Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy: November 22, 2008

Life: Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
Looking down onto fish balloon & crowds lining street during Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. November 25, 1941, Photographer: John Phillips

Wicked cold here today, big wind gusts outside. Brrr.

Today is the 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I was only 6 so I don't remember it that well. I remember being sent home from school early. It was the first time I saw my parents cry. The TV was on all the time for several days, the black and white Zenith a constant presence, my parents tearing up and leaving the room every once in awhile. I remember the funeral, the huge cortege, the slow, heavy pomp and circumstance of it all, and of course John John saluting the casket (hard to believe that he is dead). Others remember November 22, 1963 here, here, here, and here.

The Obama daughters are going to attend Sidwell Friends School, the same private school that Chelsea Clinton went to, where they will join Joe Biden's granddaughters as students.

President-Elect Obama is poised to name Timothy Greithner Treasury Secretary, Bill Richardson Commerce Secretary (those two are pretty well confirmed), and Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva as Secretary of the Interior (not final). So far, a very strong group, less progressive than I would like and not enough vagina-Americans. (Check out Tzvee's Talmudic Blog for a day-by-day rundown on whether or not Obama's appointees are Jews. So far the Jewish-Americans are kicking the Vagina-American's asses, metaphorically speaking. Maybe that's because they earned it: 78% of Jews voted for Barack. Yes they did. But Barack, come on, more vagina-Americans. Especially if you're going to put the loathesome Larry Summers in the White House. We've got the necessities, really.)

The burgeoning private prison system is concentrated in the reddest states that went for John McCain. Why? To gerrymander Congress. Because prisoners are counted as residents of the state where they are incarcerated by the United States census. Check out the counties with big prison populations on this map. If your neighbor is arrested in Massachusetts, and gets shipped to a private prison in South Carolina, they're counted as a resident of South Carolina for census purposes. The federal government's crackdown on immigration has also increased the prison population.

Is GE corn from Monsanto the Roman lead pipe of our age? Another terrifying story of the Republican Party's theory of deregulation gone horribly amuck: scientific tests have found that genetically engineered corn is linked to increased infertility. As scientists tested successive generations of mice, "the infertility of the GM-corn-fed rodents became more pronounced with each passing litter." Monsanto may be poisoning our planet forever and causing our own extinction.

If you're driving somewhere for Thanksgiving, read this excellent article at dailykos on how to share the road with truckers, how to drive in bad weather, how to react to problems. Just an excellent refresher on being a good driver.

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