Monday, January 19, 2009

What I’m Getting Wednesday

Okay, I’m about to throw up with the sycophant way the media is treating Obama. They are fawning over him like he is the second coming and until he walks across a swimming pool; I’m assuming he is just a man.

As much as possible I get black Americans and other non-whites being ecstatic about him being elected President, because no one ever thought we could have a bi-racial President, especially one who identifies himself as black. Also the man is articulate and presents himself well and after eight years of George W. Bush, it is a pleasure to think our President will seem, well Presidential.
But, he is starting off with the wrong thing. Spending 825 billion dollars to create make work projects will not restart the economy. Trying to push people to spend when that is what created the problem will not work. Still everyone is optimistic and hopeful and the slack jaw media is (for the most part) grinning from ear to ear. I guess I should be glad for everyone, but I bet all the people at Jonestown were hopeful and optimistic as they drank the Kool-Aid.

It is just insane that he can appoint a Secretary of Treasury who did not pay his taxes and instead of him being canned or pulled for the nomination, the press is giving him a pass. If a person applied to be an IRS agent and this was found out, you can be damn sure he would not get a job. If any other President in modern times tried to appoint someone with that flaw he would be shredded.

Look, be happy about Obama if you want and be hopeful that tomorrow is going to be a better day, but read and pay attention and don’t stick your head up your ass and think he will be turning water into wine.

Do you want a clear picture of where this country and the economy are going? Then read this book. It is by Peter Schiff and if you think we have hit bottom, we are not even close yet. Be aware he wrote this in 2006 and was dead on with what has happened so far.

Bottom line, I almost feel bad for Obama, as people have such ridiculous expectations for him, when they realize he is a man, the fall maybe very hard. Worse is I’m worried no matter how bad he does or what he screws up it will be okay with everyone. It is more of a religious fervor then anything else and logic goes out the window when all you have to do is believe. Well clap your hands everyone and make the economy brighter, me I’m trying to move my few bucks overseas and into gold.

The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:

Battlefields Night Witches #3 (of 3) – Ennis does such a beautiful job with his war comics, in both telling a story about war and giving us a history lesson. I had never heard of the Night Witches before and it is a fascinating story about the Russian front in WWII. The hype “Garth Ennis (W) Russ Braun (A) Covers: John Cassday Anna finds both love and tragedy, as the savage Russian winter tightens its grip on friend and foe alike. Third Squad fight battles below zero, while Kurt is unable to ignore the horror of his comrades' actions any longer. Germans and Night Witches come face to face in the worst possible way, colliding in a final storm of blood and bullets that leaves even the survivors scarred forever - as the first story in the Battlefields series reaches its horrifying conclusion.”

Dark Avengers #1 – My curiosity has gotten the better of me as I really want to see how they pull off the fake “Avengers” and then how does Diggle make the Thunderbolts work with half the cast or more moved into this book. The company line “THE DARK REIGN IS HERE! The start of an explosive new era in the Avengers mythos! Who are the Dark Avengers? Who is the Iron Patriot? The answers will shock you! Brought to you by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato Jr.” Remember to read all hype with the movie trialer voice and they sound better.

Fallen Angel #33 – Last issue was such a great ending, after all the trials and tribulations to get this sword and it is broken with ease. What happens next is what I have been waiting for. The word “Peter David (w) J.K. Woodward (a & c) 'Picking Up the Pieces.' In the aftermath of the war, the status quo of Bete Noire has been completely turned over. How will the new Magistrate of Bete Noire cope with this situation? How will the new guardian handle the needs of the city's helpless? And what exactly does Benny have up his serpentine sleeve?” This sounds like it skipped an issue as we are an issue from the aftermath I thought.

Final Crisis Superman Beyond #2 (of 2) – I’m a little confused as to the timing of these two issues and why they are so far apart, but I’m enjoying a lot of what Morrison is doing with this Crisis and look forward to each chapter, especially when he is the writer. If we need to use 3-D glasses again, that can be a pain since I wear glasses. The hype “Written by Grant Morrison; Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy; Covers by J.H. Williams III and Doug Mahnke. The epic voyage beyond reality concludes in this heart-stopping finale as the multiverse-spanning quest for the elixir of the supergods reaches its end on the shores of a battlefield beyond imagination! But first, the Supermen of five worlds must lay bare the darkest secret of the multiverse, expose the shocking origin of the Monitors and come face to face with a seemingly unstoppable evil fuelled by the power of 52 living universes! As the sun sets on existence itself, Mandrakk, the dark Monitor, is awakening! Can Superman prevail against the ultimate enemy of life and find his way home before utter darkness falls across the cosmos? With a startling 3-D section and 3-D glasses, twists and turns that have to be seen to be believed and cosmic action on a mind-shattering scale, SUPERMAN BEYOND ties directly to FINAL CRISIS and cannot be missed! "

Green Lantern #37 – Geoff Johns just rocks the world with this book. Each and every issue for about two years now has been brilliant and 2009 might be GL’s biggest year yet. The company line “Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert; Cover by Shane Davis and Sandra Hope. The prelude to "The Blackest Night" marches on with "Rage of the Red Lanterns" part 3! Hal Jordan continues his journey into the deepest depths of Ysmault, unlocking the strange secrets behind Atrocitus's crimson power and witnessing a bizarre prophecy all his own.”

The rest of the list:

Birds of Prey #126Written by Tony Bedard; Art by Claude St. Aubin and John Floyd; Cover by Stephane Roux. A "Faces of Evil"issue! After The Joker shook up the Silicon Syndicate, the Calculator makes his move! But who in the syndicate may be leaking info to Oracle and her Birds of Prey – and who is the new muscle behind Calculator?

Black Lighting Year One #2 (of 6)Written by Jen Van Meter; Art and cover by Cully Hamner. Jefferson Pierce returns to his old stomping grounds – the infamous Suicide Slum of Metropolis – in order to bring some hope to the residents of his downtrodden former neighborhood. He'll quickly learn, though, that a lawless place sometimes requires a lawless vigilante to drag it into the light. Acclaimed writer Jen Van Meter (CINNAMON, OUTSIDERS) and kinetic artist Cully Hamner (BLUE BEETLE, RED) combine forces to retell the electrifying origin of DC's most honorable hero, the bold and brave Justice Leaguer known as Black Lightning!

Brave and Bold #21Written by David Hine; Art by Doug Braithwaite and Bill Reinhold; Cover by Doug Braithwaite. It's Lantern vs. Lantern as Hal Jordan comes to blows with his bizarre alien counterpart! Back on Earth, Green Arrow struggles to save the children of Arcadia Orphanage from further horrific experimentation!

Conan The Cimmerian #7 - Tim Truman's "Cimmeria" story arc comes to an explosive finale and tribal politics come to a head, as the fate of Conan's new lover is decided! Conan learns the truth about why his grandfather stayed in Cimmeria-where the old warrior became a vital member of his adopted village, yet never let go of his daydreams and wanderlust. Brecan seeks to impress his chieftain father and end current clan tensions and disputes, but his "solution" creates even more problems and puts him at odds with an enraged Conan. Everything ties together here, as the first Conan the Cimmerian arc crescendos into a flurry of swords and emotion!

Dark Delicacies #1F. Paul Wilson, Steve Niles, Joe R. Lansdale, Neal Barrett, Jr. (w) Douglas Draper, Jr., Jerry Beck (a) D. W. Frydendahl, Sarah Wilkinson (c) Presenting an all-new anthology comic featuring tales of terror torn from the pages of the Bram Stoker Award-winning series of the same name. Producer/Writer Steve Niles and Editor Del Howison bring together some of the biggest names in the genre to celebrate horror in this quarterly anthology of all things gruesome and macabre.

Epilogue #4 – Steve Niles (w); Kyle Hotz (a & c) The mob wants to pay the vampiric Ethan back for his vengeful rampage. The vampires need this new vigilante put down before things escalate any more. But for Ethan, a man with no hope and no options, the worst threat is still to come.

Faces of Evil Deathstroke (One Shot) – Written by David Hine; Art by Georges Jeanty; Cover by Ladronn. Deathstroke nearly died fighting Geo-Force in DCU: LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, and now he needs to rebuild himself. He's not about to let a near death experience make him lose his place as one of the most dangerous villains in the DCU. Where will he start? What's next for the Terminator? And how high will the body count be when he's finished?

Frazetta Moon Maid (One Shot) - story Jay Fotos art Tim Virgil team up for an epic tale inspired by one of FRANK FRAZETTA'S most beloved paintings: Moon Maid! On the dead moon of Kyra, a sheltered young Maid is torn between good and evil. As she comes of age and the equinox draws closer, the Maid learns her true identity and what purpose she has in the universe. The only trick is learning who she can trust...and how to survive her destiny!

Ghost Rider #31 – The last time we saw Deputy Kowalski, he'd had his hand chopped off and eaten by a crazed cannibal and been Penance Stared by an enraged Johnny Blaze. Now he's back, armed with a hellfire shotgun and gunning for vengeance against the Ghost Rider. And as if that wasn't bad enough, there's also the little matter of the final war for heaven, as Danny Ketch leads the warrior angels of the Black Host against Blaze and his ragtag band of rebels. Is this really the end for the Spirits of Vengeance?

Giant Size Grimm Fairy Tales #1by Joe Brusha & Martin Moniel The first giant sized issue from the hit Grimm Fairy Tales series! This special double-sized issue explores Belinda's mysterious past, re-imagining the classic fairy tale 'The boy who knew no fear.'

Guardians of the Galaxy #9 – Star-Lord...trapped in the Negative Zone Prison...under attack from King Blastaar and his barbarian hordes! Will Rocket Raccoon and his new Guardians arrive in time to save their leader? Given their recent run of luck, probably not! Plus, cool art by Star Wars penciler Bong Dazo staggering revelations about Adam Warlock – as events continue to build to WAR OF KINGS!

Hellblazer #251 - Written by Peter Milligan; Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini; Cover by Lee Bermejo. Vertigo welcomes back one of its most popular and prolific scribes to pilot our longest-running title! Writer Peter Milligan (BATMAN, HUMAN TARGET, X-Statix) begins raising hell as John Constantine digs his fingers deep into his bumpy past. He discovers that old wounds and new loves are both best left untouched in part 1 of the the storyarc "Scab." Don't miss out on the start of an intense, mind-bending new era for John Constantine!

Justice League of America #29 Written by Dwayne McDuffie; Art and cover by Ed Benes. A "Faces of Evil"issue! Dr. Light's powers are fully restored, but at what cost? Meanwhile, with the Shadow Cabinet out of the way, Shadow Thief is more powerful than ever. But even if the JLA manages to stop him, there's still the little problem of Starbreaker, who is one step closer to consuming the sun.

Marvel Masterworks Daredevil Volume #110The Man Without Fear faces his greatest threats yet in his fantastic fifth MASTERWORKS adventure! Matt Murdock has done battle with Marveldom's most maddening villains " but when he meets the Jester for the very first time, the rules change forever. Framing DD for murder, the Jester sets all of New York on a manhunt for the Man Without Fear! But there's another menace looking to push the stakes even higher: Starr Saxon, the mastermind who discovers DD's secret identity! Then comes the all-time Stan Lee/Gene Colan classic, "Brother, Take My Hand!" " a story that marked the ever-advancing march of super-hero comics into the social issues of the '60s by tackling the tale of a blinded Vietnam vet finding his way Stateside. It's a no-question classic! There's plenty of action, too, as DD jumps inside the ring to rub knuckles with Captain America, teeters over the city with Stilt Man, teams-up with the Black Panther and all the while struggles to rebuild his relationship with the lovely Karen Page. And as if that wasn't enough, we're rounding it out with the Stan and Gene's Not Brand Echh side-splitter, "Scaredevil, Defeated by the Evil Electrifico!" Collecting DAREDEVIL #42-53 and NOT BRAND ECHH #4.

Mighty Avengers #21“Earth's Mightiest Part 1 of 3" "The Smartest Man in the Room" IT ALL STARTS HERE! A new roster! One of the team's most powerful foes! And one of the most popular and requested Avengers returns to the fold! When darkness reigns and chaos falls, there's no room for compromise, no time to run and hide. The world needs EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES! But after the events of Secret Invasion, is HANK PYM ready to rejoin their ranks? And what is the secret that haunts him, a secret dating back to the earliest days of the original team? Join Dan Slott and Khoi Pham for a new age of ALL OUT AVENGERS ACTION! Special giant-sized issue! 36 pages of all-new story and art! Guest starring: NEW AVENGERS, DARK AVENGERS, YOUNG AVENGERS, and CLASSIC AVENGERS!

Moon Knight #26“DOWN SOUTH,” PART 1 Out of the frying pan…into the inferno. Marc Spector may be dead, but Moon Knight is very much alive. Hiding out in the dark underbelly of Mexico City, trouble quickly finds the fugitive vigilante when a mysterious millionaire begs him to ensure the safe return of his kidnapped daughter. Problem is, the girl is in the clutches of corrupt cops that are currently in the crosshairs of a vigilante whose methods make even Khonshu blink. The Punisher has come down to Mexico, and God help anyone who gets between him and his prey.

Mysterius The Unfathomable #1 (of 6)Written by Jeff Parker; Art and cover by Tom Fowler. "Will all patrons please be seated? Tonight you will witness supernatural feats that no mortal mind can comprehend! Your very senses will reel as Mysterius the Great takes the stage after years in absentia! And now please welcome his newest stalwart, the brave and beautiful assistant who will accompany our host on a journey beyond the boundaries of science and reason...the Lovely Delfi! Now, all join hands..."
Robin #182 – Written by Fabian Nicieza; Art by Freddie E. Williams II; Cover by Brian Stelfreeze. The stunning conclusion to "Search for a Hero"and a "Faces of Evil"issue! In order to stop Anarky, do you impose order with an iron fist or embrace chaos? Or can Robin find a different way? After "Batman R.I.P.,"Gotham City demands a better class of hero, and the new Robin is going to give them exactly what they deserve...

Ruins #1 – Marvel's favorite pessimist looks through his darkest glass yet into a world where "marvel" is just another word for "horror." Nuclear warfare, internment camps, government oppression, drug addiction, degradation, suicide...and those are just the ones we have words for. Have the men and women we know as heroes made the situation better or worse? Here's a hint: In the Ruins, radiation only kills. Collecting RUINS #1-2.

Spider-Man Noir #2 (of 4)With great power, come great responsibility…and a leather overcoat, and a revolver. It’s Spider-Man as you’ve never seen him before! Writers David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky and artist Carmine Di Giandomenico descend into the seamy, trash-strewn underbelly of Depression-era New York, and soar to the bloated heights of corruption and greed, to tell the unfamiliar story of Peter Parker, a conscientious but powerless young man given the ability to take on the Goblin’s mob! Will the crusading photojournalist Ben Urich and the slinky femme fatale.

Stormwatch Phd #18 – Written by Ian Edginton and Christos Gage; Art by Leandro Fernández and Francisco Paronzini and Phil Noto; Cover by Leandro Fernández. While StormWatch has been trying to rebuild the world, Jackson King has been keeping close tabs on The Authority. And when one of his undercover agents is discovered by the super-team, it'll force his hand!

Supergirl #37Written by Sterling Gates; Cover by Joshua Middleton; Art by Jamal Igle and Keith Champagne. "Who is Superwoman?"part 1 of 5 and a "Faces of Evil"issue! After her encounter with the mysterious Superwoman, Supergirl is left with two burning questions: who is Superwoman, and what gives her the right to wear the symbol of the House of El? The answers lead Supergirl into the darkest depths of New Krypton and drastically alter the Superman Family forever!

Superman Batman Annual #3 – Written by Len Wein; Art by Chris Batista and Mick Gray; Cover by Bernie Wrightson. In the grand tradition of past SUPERMAN/BATMAN Annuals, this year's tale re-imagines the classic World's Finest villainy of the Composite Superman as only the co-creator of Swamp Thing could! Part Superman, part Batman, this patchwork behemoth plans on living out the lives of both heroes. But can Lois and Robin survive the horrific experience as they face the creature with two brains? With a monstrous cover from horror master Bernie Wrightson!

Tangent Superman’s Reign #11 (of 12)Written by Dan Jurgens and Ron Marz; Art by Carlos Magno and Julio Ferreira and Andie Tong and Mark McKenna; Cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. In this penultimate issue, the Justice League of America is defeated as Tangent Superman has conquered the DC Universe by setting the Ultra-Humanite loose on the populace. Is anyone left to challenge the Tangent Man of Telekinesis? Or has the mad dictator truly won?

Thunderbolts #128From the ashes of Secret Invasion, an all-new era for the Thunderbolts erupts, with repercussions felt right across the Marvel Universe! Yelena Belova (a.k.a. Black Widow II) leads the irredeemable Ant-Man and the sinister Ghost in a daring mission to take down the U.S. President aboard Air Force One! But even as Norman Osborn tightens his grip on power, he must battle toe-to-toe against his deadliest foe: the Green Goblin! Wait, what...? Be there as writer Andy Diggle (The Losers) and artist Roberto De La Torre (Invincible Iron Man) flip everyone’s favorite team of villains upside down!
Trinity #34Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza; Art by Mark Bagley and Art Thibert, Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens, Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher and Mike Norton and Ande Parks; Cover by Shane Davis. There's war on Earth, war in space and war in another dimension. And at the heart of it all stands a desperate mission to track down and save Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman by some of their most devoted family and friends. But to save the Trinity, the rescue squad will have to defy gods as the fate of Earth hangs in the balance.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #2 - Emma Frost has never been a simple person, nor has she had a simple past. The Hellfire Club. The Hellions. Generation X. Genosha. But you haven’t seen it all. Did you know about her history with Namor? With Tony Stark? With Norman Osborn? The X-Men have often operated on the outside of the Marvel Universe; that stops now and in this annual.

Vigilante #2 - Written by Marv Wolfman; Art by Rick Leonardi and John Stanisci; Cover by Andrew Robinson. A "Faces of Evil"issue! In order to uncover information about a traitor within the DC Universe, Vigilante allows himself to be captured and brought to jail to confront a terrorist cell and learn the name of the turncoat. But when the conspiracy deepens, Vigilante soon finds himself in way over his head and fighting for his life, trapped behind bars. But it's the inmates who should be afraid. Vigilante plans on being their worst nightmare! Continuing this exciting new ongoing series!

X-Factor #39Witness the most important event in the lives of Jaime Madrox and Siren—the birth of their baby! What will happen to X-Factor—and what will be the meaning for mutantkind!...All we can guarantee are that the answers are not what you expect—but that’s what makes it X-Factor! Don’t miss what is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of 2009!

X-Men Kingbreaker #2 (of 4) - Marvel Girl, Korvus and Lilandra are the only resistance to Vulcan’s reign, but Vulcan aims to end their rebellion. With Havok, Polaris and rest of the Starjammers in prison, they don’t stand to get much help. The Shi’Ar Empire is expanding under Emperor Vulcan’s reign… Come see the road to the WAR OF KINGS!

X-Men Legacy #220 - “Salvage” It’s the moment that X-Fans have been waiting for — Rogue makes her return to the X-Books. But while Xavier seeks out Rogue, who is searching for him? Hunter becomes hunted and friend becomes foe, in a story that will change your favorite Southern Belle forever. Part 1 (of 5)

This is a rather larger week and that falls back into the pattern I usually see with my books, where the second half of the month is always bigger then the first half. I have actually seen a decent reduction in my list of books also as I have weeded out some series and not replaced others as they have ended. Also as the economy weakens I expect to see fewer books make the grade and creators will not be able to do projects that are break even or cost them a few bucks. Unfortunately I’m a fan of a lot of those books and that means I want to see those projects and maynot for the foreseeable future.


  1. Who do you think is believing you have any money to put into gold or overseas accounts? We all know where your money is. Comics. Besides, what overseas market would you invest in? It's not like anyone else is doing any better, unless you've got some inside track to a state owned enterprise in China.

    As far as the media and Obama, I'm pretty tired of the crying and whining of the philosophical losers in this election. Piss and moan. Piss and moan. Guess, what? American chose a different path than the one you prefer.

    Has Obama done anything yet to show he doesn't have a clue as to what he's doing? No. So why would you expect the media to take an accusatory tone with its coverage? These are the same people, after all, who let the Shrub go on his merry way into invading Iraq with hardly any criticism. No doubt they'll be much quicker to jump on Obama if he screws up, as Obama's not likely to accuse them of being unpatriotic or traitorous.

    That being said, I'm sure the recession hasn't bottomed out yet. In fact, Obama's made it quite clear that he doesn't think so, either. Maybe that's why the media likes the guy. Aside from his symbolic value, he's giving a clear eyed, realistic view of the situation and the hard road ahead to work our way out of it, including putting up a boat load of money.

    Do you really think that just standing around and letting the whole thing fall apart is preferable? If you do, you might want to take a moment and ponder why your preferred candidate has a snow ball's chance in hell of being elected. You try selling the electorate on the idea that it's better for the government to sit and watch you fall into poverty, along with just about all of your neighbors, just so the government can adhere to some idealized, mytholigical idea of economics. A massive debt certainly has high risks. Fiddling while the banks burn, thoguh, is worse.

  2. First off, Obama is being treated like he is a God and that is just insane. Allowing his Treasury secretary to get a pass by the press is insane.

    The fact that my canidate did not win (Ron Paul) is not why I'm "whinning", I'm more concerned that people think we can fix everything with spending more money.

    You think doing nothing will crash us into poverty - I think doing nothing brings us back to sanity in a couple of years instead of bankrupting American for the next 20 years.

    Massive debt will devalue the dollar and it will be our country worse off then others, because not everyone else is in the same debt situation. So if the dollar collapses and I have money in Euros, then I will have protected any wealth (LOL) I have and can repatriot my money once America starts to rebuild.

    Obama has set his sights on the same failed tactics that we have already started under that idiot Bush, who continued crap that Clinton started (and Greenspan).


    All we are doing is pushing us deeper into the Abyss.

    Oddly enough I have hopes that since Obama is a smart man, he maybe willing to change course when he realises how f**ked what he is doing is.

    While my candidate did not win, out of our choices Obama was the more logical choice, but I fear he is only diverse in appearance and not in his thinking.

  3. It's no secret that I like President Bush. As he mentioned in his farewell address, keeping us safe was his number one priority since 911 and he did that. People disagree on how it was done, but the results are undeniable. The fact that a lot of the country "feels" safe enough to party like its been doing the past few days is testimony enough. Plus, I can't imagine anyone better to lead us immediately after the terrorist attacks.

    I'm also a big fan of his pro-life stance (no surprise there) and his aid to Africa. There are certainly things that he could have done better, but his service is done and I wish him well. He's not an idiot either, Jim.

    I wish Obama well too and I really wanted to go down to the Mall this morning to see the inauguration in person like I did for the last two. I don't think the crowds and standing around would have bothered me, but I just don't have the right attire to be in the cold for 8+ hours. (I would have liked to go to the We Are One concert too. I guess the title is about racial equality, because from the Bush-bashing I heard about there, we're definitely not of one mind.) I still took off so I can watch it on Fox today -- I also want to hear Rick Warren's invocation. I hope people have a great day. It is a nice milestone event for our country.

    I think many of Jim's predictions of doom and gloom are very possible. Hopefully, Obama will deviate from some of his current plans and use that highly-praised intellect to make some better choices. The problem with Mob worship is that it can turn on a dime. The same group that were yelling "Hosanna" to Jesus on Palm Sunday were yelling "Crucify Him" less than a week later. Obama has become a symbol of a lot of people's hopes for change. He won't be able to meet all of those different expectations.

    I say we cut Senators to four year terms and Presidents to a single six-year term. Most waste a lot of time trying to secure a second term and then do very little with it.

    Thomm, thank you for the e-mail response a while back.

  4. Matt - You are right, Bush was far from an idiot. In fact that comment was made out of my frustration regarding his unwillingness to change course on many of his policies. In fact I believe Bush won every election that he ran. Also he was far from a fiscal conservative and I keep hoping one day we will get one.

  5. Where to start?

    Jim's initial statement that Bush is an idiot isn't far off the mark. He's not shown any intellectual ability at any point in his life. He's shallow, unreflective and possesses an untoward sense of absolute knowledge of right and wrong that's not born out by the facts around him. He's not illiterate, but he's not a man well suited for a job that requires nuance.

    Jim and I have different views on economics and I'll leave that alone. I don't think massive debt is a good thing, but I also don't think Obama plans on that being a long term status. He may have problems getting there, but he does want to reduce the debt once the current situation is addressed. It's not perfect, but it's good enough for now.

    Matthew, thanks for the props on the e-mail. I have to respectfully disagree on the Bush 9/11 legacy. First, I don't think he did anything Gore wouldn't have done when it came to rallying the public after the attacks. Neither of them are particularly effective public speakers and the office itself accounts for a lot of the high regard Bush received. Appearing to stand up and stand against the attackers isn't all that difficult, after all.

    Second, the current right wing complaint that Bush isn't given enough credit for keeping the country from further attacks is a pretty desperate hunt for something positive to adhere to out of his 8 years in office. The best accomplishment for 8 years in office is that nothing happened? Wow. Impressive. Why not take credit for no asteroids hitting the US during the last 8 years?

    Which brings me to the third point. What makes anyone think Bush is responsible for the lack of attack since 9/11? Sure, al-Qaeda has been more or less operationally castrated since the invasion of Afghanistan (something, I might point out, Gore would have done, too). But there have been numerous attacks around the world inspired by al-Qaeda and carried out by home grown loons, from Spain to Britain to Indonesia, and most often Pakistan. I'll not count Iraq, as that's a disaster of our own making, but it's clear that there are loony elements out there willing to kill people for their point of view.

    So, have they not attacked here because of something Bush did? I don't think so. It wouldn't be hard for them to get here. Some may already have been here on 9/11. Bush certainly has touted the idea that there were "sleeper agents", and in the inestimable words of Rumsfeld (or something akin to them), it's a thing we know that we don't know, in terms of their identities. Why haven't they attacked in all this time? It's not hard to blow up crowds of people. We have crowds all over, all the time. Not just big time sproting events like NFL games but even high school games and such were there'd be no security whatsoever.

    I'm inclined to believe that there haven't been any attacks because 1) the 9/11 attacks were intended for their symbolism as much as the death and destruction caused, and they achieved their goal in that regard, 2) there is no domestic support for those sorts of attacks (whereas there are elements in Indonesia, Pakistan and even the UK that would shield and aid the attackers), and 3) there never were any sleeper agents here in the first place.

    Besides, just what did Bush do to achieve this? Who would know? They never tell us anything. What we do know is that they're willing to imprison people without trial and monitor anyone's communications without warrants. You could argue that Bush has protected us from attack until the cows come home, I find the methods unacceptable and a victory for the attackers of 9/11. It's not our lives that count. It's the principles of our Constitution and our efforts to live up to them that count. Life alone is insufficient.

    Which brings me to the idea of a 6 year presidential term and single 4 year senatorial term. The Founders didn't put term limits in the Consitution for good reason. Why should the people deprived of the represntative they want by arbitrary term limits? Is the nation better off? No. What you get is an entrenched beauracracy running both the legislature and the executive because they have the institutional knowledge and length of service while the legislators and president are always new guys. Besides, Mexico has a six year, single term presidency. Do you really want to model anything off of Mexico?

    This isn't to say that the system couldn't do with some tweaking to reduce the money element in the electoral process. Free, unlimited acces to media resources would probably do away with a lot of the money hunt, as getting the word out is the major expense for every candidate. Not that the media outlets would like that much. Still, it's not impossible.

  6. Thomm, I meant have Senators on a four-year term cycle, not term limits, just to off balance a complete turn-over at one time. I do think taking the reelection prize out of the presidency would be effective. And I picked six-years because it seems like no matter who is President by the end of eight years they've worn out their welcome (maybe it's too long).

    I think the biggest difference between what Bush did and what Gore might have done comes down to Bush's Christian faith. I know Gore is said to have the same faith, but how they exercise it is different. It was extremely comforting to me to see our President depend on the Lord in our hour of greatest need.

    I watched everything on TV today. I think I really should have made the effort to go. Seeing the crowds was incredible. I did like seeing the friendly exchanges between Bush and Obama. I was expecting President Obama's speech to be more moving. The Rick Warren invocation was AWESOME -- by far my favorite part (just like the Franklin Graham invocation was my favorite part of the 2001 inauguration.)

  7. Differences in outlook, there. What you find comforting, I find disturbing.

    In this country I expect a president to be a Christian. Numbers being what they are in a reprsentative government. But I don't want a Christian who thinks he's the arbiter of morality or that he has all the answers because of his faith. I want one who's introspective and respectful of the large numbers of us who aren't Christians. Bush never seemed to be able muster any respect for anyone who didn't see things exactly the way he did.

    My favorite moments out of the Inauguration were Obama's polite wait while Justice Roberts corrected himself on the swearing in and the mention of non-believers in Obama's speech. We non-believers almost never get a mention in the public forum. Well, not in a good way, anyway.

    I also liked the Blofeldian appearance of Dick Cheney. Gotta thank The Daily Show for pointing out that reference.

  8. I find it interesting that much of the democratic ideals that we have come from democracy in ancient Athens. The reason for this is that the ancient Athenians were cynical people who went out of their way to police their own government against corruption. I actually do think that term limits for senators would be a good idea - if they could only serve for a limited amount of time it would be harder for them to build up a power base. Our Congress people should be there to serve the people, not to become powerful, wealthy and secure enough in there position that they push more for their own agenda than that of the people they represent. In Athens representatives only served a year before a new election - an election done by lot. Most citizens were called to pay for their citizenship by serving there city-state - they did not decide to "run for office". On top of this they were constantly called forth to account for there decisions as a means of keeping them in line. Obviously this was a system more practical in a relatively small city-state, but politicians seem to forget that they are there to represent the people, not follow their own personal agenda.

    Also, I know Jim hates Bill Clinton, but I will point out that he zeroed out the national debt. Trying to reduce our debt would be more useful in the long run than spending more money.

    I'm not too sure about Obama with announcing he's going to close Guantanamo when there's no plan yet as to how this will be done. This would have been a better move if he had announced it after he had a plan...