Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Prince of Peace in Baghdad

New York Times

"Be careful not to hate the ones killing us because they know not what they are doing. God forgive them."
THE REV. MEYASSR AL-QASPOTROS, at a Chaldean Catholic church in Baghdad

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FINAL UPDATE: A Letter to My Senators on Good Faith Toward 9-11 First Responders

Dear Senator,

I urge you to press for another vote this session on providing health benefits to 9-11 First Responders and volunteers.

Please call on the opposition to act in good faith and without further delay on this important matter.

Thanks for your leadership, Senator.

Kind regards,

Jim Hancock

FINAL UPDATE: AP reports passage of the bill.

UPDATE: MSNBC reports a deal has been reached in the Senate Wednesday Afternoon. Almost there...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

This Economy's Winners and Losers | Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Go ahead, ask me who I love more: the middle class, the poor or the rich. 

Never mind, I'll tell you: I love them all. Meaning I have close friends who are rich and poor and in between and I love them all — as I believe we are all loved and valued by our creator. 

Now ask whose wellbeing I worry about.

Not the wealthy...I do not worry that the wealthy won't make it one way or another. 

If we're all in this together — e pluribus unum — then I don't think this is rocket science. Everybody contributes, everybody pays, everybody benefits. Fair is fair. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Martin Marty | Celebrating 400 Years of the King James Bible

Martin Marty's brief reflection on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible is worth a peak as Advent begins. 
Thanksgiving weekend gave those who live off or for the media an excuse to slow down, turn off some signals, and settle back to football, turkey, and family—or to shop. For those who keep the Christian calendar, yesterday was also a significant change-of-pace day, since it was the beginning of a new church year. Readers of Sightings who are distant from Christian observances cannot have escaped the carols and wreaths which resound and decorate public spaces. Looking for ways to celebrate the season and anticipate 2011, we were aided by an editorial from the Observer in the UK.          
Here’s the deal: 2011 is the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible, an event that merits observance far beyond the circles of librarians, antiquarians, and classicists. Anyone who keeps files on the fate of the KJV in the twentieth century and ever since will find many controversies to pass on the way to the book and its cultural import. Thus I have files, books, and personal recall of the way defenders of the King James edition fought off new translations. The Revised Standard Version, backed by the National Council of Churches, was scorned as “Stalin’s Bible” because it seemed to some to slight the virgin birth of Jesus. Burnings of the Bible at mid-century, when the Revised Standard Version appeared, drew attention just as the planned burning of the Qur’an recently did. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Who Work While Others Sleep

A prayer in light of staggering third quarter corporate profits

O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Compline, Book of Common Prayer, p134

Monday, November 22, 2010

Full Disclosure | a letter from my US senator about the DISCLOSE Act

Dear Mr. Hancock:

Thank you for writing to me to express your support for the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue, and I share your support for the goals of this bill.

I believe that it is of the utmost importance that we do not allow corporate money to disproportionately influence our elections.

As you may know, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court reversed a century-old law and overruled decades of legal precedent when it decided that corporations cannot be restricted from spending unlimited amounts in federal elections.

The decision was astounding, not just because it was a gross display of judicial activism, but because it defies common sense for the Supreme Court to conclude that corporations are citizens, as you and I are, in the eyes of the law.  Many corporations make enormous contributions to our society, but they are not people.

The DISCLOSE Act would lessen the harmful effects of the Court's ruling by prohibiting government contractors, foreign corporations, and companies that have received Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds from making political contributions.

This legislation would also prevent corporations, unions, and other organizations from coordinating campaign expenditures with political parties or candidates.  It would establish tough new rules for reporting campaign spending in a timely manner so that the public can see exactly what organizations are spending on political activities.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Tortured Logic of Our Times | Expecting More from Our Leaders

The release this week of George W. Bush's memoir directs us again to a series of conscious choices by which the U.S. government has wandered off into the tall grass with others who practice and rationalize torture.  [updated below]

It would be naive to argue that agents of this nation have not from time to time violated laws banning torture; but we have seldom approved and almost never framed those illegal acts as virtuous behavior. Now some of us do approve — not because torture "works" — I'm convinced the empirical evidence against that is settled — but because it feels good to know someone out there is willing to do anything to protect us — even things that do harm rather than good.

In this, former President Bush misled the American people into behavior we have rightly condemned in other nations, and the Congress of the United States gave him cover by passing the misguided Military Commissions Act of 2006.

In a comment on the passage of the Military Commissions Act I concluded:
In that singular change we have become what we declared unlawful and unacceptable in 1776, fought against until 1783 and carefully designed our Constitution to prevent in 1789. Our oppressors and enemies in that conflict followed us into the spirit of that new social covenant. The US Constititution changed the game.
Now this President and Congress have changed it back and 74 million Baby Boomers failed to stop them. This is what The Big Chill looks like.

It's time for a thaw. I think it's time to shake off the stiffness and invite the generations of voters behind us to join in prevailing on President Obama to complete the work started by his Executive Orders on Detention and Interrogation Policy, January 22, 2009. We can do better than we're doing.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Expecting More from Our Leaders

As we were finishing our elections last week, a UK court was busy voiding the election last May of a Mr. Phil Woolas

Mr. Woolas' error was simple to comprehend: He knowingly made false statements about his opponent in the election in violation of election law which makes it an offense "to publish 'any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate's personal character or conduct' to prevent them being elected - unless they believed it was true and had "reasonable grounds" to do so."

The court found:
Having considered the evidence which was adduced in court we are sure that these statements were untrue. We are also sure that the respondent had no reasonable grounds for believing them to be true and did not believe them to be true.

Mr. Woolas was ordered to pay £5,000 and costs to his opponent. 

He faces a three-year parliamentary ban.

He was suspended by his party, a deputy leader saying: "It is not part of Labour politics to try to win elections by saying things that are not true."

A party deputy from the opposition said: "Mr Woolas has come severely unstuck and I am very pleased for politics and the rule of law that the judges have said so clearly that this was unacceptable."

What do you call it when we tell our children not to lie but teach them the opposite by tolerating — even celebrating — people in politics and business who gain an advantage by lying?

What could possibly prevent us from embracing in practice the standards we declare with our words?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Old Youth Workers Never Die | Finding Your Way in a New Place

I took a new youth pastorate [and] I am excited, sad, and nervous all in one! Every blog I read has a pretty jaded stance on leaving churches, going to new churches etc. Do you have any advice for me?

Hey John; nice to hear from you. Congratulations on your new position. 

And condolences… I certainly know the grief of leaving behind a church in which I was nurtured and a group of kids I loved. I think it takes time to process that and learn everything it means. 

Off the top of my head...

If there’s already a going youth ministry concern at your new location, there will be assumptions and expectations about roles and programs. Find out what those are and evaluate how to honor those who came before you even as you look for ways to improve on their work. If there’s something you believe needs to go away, think about whether you can, 1) just let it die by leaving it off the calendar going forward or 2) devise something better to replace it. 

Listen as deeply as you can to find out what’s important to people. Don’t pick unnecessary fights. Where you believe change is necessary, act like a shepherd rather than a cowboy (sheep are led, cows are driven).

If there’s not much going on already, introduce new things with care. You’re new culture may or may not embrace things that killed where you were before. I would recommend thinking less about building and more about growing.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Why Vote? Because We Can.

 "Listen here, if you don't vote, you don't matter! And then you're just as ignorant as them in the city say you are!" — Willie Stark in Steven Zaillian’s 2006 film adaptation of Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Voting the Facts | Bloomberg Businessweek Sets the Record Straight

…by a two-to-one margin, likely voters in the Nov. 2 midterm elections think taxes have gone up, the economy has shrunk, and the billions lent to banks as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program won’t be recovered. 
 — Bloomberg Businessweek, 29 October, 2010
In fact, none of that is true.

Bloomberg Businessweek sets the record straight:
Fact: The Obama administration has cut taxes — largely for the middle class — by $240 billion since taking office on Jan. 20, 2009. 
Fact: The U.S. economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter as consumer spending climbed the most in almost four years.

Fact: In the past year, the economy has grown 3.1 percent.

Fact: The U.S. Treasury has recovered most of the $245 billion spent on the Wall Street bank part of the rescue, and expects to turn a $16 billion profit. 

Taxes have gone down not up, the economy is growing not shrinking, the TARP funds are mostly recovered; some at a respectable profit to the American people.

The One Campaign + the California Senate Race

The One Campaign asked California U.S. Senate candidates Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina:

How best can the US continue to tackle global disease, poverty, and hunger?

Their responses:
Senator Barbara Boxer: “I strongly believe that alleviating global disease, poverty and hunger is inextricably linked to making real progress in the world. Throughout my career, I have fought for women’s rights. And now I am proud to chair the first-ever Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee focused on improving the status of women and girls worldwide.

Studies have shown that when women and girls have opportunities they will make important contributions to their country’s economic and social progress. According to the World Bank, women and girls reinvest 90 percent of their income in their families, whereas men reinvest 30 to 40 percent. Educating women and girls is one of the most powerful development tools we have.

That is why I am so pleased that the United States has taken the lead in making the advancement of women a central element of its foreign policy. For example in April, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the Secretary’s International Fund for Women and Girls—a partnership between the public and private sectors aimed at providing resources to those who are working to meet women’s needs worldwide.

The U.S. is not alone in recognizing that the status of women and girls is critical to uplifting a society. In July, the United Nations established U.N. Women—a new U.N. entity that is working to advance women’s rights around the globe.

We must continue to work with our international partners to give women and girls every opportunity to succeed because when women thrive, their societies thrive.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Government We Deserve | Beyond Cynicism V

I'm just about done explaining to friends who asked about my general approval for President Obama's performance during his first 20 months in office. This is not because I'm running out of things to say but because I suspect I have more answer than my friends had question and I don't want to be more obnoxious than I've already been. Throughout I've included links to supporting documentation, analysis and, where appropriate, financial figures. There's a thoughtful overview by Tom Dickinson in the October 28 issue of Rolling Stone.


With the Obama administration, we know where we stand financially.

Between 2001 and 2009, the Bush administration spent on the order of one trillion off-budget US dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (These expenditures were in addition to the $700ish billion in annual budgeted defense spending — Stiglitz + Bilmes now project the direct and indirect costs of prosecuting those wars will drive the ultimate financial cost to five trillion dollars, give or take a trillion).

Setting aside the question of whether those wars (either, neither or both) were justified, a trillion dollars committed outside the budget while at the same time acting to reduce revenues is a significant exercise in deficit spending for people who claim to be fiscal conservatives.

At the very least — and I think the news is considerably better than the very least — Mr. Obama’s budgeting is above-board; including good faith projections of costs nobody particularly wants to look at.

Some of my friends blamer the messenger for bad news about the deficit and steadfastly refuse to give him credit for substantive deficit reduction activities like the cost savings built into recent health care reforms.

In my view, fiscal conservatives could learn a thing or two about budget transparency from this president.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Old Youth Workers Never Die | Facebook

A Facebook exchange with a youth worker friend on the subject of Facebook

Hey there! I was wanting your thoughts on something, especially since you seem so connected to many youth pastors. I have heard a lot in the news lately about the problems coming up with teachers being "friends" with their students on facebook. Some schools are making it school policy that it is not allowed. We try to be so smart about appropriate behavior with students and often use teacher standards as a guideline.

Do you think it is appropriate for youth pastors to be "friends" with their students? Should they create a youth group page and strictly communicate through that one? Or are both too risky and should youth pastors stay away from it altogether?

I hope you are doing well Jim :) Tell that lovely wife of yours hello for me.

Hey Meg! I certainly think a group page is appropriate and I have no problem with youth workers friending students as long as they're clear what that means, including clear boundaries.

IMHO FB is no more dangerous than phones, text messages, email or letter-writing — and may be a good deal less dangerous if updates are kept in the open. I think exceptions may be made when an appropriate level of confidentiality is required to respond to sensitive questions. At which point I think additional safeguards and accountability should come into play between youth workers, spouses and bosses and that those standards and practices should be common knowledge throughout the community.

That's a quick answer. Does it make sense?

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Government We Deserve | Beyond Cynicism IV

I've been asked by friends to explain my general approval for President Obama's performance during his first 20 months in office. I'll honor those requests over the next few days, one element at a time. I'll include links you can follow to the supporting documentation and, where appropriate, financial figures. And there's a thoughtful overview by Tom Dickinson in the October 28 issue of Rolling Stone.

Auto Industry Bailout

I had my doubts, but the plan to rescue the Big Three US auto companies initiated with TARP funds by President Bush at the end of his administration and refined and sustained by President Obama in the opening months of 2009 now looks far more like an investment than a bailout. 

E.J. Dionne's piece for NPR in August 2010 covers the story reasonably well. 

And here's the March 2009 White House Fact Sheet outlining the plan.

In addition to a million US jobs saved and tens of thousands of new jobs created or restored as the auto companies began to regain stability, as of September 30 2010 Chrysler and GM had paid back $11 billion of the $80 billion disbursed from the Troubled Asset Relief Program with profit to the American people of $2.6 billion.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stephen Colbert Walks Off The View...

...and then comes back and talks about faith (a little). I totally missed this the other day. You?

The Government We Deserve | Beyond Cynicism III

I've been asked by friends to explain my general approval for President Obama's performance during his first 20 months in office. I'll honor those requests over the next few days, one element at a time. I'll include links you can follow to the supporting documentation and, where appropriate, financial figures. And there's a thoughtful overview by Tom Dickinson in the October 28 issue of 
Rolling Stone.

Fair Pay

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act ensures that our wives, daughters, nieces and neighbors cannot be paid unfairly for their contributions to the businesses and economies in which they work. 

That outcome alone promotes justice. The Ledbetter Act is, however, part of a bigger picture, as President Obama noted at the signing: 

But equal pay is by no means just a women’s issue – it’s a family issue. It’s about parents who find themselves with less money for tuition or child care; couples who wind up with less to retire on; households where, when one breadwinner is paid less than she deserves, that’s the difference between affording the mortgage – or not; between keeping the heat on, or paying the doctor’s bills – or not. And in this economy, when so many folks are already working harder for less and struggling to get by, the last thing they can afford is losing part of each month’s paycheck to simple discrimination.
Promoting equal pay for equal contribution is precisely the sort of change I expected when I cast my vote for Mr. Obama.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Government We Deserve | Beyond Cynicism II

I've been asked by friends to explain my general approval for President Obama's performance during his first 20 months in office. I'll honor those requests over the next few days, one element at a time. I'll include links you can follow to the supporting financial figures. And there's a thoughtful overview by Tom Dickinson in the October 28 issue of Rolling Stone.

Credit Card Reform

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 embodies real protection for borrowers with clear limits on what lenders may do that could take advantage of the unwary.

If you have credit cards from Amex, MasterCard or Visa you've already seen the new plain language/plain sight disclosures on your monthly statement.

The Act bans retroactive interest increases; ends late fee traps (such as moving due dates); prohibits "double-cycle" billing; restricts predatory practices aimed at college students; requires opt-in to trigger over-limit fees, and a whole lot more. 

You can moralize about extending and using credit till the cows come home. But the plain fact is, we are where we are, and the CARD Act levels the field so that people who wish or need to use plastic are not easily tricked by usurious lenders (Wikipedia article, accessed 10.18.10).

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Government We Deserve | Beyond Cynicism

I've been asked by friends to explain my general approval for President Obama's performance during his first 20 months in office. I'll honor those requests over the next few days, one element at a time. I'll include links you can follow to the supporting financial figures. And there's a thoughtful overview by Tom Dickinson in the October 28 issue of Rolling Stone.

Health Care Reform
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 increases protection for patients against poor care and overcharging and reduces the actual cost of care throughout the system right down to the individual patient.

By the end the decade the health care act will ensure that 95 percent of Americans have health coverage AND it will reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Raising Adults for Nook

Raising Adults is now available for the Nook eBook reader at Barnes & Noble at a price that will make you wonder how you can afford not to own it today.

My favorite parenting book is also available for iPad/iPhone users, Kindle readers and as a good old fashioned PDF from Youth Specialties.

If your idea of "good old fashioned" runs to books made of paper and printed with ink, I have a few dozen copies of the first edition — contact me directly and I'll make you a deal.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Economic Growth or Quick Profits: Pick One

Do you want jobs growth and healthy medium-to-long term economic growth or do you want to see high quarterly profits on Wall Street and hefty bonuses for financial players?
Pay on Wall Street is on pace to break a record high for a second consecutive year, according to a study conducted by The Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street journal says about three dozen Wall Street securities and investment firms are set to pay a record $144 Billion in compensation and benefits this year. 

Meanwhile, the minority party in the U.S. Senate employs back room tactics to stall and stop sensible measures to improve the business climate for small businesses (full disclosure: I operate a small business), create short, medium and longterm jobs, reward the efforts of entrepreneurs, increase revenues to benefit the common good at the local, state and national level, hold cheats and lawbreakers accountable for the damage they do to taxpayers and wind down the payments we make for energy to greedy and/or hostile foreign entities.

If we put more Republicans in the US House and Senate, they have, as a class, promised to do much more of many of the things that got us into this mess. If we increase the number of Democrats in the House and Senate, they have promised to get on with the painstaking, longterm work of rebuilding a sustainable economy for the American people. That's not a tough choice for me.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Where Are The Christians?

Question: Am I a Christian citizen if I don't insist my fellow citizens be treated as I want to be treated?

School officials choose to confront "bullying" without addressing the issue of homophobia

Thursday, October 07, 2010

In the Shelter of Each Other the People Live | Jars of Clay

This week, The Sheltera new collection of songs from Jars of Clay — catches my attention for a couple of reasons. 

1. I had the good fortune to interview the band for EdgeTV a few months after they released their first album in 1993. We hit it off and stayed in touch. 

2. This new collection reflects what Jars are thinking about how much we all need each other and then plays that out through lovely duets with friends (among them David Crowder, Audrey Assad, Amy Grant, Brandon Heath, Leigh Nash…) and a whole chorus of mates whose collective voices hint at how wonderful many of these songs will sound when we sing them together wherever we gather to worship and spur each other on toward love and good deeds.


3. A handful of friends (Sara Groves, Anne Jackson, David Dark, Nate Larkin, Padraig Otuama) wrote brief essays inspired by the central theme of The Shelter: 

In the shelter of each other the people live.

Here’s my contribution:
Killing time at the Art Institute of Chicago I view renaissance paintings of Jesus—all quite remarkable without seeming quite right.
Eventually it occurs to me the not-quite-rightness of those images is this: There’s not a Jew among them. I see Spanish-Jesus, Italian- and Dutch-Jesus; but not Palestinian-Jesus. 
Later, at a church in Houston’s Greater Third Ward I encounter East African-Jesus—which reminds me of Indonesia and Southeast-Asian-Jesus.
Of course none of these is accurate. I know this from my childhood Bible featuring Anglo-American-Jesus. 
I’m no genius, but a pattern’s a pattern.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

You Must Be At Least This Tall To Take This $700B Ride

A picture worth 700 Billion Dollars for folks making more than a million dollars a year — paid for your grand children... Is this your father's Republican Party?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Youth Groups, Books + Reaching for Happiness

Is this how kids understand the utility of your youth group?*

If not, why not?
If so, are you good with that? Is it on purpose? Do you feed it?
Where (if at all) do you see connections between this video and the narrative in John 6:1-71?

* Of course, you can switch out "kids" for "people" and "youth group" for "church" or whatever you call it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Raising Adults for the 21st Century

OK, that title is a play on words celebrating the news that, as of today, Raising Adults is available for:
Kindle at Amazon 
iPad at Apple*
PDF readers of any sort at Youth Specialties
Beyond the word play, I am convinced that people who practice and refine the relational patterns in Raising Adults really do produce women and men who are well suited for life in the world as we know it today.

Priced to Take You Back to the Future

I've put this book in digital form and priced it super-low (just $2.99/$2.99/$4.99 US) because — to cop a line from the writer Cory Doctorow (I'm pretty sure he snatched it from Tim O'Reilly) —
This book doesn't suffer from piracy; it suffers from obscurity.
I decided to remove the risk of buying Raising Adults so more people — I'm thinking anyone on any continent who reads English and cares about kids — can make it their own.

At those prices (we're talking numbers we haven't seen since the 1950s) , reading Raising Adults carries more risk than scraping together the change to buy it.

And in fairness I have to admit it is a somewhat risky read if we can judge such things by how mad this book makes some people of the high control, patronize-the-children-and-keep-them-silent-fat-and-happy school of parenting. Oops! Did I say that out loud?

So. Buy the book to read on your computer, Kindle or iPad — by the way, it's totally searchable when you read it that way so if you need to locate a quick topical quote or a short passage to spark conversation at a parents' meeting, it could hardly be easier.

If you truly hate this book (not so much that you want me dead but enough that you want me to suffer like you did reading it), tell me that and we'll try to work something out — maybe I'll come trim your lawn or something...if you buy the plane ticket.

And if you like Raising Adults, tell your friends.

* If you own an iPad/iPhone, you probably already know there's no online bookstore that you can navigate to from your computer — you get to books through the iBookstore app on your hand held device. You probably also know that Kindle books look great on your Apple device.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's harder to believe than not to

When my friend was 15, we talked long about the difficulties of believing and I recall trying to comfort her with a fragment from Flannery O'Connor: "It is much harder to believe than not to believe."

Now, two decades later, my friend writes:
I have long had a question about the first of the blessings in the book Blessing Your Spirit by Sylvia Gunther/Arthur Burke... The first blessing is about identity and legitimacy, which I know is hugely important in terms of the well being of our spirits...  I was trying to pray it this morning, but I stopped because there is something I can't reconcile in my mind and I wan't your insight/opinion...
 In this blessing, there are phrases like "He chose your parents", "He put you in your family", "He chose every one of your 23 pairs of chromosomes" "He chose every one of your than 10,000 genes"... I can take this in for myself and find that comforting, but then I always wonder about things, like the friend who's father was physically abusive while he was in the womb and after he was born, and then abandoned him he was very young, or the child who could not be born because of a chromosomal disorder which dramatically impacted the course of development of his body in the womb, or the child with a genetic disorder or neurological disorder that resulted in severe autism or bipolar disorder or schizophrenia... Where is God in that?
 I guess maybe it's not God I take issue with but the language of this blessing... I believe God delights int he creation of each one of His children, but some of His children suffer so greatly from such an early age, and throughout the whole of their lives and, in light of that, I just don't know that I believe God is making active choices about the elements that are woven together to create us... How could He choose things that would cause such suffering?  How do we understand why sometimes physical or mental development is so different and challenging for some of God's children?  If it is, how can we say it's God's and blessing and miracle when that challenge does not occur?  It doesn't make sense it my mind....
I realize this is a big question, but I would love insight when you have the time...
I think this is an awfully good question from someone who has searched high and low and always seems to take God more seriously than anyone else, including herself. For what it's worth, here's my reply:

Friday, September 03, 2010

"...somebody to make it all better. Now."

The nation demands the impossible: quick, painless solutions to long-term, structural problems. While they're running for office, politicians of both parties encourage this kind of magical thinking. When they get into office, they're forced to try to explain that things aren't quite so simple -- that restructuring our economy, renewing the nation's increasingly rickety infrastructure, reforming an unsustainable system of entitlements, redefining America's position in the world and all the other massive challenges that face the country are going to require years of effort. But the American people don't want to hear any of this. They want somebody to make it all better. Now. 
Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post 
 photo by BabyDinosaur

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Wanting it Both Ways

Here's part of what American citizens have to look straight in the eye — or look the other way on — as we vote in November. It's 13 minutes long (13 agonizing minutes for Rachel Maddow haters), but I believe it has to be reckoned-with.