rating: 5 of 5 stars This should be required reading in American high schools, so that we grow up knowing and understanding just how delicate are the freedoms and luxuries we enjoy without a second thought.
I think Obama is actually composed, on an atomic level, of confidence. Like it's an essential part of his molecular makeup, and without it, his skin would sigh away in ethereal wisps and wither into the ground like one of those sand creatures from those lame Brendan Fraiser Mummy movies.
Really, I'm convinced of this. How else can you explain what his pick for Treasury Secretary did to Wall Street today. After record losses, people trembling in the gutter and cringing at the thought of investing, he pretty much just waltzed through the NYSE like an economic swami and faith healed the broken masses by saying, "I pick Geithner."
Stocks went from dismal 30 and 40 point gains at the DOW to a whiplash +500.
It's a solid choice. Geithner is young and has a strong track record as a fiscal conservative. He's worked in government, not the private sector, so he's not beholden to a boardroom full of buddies at Goldman Sachs. He has a good publicist. He knows how to use a Blackberry. He knows what a Blackberry is. In this day and age, when the economy is moving all the time because the sun's always shining somewhere, you gotta be on top of that shit and have the energy to keep up. You have to stay hungry.
To be all corny and Rocky II about it, you gotta have the eye of the tiger.
I think Geithner's got it.
The world of high finance isn't for minnows, but it isn't for conscienceless sharks either. It's for dolphins with beak mounted laser beams.
Well played, President Obama. Well played.
(NOTE: Well, Giethner might not be so great. He can't even pay his own taxes as breaking news suggests. Oh well. Can't win 'em all.)
Well, I didn't make it past Round 2 of Project: Report. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed, but I'm glad to have made it as far as I did. It was a great experience. I learn a lot any time I film, edit, and produce my own material.
Thanks to the Pulitzer Center and YouTube team for putting together such a great contest. It was and is really encouraging to have made it through Round 1.
As I refuse to wallow in self-pity for not making it to Round 3 of Project: Report, I've set my sights on a new prize:
Sorry for two weeks of zero updates without any explanation.
My wife Ashley and I took our first big vacation in three years, and I forgot to leave a note before we lit out.
We were visiting her parents. They live in an incredible little town in Southern France, Puechabon, that doesn't have any broadband access. It's all by-the-minute dial-up at 56k. So, posting a blog entry was out of the question. Which was sort of nice.
Back in the 1960s Ashley's dad, Ken Weaver, was in a rock band called, The Fugs. College DJs used to get kicked off the air for spinning up their records because the stuff was so mind bendingly profane for its day. Hell, even now you probably couldn't get away with playing half their catalog on the air. They belted out tunes like, I Couldn't Get High, Boobs a Lot, and Slum Godess.
Maxine, his wife, is also very cool. She's been all over the world writing and teaching, and is one of the most kind and genuine people I know. Her and Ken met back in the 60's, spun around each other for years and years in a long orbit, and came back together in the early 1990s to get hitched. Here's an article that was written about her while she was teaching in Florida. It'll give you just a small slice of where she's been and what she's done.
Anyway, they both know tons of interesting characters, and we got to meet some really nice, weird, intelligent, and downright socialist, communist, pinko kinds of people while we were there. The sort that the Fundie Right and Bill O'Reilly love to rail at and about. I felt right at home.
While we were there, I had a massive gall bladder attack that incapacitated me with increasing severity over the course of three days (I thought I could walk it off the first two. The third day broke me). Now hear the horrors of socialized medicine:
I walked into an empty emergency room, had the problem pinpointed immediately, got instant care and relief as well as blood work to make sure there was nothing more sinister going on. We were in and out in an hour.
Out of pocket cost: $0.
That's right. Nada. Not a fucking cent. For people like Ashley and I, who sweat going to the regular doctor because even simple blood work is going to be a $200 hit WITH 'good' insurance, that was a pretty mind blowing experience.