>Lent, Good News and the Speech

>Are you giving up anything for Lent?

I thought about giving up blogging, but obviously I reconsidered.

Good news: The Washington Post has granted me permission to use the five articles from 1965 that my book is based on, in the book itself. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it, and it means I can move forward. I couldn’t complete my editing until I knew exactly what I could use. I also have permission from the estate of Martin Luther King Jr to use one of his speeches. That costs a pretty penny as well. Both of those things are important to the story, though, so its worth the cost.

My observations regarding the President’s speech last night.

Supreme court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg seemed very surprised and uplifted by the warm reception she got. That was nice to see.

As President Barack Obama walked in, he stopped and spoke with several people, including Richard Shelby. I wonder what they chatted about. I thought I saw Shelby mouth the words “birth certificate” but I’m not sure. I am pretty sure that I saw Obama respond with “I haven’t seen yours either.”

The lines from the speech that made me grab a pen and write were these.

Dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself. It’s quitting on your country.

That gives teachers, principals, guidance counselors and parents fresh ammunition in the fight to keep kids in school. Make some posters and hang them in the schools today.

MSNBC had this approval graph at the bottom of the screen, cleverly divided into a red line line for McCain voters and a blue line for Obama voters. Both lines stayed at the top of the chart, indicating viewers liked what they heard.

I think they need sensors in the seats of representatives and senators. That way we could see exactly how bi-partisan the standing up was. It was difficult to tell sometimes, because there are so many democrats that they spilled over onto the republican side of the room.

Little known fact. The seats are not assigned. The senators and representatives who want good seats, and a few seconds of TV time as the president is entering, get there early and save their seats. Some where there as early as 8 in the morning, they said. Shelby had a good seat.

The speech got rave reviews. A CNN poll showed that 68% of people who watched the speech had a very positive response and 24 had a somewhat positive response. 92% positive? Pretty darn good, I’d say.

The same can’t be said for the Republican response by Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal. Did he even listen to the president’s speech? I referred to Republican governors as out of touch yesterday, and this just proves it. Keith and Rachel and Chris sum it up here. Rachel Maddow, speechless? Wow.

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