Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

The President Strikes Back!

Posted by Jason O on Dec 23, 2010 in US Politics

“Lame Duck” President Obama ratifies the START Treaty, repeals Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, extends Unemployment Assistance, gets a tax-cut for working people, and gets the 9/11 First Responder bill through. Some lame duck. You can watch his press conference here. This guy continues to inspire and be a pragmatic reforming leader that Americans should be proud of. 


NORAD Tracks Santa.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 23, 2010 in Just stuff, Not quite serious.

In 1955 a Sears Roebuck newspaper ad to help kids call Santa gave the wrong number and instead put kids through to United States Continental Air Defence Command’s hotline. The Operations Director, Co. Harry Shoup, instructed his staff to check for Santa, and passed on the updates to the kids on the phone. When NORAD (North American Air Defence Command) took over the job, the tradition continued. Today, Santa is tracked by 47 installations around the world, and escorted into North American airspace by Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18s.

You can check progress here.


Good things about Dublin.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 23, 2010 in Just stuff

In this time of economic and weather related challenges, we often forget the good things about Dublin. Like the Luas, for example, which continues to provide an excellent service. And people helping complete strangers whose cars are stuck in the snow.

As a people we have our flaws. But we have some pretty decent qualities too.


In Georgia the dead could vote. Legally.

Posted by Jason O on Dec 23, 2010 in US Politics

Listening to a lecture given by President Jimmy Carter on a podcast recently (I was on the bus, and it was a long journey!) I enjoyed a story he told about his first term as a state senator where he participated in a debate on voting reform in 1963. Georgia, he said, had a unique view of elections, where counties were counted, as opposed to the votes in them, and so it meant that one vote in a rural white district was equal to 99 votes in a black urban district. But what really surprised him was an amendment from a senator from aptly named Enigma county proposing that no person who was dead more than three years should be permitted to vote. When quizzed on the proposal, the senator pointed out that the family of the deceased would have a pretty good idea how the deceased would have cast their ballot. The amendment passed.

I can imagine Fianna Fail pondering something like this at the moment. 

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