On how we got into this economic apocalypse: two articles in the New York Times, a report and a Krugman column, come to the same conclusion: de facto Ponzi schemes and other chimera that made a few people preposterously wealthy (and the most delusional among them felt and still feel entitled to it) at the expense of everyone else, and their future. Not exactly breaking news, but worth repeating when billions are still going to these same people, while help for everybody else is stingy, grudging or nonexistent.
On the Warren thing (for I hope the last time.) Obamafolks point out that "The Inauguration will also involve Reverend Joseph Lowery, who will be delivering the official benediction at the Inauguration. Reverend Lowery is a giant of the civil rights movement who boasts a proudly progressive record on LGBT issues. He has been a leader in the struggle for civil rights for all Americans, gay or straight."
And that "At his 2005 inaugural, George W. Bush tapped Rev. Dr. Louis Leon to deliver the invocation. Like Obama and Warren, the two shared a commitment to combating AIDS in Africa, as well as a friendship from time spent in each other's company. But Leon was and is a progressive voice. And his selection in '04 sparked a lot of interest, though little of the outrage that we see with Warren."
About the best defense of the Obama position (though admittedly I haven't read a lot of them) is Cynthia Tucker's, which includes this: Obama seems to be sincere about looking for ways to revive not only bipartisan cooperation but also ecumenical cooperation. He’s right to try. There are millions of people of good will who believe climate change demands a wide-ranging government response; that all Americans should have access to health care; that government ought to do more to help the poor. Those people can be found in mosques, synagogues and churches, listening to clerics whose views run the spiritual and ideological spectrum.
Tucker, that Atlanta newspaper columnist with the luscious lips on TV, writes as an avowed Christian, which leads to a number of other thoughts. A Christian POV might well make a difference on how you evaluate this, as the lack of one also may mean that the politics of it stands out. On the other hand, why is the Inauguration a Christian-only ceremony? As I am not a Christian by belief, I don't feel included, and I don't much care.
For Obama's Saturday message on science, and science appointments, see Dreaming Up Daily.
Beginner's Mind - Finding a very nice hardback copy of Bruce Chatwin's last book in a bargain bin, a kind of miscellany of previously uncollected pieces called What Am I Doi...
2 days ago