Better Late Than Never

Here's video from MSNBC of Bush's departure from Washington. The crowd got the moment right. If you haven't seen this yet and are happy to see Bush go, this is a must-watch.

But Now What?

The pageantry of Barack Obama's inauguration is dying down. And by now he's probably wondering what the hell he's just gotten himself into.

The always excellent William Grieder has a great story on U.S. finances and how they're now driving the bus, not any politician, as reprinted here from the magazine "The Nation".

It brings to mind another occasion when a great world power had a new, eagerly awaited, leader that was promising more openness, accountability and freedom. I'm speaking, of course, about Mikhail Gorbachev, and we all remember how that worked out for the Soviet Union, right?

The important thing to remember is that the collapse of the Soviet Union was primarily a failure of their economic system and that the resulting disappearance of Ronald Reagan's Evil Empire was pretty much a complete surprise to everyone.

Arguably, U.S. supremacy has long rested not just on their military, but on the power of having the globe's reserve currency at their beck and call. Today, in the words of writer James Howard Kunstler, “America doesn't produce anything but fried chicken and haircuts.”

And Paul Craig Roberts, a former editor of the Wall Street Journal's opinion pages and Reagan's former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (as well as being a noted paleo-conservative who's sometimes accused of being a whack-job) has gone even further, describing the U.S. as the world's largest ever 'failed state' in waiting.

Even some mainstream columnists are taking up the meme.

Nobody knows how the whole thing will play out, but one thing is certain. The America of tomorrow won't look much like the America of today.

But whether a better country or just another Third World hell-hole emerges out of it is anyone's guess.

Obama! Comix! Hooray!

Apparently I'm not the only funnybook devotee pleased with Barack Obama's shiny new presidency. Here's a link to a series of short essays on the United State's new top dog. One of them is by cartoonist Dan Clowes, a former Chicagan who's the same age as Obama. Clowes, for those not familiar with the man, is the author of the acclaimed graphic novel Ghost World and one of the best cartoonists in the world. Check it out.

Inauguration Part 2

President Obama's speech on YouTube.

President Obama's speech on YouTube -- played backwards.

And something that makes even less sense than President Obama's speech played backwards -- Rush Limbaugh's er, um, 'analysis' of President Obama's speech

Six In The Morning

Here's your post-sunrise headlines, for the second time this week. Maybe I'll eventually find the time to post this linkapalooza everday. (But so busy! And so lazy!)

1. STOP WHINING AND EAT THE DAMN TAR Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff tells Montrealers they should support Alberta and it's magical mudfields: "The stupidest thing you can do (is) to run against an industry that is providing employment for hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and not just in Alberta, but right across the country." He also apparently said the tarsands development must be made sustainable. Good luck with that.

2. REGINA DAYCARES CLOSING remember when everyone in Saskatchewan voted Stephen Harper's Conservatives into office and, as promised, they scrapped the Liberal national child care plan for a crummy monthly allowance? Maybe this is karma. (With apologies to the parents who are impacted.)

3. MASSIVE LAYOFFS AT MICROSOFT Five-thousand jobs, poof! gone. Microsoft blames the economy, we blame Vista.

4. STATE OF AFFAIRS Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco will give his State of the City address today. Wonder if he'll mention our town's anorexic rental market.

5. CAN'T HELP YOU, PLEASE GO AWAY The Dziekanski inquiry continues.

6. DRIP, DRIP, DRIP Oh yeah, and it looks like the south pole is melting after all. Global warming skeptics will have to find something else to justify their insane and dangerous delusions.