Sunday, November 30, 2008

My imagination or does Laura look really relaxed here?


CNN: LINK

Bike Commuting Bag

I've known about this bike commuting bag for a few years--the Ortlieb Shuttle-Bike (LINK) but hadn't seen a review until now. Bicycling Photographer has his Part 1 review up (LINK) via Bike Commuters (LINK).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Micro-payment concept / reality

"The cost of inflating your own tire, the manner of payment - a coin thrown into the tub of water used to check where the air is escaping from." (LINK).

I found this photo by Jan Chipchase really special--makes direct and real one form of meaningful micropayments .

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bush not shaking hands. Subtext???

WHAT is the subtext here or the different interpretation if any? Watch this video in which world leaders (the "G20") walk across a stage shaking hands, except for Bush43, who neither offers nor is offered a handshake. Is there something going on here that I'm missing? Honestly. Or is it simply that they all can't stand him and/or he can't stand them?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Does he have her back? And she his?

I've noted before the election that if you look at the body language between Obama and Clinton you have to be struck by how incredibly comfortable and close they seem. But who knows? As Thomas Friedman suggests, they'd better be tight or it's not a good appointment.

Friedman rises above the riff raff on the issue of Clinton as Secretary of State (riff raff meaning strays like Dick Morris for example LINK -- not meaning to insult dogs here) pointing out that as long as the world knows that Clinton speaks for Obama and that he has her back, she'll do great. He says that what distinguished James Baker as a great Secretary of State was that the world knew he spoke for Bush41. By speaking to Baker you were speaking to Bush41. With Powell, as a different example, the world didn't know if Bush43 would backstab or second guess. Clinton-Obama had better be Baker-Bush41 not Powell-Bush43. The past would suggest more of the Powell comparison, but the body language? LINK

What can you buy for US$5?


(Relatively) new Nokia sponsored "What can you buy for $5" website at http://fivedollarcomparison.org/. You can post your own pictures of US$5 items to their Flickr group. (via Jan Chipchase, of course LINK)

Posted by email from Joseph's posterous

Monday, November 17, 2008

socialism vs fascism in America


Interesting how the Right is now interpreting every little move of Obama's as impending Socialism. During the last eight years, every little move of the Bush administration was indication of impending Fascism. The hot button of civil liberties for the left is by some measure quite equivalent to the hot button of overreaching taxation by the right.

Posted by email from Joseph's posterous

Sunday, November 16, 2008

completely agree with Bush 43

Can't say there's anything I disagree with anything in this piece by Bush 43, "The Surest Path Back to Prosperity." LINK to the WSJ.

What it leaves out however is the support that government has historically provided to key infrastructure needs of an economy and in research and development and education. The challenge for the United States is that these components have been neglected for too long. Will an Obama administration be able to hold the line on regulation, believe enough in the power of entrepreneurship, yet also provide the right investment in the right places (like a new energy grid and funding for science and education)?

Here's an article on investing in innovation by Henry and Manzi that goes to the heart of why Bush's half side of the equation is dangerous in its ommissions: LINK (via Kirsner LINK)

We need a green bubble?

Jon Stewart makes Thomas Friedman admit that he's a proponent of bubble economics.

Friday, November 07, 2008

whirligigs


100_0220
Originally uploaded by lenovophotolibrary

Political visualization

These wonderful visualizations are from an election maps results site (LINK) via Brad Feld (LINK). I wanted to see 2004 and 2008 on the same page.

This is a map of the US according to which states went Republican or Democratic in the 2004 election but with the map scaled by population, not land area.


And here is the same map for the 2008 election again with the map scaled by population, not land area.



That's a close of a "landslide" as you get these days.

Map of the SHIFT to Democratic Party

a lot of blue. from Krugman LINK

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Enough. Onward!

That last post about George Bush . . . enough. I won't do that anymore. I just watched Rachel Maddow interview Barack Obama (October 30, LINK ). She questions him about why he never talks about how the Republican party has been bad for the country. Obama says that he believes that the Republican party was high jacked by minority group of incompetent extremists. He believes that there are many self-identified Republicans who like him believe that the Bush administration has been bad for the nation. He doesn't want to alienate them and he chides Maddow for always cruising for a brawl. These comments indirectly point the finger at McCain and Palin and the way in which they chose to divide and alienate the electorate. It's no wonder they lost. And it was sad to see McCain give his concession speech, free now of the physical tics that had bedeviled him throughout the campaign, emerge as the McCain that people remembered, evoking a little of the sort of sentiment that Obama carried with him every day of the campaign.

Posted by email from Joseph's posterous

George to Barack: "Go enjoy yourself??" He still doesn't get it!?!?!?!?


George Bush to Barack Obama: "What an awesome night for you, your family and your supporters. You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life. Congratulations and go enjoy yourself.''

LINK

What is that??

Perhaps it's out of context but all I could think of was George following this with, "You get to watch pre-release movies, get free food, have a big house for your friends, and land on aircraft carriers and stuff! It's a blast, this job! You're going to have such a fun time--I did!"

And Barack saying: "Well, at least clean-up your room before you leave. I hope it's not as much of a mess as you left the world."

Again, I'll admit it could be out of context but . . . that's what occured to me. It's about time that we had someone who brings the level of seriousness and intellect to the job that President of the United States demands.

Sorry my Repub friends, but come on! At some point people have to accept that they are responsible for the impression that they leave with people, whether that impression is "true" or not. George, John and his ilk are just so out of sync.

 

Posted by email from Joseph's posterous

Yes Jezebel, I did tear up


LINK to Maya Angelou. Yes, Jezebel you're right. I did tear up.

 

Posted by email from Joseph's posterous

Sunday, November 02, 2008

It is not a wealth transfer from rich to poor that the Bush administration will be remembered for. It is a wealth transfer from the future to the present.


We are all going to have to pay, because this meltdown comes in the context of what has been “perhaps the greatest wealth transfer since the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917,” says Michael Mandelbaum, author of “Democracy’s Good Name.” “It is not a wealth transfer from rich to poor that the Bush administration will be remembered for. It is a wealth transfer from the future to the present.”

From Thomas Friedman: LINK

Posted by email from Joseph's posterous

John McCain's best performance

Really, a job well done.



It does say something truly good about America that senior politicians are willing to do this sort of thing.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Let's track these Obama "certainties"

Pete du Pont in a WSJ editorial (LINK) says that these seven things are "certainties" with an Obama administraiton. It will be interesting to track du Pont's predictive capabilities.
  • The U.S. military will withdraw from Iraq quickly and substantially, regardless of conditions on the ground or the obvious consequence of emboldening terrorists there and around the globe.
  • Protectionism will become our national trade policy; free trade agreements with other nations will be reduced and limited.
  • Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people and businesses, and individuals will pay much higher Social Security taxes, all to carry out the new president's goals of "spreading the wealth around."
  • Federal government spending will substantially increase. The new Obama proposals come to more than $300 billion annually, for education, health care, energy, environmental and many other programs, in addition to whatever is needed to meet our economic challenges. Mr. Obama proposes more than a 10% annual spending growth increase, considerably higher than under the first President Bush (6.7%), Bill Clinton (3.3%) or George W. Bush (6.4%).
  • Federal regulation of the economy will expand, on everything from financial management companies to electricity generation and personal energy use.
  • The power of labor unions will substantially increase, beginning with repeal of secret ballot voting to decide on union representation.
  • Free speech will be curtailed through the reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine to limit the conservative talk radio that so irritates the liberal establishment.

Rise of the Obamacons


From The Economist (LINK )

How much do these Obamacons matter? More than Mr McCain would like to think. The Obamacons are manifestations of a deeper turmoil in the Republican rank-and-file, as the old coalition of small-government activists, social conservatives and business Republicans falls apart. They also influence opinion. This is obvious in the case of Mr Powell: Mr Obama is making liberal use of his endorsement to refute the latest Republican criticism that he is a “socialist”. But it is also true of lesser-known scribblers. At least 27 newspapers that backed Mr Bush in 2004 have endorsed Mr Obama.

Posted by email from Joseph's posterous

Obama and the reality of the change message

I just watched Obama on Jon Stewart, an interview from a few days back.



At the end of the video Obama says something that can't be reassuring to a lot of swing voters.

First, he says that America is really a very conservative country, not politically, but in that Americans generally like the status quo and don't want to make dramatic changes. I could imagine swing voters nodding their heads at that statement. And then he goes on to say that this is just the time to make such changes, in the areas of energy, healthcare, the economy. That statement certainly contradicts the statements of people like Bill Kristol (LINK) and the WSJ (LINK and LINK) who suggest that Obama will be a typical, moderate liberal. Will he? Or will first hundred days echo all the fears of my conservative friends, particularly with respect to the economy?