The 44th President of the United States - Inauguration Day. Some Thoughts.

Today was THE Day.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to watch live - so I've been catching up when I got home.

I loved Michelle's outfit - It had just the right touch. The girls outfits were adorable. Lovely bright colors.

The next thing that struck me - was how old everyone is - and I don't mean all the ex Presidents. I mean the leaders of the house. What a bunch of old fossils.

I didn't like the John Williams music piece called "Air and Simple Gifts." Yuck. I could've done better with ol' garageband. What were they thinking? Listen to it carefully - the piece in the middle is what I am objecting to. Just plain horrible. Bits in the beginning and the end were okay.

I got to see the swearing in gaffe - not Obama's fault. But Puhleese. Can't we find a Chief Justice that can memorize the swearing in?

I was just a little disappointed with Obama's speech - I guess I was expecting something really wonderful. It was just a little depressing - sheesh! Nothing like extinguishing all hope.

And then I had to stop watching with the poetry reading. What an awful poem! It didn't even sound good! What happened to poetry as art? Where are the words, and the pacing that paint the picture - a picture with words?? It was horrible. And I had to stop watching. I read one commenter who compares this poem to Vogon poetry. Vogon poetry is referred to in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as the worst poetry in the galaxy. I would extend that to all known universes.

Look, don't get me wrong - Obama is my guy. I voted for him. I get that this is a historic occasion - the first black/ african american president. Yes, I feel choked - it is moving to watch the millions that thronged to the Mall. Great. Wonderful. But don't foist a terrible music piece and a god awful poem on me. Ugh.

And am I the only one, who feels just a little teensy weensy bit sorry for Bushie? He looked so completely relieved to be finally out of it all. (And let's be honest - Bushie was in way over his head for 8 extremely long years.)

More on the mortgage crisis.

Over at Washington Post, Rich Leonard has an interesting article on why it is a good idea for bankcruptcy reform for people who are facing losing their homes to be able to renegotiate their mortgage agreement. As I have said before (I think in response to one of the Presidential debates) I have no problem if people renegotiate their mortgage agreements, I simply don't believe the purchase price (which was freely agreed to) should be changed. Money quote:
Chapter 13 is no walk in the park. It requires public disclosure of every aspect of your life, examinations under oath by a trustee and creditors, allowing creditors to haul you into court on any objection, and relinquishment of control of your financial life for up to five years. If you falter, your case will be dismissed and you will lose the entire benefit of the bankruptcy law, including having your original contract terms reinstated. That is precisely why allowing mortgage modifications is such a good approach. It would elegantly separate those homeowners who desperately need to stay in their homes and have sufficient incomes to make reasonable payments from those investors who bet on lax regulation, easy credit and an appreciating market in buying residential properties. Those in the latter category will have no use for this process, but for the first category, it could be a powerful step back to financial stability.

Mumbai attacks

I was on my way back from Utah, having breakfast at the Best Western in Grand Junction on Thanksgiving when I watched news reports of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. What madness. Over at No Quarter is an interesting article on the Mumbai attacks and the relationship between India and Pakistan.

How did McCain lose?

As I have said before, I think it is a great pity that McCain ran his campaign the way he did. Ann Althouse sets out 4 points on how McCain lost her... 1. Economics. The timing of the Wall Street collapse couldn't have come at a worst time for the McCain campaign. His decision to suspend the campaign came out as political grandstanding. What he should have done was reach out to the Obama camp, and make some sort of joint statement from both. Now that would have been classy. 2. He made the experience argument irrelevant in his choice of Sarah Palin. (And no, being a mayor of a small town, or Governor of a state, really doesn't help you much when you come across in interviews as being clueless on national issues.) 3. Ann talks about principled conservatism. Cough cough. I don't believe that McCain is a conservative, just as I don't believe that the current Republican party is conservative. What McCain should have done is move the party to the center to take advantage of the center left drift. 4. Erratic and incoherent. The McCain campaign didn't know what their message was - and couldn't communicate that to the voters.

Africa is a continent

I really don't give much to recent reports that Gov Palin didn't know that South Africa is a country. I mean - why is the media in such a knot about this? Most of Americans that I have met (well meaning, and well educated Americans) have no idea that Africa is a continent, not a country and that South Africa is a country not a geographical region. So why the mock outrage regarding this alleged ignorance on the part of Palin? And another thing - get over yourselves guys. It's over. Stop beating the dead horse (or moose tee hee.)

What if Global Warming was a bunch of hooey?

I have been deeply skeptical of the new religion called "Global Warming." Notice how instead of Global Warming, this new religion has morphed into "global climate change"? Now I am not denying that human activity especially unprincipled industrial activity has and can and will continue to have unless tightly regulated devastating effects on the environment. And by showing my skepticism for the New Religion I am not condoning flagrant and irresponsible use of the environment and our resources. I am no "Drill, Baby, Drill" Girl. I just don't like how the scientific community has been effectively silenced, that scientific dissent has been squashed. News flash idiots - science is always about testing, and dissenting. That's why its science and not religion. So when we get to a movement, that doesn't tolerate dissenting scientific opinion or study, then in my book, it ceases to become relevant. Here's an interesting article about how facts on the ground are simply not fitting into the neat "Global Warming" dogma.

On the Elections

My take on the 2 McCain books is: I really enjoyed "Citizen McCain." It gives an interesting insight into how Congress works. Most of the book (or the part that I read in any detail anyway) is about how McCain got the McCain-Feingold campaign reform legislation through. It was an amazing balancing act, and one of McCain's finest legacies. I am still trying to get into the other book - "The Myth of the Maverick." I don't believe that McCain's campaign was run well. Yes I do believe that the media has really been giving Obama a nice and easy ride. I also believe that Obama will win this election. I have decided to vote for Obama - in fact I finished my mail in ballot tonight. I believe that Obama will be a good president. While I think McCain appears stronger in foreign policy, I don't believe he has demonstrated in this campaign that he has the better temperament for the White House. His pick of Palin and the disastrous handling of his campaign around the Wall Street crisis sealed the deal for me. I think that it is a pity and a huge disappointment that McCain didn't run the campaign that he should have - a honest campaign geared at attracting centrists, independents and so called McCain democrats. Hard core Republicans are not going to go anywhere - they fear being left out in the cold, and they need to work with the candidate they got, not the other way around. However I think that the media needs to do a better job at holding Obama's feet to the fire. The media giddiness is simply inappropriate. I don't like to see one party whether it is Republican or Democratic holding overwhelming majorities in every level of government. We've seen what a complete disaster it has been with the Republican's in power. The same is true if the Dems get control of both houses. Never a good idea for democracy. For those hysterical at the thought of an Obama administration my advice is to chill. I don't believe we are going to see the end of days. Maybe, just maybe we will finally get an Administration that we the people are craving... leadership that is not afraid to listen to other points of view, and new way of doing things. We shall see how things turn out.

On Troopergate

Its a cold Sunday evening, and I am reading the Troopergate report.

To read it in its entirety go here (it makes for some riveting reading.)

The report finds that Gov Palin did abuse her position in attempting to get Trooper Wooten fired. The report highlights the Palin's repeated efforts to get the investigation into Trooper Wooten (the investigation that was investigated and finalized under the previous administration) reopened. The report talks about the Palin's frustration with the fact that Wooten simply received a "slap on the wrist" and that "people" were "protecting him." When it was explained to Todd that the matter was over, and there was no reasonable grounds to open it up again, without exposing the Palin's, other individuals and the State to possible litigation, Todd Palin continued to make a fuss about other issues - the infamous moose hunting, the alleged use of a snowmobile while on a workers' compensation case, and using his vehicle to drop off his children at school. With each incident the complaints were dismissed. Most telling with the moose incident was that if the state were to press charges other people such as the Governor's sister, and her father would also be implicated. On the Workers' compensation issue, that Wooten had received medical clearance to snow mobile, and finally the issue of using a state patrol car to drop off his children he had received his supervisors permission to do so.

What I find astonishing is the role of Todd Palin. It is apparently quite okay for Todd Palin, the so called First Gentleman to use the Governor's office as his own, and to seemingly be very involved in the day to day running of the Governor's office. Simply astonishing.

The Second finding of the report is that the Commissioner's refusal to reopen the investigation to get Trooper Wooten fired, was not the sole reason that the Commissioner was fired but was a "contributing factor." Hypothetically what if Commissioner Monegan had done what he was being told to do and fired Wooten? Would he still have his job today despite his other "problems"?

Well I guess we will never know... but I am deeply skeptical.

What I find so astonishing is that the ethics Palin has demonstrated are the very "cancer" that McCain is against. Ethics in Government is the foundation behind the McCain - Feingold Reforms. Oh McCain! What were you thinking!?