Friday, November 27, 2009

I Like Trains, But...

Russia's high speed passenger train apparently derailed. Per CNN:
A passenger train running from Moscow to St. Petersburg derailed Friday, causing 25 deaths and 63 injuries, state-run Russian television reported.

Russian state radio said the crash occurred 280 km (174 miles) from St. Petersburg at 9:34 p.m. (1:34 p.m. ET). Rescue workers were trying to free people trapped under the carriages of the Nevsky Express that overturned.

Well, it's the technology of yestercentury. These things are bound to happen.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

By The Same Token, Obama's Allure

Just as I don't get Sarah Palin's great allure among so many conservatives, I'm similarly not understanding the very high approval ratings President Obama gets among Democrats. compiles polling data from the polls you know, and places Obama's approval rating among Democrats above 82%.

Are Democrats no deeper than, "He's on our team, he's not on their team, so he's obviously great"? It's hard to argue against.

1. Obama has essentially affirmed the Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by remaining and extending the wars.

2. Obama did a stimulus package that was merely bigger than Bush's.

3. Still in Gitmo.

4. Still maintaining the Bush policy of indefinite detention.

5. Could have significantly scaled back the war on drugs when the Mexican border militarized. Instead, laughed.

6. Still have the Patriot Act. No push to repeal coming from on high.

Obama reminds me an awful lot of George Bush, and not just because their foreign policy is identical in execution, if different in tenor. Mainly, Bush ignored a huge part of his base, the fiscal conservatives, expecting (and largely getting) continuing support on the strength of the oh-so-deep consideration of "at least he's on our team". Now, Obama does nothing for civil libertarians, or worse, and expects that if they are Democrats, they can't possibly go anywhere else.

I guess Obama is gambling correctly. The silence is deafening. Those who made issue of the war before the election of Obama are largely gone. Etc.