Monday, November 30, 2009

Climategate and the power of the internet

Rep Hinchey: Bush Administration 'Intentionally Let bin Laden Get Away' to Justify Iraq War

The End of the 2000s: Goodbye to the Decade From Hell. Time Magazine.

i like that they didn't mention W.

From Wonkette: "Saxby Chambliss Thinks Georgia Looks Like *This*"

"Georgia slaveowner Sen. Saxby Chambliss recently participated in this thing from National Geographic, which “invited all 100 U.S. Senators to draw a map of their home state from memory and to label at least three important places.” Most of the participating Senators sketched their states admirably. Chambliss, meanwhile, drew Mississippi, but with more saw teeth on the borders (to keep the Africans out) and a rectangle called “mountains.” This is truly catastrophic."

First GOP amendment to health reform bill would make the bill cost $500bln more

It was a motion to remove the Medicare spending changes. The Dem-backed changes save $500 billion over 10 years.

Media amnesiacs suddenly appalled at Hitler comparisons

Sometimes they make it too easy.

Hypocrisy over Stimulus $

It's always interesting when the Republicans who vehemently oppose and critisize the stimulus package then ask for hand-outs... It may not be perfect, but if you're going to knock it, then at least refrain from pilfering its funds. However, I still think high speed rail is a fabulous idea, so I'll let it slide just this once...!


Lower if you're getting subsidies. Higher if not. If you're young, you're mandated to get insurance at high rates to subsidize the AARP crowd. Reverse Robin Hood?


A fifth face on Rushmore?

CBS Poll:

Kennedy: 29%
Reagan: 20%
FDR: 18%
Obama(?!): 16%

Seven stories Obama doesn't want told

It’s All About the Money

Article on campaign finance in The Empire State.

Obnoxious director: Ignorant Americans will be responsible for the failure of my movie

"Am I the only one who eagerly awaits the $25 million film — a serious drama like 'Brothers' – where the screwed-up brother returns from a tour of duty transformed into a responsible, resourceful and mature man ready to take his place in the world? That would not only be an inspiring and more accurate story worthy of the brave men and women who serve our country … it would finally be a fresh idea from an industry drowning in their own leftist cliches."

A conspiracy...for what?

Smart take by Matt Yglesias:

What I wonder for those, like Senator James Inhofe and Cato Institute Vice President Roger Pilon, who seem to think these emails prove the existence of a nefarious conspiracy to defraud the public about the evidence for anthropogenic climate change is what’s the purpose of this conspiracy? You can see why, having decided that he really wants to pass a clean energy bill, John Kerry might be well-motivated to fudge the facts around the edges about various things. But what’s the upside for Kerry in taking this issue up in the first place? Or Barbara Boxer or Henry Waxman? How is it that the government of China, which is clearly reluctant to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, doesn’t seem to have any qualms with this science?


It shouldn’t take a genius to note that opposition to the scientific consensus is extremely concentrated among political movements with strong ties to the coal and oil industry. You can easily see where the upside is for them in getting this wrong. But adopting the view that the IPCC is correct really is “inconvenient” from a political point of view. Indeed, even political leaders who accept the basic outline of this climate consensus rarely actually argue in favor of reductions that are sufficiently sweeping to meet IPCC guidelines specifically because doing so is so politically problematic. This just isn’t a “good issue” to take on. But it happens to be a real problem and so, reluctantly, leaders around the world are trying to take it on.

What Football Can Teach us about the War on Terror

Mom and Dad, Can You Spare a Dime?

I hope this isn't me in ten years...

Chelsea Clinton to wed next summer

A Generation in the Balance

'He talks too much'

Yes, he certainly does.

Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out

Senator Nader? Former Presidential Candidate Considers Connecticut Run In 2010

Heard about this on the radio over the weekend...I expected people to run against Dodd in 2010, but this is one man i did NOT expect!

Foreign Policy Survey of Top 100 Global Thinkers: What will Happen in 2010?

Who will pick up tab for (Afghanistan) surge?

"Obey has proposed the Share the Sacrifice Act of 2010, which would tax families earning more than $150,000. Levin backs a similar tax with a higher income bracket."

Thoughts? Worries? Concerns?

Ron Paul Gains Mainstream Steam

Lochlan, this one's for you

Lobbyists Rush to High-Speed Rail

Bad news for Huckabee campaign

The Willie Horton of 2012?

Unwanted narratives

The case of the destroyed data

Revolt over "Botax"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009


The GOP's Suicide Pact

What happens when a party gets taken over by the crazies.

Criticisms of World Bank

Read for Wednesday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Couple slips though security to crash state dinner

It looks like Facebook gave them away. Also unprecedented?


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Yes, she can: Palin has a shot at the presidency"

"Polls show that Palin's favorability numbers are a mirror image of those of Obama. She is respected and loved by the Republican base, while Democrats despise her. Granted, independent voters have significant reservations about her capability to be president, and this would be a hurdle in the general election. But to win the Republican nomination, Palin needs only to get enough support from the base to win early key states. Already, in nearly every poll today, she has a level of support that makes her a viable primary candidate. Just look at the crowds and the buzz her book tour is drawing."

The writer, Matthew Dowd, was a chief strategist for George W. Bush's 2004 presidential campaign

Health reform and equal justice

The Values Question

New York Times Op-ed by David Brooks, arguing that if you boil down the Health Care debate, it is fundamentally a debate between security and vitality.

"Reform would make us a more decent society, but also a less vibrant one. It would ease the anxiety of millions at the cost of future growth. It would heal a wound in the social fabric while piling another expensive and untouchable promise on top of the many such promises we’ve already made. America would be a less youthful, ragged and unforgiving nation, and a more middle-aged, civilized and sedate one.

We all have to decide what we want at this moment in history, vitality or security. We can debate this or that provision, but where we come down will depend on that moral preference. Don’t get stupefied by technical details. This debate is about values."

Right and Left Join to Take on US Over Criminal Justice

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy meaningless holiday season!

Call it the 'boomerization' of the holidays. The Gap manages to demean Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the Solstice in one 30-second ad. Impressively depressing.

Sarah Palin isn't President, and Four Other Things to be Thankful for this Year

Absolutely sickening

I'm going to withhold all contributions to Hamilton College until I have an assurance in writing, signed by Joan, that this will never, ever, happen at Hamilton. A public repudiation of such policies would be nice too. Full story linked above.
Do you believe in the American dream -- the idea that in this country, hardworking people of every race, color and creed can get ahead on their own merits? If so, that belief may soon bar you from getting a license to teach in Minnesota public schools -- at least if you plan to get your teaching degree at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus.

In a report compiled last summer, the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the U's College of Education and Human Development recommended that aspiring teachers there must repudiate the notion of "the American Dream" in order to obtain the recommendation for licensure required by the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Instead, teacher candidates must embrace -- and be prepared to teach our state's kids -- the task force's own vision of America as an oppressive hellhole: racist, sexist and homophobic.

Why your presentation is important

An important skill.

Assault on the young

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NYT: Glenn Beck Stakes Out a More Activist Role in Politics

"In an interview, he said he would promote voter registration drives and sponsor a series of seven conventions across the country featuring what he described as libertarian speakers."
"These efforts are reminiscent of the Contract With America pledge made by conservatives during the 1994 elections, though some Republicans who are uncomfortable with media personalities taking on new political roles note that that effort originated with lawmakers."

FAQ: A normal person's guide to health care reform

Answers to common questions about the health care debate, filibusters, amendments, etc.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Historic health care bill clears Senate hurdle

The 60-39 vote cleared the way for a bruising, full-scale debate beginning after Thanksgiving on the legislation.

Key Senators Lined Up in Bid to Hold Off GOP Health Care Filibuster

Here's the scoop: Dems may have their 60, Durbin is a Scrooge, and it's the Secretary of Health and Human Services who decides when you die.

What Giuliani 2012 Would Look Like

Friday, November 20, 2009


Karzai's Cronies

A slideshow of Karzai's cronies.

Geitner on his way out?

He would be if the House had its way. Even some Democrats are voicing displeasure

Changes Coming to the National Mall

I'm excited; D.C. Fall '09 Reunion in the new and improved mall whenever complete? I say yes!

Why Not Tax Wall Street?


Congressman Boehner's Terror Alert Skin Set Back To Orange

A little Friday Onion.

President Lou Dobbs?

At least the borders will be closed...

Reid, as Legislative Tactician, Takes Ownership of Health Care Overhaul

Silly New Yorkers, Always Trying to Make a Buck

"Sometimes, the majority of Americans are really stupid."

Can't resist linking a post with that title.

Military Puts Limits on Palin's Fort Bragg Book Signing

"Fort Bragg, nor any other Army installation, cannot be used or appear to be used as endorsing criticism of the commander in chief," said base spokesman Thomas D. McCollum. "Because this book signing is turning into a political platform with the addition of media coverage, we are restricting the media coverage."

Two Bush lawyers on the Holder decision

Not the reaction I was expecting, but one of them is Jack Goldsmith, possibly the straightest shooter out of the whole entire ex-Bush crew.

Obama Discuses Cuba with Cuban Blogger

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Four Days in North Korea

The ending to this article is sublime, I think.

NYT: Governors Don’t Call This Home

Christie's making mistakes before he even gets into office.

University of California Approves 32% Increase in Tuition

The tuition went up $2500, imagine a 32% increase for Hamilton...yikes.

"Obama and the Reagan Trajectory"

"What's actually most remarkable about the trajectory of Obama's numbers - and of his presidency - is how closely it hews to the model of Reagan's first term."

Is mammogram recommendation the future of health care?

John Kerry's daughter arrested in Hollywood, possible DUI

Fox News Caught Splicing Video Images...

...for the second time in a week.

Fair and Balanced...for conservatives

Critiques of separated system

This item from WSJ has some interesting quotes (John Kerry, Steven Ratner Car Czar) relevant to our recent discussion. If you choose, ignore Taranto spin.

First President of Europe has been named

Remember the name: Herman Van Rompuy

In 20 years when you are applying to become a citizen of Europe, you now have the answer to the first question on the citizenship test.

Odd foreshadowing...

A new poll shows that a majority of Republicans believe ACORN stole the 2008 election for Barack Obama.

The Great Flu Cover Up

With friends like this.......

Charting The Future of Health Care

This NPR chart is good at showing the differences between the House and Senate Health Care bill.

Reid rolling out big guns to push healthcare bill to 60 needed votes

I bet he'll get the 60 to consider the legislation, but I'm a little more worried about the final vote... However, with these influential Democrats on the pressure force, it might be dangerous for Democrats to vote against it? It's really too bad so many will be swayed by the upcoming 2010 elections, but that's probably just the nature of big issues. You can't please everyone, right?

Schumer proposes tax deductions for hunters who donate venison meat to food banks

Senator combats world hunger, one deer at a time

ACORN under the bed, monsters in the closet

Liberals can never win elections; they can only steal them. So says conservative dogma.

Forget About Fidel

Things are changing in Cuba, however slowly. The United States should be a part of shaping their direction.

Why We Love the Cuban Embargo

Tax the Rich...Give to the Poor?

A revival of Robin Reid?

Ayn Rand Revival

Barack Obama rewards big donors with plum jobs overseas

If we levied Michael Jackson tax retroactively we could balance budget

Cosmetic surgeons unite!

The Michael Jackson provision of HarryCare.

Andrew Sullivan unhinged about Sarah Palin

Are mandates constitutional?

Friday the 13th

No More Plasma TVs?

California is making the first step to take away my big screen sports watching pleasures!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NYT feature on the head of the CBO and his important role in the lawmaking process

How to pass a health bill fast

Per our class discussion.

The "three major fast-track options: the mini-conference; reconciliation, which would require only 51 votes; and ping-pong, where the bill goes back and forth between the Senate and the House until they can negotiate a final compromise."

A Sober Look at Ted Kennedy

I think it has been long enough since his death...this article was written in the early 90s by a well respect journalist, who was later killed in Afghanistan. Interesting article. A sample below.

For his hard public drinking, his obsessive public womanizing and his frequent boorishness, he has become a late-century legend, Teddy the Terrible, the Kennedy Untrammeled. In Washington, it sometimes seems as if everyone knows someone who has slept with Kennedy, been invited to sleep with Kennedy, seen Kennedy drunk, been insulted by Kennedy. At Desirée, a private Georgetown club where well-heeled fat men mingle with society brats and party girls, Kennedy is known as a thrice-a-month habitué and remembered by at least one fellow customer for the time he made a scene with his overenthusiasm for a runway model during a club fashion show. In a downtown office, a former congressional page tells of her surprise meeting with Kennedy three years ago. She was 16 then. It was evening and she and her 16-year-old page, an attractive blonde, were walking down the Capitol steps on their way home from work when Kennedy's limo pulled up and the senator opened the door. In the backseat stood a bottle of wine on ice. Leaning his graying head out the door, the senator popped the question: Would one of the girls care to join him for dinner? No? How about the other? The girls said no thanks and the senator zoomed off.


The earth is on fire!

Al Gore on Conan O'Brien's show the other day:

Conan: Now, what about … you talk in the book about geothermal energy …
Al: Yeah, yeah.
Conan: and that is, as I understand it, using the heat that's generated from the core of the earth …
Al: Yeah.
Conan: … to create energy, and it sounds to me like an evil plan by Lex Luthor to defeat Superman. Can you, can you tell me, is this a viable solution, geothermal energy?
Al: It definitely is, and it's a relatively new one. People think about geothermal energy — when they think about it at all — in terms of the hot water bubbling up in some places, but two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, 'cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees, and the crust of the earth is hot …

[Reality] The geothermal gradient is usually quoted as 25–50 degrees Celsius per mile of depth in normal terrain (not, e.g., in the crater of Kilauea). Two kilometers down, therefore, (that's a mile and a quarter if you're not as science-y as Al) you'll have an average gain of 30–60 degrees — exploitable for things like home heating, though not hot enough to make a nice pot of tea. The temperature at the earth's core, 4,000 miles down, is usually quoted as 5,000 degrees Celsius, though these guys claim it's much less, while some contrarian geophysicists have posted claims up to 9,000 degrees. The temperature at the surface of the Sun is around 6,000 degrees Celsius, while at the center, where nuclear fusion is going on bigtime, things get up over 10 million degrees.

If the temperature anywhere inside the earth was "several million degrees," we'd be a star.

11/17 07:03 PMShare

The hair puller speaks

Afghanistan slips in corruption index despite aid

from the Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index

Where the U.S. ranks: "The United States, which was in 19th place compared with 18th last year, remained stable despite Transparency's concerns over a lack of government oversight of the financial sector."

Co-ed dorms associated with binging, porn, and promiscuity

Dean of Harvard Medical School grades health care debate

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why the Embargo Should Not be Lifted

Keeping it pithy

Should U.S. Lift the Embargo on Cuba?

Debate topic of the week. Read, digest, and enjoy.

NYS: You Cant Drive Drunk with a Child in Your Car

this summer and fall working in state legislative offices I read a ton of newspaper coverage about drunk driving.  here is albany's response:

A golf cart loophole?

Can't blame Obama for this one.

Stimulus worked so well, it created jobs in nonexistent congressional districts

According to, the Stimulus created jobs in Arizona congressional districts 00, 15, 52, 9, 11, 38, 86, and 18. Just one problem: none of those districts actually exist. Hope and change!

Seeing Hidden Meanings in Everything

All of these "Obama has a secret" articles really weird me out.

Is this what passes for a book review at the Post?

Unbelievable. Here's an excerpt:
I cannot claim to have completely read "Going Rogue" -- I had to skim the last 150 pages (or more than one-third). I only got the thing into my hands late Monday afternoon with a deadline of early evening. It's terrible, I know, but if I didn't read it all, neither can Sarah Palin claim to have completely written it.

Finally, someone is doing it

Media Matters basically attacks NewsBusters on a daily basis. We don't respond because we like to punch up, not down, and we have about twice the daily traffic as MM. But at least someone is doing it. Finally.

Fair and Balanced? You Betcha!

"In light of White House charges that Fox is 'not really a news organization,' it is ironic that among all the cable channels that feature political news and comment, Fox is the only one that runs an old-fashioned half hour of nightly news modeled on the broadcast networks."

Hunger in U.S. at a 14-Year High

Glenn Beck goes off-message (sorta-not safe for work)

Oh boy.

You Stay Classy (Washington Times edition)

The worst of it:

Cutting America down to size is what attracts them to "hope" for "change." It's no fault of the president that he has no natural instinct or blood impulse for what the America of "the 57 states" is about. He was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream.

Capital Waits as Budget Chief Crunches Numbers

Poor Mr. Elmendorf. Losing friends by the second, he only has his lab to play with these days. As the other public policy majors know all to well, the cost-benefit analysis is an ugly entity, and I don't envy his responsibility. I specifically like Senator Dodd's comment, as it raises important issues over how you value certain benefits that do not have tangible or numerical values, but instead likely reductions in cost in the future due to intangible activities like exercise. As Jones describes, the speculation inherent in lawmaking makes the CBA a real art. And by "art" I mean both something difficult and exacting, but also extremely susceptible to bias. It will be very interesting to see how the CBO evaluates Reid's plan, and how it effects the rest of the health reform's journey through Congress.

Minnesota Dems sue T-Paw for balancing the budget

Great publicity for a potential 2012 nominee.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Signs of Hope in the Afghani Police Force

See if you can spot Putin in this crowd

The term "sore thumb" comes to mind.

What If We Fail In Afghanistan; Four Possible Outcomes

Steve Coll, president of the New America Foundation and former Managing Editor of the Washington Post gives in his blog four likely outcomes of U.S. failure in Afghanistan.

A Conservative ACORN?

This could be fun:
A top Republican political fund-raising and outreach firm gives convicted felons access to political donors' credit-card information, according to three former employees.

Minnesota-based FLS Connect uses low-wage workers to make fund-raising calls for a bevy of prominent GOP clients. And many of those workers -- including those responsible for processing credit-card transactions -- have felony convictions, the former employees said.

In response, FLS Connect co-founder Jeff Larson, a Karl Rove protege, told TPMmuckraker that the firm would undergo a review from an outside, independent auditor "to ensure the highest standard of confidence in our processes."

Setting the record straight on Scozzafava

Moderate she is not.

Interactive map of bogus 'saved or created' jobs claims

I didn't know Google Maps could do that.

Leonid Meteor Shower 2009

Will I be seeing anyone else on the roof at 4 AM?

Carter Defends Iran Decision

GOP Headed for a Bloodbath?

The Jihadists who have recanted

Incredible article.

(Saw it on Andrew Sullivan's blog.)

From Teagan Goddard's Political Wire (CQ Politics)

A Fresh Look at the Political Twitterati
In just a few short months, Twitter has become a necessary tool for anyone interested in politics and government. But unless you find the right people to follow, it can be hard to make the most of it.

For all you Twitter geeks, Twiangulate, a new Twitter analysis tool, debuts this morning. It's definitely worth checking out.

Here are some of the more interesting discoveries I've made:

* Sen. John McCain is the only tweeter followed by all three network Sunday show hosts: George Stephanopoulos, David Gregory and Bob Schieffer.
* Michelle Malkin and Markos Moulitsas -- polar opposites when it comes to politics -- each follow hundreds of Twitterers but have only a dozen in common, including Political Wire.
* Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper and I follow 18 of the same people, including political analyst Jennifer Duffy who is relatively new to Twitter.

Did I mention this is a tool for geeks?

Twiangulate is a skunkworks project at BlogAds, which sells ads on some of the biggest political blogs on the web. Blogads founder Henry Copeland tells us the site grew out of his "desire to figure out who people follow on Twitter without browsing long, long jumbled lists of followers. I looked around for a tool, but couldn't find one. So we put some spare hours over the last six months into programming the service. When we saw that a few other people liked the idea, we decided to spruce up the design and add some features."

Twiangulate has been under private beta for a month -- @pwire was one of the first users -- and they just opened their doors to everyone today.

The World Shakes Hands, Obama Bows

SCOTUS won't hear complaint about Redskins name

SEIU violates a slew of labor laws in election battle with the NUHW

Round Two for Newt?

Sarah's not retreating; she's reloading!

WSJ's review of Going Rogue.

GOP Presidential Hopefuls: You're On Notice

A czar is eliminated!

If you guys are interested...

...I'm going to start writing for my own personal blog in addition to NewsBusters. I had one over the summer, and dropped it once work got more intense, but I need to write about things other than liberal media bias, so I'm resuming. You can find it here if you feel like checking it out.

Sarah Palin: beacon of intellectual fortitude

From the NY Times:
Elsewhere in this volume she talks about creationism, saying she “didn’t believe in the theory that human beings — thinking, loving beings — originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea” or from “monkeys who eventually swung down from the trees.”

Five Gitmo Detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to face civilian trial in New York.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Did anyone see The Prisoner?

Just wondering. A little social spice to add to the blog.

Pelosi Talks Health Care in Liberaltown, NJ

I'm glad she is spending her precious time convincing people that don't need convincing.

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, in a Saturday press conference at University Medical Center at Princeton, urged support for the health care reform bill passed by the House of Representatives' Democratic majority.

The two Democrats briefly toured the medical enter at Princeton, a 308-bed acute care hospital which is part of the Princeton Health Care System"

NYT: Leaders Agree to Delay a Deal on Climate Change in Copenhagen

Obama must be breathing a sigh of relief! No more sweating over having nothing to say at Copenhagen!

"Among the chief barriers to a comprehensive deal in Copenhagen was Congress’s inability to enact climate and energy legislation that sets binding targets on greenhouse gases in the United States. Without such a commitment, other nations are loath to make their own pledges.

Administration officials and Congressional leaders have said that final legislative action on a climate bill would not occur before the first half of next year."

Bush-era focus on religion hurt vets

During the Iraq war, however, the great difficulty veterans experienced in getting psychiatric care—greater than before—was not a product of cost-cutting, but of conviction: many Bush administration officials believed that soldiers who supported the war would not face psychological problems, and if they did, they would find comfort in faith. In a resigned tone, one prominent researcher who worked for the VA, and asked that he not be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the press, explained that high-ranking officials believed that “Jesus fixes everything.” Benimoff and the others who returned with devastating psychological injuries found a faith-based bureau within the VA. At veterans’ hospitals, chaplains were conducting spirituality assessments of patients.

McCarthy sees hidden agenda in KSM decision

I believe McCarthy will speak on campus next semester.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NY Times columnists who blamed 'right wing' for Tiller murder silent on Ft. Hood

Complexities of US terror trial

File this under 'true things white people can’t get away with saying'

The Fifty-Year War

Bernie Sanders: Break Up Too Big to Fail

makes me wonder if the Democrats cannot seize on the populist anger about this, that GOP can bring someone who can

9/11 mastermind to be tried in NYC courts

Afghanistan and Health Care

Economists take on the similarities between Afghanistan and Health Care.

Goldman Sachs: Against Health Reform

Tension Between Corporate Leaders and GOP

Tea Partiers go to war (with each other!)


After Spending Binge White House to Focus on Deficits

Proven Medicines to Reduce Cancer Seldom Used

Breitbart confronts ACORN demonstrators

Andrew Breitbart is responsible for the videos that spurred the current controversy. Another one to come, apparently.

The college 'hook-up' culture phenomenon

The new feminism?

The pass anything strategy

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A NY Dem opposes Pelosicare


I found the Kiplinger excerpt particularly relevant, as my family was just in the District for a weekend visit. My grandmother Helen, now 83 years old and going strong, reminisced about her own experience in the city with my late grandfather. For much of the time we spent walking around the National Mall, Smithsonian museums, and up and down Connecticut Avenue, she spoke at length about her own honeymoon trip here. One of the honeymoon couples that Kiplinger referenced in his writing, my grandmother and grandfather borrowed $500 (a lot of money in 1948) and came here for a week during the fall. Among her fond memories of the trip were a 4 hour bus tour of the sights of the city, eating at some of the swankiest restaurants, spotting her congressman near the Capitol, and staying at the Shoreham Hotel, where we by chance stayed this past weekend. I remember her saying that the city had held a, "certain magic, or allure I suppose...for the young. I see so many young people walking around and so I guess that is still true." This city is indeed a wonderful place to be young.

I love the timeless nature of this city. Much of what Kiplinger wrote about the volume of tourists that come to the city, the monuments, museums and atmosphere can be translated to what the city is today. In short, what draws people to the city year after year has not changed. Washington is still and will always be a city for visitors.

On Meyer and Kiplinger

Every city has postcard image and a charity image designed to elicit pride and shame, respectively. The latter seeks to spur residents to help the impoverished or disadvantaged, the former pride in city and attractiveness to outsiders. In New York, they are the upper east side's town houses and South Bronx's housing projects. In Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Compton. In DC, they are the Hill and...just about everywhere else. The ratio of squalor to affluence in Washington's city limits--in terms of the number of residents--is probably higher than any metro area nationwide. The postcards show such a small portion of the city, that most tourists have no idea what lies outside of the safety of the North-West quadrant.

Go Far

The ride up New York Avenue away from the capital is, I imagine, not unlike the ride up any of the famous avenues in D.C. To get New York from the infamous Calvert Woodley Apartments you must take Massachusetts Ave, where within a few minutes of the abode you pass the prestigious Brookings Institution and CATO Institute. I am often overwhelmed by the serious façade of Brookings. Walter will probably strangle me for saying this, but it reminds me of the leftover Communist records buildings I’d seen in Belgrade years ago. I don’t mean that in such a pejorative sense as it may seem, the building just seems to breathe a brand of seriousness that doesn’t sit well with me. Regardless, you continue the journey along Massachusetts to Mount Vernon Square. In the center of the square is a spot on remake of a Roman Villa Rotunda, very reminiscent of the classical Hill buildings. Once you pass Mt. Vernon Square you hit New York and begin the part of the ride I enjoy the most. Now you pass the discount/used car shops with weathered sales man sell White Broncos and early ‘90’s Impalas. Abandoned (or at least appear to be abandoned) warehouses dawn colorful murals of presidents and peace activists passed. An advertisement that spans the length of a warehouse introducing the new Hennessey is a particular favorite. There is an outdoor plant shop the sells palm trees that would look ideal next to our kitchen table. My point, is that I agree whole-heartedly with Kiplinger that there is a D.C. seldom seen that has a color and vibrancy that I think is often forgotten. The soul of a city, in my opinion, does not come in those places that can be seen on a double-decker tour bus, but rather in those nooks and cranny’s that are off the beaten path. If you haven’t taken that I ride I highly suggest it, let me know what you think.

16.2 million visitors to DC in 2007


I read Kiplinger waiting for something to inspire me to write about Washington D.C. I read and read and then finally I found it. Kiplinger writes about the tour guide buses and cars that show tourists around the city while pointing out all the sights and attractions. Why does this inspire me you may ask? Because I completely disagree with the concept. D.C. is small city, densely populated by sights you cannot find anywhere else. I do not need a bus to show my the attractions because I see cool things everywhere, whether I make an effort to seek them or not. I have spent many a hours walking around the streets of D.C. and I always see something new and interesting, things a tour bus will never show you. I once walked to the Georgetown Library (for work of course) and on the route I saw a statue of Gandhi right outside the Indian Embassy and a tombstone/memorial of some South American leader who was assassinated on near Florida avenue itself. There are embassies on every street and statues of great American heroes at just about every circle and block of green. Simply walking around this city inspires and intrigues me. I am able to see a new and interesting sight on even the most insignificant of strolls in this small city. To rely on a tour guide to show what's interesting is not only an insult to oneself but also limiting one from getting the full experience of the politically most important city in the world. New York has Wall street and Money, Los Angeles has Hollywood and stars, Boston has history and the Great Dig, but D.C. has politicians and power. One can really only appreciate this city on a nice day and on a nice walk, not on a bus with a tour guide.

Segwayists Invade DC

Segwayists Invade DC
I'm surprised Kiplinger didn't mention anything about Segway Tours. They practically ran rampant around the Justice Department building a few weeks ago. At least until the U.S. Marshals Task Force was called in (just kidding). Not sure if Segways really make a worthwhile tour, but definitely an innovative one. Some of my favorite places to visit have actually been outside of the city of Washington. Alexandria and Arlington (where I work) are somewhat of tourist hotspots as well, if you know where to look. Of course, I'll never run out of things to do at the Smithsonian museums. I could probably spend 100 years in Washington and still not see (or understand) all of the museums and events. As the weeks progress, I've felt less like a tourist and more like a temporary resident, which is what we literally are, I suppose. Like Olivia mentioned in her post, I try to immerse myself in DC life by seeing what other Washingtonians are doing. I could make a mile-long list of things I have done and seen here in DC that I would've never been able to image before coming here: White House twice, Capitol building, Pentagon, Justice Department building.... all unforgettable and interesting experiences, even if you do call me a tourist.

Those Damn Tourists

Kiplinger's article presents a pretty accurate and funny commentary on the tourist phenomenon in Washington. The numbers he cites are incredible, and they never seemed more true than during this morning's commute when I was greeted by a sea of teenage tourists on the escalator. I'm comfortable saying "tourists" because they seemed to think it was okay to stand on the left side of the escalator (the horror!). Things only got worse as I had to weave through "high school students, under the chilling watch of chaperoning teachers" and then wait two minutes for the line ahead of me to creep through the turnstiles. Yet, as much as I enjoy complaining with fellow commuters and bloggers about our obviously tortured lives, I can't help but feel slightly unfair. Kiplinger makes a good point that there is a ton of history in DC, and I think it's a little absurd to blame outsiders for wanting to experience it. So from now on I will do my best to keep quiet and smile nicely, whether it be to an old woman mystified by her new metro card or a young child stunned motionless by the size of the escalator.

However, I will still enjoy watching a confused family get caught in the merciless doors of the good ol' DC Metro. That will never get old.

Justice Kennedy Micro-Manages a Student Newspaper Article


"Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, widely regarded as one of the court’s most vigilant defenders of First Amendment values, had provided the newspaper, The Daltonian, with a lesson about journalistic independence. Justice Kennedy’s office had insisted on approving any article about a talk he gave to an assembly of Dalton high school students on Oct. 28."

Bill Clinton on 'Mad Men'

"The way women were treated is appalling, and only occasionally funny to me."

On Kiplinger

This reading got me thinking about all the lovely tourists I encounter at work. For the most part, intern alley in our office is well insulated from these trouble makers. Last week there were many tourists who showed up to Hart, the building in which I work, to make a point about health care. There was a particular group of people who entered Lieberman's office with a mission. They left in hand cuffs. This event was a highlight for the most of us, adding a little bit of excitement to our day. Even Big John walked over to the window to catch a view.

"Sounds of screams and dragging feet alert the office to newly arrived guests of the nation’s capitol. These tourists are of a different breed: they seek to make a point. With shouts of fury they alert the building to their presence. Staffers flock to windows seeking a better view. These tourists turned criminals want their voices heard. We just want a little entertainment."

On Meyer

It said this posted, but it isn't showing up on the front page, so I wanted to repost.

Meyer kind of brought to the front of my mind something that's bugged me intermittently since I've gotten here. We're living in a city in which the majority of the population is black. And we never really see that. If you head over to Adams Morgan, you get a little bit of a better feel for it, but Connecticut Ave, through our most well-traveled parts anyway, is just this overwhelmingly white corridor. So while we may more or less avoid the issues of 1930s/1940s D.C. that Meyer encountered, we still pretty clearly have a problem, I think.

In a lot of ways we're insulated from this reality. If somebody lived in Adams Morgan, took the metro up to the Giant in Van Ness, and went to work by taking the Red Line down into Metro Center or Union Station or Farragut, that person would never know they lived in a city that was over 60% non-white. And that's weird to me. Not that it isn't true in a lot of other cities, I'm sure, but I've never lived in a city before, so this is striking to me. Just my two cents.

Those Damn Tourists

Kiplinger's article presents a pretty accurate and funny commentary on the tourist phenomenon in Washington. The numbers he cites are incredible, and they never seemed more true than during this morning's commute when I was greeted by a sea of teenage tourists on the escalator. I'm comfortable saying "tourists" because they seemed to think it was okay to stand on the left side of the escalator (the horror!). Things only got worse as I had to weave through "high school students, under the chilling watch of chaperoning teachers" and then wait two minutes for the line ahead of me to creep through the turnstiles. Yet, as much as I enjoy complaining with fellow commuters and bloggers about our obviously tortured lives, I can't help but feel slightly unfair. Kiplinger makes a good point that there is a ton of history in DC, and I think it's a little absurd to blame outsiders for wanting to experience it. So from now on I will do my best to keep quiet and smile nicely, whether it be to an old woman mystified by her new metro card or a young child stunned motionless by the size of the escalator.

However, I will still enjoy watching a confused family get caught in the merciless doors of the good ol' DC Metro. That will never get old.

The Routinization of Tourism

Kiplinger portrays Washington, DC as a bastion of sightseeing and tourism in, not only America, but the world. According to Kiplinger, this is all due DCs place as a "history factory". At the time this may have been true; I agree that the draw for citizens to see their nations capital was an intensely personal experience, something that, for the average sightseer today, isn't the case at all. I think for the majority of "tourists" who visit DCs many sights of historical significance, the experience has been lost somewhere down the line. Far to infrequently do I see someone walk into the Capital Rotunda with a look of honest awe, a true appreciation for what the space represents. Is it too much to ask that people learn at a young age the significance of our American institution of Government? I know that sounds a bit like indoctrination, but why do tourists, collectivly, seem to have no sense of respect?

GOP primary fights

Term Limits on Congressmen?

Apparently congressmen want to limit their time in Washington. Will we never see another Robert Byrd?
I agree with Kiplinger that tourists easily get sucked into the all-inclusive tour deals, especially if they know nothing about the city. I have been trying to get as much of a local flavor of the city as I can--from spending weekends with the Hill staffers to incorporating DC institutions into my weekly routine (such as going to St. Matthew's Cathedral, where Teddy Kennedy attended mass). Last Sunday, I branched out of the Smithsonian circuit and visited the Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle. Founded in 1918, it is America's first modern art museum. The Phillips Collection boasts French Impressionist and American Modernist paintings, and I recommend visitors specifically check out the Rothko room and Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party. Just a Metro stop away, the museum makes for a perfect study break.

It's so easy to spot a tourist

Growing up in Williamsburg has led me to despise tourists. They invade my town in all seasons of the year with their fanny packs, Hawaiian shirts, and unnecessarily rude behavior. But, they are the fuel of our economy so we put on our happy faces and treat them to Colonial hospitality so they will keep coming back and spend more money. As you might guess, this hatred has led me to try my hardest to not appear like a tourist on any vacation that I take. I always try to go to the local finds and avoid the tourist traps. However, I don’t know if this has been a successful strategy here in Washington. Maybe I am actually missing out on seeing some great things by protecting my self-respect. For example, I have been working in Congress for over two months and still haven’t taken a tour of the Capitol (I’ll have to jump on that tour with Ayush and Walter). Kiplinger’s essay made me think that maybe this is not uncommon behavior after all. He says, “…ordinary men and women like to be tourists but don’t like to seem to be tourists.” Unfortunately, it still does not explain why some people lose all senses of decency on vacation…

Washington's Alleyways

My response to Meyer's Article, touching on the homeless and those who dwell in the alleyways he speaks of....

Each morning the cop car diverts from the public, crowded streets of Capital Hill into the living room of Washington's homeless. They've been stirring for hours, since the sun peaked from behind Union Station down the Mass. Ave channel and into their bedrooms. The privacy of night gives way to a public morning, as the cops arrive to make way for the public prerogative.

Their cars pull up over the grass into the center circle of Stanton Park. "Good Morning" they call over their loud speakers with a slight tint of irony, but they don't understand, not really. Steering wheel in their left hand, dunkin donuts in their right, they have the nerve to wake the peacefull to a world that views them in disgust.

Peter says "Good Morning" to me every morning from the corner of Mass Ave and 2nd, but his greeting lacks the mockery. "Happy Monday!" he continues, right hand propping him up, left wrapped around a coffee someone from the Heritage Foundation dropped off a little earlier. He used to greet us from his thrown of possessions, but ever since the city and local businesses pulled strings he no longer uses Capital Hill as his closet. He has his own closet now, but he would never abandon his post. Just like all of us rushing to work on the Hill, he has a public serve to provide.

Dems Jam GOP with Franken Vote

How Embarassing

While I wouldn’t consider myself a pro, living in DC over the past few month has forced me to become accustomed to different aspects of life in a city. Kiplinger describes the very essence of tourists in Washington, DC, which I experienced first hand with my parents when they came to visit this past weekend. They were the epitome of Kiplinger’s “tourist.” They held up the line to go into the Metro, they walked slowly as I nearly sprinted from block to block, my mother wore shoes so uncomfortable that we were forced to stop and buy her ugly sandals to continue traveling, and they were tired after only seeing two of the stops on our list. It was utterly embarrassing at moments, until I realized I was that same “tourist” as my parent when I first arrived in August. We all ultimately outgrow our “tourist” phases. I just happened to forget about mine until I was forced to become the tour guide myself.

Lou Dobbs gets "CAPped"

Premiums will be lowered by $2500 a year

or not.

This could get interesting

ACORN sues the United States, arguing that the bill which was passed to strip ACORN of funding was a bill of attainder (which is unconstitutional.)

Inspired by Kiplinger

Reading Kiplinger's account of all the tourists who come so far to see our Nation's Capital City reminded me of how great privilege we have living here for a semester. Below is a list of things I want to do here before I leave to fully take advantage of this opportunity.

1.) Attend a performance at the Kennedy Center- I'm thinking the National Symphony Orchestra a week from Saturday.

2. )See the statue Grief in Rock Creek Cemetery that Kiplinger talks about in the article.

3.) Visit the Washington Historical Society- founded by Kiplinger's son Austin.

4.) See the Jefferson memorial- I have never been.

5.) Take an afternoon off work to take a tour of the Capitol.

6.) Go hiking on Roosevelt Island

6.) Watch the sunrise on the Lincoln Memorial.

Dobbs Quits CNN

Feeling the weight of war

War and tragedy are putting President Obama through the most wrenching period of his young administration. Visibly thinner, admittedly skipping meals, he is learning every day the challenges of a wartime presidency. Health-care reform, climate-change legislation, the broken economy -- all are cerebral exercises compared with the grim responsibility of being the commander in chief.

Hillary supporters: we were wrong about Bush

What gets Jonah Goldberg and Glenn Greenwald to agree?

A really smartly-written piece. It's not long and it's very much worth reading the entire thing.


Reading Kiplinger’s tourists’ account of Washington I couldn’t help but empathize for their situation, as we have already spent over two months in Washington and have grown accustomed to life here. Although I did not visit those sights on a tour, during the semester I have gradually seen and visited all of the core sights of this city. We have experienced a semester absorbed in American politics, continually focusing on government. Whether through our internships, sightseeing trips, or discussions, we have all personally lived an abstract form of this piece. And that is DC.

Same old, same old at Ft. Hood

VDH again.

Will this Eagle run?

Worst States in terms of the Economy

Surprisingly New York is not on this list.

More stimulus jobs not saved or created

"There were no jobs created. It was just shuffling around of the funds." - Captain Obvious

Unitary democracy in a sentence

"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner." - James Bovard

At least give the sheep a filibuster.

Tort bomb

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thoughts on Meyer and Kiplinger

I should preface this post to say that I do not have any deep thoughts on Meyer and Kiplinger, and I will instead endeavor to highlight a few interesting things I found in each article.

My main thought reading these two articles was how these two articles, along with a couple other articles we have already read on Washington, DC life (notably Brinkley) all describe the city around the time of World War II - and all from a different perspective. Brinkley describes the experience of single young women (especially those enlisted in WAVES) and their housing troubles; Meyer describes the living conditions for Blacks; and Kiplinger describes the experience of the tourist. That a different portrait of the city emerges each time is a testament, I think, to how this city is a bit more multi-faceted than many give it credit. It is also, I think, evidence of the transformations the city underwent circa WWII.

My other thought was upon reading Kiplinger's mention of the Adams Memorial - I remember it was mentioned by Alter and again recently in a NY Times article, so I think I'm going to find the time sometime soon to go and see it for myself.

gay marraige advocates shoot themselves in the collective foot

America's Lost Decade

CAP next on enemies list?

Powerful rap song about Al-Ham at WH dinner

Dubke v. Elias

Battle of the HC campaign finance titans!

At Ft. Hood, 'more guns' assuredly were 'the solution to gun violence'

The fatal folly of unilateral disarmament.

Targetpoint in 2009 campaigns


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Did Glenn Beck murder and rape a young girl in 1990?

I heard it on the interweb.

"Race to the Top": The Olympics of Education?

Very interesting. It does seem to leave room for a lot of strategic promises, so I hope the regulatory side of things is strong. I guess any incentive to states to improve education systems is good, but they better deliver...

Roland's revenge?

Man Holds Up Taco Bell, Requests Job Application

Might seem crazy, but in this economy...

Obama: One Year Later

Dems Balance Ideology and Reality

Chris Dodd Offers Financial Regulatory Reform Plan

Clinton to Dems: We're Winning

Swine Flu Vaccine for Guantanamo Bay Detainees

Really? Are they being exposed to a lot of other people who have swine flu down there? What a waste. Send them to all the people already complaining they cannot get thier hands on it. I'm pretty sure its NOT a human rights violation to not give our detainees the swine flu vaccine, and it sure as hell doesn't negate everything else we're doing.

HuffPo wants a separate NYT bestsellers list for 'conservative non-fiction'

Arianna just can't stand that folks who read like what conservatives have to say.

Hillary remembers everyone at Berlin Wall....

except Ronald Reagan.

Shhh...don't tell Dems, but Obama hurt Deeds

White House tactics rearrange lobbying world

UPS vs. FedEx

Happy 234th Birthday, Marines!

Written by an Army Ranger. Please forgive the term 'haji'. When they’re shooting at you, you don’t tend to get hung up on political correctness.

For those who don’t know, Marines have long celebrated our founding on November 10th 1775 at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia where a committee of the Continental Congress met to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and shore. Furthermore, Samuel Nicholas was appointed the first Commandant and Robert Mullan (owner of Tun Tavern) was commissioned as a Captain and the first recruiter – that’s right the guy selling the beer also sold potential recruits on the benefits of the Corps!

Throughout the years since our founding, Marines have celebrated the birthday of the Corps. In 1925 the first formal Birthday Ball was held in Philadelphia and many of the traditions now celebrated were instituted. However, given the nature of our jobs it not uncommon for Marines to celebrate down range and in harms way without the pageantry and gentile company that garrison life affords.

One such birthday celebration occurred on November 10th 2004, the Second Battle of Fallujah known as Operation Phantom Fury had started just three days prior as Marines stepped across the line of departure into a heavily defended urban hell that was Fallujah. As Marines engaged in some of the most ferocious close quarters combat in the history of the Corps, a surreal but very poignant moment played out. This same moment has repeated on countless battlefields throughout the years in places such as Tripoli, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe San, Mogadishu, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

In the midst of the din of battle as AK-47’s & RPG’s impacted all around a pinned down platoon of Marine grunts, a battle weary Sgt turned to his platoon and said with a wry grin: “Hey devil dogs, it’s November 10th, Happy Birthday”! The Marines responded with a short sharp vigorous Marine Corps growl “ooh rah” and returned to the task at hand– killing hajis!

A few hours passed and a lull in the fighting prompted a young private to ask: “Hey Sgt, where’s my birthday cake?” The resourceful Marine NCO rummaged through his kit and MRE where he found a packet of pound cake, peanut butter spread, and an unfiltered Marlboro. The Sgt used these ingredients to create a field expedient Marine Corps birthday cake complete with a candle (the Marlboro) that would have made Chesty Puller proud.

Next the Sgt called his platoon to gather around the cake where he stated: “We may be far from home, fighting for our lives in this godforsaken city with drug crazed hajis all around us shouting “Allahu Akhbar”. We may be low on ammunition, food, and water. We have neither slept nor bathed in a week. But do not despair Marines, for we have our history and each other. The hippies sitting back at home may question our sanity for pausing in the middle of a battle to celebrate our Corps’ birthday – forgive them their ignorance, for they do not know that our history, traditions and symbols are what gird us for battle and give us the strength to fight harder and longer than our enemy ever will.”

The Sgt. cut two pieces of cake and gave them to the oldest and youngest Marines in the group, then as he passed the rest of pound cake amongst his Marines he said “I don’t know what the Commandant’s Birthday Message was, but I do know that our celebration of the Corps birthday on this day is what being a Marine is all about – Semper Fi Marines!”

No matter where you are today, whether it is in the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton (gotta be an officer’s ball) or in an LP/OP in some remote mountain pass in the Hindu Kush, take a moment to reflect on the history of our Corps and the brothers and sisters you call Marine, for these are truly the things worth celebrating.

Fox News goes off-message

DC Sniper To Die Tonight

It's odd that this will be happening so close to here. I also cannot believe he's still claiming innocence due to PTSD...

You stay classy, Republicans

Too big to pass?

Confessions of an ObamaCare supporter

"This explains why Nancy Pelosi is willing to risk the seats of so many Blue Dog Democrats by forcing such an unpopular bill through Congress on a narrow, partisan vote: You have to break a few eggs to make a permanent welfare state."

Doctors Call on AMA to Drop Support for ObamaCare

Monday, November 9, 2009

Absolutely unreal

What the President could have said

"All Americans have had it with these mass murderers, whether formal terrorist plotters or individual assassins. I promise you we will find out what motivates a Major Hasan—and do my best to ensure that there are no more Major Hasans in our future."

That would have made me feel much better.

Power for U.S. From Russia’s Old Nuclear Weapons

Nothing political, but still very intersting. Slow news day.

Christian organization calls for ban on Muslims in American military

Their words:

It it is time, I suggest, to stop the practice of allowing Muslims to serve in the U.S. military. The reason is simple: the more devout a Muslim is, the more of a threat he is to national security. Devout Muslims, who accept the teachings of the Prophet as divinely inspired, believe it is their duty to kill infidels. Yesterday's massacre is living proof. And yesterday's incident is not the first fragging incident involving a Muslim taking out his fellow U.S. soldiers.

This stuff is crazy!

Paterson Paints Grim Picture of N.Y. Budget Crisis

Dick Armey is Back

When stuff like this is published in the "American Thinker..."

Makes you wonder how much thinking they really do.

Huckabee "very serious" about 2012

The young and the restless?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

"It's a mob of dolphins"

The 11/3 Project

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The 11/3 Project
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Jon Stewart does Glenn Beck.

New model for news

Evan Smith is a Hamilton alum.

GOP Cao = Democrat Hero

The man who stood for what he believed in, despite partisan pressure

al Qaeda link?

It will be interesting to see what the news media do about this story.

Is Sarah Palin a 21st century Old Hickory?

Would you hire David Petts?

Tear down this wall!

Surprise: WSJ doesn't like Pelosicare

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Death of Kyoto Protocol

A lesson in political rhetoric

Michael Steele's statement on the passing of the House bill. I thought the words he used ('experiment', 'common sense', 'government-run', etc.) were very telling. They are all designed to elicit certain reactions. Obviously it's no surprise that he would say things designed to elicit certain responses, just thought it was an interesting case study in the use of language in politics.
Today with help from their liberal House allies, President Obama and Nancy Pelosi finally got what they have been creating behind closed doors these past months – a government-run health care experiment that will increase families’ health care costs, increase the deficit, increase taxes on small businesses and the middle class, and cut Medicare. As the elections in Virginia and New Jersey clearly showed, the American people oppose bigger government, more federal spending, and higher taxes. Broad, bipartisan opposition to this bill was on full display this evening, and the Democrats who ultimately voted for Nancy Pelosi’s liberal health care plan will have to answer to their constituents.

Nancy Pelosi and her liberal lieutenants made a lot of promises today to get the votes they desperately needed. Make no mistake – the Democrat leadership’s assurances were based on political expediency, not principle. Anyone receiving a promise from Pelosi is guaranteed to be disappointed in the end when their votes are no longer needed.

Americans want a common-sense bipartisan approach to health care reform, not President Obama’s and Nancy Pelosi’s costly, 1,990-page government-run experiment on our nation’s health care system. The House Republican solution to health care reform is the right direction for America, but Nancy Pelosi had no interest in bipartisanship, choosing instead to force her costly government-run experiment on the American people.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


This is the video that resulted from the alcohol related death at Boulder Holly mentioned. Pretty alarming stuff...especially one that hits close to home at minute 24:35...

Zero, One, or Two Civil Wars?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Teaser for NewsBusters' new comedy show

Canada to Withdraw Troops from Afghanistan by 2011

I wonder if Stephen Harper would have done this if Bush were still in office and asked him to keep the troops there

Ten Races that Worry the GOP

Fighting within, always a good strategy to advance the party.

Let the Spec letter writing begin

Staties raid New Orleans ACORN office

It continues...

An honest supporter of Obamacare

Sportswomanship-- not

The Obama Generation, Revisited

D.C. Likes to Smoke

100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do

I take my job as Restaurant Czar very seriously.

You're very welcome, and God bless you

Got this email first thing this morning:
I just wanted to let all the contributors to know what an excellent website you have here. I as well as two other brothers serve in the US Army and believe truth and integrity will always stand out. Your website should be commended for its excellence in the fine art of telling the truth; unfortunately in today's media truth telling is a dying art form. Thank you for what you do!

That was a great way to kick off the day!

The Partisan Media

Obama: Year One: The Grade

The other 'civil war' pundits' definition.

Irony Alert

From yesterday's Republican protest:

...a man standing just beyond the TV cameras apparently suffered a heart attack 20 minutes after event began. Medical personnel from the Capitol physician's office -- an entity that could, quite accurately, be labeled government-run health care -- rushed over, attaching electrodes to his chest and giving him oxygen and an IV drip.

This turned into an unwanted visual for the speakers, as a D.C. ambulance and firetruck, lights flashing, pulled in just behind the lawmakers. A path was made through the media section, and the patient, attended to by about 10 government medical personnel, was being wheeled away on a stretcher just as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) stepped to the microphone. "Join us in defeating Pelosi care!" he exhorted. A few members stole a glance at the stretcher. Boehner may have been distracted as well. He told the crowd he would read from the Constitution, then read the "we hold these truths" bit from the Declaration of Independence.

Emphasis mine.

Just for One quote

I am posting this link because of one quote. Andre, did you ever see it?

"When pressed, Boehner shrugged, then turned to House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence, R-Indiana, and said: "This is when they get the Boehner shrug.""

6 in 10 Americans Support Cap and Trade

Strange numbers considering the recent slide of Democrats and their issues. I guess people still care about the environment, no matter who's pushing it?

Speaker Pelosi’s Government-Run Health Plan Will Require a Monthly Abortion Premium

Another Example of the Partisan Era: Michael Steele to "come after" moderate Republicans

Palin's Actions "Bizzare"

VDH on the Ft. Hood Shooting

Full essay linked above.
In reaction officials and news people often opt for therapeutic exegeses—stress, often of the postraumatic sort, ill-feeling and bias shown Muslims, family problems, or brain-washing by nefarious outside actors—to explain the cold-blooded nature of the murdering…

Far more rarely, do they ever suggest that the Islamist notion abroad that America is to blame for mostly self-induced pathologies in the Islamic world mostly goes unquestioned here at home—and as a result filters down to the lone angry and violent here that there is some sort of cosmic justification that can amplify their own outrage at a sense of personal failure or setback.

Schumer: For American Jobs

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Scozzafava lives!

DNC Makes Scozzafava A Verb »

By Elizabeth Benjamin, NY Daily News

The Democratic National Committee is gleefully capitalizing on the fate suffered by Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava at the hands of the GOP's right wing - a phenomenon that appears is be rapidly repeating itself as the 2010 mid-terms take shape.

An e-mail sent to reporters this afternoon bore the subject line: "Another Republican Rep. Gets Scozzafava'ed."

Deja vu all over again?

The ghost of Catastrophic Health Insurance.

Pelosi: We Will Have the Votes for Healthcare by Saturday

Obama Strategy on Health Care Paying Off?

An Important Election Result We Didn't Discuss

What a setback, i think that THIS if anything shows the uprising of the GOP its socially conservative policies. We were in an era of change and progressivism in social policy, and now it seems that in the face of political gridlock and economic stress the American people have repealed thier belief in social liberalism? Interesting, and tragic.

Colbert sneaks one by Bill Donohue

Bottom blurb, on the right.

Aggregated poll numbers on healthcare

Could be due to the ever-changing legislation (ie it keeps getting worse), but for some reason, Americans like Congress's health care plans less and less every day.

Next on my reading list

Written by that angry wingnut Steve Forbes.

The return of Dick Armey

NYPIRG: Commission Should Investigate Paterson’s Yankees Tickets

Blair Horner, legislative director at the New York Public Interest Research Group, said the state Commission on Public Integrity should investigate whether Gov. David Paterson solicited World Series tickets from the Yankees, which hires lobbyists and does business with the state.

The New York Post reported today that Paterson sought free tickets to the Yankees home opener last week, which would violate the state’s gift ban for elected officials.

“On one hand it’s incomprehensible and the other hand it’s indefensible,” Horner said. “The Yankees are registered lobbyists. What were they (the Paterson administration) thinking?”

So will the Commission on Public Integrity investigate? They won’t say.

“An investigation is confidential until we issue a notice of reasonable cause,” said spokesman Walter Ayres. “And if we look at something, we’re required to keep that confidential.”

The embattled commission last week quietly dropped an investigation into whether Paterson improperly leaked information to the media about Caroline Kennedy after she withdrew from the U.S. Senate contest in January.

--Albany Watch: Insights and tidbits from the state Capitol blog of, covering New York's Lower Hudson Valley

GOP health bill has smaller deficit reduction and insures fewer people than Dem plan

What an unexpected result.

What an attractive group!

Grayson reads number of "dead" in GOP districts

An illustration of Dems reaching across the aisle for the public good of our great nation. This partisan business I hear about is a two-way street.

Senate Committee proceeds despite GOP boycott

Not the Senate of Birch Bayh.

Obama-endorsed glass cleaner

Fla. prison guard attacked by inmate, 3 other inmates intervene and save his life


Take this important survey

The permanent tea party

The rise of independents?

Why the Yankees win was inevitable

Every four years God and Satan have a meeting. They agree that there can only be some much good and so much evil in the world. It's a very yin-yang thing. But they have to decide how to split it up. So they consider the twin institutional towers of evil--the Republican Party and the New York Yankees. They chat, have a few beers, and figure out who will have what for the next four years. Because when Republicans are in power, the Yankees rarely do well. And when the Democrats control the presidency, Yankee dynasties almost always take place.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Order is restored to the universe

Complexities of health insurance reform

I picked the right animal rights organization....

or did I? I could be coming to a fake shower near you (or your office...) For those of you wondering about the differences between PETA and the Humane Society.....this speaks louder than words..

The One Place Not Allowed to be Destroyed

The makers of the movie 2012 were too scared to destroy some religious building in Mecca. Has terrorism won?

Red Sox Nation will be behind the Phillies tonight

Be Careful Where You Cough...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The last time Congress lowered the drinking age to 17...

Election '09 tests do not bode well for Obama

WASHINGTON - Republicans surged to victory in governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey on Tuesday, wresting control from Democrats in both states as independents who swept Barack Obama to a historic 2008 victory broke big for the GOP. It was a troubling sign for the president and his party heading into an important midterm election year.

A czar for college tuition?

nytimes blog on obama-one year in

See How the Affordable Health Care for America Act Benefits Your District

Will ABC be next on White House enemies list?

Fear of Flying? There's an App for that

Delay in Senate Healthcare Bill

Missing Obama's deadline likely. How long this will go, no one knows.

Buffett buying Burlington Northern railroad

Warren Buffett is effectively making a $34 billion bet on the health and growth of the U.S. economy.

"Burlington Northern, the nation's second-largest railroad, is the biggest hauler of food products like corn, and coal for electricity, making it an indicator of the country's economic health. The railroad also ships a large amount of consumer goods — including items imported from Asia — from big Western ports like Los Angeles and Seattle."

A Look Inside the U.S. Department of Justice

...and a few shots of the U.S. Marshals of course

Detainees look to high court to cut GITMO transfers bans

Looks like the issue of transferring Guantánamo detainees will head to the Supreme Court.

Excerpt: "Congress is seeking to block detainees’ release through spending bill provisions. The bills include language banning the use of federal funds for the release, resettlement or transfer of detainees to the United States. The Interior Department appropriations bill allows the transfer of the detainees to the United States, but only for prosecution.
The Uighurs’ lawyers hope the Supreme Court will find the spending bill provisions unconstitutional, which would effectively nullify them."

Joe says it ain't so

The long, dark tea-time of the GOP's soul

Fantastic column on NY-23. Explains perfectly the absurdity of the 'moderate-purge' characterization of the race, but also discusses the dangerous potential the race has to push the GOP towards a more hard-line, bare-bones (and ultimately self-destructive) conservatism. Hoffman's success essentially boils down to the fact that social issues are currently off the table. Economic issues will determine winners in this cycle.

Like I said, principled

I was wrong, Evan was right, and Joe's a flip-flopper.

Mount Kilimanjaro's snows melt

GOP's worst nightmare

I wonder if we'll see a new party form, the Tea Party Party...

Empire State Exodus

NYS taxes just went up again.

10 Races to Watch Today

The Blue State Exodus

Insights into the Similaries of Dogfighting and the NFL

Written by Malcolm Gladwell (one of my favorites)...interesting comparison that cites the social recognition of courage and valor in the face of serious injury and danger. We've acknowledged that it's not OK to let dogs fight to the death to entertain audiences and please thier owners, yet we all sit down to watch college and pro football every weekend to see the players do the same? Obviously, it's slightly different, in that football players chose to play and recieve monetary benefit for playing, but essentially they're withstanding similarly detrimental injuries every day. Not that i'm arguing for making football a felony, or anything....GO PACKERS/GIANTS!

Should major legislation be bipartisan?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Amethyst Initiative (text/website)

The quote on the November menu at Open City

"I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart is bottomless."

Doesn't quite equal the October quote, but heart-wrenching none the less.

Fist fight breaks out in WaPo newsroom

National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984

Eddie, Jed, Olivia, and I will be debating whether or not we should lower the drinking age from 21 to 18. Here is a fact sheet on the federal law that pressured states to set the "minimum purchase and public possession of alcohol" age to 21, at the punishment for noncompliance of a reduction in highway appropriations.

GWU President being paid like he's GW himself

$3.7m in 07-08, $2 million more than second place...

EPA lawyers challenge cap and trade

Hatch: Health reform will lead to "dependance" on Democrats

Or maybe it'll just make more clear which party is looking out for people's overall well-being.

Some more pro-EFCA material

Also, this link provides more good background info.

10 years of fighting intolerance (of thought, that is) at the University

We must change the culture of U.S. Medicine

This article argues that there is huge amounts of waste in the health care system. People are over tested and over treated far too often. The government should work to cut this waste, but the specific cuts must be made by panels of health care experts, not the legislators themselves. The most important changes, however, have to come from doctors and patients themselves. Together, they have to choose to change the "culture" of health care in this country.

New Jersey Voters Split Between Corzine, Christie

A Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll shows GOP candidate Chris Christie with a 1-point lead over Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, well within the margin of error.

McDonnell Leads Deeds by Double Digits, Virginia Poll Shows

A Richmond Times-Dispatch poll shows Bob McDonnell leading Creigh Deeds by 53-to-41 percent in the Virginia race for governor.

Are We in a Second Housing Bubble?

In a highly controversial interview, Yale Professor economist Robert Shiller announced that the U.S. might be in another housing and financial bubble. Shiller, who is known for predicting economic crises well before they have occurred over the past few decades, stated the he did not know what was fueling the current recovery and is wary over the recent rise in housing prices. While this may seem like a hoax, his impressive background and uncanny ability to detect problems may lead some to take him seriously. I guess we'll just have to wait and see whether he is right...

Employee Free Choice Act - Con

The Heritage Foundation is against the legislation. This is a link to their *extensive* points as to why the legislations should not be passed.

Update on Overdraft Fee Legislation

Employee Free Choice Act - Pro

Evan, Shaan, Lachlan and I will be debating whether or not the pending Employee Free Choice Act (HR 1409) should be passed. This is a link to the American Federation of Labor's webpage on the subject (they are for passage). You can find a link on the page to the text of the proposed bill.

Winning Dede Scozzafava: How Democrats got her nod

Behind scenes, President Obama shepherds the health reform bill

A look at Obama's role in crafting the health care reform bill. Perhaps he is not as distant as the American public thinks.

The return of partisan media

21st century media may look more like 19th century media.

WSJ on net neutrality

Worst bill ever

According to WSJ.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

46 percent of people don't fast forward through commercials

Good news for media companies-according to Nielsen, 46 percent of viewers aged 19-49 years old don't fast forward through commercials when they DVR shows.

The most basic reason, according to Brad Adgate, the senior vice president for research at Horizon Media, a media buying firm, is that the behavior that has underpinned television since its invention still persists to a larger degree than expected.

“It’s still a passive activity,” he said.

Respect Madison's Republic

Texas or California?

If the states are the laboratories of democracy, I'll take the former.
In semi-related news...

Benedict Beckel?

Frank Rich: The G.O.P. Stalinists Invade Upstate New York

Rich gleefully argues (in very colorful language) that the national GOP's rush to endorse Hoffman is one more step in its "double-barreled suicide." Rich observes that the further to the right the GOP shifts, the more impotent it becomes for the 2010 elections.

While I have to agree with Rich that Hoffman would be a terrible representative for the 23rd (he truly knows none of the local issues), I can't be as excited about a GOP rightward shift. It may certainly help the Democrats in 2010, and perhaps beyond that. But these would ultimately be partisan victories. A real Democratic victory - the passage of a progressive agenda - would be best furthered by a more moderate GOP - not the 'Party of No' and Sarah Palin.

Fat jokes? Not in my NJ

A narrative problem?

Tom Friedman latches on to the issue we discussed several weeks ago.

The Civility Project

I suggest to DOS that we try something like this at HC. Distribute Washington's Rules for Civility and create a message board to develop Hill version.

Edmunds fires back!

Is this who Valerie Jarrett meant when she said "we will speak truth to power." Rapid response teams may help campaigns, but do they serve the President well?

Still pithy after 50 years