business trip to Mexico City, my first visit to a Latin American country.  Most of the visit was spent in my hotel, my company's local office and a meeting at the Mexican "White House," called Los Pinos, with the Mexican Foreign Minister.  One of my Mexican colleagues pointed out that Los Pinos is very near the site that inspired the line the Marine Corps hymn that says, "From the halls of Montezuma..."

Mexico City is not at all what I expected.  My image was of a hot, dirty city, teaming with people.  In fact, the weather was delightful, 75 degrees, dry and crystal clear skies.  The city is very clean.  It is, however, teaming with people.  Traffic seems heavy 24/7.  I knew that was going to be a problem as we flew in.  We arrived at 10 pm and, looking out the window of the plane, every highway seemed gridlocked.

Speaking of the flight, it was among the more interesting I've had.   We flew over thunderstorms, which normally would have made me pretty nervous.  However, the flight was perfectly smooth during this period and the flashing lights from the lightening in the clouds below was spectacular.  Oddly, as we approached Mexico City, it got very bumpy under clear skies.  Go figure.

Getting back to impressions of Mexico City, I was struck by how little English is displayed around the country.  When I'm in China or Europe, I'm always surprised with the amount of English signage.  In Mexico, there's none.  Similarly, the English TV options in the hotel room are very few, far fewer than in countries much further away.  I guess I admire the Mexicans' refusal to concede their culture to the Gringos from the North.

Of course, the most fascinating part of the trip was the meeting with the foreign minister.  It was an important meeting dealing with some very significant issues.  Unfortunately for me, most of the meeting was in Spanish. Of the approximately 20 people in the room, I was the only "mono-lingual" one there.  A sad example of the failure of the American education system.  Still the meeting was very successful and my team is hopeful of a continuing business relationship.

Hope I get to come back.  If I do, I will spend more time investigating the rich history of Mexico, of which I only observed snatches traveling from one meeting to another.