Monthly Archives: January 2009

Angel Cabrera from Davos

As I have discussed previously, my friend and former boss Angel Cabrera has made improving society through business education his personal mission in life. Today he appeared live on FOX News from Davos (site of the World Economic Forum) to comment on the economic crisis and business education’s role in causing and resolving the crisis. It’s funny to see how the woman on FOX News doesn’t quite grasp what Angel is talking about and tries to immediately turn it into a conversation about government spending.

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Filed under Essays, Friends / Family

This Week with Paul Krugman

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I particularly enjoyed watching the round table discussion on this Sunday’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos between the host, Cokie Roberts, George Will, Sam Donaldson, Carly Fiorina and Paul Krugman. It was truly great to witness how each of the other panelists would confidently spew out their pre-fab political talking points and punditry on the economic crisis and then Krugman, the recent Nobel Prize winning economist, without any pretension would feel obliged to correct them as if they were school children. By the end of the show, you could see how they were all almost too afraid to comment for fear of discrediting themselves. It just goes to show that political ideology is trumped by objectivity every time. Continue reading

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A Bleak Outlook Indeed

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Yesterday I watched this video of Charlie Rose’s January 7, 2009 interview with Bob Simon. Bob Simon presented a devastatingly bleak outlook for the future of the Middle East peace process. Nevertheless, his honestly on how the U.S. and Israel in fact present the major obstacles to reaching peace in the region was both refreshing and unique amongst the American press corps. He also described Gaza, a territory roughly twice the size of Washington, DC where the local population is prohibited from leaving its borders (that’s right, there was nowhere to flee or hide during the recent bombings), as the world’s largest prison.

While Israel is the United States’ most important ally in the region, for both cultural and ideological bonds, the U.S. has to demand that the friendship goes both ways. And if we are capable of denouncing Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and torture as beyond the limits of what is morally (and legally) acceptable in fighting to defend our way of life, then surely we can tell Israel that bombing heavily populated civilian areas indescriminately is also reprehensible. Otherwise, it is hard to imagine that there are any limits whatsoever, including the recourse of terrorism, in a nation’s alleged self defense.

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Change and/or Reconciliation

Some liberals (and myself) will definitely feel some disappointment as Obama’s change becomes more reconciliatory and pragmatic than ideological. In part, these naysayers have already been underwhelmed by the recycling of the Washington status quo for Obama’s cabinet. Nevertheless (and irregardless of the fact that the press is helping), there is an amazing sense of national and ideological reconciliation taking place, and that is indeed very much part of the hope and change that Obama preached on the campaign trail.

Just look at the numbers. Remember all of those Republican haters who cried Armageddon and feared that Obama would destroy the nation with his extreme liberal policies, radical pals, elitist blackness, and the kitchen sink? Now there are actually more Republicans who support Barack Obama than George W. Bush, and in a National Journal Political Insider’s Poll, 96% of Democrats and 82% of Republicans said that Obama would be a “very/somewhat likely successful” president. That sounds like hope to me. And after the culture wars and negative tone of the past two presidencies, those numbers also indicate a remarkable change. Of course, politics are politics, and politicians don’t get elected by agreeing with each other — otherwise they’d never come up with a reason, scandals aside, to vote against incumbents. So when the dust finally settles after the inaugural honeymoon, they’ll all eventually get back to their bickering true selves.

Even if change is watered down by pragmatism and reconciliation is only temporary, there is one cosmetic (even cosmic) change that is so powerful it transcends all the rest and cannot be denied even by Hillary Clinton, John McCain or either of their supporters. And it is about more than just race, for neither Hillary Clinton (who is notoriously polarizing) nor John McCain (who simply lacked the necessary vitality) could have built this historically unique grass roots movement turned media love affair and iconic juggernaut. No one else had what it took to both create and capture the moment.

As former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd said yesterday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, this change will only be fully apparent right after the inauguration, when the presidential limo pulls up in front of the White House and Barack, Michelle and their two daughters get out and open the door to their new home.

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Filed under Obama 44

Boluda Boludo

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Hace unos días Ramón Calderón declaró que dimitir no solo era de cobardes sino también era acto de una persona que tenía cosas que esconder. Menos mal que escogió la cobardía y dimitió, aunque según su propia lógica, él mismo habrá tenido algo que ocultar.

Ahora sin Calderón en medio, ¿podrá el Real Madrid recuperar ese camino de Florentino Pérez de consolidar al Real Madrid como el club más grande y global del mundo? Pues con su pelo engominado, americana de marinero fantasma y panza mafiosa que conjuntamente resumen todos los malos esterotipos del madrileño chulo, el Real Madrid ha puesto al menos global del mundo mundial como su nuevo presidente. Solo su apellido Boluda es ligeramente internacional. ¡Hala Madrid!

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Filed under Football/Soccer, Living la vida española

Change We Can All Believe In

Forget the fact that on every objective measure of performance imaginable George W. Bush has proven to be a remarkable failure, the mere entry to the White House by a guy who can complete a sentence intelligibly may be all the proof we need that change is more than a belief. Thanks to the Late Show with David Letterman for the “Great Moments in Presidential Speeches“.

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Filed under Essays, Obama 44

Que sean cobardes

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Aquí en España no dimite ni Dios. Empezando con la nefasta Ministra de Fomento, Magdalena Álvarez, hasta el mismísimo presidente del Real Madrid, Ramón Calderón.

Esta mentalidad de macho ibérico (“de aquí no me mueve nadie”) ve en dimitir debilidad pero ignora que dimitir es una muestra de dignidad y honor hacia la institución que representa. Por ejemplo, como gesto de respeto hacia un presidente, un ministro se dimite para que su presidente no tenga que asumir la responsabilidad política de los errores cometidos por el ministerio. Del mismo modo el máximo responsable de una entidad o gobierno se dimite cuando al no hacer pone en peligro el honor e imagen de la institución que representa.

Hoy mismo, Ramón Calderón ha dicho que dimitir es de cobardes; pues que nos haga un favor a todos y sea cobarde.

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Filed under Living la vida española