Yes, we still have to wait almost 169 days and 3 hours until he's sworn in. That aside, today is Barack Obama's birthday.
Since I went to the Philadelphia game two nights ago, a lot has happened—most of it in the last few hours:
So, I am aware of all these things, but the only purpose of this post is to put up photos from Philadelphia. First, city hall (which is becoming a trend in these posts):
Citizens Bank Park:
And this, which astute readers may recognize as the Noah's Flood bearing down on the city:
I will now dive into my photos from last night's game...
According to NPR, John McCain proposes bringing Prime Minister's Questions to the U.S. Former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, the Rev. Archibald Spooner, and Mrs. Malaprop expressed their strong support for the propsal.
Seriously, the mind reels. McCain doesn't know the name of the border between Iraq and Pakistan (it's called "Iran"), and admits he doesn't know how to use a computer. Can you imagine him in the well of Congress answering questions from the 300-plus Democrats arrayed against him? And yet, it doesn't take a great leap of imagination to see a President Obama (178 days, 17 hours until inaguration) fielding the worst the 250-or-so Republicans could toss at him.
That said, he's finally proposed something I agree with—even if HuffPo's Matt Littman gave him the idea.
...even though it's heavy. I'm reading Paul Johnson's History of the American People right now, and enjoying every page. For starters, he writes well. It's a story, after all, and he tells it like one. He also has a British perspective, which I think lets him see through and explain myths that natives might not.
People seem to think history is boring, which is sad. This book could cure that, as long as the reader starts with a basic curiosity about what makes us Americans. Even Parker enjoys it, but that's probably because I've spent many hours in the past week sitting outside with him at various pubs in Chicago, occasionally tossing him popcorn and crisps.
On this day in 1925, John Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution in Tennessee by a dozen apes.
In related news, the Census Bureau reported Friday that the geographic center of ignorance in the U.S. has shifted radically east since January 2001, now placed at 38° 53' 52" N, 77° 2' 20" W.
Columbian president Alvaro Uribe admitted today that members of the hostage-rescue team last week wore the Red Cross symbol during the mission, which is a serious violation of the laws of war:
Such a use of the Red Cross emblem could constitute a "war crime" under the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law and could endanger humanitarian workers in the future, according to international legal expert Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association.
Misuse of the Red Cross emblem is governed by articles 37, 38 and 85 of Additional Protocol One to the Geneva Conventions, the international rules of war. The articles prohibit "feigning of protected status by the use of ... emblems" of neutral parties and say that such misuses are considered breaches of international humanitarian law that qualify as a "war crime."
I had just started to write about the despicable ICE raid in Postville, Iowa, last May, when my only dog puked a volume of food so large I didn't know his stomach could hold that amount, right onto a 19th-century Persian rug.
In situations like these, you can't get mad at the dog, but oh my goodness you really want to.
Update: Nature's Miracle seems to be working, but that can't be good for the rug.
Via Talking Points Memo, North Carolina Agriculture Dept. employee L.F. Eason III retired rather than lower the flags at his state lab to honor the passing of Sen. Jesse Helms:
Eason, a 29-year veteran of the state Department of Agriculture, instructed his staff at a small Raleigh lab not to fly the U.S. or North Carolina flags at half-staff Monday, as called for in a directive to all state agencies by Gov. Mike Easley.
When a superior ordered the lab to follow the directive, Eason decided to retire rather than pay tribute to Helms. After several hours' delay, one of Eason's employees hung the flags at half-staff.
Nice. I approve.
Via Talking Points Memo, oy gevalt:
An AP-Yahoo News poll found that pet owners favor McCain over Obama 42 percent to 37 percent, with dog owners particularly in McCain's corner.
I mean, wow. Just when you think political reporting can't get stupider.
That said, Parker, like his owner, supports Obama.
Milestone: about 13 minutes ago, fewer than 200 days remain in the worst presidency in U.S. history.
That is all.