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November 30, 2008

Dr. Susan Rice To Be Nominated As US Ambassador To The United Nations

susan-rice Susan Rice, a Barack Obama confidant is reportedly the president-elect’s leading candidate for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

ABC News reports that an announcement on Rice will come this week.

The network appears to have an inside track on the story – Rice’s husband, a former Canadian journalist – Ian Cameron, is the executive producer of ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

Rice, 44, was a member of President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council and the former assistant secretary of state for African affairs under Madeleine Albright.

She was, in fact, an Albright protégé and in 1997, advanced ahead of several more senior officials to become one of the youngest assistant secretaries of state ever.

Rice served as a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama during his presidential campaign. She’s been a vocal critic of the current administration’s stance on Darfur, describing it as a policy of “bluster and retreat.”

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 2007, Rice said the U.S. should take military against Sudan if the genocide in Darfur continued.

“Some might argue that it’s unthinkable in the current context,” she testified. “Yet to allow another state to deter the U.S. by threatening terrorism would set a terrible precedent. It would also be cowardly and, in the face of genocide, immoral.”

Rice’s acumen on African affairs would be an obvious asset for the UN position. Roughly two-thirds of all discussions at the UN Security Council regard situations in Africa.

“She was one of the few people to live in the foreign-policy world who understood global issues, transnational issues like human rights, climate change and terrorism,” Tim Wirth, head of the United Nations Foundation, said recently of Rice.

Wirth worked with Rice when she was at the National Security Council.

Rice and her husband married in Washington in 1992 after meeting at Stanford University. They have two children.

Rice worked in Toronto in the early 1990s as an international management consultant at McKinsey and Company while Cameron was employed by the CBC in the same city as a producer.

A Rhodes Scholar, Rice received the National Security Council’s Samuel Nelson Drew Memorial Award for distinguished contributions to the formation of peaceful, co-operative relationships between countries, and to U.S. security policy for global peace.

The Washington, D.C. born Rice has said that as a young girl, she “dreamed of becoming the first U.S. senator from the District of Columbia.”

Like all U.S. ambassadors, Rice must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

The current UN ambassador is Zalmay Khalilzad, who succeeded acting ambassador Alejandro Daniel Wolff.

Wolff temporarily replaced John Bolton, who resigned in the face of poor confirmation prospects after the 2006 mid-term elections returned a Democratic majority.

 happy-holidays-22

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Wall Streeters Drinking More At Lunch

wall-street-sign The titans of Wall Street have taken a battering in the financial markets recently, but they are eating well and drinking more, according to the people who run Manhattan’s “power” dining spots.

At the 21 Club, a longtime redoubt of corporate chieftains and big names, alcohol sales are up 9 per cent from last year, and businessmen can be seen drinking $14-a-glass cocktails as early as 3pm on a weekday.

“Where people used to have one vodka on the rocks, now it’s a second one or maybe a third,” says Roger Rice, the floor manager. “I don’t know what to attribute it to. Maybe it’s the last year of the expense account.”

Others say their customers are drinking more to drown their sorrows. “People want to feel a little numb because it’s numbing out there,” says Steve Millington, general manager at Michael’s, the restaurant of choice for publishing and media executives.

He reports that alcohol sales are up a fifth from last year. “At dinner, hard liquor sales are up, cocktails and martinis. It’s less so at lunch. People are drinking wine at lunch, less the high-end wines and more medium-priced wines.”

wall-street-bull-balls The increase in alcohol sales is clear, says Mr. Millington, because overall customer levels are on a par with last year. “There’s a scent of fear,” he says.

Times are good at Delmonico’s, the 181-year-old fine dining restaurant, says Dennis Turcinovic, managing partner.

“It’s scary to say, but our business is up 6 to 7 per cent,” he says. “Alcohol sales . . . help a lot, they’re about 15 per cent up this year. The bar’s busy all day. I’ve had to hire extra barmaids.”

There are few signs that people are saving money on food either. At San Pietro, an upmarket Italian restaurant, business remains brisk. Gerardo Bruno, president, says overall business is up 12 per cent from last year.

In spite of the turmoil in the markets, one rule has held firm at San Pietro. “Americans, they never drink at lunch,” Mr. Bruno says. As for dinner, hard liquor sales are down, but after-dinner drinks, particularly grappa and cognac, are up, he adds.

Wine sales remain strong, especially at dinner, except for one noticeable change. “When times are fantastic, the host does not lead, he lets his guests lead in choosing the wine,” says Mr. Bruno. However, in the current climate, dinner hosts are turning to him to ask for wine recommendations, a clear sign that restraint is in order, according to Mr. Bruno.

Yet not everyone has suffered in the economic downturn. Mr. Bruno produced two empty bottles of 1947 Petrus, consumed recently by a Chinese customer who called ahead to order the wines.

The price?

 A mere $12,000 each.

 

happy-holidays-7

 

Original article:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/693de752-bdaa-11dd-bba1-0000779fd18c.html

November 29, 2008

290,000 Apply For Obama Jobs

pres-elect-conf-first-1 If you want a job in the Obama Administration join the very long line! Approximately 290,000 people have submitted resumes for a job in the President-elect’s administration. Interest in Obama Administration jobs is way higher than in previous administrations.  There are only 8,000 non-career positions available according to the Plum Book – the official list of jobs in a president’s administration.

By comparison, President Bush received 44,000 requests for jobs in 2001 and President Clinton received 125,000 applications for jobs in 1993.

 “You cannot predict what results will come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”

Mahatma Gandhi

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Poverty Growing In The Suburbs – No Longer Isolated To Inner Cities and Rural America

Poverty in the United States is no longer predisposed to rural American and the inner city.  Poverty is spreading all across the nation and into the suburbs according to a study by the Federal Reserve’s Community Affairs department and the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.

“It shows that concentrated poverty is still very much with us, and that it can be found among a much more diverse set of communities and families than previous research has emphasized,” said Bruce Katz, a director at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.

“Poverty is spreading and may be re-clustering in suburbs, where a majority of America’s metropolitan poor now live.”

The study was released ahead of next week’s conference on concentrated poverty. The study, by design, did not give an explanation for the causes of poverty but in the past research have linked the growth in poverty to loss of jobs in manufacturing, agriculture and mining.

The collapse of the US housing market has produced the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and poverty could get worse.

“Not only does concentrated poverty affect the big, older inner cities in the North, but it also exists within smaller cities in the South and West,” said Katz.

The case study shows that poverty is growing in all communities amongst all people – black, white, Latino and Native Americans.

http://www.brookings.edu/

http://www.federalreserve.gov/

http://www.conferencealerts.com/poverty.htm

http://www.spotlightonpoverty.org/news.aspx?id=461f4e17-6307-474e-8c8f-f35c79954578

 

 

 

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems”

Mahatma Gandhi

November 27, 2008

President-Elect Obama’s Thanksgiving Address

 

“So this weekend — with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.” President-elect Barack Obama

Watch President-Elect and Michelle Obama Interview With ABC’s Barbara Walters

Another great interview! President-elect Obama will be President for all Americans and he will work hard to make the life of ordinary Americans better.  Of course that means that the wealthiest among us will do great as well.

It will take some time and effort to fix the economy but President Obama will work hard and diligently for us. 

 

“Where there is unity there is always victory.” Publilius Syrus

Thanksgiving Reflections

On this Thanksgiving, the table will be full and inviting as always but the prospect of very hard times to come is at the back of many of our minds.

We’ll enjoy each other’s company today. We will declare our gratitude for all the blessings we’ve received – and we should.

We’ll enjoy the smell of turkey in the oven, we’ll feast on delicious stuffing, and we’ll savor the lightest fluffiest mash and relish delicious cranberries and take pleasure in the bouquet and taste of warm apple and pumpkin pie. There will be plenty to go around, as always.

But this is a difficult Thanksgiving. The horizon is clouded. What seems likely is that in the months and, perhaps years ahead, many of us will lose jobs, lose investments, lose the prospect of the futures we’ve worked and saved for…I hope I’m wrong.

It is possible that we’re at a low point  in the business cycle, that the economy will rebound, that the recession will be short-lived. No one knows. But most of us who work for a living are scared. We’ve seen enough to know we’ve not seen this before.

We are thankful today. What matters most is the support and company of family and friends, the joy that comes from a deep faith in God and the hope that lies ahead. In these times, we need to reflect more deeply on the meaning of giving thanks.

During the Great Depression President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The future of many generations of mankind will be greatly guided by our acts in these present years. We hew a new trail. Let us then on the day appointed offer our devotions and our humble thanks to Almighty God and pray that the people of America will be guided by Him in helping their fellow men.”

So as difficult as it maybe today or tomorrow or the day after – someone is worse off than you. Someone may need a little help or your time or your ears. You can help without giving money. So in these times remember to appreciate what you have and dwell less on what you think you don’t have.

So let’s look outward and look ahead as FDR advised. Let us give thanks for the opportunity to share and depend on each other in new ways, for our faith in each other and for the idealism that makes our America great.

We do indeed have cause to worry. But we also have an obligation – to each other – to hold on to hope. We may face the greatest test of our lifetimes. But as long as we have each other and that deep sense of what really matters in life and hope we have reason to give thanks.

Help a family member.  Help a friend.  Help a neighbor. Help a stranger.

Give thanks!

 happy-thanksgiving

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