Monday, May 31, 2004


Small Town Memorial Day

Elephant is back, refreshed from a journey to the Midwest. Saw the best Memorial Day parade ever. The local town folk did what they've done every year on this date. The high school marching band led a small parade down main street. WWII Vets, fire trucks, girl scouts, more fire trucks and some horses. No politicians! The parade went through the town, then stopped at each of the local cemeteries to honor sons and daughters kills in various battles. No Bush this or Kerry that, just a town remembering its own. After all, regardless of who is in office, it's not the politicians that fight the wars, it's us.

Friday, May 28, 2004


Memorial Day Retreat

I'm fleeing the city to avoid the growing number of cicadas and (unrealted to cicadas) the massive influx of WWII veterans for what promises to be a huge (and well deserved) weekend of memorials, celebrations and dedication of the new (and kind of bland) WWII monument. Thanks to all the vets! Have a good weekend!

May or may not post.


A Good Perspective from the Economist

Rumblings from the Right

The Economist hits the nail on the head, so to speak, on where we are right now in the election process. What are Bush's challenges?, What are Kerry's? A straight forward op-ed on what's happening.

Thursday, May 27, 2004


Conservatives Attack Senator John Warner?!

Shame on your Senator Inhoff

We're bringing freedom to Iraq. Gone are the days when a dictitorial government abuses its citizens without any accountability. Err...Maybe. Have things gotten so bad that the GOP is now questioning the integrity of one of its most respectible members, Senator John Warner?! First McCain, now Warner...the purges have begun.

What makes us different from two bit dictators is that when we do things like the prisoner abuse scandal, we investigate what went wrong and hold people accountable, or at least that's what I thought we did. Fixing this problem is key to getting public support back up. Don't sweep it under the rug.


Factoid Friday

Risk Management

The number of people killed in car crashes each month exceeds all of the fatalities in airline crashes over the last 40 years.

Traditional Values

The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

Would you like fries with that?

In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2001, they spent more than $110 billion.

Fiscal Responsibility

Every month since September 2003 that National Debt has increased by $1,700,000,000 per day or $19,670 per second.

Amount by which federal subsidies to U.S. cotton farmers last crop-year exceeded 2001’s U.S. cotton sales: $300,000,000*


Estimated acres of forest Henry David Thoreau burned down in 1844 trying to cook fish he had caught for dinner: 300

*Haper's Index


An UN-Believable Party!

Looks like the efforts to reform the U.N. are paying off!

U.N. missions painted as booze-soaked orgies>


Less Filling/Tastes Great Politics

I talked about this in my first posting on EOTE. Fox Commentator picks up on this thought and goes farther.,2933,121029,00.html


Note to RNC: Stay on Message

Oh and then there's this lovely response from the RNC.>

Yes, these people get paid a lot of money to be or work for our leaders. This was a huge missed opportunity for the RNC. With Gore's rant there was an opportunity to insert the President's message from Monday into the media again. Something along the lines of "Despite Mr. Gore's comment's the President has a vision to fullfill our promise to bring Democracy to the Iraqi people....(short summary of Monday's talking points)". This would bolster Bush's position and strengthen his message from Monday that's already getting lost. But instead the RNC staff chose taunts.

This wouldn't have happened if J.C. Watts was still crafting communciations for the GOP. He understood leadership, but that's probably why he was chased out of the party.

I'm niether pro-Gore of Anti-Bush (The Elephant is on the Edge), but I think it's fair to all of us to demand better leadership from Bush, Gore, the RNC, etc.


Note to Rush, Go Back to Betty Ford

One should not get the impression from below that I think Al Gore should have kept his mouth shut, criticism of the administration is needed (and easy). I think Gore's delivery was the problem. I'm also disappointed, but not surprised with Limbaugh's response.

I wrote Limbaugh off a long time ago. Back in the 1990's in fact when he took his frustration of Clinton out on then 13 year old Chelsea. Remember that, showing a picture of an awkward 13 year old and then a dog. Yeah, that's impressive Rush, it takes a big man to go after a 13 year old. Anyway, that was the end of his credibility for me. But yesterday Rush's response to Gore's critism amounted to a call for fascism.

Huh? We're fighting an enemy that allows no dissent from its dogmatic view of the world. One that controls and censors its own media. Our strength as a country is our diversity and I mean that on many levels. (E Pluribus Unum!) It's this messy annoying and sometimes cloying debate that is our strength. This mess is the fountainhead of new ideas that propel us ahead economically, socially and militarily. Bush is a strong enough believer in his purpose that he won't be suaded and he may even get a few more ideas Rummy's not sharing with him.

As for our adversaries, they should not underestimate that this bickering family called America closes ranks when you attack us on our soil.


Note to Kerry, Don't Follow Gore's Lead

If it's one thing we have enough of right now it's anger and disappointment. This anger and disappointment is almost palpable and is floating around on both sides of the aisle. Some of us are sad that Bush is president at all, some disappointed at the rational and conduct of the war, some at the media's coverage of the war, and some at the inept stewardship of the budget by spendthrift Republicans. We get the anger, but thanks for reminding us anyway Al.

I read Al Gore's fiery speech yesterday before I saw it. What will be lost in his over the top delivery are some valid points Gore tried to raise. Some say it was a wake up call to Kerry to get angrier in his campaign. I think that would be a mistake. Dean tried the angry thing, it was cathartic for a while, but what we really need is rational discourse and policy options. Polls indicate that a majority of Americans feel that the country is moving in the wrong direction (although I doubt there is a consensus on the 'right' direction). Shouting and accusing is fine, it's our right. But winning the White House requires more than shouting, it requires cogent policy options and vision. Kerry should continue to focus on building a clear picture of his vision for a Democratic presidency and repeat ad nauseaum. That's the key to winning.

Gore's Comments:>

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


The New York Times Is Stealing My MoJo!

Read it on Elephant Today or Four Days Later in the New York Times

Sunday night I typed up a short review of a refreshing good Simpon's Episode. Today, the NYT's runs a story on that same episode. Of course there's is much better written, or maybe its all just made up stuff....Anyway, a good article about a great show.>


Who Thought This Was A Good Idea II:

And another thing! What is John Kerry thinking? Oh I get the fact that from the nomination to the election there is a limit on the amount of money he can spend, and the Democratic Convention is well over a month before the Republican Convention, but please...I can see the commercials no..."Only John Kerry could be for running for President, but against accepting the nomination." Earth to John, we need a competitive election and a debate, focus! Even the Washington Post laughed at this one.>


Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

As discussed in the posting "Let's Export Lou Dobbs" I don't really have a problem with job migration to lower cost countries. Creative destruction and reinvention have long been key to the vitality of the U.S. economy. (Although we probably could do better on retraining programs). But regardless, when you're a politician raising money for your campaign, part of which is based on how many jobs you create, it's bad politics to send your fundraising call center to India.


Tuesday, May 25, 2004


The Washington Times Takes on Chalabi

Of course one would expect harsh criticism of the adminstration's reliance on Ahmed Chalabi to grace the pages of the New York Times, LA Times or Washington Post. But it seems that the Elephant wasn't the only one distressed by our reliance on Chalabi despite repeated warnings he was a two bit crook. When the Washington Times publishes an op-ed like the one below, you know things aren't going well.


Cruel Summer Update:

The timing raises some flags for me, but it looks like Candidate Bush isn't the only one who will have a cruel summer. "Coincidentally" the day after his speech it's now being reported that there may be plans for a large scale terror attack in America this summer involving chemical, biological or radiological weapons. Remember the frenzy in February 2003 when we were all running out to buy duct tape and water?

Again, back in February we as a nation were embrioled in a heated debate over invading Iraq and it got ugly. Now were in a critical juncture in both Iraq and the election and here we are again. Perhap's I've been in DC to long to dismiss the coincidence, but then again our enemies are crazy in a cold, calculating way.

From an undisclosed location.....


Waldo Spotted at L and 17th Streets

On my way home from the office I swear that I walked passed Waldo from the "Where's Waldo" school of literature. Tall skinny guy, nerd glasses and a red and white stripped shirt. I think he saw that I was on to him.


Strike A Pose

Polling data seems to indicate the immediate response to the President's address to be more of the same, you like him or ya don't. But it was surprising how swift the reactions from all quarters were. Iraq's governing council wants more authority, France and Russia remain standoffish (although Bush did call Chirac which is good) and Senator Clinton called for expanding the army. Odd times indeed. It will be interesting to see how the posing and jockey-ing for position by all the players pans out.


Bush Helping "Big" Oil?

Ok, I've been doubtful and skeptical of the Bush Administration since launching this blog, so in the effort to give credit where credit is due, here's some good news.,2933,120862,00.html


Cruel Summer Prelude

As I mentioned before, the President has a tough summer a head of him. Iraq's transition to sovereignty, gas prices, the 9/11 report and the continuing drip of prison abuse photos. And Bush continues to slide, although we're a long way off from the election. Interestingly enough, Bush's decline in support can now be attribute to loss of disaffected Republicans (like me...see link below). If Bush wants to weather the hot summer he will need to move to the middle, start talking taxes, spending, social security and education. Continuing violence in Iraq, coupled with high gas prices/inflation and continuing trumping of divisive issues will set the stage for another disastrous 1992-like convention.

Monday, May 24, 2004


The Scandal Creeps Ever Higher

Interestingly enough, during the President's address the Pentagon announced that it was considering replacing General Sanchez, the top military officer in Iraq. Fox News is actually reporting it as a done deal. Sanchez has been widely alleged to have known about the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. This is called burying the story, kinda like when Bush announced his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment and the same day Cheney announced that future Social Security benefits would be cut.

The article below claims that after 13 months, Sanchez is due to return home. But the timing is highly suspect. It will be questioned and prolong the story. Drip, Drip, Drip.


EOTE Readership Up 400%

Good News, EOTE readership is up 400%! Yes, today we had 52 hits from 8 unique IP addresses! So that means besides Donkey, Elehpant, Midgie, and Bronson four others have checked us out. I think they are tuning in for the ongoing and dramatic Bronson-Elephant debates, or maybe just to laugh. Who knows, who cares...Thanks for reading!


Darn It, I Missed the Swan!

Oops, I was so busy watching the president try to pronounce the names of Iraqi prisons that I missed the finale of the Swan. Have you seen this atrocity. "Ugly" women are given am extreme makeover and then compete in a pageant. A lot of the contestants keep saying over and over how their life will be so much better if they just looked different. Egad!

Which brings up a good question. Is it just me or has anyone noticed the disconnect between FoxNews and the Fox Network. One has shot to fame by defending a decent society and upholding moral values and the other plumbs the depths of decency even for the Elephant. For example at 8:00PM you could catch Hannity and Colmes debated the importance of marriage and then flip over to Fox and watch my Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance. (Where the Bride has to lie to her parents about marrying a looser to win $1,000,000.) Then there is the Swan and Playing it Straight. My mother taught me an important lesson that has served me well here in DC and applies equally well here. Don't pay attention to what people say, but what they do....


A Good Start

The President did a good, not great, but good job tonight in reminding the public of our mission in Iraq. The only awkward moment was his three different pronunciations of Abu Ghraib, but I think that will pass unnoticed. The speech provided a preliminary outline of the road ahead and a heavy tutorial of why we must succeed. We needed the former, we know the later.

The speech emphasized in numerous points how Iraq will be a fully sovereign nation come July 1st. At the same time acknowledging that the U.S. will continue to lead the multinational forces in Iraq and our forces will remain indefinitely. With violence likely to increase, as the President noted, the is a real danger that the transfer of power to the new Iraqi government will appear to be merely symbolic. U.S. Soldiers will still be fighting the fights and dying. Such dissonance could cause problems in the months ahead. But Bush's talk tonight was long in coming and much needed. He needs to continue to define the fight, or it will be defined for him.


Can Bush Regain the High Ground on Iraq?

Power abhors a vacuum and a vacuum is the best way to describe the Administrations handling of the Iraq War. For those of us who originally supported the President based on claims that Iraq’s WMD were an imminent threat, we’ve been left out to dry (like so many Tony Blairs) these have been harrowing months. The most recent and damaging distraction of prison abuse photos has cut to the bone on our back up argument that the invasion was justified on human rights issues alone. Further undermining Bush’s leadership is that our “Ally� Chalabi, whom we paid $340,000/month, turns out to potentially be nothing more than the two bit crook people warned us he was.

Bush has not done a credible job of managing the issue for the public, but is that about to change? His address tonight will hopefully answer some questions on the future of Iraq and what the plan will be. But, there seems to be widespread agreement that we need to finish the job, Senator Clinton is even calling on the Senate to increase the size of the military for Pete’s sake. Aren’t the larger issues here why are we there in the first place and what’s being done to fix are clearly faulty intelligence services? Will we get the visionary Bush that called on Congress to step up funding for AIDS in Africa or the crabby marmish Bush of the ultra-lame 2004 SOTU address? It will be interesting to see how fine a line he will walk. With not only Democrats, but also Republicans asking some tough questions Bush will need to provide some answers as well and should try to avoid making the speech too political. Bush’s one remaining strength is his ability to be underestimated, he needs to draw on that strength now.


Moderates Fight Back

Roll Call is reporting that as ultra-conservative groups like the Club for Growth continue to hammer away at republican moderates, moderate groups such as the Republican Main Street Coalition are fighting back. That’s good news. Republican’s are increasingly moving away from the mandates that got them elected. One need only to look at the Elephant’s rants to understand that. When McCain questions the continuing orgy of spending and has his patriotism called into question, you know things are getting off track. In 2000 the Republican Main Street Coalition’s PAC supported only one candidate. This cycle they have a war chest of $1.6 million supporting 21 moderate Republican candidates. Hooray!

More info on RMSC can be found here:

Sunday, May 23, 2004


Jonathan Edwards for VP

Yes, I think that Johnathan Edwards would make a great VP. Not for Kerry mind you, but for Bush and not Senator John Edwards, but noted author and preacher Johnathan Edwards. Oh, he's been dead for sometime, but I mean Cheny has his health problems too. With a buzz about McCain as the hot cross-over ticket, Bush could achieve a masterful counter stroke by digging up Ol' Reverend Edwards. The benefits are two-fold. First, moderates like me could potentially be confused into thinking it is Senator Edwards and throw our votes to a seemingly balanced ticket. The Religious Right would of course understand that the man a heartbeat away from the presidency is none other than the famous author of "Sinner's in the Hands of an Angry God" which could serve as both a domestic policy statement and a new foriegn policy. I quote "That world of misery, that lake of brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God...and you have nothing to stand upon...; there is nothing between you and Hell but the air" Orange Alert! (Wink)


New Feature: Left Coast Notes

Left Coast Notes

By Midgie Cramblin, Professional Skeptic

There’s really not much difference between LA and DC, except you see fewer trucker hats and Ugg boots in DC, and strangely, DC has better Vietnamese food.  Both are cities that have one dominant industry. LA has the entertainment industry, and DC has politics. Denizens of each city operate under the illusion that their industry is the Most Important and that the rest of the country waits with baited breath to see what is going to happen next in their city, seldom realizing that most people in the US consider people in politics and the entertainment industry slightly lower on the food scale than telemarketers or dentists.
I pay a lot of cold hard American cash to both the entertainment industry and our government, and I want my money’s worth. I want a quality product delivered to me, and I want it without sermonizing, preaching, intrusion and mentions of the baby jesus.

So, that’s easy with the entertainment industry. I can avoid “The Passion of the Christ� and “Rudy� and “Touched by an Angel�, and any “very special� episode of a sitcom.

It’s getting harder and harder with the current administration. I don’t need the government to regulate who is marrying whom, or who is screwing whom. I don’t need the government to tell me I can’t look at porn, or listen to Howard Stern, or smoke marijuana. I don’t need the government to protect me by censoring poetry or artwork. I am perfectly capable of making these decisions for myself.

What I do need from the government is to do their job. Balance the budget. Improve schools. Fix the roads.

Do all these crabby white men currently in office really think Americans need them for guidance on their personal affairs? When faced with a moral quandary, Americans don’t consult “7th Heaven� or their congressman. They do what they have always done- talk to friends, ask family members, pray, discuss, meditate, whatever.
George W Bush continues to pander to the faction of his party that seems to desire a theocracy in this country, and that just makes me itchy. Another 4 years with him in office is like being doomed to a constant loop of  “Highway to Heaven� playing in my living room. But without the soothing voice of Michael Landon.

And that, dear Elephant, is why this Libertarian is voting “Anybody but Bush� in 2004.

(Elephant thinks Midgie is on to something. Remember the disasterous GOP convention of 1992? The current 'buzz' among the chattering class here in Washington is that Bush could be victim of the Carter-Effect. Things were so bad under Carter and at the time most people feared Reagan as too radical, but Carter's impotenence led voters to conclude that, whatever the risk, a change was needed. Message to Bush, get back to real issues like controling spending, social security, improving our intelligence services.)

BIG THANKS TO MIDGIE! We hope she'll contribute more.
All are welcome to approach the Edge.....


Suggested Reading: Foresight is 20/20?

In November 2002, James Fallows wrote an excellent piece in the Atlantic Monthly about the consequences of war with Iraq. I re-read the article over the weekend and I think he pretty much deserves an award or something. If I hadn't said it before, The Atlantic Monthly is one of the best magazines on the market.

Maybe our leaders should start reading the papers they so proudly claim to ignore. But unlike Mr. Chalabi, they probably don't tell them what they want to hear. NOTE TO LEADERS: Atlantic Monthly subscription=$39/year, Chalabi's advice=$340,000/month.


Cruel Summer Update

Pretty much everyone in politics or PR knows that when bad news breaks, you want to get the whole story out and move on. Dribbling it out in little bits only give it more life. Campaigns make great use of such blunders through opposition research. Joushua Green presents a chilling and enlightening story on this in the current Atlantic Monthly.

But, as you the reader heard here first, Bush is set for a cruel summer. Elephant speculated that the ongoing investigations on the prisoner abuse scandal and 9/11 would call the Administrations coddling of the CIA's George Tennet into question. Well it turns out that Tennet and company appear to have withheld over 2,000 pages of information from the Senate during its investigation of Abu Grahbi.,9171,1101040531-641078,00.html

A sure way to keep this horrible story in the papers. Good job guys! As I said before...drip, drip, drip.


The Simpsons: Still Some Life in the Show

Did anyone catch the season finale of the Simpson’s? I haven't watched the show in a few years, it seemed to be loosing its edge, but Sunday's episode proved there still hope for one of the best social commentaries on Television.

Summary: When Mr. Burns is presumed dead after the collapse of a mountain the looks like an old man, he miraculously survives. He's disappointed to learn that the town is not mourning his death, so he buys ALL the media outlets and begins publishing pro-Burns garbage. Lisa Simpson meanwhile publishes a poetic tribute to the lost natural wonder. Her paper becomes the sole independent media outlet in town. Hilarity ensures. Burns tries to buy her out and finally turns off her power. Lisa throws in the towel, but is surprised to find that everyone in town has started their own paper. Homer tells her (I'm paraphrasing) "To think, one man tried to monopolize news with his crazy ideas, now every wacko has his own paper to share his crackpot opinions.".... In the final scene Burns acknowledges that he's learned his lesson and that no single man should have so much power, "except of course Rupert Murdoch, he's a swell guy."

Brilliant! Viva Le Blog!

This crackpot's here for the duration.


Arts Sunday

Ancient Maya at the National Gallery of Art, Buddhist sculpture at the Sackler

Took some time on Saturday to head down to the mall and hit up some exhibitions. Spending time on the mall in spring, our peak tourist season, is not for the faint of heart. Bus loads of school kids and families mill about, and of course it's hot an humid. But the trip yesterday was well worth the hassle. Stopped in to the National Gallery of art to visit The Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya.

The Maya exhibit was truly eye opening. On display were dozens of Mayan sculpture depicting Mayan royalty in various situations. The detail was astounding and more interesting were the comic book like 'glyphs' describing the images. Mayans, like the Egyptians, had a form of writing based on pictographs which were rendered with fine detail in the rock panels. A mokey holding a jaguar head and some beads, for example, was a numerical indicator. Also amazing was the fact the scholars have deciphered this writing. Apparently the Maya had an extremely accurate calendar as a result. One of the most interesting artifacts on display was a rock medallion about two feet in diameter from the center court of a Mayan sports arena. It depicted a player in full uniform hitting a ball with his hip. The Maya were, apparently, very into this ball game as evidence indicates that nearly every village had a ball court.

What's interesting about the stone carvings is their similarities to other cultures. (Elephant has visited the lost city of Angkor in Cambodia and is very interested in stone temples and such) Clearly the medium itself results in some of the similarities in structural shape and carving techniques, but more interesting was the Mayan culture peaked around the same time as ancient Khmer Civilization and its great stone cities, centered at Angkor Thom. Meanwhile in Europe, the coliseum was already about 400 years old and the Roman Empire was in tatters. Anyway, the exhibit will be touring the U.S. (next stop is LA) so if it is your town, it is truly worth a visit to your local museum to see.

The Lost Buddhas of China

Meanwhile across the mall at the highly underrated Sackler Gallery was an exhibit of ancient Buddha statues from China. Ironically the Buddha statues are from the same period (roughly 500 A.D) as the Mayan sculpture. Displayed on pedestals in black rooms with subtle lighting, the statues seems to hover in space. The roughly 40 or so statues depict various visions of the Buddha and were discovered in 1996 when local authorities were clearing a field to build a sports arena. The calm, enlightened gaze of the various statues were very relaxing. What I noted in both exhibits was how the artists portrayed images of deities in their work. Oddly enough in both Maya and the Buddhist art, deities were often depicted in groupings of three and usually in some type of depiction of death, birth and renewal. The Elephant is curious as to the number three and religion. Clearly in Christianity it symbolizes the Holy Trinity, but the triad concept seems to permeate other religions too. What is the genesis of this? How did this permeate through various cultures that may or may not have had contact with each other? Is evidence of some universal truths or traditions that permeate all cultures. Visiting museums sometimes make you think....

For More information on the Maya Exhibit:


For More Information on the Buddha Exhibit click here:


For Information on Angkor Wat try here:



I Hope She's Ok...

Elephant was standing in this very terminal just over a month ago. Returning from a weekend in Paris, I was trying to sweet talk the ticket agent into getting an exit row seat for my flight back to Dulles. While chatting it up with the agent, she commented on my new suitcase and mentioned that if she were rich she'd buy a thermos. Then she started singing "If I were a Rich Man" with a heavy French accent. She was in her fifties, very 'Mom-ish" and sweet. I hope she's ok.



The Post Agrees...

Elephant was talking about this early this week, the Post sensed the same thing..

Battle for Heartland Starts at Gas Pump

"What is the political price of a gallon of gasoline? In Sturtevant, population 5,300, the answer can be heard in the quick whistles of people as the cost of a gas purchase spins past $35. No one filling up this day at the Village Mart, or the Shell and Marathon Oil stations across the street, says their vote for president will be based solely on gasoline. But factor the price of a fill-up into what has happened to the economy in Racine County since Election Day 2000, and the price becomes more important. The unemployment rate has almost doubled from 4.1 percent to 8 percent, and 4,800 fewer people are working. Four thousand of those losses have been in manufacturing, part of 86,000 such jobs lost statewide. So when someone exhales a whistle, it's a sound that has some resonance."

Saturday, May 22, 2004


Chalabi, We Hardly New Thee

Ok, let me see if I understand this...the Iraqi exile we partnered with for intelligence and leadership in our regime change effort is really a spy for Iran? Rummy of course will 'Sargent Shultz' this "I know nothing..."... Were we played or what?


And the Battle Ground States Are....

The one problem with sleeping in on Saturday is that I always end up hearing the President's Saturday radio address during breakfast. Today he was finally talking about the economy. 228,000 jobs created in April, that's good. Interestingly enough he went through a listing of state's and gave specific jobs data. Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and North Carolina seem to be the state's focused on in his speech. I'd add Nevada, Arizona, Tennessee and West Virginia to that list.

Bush again tried to put the blame for high oil prices on Congress's failure to pass an Energy Bill citing the senate's failure to include drilling in Anwar. However, it might be noted that the House didn't include it either (and if you can't get an issue through the House, it's dead..Trust me). Besides the energy bill was a joke. Even the energy industry wasn't crazy about it. It did pass both houses but died when Republicans couldn't agree on the conference report. (Can't blame the Dems for that one.)..

Also, he mentioned that Congress should make the repeal of the Marriage Tax penalty permanent. Again, marriage is important, but apparently not important enough to provide tax incentives for people to get married. Sigh....

I'm tired about politics today. The rest of the weekend will be devoted to less annoying pursuits. Heading off to a Mayan exhibit and a Buddha exhibit at the Smithsonian today. Perhaps a review later.

Friday, May 21, 2004


Flashback... Bush's Action Preclude Drilling Off of Florida

Maybe the Democrats are playing politics, as the President indicated in last Saturday's radio address, on the release of oil from the petroleum reserve. But it seems playing politics with oil drilling isn't reserved for only the Dems, remember this? (Sorry, you'll have to cut and paste the link, can't posts links at the moment).

Why Anwar and not Florida? Why not both? I mean Florida is already kinda gross so it's not big loss.


Ahh the New York Shuttle

Why can't all flights be like the shuttle from DCA to LGA? I mean, extra legroom, a snack and about 1,000 magazines to choose from before you board. Delta even pulled out an extra plane for us today as there were a lot of stand-by folks wanting to go to DC this morning so we all got home about an hour earlier. The flight attendent even chatting it up with me for awhile, I mean here's a women who just got her pay cut by 25% and she's still being nice and professional when her whole industry is slouching towards the Wal-Mart like cheesy-ness of Southwest. Keep up the good work Becky and thanks for a nice flight.


I-pod Shame Index = Still High

Haven't used the Ipod much this week. Got on the shuttle to NYC only to realize it was out of juice. Same list of songs, same feelings of shame. Sigh....


Anonomys Comments Activated

The Elephant is still learing the ropes on this blogging thing, but I've fixed my settings so those not registered with Blogger can comment. Remember, be nice I want the FCC to let me be.


GABO Is Coming!

Well, not GABO per se, but the EOTE is opening as West Coast Office. Midgy, a true blue friend who resides in the even bluer city of Santa Monica will soon be sharing her thoughts on topics of the day. Santa Monica, a lovely seaside town, is about as removed from reality as DC is, but has a much different vibe. I promise it will be good and could even result in some good old fashioned debate. Look for it soon.


Cal Tomas: White Flag in the Culture War?

I see Cal Thomas around town a lot. He's tall! He seems nice, but I think his commenatry is about the same "C" grade level as Shawn Hannity and he lacks the populist fire-in-the-belly of O'Reilly. But somehow, for some reason he doesn't push me over the edge. I think it is because he looks like Mr. Mooney (see also, the Lucy Show). Anyway, his commentary today he acknowledges something even my loyal reader Bronson would agree with. I quote.

""Pro family" groups have given it their best shot, but this debate is over. They would do better to spend their energy and resources building up their side of the cultural divide and demonstrating how their own precepts are supposed to work. Divorce remains a great threat to family stability, and there are far more heterosexuals divorcing and cohabiting than homosexuals wishing to "marry." If conservative religious people wish to exert maximum influence on culture, they will redirect their attention to repairing their own cracked foundation. An improved heterosexual family structure will do more for those families and the greater good than attempts to halt the inevitable. A topical solution does not cure a skin disease whose source is far deeper."

I agree. Far better to tackle issues that really threaten traditional marriage and lead by example rather than (As "W" put it) pointing at the sliver in someone else's eye when you have a log in your own.

Could there be a truce? Or at least an opportunity for more dialogue and less shouting?

Let's hope so.


Six Degrees of Reality Television

I did catch the Apprentice on NBC a couple of times, I wasn’t impressed it’s no Amazing Race. Oh, the Donald is a showman, but the show seemed kind of lame. Never the less, as I arrived at LGA today the Trump 737 was on the tarmac about fifty yards away from the Shuttle terminal. Couldn’t see any contestants, but did see mike booms and cameras.


Charming, yet Haunted

Everywhere you look in Sleepy Hollow is a Norman Rockwell portrait. From the church steeple to the Victorian mansions lining main street, this place is Americana on a stick. I arrived just as school was getting out and parents were there to meet their kids and the local police were watching traffic to make sure everyone got across the main drag ok. Nice, now if that guy on the horse would just stop chasing me.

Thursday, May 20, 2004


I Think He Scored Big with the Bow Tie!

Tucker Goes Huffington

Crossfire's been on a downward spiral ever since Michael Kinsley and Pat Buchanan left the show. The current slate of lightweights (Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson) may be splitting up (It's be great if there were some behind the scenes Ike and Tina drama driving this). According to the Hill Tucker is heading to PBS (where preppy men with an affinity for bow ties are really appreciated) for his own show. It's called Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered and it's supposed to be totally non-partisan..yeah right. He's also expressing regret that he supported the Iraq war calling it a "total nightmare and disaster" This answers the perplexing question, could PBS be more boring? ...yes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004


I'm Losing My Head

No, not really, just jetting off for a speech in Sleepy Hollow! Not quite as scary as the Highway Bill, but scary none-the-less. I'm guessing the event is BYOP. (Bring your own pumpkin.)


Bush's Cruel Summer

Having already spent roughly $50 million on ads, the President still finds himself in a near tie with Kerry and unfortunately for Bush, the summer seems to be conspiring against him.

First, more disgusting photos have emerged from Iraq (and probably will continue to drip out) embarrassing the military and alienating middle America. As Rumsfeld put it, these acts of a few are "Radio-Active" and will continue to eat away at the public's confidence in our mission. On June 30th Coalition forces are scheduled to hand over control to the Iraq provisional authority, but the security situation is far from stable. A delay will be met with increased skepticism and a rush to hand over could see increasing instability or even the new government asking us to leave.

The 9/11 Commissions report is schedule for release in July. It is likely to embolden the critics of our continued intelligence failures. Not only the failure to pick up on clues leading to 9/11 ( And as far as I know the only person in the intelligence services to loose their job over 9/11 was the agent who discovered Mousi in Minneapolis) but also the "slam dunk' case on WMD in Iraq. (Note: The recent Sarin incident may be a scintilla of evidence, but I doubt that the potential four liters of Sarin are enough to justify for the public the expenditure of more than $200 billion and 700+ lives).

Then there are gas prices. High gas prices will be a daily reminder to us car loving American's that all is not right in the world. Bush's refusal to release even a small amount of gas from the petroleum reserve will be heavily criticized and won't play well on main street. And of course increased gas prices cause the price of everything else to shoot up as well, especially in Bush's rural/Mid-West base. Not to mention increased cost of airfares (and don't forget the massive delays at security because Republicans nationalized security screeners then cut back their funding, but I digress).Bush suggested today that had his energy bill passed, we'd be enjoying more oil from Anwar, but the Elphant's contacts in the energy industry indicate that it would take at least ten years to bring those supplies to market. Of course there were those oil leases we sold off of Florida, then bought back at inflated prices shortly before Jeb's re-election, but that wasn't brought up so I won't mention it either.

Of course there's the buzz in DC that Bush will be making another MAJOR speech about expanding the space program, but its a safe bet to think that this will go over like a lead balloon (and with NASA safety record that's an apt metaphor). Yes, Mars is the answer- a red planet for a red America!

Clinton, for all his faults, was gifted when it came to 'feeling our pain.' In such times of change, sometimes all we need is a little Reagan-like reassurance. We're doing the right thing in Iraq, I am working to improve our intelligence community, I vetoed the absurd highway bill and I'm releasing oil from the petroleum reserve would be a good start. If not expect to see much more blue on the election map.

(Cheesy Analogy Alert)

Bush has his chance at a bite of the apple, but he should work to ensure that it doesn't result in a spell of continued Snow-White-paralysis that even his "Rove-ing" Prince Charming cannot break.


Foot in Mouth Award

House Speaker Lectures Former POW McCain on Sacrifice and War

Is Dennis drinking again? I mean telling John McCain about sacrifice and in defense of continued fiscal responsibility. Shameless.

Hastert Money quote:

"If you want to see sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda (two Washington area military hospitals). There's the sacrifice in this country. We're trying to make sure that they have the ability to fight this war, that they have the wherewithal to be able to do it."

John McCain spent five years in the Maison Centrale (Hanoi Hilton) during the Vietnam War, he understands sacrifice and fiscal responsibility.

(Sorry, link function not working you'll have to cut and paste.)

NOTE TO LEADERSHIP: It's ok to listen to McCain, he's a Republican.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


It's strange to see soda cans with different language

This headline grabbed my attention, but the article made me somewhat sad. A different view from the field in Iraq. Hang in there Captain....


Two Stories, Same Person? You Decide!

Director of public works involved with every aspect of maintaining city infrastructure|1&week=21&-Max=1&-Find

Machete-wielding man arrested by Minot police


There But for the Grace of God.....

They would have liked to sponsor 40 candidates, but that $80 million settlement for the pedophilia scandal forced them to tighten their ...err...belts. Nice how the church is out to destroy marriages.... sigh....

WWJD? WWBD? (The second one is for you KKM)


Speaking of Teens Who Make A Difference: That Sounds Dirty III

Yes, yes... I have no family, but at least now I have a smelly used duffle bag and a note.

"Makensie Snyder has personally touched more than 32,000 youngsters in foster care"


That Sounds Dirty Wendnesday II



Man Composes a Cicada Song

We all know local news is joke right? If it isn't some teen making a difference, or a spunky senior citizen (whose upset about something), then it is the helpful advice on coping with every conceivable nuance of weather...."It's cold outside...wear a hat!" or "It's hot, so drink plenty of water!". This story from News 4 (They're working for me, but Channel 7 is on my side) really takes the cake. Anyone looking for a date on July 29th?

P.S.- I think he's wearing comfy pants!


That Sounds Dirty Wendnesday!

Hmmm.... Maybe a new feature. But thanks to the all powerfull Wonkette for this one. (I'm sure she won't mind, she has thousands of readers, I have two).....

Later, when he wasn't piloting Navy fighter jets, Mr. Rumsfeld won the All-Navy wrestling championship, catching the attention of the U.S. Olympic team. That much we knew.

"He was [a great] athlete," says Jim Martin, the 68-year-old president of the 60 Plus Association. "He was a crew-cut congressman then. I was the pitcher, he was the catcher. And we're talking fast-pitch."  (Washington Times Insider)


What Ever Happened to Fiscal Prudence or GWB=FDR?

One principle that pushes me into the Republican camp is their claim to be the fiscally responsible party. However, that seems to be a fading principle in the increasingly spend-thrift ways of the Republican super-majority. According to a recent CATO report, "Total federal outlays will rise 29 percent between fiscal years 2001 and 2005 according to the president's fiscal year 2005 budget released in February. Real discretionary spending increases in fiscal years 2002, 2003, and 2004 are three of the five biggest annual increases in the last 40 years."

Yes, we had a mild recession and yes we are at war (but remember war costs are 'off budget' items), but starting with a roughly $1.7 trillion projected surplus and turning it into a roughly $400 billion plus deficit is a joke. And unlike the deficits under Reagan and Bush, we can't point to irresponsible Democrats in control of the fiscal machinery. Where's the budget hawks?!


U.S. won't tap oil reserve to ease prices

Iraq going south, gas prices shooting up, President Bush misses an opportunity to take leadership on an increasing important domestic issue. His Father released oil from the reserve during the first Gulf War, so the fear of creating a precedent is moot. Great chance for his opponents to paint him as out of touch.


A Kerry Policy Statement I Support

Part of being a strong leader is taking action that may be purely symbolic, yet comforting to we the people. The current rapid surge in gas prices was an opportunity to show leadership on economic issues and Bush missed his chance. He could have announced, like his father during the first Gulf War, a release of some of the strategic petroleum reserves to cool the markets while highlighting recent economic growth. Instead, he called on Congress to pass the FMA. (Ironically on the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education)

Kerry's announcement is a break through message for a campaign that seems to have been languishing. Good for him. A competitive race will be good for all of us.|top|05-18-2004::07:06|reuters.html


Neither Bush/Kerry Would Score Well In the Job Market

Interesting article on how Bush or Kerry would fair in today's job market. For those of us who have been 'consulting' at some point during the last four years (The Elephant spent 20 months doing just that), it's a bit uplifting.


Call Me Comfy

Hmmm. I seem to have become addicted to comfy pants. When I'm not working or out and about, I am lounging one of my growing pair of cotton or flannel pajama pants (most likely purchased at Target). It all started with a pair of penguin pants purchased by the Elphants good friend in LA. Now the collection has grown from penguin pants to banana pants, Hawaiian pants, or plaid pants topped with a beat up old t-shirt.


Coping with Brood X

The local media is a buzz with stories about the hatching of Brood X, the large batch of cicadas that emerges every 17 years. The city is crawling with red eyed insects that emit a high pitch screech. But my question is, how do we tell which red eyed, screeching insects are cicadas and which are members of Congress? Just asking.

Monday, May 17, 2004


Tim Russert: Drama Queen

Did anyone besides me catch Sunday's Meet the Press Interview with Collin Powell? Did anyone think that Tim Russert was exploiting a communications error to create controversy and make himself look ever-so-important?

Powell agreed to a remote interview on Meet the Press. I've both done and observed my former bosses on such interviews. The person sits in front of a camera with an earphone connected to the studio. The hapeless aide cannot hear the interviewer and must rely on their instincts to guess when is the best time to pull their boss by the arm to their next interview or meeting that they are already a half hour late for. I'm guessing that's what happened here, very common from my experience. Also, I've met the aid in question on a few occasions and she's a great person. (For those who didn't see here's a link to the story )

Here is what I've heard from my State Dept. sources:

Emily could not hear the interview -- only Powell's responses -- and they were doing 3 shows that morning with the same crew. She kept saying "wrap it up" and "last question" and when Powell finished his answer to (the second to last question) she had the camera moved so Powell could get powdered before the next remote. She didn't stop the interview because she didn't like the line of questioning -- she couldn't hear them.

Russert's going on and on about how "this shouldn't happen in America" is helping Emily since they think Russert is milking it.

Funny, with so much material out their to indict the administration Russert would have to resort to manufacturing controversy to make himself look better. The worst part is that the segment was pretaped and could have easily been edited.

Stay Strong Emily!


Compassionate Conservative of the Week: Governor Ehrlich

Having been fortunate enough to travel extensively around the world, I've had the unique experience of finding out what it is like to be completely illiterate in another country. Seems that Governor Ehrlich is missing the point here and slandering a poor sole whose only apparent crime seems to be having a job.

Foxnews reports that

Last week, state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer openly complained about a McDonald's cashier who couldn't speak English, and followed it with criticism of the separatist bent of multiculturalism.

Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich followed it up with the comment, "Once you get into this multicultural crap, this bunk, that some folks are teaching in our college campuses and other places, you run into a problem."

"With regard to this culture, English is the language," Ehrlich said. "Can [immigrants] obviously honor their ethnic traditions and languages at home and other places? Of course. They are not mutually exclusive. The point here is there is a major distinction between ethnic pride, which is appropriate, and multiculturalism, which is damaging to the society in my view."

In all likelihood this poor McDonald's worker is working hard (for pennies) and probably trekking to English classes at night. It takes a while to learn English, especially at a level that would stoke the ego of someone so important as Comptroller Schaefer. NOTE TO GOV: It's not a conspiracy. Of course Governor Ehrlich is probably fluent in several languages. (And yet we in the GOP wonder why we can't score votes with immigrant groups...) Sigh...


Power Lunch Monday: Le Paradou

The Elephant's first guest feature and hopefully a Monday tradition. The Donkey provides insights into DC power lunch hotspots. The premier review is below, enjoy.

The Donkey Brays:

DC Dining

Washington’s restaurant scene is truly one of the best in the country. In the DC dining experience, anything is possible. And there are so many opportunities for good meals, great meals, and even extraordinary dining experiences. A new restaurant in DC, Le Paradou, is great with hints of extraordinary.

Le Paradou occupies a cursed space that has seen Bice, Villa Franco and Maloney & Porcelli open and close within a scant few years. It could be that they all used a Pennsylvania Avenue address when the space is actually on Indiana Avenue. Or it could be that (since Bice closed) the concepts for the restaurants just weren’t that exciting.

Le Paradou just might break the curse. The look of the restaurant is elegantly simple. On a recent visit, huge vases of enormous branches full of cherry blossoms filled the center of the space that was otherwise dominated by clean lines and sleek tables and chairs.

Service is something Le Paradou has perfected. It’s fun at lunch to be greeted by a tuxedoed server who asks, “Would you care for a cocktail before lunch? Not, of course, with the intention of inebriation, but simply to celebrate your day?� Something civilized about that. And the gracious attentiveness never ebbed. Even better, it never lurched over the edge to being too much.

All that said, the food is what gets Le Paradou knocking on the doors of extraordinary. Among the appetizers is a wonderful morel mushroom soup in which float delicately seared scallops. Or a gazpacho that features a lobster claw on a bed of avocado in a zesty tomatoey base.

Entrees are elegantly plated and live up to the fantasy. In describing the seafood selections, the server told us when the fish was caught! Wild salmon, never farm-raised. A delightful sea bass, simply grilled. Everything delicious. My favorite was a duck breast, cooked perfectly and served with a boudin blanc that made me glad I studied French.

Desserts were a little heavy on the chocolate side (not my favorite). However, the apricot baba was an experience I look forward to repeating. I truly hope the curse of the space is broken and we’ll be given the time to savor this latest incarnation.

You can find Le Paradou at


Maybe it is End of the World Monday

Hhhm, my post below was clearly a joke, but events overnight seem to be testing that assertion. Oil climbed to new highs, the head of the Iraqi governing council was assassinated and Asian stock markets plunged. Does anyone still think that Iraq is going well? Bush needs to do two things and fast: 1)Open up the strategic petroleum reserves (symbolic gesture at best, but perhaps enough to calm consumers), 2) Address the nation on the prison abuse scandal and lay out clear reasons why we are in Iraq and what our plan is. (Assuming we have one).

Sunday, May 16, 2004


End of the World Monday

Gay Marriage becomes legal in Massachusetts Monday. I say, big deal. I think the economist sums it up best, see link below. But the question remains, will W and the theocons use Massachusetts as a red-herring to draw attention away from Iraq and oil prices? That would be truly sad.


New Key Chain Makes Life Less Depressing

Gas prices soaring, prisoner abuse in Iraq, The Swan on Fox, it's enough to get even the toughest of us down. But I have found temporary salvation in the recent purchase of a new key ring. My $1.99 trinket purchased at the Des Moines airport is a small plastic pig to honor Iowa's status as a Pork Capital. Funny, with the recent pork laden Highway bill, I thought DC was the pork capital of the world. None-the-less, I can now cope in the near term.


Hard Working Americans Cut Deficit, Congress Determine to Increase it

As I was looking for topics to discuss today, I came across some good news about the federal deficit. Due to an unexpected increase in tax payments by hardworking Americans, the deficit for the current year is likely to be $100 billion less than the $500 billion plus projected. Of course Congress is working to reverse that... Cutting taxes (which I support) is easy to do, but what about controlling spending? What happened to the zero baseline promise (e.i- any new spending/tax cuts must be offset elsewhere in the budget) made by the GOP?


New Features Coming Soon

The Elephant has two new features that he is proud to announce. First, Elephant's Left Coast connection will be providing views from LA-LA Land and Donkey, a DC based executive, will be authoring a new Monday feature called, Monday's Power Lunch. Enjoy!

Friday, May 14, 2004


Lunchtime Focus Group = Rummy Out

My monthly lunch with lobbying colleagues digressed into a critique of Rumsfeld. A survey of the table had three votes for Rummy's ouster (ie.- 'voluntary resignation') and one vote for him staying on (and that was by a Democrat.) It will be interesting to see how this continues to play out when Rummy returns from his photo ops in Iraq.

I would be sad to see him go if only because I love to say "Rummy!" sort of rolls off the tongue... "Rummy, Rummy, Rummy"


Good Job Burt! Now Let's Scrap NASA...

It's reported by the GAO (Government Accounting Office) that every time we launch a space shuttle, it costs roughly $500 million. Remember, the space shuttle was supposed to drastically cut the costs of getting into space, but of course it didn't. It did however, allow us to send Senator Glenn into orbit to study the effects of weightlessness on the aged. (In case Florida loses gravity I guess). Anyway after spending untold billions on the shuttle, aerospace engineer Burt Rutan gets to the edge of space on his own dime. Good for him! Now may we please get rid of NASA?


Free, Mysterious Internet Access

So I am sitting in my office and we have to take our network down for about 1/2 hour. Bored, I pull my iBook (aka- my precious) out of my bag and flip it on to do some writing. Interestingly enough, I turn on my Airport card and I have full, high speed wireless internet access in my office! Could it be from the large hotel across the street? Or perhaps those deluxe apartments? Who knows, but this means that I can do lunchtime postings until whose ever wireless LAN it is installs a firewall....


Bush's Growing Accountability Problem

I've been patient with the administration on Iraq, but the prison abuse scandal is pushing me over the edge. I don't think we should turn tail and run mind you, rather I have a growing problem with accountability within the Bush Administration. First, our intelligence agencies miss important clues before the 9/11 attacks (and no-one looses their job), then we START a war over WMD in Iraq, only to find no WMD (again, Tennet still has his job). But its not only Iraq, NASA blows up a second space shuttle (pretty much for the same reasons we lost the first) and O'Keefe not only keeps his job, he gets MORE funding. Now Rummy and the prison abuse scandal. It's going to be death by 1,000 paper cuts for Bush, more on this soon.

Thursday, May 13, 2004


Let's Export Lou Dobbs

I donÂ’t watch much of the news channels. But over the last few months as I would flip around the dial (going from one rerun of Law and Order to another) IÂ’d stop on Moneyline on CNN. It seems that for months now, Lou Dobbs have been decrying the exporting of America. In fact, last night (my viewing options at the Four Points, Des Moines were limited) he noted that on the Moneyline webpage they have a listing of more than 600 companies that are exporting jobs overseas. SO WHAT!

HereÂ’s a few questions for Mr. Dobbs:

IsnÂ’t Moneyline supposed to be about business?

DoesnÂ’t it make sense to send jobs overseas that can be done better, faster and cheaper by foreign workers?

Would our economy be better off if we had protected all the buggy whip manufacturing jobs?

IsnÂ’t it the process of creative destruction and reinvention that keeps AmericaÂ’s economy growing?

I say we export Lou Dobbs. I think Mr. Pibb or perhaps Dr. Pepper (He has a doctorate after all) have a better understanding of business issues than does the Dobber.


Public Grooming

At what level does grooming oneself in public become socially unacceptable? Perhaps the example I observed today pushes the boundaries. IÂ’m sitting at National...err Reagan National Airport at a small bar noshing on some chicken tenders. A guy plops down in the chair next to me and starts clipping his fingernails into the ashtray. Egad! Perhaps next week IÂ’ll have my back waxed at TGI-Fridays


Iowa: Pretty Much What You'd Expect

Greetings from Iowa. I don't know what their state motto is, but they should strongly consider "Iowa: Pretty Much What You'd Expect." Des Moines is a pleasant mid-sized city, not too small and not too big. The country side is a lush green and the people are very nice. In other words, pretty much what you'd expect.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


Me Thinks He Is On to Something....

A few weeks ago, when the FCC was stepping up enforcement of 'indecency' standards after Nipplegate, I had an interesting conversation over lunch about how the FCC's crackdown on Howard Stern could backfire for Bush. Looks like an intrepid reporter at the Atlantic Montly had the same thoughts. Check it out.


First They Came for the Smokers...

There was an interesting ad in the Wednesday edition of Roll Call. A full page spread calling on Congress to pass legislation that would make it mandatory that any motion picture that showed people smoking cigarettes be rated R. According to Smoke Free Movies (The group pushing this idea) their intent is that "Any film that shows or implies tobacco should be rated "R." The only exceptions should be when the presentation of tobacco clearly and unambiguously reflects the dangers and consequences of tobacco use or is necessary to represent smoking of a real historical figure" So Frosty the Snowman (with his corn cob pipe, would apparently be exempt. More info at: Sadly, some people appear to have way too much time on their hands.


I-pod Shame Index = (High)

About 8 months ago I caved to intense marketing pressure and purchased an I-pod. It is an wonderful device. In fact, I'm shedding my bulky home stereo and picking up a docking station to maximize space in my small flat. I've noticed however, that my song selections border on the absurd and may be pushing the God-aweful. Here's my top songs of the week, I think this confirms it.

TOP I-Pod Plays this week:

Nowadays - Chicago Soundtrack
Fly Me to the Moon - Astrud Gilberto
It's A Lovely Day Today - Astrud Gilberto
Billie Jean (St. Bart's Mix from Nikki Beach)
Big Time -Peter Gabriel
Situation - Yaz
Don't Answer Me -Alan Parsons Project (I have no excuse to offer here)
Not Enough Time - INXS
Head Over Heels - Tears for Fears
Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm

Ok, I've surrendered all credibility here! Be kind....


Heading to the Heartland

Now that I'm up and running, I have to head off to the heartland, Iowa in fact. I'm speaking on freedom of association trends to a group in Des Moines. I grew up in the Mid-West, but have never had the opportunity to visit Iowa. Should be fun.

The Elephant


Less Filling/Tastes Great Politics

When it comes to what is presented as political debate in this country it seems all that the networks and news channels have to offer basically boils down to a "Less Filling" v. "Tastes Great!" debate. Rather than offer criticism of their own positions, we as viewers are offered a feeble if the Dems are for it, it must be bad and vice-versa. A great tool for politicians in DC. Rather than have any substantive review of their records, the media and the citizenry are caught up in the whose up, whose down horse race. My career has been in support of free-market republican principles, but I hope that I can offer more than the sad shouting heads that fill our prime time line up.


View from the Inside

Hello World! Like many of you, I've decided to throw my virtual hat into the blog-ring. Why? First off, I'm tried of having insights and conversations about Washington DC happenings only to see them pop up in the press a week later. My insights? On May 24, 2004 I celebrate my first 10 years living and working in the alien world of Washington politics. This town's been good to me. Starting from scratch I've worked my way up to be, among other things, a lobbyist for the largest business trade association in town, Chief of Staff for a Mid-Western Republican Congressman and I now work as an attorney/lobbyist on issues related to freedom of association. I mingle with the decisions makers and hear the back room gossip and rumors (some juicy, some mundane) that can all be shared now with you! Also, I've been inspired by some of my favorite blogs, and to name a few. So, sit back and enjoy!

The Elephant.

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