Obama is re-elected

President Obama has been re-elected.  The Democrats kept the Senate, and the Republicans kept the House. So our government will basically be what it has been for another four years.  Obamacare will proceed as planned.


Islamo-Christian civilization?

Some people are objecting to the notion that we have a “Judeo-Christian” civilization, arguing instead that what we have is an “Islamo-Christian” civilization.  See Does It Make Sense to Speak of Judeo-Christian Civilization? » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog.

The reason we can speak of the former–even though the Jews were persecuted and marginalized– is that the formative text for Western civilization has been the BIBLE.  The Hebrew scriptures communicate a world view that, despite a whole array of religious differences, has become authoritative for Jews, Christians, and even (though they won’t admit it) secularists.

There is nothing like that commonality between Christians and Muslims.

May the Mouse be with you

Disney has bought Lucasfilm and is promising a reboot of the Star Wars series, with Episode 7 promised for 2015.

Given that the Star Wars episodes have been more or less disappointing since the original trilogy and that the imaginary universe has been given a certain closure, do you welcome more Star Wars movies?

Do you expect a Disneyfication effect on what was originally an innovative independent production?   (Will the aliens now wear white gloves and have long eye-lashes?)

Live-blogging the election

Let’s live-blog the election coverage.  The networks have vowed not to call the election until at least 11:00 ET–that is, after all of the polling places have closed on the West coast–but results from key battleground states will be coming in as early as 7:00 p.m.   Then again, in a really close race, we might not know who won until some time afterwards.  Remember the 2000 “Hanging Chad” election, in which we didn’t know who won until December 12?

I’m on the road right now with uncertain and intermittent internet access–I already voted with an absentee ballot–so you are going to have to carry the main weight of reporting the day’s developments and the early returns.  I do expect that I’ll keep up my custom of the election night vigil, and I should be able to do some live-blogging later in the evening.  The good news is that I’m in California, so it won’t be such a late night for me as it would be if I were home on the East coast.  So start without me here, and I’ll join you later.

UPDATE:  Polling places are closing.  Scroll down the comments for the latest developments through the evening.

UPDATE:  Barack Obama was re-elected.

Obamacare will turn full time jobs into part time

Obamacare will require large companies to provide health insurance for full-time workers. So a number of low-wage employers–restaurants, hotels, and retailers–are planning to limit workers to no more than 30 hours per week to avoid triggering the requirement.

So reports the Wall Street Journal: Health-Care Law Spurs a Shift to Part-Time Workers – WSJ.com. (subscription required)

What are we to think of companies that do this?  Do we blame them?  Do we blame the government?  Is this irresponsible exploitation of labor or an economic necessity?

Hurricane Sandy’s butcher’s bill

Hurricane Sandy hit last week, but the regions most affected–especially New Jersey, New York, and particularly Staten Island–are still struggling with the devastation.  That includes shortages of food and fuel.

Living conditions remained severe for tens of thousands of people unable to return to their homes, and some 1.4 million homes and businesses were due to endure another night of near-freezing temperatures without power or heat.

The devastation could also send ripples through Tuesday’s presidential election, with President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney locked in a close race.

An exhausted region now faces the prospect of a new storm. A strong “Nor’easter” was forecast to bring freezing temperatures and more rain and wind by the middle of the week, possibly flooding coastal areas that have yet to recover from Sandy.

The U.S. death toll rose to at least 113 and thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged by the gigantic storm, which slammed into the U.S. East Coast a week ago, bringing a record surge that flooded low-lying areas with seawater.

via Sandy still causing nightmare commute, housing crisis | Reuters.

Victims have been complaining about relief efforts, from the Red Cross to FEMA.