Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR (watch your ass)...



The world can be a field of land mines. 

Don't be a chump.

Happy New Year from the INKSPOT•PROJECT.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

OH, THE HUMANITY...



OTHER HOLIDAY LINKS:

Listen to the classic tale of Crumpet the Elf...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

IF YOU LOST EVERYTHING


In 2008, film maker, David Hoffman lost virtually everything in a home fire. Hoffman talks about his plans to move forward and make "somethin' good out of somethin' bad."

Monday, December 22, 2008

OUT WITH THE OLD...


Just when you thought the American lexicon was chock-full, another batch of new words sprouts out of the cultural ether. Whatever you do, don't be caught flatfooted and unawares over the holidays. Brush up on the old-new buzzwords that you may have missed...


-NYTimes.com

Saturday, December 20, 2008

DEEP THROAT IS DEAD, LONG LIVE DEEP THROAT!


The Deep Throat scene in "All the President's Men."

Mark Felt, an American hero, is dead. How has the world has changed since Watergate?  Well, maybe not so much...



David Gergen on Deep Throat.
Bob Woodward on Deep Throat.



Gerald Seib on Deep Throat.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"THE WILD TREES" AUTHOR, RICHARD PRESTON...



Grandeur. Immensity. Inspiration.

How do you climb a tree, considered the largest organism on earth, who's lowest branch is 200 feet high?

The Wild Trees author, Richard Preston talks about the giant Redwoods in Northern California and around the world, and the people who climb and study them.  The Wild Trees is eye-opening and awe-inspiring and, even though published in 2007, is the I•P favorite book of the year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

NO SHOES THROWN. JUST COOL.


Fred Armisen is definitely improving on his Obama.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

TWO SHOES THROWN, BUT MAYBE NOT THE LAST


Today, an Iraqi reporter threw both of his shoes at George W. Bush at the very end of a press conference with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. According to reports, the reporter shouted "This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog.” 

"Throwing a shoe at someone is considered the worst possible insult in Iraq, and is meant to show extreme disrespect and hatred towards someone," stated a report on washingtonpost.com.

INKSPOT•PROJECT PREDICTIONThis isn't the last "farewell kiss" for George W. Bush and this shoe-insult thing becomes a sort of "viral reaction" to him over the years to come.

You heard it here first.

•   •   •

RELATED ARTICLES:






IRAQ: WHERE EVEN THE BLUNDERS ARE BLUNDERED


George W. Bush on his last surprise visit to Iraq.

One million summary reports can't be wrong.

No matter what the topic or issue, it seems any analysis of the George W. Bush administration conjures up words like "QUAGMIRE, or "FIASCO," or "BLUNDER," or "FAILURE." And regarding Iraq, these words have almost lost meaning from overuse.

But, here is yet another report. This one using the same words, but discussing a slightly different subject: the rebuilding of Iraq.

In 2002, Colin Powell famously told President Bush about the "Pottery Barn Rule." According to Bob Woodward in Plan of Attack, Powell said to Bush, "'You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people,' he told the president. 'You will own all their hopes, aspirations, and problems. You'll own it all.' Privately, Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage called this the 'Pottery Barn rule:' You break it, you own it."

And W. broke it, indeed. Like Humpty Dumpty.

Certainly by now you can guess the rest. With George W. Bush at the helm, the U.S. tries to rebuild Iraq during a monumentally mismanaged post-war occupation. You can just hear the words start flying... "failure," "corruption," "crippled," "ignorance," "haphazard planning," "disjointed prewar planning," "botched..."

"...blah blah blah..."

The only words you really need to know are these:
The Iraq rebuilding fiasco is now a $100 billion failure.

This is the legacy of George W. Bush.

•   •   •

READ THE REPORT BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION:


or read the summary article:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

ON GAY MARRIAGE: Jon Stewart Debates Huckabee


Jon Stewart ate his Wheaties for this one.

The usually nimble Huckabee was caught on his heels when Stewart unleashed a barrage of respectful but irrefutable arguments in defense of gay marriage. Stewart reminds all of us that gays are not permitted to fully participate in American citizenship due to the confines of dogma and bigotry.

Friday, December 12, 2008

THE PRESIDENT KEEPING BUSY IN THE LAST DAYS OF HIS TERM.


President To Face Down Monster Attack, Own Demons In Action-Packed Schedule

AUTO BAILOUT TALKS COLLAPSE. WILL WALL STREET TANK?

Today, it may get very ugly. And these days, ugly often begets ugly.

Senate Republicans have killed the $14 billion bridge loan. Don't get me wrong, GM and Chrysler are in the predicament of their own making. Escalades. Hummers. Not focusing on more efficient cars, etc...  They have bungled and squandered it all by ignoring the writing on the wall.

But so has the Bush administration. Bush and Paulson have mishandled this economic crisis from the get-go. So have the banks. We know that banks of all stripes and sizes have made monumental mistakes as well. Wall Street? Institutionalized mayhem and dysfunction. So many are to blame for this economic crisis.

So yes, the auto industry has their fair share of reckless self-sabotaging for which it must account. But much of the auto industry's crisis lately is directly related to the banking industry's credit crunch.  Clearly, it is much more difficult for people to get loans to buy cars. It's a systemic crisis to the point that we may be talking about the airline industry in a matter of weeks. The money supply, for infinite reasons, has dried up.

Some 2 million plus jobs rely on the auto industry. The best guess is that Democrats will make the bridge loan happen soon after 1.20.09 to protect those jobs. But can GM and Chrysler make it until then? Auto execs say they cannot.

Do we really want to find out?

Here's an interesting fact: on November 24th, Citigroup Inc. got a Sunday night cash infusion of $20 billion, with Uncle Sam's guaranty of $306 billion in toxic assets.  According to the Wall Street Journal, "That comes on top of the $25 billion infusion that Citigroup recently received as part of the broader U.S. banking-industry bailout."

No Citigroup CEO had to go drive to D.C. to meet with congress, raise their hand to get sworn in and get grilled, for even one minute. There were secretive negotiations over one weekend in late November, and they quietly came to an agreement late on a Sunday night. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, "The government didn't require Citigroup to make changes to its executive ranks or its board in return for government assistance."

Let's be clear: No change at the top for Citigroup. No board firings. No CEO hearings. No worries! Heres a $351 billion check!

One explanation of this double standard is that Congress fully understands that this is not merely an "auto-industry" problem. This is a banking problem, hence the ongoing no-questions-asked policy of dumping monumental amounts money into individual failing banks.

The Democrats' motivation here is to save jobs, not necessarily bail out a flawed and failing auto industry. But, until the next Congress takes power, they don't have enough votes to finalize this bridge loan. 

Republicans see this as an opportunity to weaken the auto unions, like the U.A.W., to make the auto industry more "competitive." They have killed the bridge loan because they insisted on lowering workers' wages. They will force the Democrats to act during the next session so they can politically snipe as an even smaller minority party.

To some extent, both are right. But is the GOP really ready to gamble with 2 million American jobs for a whopping $14 billion loan? 

Let's add a little perspective: $14 billion is .04% of the amount of money quietly allocated to a single bank, Citibank, which had already been given $25 billion.

Congress just needs to decide whether GM and Chrysler are better off dead or alive. Either way, Uncle Sam will be picking up the tab.

Will U.S. taxpayers be shareholders in GM? Or will we wind up paying more for unemployment benefits for 1-2 million more Americans out of work?

The GOP is rolling big dice.

•   •   •

RELATED ARTICLES:



"U.S. AGREES TO RESCUE STRUGGLING CITIGROUP," WSJ.com, November 24th, 2008



"What's Plan B?" -NYTimes Editorial


Thursday, December 11, 2008

THE LEGACY OF GEORGE W. BUSH


Bush's legacy is now finishing up its first wave of administration primping and media attention. Many of Bush's egregious failures have already been fairly well documented in many, many books (along with some damning charges leveled by departed members of his own team). 

Surely there will be more attempts of administration spinning and historical revision over the next handful of weeks. Should be entertaining.

So really, what can one say about a president who presided over 8 years chock-full of hubris, incompetence, dismal performance and brazen lies, with so little success? Sure, history will have plenty to say about Bush's governance, and lack-of, especially in 30-50 years, when many of the state secrets will start to trickle out.

But today's verdict is well formed and established in the public's mind, and by the already well-known facts. 

"Broken Government," the Center for Public Integrity's new report on the Bush administration's failures, is a poignant and concise document that will serve future historians well. 

The report documents 128 remarkable failures, in just 8 years of (mis)leadership.

With a president like George W. Bush, who needs enemies?

Dear Lurkers, do you have any thoughts on this? What's your take on the Bush legacy? Can you name just one Bush success?

•   •   •

RELATED ARTICLES:

"OUR BROKEN GOVERNMENT," a report by The Center for Public Integrity, 2008

"OUR OH-SO BROKEN GOVERNMENT," an overview of the report, by Dan Froomkin, washingtonpost.com



OP-ED: "BUSH'S FINAL FIASCO," by Harold Meyerson

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ROD BLAGOJEVICH IS A JAGOFF


•   •   •

RELATED ARTICLES:

"OBAMA CALLS FOR GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS TO RESIGN," -NYTimes.com

 "
OBAMA'S EFFORT ON ETHICS BILL HAD ROLE IN GOVERNOR'S FALL" -NYTimes.com


OP-ED: "ROLL OVER, ABE LINCOLN," by Timothy Egan, NYTimes.com Guest Columnist

OP-ED: "STATE OF SHAME," by Scott Tudrow

•   •   •

GET A GRIP ON REALITY...AND SUPERSTRING THEORY!

A TED talk by Brian Greene.

String Theory rocks!
(i think).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"SANTA HAS TO BRING A REALITY CHECK," -WSJ.com


The I•P accepts that the next 2 years will see relative disregard for the U.S. deficits. Obama will need to spend mightily to get the U.S. economy out of the current crisis. 

But let's be clear: every dollar we spend is not our own. 

Each dollar will need to be paid back, with interest, by today's college students, high-school students, grade-schoolers, kindergarten kids and yes, those people who haven't even been born yet.  And their children.

And their children.

That's who this money belongs to. That's who will pay for our current crisis, caused by the mistakes and failures of those present today.

We are witnessing the largest transfer of wealth in history, from one generation to another. From the future to the present.

The old leadership got it wrong.

The new leadership better get it right.

Future generations are literally depending on it.

•   •   •

RELATED ARTICLES:

"Santa Has To Bring A Reality Check," by Gerald F. Seib, wsj.com

OP-ED: "The Real Generation X," by Thom Friedman, NYTimes.com

OP-ED: "Deficits and the Future," by Paul Krugman, NYTimes.com

NYT's FRANK RICH IS GUEST ON "morning joe"



Rich is one of I•P's favorite columnists. He visits MSNBC's  "morning joe" to discuss his latest column, "The Brightest Are Not Always The Best."

Monday, December 8, 2008

"THE WAY WE WATCH"


Check out how technology is revamping ways we will enjoy film and entertainment in the near future...

"PLANS OF ATTACK," by Richard A. Clarke

"Seven years after 9/11, the United States has neither eliminated the threat from al-Qaeda nor secured Afghanistan, where bin Laden's terrorists were once headquartered." -Richard Clarke

Sunday, December 7, 2008

WANTED: MORE ORIGINAL THINKERS LIKE THOM FRIEDMAN


OK. Thom Friedman was wrong about initially supporting Bush's Iraq war. 

But almost everything else he's said or written since then is spot-on. In short, Friedman's enthusiastic, crafty and ingenious approach to the issues makes him the I•P's favorite 2008 OP-ED columnist.

Also, read his latest OP-ED column:
"The Real Generation X," by Thomas L. Friedman

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Biggus Dickus


Arguably, the funniest scene in the history of film.

'LIFE OF BRIAN,' CRITIC'S PICK by A.O. Scott


Life of Brian is certainly our classic movie pick for this holiday season. All the best to you and yours.

Friday, December 5, 2008

"WITH HIS HEAD HELD HIGH," ANN TELNAES CARTOON

Ann Telnaes' cartoon of George W. Bush's imminent departure from the White House. 

The I•P has long held that George W. Bush will go down as the worst President in U.S. history. Bush's tenure as President has been an overwhelming disastrous failure and will not be missed (er, except by maybe Jon Stewart, Ann Telnaes, David Letterman, Jay Leno, etc...).

Clusterf#@k to the Poor House - Bean on a Plate Edition: THE DAILY SHOW

THE LANDLORD

A true classic...


HOLD FAST


No surprise:
Unemployment is up to 6.7%. 
The economy lost 533,000 jobs this month.

No doubt:
This ride is not over.
In fact, this economic crisis is actually accelerating. 
 This is the new normal for the foreseeable future.  

No worries:
This is not the time to fret. 
Do what you can.
Hunker-down. 
Obama's team is poised to sledgehammer this crisis. 

It will take more time.

Until the upswing:
HOLD FAST.

Add Image

•   •   •

RELATED LINKS:



Thursday, December 4, 2008

HUFFINGTON ON BLOGS: THE DAILY SHOW

BUSH, ON THE WAY OUT: THE DAILY SHOW

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

THE DAILY SHOW: MUMBAI TRAGEDY

Monday, December 1, 2008

IT'S OFFICIAL

The U.S. is in a recession.

Is this really news to anyone? 

"WSJ's David Gaffen and Dow Jones Newswires' Simon Constable review the likely action by the world's major monetary authorities. Plus, they discuss the prospect of more bad economic news."  -WSJ.com, 12.1.08

Thursday, November 27, 2008

THE DALAI LAMA ON THE CHARLIE ROSE SHOW


The world is a better place thanks to people like the Dalai Lama and his message of peace and compassion.

For him, we are thankful.  -I•P

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

WHY AREN'T WE ALL GOOD SAMARITANS? A TED Talk by Daniel Goleman


"The simple fact is, if we are focused on ourselves, if we're preoccupied as we so often are, throughout the day, we don't really fully notice the other." -Daniel Goleman

•   •   •

While giving thanks, check out this poignant TED talk by Daniel Goleman who wonders "why aren't we all good samaritans" and explores different ways that people can practice "consumer compassion."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA CONTINUES TO ROLL OUT TEAM, PLEDGES FISCAL DISCIPLINE

O

Obama pledges to cut wasteful spending by going through the Federal Budget "page by page, line by line.

"This isn't about big government, or small government. It's about building a smarter government that focuses on what works."  -President-Elect Barack Obama
•   •   •

RELATED LINKS: