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A new year, a new look and a new outlook

By
January 2, 2009

As Americans, we enter 2009 riding a tidal wave of crisis: a plummeting economy, multiple wars and a nation torn apart by bitter partisanship.

Yet we ride that wave on a surfboard of hope driven by a new President, a promise of change and a commitment to approach our many problems by building coalitions and crossing the angry battle lines of partisanship.

It’s no longer a question of "can we do it?" It becomes a mandate of "we must do it."

Americans cannot, and must not, rely on the bitter, partisan crutches of the past. The many challenges facing this nation cannot be overcome by Democrats or Republicans. We must face them as Americans: United in purpose, driven by faith and marching in unison.

Capitol Hill Blue enters the new year with a new look, a redesign that we hope signals more than cosmetic change. We approach the new year with a renewed commitment to honest, straightforward reporting of the news on issues that affect this nation and us — its people.  We have tried to do so in the past but we have not always delivered on the promise. Our human failings have led to monumental mistakes, my vanity as the owner and publisher of this web site has led to lapses in judgment. I have been divisive when unity was needed, speculative when documented fact was necessary and opinionated when objectivity was demanded.

Hopefully, like any human with all-too-human failings, I have learned from past mistakes. Hopefully, the promises I make to our readers today will stand the test of time.

As the founder, owner, publisher and editor of this publication, I make these commitments to you, our readers:

  • Capitol Hill Blue will report the news in a straightforward, objective manner.  We will use proven, reliable sources for our news. This includes wire services like the Associated Press, Reuters and AFP. The authors of articles from those sources will be identified unless the wire service does not include a byline. In such cases, the byline will state the source of the article;
  • When a news summary is written based on information from other news sources, the author of that summary will be included as a byline and the sources of all such information will be identified and linked;
  • When I write a news article, the sources for information in that article will be identified by name and organization. I wil not accept information from unknown sources via email or any other means of communication. I will not accept information gathered by a researcher or assistant unless I have verified that information directly with the source. I have been burned in the past by allowing others to gather information for me.
  • Our columnists — Hal Brown, Rob Kezelis, Phil Hoskins and myself — are free to express their opinions in their columns which appear in the left-hand sidebar of the home page.  The opinions of columnists are their own and should be considered as such.
  • Our reader/bloggers are also free to express their opinions in the blogs but it should be remembered that bloggers can, and often do, shoot from the lip. Capitol Hill Blue does not necessarily endorse, support or stand behind information or opinions offered by our reader/bloggers.

Our goal is to serve as a positive, unifying force in a divided time.

Hopefully, we’re up to the task.

With your help and support, we will be.

11 Responses to A new year, a new look and a new outlook

  1. gazelle1929

    January 3, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Corporations have no moral obligations. They are amoral. Not immoral, amoral. There’s a big difference. They are responsible to their stockholders to maximize profit. ARMs readjust because the contract says when X happens there is a Y effect on your interest rate. Typically there is no discretion.

  2. 33rdSt

    January 3, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    No, this is like blaming your mortgage lender for raising your ARM to an absurdly high level just because the law allows said lender to do so; absolving of moral obligation on the strength of a legal loophole.

  3. adb8917

    January 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Good luck, sir. It’s a challenge to keep a cool head and clear vision when the barbarians are at the gate. We may get lucky this time and have an open and honest government that doesn’t feel the need to spy on its own, and will, instead, just give us the facts.

    Your manifesto encourages me. I think I’ll stick around.

    ADB

  4. Carl Nemo

    January 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks Doug Thompson for the new site look and affirming your sailing orders for the upcoming year and beyond. … : )

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. adamrussell

    January 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Lets hope that both sides can learn to value honesty and honor above party loyalty.

  6. JudyB

    January 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Lofty goals abound…Whoa!!!! None of us know what lies in store for us but I sincerely have hope that it will begin to get better. My hopes are that honesty reigns within our government and here at CHB, I like what I am hearing from both men who will be in charge and wish them success in reaching their goals. Fortunately for those of us who frequent CHB, the only wars we get in here, are un-armed, and have cost the taxpayers nothing. Doug has always overseen the cost of running it. President Elect Obama on the other hand, has to deal with armed wars that have already cost us trillions, and an economy that he has to get completely revamped and going again. Best wishes for good health, luck and prosperity to both of you and to all of us in 2009!

    “We all may be in the gutter,
    but some of us are looking at the stars.” -Oscar Wilde

  7. Warren

    January 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Meanwhile, in the US Senate (the most deliberative and methodical of our government bodies), the Democrats are swearing that they will physically prevent Roland Burris from reaching the Senate floor, let alone be seated; the Republicans are swearing they will not allow Al Franken to be seated. All appointed or elected according to law, presumably at the time of their appearance at the Senate. And New York is close to appointing Caroline Kennedy, if she can, you know, remember her name for the swearing-in.

    My hopes are not high.

  8. 33rdSt

    January 3, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Given the known efforts of Illinois’ governor to sell the Senate seat, there is some reason to question whether Roland Burris was appointed according to law.

    Given the razor thin margin in the Minnesota race, and the continuing shift in the size and direction of that margin, there is legitimate reason to question whether the “winner” will be known by Monday.

    Both seats appear to be unsettled at this point in time so seating either would be an unnecessarily rush to uncertainty.

    Since both New York Senate seats remain occupied, Caroline Kennedy cannot be seated at this time either. Nor can any of the other folks whose names have been bandied about as possible successors if and when a vacancy does occur.

    It all seems very orderly and according to the rules.

    Seems we should with hold judgment until something actually happens.

  9. gazelle1929

    January 3, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    “Given the known efforts of Illinois’ governor to sell the Senate seat, there is some reason to question whether Roland Burris was appointed according to law.”

    What reason? The law says that the Illinois Governor appoints the temporary Senator. Period. What reason is there to question that he did that? Has anyone, anywhere, alleged that Burris did anything illegal to get the appointment?

    People, we need to back up a step or two, take a breath, and use our brains and not our emotions on this one. I think Blagojevich is probably a very purified form of scum, but this is like blaming your mailman for delivering your mortgage default notice.

  10. Carl Nemo

    January 3, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Hi gazelle1929…

    I must compliment you sir on your ever incisive analysis concerning issues of the law, finance, and other subjects that arise upon this site, but sometimes I feel you are lacking when it comes to sensitivity and heart; ie., all that is lacking within the modern business and government paradigms. You always seem to have a succinct, spot-on, lawyerly rebuttal.

    You are correct when you explain the actions of corporations; ie., being amoral, an “adjective” (modifier of a noun), but fail miserably when when it comes to pointing out their failures relative to a higher word and philosophical form; ie., their ethics, a “noun”…!

    *****

    a·mor·al (-môrl, -mr-)
    adj.
    1. Not admitting of moral distinctions or judgments; neither moral nor immoral.
    2. Lacking moral sensibility; not caring about right and wrong.

    *****
    as opposed to:

    Main Entry: eth·ic
    Pronunciation: \ˈe-thik\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin ethice, from Greek ēthikē, from ēthikos
    Date: 14th century
    1plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
    2 a: a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction bplural but sing or plural in constr : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group c: a guiding philosophy d: a consciousness of moral importance
    3plural : a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness)

    *****

    This nation and the world have failed miserably when it comes to adhering to the principles of ethics, but have rolled over like willing whores when it comes to using the apologia of “clinical” amorality as an excuse for their quasi to overt criminal behavior in our times.

    From our business and government leaders we get… Amorality…as a resounding “YES”; concerning Ethics…we get a resounding “SAY WHAT?!” to simply no way…!

    I always enjoy your comments, but sometimes I feel you lack sensitivity and “heart” when it comes to defining the corruption that blights our modern system of finance, government and law.

    In seeking for preciseness, you seem to miss the need for correctness in behavior. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  11. curmudgeon

    January 4, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Facts – A good start
    Opinions – To stimulate thinking
    Analysis – Facts and Opinion
    Rationale – Adds Logic
    Persuasion – Adds Direction
    Conclusion – Perhaps

    The most important part about a good discussion, is not being right or wrong, but what we learn along the way.

    Well reasoned discussions seem to be the keynote to successful websites. Single line replies and sarcasm add little to either the interest in, or the ongoing success of websites. Those national media sites, that invite reader comments often receive hundreds of meaningless one line comments that serve only as ego trips, vents for frustration, or poor attempts at comedy. Few serious bloggers frequent these sites.

    Doug’s guidelines set the tone and the framework for intellectually satisfying on-line discussions.

    Here’s hoping for a tough, honest and enlightening experience.

    this too, shall pass