L.A.: Hot and miserable; Barack Obama: Cool and refreshing


A grownup is moving into the White House.

A president who reads. A president who talks. Boy howdy, can Barack Obama talk. He sounds like a regular person — a highly educated person, yes, but most of all, a sober and square fellow.

Change? It’s automatic, at the very least in style. For proof, see Steve Kroft‘s interview of the Obamas on 60 Minutes.

Good thing that Slate‘s Jacob Weisberg has other journalistic skills. For the past eight years, Weisberg has feasted on the malappropriate George W. Bush — see The Complete Bushisms.

You won’t see similar compilations of “Obamaisms.” Even the most reactionary Americans will have to agree on that.

On the other hand, Bush did set a high standard for his successor on September 19, when he stood before reporters in the Rose Garden to talk about Wall Street’s greed-driven, self-inflicted meltdown and vowed:

“Anyone engaging in illegal financial transactions will be caught and persecuted.”

Do it, Obama. Follow through on Bush’s promise to the nation.

Oh, and try to stamp out some of Bush’s other fires — the one he neglected in Afghanistan, the one he started in Iraq.

Hope you have more success than the firefighters in L.A.’s suburban mountains.

While the harsh, hot Santa Ana winds fan flames on the West Coast, a cool, fresh breeze from Chicago is refreshing the East Coast.


Agence France Presse: ‘US media ramps up to cover new White House’

Chicago Tribune: ‘Barack Obama interview a big ‘get’ for Steve Kroft and CBS’ 60 Minutes

McClatchy: ‘Why hasn’t the U.S. gone after Mullah Omar in Pakistan?’

N.Y. Times: ‘Congress Meets for One Last Fight and to Look Ahead’

Boston Globe: ‘The people’s republic of sport: Why Karl Marx would love America’s sports — and hate Europe’s’

Chicago Tribune: ‘Obama’s Chicago’ (Interactive map)

Chicago Tribune: ‘Obama’s Sam Cooke connection’

UPI: ‘Obama seeks to boost confidence at Justice’

Washington Post: ‘Obama adds staff to growing White House team’

McClatchy: ‘Scene of the crimes’

I called a Somali source to meet today [November 13] at the Grand Regency Hotel in Nairobi, which to me felt a little like meeting an Eliot Spitzer aide at the Mayflower.

The Regency has become one of the most notorious addresses in Nairobi, the center of a very shady deal by the Finance Minister to sell the property to Libyan investors and, more recently, the place where conservative author Jerome Corsi was detained for promoting his book slamming then-candidate Obama.

McClatchy: ‘A new Taliban has re-emerged in Afghanistan’

Daily Star (Lebanon): ‘Iranian VP in hot water again over girls dancing with Koran’

McClatchy: ‘China’s coal fires belch fumes, worsening global warming’

N.Y. Times: ‘Across U.S., Big Rallies for Same-Sex Marriage’

Daily Star (Lebanon): ‘Suicide blast kills 15 as Iraqi Cabinet approves security pact’

Daily Star (Lebanon): ‘Pakistan suspends supply convoys for foreign forces in Afghanistan’

Wall Street Journal: ‘Goldman Chiefs Give Up Bonuses: Seven Top Executives to Forgo Millions in 2008; Move Could Pressure Other Firms’

Wall Street Journal: ‘Top Republicans Oppose Auto Industry Bailout’

Wall Street Journal: ‘Measures to Boost Bank Lending Could Be Dangerous: Banks are being forced to act as backstops to a larger problem — the breakdown of securities markets’