This week’s column takes on a musical note, each item topped with lyrics from some of your favorites, beginning with this:
“You were so young, in love and free, thanks for birthin’ me…” – “Hello Mom, It’s Me” – Lloyd Marcus
President Obama’s address to the graduates of Notre Dame Catholic University created headlines in the week leading up to Sunday’s commencement. Several websites sprang up, while others increased coverage of events real time.
Illinois nurse and pro-life advocate Jill Stanek posted protest photos almost as fast as they were taken, and rode in a pro-life Truth Truck shooting video of miles of pro-life protesters which she then posted on YouTube.
Notre Dame Response provided schedule updates throughout the week.
And a live feed of protest events was provided by America’s Independent Party National Committee.
“Tweedily deedily dee, tweedily deedily dee, tweet, tweet, tweet tweet…”
“Rock-in Robin” – Bobby Day
Astronaut Mike Massimino made history from orbit this week. He “tweeted” in space.
Flying 350 miles above the Earth, Astro_Mike updated fellow Twitterers with on-orbit progress reports when he wasn’t making space walks to repair the Hubble Telescope:
“From orbit: This is an awesome experience, the privilege to fly in space and work on the Hubble is beyond my dreams”
“From orbit: My spacewalk was amazing, we had some tough problems, but through them all, the view of our precious planet was beautiful”
“From orbit: Rendezvous and grapple were great, getting ready for our first spacewalk”
Astro_Mike will Twitter from space until the crew of Shuttle Atlantis returns to terra firma at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 22.
“Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars…” – “Fly Me To The Moon” – Frank Sinatra
On May 18, 1969, Apollo 10 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon. The flight was a test run, a crucial dress rehearsal leading up to the historic Apollo 11 mission that two months later carried the first people to walk on the moon. Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the Apollo program and the second to reach lunar orbit.
NASA and the Newseum celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 10 mission during a program today in Washington.
Astronauts Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan were scheduled to participate in the program moderated by journalist-in-residence Nick Clooney. The event, open to reporters and visitors to the Newseum at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. in Washington, was to be carried live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s Website.
“It’s just my job five days a week, I’m a rocket man, a rocket man….” – “Rocket Man” – Elton John
President Obama is considering former astronaut Charles Bolden to fill a crucial vacancy at NASA.
The president “wants to meet with somebody about filling the important role of future NASA administrator,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said last Friday.
If nominated, Bolden would first have to be confirmed by the Senate before taking the job. If confirmed, he would be NASA’s first African-American administrator.
“The way you haunt my dreams, no no they can’t take that away from me…” – “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” – Ira Gershwin
Obama plans to include $1.25 billion in settlement funds in the 2010 budget to bring closure to a long-standing black farmers’ lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The White House is describing the potential settlement as “just one part of a larger strategy at USDA to improve civil rights enforcement.”
“Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase, Hakuna Matata! Ain’t no passing craze. It means no worries for the rest of your days. It’s our problem-free philosophy!” – “Hakuna Matata!” – The Lion King
At Obama’s 100-day press conference, he assured the “African-American and the Latino” communities that “…every step we’re taking is designed to help all people. But folks who are most vulnerable are most likely to be helped because they need the most help.”
Obama’s Recovery Act will extend benefits to those hardest hit, the communities of color.
“So my general approach is that if the economy is strong, that will lift all boats as long as it is also supported by, for example, strategies around college affordability and job training, tax cuts for working families as opposed to the wealthiest that level the playing field and ensure bottom-up economic growth. And I’m confident that that will help the African-American community live out the American dream at the same time that it’s helping communities all across the country.”
“We picked a piece of land that we deservin’ now, reparation a piece of the nation” – “By the Time I Get To Arizona” – Public Enemy
Last Tuesday on his radio program Rush Limbaugh, commenting on Obama’s budget, created quite a buzz among the Left, with dozens of leftbloggers taking aim at the Big Talker for telling his listeners:
“This is the objective. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation’s wealth and return to it to the nation’s quote, ‘rightful owners.’ Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on.”
“See the ferocious lions, thrill to the fabulous monkeys, laugh along with the hilarious clowns, see them, life is a three ring circus” – “Three Ring Circus” – Blue Magic
One hundred twenty-five years ago this week, the Ringling Brothers Circus was formed in Wisconsin on May 19 by five brothers: Albert, Otto, Alfred, Charles and John. Its biggest competitor was Barnum & Bailey circus, which it bought out in 1907 and combined with its own circus during World War I. By the 1930s it was the most famous circus in the world.
“And the hunchback midget and his twisted friends offer me a world of thrills that never end…” – “Sideshow” – Alice Cooper
In other circus news… The 111th Congress adjourns for Memorial Day, to sighs of relief for many Americans. The U.S. Congress observes its 220th anniversary this year. The first Congress met from March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1791, during the first two years of George Washington’s presidency, first at Federal Hall at 26 Wall Street in New York City and later at Congress Hall in Philadelphia.
“Trailer for sale or rent, rooms to let fifty cents. No phone, no pool, no pets; I ain’t got no cigarettes…” – “King of the Road” – Roger Miller
With credit card, commercial real estate, and credit bonds all about to fall off the cliff, we take a look at “Hobomavilles,” modern day ghost towns, like failing shopping malls where soon the only activity we’ll see will be the silver-haired taking their daily constitutional.
“It’s such a groovy place to talk and maybe watch a show, down at the drive in…” – “Drive-in” – The Beach boys
“Forget about the plot, it’ll do very well, but make sure you see enough so you’re prepared to tell, about the drive in.”
starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift: the first drive-in movie I can remember. Here’s a site that takes you back to hundreds of drive-ins, some in your home town. Maybe when you were a kid, your folks packed a pillow, blanket and snack and tucked you and your siblings in the back seat or the tailgate of the family station wagon and headed to the local drive-in? Or does it recall those double dates – and steamy windows?
“Don’t sneak your buddies in the trunk ’cause they might get caught…
And they’d look kinda stupid gettin’ chased through the lot
Wah ooooooo… Around the drive in!”
“Sometimes it feels like this world’s gone crazy, and Grandpa, take me back to yesterday, when the line between right and wrong, didn’t seem so hazy” – “Grandpa” – The Judds
Thirty things we wish would make a comeback, including vowels!
“Ive 2 ADmre a gNR8N dat hs lrnD 2 liv w/o vowels.” Textglish is so much more efficient, allowing the young to increase the speed of their communications while keeping anyone over 30 from understanding them. Nonetheless, we have a soft spot in our hearts for vowels, probably because we labored so long to learn them. (By the way, that first sentence is “I have to admire a generation that has learned to live without vowels.”)