Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Middle of the Week Mélange

Around the blog world, this is an addition to the version of this post that went up last night: If you haven't read Randy Stapilus' post on the idiocy of Rep. Hartgen, go do that; Huckleberries Online is available in a new format with a brand new URL; and, Perry Swisher hates the electoral college.

Since the news first broke that former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle would be Obama's pick for leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services, I haven't paid much attention to the cabinet selection news. I was more than pleased with Daschle and I didn't expect Obama would roll out any selections that would otherwise impress me. However, that changed today with the selection of former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack to head the Department of Agriculture. You might remember that Vilsack was my choice going into 2008 for the presidency. It will be interesting to see if one, Vilsack comes out of his shell, and two, a governor from an agriculture-rich state like Iowa can lead the department in the direction it needs to go.

A bit of very exciting baseball news: The Braves are anticipating an agreement with gold glove caliber short stop Rafael Furcal. Yes, the former Brave turned Dodger may be returning to Atlanta. I must admit after Furkie's abysmal performance in the post season (remember those horrific errors in the NLCS?), his presence in the biggest off-season trade discussions is surprising. Yet, Furcal is a great addition to any lineup and a few errors won't keep him from bringing some excitement to the Atlanta lineup, a lineup that has lacked excitement across the board since Andruw Jones hit his slump and they joined Furkie in Los Angeles. Update: Looks like the Dodgers are the top choice now, to quote Talking Chop, I'm exhausted! Update to previous update: Braves now say Furcal to stay with Dodgers.

I don't read the Huffington Post much, but yesterday as we all should have been celebrating Bill of Rights Day, I noticed an interesting piece by Caroline Fredrickson on the milestone. While we were mostly admiring President Bush's ability to duck shoes, Fredrickson hammers away at what the Bush administration has done to the Bill of Rights.

In a world with Nancy Grace, it is easy to ignore the all-too-common news of another missing child, but today I think many Americans must have experienced a sigh of relief for John Walsh as the Florida police announced that it was indeed Ottis Toole who killed Adam Walsh, the six year old son of John Walsh in 1981. Undoubtedly, Walsh has made his mark on criminal justice and the search for criminals in this country, but today that cost was unavoidable. I watched the news conference and I couldn't help but note how tired he looks. I've had a few friends who have lost children, one who lost her son in a horrific crime, and they have never recovered. I'm sure today did not relieve John Walsh's pain, but I sincerely hope that it has offered some sort of closure to he and his former wife.

Last, and certainly most important today, Gary Eller, who I mentioned yesterday in my Zeb Bell post, has an excellent piece at his blog, In the Middle, that really resonated with me. The futility of listening to and reporting on the insane ramblings of Zeb Bell has at times left me wondering whether it is just me, if in finding his show reprehensible I am simply taking personal the "ravings of a clown" or if Zeb Bell really is a menace. Mr. Eller speaks to this in ways my words are inadequate in doing. As much as I truly believed my attempts were in vain yesterday, Gary Eller's words reminded me that all of our attempts, Gary's, MountainGoat's, and Sisyphus' are never in vain, but are serving a greater purpose of exposing this for what it is, publicly aired hate speech.

No comments :