These small, shy birds (I think they are a red kind of finch) could be seen wandering the glass house area of the Cleveland Botanical Gardens in Ohio, 10/11/2008.
Jessica and I are planning to go to Long Beach, California as well as San Diego this year for Thanksgiving. We’ll visit her Dad and Grandma on the trip.
So as we anticipate that, here are a few photos from when we went to Long Beach for Thanksgiving two years ago.
Jessica and I went to Long Beach for Thanksgiving. A walk around the marina that day revealed a holiday quiet along the water.
We saw a group of white pelicans and a lone brown pelican along with many other birds.
On Friday we spent a little time in LA where we visited downtown.
Then we stopped into sunny, warm Santa Barbara on Saturday before the drive home brought us back to the cool northern weather of the Bay Area in November.
I implied a few weeks ago that the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was just the beginning (my post was entitled "Bush’s punks get ready for a government takeover of the housing debt market"), and now we are seeing what further plans the Bush regime has to help their Wall Street cronies–they are now looking for Congressional approval to stage a further $700 billion bailout of financial institutions. Not a takeover of these troubled institutions, mind you–just an enormous taking off their hands of troubled assets.
Clearly this represents another noxious case of "privatize the profit, socialize the debt," letting the financial institutions retain control of their valuable assets while dumping the troubled or worthless ones on taxpayers. Of course, any perceptive observer has long understood the current administration to have had tendencies toward communism, which is probably the best description of the type of system America is moving towards.
But beyond that, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (the economist who warned the nation that Bush’s proposed tax cuts in 2001 were a bad idea) has looked at the details of the $700 billion proposal and doesn’t like them. Read his whole post and let him explain why the proposal has "nothing that gives taxpayers a stake in the upside, nothing that ensures that the money is used to stabilize the system rather than reward the undeserving."
Todd Beeton of mydd.com makes an excellent point about the current state of the presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain:
“In the wake of the emergence of Sarah Palin, one thing becomes clear: we are reverting to an electoral map far closer to that of 2004 than many anticipated a few months ago.”
Read the whole post, it goes on to make plenty of good points. But the key in all of them: that Ohio is now as crucial as ever in the electoral map.
As an Ohio resident, I look forward to voting for Barack Obama, and I can say that is the most common sentiment in the Cleveland area. But beyond that, I think that the economic situation in Ohio and the lousy effects of NAFTA on the state are going to motivate Ohioans from farm to city and from suburb to exurb to vote for Obama, the candidate with much more clear and practical ideas on what to do on the economy and the less likely to give in to disadvantageous trade agreements that will continue to hollow out the industrial base even during a commodities boom.
If the race really is going to come down to issues like the economy and international issues and Obama is able to articulate his views on those matters at the debates (a big if given the quality of debates so far this year) he may be able to open up a wider electoral map again in his advantage anyway, contesting states like Colorado, Virginia and Montana, especially when voters are alerted to the fact that John McCain’s views may be couched in stirring rhetoric but substantively represent a continuation of the clownish antics of George W. Bush’s administration, which some 70% of America has tired of.