I'm still watching the New Hampshire debate and for the moment my comments are, 1) Is there anybody John McCain won't hug? 2) Fred Thompson scares the hell out of me, and 3) Bill Richardson would make a decent VP.
Alright, one more comment--does Richardson really believe Kennedy was one of our best presidents? Inspiring, maybe. Shooting for the moon, okay. Best president? Oh, Bill.
Friday night the Idaho Democratic Central Committee elected a new chairman of the state party to replace resigning chairman Richard Stallings. They picked Keith Roark over Jerry Brady. If I've ever met Keith Roark, I can't remember him. However, Stallings' shoes are pretty hard to fill so it wouldn't matter if they elected the Pope at this point. I've watched closely a conversation over at Idaho Rocks about the election and I'd like to comment more on this matter tomorrow. Until then, check this out!
Today on CSPAN's BookTV they were running footage of the Lincoln Forum meeting at Gettysburg in November. Hopefully they're going to be running this again soon. I'd love to attend one of those conferences. Something I really enjoy about the Lincoln Forum, other than the obvious reasons, is that they have an ongoing list of what is new in Lincoln books/literature. It is sort of similar to the e-newsletter JFK Lancer puts out, but broader (and more academic). If you haven't even heard of the Lincoln Forum, I would highly suggest you familiarize yourself.
The Dallas Morning News has an end-of-the-year "award" similar to Time, called Texan of the Year. While I was in Dallas this award appeared in the December 30th Sunday edition. Quite interesting was their choice this year: the Illegal Immigrant. Once I find a link to the article, I will add it here. This surprised me, perhaps because in the last year Texas lost Lady Bird Johnson and other notable Texans who really made a difference in the state. Yes, illegal immigrants are making a difference in Texas, but we don't see positive news reports about illegal immigrants and wouldn't it be nice to end the year on a pleasant note? Also interesting in the article is the way in which the editorial refers to the illegal immigrant: "He is at the heart of a great culture war in Texas." Yes, it's a pronoun to describe a group of people. Yes, they could have chosen they, them, etc. But he? Illegal immigrants are men, women, children, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and all sorts of other labels seeking the same thing--freedom and opportunity. He? Really? It could be worse, one of the runners up for the award was Alberto Gonzales...
This past week Sara Jane More was released from prison in Dublin, California for attempting to assassinate the late former president Gerald Ford. The timing wasn't lost on me. Last year, the day after Christmas, President Ford passed away. The details escape me, but of the two would-be assassins of President Ford, Sara Jane Moore was not given life in prison like Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme. I've always wondered if Americans sympathized with Moore. She was attempting to assassinate a man who had just suppressed any possibility of the country knowing the crimes of their leader. Pardoning Nixon aggravated many Americans. Luckily, only two acted in response to that pardon. Even more lucky, neither succeeded. The world has been without Gerald Ford for a year, but the world has not forgotten the man who healed a nation. Hopefully they have forgotten Sara Jane Moore's actions and she can live her life or what is left of it in some sort of peace. It just amazes me that you can attempt to kill the leader of the free world and one day walk the streets a free person again.
The January 2008 issue of Smithsonian has a wonderful article by a fellow named Lance Morrow about the late Norman Mailer. He nails it. All the irritating characteristics of Mailer are there, all the endearing qualities are there. More and more I find myself a fan of Lance Morrow for his insight as well as choice of topics. I don't know that I agree with his politics, but he's a writer I admire. He was, if you remember, the author of a wonderful book called The Best Year of Their Lives, a discussion of three young congressman--Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.
United Vision for Idaho has announced the award recipients for the upcoming progressive dinner to be held in Boise this coming Friday. I won't be able to attend (had to choose between the progressive dinner or the Church banquet this year), but I wanted to send a shout out to my fellow blogger and a writer I greatly admire, Julie Fanselow, who will be receiving the first ever Progressive Blogger of the Year. Way to go, Julie!
I've been home most of the day getting organized and gearing up for Spring semester to begin and as I've been "sorting" I've half watched, mostly listened to, the first season of NYPD Blue. Wow! I had heard that there was some controversy when this series first went on the air, but holy moly, I can see why now. Tell me this--we finally have nudity on prime time and we have to see Dennis Franz' naked butt? Where's the fairness in that? Yeah, I'm about fifteen years behind on that comment. What can I say? I was in the second grade when everybody else was introduced to Steven Bochco!