What's the Matter with Kansas?

If you live in the New York Metro area, the documentary based on the award-winning book by historian Thomas Frank, What's the Matter with Kansas? opens its commercial New York theatrical run on Friday, July 30th at the Producers’ Club IndieHouse Cinema in Mid-Town Manhattan.

Here are two extended clips from the documentary. This first clip covers how the Summer of Mercy protests in 1991 at the Wichita office of the now murdered Dr. George Tiller, one of two medical specialists in the nation who provided late-term abortions, were a pivotal moment in Kansas' turn to the right.

This second clip interviews Kansas Farmers Union President Donn Teske who reflects on the troubles of family farming and how neither major party appeals to him right now.

Finally, if you want to organize a screening of the documentary in your neck of the woods, here is how.

Cabinet Diary 2 - Secretary of the Treasury (with poll)

It's time to continue our look at the Cabinet in the upcoming Obama administration. Second - Secretary of the Treasury, perhaps the most important appointment President-elect Obama will make, given the current economic circumstances.

There are several excellent options - some who served in the Clinton Administration - some outsiders - and even some paradigm breaking choices. For convenience, I've taken the list from a betting site (yes, it is in the order of the oddsmakers' favorite).

There were Republicans on the list, and I've left out the "I don't believe it" names still on the betting lines such as Phil Gramm and Bob Zoellick. There's also some chatter about keeping Paulson on, temporarily to administer the bailout. So as distasteful as it seems, I kept his name on the list.

Perhaps one key criteria (which you're free to throw to the side of the road) is whether the candidate would inspire confidence in the markets.

(X posted at OpenLeft - will X post at DK, as soon as the clock allows me to post another diary there)

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Bailout Common Sense?

I am a simple man.  I do  not understand all of the ins and out of the financial markets, but I am an intelligent man.  Given enough information I can come to an intelligent decision.  This leads to a couple issues about the bailout plan and what I think are common sense ideas to get the financial situation under some sort of control.

First, if anyone expects to get the support of the people, then we, the people, need more info.  What are the "dire" consequences if there is not bailout?  What are potential "dire" side affects if the bailout does go through.

I have seen some talks about alternatives and wonder if they may be more effective, but if a bailout is needed then I think it has to have much more far reaching, permanent impact than proposed.

First, the alternatives.

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