Today’s cup: Liz, Qadafi won’t give up, Japan’s $$ woes, Affordable Care Act turns 1, and Maira Kalman

Elizabeth Taylor might be known to more people for the number of times she married, but in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, her skill as an actress was on generous display.  Playing Martha to Richard Burton’s George, she won the Oscar for Best Actress in the 1966 film directed by Mike Nichols.  Taylor died today in Los Angeles at age 79 from congestive heart failure.

Despite the efforts of the U.S., France, Britain and others, Libyan forces loyal to Moammar Qadafi (I’ve decided to try a different spelling) are continuing the fight against anti-government rebels in Benghazi.  What’s the plan here?  Let’s assume the poorly organized civilian rebel forces take Tripoli and Qadafi goes away.  What then?

Again, I’ll mention Ivory Coast.  President Lauren Gbagbo refuses to step down and he appears to be as bad a man as Qadafi.  Hundreds are dead, nearly half a million people have fled their homes and yet, our interests are elsewhere.  Let’s be brutally honest.  The world just doesn’t seem to care about African countries equally.  I don’t know how else to explain it, do you?  Frankly, as much as I’m genuinely concerned and curious about the plight of those under horrific circumstances throughout the globe, I wish we could just concentrate on fixing what’s wrong with our education system here in America.  There.  I said it.

Ben Feller wrote a thoughtful piece for the Associated Press explaining how Obama’s trip to South America was hardly on the minds of a single American as other global situations took precedence.  There will be no visit to the Mayan ruins for the president today as he departs Latin America ahead of schedule.

Today is the year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.  Traditionally, one buys paper for a first anniversary, but chances are there’s enough of that being pushed around in the GOP’s efforts to do away with the legislation.  If you thought the health care debate was over when President Obama signed H.R. 3590 last March, you were wrong.

In addition to the death toll now approaching 10,000, with thousands more still missing, and consequences of a nuclear fallout still unclear, it appears the earthquake and tsunami that has devastated Japan will cost upwards of $300 billion in damage and recovery.  Looking at the towns completely destroyed by the giant waves of March 11th, one wonders where and how the clean-up begins.  What becomes of all the debris?

Stop the presses!  The NFL owners voted Tuesday to move kickoffs up to the 35-yard-line from the 30 in an attempt to have more touchbacks on the 20-yard-line and less injuries.  I’m a big football fan and it’s a lame move but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.  With a possible NFL strike looming, fans everywhere have more to worry about.

I love Facebook, but the rate at which they change things up is a little annoying.  I don’t want to hit “return” when I’m done offering my charming, never cloying thoughts on someone’s status.  I want the old “post message” button.  However, there is much the site does right, including their efforts to block underage children (Facebook is for 13+) from setting up profiles – up to 20,000 daily.  Of course, they’re not completely successful.  Parents could help out.  Just sayin’.

I won’t explain the circuitous route I took to bring you this Maira Kalman piece “Can Do” from her series And the Pursuit of Happiness from the New York Times.  Kalman’s work makes me happy.  Sometimes it can change my day.

It’s good to be inexorable, except when it’s annoying.

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  1. Mary Anne says

    When I was about 8 or 9 years old my family went to Marineland in Palos Verdes – it was some special Hanna Barbera day. In front of us at one of the shows was Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and two girls around my age. I had recently watched National Velvet and my dad was telling me the lady in front of us played the little girl in that movie. Ms. Taylor heard us talking and turned around to introduce herself. She was very gracious and although at the time I had no concept of who she was I remember thinking she was very nice and so beautiful.

    • says

      Thanks for that Mary Anne. I love a personal anecdote about the rich and famous. I’ll never forget your story about Julia Child and the Costco hot dogs.


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