Friday, February 29, 2008

The Theft of America

Famous Author Rob Byrnes is up in arms over the coming showdown between B. Hussein Obama and Juan McCain.

Taking Fire from All Sides

It's ridiculous to assert that Obama isn't ready to face McCain in the general election. He's won 11 straight victories in a row while taking whithering criticism from his primary opponent, her husband, a former U.S. President and at the same time already being criticized by Rush and the other right wing talk goons and his likely GOP opponent, John McCain.

Not to mention the fact that he has beaten some of the most experienced hands in the U.S. Senate (Dodd and Biden) and has been deftly running circles around the "vaunted" Clinton machine.

Not bad for someone "unprepared" and "inexperienced."


I spent the week in Ohio, including several days in Cleveland a couple in the southeast part of the state (incidentally, where I grew up).

If I had to make a call on the primary, I would call it for Hillary.

She seemed to have more visible support in the state, she, her family and surrogates are everywhere and her groundtroops seem more numerous.

And Obama is spending more time in Texas than he is in the Buckeye state.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hillary and the Lies

At the risk of totally alienating Scottstake Reader number 3 who loves Hillary, I have to say, yes, I keep criticizing her but she keeps giving me reasons to do so!

First, let me relay a conversation I had with a friend yesterday. My friend is a married mother of two with her own business. In a long conversation I asked her who she was supporting for president. McCain, as it turns out. I asked why not Obama? He'll raise my taxes, she said. We talked about this for a while. Then I said, well, what about Hillary?

She went off. First on what she called Hillary's lying, saying anything to anyone if it would get her power. Then on betraying every feminist principle she had. I wish I could relay every word as it was artful, but it boiled down to first saying she wasn't the "stand by your man" kind of wife then doing precisely that when her husband publicly humiliated her and her daughter for the sole purpose of power. My friend said it much better.

Fast forward to an interview the Hillster gave to Judy Woodruff in which she said:

JUDY WOODRUFF: People look at what's happened in your campaign, Senator Clinton,
and they say, what has happened? All of last year you were the front runner, you
were the presumed, you were headed for that nomination and then January comes
along, boom, Senator Obama starts winning primaries. He has now won eleven in a
row. How do you explain what's happened?

MRS. CLINTON: None of this is
surprising to me. You know, last spring when I looked at how the race was
shaping up, I knew that it would be a close contest and I assumed it would be
with Senator Obama and at that time I said we have got to start thinking about
Texas, we have to start thinking ahead.

But that's not what she said last December:

But these are just words. And as she has been saying recently, words don't matter.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cleveland Last Night

It turned out a little blurry but I was seriously worried about frostbite at the time. It was still pretty.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer Weighs In

On today's editorial page:

In purely political terms, Clinton needed somehow to change the momentum of
a campaign that is undeniably slipping away. She failed.

...In her final seconds, Clinton once again urged voters to ask themselves
who can actually change the country.

The problem for her is that the question had already been asked and

And once again, Obama prevailed.

Saturday Night Live Defense

This moment in the debate sticks out the morning after. I know I will upset my reader (I have three, you know, so I'm not trying to offend any of them) who likes Hillary and thinks I'm unfairly picking on her. But, come one -- 35 years of experience, ready to lead on day one, and she's whinning about getting asked the first question in a debate? And using a sketch on Saturday Night Live to attack her opponent? Or was that an attack on him, perhaps she was going after the media? I'm not sure what it was. What it wasn't was presidential.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

An Old Friend Falters

She always loved to run. A mixed cocker spaniel and golden retriever, she would sprint back and forth across the yard, a blur of blonde fur.

We would go hiking, and she would race ahead on the trail, then come running back at full throttle, rounding us before heading out again, as if to say "come on, slowpokes, there's a whole world ahead of us!"

Horses, other dogs, bear scat, hornets nests she stumbled into or deep water she fell in left her spirit undeterred.

Not so age.

On a hike during Labor Day two years ago she seemed slower than usual. Slowness gave way to fatigue. Fatigue led to collapse. We had to carry her out. Arthritis now choked her bones. She was 13 years old, after all.

Other things began to change too. She used to sleep in bed with us. For whatever reason, she began sleeping on floor instead. Then that changed and she didn't want to leave the first floor at night. She used to, when I worked at home, lay at my feet in my second floor office. Then the stairs got to be too much for her.

Yesterday morning I called to her and her younger "brother" to go for our morning walk. For the first time in her life, she refused. She looked at me, leash in hand, raised her muzzle, then settled her head back down on her paws and sighed -- no walk today.

It is the way of things, to grow slow and lame, to fail. Yet ebbing fire still fights the cold. She still has some good days left in her, but they would seem few in number.

I dread the coming loss of a dear friend. But in my heart's eye, I will always see that joyful rush of fur and paw, forever on the trail, a trail leading -- everywhere.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I'm Supposed to Get 8 Inches

Yeah, right. I've heard that before.

Snow, people, I'm talking snow.

I'm in Cleveland this week for work.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

100 Things About Me

Here I go, participating in the blogger's right of passage, the "100 Things About Me" meme. Can you think of anything more self-serving than taking the time to make one of these lists? Yet I read them on every Blogger's site who has them.

So here's mine.

  1. I’ve been in a relationship for a total of 20 years
  2. With the same man.
  3. My mother can’t believe someone could stand me for that long.
  4. We have a son
  5. Our son lives with his mothers in Hawaii and he visits us three times a year
  6. I’d rather read than watch TV
  7. I have a secret love for the music of John Denver
  8. I had surgery when in 5th grade
  9. I fear the dentist though I have healthy teeth
  10. My Uncle is a dentist.
  11. I’m not afraid of my Uncle.
  12. I don’t want to try skydiving
  13. If I could be any animal character it would be the black panther Bagheera from the Jungle Book – sleek, fast, beautiful, wise and deadly.
  14. If I could be any literary character it would be Woodrow Wilson Smith from Time Enough for Love (and other novels).
  15. I hate talking on the phone
  16. I tend to be a wallflower at bars and parties
  17. I have the same initials as my mother: KSB.
  18. I’m lactose intolerant
  19. I’m highly allergic to cats (making number 13 kind of ironic)
  20. I’m a light sleeper
  21. I love candles and fires – anything to do with flames
  22. I was lucky enough to have all four of my grandparents living as I reached adulthood.
  23. I even knew two great grandmothers
  24. I totally get Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Mahler, Beethoven and Copland
  25. Brahms, not so much.
  26. I still love reading the actual hard copy Sunday paper while sipping coffee…even though I read the paper online the rest of the week.
  27. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a marine biologist
  28. I was in love with my best friend from high school.
  29. I carried that flame in secret for eight years.
  30. I would like to learn to scuba dive
  31. I want to be cremated when I die
  32. I taught Sunday school when I was in high school
  33. Today I’m agnostic
  34. I play the tuba
  35. I used to be good at it.
  36. Boxer-briefs
  37. I was a Civil War re-enactor for a time.
  38. I have a personal trainer
  39. He likes to make fun of my feeble attempts to get in shape
  40. Numbers make me nervous
  41. I got to conduct the DC Capitol Pride Symphonic Band and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington at the Kennedy Center. It was one of the highlights of my life.
  42. November and February are my two least favorite months.
  43. I am a Gemini. I doubt that means anything. But then again maybe it does.
  44. I hate beets and liver. Other than I’ll eat it all.
  45. And often do.
  46. I’ve been in David Duke’s house.
  47. He was there.
  48. I want to learn how to country western dance.
  49. I’ve been to England, France, West Germany (there were two when I was there), Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Scotland, Peru and Costa Rica.
  50. I’ve lived in Washington, DC most of my life.
  51. I’ve owned two boats.
  52. I’m boatless now
  53. I want to get another one
  54. I was born in a wagon in a travelin’ show…well, not really, but in the foothills of Appalachia so it’s kinda close.
  55. I tried Little League. I sucked.
  56. I tried Jr. High basketball. I sucked.
  57. To the disappointment of my family.
  58. They supported my musical interests, however.
  59. I started playing the tuba on the day Elvis Presley died. I don’t think the two events are related.
  60. I used to live in fear of P.E. in school. Now I pay out the wazzoo to go to a gym. Things change. Of course, if I could have taken a sauna with our high school quarterback, I might have felt differently back then.
  61. I suck at math.
  62. Actually, I suck at most practical, useful things.
  63. I fear Oprah
  64. I’ve done drag on stage.
  65. But I’m really masculine, honest.
  66. I wrote the speech Lee Atwater was giving when he collapsed, the event that led to his brain cancer diagnosis. Again, I don’t think the two events were related.
  67. I’ve seen, in person, every US president since Jimmy Carter except George W. Bush.
  68. The worst part-time job I ever had was shoveling horse shit out of the barn.
  69. The best was watchman at an abandoned coal mine.
  70. My favorite science fiction author is Robert A. Heinlein.
  71. My favorite gay historical figure is Frank Kameny.
  72. I’m lucky enough to know him.
  73. The only musical I was in was Fiddler on the Roof. I loved it.
  74. I’m told I learned to walk by grabbing hold of the back of a sheep we used to have and walk behind it around the yard.
  75. I’m told I have a funny gait. Now you know why.
  76. Other pets/animals I’ve raised: Four dogs, one cat; hamsters, an Egyptian sand boa, more rabbits than I could count, two cows and one bull, a groundhog, a raccoon, tropical fish, and a pot belly pig named Madonna.
  77. She was a material pig.
  78. My house it 100 years old.
  79. It is haunted
  80. By an elderly black/Portuguese woman and a cat
  81. We have witnesses
  82. I prefer to eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch Mon – Friday.
  83. People who try to manipulate me with guilt trips find it provokes the opposite response.
  84. My favorite condiment is BBQ sauce.
  85. I love Thai food. I have yet to try BBQ sauce on it, though.
  86. I live less than a mile from an apartment building John Kennedy lived in right after WWII, a club where Danny Pearl used to play Bluegrass; a diner called “Tryst” where Congressman Gary Condit used to hang out with Chandra Levey; the townhouse Shirley Temple used to own and the summer cottage where Abe Lincoln used to hang out during the hot months. I think that’s pretty cool being near all that “stuff.”
  87. First celebrity crush: Valerie Bertrinelli. Seriously.
  88. But also David Groh (“Joe,” Valerie Harper’s husband on “Rhoda”)(Holy Moley he just died!)
  89. I have to take a valium before going to see the dentist.
  90. My favorite TV shows growing up were Bob Newhart, Mary Tyler Moore, the Carol Burnett Show, and, in high school, the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
  91. I could get through any tough day knowing I would end my day with a laugh with Johnny.
  92. I hated Country Western music when I was growing up. It was all around me.
  93. Now I’m finding I kinda like it.
  94. Kiefer Sutherland would play me in a movie about my life.
  95. When I was 11 or 12 the older nephew of a neighbor took me into a field to try a cigarette.
  96. Someday I want to have a horse.
  97. But be wealthy enough that I can pay someone else to shovel out the barn.
  98. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
  99. I think kissing is the most intimate physical act.
  100. I wish I could be a through-hiker on the Appalachian Trail.


Bugg on the Debate

Sean Bugg live blogged the Dem debate the other night and he gives a good recap:

9:23 -- Scary realization: I can't drink enough to make Hillary Clinton sound like a reasonable choice for president.

I thought Hillary blew a softball question when she was asked "What would you do different from Obama on day one? She went on to give a laundry list of policy initiatives. But she never answered the question, which shows there is no substance to her mantra that she -- and only she -- is "ready" on day one.

Here's the Beef

WaPo Business Columnist Steven Pearlstein says that when it comes to substance, Obama's got it:

Now that Obama is sprinting toward the finish line in the Democratic marathon, his opponents are suddenly asking, "Where's the beef?"

If it's beef you like, all you have to do is go to, where you will find a refrigerator case packed with prime policy meat. That may come as something of a surprise to you, considering how utterly lacking in substance the reporting and analysis has been over the last year. But it's all there -- as much as or more than is offered by other candidates and certainly as much as any voter would require.

Perlstein points out you'll find:

  • An 11 page, single spaced energy plan that features a cap and trade system

  • A 15-page, single-spaced health-care plan, including 65 footnotes. You'll find a cogent analysis of what ails the health-care system, along with the best thinking of Democratic health-care reformers on how to fix it: disease management, computerized medical records, radical reforms of the insurance market, tax subsidies for low-income families and federal reinsurance for catastrophic illness.

  • A 40-plus-page economic agenda that outlines Obama's proposals for avoiding a recession, helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, restoring the rights of workers to form unions, improving public education, combating poverty and shifting the tax burden from the middle class to the upper class.
There's more of course. And Pearlstein compares Obama substance to McCain:

[McCain's]"comprehensive" health-care reform program consists of two pages of platitudes with no specifics and no way to pay for itself.

Oh, and this:

...he has written two books (all by himself, unlike a certain other candidate). The first offers a compelling personal narrative...The second book is a thoroughly readable, intelligent and well-reasoned discourse on politics and policy that offers a fresh perspective on a wide range of issues.

So when some one asks of Obama, "where's the beef?" tell 'em Obama's got not just the hat, but the whole herd.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Exit McCain, What Then?

David Brooks writes this about the McCain scandal today:

At his press conference Thursday, McCain went all-in. He didn’t just say he didn’t remember a meeting about Iseman. He said there was no meeting. If it turns out that there is evidence of an affair and a meeting, then his presidential hopes will be over.

Which got me thinking...what happens if in the next few weeks the affair is somehow proven? They find the straight talk equivalent of the blue dress?

Does the GOP go forward with McCain? If not, what? Does Romney step back in? An opening for Bloomberg?

Can we see the 2008 presidential campaign get any more unusual and interesting?

I have a feeling that, yes, we can.

A Conversation

Between my partner (the LTR) and I when I picked him up from work tonight:

LTR: I need to go to the store this weekend.

Me: Really?

LTR: Yeah. We're running out of staples.

Me: Yeah, and we don't want a bunch of loose paper lying around the house.

Ya know, it takes a special man to live with me for 20 years...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

But is She More Laverne or Shirley?

I think Shirley.

Less Substantial Me

I'm becoming less substantive.

The scales say this morning I've dropped 4 pounds of my recent weight gain.

Despite the best attempts of my office mates to fatten me up.

We'll see if the trend continues.

Dream Big

It might Come True. (Hat Tip: Cooper.)

Obama's Legislative Accomplishments

Note to Obama campaign:

Required reading for all your surrogates.

Extra Credit here.

Ready on Day One

Let's see what "Ready on Day One" gets you:

  1. 10 defeats in a row.
  2. Out fundraised two to one
  3. Had to fire campaign manager
  4. Had to fire state campaign chairman for making sleazy attack
  5. Oops, didn't file enough delegates in Pennsylvania
  6. Didn't understand the primary rules in Texas
  7. Alienating the party's African-American base
  8. Supported the most disastrous foreign policy blunder since WWII
  9. Can't keep spouse on message
  10. Failed to have a "Plan B" when coronation strategy didn't work
  11. Resorted to Giuliani Plan to win in Texas and Ohio after that tactic failed miserably for Rudy only weeks ago
  12. Losing support of key constituency to a candidate your campaign has described as a "fairy tail" who is all fluff and no substance.
Yep. She's ready, alright. Ready to remain the Jr. Senator from the state of New York.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Snow in Your Nation's Capital: Panic!

UPDATE: We got probably less than an inch of snow. I biked home with the snow softly falling and it was beautiful. I've wanted to bike in a snow shower all winter and now that I've got my wish, come on spring! Of course, we're supposed to get a bit of a winter storm tonight and tomorrow and right now it's 21 degrees. Look for more panic and turmoil here tomorrow after the white stuff falls.

Everyone who lives here in DC knows we overreact to snow or the threat of snow. It's a common inside joke. And though we know we overreact we keep doing it.

The weather service has issued a snow advisory for this afternoon meaning we might, just might get snow. A whopping one to two inches.

We're one hour into the advisory period.

It has not started snowing.

But we're already losing our minds. Here's what's already been canceled (read this list and know, if terrorists really wanted to bring Washington to its knees, forget dirty bombs. Drop a couple of inches of snow on us):


» Calvert County Public Schools- No after school activities (Wednesday) » Charles County Public Schools, Charles County - No afternoon and evening activities. (Wednesday) » Charles E Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville - 2 hr. delay - All afternoon and evening activities cancelled. (Wednesday) » Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County - No after school activities, evening school and community activities. Day care program will remain open as scheduled. (Wednesday) » Prince George's County Public Schools- Cancelling all after-school and evening activities. (Wednesday) » The Newport School, Silver Spring - All evening activities are cancelled. (Wednesday) » Woodstream Christian Academy, Mitchelleville - No afternoon activities and no after care. (Wednesday)


» Naylor Road School, Washington - Closing Early - Closing at 4 p.m. No after care. (Wednesday)


» Adat Shalom Torah School, Bethesda - Hebrew school cancelled. (Wednesday) » Church of the Atonement, Silver Spring - All evening activities cancelled. (Wednesday) » First Baptist Church, Upper Marlboro - All evening activities are cancelled. (Wednesday) » Har Shalom Religious School, Potomac, MD - No religious school (Wednesday) » Ironworkers Local 5 Apprenticeship School, Upper Marlboro - All evening activities are cancelled. (Wednesday) » Musical Theater Center, Rockville - No classes held tonight. (Wednesday) » Ohr Kodesh Religious School, Chevy Chase - closed - No classes. (Wednesday) » Quality Time Early Learning Center, Silver Spring - Closing Early - Closing at 5:30 p.m. (Wednesday) » Temple Sinai Religious School, Washington, D.C. - No classes this evening. (Wednesday)

Cosmetic Surgery?

I'd think twice

SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: clicking not recommended for those with heart conditions, pregnant women, or MattyDale who often speaks of cosmetic surgery longingly and lovingly.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

Grade School Attacks

Don't Hillary's latest attacks on Obama seem worthy of, well not even the schoolyard:

Miss Johnson -- Barry's stealing Pat's words!

Miss Johnson -- Barry won't say whether or not he'll take federal lunch money!

Miss Johnson -- I'm desperately clinging to power and grasping at straws!

The last shrill shriek of the Clinton campaign? I hope so, but am not counting on it. Yet.

Sir Realities

It's Monday, President's Day, the Federal Government has declared a legal holiday and I have to work.

Thus it's ever been on these Faux-Holidays. And these days always take on a surreal feeling as the city feels not like a weekend but not like a workday either. And of course the building cafe is closed interrupting my morning ritual of buying their coffee and flavored water to go with my oatmeal.

Add on top of that a very un-February like day of 65 degree temps and an unsettled feeling in the air; add a dash of not having slept well the past two nights and what you get is a feeling that the world just isn't right. Like you're viewing everything through a lens of surreality.

Days like today remind you what creatures of habit we are; that if even the most trivial and banal matters of routine are interrupted how out of whack things seem. And such is predictability is a hallmark of modern, middle-class life. We not only know where our next meal is coming from, we know how it will taste and how much it will cost.

This is one reason why September 11 left such a scar on our psyche. The attacks threw the world off its predictable pattern. Airplanes weren't supposed to be weapons. You didn't get up to go to a normal workday only to be killed with thousands of your fellow co-workers. Was the Subway safe? Where would a plane crash next? Would the banks be open tomorrow? You literally didn't know what was going to happen next.

I'll take minor surreal days like this faux-holiday to remind me how safe and predictable my life is. And take a moment to be thankful for it and offer a hope that such it will ever be.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Don't Tango with the Gay Penguins

Feathers are ruffled over a book that's been pulled from an elementary school library shelf in Loudoun County, MD. The book, And Tango Makes Three, is a children's book based on the true story of two New York Central Park male penguins who raised a chick together. A parent objected that the book promotes a gay agenda and the book was pulled off the shelf. Apparently it's the gay pride march of the penguins.

Let's be clear -- there is an agenda here, and the book, while obviously portraying what happens in the natural world, promotes acceptance of non-traditional families.

This is important to me because when it comes to non-traditional families, I are one. More to the point, my son has two mommies and two daddies. For him, it's all he's known, works for him and couldn't be more natural. I've watched with some amusement when he's told strangers that he's going to see his "moms" and they work through that plural noun and decide he misspoke or they misheard.

I cringe at the day when he gets teased for the first time because his family is not like everyone elses. He will one day know the ridicule of those who beleive his family is immoral and not normal. I can see the day when he comes home from school with tears in his eyes and says "Mommy they said you're going to hell because you're with Mama!"

Let me interject here that people are entitled to their religious beliefs, including ones that say being gay is an abomination. If people want to teach their kids to ignore the wide body of scientific evidence for evolution, that the Earth is flat and that the union of two men or women who are devoted and faithful to each other is inherently morally inferior to the union of two cheating and deceitful straight spouses, so be it.

But keep your prejudices out of the public square.

A public school need not and should not cater to religious prejudice, especially when it comes to protecting the children. And that's what the Tango book does. It's a public reality that not every child is raised by one loving mommy and daddy. The public school serves a legitimate public interest when it tries to teach acceptance of families that don't look like your own. As one Loudoun County parent put it in today's WaPo story about the controversy:

There are all types of families. "We happen to be a mom and dad and a boy and a girl," she said. "But sometimes you have a grandmother and a mother, sometimes you have just a dad, sometimes you have two moms or two dads. The important thing is that it's a family of love."

My son is a happy three year old, surrounded by the love of two great moms and two dads who try hard. He's happy with his family situation and will be, until he encounters the bigotry that is pulling the Tango book out of the Loudoun County School, as one day he will. I would like to think he will confront that bigotry in a public environment that teaches respect for differences, not one that sends the message that some kinds of families are shameful and should be censored.

Meanwhile, my partner, who's been away this weekend, comes home this afternoon.

I'm looking for a little penguin love...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hash Run

Jimbo.Info (whom I ran into at the gym today -- and he's looking tan, rested and hairy after a brief respite in Florida) blogs about a practice I didn't know about:

Some hash runner douche bag left a pile of powder on our garden wall this morning. Did it occur to you to ask first? For those of you who don't know, a hash run is a retarded excuse to drink, popular in DC, where the participants run from spot to spot throughout a city and then drink afterwards. What is the fucking problem...why can't they just drink alcohol without running like normal people? I don't get it. Anyway, the retarded hash runners leave piles of flour or orange drink mix as checkpoints. I secretly hope our Q street gang gives them shit when they run down our block. Or maybe some shoes from The Shoe Tree will fall on their heads.

Seems like a bad way to work off a good buzz.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Office Wants Me Fat

When I turned 40, my weight (on my 6 foot 1 inch frame) had ballooned to 237. Recognizing that a slowing metabolism and an aging body were only going to accelerate my decline into obesity, I decided to do something about it.

That something was biking to work and adopting a low carb diet. I've stuck with it, the weight came off, reaching a low of 185. Besides losing fat I also toned up, adding muscle. I'm currently about 195 and would like to lose the fat I still have around my middle and get back down closer to the mid 180s.

My willpower is not the best and I avoided temptations to stray off plan when I worked at home by not bringing anything bad to eat into the house.

Now that I'm back in an office, my co-workers have conspired to fatten me up as if I were Hansel or Gretal sitting in a cage sticking a twig out so the witch will think I'm thin and keep feeding me (am I remembering that right?).

Every birthday we have a cake. And not some cake off the assembly line at Giant. This is a gourmet cake of immense proportions, often with creamy cheese icing that is a personal favorite. Despite the fact that we are a small company it seems there is a birthday EVERY week. Hell, we had it twice one week because the owner of the company was gone for someone's birthday and the decision was made to have a second cake so boss man didn't feel left out.

On top of that, every week, sometimes twice, management orders out for pizza, or Chinese. On Valentine's Day someone brought in homemade heart shaped cookies with the tantalizing cream cheese icing with red sugar sprinkles. And earlier in the week someone else brought in chocolate chip cookies that are made fresh daily in the cafe in the building's basement.

And just when I thought it was safe, someone snuck a bowl full of M&Ms with cute little hearts on them into the kitchen.

Enough with the sugar and fat, people!

If I have to go near the company kitchen I repeat my mantra "what you don't eat you don't have to burn off." I'm thinking of bringing a scale into the office. Not that I would weigh myself here, but just to have it stare menacingly at me if I even think about plopping a dollop of creamy cheese icing in my mouth.

Oh hell, that cookie just looks too good to pass up. Liposuction, anyone?

Enter Bloomberg?

But wait -- didn't we try this already?

The theory among those urging him to run for president is that a businessman who rose from Wall Street to build his own financial information empire might be particularly appealing as the fiscal crisis worsens.

Willard Mitt Bloomberg, anyone?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Top McCain Adviser Won't Attack Obama

A top adviser to John McCain says he will quit if Obama gets the Dem nomination:

"I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama," said McCain adviser Mark McKinnon in an interview with NPR's "All Things Considered." "I think it would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign."

"I met Barack Obama, I read his book, I like him a great deal," said McKinnon. "I disagree with him on very fundamental issues. But I think, as I said, I think it would a great race for the country."

Democrats: Obama's nomination, even the prospect of it, is changing the political landscape. How can you reject that?

Maybe Hillary IS the Gay Candidate

This is pretty gay.

Michigan and Florida

It begins. Al Sharpton fires an opening shot in a letter to DNC Chair Howard the Scream Dean:

Some have said that not seating delegations from Florida and Michigan disenfranchises Democratic voters -- especially African American voters -- from those two states. That claim, if true, should have been made many months ago before the decision was made to strip these states of their delegates, and, once the decision was made, it should have been vigorously objected to and contested by those who felt it disenfranchised voters. To raise that claim now smacks of politics in its form most raw and undercuts the moral authority behind such an argument.

Drudge has the full text.

An Answering Machine in Maine

Courtesy DailyKos

[Beep!] Hello, this is Barack Obama reminding you to come out and caucus for me on Sunday. Together we can bring hope and change to America. Thank you.

[Beep!] Hello, this is Hillary Clinton. If you agree that we need a new direction in America, please caucus for me on Sunday. I have the experience needed to hit the ground running on day one. Thank you.

[Beep!] Hi, Barack again. Did Hillary just call you? Look, she and I were friends before the primary season and we'll be friends after. But right now she's just acting crazy, understand? Vote for me and I may let you stand next to me at my inauguration.

[Beep!] Hillary here. Barack's feeding you a line 'o crap and he knows it. Not only will I let you stand next to me at my inauguration, but I'll give you the cabinet position of your choice. You have to admit, that's pretty sweet. Love ya!

[Beep!] Hey, it's Barack. Love ya more. Wanna be my VP?

[Beep!] Oh, he's not gonna make you vice president and he knows it!

[Beep!] Will too!

[Beep!] Will not!

[Beep!] This is Chelsea Clinton. Have you seen my mom or my dad? I'm supposed to be at a rally with 'em but there's no one here. Today's Nebraska, right?

[Beep!] Hi, this is Oprah. Despite what the Clinton campaign says, I am not going to crush your skull between my thighs if you don’t vote for my man Barack. That would let you off too easy! Hint hint.

[Beep!] Hi, Barack again. That wasn't Oprah. That was Hillary pretending to be Oprah. You see how these people work? I think it's... Oh, wait, it was Oprah. Never mind. Vote for me!

[Beep!] Hi, this is Chuck Norris. I'm hiding behind your bathroom door, and as soon as you come in to pee I'm gonna break every bone in your Defeatocrat body. I'll start with your femurs.

[Beep!] Hi, this is Mike Gravel. Chuck's hanging by his underwear from a hook on the back of your bathroom door. The police are on their way. Wish I could stay but I've gotta stop a meteor that's hurtling toward Earth. Have a nice pee.


In the Clinton Coalition:

In the Chesapeake Rout, according to exit polls in Maryland, Obama won:
Latino Voters By Six Points: 53-47
All Religions (Including Catholics)
All Age Groups (Including Seniors)
All Regions
All Education Levels

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


After all the words I've devoted to Obama here I finally got to vote for him in the Potomac Primary (or Chesapeake Primary or Crabcake Primary as I've heard it called).

I was expecting a huge crowd but there was only a small line. I worry -- is it because I live in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood and they're sitting it out? Or maybe because there's only one race on the ballot things are moving quickly?

I see a neighbor. Are there more younger African-Americans in line than I usually see? I think so. A reporter is interviewing a white woman. She's for Barack.

On the way to work (driving, this morning) I hear Bill Clinton on the local news talk station. He's good. The low income working families who really need change are for's the people who have it made want to ignore the accomplished one and bring in fresh leadership. Or so he says. I've seen Bill close the sale for Hillary in Nevada and he is a good closer. If I were undecided and I heard him I would probably vote for her. The news announcer says Sen. Kerry and Sen. Kennedy will be on later for Obama. Are these really good closers for him in the DC area?

I'm nervous.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened at the Clinton Rally

From Marc Fisher:

T he candidate was more than an hour late, and the crowd, stuck in a stuffy high school gym in Arlington, was getting antsy. A campaign staffer took the stage with a big pile of T-shirts to give to those who answered trivia questions about Hillary Clinton.

Her birthplace? Got it. Her law school? Piece of cake. How much of the country would Clinton's health plan cover? "All," came the answer. Okay, final question: "This person is the next president of the United States . . ."

Suddenly, all around me, the bleachers in the Washington-Lee High School gym shook with shouts of "Obama!"


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Earth to Brian May

Yes, he was. Very.

Peggy Gets It

Peggy Noonan gets Obama, in a way many Democrats do not. Her latest WSJ column is getting a lot of play for the "Mrs. Clinton is losing this thing" paragraph, but I was drawn to the end of her essay:

With Mr. Obama the campaign will be about issues. "He'll raise your taxes." He will, and I suspect Americans may vote for him anyway. But the race won't go low.

Mrs. Clinton would be easier for Republicans. With her cavalcade of scandals, they'd be delighted to go at her. They'd get medals for it. Consultants would get rich on it.

The Democrats have it exactly wrong. Hillary is the easier candidate, Mr. Obama the tougher. Hillary brings negative; it's fair to hit her back with negative. Mr. Obama brings hope, and speaks of a better way. He's not Bambi, he's bulletproof.

The biggest problem for the Republicans will be that no matter what they say that is not issue oriented--"He's too young, he's never run anything, he's not fully baked"--the mainstream media will tag them as dealing in racial overtones, or undertones. You can bet on this. Go to the bank on it.

The Democrats continue not to recognize what they have in this guy. Believe me, Republican professionals know. They can tell.

I'm not as sanguine as she is about an Obama win of the nomination. But I have hope.

Experience Matters

Jenn writes that experience is important in the next President. Here's the type of experience she thinks matters:

I want experience in being able to speak in a way that makes people listen.
-I want experience in the real world, not just the secluded world of politics.
-I want experience in being trustworthy.
-I want experience in being lower- or middle-class through at least part of adulthood.
-I want experience in cultures other than ours.
-I want experience in mediating, negotiating, and modifying a bill so it works for people on both sides of the aisle.

Do you think we can elect a candidate who has this type of experience? Yes, we can.

Can Iran Legally Waterboard Our Soldiers?

Watch this exchange between Sen. Lindsay Graham and a US Military Legal Eagle on waterboarding, then imagine you are a US soldier conducting combat missions in hostile territory. Does the military officer's comments give you comfort? It's an example of how losing the moral high ground on the torture issue will be paid for by U.S. troops on the ground.

20 Ways to Get Happy

Readers Digest offers "20 Simple Things You Can Do to Get Happy." There are actually 50 ways, but Reader's Digest condensed them.

Here's one:

Hum along. Music soothes more than the savage beast. Studies find music activates parts of the brain that produce happiness -- the same parts activated by food or sex.

So, hum your way to orgasm. Just not at one of my concerts, please.

Why are You for Obama?

Anyone who thinks there is no substance behind the Senator from Illinois should watch this clip (Hat Tip: Sullivan):

Friday, February 08, 2008


Well, I did it, biked in every day this week.

And I'm feeling it. My leg muscles feel weak and I definately slow down as the week progresses. It didn't help that I've been pedalling into 15-20 mph headwinds the last couple of days. Question: if I slow down earlier in the week will my "average" time improve? In other words, will it make my speed drop off less intense?

The Chili Contest

UPDATE: He won most unique again.

Each year the LTR participates in his company's chili contest. He always competes in the "most unusual" category. One year he tried a green chicken chili. To enhance the effect, he added green food coloring, which stuck to the chicken and turned them a flourescent green. Last year it was "A Taste of the Tropics Chili" which had a coconut milk base (it was actually pretty good). This year it's "Navajo Death Chili." Well actually, he's calling it 'Navajo Trail Blazer Chili." Either way I'm guessing we'll have a lot of leftovers, as usual. What's in Navajo Trail Blazer Chili?

Ground lamb
Juniper berries
2 kinds of chili peppers (jalapenos and the long green ones)
Green and red bell peppers

Friday Music Game

Top 10 Random Tunes on My Ipod

Old Man River/William Warfield
Brokeback Mountain 3
She Bangs/Ricky Martin
Song for a Winter's Night/Sarah MacLachlan
YMCA/Village People
Live Like Horses/Elton John
Down a Country Lane/Aaron Copland
Theme from Lawrence of Arabia
Summon the Heroes/John Williams
I Got You Babe/Sonny & Cher
Don't Blink/Kenny Chesney

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Poor Hillary

Well, maybe not so much.

A Dog's Story

In case you missed it the first time around.

UPDATE: Link fixed.

Happy Trails

Between the holidays, illness, trips to Illinois, Hawaii and Nevada, I haven't been consistent on my routine, especially the bike.

This week will be the first time in a long while that I will have peddaled every day into the office, a total of around 110 miles.

I'm looking for some good tips on stretches and stamina building. I can feel the fatigue in my muscles and I continue to have problems with my right knee (paetella femoral syndrome).

I'm looking forward to warmer weather when biking will become even more enjoyable and the daylight hours longer. I will start varrying my route more.

Reading tips in Bicycling magazine I'm working on climbs and turns. On turns I'm tucking my knees into the bike and leaning in to lower my center of gravity. It seems to work.

All in all, it's the best way to commute.

The Sum of 35 Years of Experiece


A friend last night asked over drinks about Obama's experience. I pointed out that he was able to organize and manage a national campaign, defeat two of the Senate's most experienced pols (Biden and Dodd) and stand up to withering attacks from the two Clintons and not only be solvent but bringing in impressive amounts of cash from donors.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Results

On the Dem side, it went pretty much as expected and we leave Super Tuesday without clearly victorious nominee, though Hillary still has the edge.

We seem to be going through a seesaw. First Obama wins big (Iowa) Hillary ekes out a response victory (NH). Then Obama wins big (SC), then Hillary ekes out another victory (FL, big supter Tuesday states). And I'm getting dizzy...

I would have liked Obama to have picked up a surprise victory in the NE or California. Still, his narrow win in "bellwether" Missouri was something.

Gays went for her two to one in California.

The one thing that will unite Republicans behind John McCain will be Hillary's nomination.

Stupidest thing I heard on the coverage last night: Keith Olberman: on Tennessee going for Hillary: "It was too early to call, but now it's later." No kidding.

And it's later than you think. And my fear is the Dems will nominate the retread.

But next week it's my turn to vote. Does anyone know where I can get my Obama yard sign?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Scenes from the Commute

This morning, Tidal Basin.

Michael's Meltdown

Michael of Musing's Musings and I have been trading arguments on this blog and his over Obama. I love him and he hates him though thousands of words later I'm still not sure why.

But a recent comment I left on his blog has sent him over the edge, to the point of putting words in my mouth and uttering profanities. Tsk, tsk, Michael, can't we disagree and be civil?

Anyway, he wrote this a few days ago:

Four weeks ago, the Democrats had a great field of candidates for the presidency. Now we're effectively down to two--and neither one is all that terrific an option, in my estimation. And that's depressing the shit out of me.

I felt that comment to be dismissive of two accomplished candidates like Barack and Hillary and so out-of-hand as to be out of touch with reality, I said so, we traded a few comments and ended with this one from me:

What slays me is how you dismiss out of hand both Clinton and Obama. True enough, I detest what Clinton stands for. However, I recognize the historical "first" represented by her candidacy. If she wins the nomination and election it will be because of her skill, her fluency with the issues, her tirelessness and commitment. You know my reasons, though for not supporting her. I haven't seen yours.

Michael can't actually argue my points so he invents new ones and attributes them to me:

This posting is sorta-kinda in response to this comment on a recent posting. In that comment, Scott alleges (without ever saying it in as many words) that I have no good reasons for being disenchanted with either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as potential Democratic nominees for president. I of course, am calling that comment pure bullshit.

Well, as Michael himself points out, I really didn't say that.

He goes on:

I'm fully cognizant that if, as seems quite likely from current polling numbers, trends, and other indicators, either Barack or Hillary wins the 2008 presidential election, he or she will make history as either our first black president or our first woman president. I would have to characterize voting for either one of these candidates solely or primarily on the basis that s/he will make history if elected as being among the more fundamentally galactically stupid ideas I've ever heard. And believe me, I've heard some pretty stupid ideas in my time.

I did point out that a Hillary or Obama win would be a historic first. I didn't say that you should vote for either because of their race or gender. In fact one of the reasons I'm supporting Obama is he seems to want to move us away from identity politics. Who could have imagined that a black politician mostly black audience would spontaneously chant "race doesn't matter" at a black candidates victory speech? Fantastic stuff.

Michael goes on to bloviate about who is more liberal. He doesn't think Obama is liberal.

I'm not going to play that game. Again, I think the whole point of Obama is to move us past arguments of liberal vs. conservative, or even liberal vs. liberal.

In fact, if Obama gets the nomination the Republicans will go to town telling everyone how liberal he is, and I'll gladly let Michael jump to his defense to say he is not.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Best Laid Plans

The LTR and I bought a new Jeep Liberty. We wanted to take a drive on Skyline Drive today (and hike) and I had hoped to have a cool photo to share with you of the new Jeep on the Drive. It was not to be: Skyline Drive was closed due to "Ice on the Road."

So we hiked in from the base, walked on the trail for about 4 miles, and then hiked the deserted drive back down the mountain.

And dad gum if we didn't find the ice:

VA Beach Sieze Abercrombie Ads

And cite the manager on obscenity charges for displaying this ad and others.

I guess it's a good thing they don't know what the LTR and I did in the sand dunes while camping there one summer.

Obama -- the Music Video

Bill Clinton -- Front and Center

In today's Washington Post, front page, above the fold, below a headline "The Battleground" -- this picture:

How can there be any doubt that we'd be electing not one Clinton but two, that a Clinton win would not only be a historic first but a restoration of what was.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Democratic Woman of the Year Award

Sunrise, Sunset

From DC to Illinois, Key West to Hawaii, some snapshots of sunrises and sunsets I've enjoyed over the past few years.

A Republican for Obama

She writes:

It is in this great tradition of crossover voters that I support Barack Obama's candidacy for president. If the Democratic Party chooses Obama as its candidate, this lifelong Republican will work to get him elected and encourage him to seek strategic solutions to meet America's greatest challenges. To be successful, our president will need bipartisan help.

Given Obama's support among young people, I believe that he will be most invested in defending the interests of these rising generations and, therefore, the long-term interests of this nation as a whole. Without his leadership, our children and grandchildren are at risk of growing older in a marginalized country that is left to its anger and divisions. Such an outcome would be an unacceptable legacy for any great nation.

-- Susan Eisenhower, Ike's Grandaughter

Evil Acts of Desperation

If using mentally retarded women as unwitting suicide bombers to kill innocent civillians is not evil, nothing is evil. It shows, perhaps, an al Qaida, on the ropes:

The coordinated blasts—coming 20 minutes apart in different parts of the city—appeared to reinforce U.S. claims al-Qaida in Iraq may be increasingly desperate and running short of able-bodied men willing or available for such missions.

Let's hope so. Perhaps, in a perverse way, this is another sign the surge has worked.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Naked Mile

Euro twink gets all natural for a run.

Of Course the Tenors are Gay

But how did she overlook the church organist?

One Missed Opportunity

When Obama was talking about, and praising, the Clinton accomplishments of the 1990s, he missed an opportunity to say, "But as good as it was, that's the past. I want to talk about the future."

But did you note all the substance? (from both candidates -- but we expect that of her. Some (Zac!!!) don't expect it of him).

By the way, I thought Anderson Cooper's questions in the GOP debate the other night were annoying and meaningless. Of the "gotcha" variety. For example, trying to get the candidates to trash Bush's economic policies ("are voters better off today than they were eight years ago?"). I don't see that as an instructive way to get the candidates to talk about what they think about the economy or their economic policies....and when they tried in response to that question, Cooper kept interrupting and pressing them to criticize Bush.

Anderson: Bush isn't running.