Thursday, October 30, 2008

Say It Isn't So Doctor!

David Tennant has announced that he will leave the award winning BBC drama Doctor Who when he has completed the filming of four special episodes which will be screened in 2009 and early in 2010.

David Tennant first appeared as The Doctor in 2005 and has gone on to star in three series and three Christmas specials as the tenth incarnation of the Time Lord. The BBC has confirmed that David will continue to play The Doctor in the four specials that will make up the 2009 series before a new Doctor takes over for Series 5. Tennant will also star in the Doctor Who Christmas Special titled The Next Doctor this year.

David Tennant comments "I've had the most brilliant, bewildering and life changing time working on Doctor Who. I have loved every day of it. It would be very easy to cling on to the TARDIS console forever and I fear that if I don't take a deep breath and make the decision to move on now, then I simply never will. You would be prising the TARDIS key out of my cold dead hand. This show has been so special to me, I don't want to outstay my welcome.

"This is all a long way off, of course. I'm not quitting, I'm back in Cardiff in January to film four special episodes which will take Doctor Who all the way through 2009. I'm still the Doctor all next year but when the time finally comes I'll be honoured to hand on the best job in the world to the next lucky git - whoever that may be.

"I'd always thought the time to leave would be in conjunction with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner who have been such a huge part of it all for me. Steven Moffat is the most brilliant and exciting writer, the only possible successor to Russell and it was sorely tempting to be part of his amazing new plans for the show. I will be there, glued to my TV when his stories begin in 2010.
"I feel very privileged to have been part of this incredible phenomenon, and whilst I'm looking forward to new challenges I know I'll always be very proud to be the Tenth Doctor."

Russell T Davies Executive Producer of Doctor Who comments "I've been lucky and honoured to work with David over the past few years - and it's not over yet, the Tenth Doctor still has five spectacular hours left! After which, I might drop an anvil on his head. Or maybe a piano. A radioactive piano. But we're planning the most enormous and spectacular ending, so keep watching!"

Doctor Who returns to television screens on BBC this Christmas. The Next Doctor starring David Tennant, David Morrissey and Dervla Kirwan will be screened on the 25th December on BBC1

Closing Arguments.

I remember the first course in economics I ever took. It was during my senior year of high school. I didn't pay much attention to be honest. "Senioritis" was in full swing; most of us were mentally halfway out the door and thinking more about college the following fall than Mr. Conom's lectures on the history of capitalism. Yet a few things from that class have stayed with me.

Our textbook defined an "opportunity cost" as; "the cost of something in terms of an opportunity forgone." So basically it is what you can't have or do, because you had or did something else. As a nation we will come face to face with a choice next Tuesday that will define the collective opportunity costs, that our nation may face in the coming weeks, months, years and even decades.

If America makes the decision to elect the McCain/Palim ticket, we will face many such costs. Some of them economic, some political, some social. Yet and all of them, staggering in size and scope.

A common cliché is to say that leadership is about choices. Simplistic as that sounds it rings true regardless of what political party holds whatever end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Yet our choices speak volumes about who we are both as a nation, and what our political parties stand for, or against.

McCain opportunity cost number one: America's health.

Because of an elective choice by the GOP, at present we cannot afford to do anything to shore up our near critical public health care infrastructure.

Earlier this year the Washington Post reported that the cost of the war in Iraq will top $400 billion, and that total is likely to more than double before the war finally ends. Like most people, I find it hard to wrap my brain around how much $400 billion actually is. So to put this in perspective I thought we might want to examine the opportunity costs that a McCain/Palin adminstration will give us.

The number of people without health coverage rose to more than 45 million nationwide in 2003, 15.6 percent of the population compared to 15.2 percent in 2002. Here in California, we are home to the greatest number, with 6.4 million uninsured, or 18.2 percent of the population. The public health care system is overwhelmed by the country's uninsured that turn to hospital emergency rooms for even routine care. And Medicare -- the only source of health coverage for millions of elderly Americans-- is projected to run out of funds by 2019.

McCain Opportunity Cost number two: America's safety and security.

We are for all intent and purposes alone in Iraq. Britain our only real partner is heading for door as fast they can. And the United States of America, the nation that brokered Camp David and Oslo, has next to nothing in terms of political and diplomatic capital in the Middle East. Our credibility as a broker for peace is gone.

Throughout our history, America has overcome crisis and hardship through collaboration. Without help from France and Spain the American Revolution would have failed. Without allied unity in both the first and Second World War, imperialism and fascism would have triumphed. Without strong strategic partnerships and combined resolve, the cold war between East and West might still be with us today, or worse, not ended peacefully. It was the ability of President George HW Bush to create a unified coalition with Arab partners that enabled the liberation of Kuwait in the first gulf war to go as quickly and as successfully as it did.

The only victory that can be claimed so far in the "global war on terror" is "The United States is safer without Saddam Hussein in power." A popular early John McCain talking point on Sunday morning talks shows is if you dare question the President's failing policies in Iraq, then you clearly would prefer that Saddam was still in power. Again I don't know whether to laugh at the desperation of that, or cry at its sheer dishonesty.

Iraq has through an elective choice by this administration with the full throated support of John McCain; been transformed from a third rate dictatorship with dreams of one day maybe threatening the United States, into a breeding/training ground for real terrorists who are a threat to the United States. Iraq has become the Alamo for the extremist world. A rallying cry, recruitment poster and fund raising infomercial all wrapped up in one chaotic explosive roadside package. A package, with our name on it.

McCain Opportunity Cost number three: America's economic security.

Be it our crack-addict like dependence on oil, or our crippled manufacturing sector that has been allowed to fall critically behind the rest of the world. U.S. Automakers are unable to sell many of their cars in China, because Chinese mileage standards are higher than ours. That fact alone makes the argument by the auto and oil industries that the costs of better environmental standards is too high, seem downright stupid, or deliberately dishonest.

I remember the news this past Summer, and one of the lead stories was the tens of thousands of people who will be losing their jobs. Intel, Ford Motors, Eastman Kodak, Hewlett Packard, and AETNA are just a few of the companies who announced large workforce reductions for this year. According to my old employer, the HR consulting firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., the number of announced layoffs in August totaled 65,278 jobs, compared with 37,178 in July. The crippled housing market, rising fears of inflation, negative job growth , a staggering budget deficit, ballooning national debt and soaring energy prices have all battered consumer confidence.

Not to mention it would be a lot easier to sell your products overseas if your country is wasn't hated by the rest of the world.

McCain/Palin Opportunity Cost number four: America's soul.

Government is not a religion, it is a function. Ideology is not theology and should never presented as such. To claim that God would vote for you, or to seek to win elections by demonizing whole groups as people God doesn't love is truly un-American.

A GOP senate candidates saying only Christian voters can be trusted, an off the cuff remark by a then Texas Governor, and future President that all Jews are "going to hell". A decorated war veteran in Pennsylvania called a coward and traitor because he dared question the judgment of men who did all they could to avoid combat. All these things damage the soul of our nation. Under McCain/Palin all this would be common place for the next four years

Or even a deliberate choice by their political party to make fear and hatred of Gays and Lesbians a central Republican campaign theme. The result is the same. The party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan is reduced to a mob of big mouths with small minds, and our entire national debate of real issues is diminished.

It is true, opportunity costs are hard to quantify. Yet the choices that John McCain and Sarah Palin have promised to make, just like those made by the GOP and the current Bush administration are ones that our nation will be forced to be pay off for decades. The choices made by George W. Bush. John McCain and the Republican Party have left our nation in debt-- teetering on bankruptcy, in danger-- lacking strong strategic partners and facing increasing global animosity, and have sought to create a divided nation where ideology is based on who you hate, not what you believe.

As we head into this most crucial election of this century to date, it is perhaps a good idea to think not so much on the opportunity costs of the last eight years, but about the possibilities of next four if we stand together and make a much needed change on November 4th.

That is one opportunity I am willing to work for. I will walk into the voting booth next Tuesday and vote my hopes not my fears. I will vote for a better future not a rose-colored view of the past.

I am voting for Barack Obama for President of the United States.

I hope you will too...

Great Moments in GOP History...

Your campaign is so lame that even your fake "real American" disses you...


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Greetings from Europe

Took a bit of a mental Health Break from the US Eleciton Campaign and have been in the UK all this past week. Will post more about the trip and the European press coverage of he US Election when I get back the US next week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apparently this little diddy really bugs Republicans

My old friend James over at the Wigderson Library and Pub has his
knickers in quite a twist over this. So that's as good a reason as any
to repost it :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We now join the McCain Campaign, already in progress...


Fox News is Not Happy....

Why won't Americans care about what Fox News wants them them to care about??! How dare the American People care more about the their homes, jobs and pensions than they do about Bill Ayers!

Oh this just keeps getting better. I imagine the managing editor over there at Fox is praying every day for some middle class white woman to go missing in the Carribean.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Since GOP Rabid Wingnut Morons Keep Asking..

John "I can't talk about the economy or else I'll lose" McCain likes to ask "Who is the real Barack Obama". Ok Senator, here's the answer.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

National Debt Clock runs out of digits

From Today's NY Daily News...

Times Square National Debt Clock runs out of digits amid Wall St. meltdown

Brother, can you spare a digit?

Exactly how bad is the U.S. economy?

Try this: The National Debt Clock near Times Square ran out of numbers to record the federal government's $10.2 trillion shortfall.

The familiar billboard-style clock, erected in 1989 by late Manhattan real estate developer Seymour Durst, was equipped to handle a debt count of up to $9,999,999,999,999.

The ongooing economic crisis eclipsed the clock's capabilities. As a temporary answer, the space that once held a dollar sign on the electronic billboard is now the number 1.

The clock's owners plan a bailout of sorts next year, when they will make room for two additional digits on the board. Back when Durst launched the clock, the debt was a mere $2.7 trillion.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Senator Grumpy McCranky needs a time out...

Ok, lets talk about consistency...


Maybe he'll suspend his campaign again to rush up to Alaska to solve the Energy Crisis.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Veep Debate Wrap Up..

It is intersting to note the post-debate polling all shows that Senator Joe Biden won the debate this evening. Yet it is worth noting that Governor Sarah Palin did not lose either. The reason for this is more significant than anything that was actaully said tonight.

The expecations for Gov.Palin were so low, going into the debate tonight, that all she had to do for Republicans to be able to claim a victory was not fall down, pee her pants and set the stage on fire. Seriously.

What we saw tonight was a politician that has shown she is very good at memorizing talking points and repeating them relatively in the right context. Had moderator Gwen Ifill actaully asked any follow-up questions, forcing Palin off-script, we would have seen enough disasterous material to keep Tina Fey well employed for years.

Joe Biden had one task tonight, ok two tasks. The first was not put his foot in his mouth with any major gaffes. The second was to hammer home the point that there is essentially no difference between John McCain and George W. Bush. He managed to accomplish both, relatively easily.

And as much as Pat Buchanon is on MSNBC desperately trying to convince people that Palin won on "energy", the facts are clearly proving otherwise. Her "spunkiness" came across as forced and fake, her folksy manner failed to connect, and by halfway through the debate started to grate. Three different network commentators have compared her to a contestant in a spelling bee. Only able to work off of what she had memorized, unable to stray from her script.

By comparison, Joe Biden who often comes across like an out of control fire hose, firing ten differnet directions at once, was poised, clear, direct and had what polls show was the the most connecting moment of the debate.

Joe Biden won tonight Here is the one moment says it all as to why.

Please America, Just Don't Vote... Seriously.


Or...option 2,




Wednesday, October 01, 2008

From Today's Boston Globe

Wasilla made rape victims pay
October 1, 2008

ONE QUESTION that Sarah Palin should answer during tomorrow's debate is why, during her tenure as mayor of Wasilla, the town started charging rape victims or their insurers for hospital emergency-room rape kits and examinations.

The policy so outraged the Alaska Legislature that in 2000 it passed unanimously a bill forbidding such fees. But Palin has never explained why, under her leadership, the town stopped picking up the cost of the swabs, specimen containers, and tests.

A spokeswoman for Palin wrote to USA Today that Palin "does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test." But that was the practice in Wasilla while she was mayor.

If Palin were like most vice-presidential nominees of the past, reporters would have long since had a chance to quiz her on this subject, and many others. So far, though, the McCain campaign team has treated her as though she were in the witness protection program, permitting just three interviews with television personalities and no open-ended press conferences.

After the Alaska Legislature banned the fees, Palin's handpicked police chief, Charlie Fannon, complained that the state's action would force the town to spend $5,000 to $14,000 a year to cover the costs. "I just don't want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer," Fannon said.

But the policy on rape kits may have had less to do with easing the burden on taxpayers and more to do with Palin's position on abortion. She has said she opposes it even in cases of rape or incest.

Generally, victims of sexual assault have the option of an emergency contraception pill, which some opponents of abortion consider tantamount to abortion itself. Does Palin support the decision two years ago of the US Food and Drug Administration to allow over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception pills?

Whether the fee-for-kits policy reflected Palin's budgetary zeal or her extreme view on abortion, voters deserve to know. As Alaska's governor in 2000, Tony Knowles, put it: "We would never bill the victim of a burglary for finger-printing and photographing the crime scene, or for the cost of gathering other evidence."

But in Wasilla they would, if the crime was rape.