Saturday, September 30, 2006

Foley resigns over sexually explicit messages...

Saying he was "deeply sorry," Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned from Congress yesterday, hours after ABC News questioned him about sexually explicit internet messages with current and former congressional pages under the age of 18.

A spokesman for Foley, the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, said the congressman submitted his resignation in a letter to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

Hours earlier, ABC News had read excerpts of instant messages provided by former male pages who said the congressman, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual organs and acts.

In a statement, Foley said, "I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent."

I expect that Foley will get very little sympathy because of the hypocrisy of his behavior. Here's a guy promoting legislation to protect children while at the same time engaging in inappropriate behavior.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A case of conscience...

Photo shows Army Spc. Agustin Aguayo, 34, talking during a press conference at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Los Angeles on Tuesday of this week.

Aguayo, an army medic who jumped out of a window and fled rather than serve a second tour in Iraq because he believes war is immoral, said Tuesday that he will surrender to face possible court-martial.

I'm sure that the members of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders would not approve.

Ayuayo is a native of Mexico who is now an American citizen.

(Photo: Damian Dovarganes / AP)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A night to celebrate...

This photo by Michael DeMocker of the Times-Picayune shows Saints owner Tom Benson and Head Coach Sean Payton celebrating the Saints victory last night in New Orleans.

The people of New Orleans have not had much to cheer about since Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of their city more than a year ago. It seems that the reopening of the Louisiana Superdome had a lot of symbolic value.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Much of New Orleans still resembles a ghost town...

This photo is a grim reminder of Katrina's devastation. With the sun rising in the background, a house lies crumpled near a levee in the Ninth Ward. A year after Katrina devastated much of New Orleans, parts of the city still resemble a ghost town.

Tonight football fans will tune in to ESPN to see a packed Louisiana Superdome cheer on their Saints. A big celebration is planned for the reopening of a building that was once the scene of horrific suffering. Hopefully, viewers tonight will not forget "the other New Orleans" that is reflected in this photo.

(Photo: Joachim Ladefoged / VII)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ireland plays host to Ryder Cup..

Colin Montgomerie, left, made a birdie putt on No. 18 Friday afternoon.

After a day of play the Europeans have a 5-3 lead over the United States.

If you are a golfing fan you can look forward to a lot of great golf on television this weekend. The Irish Government are hoping this event will showcase Ireland as a tourist destination.

(Photo: Ross Kinnard/Getty Images)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Light blogging...

I'm on the road today (Thursday) and tomorrow so I'll not be posting.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Deval Patrick wins landslide victory...

Photo shows Deval Patrick addressing supporters last night at a Boston hotel following his win in the gubernatiorial primary. (Photo: John Tlumacki/Boston Globe)

Deval L. Patrick, who rose from poverty in Chicago's South Side to corporate boardrooms and a top post in the Clinton administration, swept to victory in the Democratic Party primary for governor yesterday, becoming the first African-American to win a major party's nomination for the top job in Massachusetts.

Patrick won half the primary votes cast yesterday, far outpacing his two better known rivals, businessman Christopher Gabrieli and Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly. He made strong showings in blue-collar urban enclaves, in liberal and conservative suburban towns, and in Western Massachusetts. He also carried Cape Cod.

With 98 percent of the state precincts reporting, Patrick had 50 percent of the vote, Gabrieli 27 percent, and Reilly was a distant third with 23 percent of the vote.

Yesterday's results pit Patrick against Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, the GOP gubernatorial nominee, who is seeking to become the first woman elected governor in the state. She is the first woman that the state GOP has nominated for governor.

Should be a very interesting race. I expect Bill Clinton will campaign for Patrick. There is already an expectation that Kerry Healey will run a negative campaign.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"My Country Desires Peace!"

That's what our President told the world today. He also asked other countries to join the United States in promoting democracy in the Middle East.

My question: does our President really believe this shit. Only weeks ago Bush in a very public way provided the bombs that would be used to bomb Lebanon back into the Middle Ages. That's right...hundreds of innocent children killed directly as a result of the actions of Mr. Bush. And Lebanon is one of the few countries in the Middle East really attempting to implement real democracy.

At first I liked Bush. Then I became disillusioned with his NeoCon policies. Now I am beginning to hate this guy.

Sorry if I offended any readers.

A challenge for renters in New Orleans...

All five of the New Orleans rental units owned by Jerome Anderson were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. He also lost his home to the storm.

New Orleans' renters are on their own as rents skyrocket across the city, up an average of 39% since Hurricane Katrina. Though some aid has been set aside for landlords, many lower-income residents say they are unable to return because they have been priced out.

Most of the money set aside for post-Katrina reconstruction is going to homeowners. The many thousands who lived in rental property prior to Katrina are not getting any help. It seems likely that many low-income former residents will not be able to return to their native city.

(Photo: Ozier Muhammad / The New York Times)


It is estimated that more than 48,000 rental units were destroyed or heavily damaged by the storm. That's about 40% of the original stock of apartments and rental houses. It is easy to see why so many do not have the option of returning to New Orleans.

Monday, September 18, 2006

An opportunity for Pope Benedict...

A friend wrote me an email over the weekend complaining that the Muslim world was overreacting to what the Pope said last week in Germany. There was a suggestion that some might be deliberately agitating to stir up resentment of Christianity.

In his latest "apology" the Pope himself expresses surprise at the response to his comments. It seems to me this is a good example of a situation where PERCEPTION IS THE SAME AS REALITY. It really doesn't matter what the Pope intended to say. It's how his statement was perceived in the Muslim world that counts.

It is time for Benedict to show a little Christian humility and say an unqualified "I'm sorry!" That would set a good example.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pope should apologize...

Leaders across the Muslim world have demanded the pope apologize for his remarks on Islam and jihad, unmoved by Vatican assurances that Benedict XVI only intended to point out the incompatibility between faith and war.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Saturday urged the pope to apologize and withdraw his controversial comments, according to The Associated Press.

I believe the pope should personally apologize for any offense his remarks may have caused. There is already too much anti-Muslim hysteria in the Western world. Pope Benedict has the opportunity to set a good example. As a Catholic, I hope he'll avail of the opportunity.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another blow for blue-collar workers...

This week I've been busy with my consulting practice and have not paid much attention to the news. However, one story did grab my attention. It's the mass layoff at Ford Motor Company.

I've had the opportunity to work with some people in the auto industry and they are among the best workers you'll ever find. Highly skilled and dedicated! In my view, it is not the fault of these workers that the American auto industry is in trouble...but they will pay the price.

The numbers of auto workers that will be made redundant is staggering. I keep thinking about all that lost skill and talent. Of course it's just one more blow to blue-collar workers in America. It is safe to predict that most of the workers made redundant will end up in low-pay service jobs.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ann Richards dies at 73

Former Gov. Ann Richards, who blended searing wit with political savvy in a career that stretched from Austin to the national stage, died Wednesday night at her Austin home, her family said. She was 73.

Richards was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus in March.

The family said that as governor Ms. Richards was most proud of two actions that probably cost her re-election: She vetoed legislation that would have allowed people to carry concealed handguns and "cop-killer bullets," and she vetoed a bill that would have allowed the destruction of the environment over the Edwards Aquifer.

With her trademark helmet of white hair and a wide grin, Ms. Richards burst onto the national stage at the 1988 Democratic National Convention with a withering put-down of presumptive GOP presidential nominee George H.W. Bush.
"Poor George," Ms. Richards drawled, "he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."

A refreshing politician who always spoke her mind. She could serve as a go0d role model for today's Democrats.

May she rest in peace.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nagin touts progress in first 100 days...

Photo: Alex Brandon / AP

Photo shows Mayor Ray Nagin listening during a presentation about the first 100 days of his second term.

The Times-Picayune has this story summarizing progress made since the Mayor was re-elected. No spectacular gains but continued progress in a number of areas.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In memoriam...

Yesterday at a prayer service at St. Patrick's Cathedral, 343 American flags honored the 343 Fire Department employees killed on 9/11.

Now that all the hoopla associated with the celebration of the anniversary is over we can reflect on the victims of the tragedy and the survivors.

(Photo: Patrick Andrade /The New York Times )

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11

Last week while visiting family in Ireland I was asked if President Bush ever talked about anything but 9/11. This was in response to several appearances by Bush on the evening television news talking about the War on Terrorism and 9/11.

My response to the question was to say that Bush and his cabal had shamelessly exploited what was a terrible national tragedy for their own political purposes. During the months after 9/11 when I first realized these guys would use this tragedy as an excuse to carry out their own designs for the Middle East I felt saddened. Now almost five years later I feel angry that so much of our precious national resources have been wasted on the effort to bring about regime change in Iraq.

At Shannon Airport yesterday morning I saw a couple of hundred U.S. soldiers hanging out in the airport lounge area. One soldier told me he was on the way home after spending one year in Iraq. Most of the soldiers looked like they were in their late teens. They were the lucky ones. I thought about all those who were brought home wounded or in coffins.

When I think back about all the patriotism and national unity after 9/11 I feel particularly saddened to realize how much this tragedy has been exploited for political purposes.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Light blogging this week...

Spending a few quiet days in the Irish countryside...and not thinking much about the serious issues of the day.

Will resume blogging next Monday.

Light blogging this week...

Spending a few quiet days in the Irish countryside...and not thinking much about the serious issues of the day.

Will resume blogging next Monday.