I found this clip from tonight’s The Daily Show very funny. If you have not been watching it this week, Jon Stewart has been having a field day since Dick Cheney (aka Darth Vader) showed up at the inauguration in a wheelchair because he threw his back out moving boxes into his new house.
The Obama team started off their first week of his Presidency with the harsh realization that they have moved into the dark ages from a technological and communications perspective.
It is kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari. Two years after launching the most technologically savvy presidential campaign in history, Obama officials ran smack into the constraints of the federal bureaucracy yesterday, encountering a jumble of disconnected phone lines, old computer software, and security regulations forbidding outside e-mail accounts.What does that mean in 21st-century terms? No Facebook to communicate with supporters. No outside e-mail log-ins. No instant messaging. Hard adjustments for a staff that helped sweep Obama to power through, among other things, relentless online social networking.
It appears they will be working on biege computer boxes with Windows 2000 on them. I realize that the Federal Government is quite a large organization and upgrading the systems is not a simple task, but you would have to think that the staff at the White House of all places would have an IT system and infrastructure that employs standards and technology from this decade.
Numbers 7 and 2 are my favorites.
Released: December 5, 2008
Starring: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon
Trailer / Official Site
Watergate has always been a fascinating piece of American history. Watching Frost/Nixon was a great treat as these interviews were viewed by many as Nixon’s confession, even though he never fully grasped it or stated such. There were several interesting elements to the movie: the background that it provided about how Frost and his team scored the interview and their prep work before and during the interviews; the way Nixon was depicted, and how he turned “on” during the interviews and turned “off” when they were done revealed a great deal about Nixon himself; and most of all, the way Nixon was firmly convinced this was “his world” with “his rules” and we were just living in it. Langella’s overall performance as Nixon was fantastic and is definitely Oscar worthy. If you are a Watergate junkie, this is required viewing.
On the day the NY Times endorses Barak Obama, they also posted an interesting interactive display of their Presidential endorsements through the ages. What were they thinking endorsing Wendell Willkie over FDR back in 1940? Also interesting, but not at all surprising, that they have not endorsed a Republican since 1956.
Interesting article by Jim Cramer in NY Magazine this week about the sorry state of the economy today and what could possibly happen a year from now:
What will New York look like a year from now? The answer: bad and probably worse, and perhaps downright catastrophic. Three degrees of awful. The first step was passing the bank-bailout legislation. Now that it’s done—and if it didn’t get done we would have been looking at a guaranteed economic collapse—the critical issue will be presidential leadership. And while any president will be an improvement over the current one, there is a growing belief on Wall Street that Barack Obama has the capacity to lead us out of this wilderness while John McCain does not. I’ll go a step further: Obama is a recession. McCain is a depression.
No matter how we cut it, things are just screwed up.