The announcement that Brandeis University was going to close the Rose Art Museum and sell off part or most of the collection, a collection that includes one of the best representations of America in the 1950s and 1960s – a time when the center of art theory and practice moved from Europe to the USA, caused a ruffle in my house. My artist wife is very fond of the Rose, was just up there in the past year, and, frankly, couldn’t believe the University’s decision.
President Barack Obama’s unfortunate decision to stand behind his ethically-challenged selections for key cabinet positions raises serious questions about whether or not the agent of change elected by reform-starved voters is true to his word.
Obama’s steadfast support of health and human services nominee Tom Daschle following revelations that the longtime Senator failed to pay taxes on perks from fatcat supporters is the kind of stubborn, ethics-and-rules-be-damned defiance that former President George W. Bush showed whenever one of his own got into trouble.
President Obama’s economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, said that any stimulus bill should be targeted, timely and temporary.
The 647-page, $819 billion bill that passed the House — close to what the Congress spends to run the government in a normal year — sprawls all over the place, defers major spending to a time when we hope the recession has run its course, greatly expands the federal government’s role in health care, education and energy, and much of the bill is not likely to be temporary.
The government of Iraq has announced that the private security firm Blackwater will be banned from that country.
The news that the company’s license to kill will not be renewed has been accompanied by the triple assassinations in Iraq of three Sunni candidates in the upcoming elections, providing grim headlines. Blackwater spokesmen have immediately exploited the situation by stressing that their efficient enterprise could easily withdraw from the country, but that American security would suffer greatly as a result.
The Obama administration, completing its first full week, wasted no time getting priorities in order. First, issue formal apologies to the world, and then begin advancing massive, intrusive government at home.
The president chose Arab television, Al Arabiya, to give his first sit down interview. He took the opportunity to confirm the long held Arab view that the real problem is America and President Obama apologized on our behalf.