Nightly News Update – Stimulus, Stimulus, Bank Bailouts

NBC: On to the Senate

ABC: Report cards aren’t just for school anymore

CBS: Three card montey with your money

Senator OPRAAAAAAH! – Oprah considered for Illinois Senate Seat

If you thought the whole Blagojevich mess couldn’t get any stranger you were dead wrong. Embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich spoke Monday on “Good Morning America“. On the show, Diane Sawyer asked Blagojevich if it was true that he had considered Oprah Winfrey for President Obama’s vacant senate seat. Blagojevich said it was true that he and a friend tossed the idea around to see if it made any sense. The fact that he even considered Oprah as senator sure isn’t going to help Blago in his upcoming court battle.

Blago went on to explain why he had considered the Big O: “She seemed to be someone who had helped Barack Obama in a significant way become president. She was obviously someone with a much broader bully pulpit than other senators. She probably wouldn’t take it and then if you offered (it) to her how would you do it in a way it wasn’t a gimmick to embarrass her.”

That was too gimmicky? Being indited for political corruption in the most corrupt state wasn’t? Also by his standards anyone with a show and aloud voice can be a senator. Senator Savage? Senator Matthews? Huffington? Limbaugh? I hope not.

The whole mess amused Oprah. So amused infact, that if she had been watching “Good Morning America” and exercising on the treadmill as usual she, “probably would have fallen off the treadmill.” Oprah stated her other obligations left her little time for official government duties. She did however point out that she though she could be a senator, she just wasn’t interested.

I’m sure a lot of other pundits will read far too much into that statement by Oprah. I will however leave it up to you to come to your own conclusions.

And people thought with Bush gone politics would be borring again. Not a chance!

Senator OPRAAAAAAH! – Oprah considered for Illinois Senate Seat

If you thought the whole Blagojevich mess couldn’t get any stranger you were dead wrong. Embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich spoke Monday on “Good Morning America“. On the show, Diane Sawyer asked Blagojevich if it was true that he had considered Oprah Winfrey for President Obama’s vacant senate seat. Blagojevich said it was true that he and a friend tossed the idea around to see if it made any sense. The fact that he even considered Oprah as senator sure isn’t going to help Blago in his upcoming court battle.

Blago went on to explain why he had considered the Big O: “She seemed to be someone who had helped Barack Obama in a significant way become president. She was obviously someone with a much broader bully pulpit than other senators. She probably wouldn’t take it and then if you offered (it) to her how would you do it in a way it wasn’t a gimmick to embarrass her.”

That was too gimmicky? Being indited for political corruption in the most corrupt state wasn’t? Also by his standards anyone with a show and aloud voice can be a senator. Senator Savage? Senator Matthews? Huffington? Limbaugh? I hope not.

The whole mess amused Oprah. So amused infact, that if she had been watching “Good Morning America” and exercising on the treadmill as usual she, “probably would have fallen off the treadmill.” Oprah stated her other obligations left her little time for official government duties. She did however point out that she though she could be a senator, she just wasn’t interested.

I’m sure a lot of other pundits will read far too much into that statement by Oprah. I will however leave it up to you to come to your own conclusions.

And people thought with Bush gone politics would be borring again. Not a chance!

Bipartisanship? – House vote on stimulus package today

The House will vote today on the much debated stimulus package. It should go without saying that House Dems have enough votes to push the bill through. Even though President Obama tried to rally Republicans to his cause, their votes are not needed to pass the stimulus. I supposed the courtesy Obama extended to Republicans was made to further his call to unity. I would have much rather Obama pushed both sides to debate the stimlus further rather than rushing out an imperfect plan. The House stimulus breaks down to $550 billion in spending and $275 billion in tax cuts, with a total of $825 billion being spent.

When the bill reaches the Senate it will see an increase to $887 billion. Questions are still abound on Capitol Hill among Democrats and Republicans, as well as in the news as to how effective this stimulus will be. Let’s hope the Democrats will not get overzealous and just send out any ol thing. I can’t emphasize enough how I want bipartisan debate on this. Take the time, make it the best stimulus it can be and really help this country.

Someone once said that a social progressive fiscal conservative person doesn’t exist. Well I think I may have just become one.

Bipartisanship? – House vote on stimulus package today

The House will vote today on the much debated stimulus package. It should go without saying that House Dems have enough votes to push the bill through. Even though President Obama tried to rally Republicans to his cause, their votes are not needed to pass the stimulus. I supposed the courtesy Obama extended to Republicans was made to further his call to unity. I would have much rather Obama pushed both sides to debate the stimlus further rather than rushing out an imperfect plan. The House stimulus breaks down to $550 billion in spending and $275 billion in tax cuts, with a total of $825 billion being spent.

When the bill reaches the Senate it will see an increase to $887 billion. Questions are still abound on Capitol Hill among Democrats and Republicans, as well as in the news as to how effective this stimulus will be. Let’s hope the Democrats will not get overzealous and just send out any ol thing. I can’t emphasize enough how I want bipartisan debate on this. Take the time, make it the best stimulus it can be and really help this country.

Someone once said that a social progressive fiscal conservative person doesn’t exist. Well I think I may have just become one.

Digitize It – The case for digizing our libraries

American works best when information can flow freely. In the digital age the fastest way to reach the most people is through the Internet. This is why digitizing our libraries will be a learning revolution.

During the Age of Enlightenment people imagined a learning revolution, a Republic of Letters. Here information could be exchanged and debated without intervention from police, boundaries, or attention to inequalities. Anyone could be part of this provided one could read and right. Digitizing books for Internet viewing is the logical progression of that ideal.

Major universities like Stanford, Harvard, Oxford, the University of Michigan as well as the NY Public Library have already been digitizing books to be available on Google Books. Think of all the money that institutions can save by doing this. Right now, libraries must employ many librarians for cataloging and replacing books. Now consider the time and money spent on preserving books and texts. Access is often limited to these texts because of their condition. Digitizing them solves that. I could instantly look at a colonial text without worry of damaging the paper.

The Library of Congress has been one of the largest contributors to digital books. They will soon scan their 25,000th book. “The Library of Congress is preserving knowledge by giving new life to these ‘brittle books.’ The digital files will be accessible online, while the physical volumes will go into long-term special storage,” said Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services. “This represents one of the many ways the Library of Congress is ensuring continuing and expanding access to its trove of knowledge.”

Through a program like Google Scholar you could search a massive amount of information you could never find at a conventional library. “Google Scholar permits one to do an associative search, finding other texts that are similar to the one I assign, permitting students to go into more detail and do research in an area more thoroughly,” said one Stanford official. Some detest this form of research. They are just afraid. “How will we force college freshmen to take those boring research and writing classes anymore! They wont have to sit in piles of moldy books for ten hours a day like I did. IT’S NOT FAIR!”

As someone who has had to do a lot of research with a lot of texts that smelled moldy I’m looking forward to this. To not spend hours in the library hauling pounds of books sounds just divine. Around the last year of my BA, I was researching a paper on the religion of slave owners in the South. Through Google Books and Scholar I found old newsletters and sermons from the antebellum South I could never have laid hands on here in Maine. How can anyone be against that?

If you still aren’t convinced here are just a few other pluses to E-Libraries: You can look at a book outside library hours and never have to return it. Newspapers, magazines, books, and journals are all right there in your home, though you could argue that you can read most newspapers and magazines online already. You never have to wait for someone else to be finished with a book. Searchers can find information quickly and easily. 80 gigs of hard drive space can hold thousands of books.

Physical books will never disappear. A screen cannot replace the joy of having a tactile connection with a book. While there is still something special about having a text in your hands, digitizing library catalogs can fill the need when that is not possible.

The digital revolution has not only arrived it is in full swing. We must set the standards for education innovation once more. Digitizing our libraries for the masses is an essential step in that direction.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.