Thursday, June 30, 2005


Wither Detroit

Visteon to slash benefits

The cuts continue in Detroit as the auto parts suppliers continue to battle low cost competition from Asia. We've talked about this here at EIE for some time now, staring with the prediction a Michigan attorney gave me that the supplier industry in Michigan would soon be shedding jobs and moving production to China. I just didn't think it would be happening this quickly.


Life in the District

Sonic Booms

Ok, so I'm home after work yesterday mowing my lawn. I have on my I-pod at high volume and the lawn mowers buzzing away. Even above this noise I couldn't help but notice the roar of the passing military fighter jet as it streaked to intercept some stray plane. Pretty odd to see an F-16 banking over the fact the last time I saw that was on 9/11/01.


Immigration and Cities

Cities Losing People After '90s Influx, Census Bureau Finds

My question would be: Has the crac- down on immigration in a post 9-11 world caused immigrants to move elsewhere? Will we see the same civil strife and in our cities as we did in the 19960s and 70s, which many scholars attribute in part to a lack of immigrants to refresh population declines....


And did we joke about this too?

Bush: We Will Defend Traditional Marriage in Iraq

For the first time, Mr. Bush articulated a clear strategy for defending marriage in Iraq, including an amendment to the Iraqi constitution that will define marriage as a union between one Iraqi man and one Iraqi woman.

It's a joke I know, but funny none-the-less.


Bush is LBJ: The Speech

President Urges Patience on War--but it's LBJ, and it's 1965

Didn't we talk about this earlier?


Freedom Tower Review: It Sucks

Fear in a soaring tower
The architechural critic for the International Herald Tribune doesn't mix words. She thinks that the new design for the freedom town sucks...big time.

The darkness at ground zero just got a little darker. If there is anyone still clinging to the expectation that the Freedom Tower will become a monument of the highest American ideals, the current design should finally shake them out of that delusion

She's right of course....Let's hope it never gets built.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Some Good News:

Gross domestic product revised up to 3.8% growth



Starbucks offers free ice cream today!

The only bummer about this is that near my office, there are only about 5 Starbucks I can walk to. It'll have to do.


Hey Stella!

Stell gets back.

I didn't read the book or see the movie, but this all seems rather sad for Stella.


Meanwhile on the other side of the aisle

Jane Galt critiques the Democratic Party

...Hence the lesson for the Democratic party is that it should prioritize long term gains over short term ones, Jumbo over Dumbo. It’s losing out with voters because they don’t know what it stands for anymore – it keeps on chasing short term advantage (like Boeing in the 1990’s) and sometimes wins temporary gains, but only at the cost of cannibalizing its long term asset of party ID - voters don’t identify with the Democrats because they don’t know what they should be identifying with. Perlstein says that the Democratic Party needs to return to its populist roots, and build a coherent identity out from them.

I'm not so sure, I'd rather see the Dems return to a Clintonian centerist path, but more importantly, we as a country need policy alternatives to the current crap we're getting from the GOP majority.


New Freedom Tower Design Released

Ugly, Uglier, Ugliest...

Well, the most recent iteration of the Freedom Tower was released today and it seems that the committee of architects involved in this project are determined to make it as ugly as the original World Trade Center buildings. I wasn't a big fan of the original Freedom Tower design, but it was light years ahead of this "new" vision. Has architect David Childs seen any of the innovative buildings going up in other parts of the world? Is he still living in 1975, where unadorned boxy buildings were all the rage? It kind of reminds me of Mike Brady in the Brady Bunch (Spoof) Movies. Poor Mike's only design, whatever the project, was merely the exact replica of his house.

If this is the best we can do for this important sight, let's just leave it a memorial park.

Some of the more innovative buildings going up around the world:

Jin Mao Tower

The Burj Dubai

The Swiss Re Tower

Shanghai Financial Center

Taipei 101

The Brady House:


Editorial Round-up on the President's Speech:

Not a lot out yet on the internets, but here's a start of some of the various takes on the President's speech last night.

Mr. Bush on Iraq

Raliegh News & Observer
Signposts on Iraq: (Pre-speech)

To steel resolve on Iraq, Bush shifts from rosy to realistic;_ylt=AiB9oOsYu54sCtGKKMKyHEus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3YWFzYnA2BHNlYwM3NDI-


Today on the Space Station:

It's all about Feet

So, what's transpiring today on the international space station? That trailer park in the sky? As usual, plenty! And of course let's not worry that whatever it is they are doing, it costs us something like a trillion dollars a minute...It's the government, so we don't have to worry.

The hot project this week has to do with something called a FOOT. Likely an acronym for some fancy and important scientific instrument, I'm just going to pretend it is some research on the use of Sunbeam Foot Baths in a micro gravity environment, cause future astronauts will need them on the very long journey to Mars or whatever.

Highlights today include:

DOUG review: "Do you like Doug?" "Yes, I think I do" (Check!)

FOOT Pedal Installation: It will take a few more weeks before they figure out this is a computer mouse.

And finally physical exercise followed by my favorite, COX maintenance.

Your tax dollars at work.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Big Media Coverage

Could they be more oblivious

I've never been one to think the media has a biased as much as I've thought they we're incompetent. Tonight again confirmed my suspicions. Chris Mathews takes the cake. After the speech he comments.

"The President highlighted the links between terrorism and the events of 9/11".

Gee Chris, do you think the events of 9/11 may be somehow connected to terrorism? MORON

The issue isn't that, we know 9/11 was terrorism. The issue is 9/11 and Iraq, which has been shown, time and time again to have had no links with those attacks. Not one reporter I saw tonight questioned that.

Yes, it is true that there may be elements of Al-Qaida in Iraq now, but that's twisted logic to justify a war after it's begun. It is essentially saying...Now that we've destabilize Iraq, it is filling with terrorists and there sympathizers, so therefore, we were justified in starting the war. It's, for lack of a better metaphor, "Strangelovian".

Prior to the war in Iraq, that country was a potential threat to the United States in an entirely (and consequently inaccurate) way. Prior to the War Iraq was largely contained, dictatorial, but stable. Now it's a mess and the President has attempted to use the mess we've made to justify the war in the first place. Oh, did ya notice that there was no mention of WMD?

The reporters I watched were all gushing at the mechanics and symbolism. "He spoke clearly" "He seemed resolute"...yes, yes but we can see that, you need to put what he's saying in context for us, but that would require you to do some homework, which is way to hard.



Nothing Risked, Nothing Gained

Color Me Unimpressed & A Little Angry

Well, the President's addressed just ended and as I organize my thoughts, there are two broad areas I'd like to address. First is the President's speech itself and second, is the horrible coverage by big media.

I was half joking when I did my previous entry that Bush would again (and again incorrectly) try to link Iraq to 9/11. He mentioned 9/11 numerous times. Iraq, prior to our invasion, had no links to 9/11 and in fact, Saddam and his secular Baathist regime, was also an enemy of OBL. This heavy handed approach seemed desperate, and did not instill any confidence despite my desire to see our leader dedicating himself to the good fight. In fact what was most alarming to me was that this same speech could have been given by LBJ himself, thirty or so years ago. A more ambitious blogger will likely pull up a similar speech from the dark days of Vietnam when the President said, almost verbatim, that we were quickly training South Vietnamese to fight, and our troops would soon by home. While I'm not ready to throw in the towel and label Iraq a Vietnam (for many reasons mind you, but our failure in Iraq would have more serious consequences than our failure in Vietnam), but I am actually less confident (if that is possible) than I was prior to this speech.

I also thought it weak, that Bush passed the buck on our troop levels. If the generals tell me they need more troops, he said, I'll send them. Well, I think former Provisional Governor Paul Bremmer has said we needed more troops as have others. (I'll check into that). It played to me like the classic Simpson's episode where Bart becomes famous for saying "I didn't do it."

So where does this leave us? Are we going to be fighting the insurgents for 2, 6, 8 or 12 years and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld suggested on the Sunday chat shows? Are we going to "cut and run" by declaring a victory and leaving the Iraqis to fend for themselves- in time for the 2006 elections here in the states? I don't know. But my disappointment has increased and my concern that we're not giving our men and women in Iraq the tools they need to succeed is growing firmer by the day. I mean if, as the President said, we are fighting World War III, why are we only limiting ourselves to 100,000 troops?

At best this may slow, or pause the President's slide in the polls. American's love to give people (including our leaders) the benefit of the doubt. But we also want results or absent that vision, which was sorely lacking in this speech.


Against All Odds

NASA Set To Loose Another Shuttle

NASA looses a shuttle in 1986 due to bureaucratic inertia. 16 years later they loose another for the same reason. But demonstrating new efficiency, they seem determined to drastically slash that 16 year turn around time down to a perhaps two or three years.

You see, after loosing Columbia back in 2002, NASA did all sorts of studies on what needed to be done before they re-launched another White Elephant...err shuttle. Of course they haven't met their own guidelines, but the shuttles on the pad, ready to go! Who says the government can't improve its track record.

Safety panel: NASA failed to fix critical issues with shuttle


GOP Hubris Watch

Forget and Agenda, There are Scores to Settle!

Correct me if I'm wrong. But back in 1994, the majority party in Congress was acting all imperial, taking junket after junket and bouncing checks at the House and Senate Bank. A hard hitting 60 Minutes Report (back when news was actually news) showed fat cat democrats in the Caribbean on the tab of the people they were supposed to regulate. The GOP promised better and the American Voter gave them a chance. It worked for about a year or so.

Now, with surprising speed, the GOP is acting as imperious as the Dems did back in the early 1990s. Junkets, the Abramoff scandal and focus in non-governance issues like Flag desecration are pushing these folks beyond the bounds of traditional inside the beltway lunacy. Yesterday it took an new and more ridiculous turn when Tom Davis (R-VA) said the following:

"I think Major League Baseball understands the stakes," said Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis (R), the Northern Virginia lawmaker who recently convened high-profile steroid hearings. "I don't think they want to get involved in a political fight."

Davis, whose panel also oversees District of Columbia issues, said that if a Soros sale went through, "I don't think it's the Nats that get hurt. I think it's Major League Baseball that gets hurt. They enjoy all sorts of exemptions" from anti-trust laws.

Again, we are at war, discretionary federal spending has grown over 33% in the last four years, oil prices are at near record highs, health care costs keep going up, China is on the rise and what are we focusing on? Some stupid vendetta against George Soros? What next a constitutional amendment to prevent Michael Moore from buying the NHL's Capitols?


He Lost Me At Hello.

War of the Worlds Opens Tomorrow

And I really could care less. Oh yes, I know that this movie can perhaps help me shed my misconceptions of aliens and at the same time help me understand the plot by Nazi psychiatrists to drug up my inner-thetans. But this whole Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes thing has me longing for the days of 24/7 Paris Hilton coverage. Besides, can't hollywood make a new movie or have all the superhero scripts been snatched up?


SCOTUS: Ten Commandments Commentary

Christians Should Welcome Court Rulings on Commandments

A person of faith approaches the yesterday's ten commandments decision with intelligence and reflection.

For we Christians to insist that tax dollars be used in what often is an act of proselytization not only violates constitutional principles, but Biblical ones as well. It smacks of coercion, of using one's status in a community to force our views on others. Scour the Bible from cover to cover and you won't find God ever sanctioning the coercive imposition of our faith on others. In fact, we're called upon to share our faith with compassion, with humility, and with respect for those with whom we differ.

Unfortunately, later today, he will be declared a witch and burned by Focus on the Family.


Preview: Bush's Speech

Bush Takes to the Airwaves to Address War

With sagging ratings and a loss of public confidence over the conduct of the war, President Bush will take to the airwaves tonight to firm up the public's doubts. I imagine it will go something like this.

Good evening.

Terra, Terra.



Terra, 9/11


9/11, terra

And if all else fails, he can through in: Protect marriage, stop flag burning, liberals hate America.

oh yes, terra and 9/11.

God Bless America.

Bush to ask teetering Americans for resolve in Iraq

Monday, June 27, 2005


Goodbye Michigan

Mass exodus of auto supplier jobs begins?

This isn't one of those things I'm celebrating I got right. Back in early May, you might recall, I reflected on the general run down state of greater Detroit and speculated at a even gloomier future for the area as auto parts manufacturers became to migrate to China. Full posting can be found here:

But, judging by a story in todays USAToday, looks like the migration of jobs in this area is begninging, and is likely to accelerate as union contracts at the big auto suppliers come due.

Lear to cut 7,700 jobs, move some operations overseas

Economic reality perhaps, but none-the-less sad.


The Permit Office

D.C. Battling Boom in Illegal Work on Homes
Construction Without Permits A Side Effect of Pricey Market

Sadly, this article doesn't address the failings of the permit office and how they make the process overly cumbersome for even the most basic home improvement project. Technically, according to the inspector who visited my house, I would need a permit to plant flowers.


Above the Fold...

What's Making News Outside the Beltway.

Regardless of what most people here in DC think, those living outside the beltway aren't really waiting, with baited breath, to follow the next wrinkle or nuance of public policy debate. Here's what's making the front pages across the nation.

Walla-Walla Union Bulliten:
Program puts kids on right path

Bangor Daily News:
Tornadolike weather hits Maine

The Duluth Tribune:
Hundreds apply for gun permits

Roswell Daily Record:
N.M. teachers attend Oil and Gas Training


Could Oil Go Higher?

Unrest 'could double' oil price?

The scenario here seems a bit unlikely for now, but with oil at $60 or more for the forseeable future, one has to wonder if the major airlines and the big two (GM, Ford) will be able to avoid bankruptcy....


Will It Happen?

Rehnquist retirement will shutdown legislation...

That was the topic of conversation on a cocktail party I was at Friday. Will he or won't he and if he does, are all other legislative efforts on hold? We should know this week.

Parties Gear Up for High Court Battle

Friday, June 24, 2005


Weekend Reading:

If you're not with me edition:

Another week, another long list of things to be done here in Washington. All the bloviating this week seems to have affected the weather, which is supposed to turn hot and muggy after 10 days of blissful 70 degree sunshine.

George Bush's long hot summer
GEORGE BUSH likes his summers hot. While the Clintons used to disappear to the cool breezes of Martha's Vineyard, he heads down to the furnace of Crawford, Texas, and spends an inordinate amount of time clearing brush on his ranch. This summer is likely to be sweatier than most.

Liberals and the War on Terror? (We're forgetting something called Department of Homeland Security)
Former Democratic Congressman Martin Frost reminds us of some myths about the war on terror. Like the pesky fact that the Republicans opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, Intelligence reform and other developments. Surprsingly, this is from Foxnews.,2933,160556,00.html

I don't feel sorry for the UAW
Check out this story from this weeks USAToday on the gold plated health insurance enjoyed by unionized workers at GM. Do they contribute to their insurance costs? Nope!, Their perscription co-pay? $5, Yearly deductible? $250. All would be fine and good if they were building cars people wanted to buy. But I have a hard time feeling bad for them as GM (like all of our employers) tries to make them carry some of the burden of health insurance.

Hell hath frozen over:

A fast-selling, unflattering biography of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is drawing fire from some prominent conservative commentators, including Peggy Noonan and Bill O'Reilly, surprising both the author and the head of the conservative book imprint that published it.


Your Momma!

...And he would make outrageous claims, like he invented the question mark.

Wow! The blogs are on fire today about the asinine statements of Karl Rove. The White House Press Secretary rushed to back him up, as did Andrew Card, the WH-COS. Rove's comments followed a week of flip, over the top statements by Howard Dean and Dick Durban (D-IL). In my eleven years working here in DC, I've never seen anything like this. With all the challenges facing our country, all our political leaders can do, is essentially play an ongoing game of "Your Momma." The Republicans have much more to loose in this battle.

While Howard Deans comments (No Republican makes an honest living) weren't helpful to his cause, Karl Rove's were worse. You see, it is increasingly becoming apparent, to right leaning folks like me, (or instapundit, and even SC Senator Lindsey Gram), that Rove (as the key visionary for the Bush Administration) is a one trick pony. His M.O. is simple, divide and conquer. From early on in his campaign work he mastered the art of painting opponents as 1) Gay, 2) "Liberal" and 3) Not real Americans. His 'you are with me or against me' has permeated all aspects of the administration. The result is that the Bush Administration's agenda is in tatters.

Rove's problems are two fold. First, if your going to be out there making comments that attack roughly 49% of the electorate, you probably should have a record of success (or perhaps a plan) to back it up. His claim that "Democrats wanted to understand our enemy after 9/11, we wanted to go to war" (or something close to that) leaves a whole so big you could drive a truck through it. I mean, maybe if the administration understood our enemies better we'd have properly prepared to fight the war in Iraq. It's the same sense of embarrassment I felt when Bush awkwardly tried to attack candidate Kerry as having a domestic agenda that would put us $2 trillion more in debt (The irony is that Bush's agenda is on track to put us far more into the red than $2 trillion). Their rhetoric rings hollow when it is clearly not supported in deed. Despite his divide and conquer approach the facts remain that:
So, despite all this Jaw-Jawing, in the end Rove and his minions will have to face the voters who will have an eight year record upon which to judge the GOP majority. And it isn't a particularly stunning record. Absent that, Rove and his spawn will have to create new wedge issues to guarantee their bare majority in the electoral process, but after eight years of this, voters will start waking up and want results, not fear.

The GOP is making one of the worst mistakes you can make in politics...they are believing their own hype, and it will cost them.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


The DC Gross Reciepts Tax

Businesses are Livid

And they should be. The gross reciepts tax is a joke, it requires businesses to pay a tax (regardless of if they have a profit) to fund the building of a stadium to allow the soon to be annouced private owners of the team to make a profit. It's not a tax that will be invested in infrastructure improvements or other expenditures that would improve businesses ability to operate in DC. And businesses are fighting back. Good for them.


Final Straws

The So-Called Flag Burning Amendment

Once again the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the so-called ‘Flag Burning’ Amendment, and I find my disillusion with the GOP majority slowly tipping from disappointment to seething rage. Why? At a time when our nation is at war, when our economic security is threatened by formidable economic challengers (namely China), when Islamic radicals have targeted us for death, when oil prices are at near record highs, Congress chooses to resort to the most base political maneuver rather that address the many challenges facing our country.

What’s even more frustrating is that the amendment is much broader than the media would have us believe, banning not flag burning per se (it isn’t even mentioned), but rather flag desecration, a much more ambiguous and politically mischievous standard.

The language of the Amendment reads:

The Congress and the States shall have power to prohibit the act of desecration
of the flag of the United States and to set criminal penalties for that act

And if you need a refresher: desecrate means:

So what’s my beef? Plenty.

First off, the flag is a symbol, nothing more. To say the soldiers in Iraq (or worse [see 3rd paragraph])

died to protect our flag is probably the biggest insult to the brave men and women who are fighting for us. They are fighting to protect our freedom, our economy and our ideals, not to defend the integrity of a cotton polyester flag that was made in China, or better yet in U.S. Federal Prisons by convicts that get paid $0.20/day.

Worse still…what is desecration? In today’s victim centered society, just about any group can lay claim that some one else’s use of the flag somehow denigrates it. On the left, you’ll have groups claiming the Focus on the Family’s use of the flag in their marriage initiative efforts promotes discrimination and thus transmutes, for gay men and women, the flag into a symbol as vile as the confederate flag. On the other side, you’ll have the James Dobson’s of the world saying that the rainbow colored American flag used as a symbol of the gay community promotes a ‘deviant and unhealthy lifestyle” and is a desecration of our beloved symbol. What about women’s soccer star Brandi Chastain, her athletic bosom and glistening sports bra wrapped in the stars and stripes to celebrate winning the world cup? (Is it getting warm in here?) Pick any issue, the war, minimum wage, trade…there are always two sides to the coin and those scrupulous enough to exploit it. After all who would have thought that in 2004, religious leaders would be denying us communion based on whom we voted for.

The net result of this effort is a nation less united, one where ideologues, liberal or conservative, compete for controlling rights to one of our national symbols. I can picture the fundraising letters now,

Dear Elephant:

Just send us a contribution and we’ll make sure (insert your ideological enemy here) can’t continue to desecrate our grand old flag.”

It also begs the question of how and who will enforce the flag desecration law?

Do our local police spend time (from their busy duties of fining us for smoking in restaurants, talking on our cell phones in our cars, or not wearing our seatbelts) hunting down rainbow flags and miss-hung bunting?

What if I desecrated a flag that had 48 stars and 10 stripes?

A flag with the colors reversed?

Would this be illegal?

Or this?

Or this?

Or perhaps this?

Or even….

How I long for the days of divided government - one party in the White House and one controlling congress. Clinton may have been a letch, but the dynamic between him that the leadership of the GOP led to some of the last great pieces of public policy we’ve seen. Remember a balanced budget or welfare reform?

I had such high hopes for the GOP super majority. But all I got was $2 trillion dollars more debt, $2.50/gal gas, a just, but poorly planned war and a bunch of arrogant politicians who forgot why they got elected.

My education gives me an understanding of such political machinations, but I don’t have to like it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Your Children Will Speak Mandarin

Or Perhaps Cantonese...

While we are all focused on Iraq, gay marriage, Terri Schiavo and other issues. And our government is spending nearly $1/2 trillion more that it takes in...China continues to grow at a ravenous pace, and are focused like a laser on becoming the dominate economy in the world. It will happen during our lifetime...perhaps in the next 10 years or so...sooner if they allow their currency to appreciate.

Of course our government, even the traditionally business friendly GOP, seems more content to focus on divisive social issues and a war of questionable need than to even have a discussion on our economic future and security. When we wake up in a few years and find ourselves the #2 power in the world, we'll only have ourselves to blame.

Chinese snap up brand-name U.S. firms


What's Up with Summer TV?

Extremely Bad...

Dude, what the heck is up with tv this summer? Last night was truly depressing...I mean, "Who wants to be a Hilton?"...not me! Ever since Paris and now "Mom" Hilton became D-listers, I cringe every time I have to stay at a hotel with their name on it. (I don't think the family still owns the chain...but I'm not sure). Anyway, I now make it a point to stay anywhere but a Hilton...on the off change that even a penny of my money goes to these people. But I digress!

Not that summer is a great time to find any new shows, but there is seriously nothing on. I watch, maybe the first ten/fifteen minutes of the daily show and call it a night. HBO seems to be my only saving grace at this point. I'm giving Lisa Kudrow's "The Comeback" a change...(although her character..Valerie Cherish is sad and annoying) and I'm actually liking Entourage..especially the Aqua-Man story line. Six-Feet Under has definitely jumped the shark, but I'm still watching that too.

Worse case scenario is switching to 3 hours a day of Law and Order SVU on USA...


Today on the ISS

What's Your Sleep Number?

Well, our $100 billion dollar investment in a ''space laboratory" continues to pay massive dividends. Just look at today's space station itinerary!

Last week the crew was focused on candle installations and merging their umbical units (he-he!). This week, they seem to be focused on 1) Regeneration of absorbant beds #1, 2 and 3 (Which one can only imagine as some high tech sleep number bed, but is most likely some old craftmatic 2). My favorite remains the ten minute they have scheduled for 'pre-sleep', which here on earth we call 'work'.

Word from NASA is that if we continue to spend these billions, then spin off technologies are right around the the recent advent of self-heating soup cans.


His Love is Electric

Via DeFamer:

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Musical Baton

The Musical Baton

One of my readers passed this on to me. (Yes, Lasciate I do read your blog). Here are my answers....

Total volume of music: In a nod to one of my favorite movies, the volume of my music is 11. (You see most go to ten…) Anyway, I have some music, but probably the least in terms of volume than any of my friends.

CDs: 75-100

Cassette tapes, records: Oh so many and all probably shameful (Like T’Pau, MC Hammer, etc.) In storage somewhere. Last time I was at my parent's house I found an actual LP of Asia (Alpha), the Xanadu and Grease Soundtracks.

MP3 and various other hard drive formats: About 1,000 songs, all legal I might add.

Last CD I Bought: Actual CD purchased? The Eminem Show .(I buy all digital now)

Song Playing Right Now: Diggin’ in the Dirt, Peter Gabriel

Five songs that mean a lot to me: Father and Son (Cat Stevens), River (Peter Gabriel), Smooth Criminal (Alien Ant Farm), That Rainy Day (Astrud Gilbreto), Heartbreaker (Dionne Warwick, Barry Gibb), please note that this list would change depending on when you asked me.

First recording I purchased and how old I was: Although I’d rather plead the 5th on this one…I bought a copy of Tony Kushners Disco Hits (LP) back in 1978 ( was 9) with money I had earned cleaning swimming pools. The Shame! Still classic though with tunes like Ring my Bell, Shake Your Body, I Will Survive, etc. Great for parties.

Artist whose recordings I own on more than two types of media?
Prince. MP3 and CD. (Purple Rain[on LP], Diamonds and Pearls, 7, The Hits and the B Sides, Slave, Musicology.)

PEOPLE TO WHOM I'M PASSING THE BATON: I have an agreement with my friends that I never pass this stuff on. Sorry!


Senate Leadership: Strong, Decisive!

And we thought Kerry was indecisive.....

Frist changes course on Bolton vote
Majority leader first says no, then plans to go ahead


Summer Time, Summer Time, Sum, Sum Summer Time




DC Police Chief's Car Stolen

Oh, the irony! About 7 years ago my car was stolen. I filed a police report and waited until my insurance company declared it a loss (about 30 days). Expect, they found my car about three weeks later. The police didn't find it, the traffic enforcement people did. It was taken for a joy ride and parked illegally somewhere in the city. To recover my car I had to go to court to get all the tickets it received while stolen expunged. To do that I needed a copy of the police report I filed. The police department couldn't find it. A few more days pass and the police decide to write me a waver anyway. I spend a day in court and get my car back.

A year later, the police call to tell me that there are no leads on my car.

Good Luck chief Ramsey!


A Government Agency Lying?!

I shocked! Shocked! (not really)

Despite promising not to gather information on flyers, the government is doing so anyway. Nice.

TSA Secretly Gathered Data on Airline Flyers,2933,160179,00.html

Monday, June 20, 2005


The New Moral Clarity: Update

Rule: Marriage is between and Man & Women for the purposes of rearing children

I'm glad I'm not Catholic. Don't get me wrong, I attended a Chatholic school and most of my family is Catholic. The layity of the church are good people, it's the dogmatic leadership that I find disappointing.

It seems that the Pope, emboldened by a successful ballot intiative in Italy, might take his anti invirto campaign global. Two million loving families have been able to enjoy the blessing of children thanks to science, but the church wants to stop it. How sad. Thus, leading to an update on the "New Moral Clarity" guidelines.

Exeption: When artificial means are needed to assist in conception, that's sinful.

Vatican may campaign abroad against IVF


Nice...Isn't It?

The "Phelps Family" protests Military Funeral

These folks are sick, but I really didn't realize the depths of their depravity until I stumbled across this posting via instapundit. Apparently, God is killing American soldiers in Iraq, because the United States won't round up and exterminate gay men and women in this country. So how did Phelps and Co. manifest their opinion? By protesting the funeral of a 19 year old soldier who was killed in Iraq.

Lt. Carrie Lee French was 19 years old and killed by a road side bomb. Her family didn't need these crazies protesting her funeral. But this blog piece is very moving.


You Go Mortimer!

‘Intelligent Design’ Belongs in Church, Not Biology Class!

Here, Here! I've always thought the best compromise to this whole religion in public schools debate would be to allow prayer in school and to teach math in curch. The Holy Trinity would be a great way to brush up on your trig.

Either way, Mort has a great point here.

“Intelligent Design,” the religious alternative to Darwinism, ought to be taught in schools — Sunday schools and high school social studies or history classes. But in biology classes? No way.


Deeper & Deeper


Hmm...the current trade deficit numbers are out and for the current quarter year we're on track to buy more than $780 billion more than we sell. Nearly a trillion dollars of wealth being transfered to other countries. That on top of a federal budget deficit that will clock in around $400 billion. How much longer will foriegners and their government continue to invest in our country...which is fast becoming the GM of nations?....


I Sure Feel Safer

CIA chief: I have an excellent idea where bin Laden is

I have one word for Mr. Goss...Bull Sh*t.


Oh My!

Oil Hits $59

When did this happen? Why? Are the markets spooked by the percieved phoniness of the Tom/Katie 'romance?'... Didn't we all read last week that Saudi Arabia has all the oil we need for the near term? Guess not...At least I'm fortunate and take mass transit most places I travel...Can't imagine having a 30 or 40 mile commute with these prices.

Oil prices hit new all-time high


The Lawnmower Man

This is fun?!

One of the most dreaded chores I had to do as a teen was to mow our lawn. The hot summers and the vast expanse of a midwestern lawn seemed pretty brutal and unfair to me at the time. (Although when one is in their teens, just about everything is 'unfair').

Anyway, this weekend, I reflected on the fact that one of my most favorite chores at my house is to mow, weed and tend to my lawn. Funny huh? Another sign of being an adult I guess or perhaps because a year ago my yard was hard packed clay and dirt and is now a lush, green expanse. Either way, there is no escaping the fact that I love to mow my yard.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Weekend Reading:

The End of Western Civilization Edition:

Yes, apparently, Tom Cruise has proposed to Katie Holmes on top of the Effiel Tower. A storyline so hackneyed that it could have sprung forth from the pages of this blog. Alas, so sad and transparent is all this that it kind of leaves an Tab. Either way, it is another sign of the end times. So enjoy your weekend.

Another Conservatism
Conservatism isn't over. But it has rarely been as confused. Today's conservatives support limited government. But they believe the federal government can intervene in a state's court's decisions in a single family¹s struggle over life and death. They believe in restraining government spending. But they have increased such spending by a mind-boggling 33 percent in a mere four years. They believe in self-reliance. But they have just passed the most expensive new entitlement since the heyday of Great Society liberalism: the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Dems cheer House poll
Recent Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) polling shows that seven Republican members would be easily defeated if their reelection took place today, the committee’s chairman told House Democrats yesterday at a closed-door meeting. [But they still can't win without a plan...Elephant]

Axis of Evil: Western Hemisphere Edition: Venezuela's Chavez works 40-hour week just talking
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an outspoken nationalist who prides himself on communicating with ordinary people, spends about 40 hours a week making live television broadcasts, an aide said on Tuesday.;_ylt=AiZM1MPefQ5qfVkGTWvkbE4SH9EA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

Flashback: 1491
(I've posted a link to this story before, I reread it this week and still find it fascinating).
Before it became the New World, the Western Hemisphere was vastly more populous and sophisticated than has been thought—an altogether more salubrious place to live at the time than, say, Europe. New evidence of both the extent of the population and its agricultural advancement leads to a remarkable conjecture: the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact


Maybe I'm Behind the Times...

Since when is Atari not cool?

Last weekend, while at Target to get some supplies, I noticed they had these little Atari consoles on sale for $19.99. Cool, I thought. A little retro video chic for my media room. I was not disappointed. Twenty games like Centipede, Sky Diver, Yar's Revenge and some others (they are all basically the same, you move a digital square up, down or sideways trying to avoid some other digital square.). I remember my brothers and I playing these games for hours and hours back in the 80s. Last time I was back at my brothers house, we dusted off the old Atari 2600 to show my nephew (10). He was unimpressed.

"What's that" he said.

"That is supposed to be a Knight." I replied.

"But it's a yellow square."

"No, it's a knight, this game is called 'Adventure'....see there is a dragon."

"It looks like a duck. Can we hook the X-box back up please"

For the first time in my 35 years of existence, I felt like an adult. Nephew hooked up the X-box, booted up some star wars game (that looked better than the original movies did), put on his X-box live headset and started battling other kids from around the world. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to remember how to solve the mystery in Adventure.

The Fall of Atari

Atari Adventure

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Internet Dangers

OMG, It's Creating Cyber-Lutherans...

Leave it to Drudge to come up with a story link that discusses the views of the Archbishop of Canturbury and his view on blogs. Money quote:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has criticised the new web-based media for “paranoid fantasy, self-indulgent nonsense and dangerous bigotry”. He described the atmosphere on the world wide web as a free-for-all that was “close to that of unpoliced conversation”.

What the heck is an 'unpoliced' converstation?

It seems dangerous and we all know that we you get a bunch of lay Christians together, they tend to undermine the Church leaders authority with such nutty questions as "Why do we have to read the bible in Latin?" and "Can't we lead our own services, why do we need the guy in the funny hat."....,,2-1656135,00.html

Of course questioning the leadership of "The Church" leads to one thing...Lutherans...and we know how dangerous they are....

Bethesda Lutheran Fish Fry


Today on the International Space Station!

So Much to Do, So Little Gravity

Well, I told you I was having a slow week. Somehow my google search for porn must have gone awry and I discovered the daily 'to do' list for the astronauts living on the incredibly expensive and incredibly useless International Space Station (ISS).

What are they up to? From what I understand, they're lighting a bunch of candles and looking for the power cord for their laptop computer. Later, it seems, they get to 'interface their umbilical assemblies and do some undocking observations. (Please use protection guys!).

But as Yoda would say, "Worry not dear taxpayer!" Because at some future date all this stuff will pay off with the next spin-off technology - like even better mylar balloons!

International Space Station Daily Report:


Revenge of the Permit Office

They may go nuclear

Ok, I've decided to put off building my shed until fall, mostly because the weather here has been oppressively hot. As you know, I've been complaining about the drudgery of trying to get a shed permit from the district government. Yesterday I found out the things may be getting much worse in my neighborhood. The city is considering designating DC's Brookland area as a historic preservation district. Dear Lord! Not only would I still have to go through a permit process for just about any improvements to my property, but those applications would then have to go to a historic preservation board for approval. Yuck!

I don't know if this is a trade off I'm willing to make. A historic district designation could add some cachet to the area, but would most certainly create a nightmare of red tape.

Alas. But here's some more about the history of "Brookland" for your enjoyment:


The Bush Agenda

Wither, Shrivel, Die

Republicans say Social Security vote is unlikely

House Votes To Curb Patriot Act
FBI's Power to Seize Library Records Would Be Halted

President warns Congress to agree on an energy bill


So Much for Tele-Medicine

If at Frist you don't succeed:

Funny, the passions of a few months ago over the sad case of Terri Schiavo have now least for most of us. Yesterday the long awaited autopsy report was released. The most shocking aspect of the report is that is affirmed every decision made by every state and federal court that heard the case. More sadly, looking back are the comments of Senator Frist during the debate on "Terri's Law".

I have had the opportunity to look at the video footage upon which the initial facts of this case were based. And from my standpoint as a physician, I would be very careful before I would come to the floor and say this,that the facts upon which this case were based are inadequate. To be able to make a diagnosis of persistent vegetative state--which is not brain dead; it is not coma; it is a specific diagnosis and typically takes multiple examinations over a period of time because you are looking for responsiveness--I have looked at the video footage. Based on the footage provided to me, which was part of the facts of the case, she does respond.

Senate Transcript of Terri's Law Debate:

A Delay Late, & A Dollar Short

Or better yet, Tom Delay:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) said Schiavo "talks and she laughs and she expresses happiness and discomfort." He said she was unable to speak because "she's not been afforded any speech therapy -- none!"

Sadly, here's what the medical examiners report concluded:

Terri Schiavo suffered severe, irreversible brain damage that left that organ discolored and scarred, shriveled to half its normal size, and damaged in nearly all its regions, including the one responsible for vision [note: she was blind], according to an autopsy report released yesterday.

Schiavo's brain damage "was irreversible . . . no amount of treatment or rehabilitation would have reversed" it, said Jon Thogmartin, the pathologist in Florida's sixth judicial district who performed the autopsy and announced his findings at a news conference in Largo,

I bring these points up not to gloat, that would be morbid and offensive, rather to point out that in disputes that arise such a passion and deal with issues so personal (rights of parents vs. a husband, right to make medical decisions) that the most appropriate forum for deciding such disputes is not the political process, but rather the courts system. While our court system is far from perfect, its rules are designed to provide as fair a forum as possible to decide such matters and hear testimony so that the case and facts can be hashed out in as accurate a way as possible. In this case, a review of every single court decision will show that these forums concluded that Mrs. Schiavo was in a PVS and was unlikely to recover. The political process determined that she was merely patiently waiting therapy so that she could go out and do door to door campaigning for Tom Delay.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


This Week in God.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

How are things shaping up in the spiritual realm this week? Which sports team is God rooting for? Here are your answers.

News: Tsunami Warning Lifted After Calif. Quake
God Loves California.,2933,159596,00.html

Sports: God Loves the Nationals
Guillen, Nats Get In the Last Word
Nationals 6, Angels 3

Lifestyles: Fashion Highs and Lows of the Westboro Baptist Church.
(Via Wonkette)


Priorities, Priorities!

Vote on flag desecration may be 'cliffhanger'

Well, the deficit continues to its out of control growth, Iraq continues to fester, the CIA and DOD continue to fly 'enemy combatants' around the world so they can not torture them and now this...

The Senate may be within one or two votes of passing a constitutional amendment to ban desecration of the U.S. flag, clearing the way for ratification by the states, a key opponent of the measure said Tuesday.

Yes, let's spread 'freedom' around the world (by force if necessary!) and restrict it here at home. Funny, despite all the controversy surrounding the war, torture and Bush in general..There doesn't seem to be an epidemic of flag burning. Perhaps the Senate is under the impression its a constitutional amendment to burn fags? Who knows.

I'll say it again, The Republican Revolution: Never has a revolution cost so much and delivered so little.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Remember: They Are After All of Us

Reader Email:

I just got an email from a loyal reader with a good point I thought I'd share with you. It was a quote from the Village Voice (A paper I don't read...but my secret shame is that I can't read!) Anyway, I think it speaks for itself...

"Last week the pope condemned divorce, masturbation, birth control, in vitro fertilization, living together before marriage, and same-sex marriage. According to Bennie, all of the above add up to "anarchic freedom." The headlines the next day? "Pope Condemns Gay Marriage as 'Anarchy.' " The headlines should have read something like this: "Pope Condemns Majority of American Heterosexuals for private Sexual Conduct, Also Gay Marriage."

Again, blasting the gays is just marketing. The Christainists (as opposed to us normal, sinful Christains) want to regulate all aspects of human sexuality. They may be focused on 'the gays' but they're goal is much premarital sex, birthcontrol, invitro, recreational sex, etc.

You've been warned.


The Old Gay Mayor Just Ain't What He Used To Be

Judge OKs Recall Effort Vs. Spokane Mayor

A recall petition drive against Mayor James E. West over a gay sex scandal can proceed, a judge ruled Monday.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Craig J. Matheson threw out two of the recall allegations against West. However, the allegation that West improperly offered city jobs to men he met in gay online chat rooms should be put before voters, the judge ruled.


Above the Fold Tuesday

Nothing to See Here!

All Quiet This Week in DC
Alls quiet for Elephant this week on Capitol Hill and the Republican majority continues to flail about in its fifth attempt to pass an energy bill. Nothing I'm tracking is up for debate so I can kick back and work on other projects. But don't worry, Frist, Bush, Delay will probably soon be cooking up some really delicious proposals to satisfy the social conservatives. After all, absent an agenda and mired in an ill concieved war (Iraq), it's always best to wave the 'family' flag and blame everything on the gays.

So, let's look to the rest of America (where people have real jobs) to see what's going on.

Conservative's popularity may be problem for GOP

Detroit, MI:
Fireworks fun could cost city later
Delaying layoffs may worsen them

Louisville, KY
Will Action Sports Jump the Shark?

Midland, TX
Police seek Grandson for questioning in Abilene woman's murder

Walla, Walla, WA
An EXTRA long rideDreamed up by Walla Walla College students, this bike stretches expectations.

Honolulu, HI
Building a nation, one name at a time

San Juan, PR
El diablo es estudiante


The Nightmare is Over

Jackson Acquitted

I haven't been following this trial at all, expect for occasionally stumbling upon the court room reenactments on E!. My only thoughts are that a 46 year old man shouldn't be sharing his bed with boys. But as a coworker of mine put it yesterday..."It's not a crime to be weird." Which, judging by the verdict, is mostly true.

More importantly, we can now move on to more pressing social matters, like Paris and Paris, Tom and Katie, Brad and Jennifer, and Bush's Social Security plan.

Cavuto Wacko For Jacko


200 Years Ago, Washington Was Built on a Swamp

And Little Has Changed Since...

A Summer Swelter

Monday, June 13, 2005


Comcast versus Elephant

Cable Internet Outage Hits Fourth Week

Here's something I haven't complained about yet. About four weeks ago, my cable internet service went out. My cable tv still works, but despite changing out my modem, and two visits by the cable company, my internet service has yet to be restored. The worst part is I have to be home when they come to try to attempt to fix it. At this rate, all my vacation time will be going to the folks at Comcast.

Although you certainly don't care about this, I'll keep you posted.


Activist Judge

Former stripper wins Nev. judge election


What's the matter with Texas...

Where to begin?!
I have nothing against Texas per se, and think many of the Texans I've met in my travels are nice folk. But the news out of the Lone Star State is somewhat disturbing lately.

Seems like the stories below are another example of when the "Culture of Life" and issues of Justice meet. I think in both cases they are wrong. The pregnant teens? Probably the victims of abstinence only education...punishment of the guy seems rather harsh, especially since the girl gets off scot free. The cancer teen story is horrifying. Remember just a week ago, Governor Perry signed a 'marriage protection' bill in a church (and told gay veterans to leave the state). Apparently thought, protecting the sanctity of the family has certain limits. No word on if Senator Frist made a diagnosis via video tape.

Man Gets Life Under Fetal Protection Law
A 19-year-old accused of causing his teenage girlfriend to miscarry two fetuses by stepping on her stomach was convicted Monday of two counts of murder. Erica Basoria, 17, acknowledged asking Flores to help end her pregnancy; she could not be prosecuted because of her legal right to abortion.

State seizes cancer-stricken girl
Texas (AP) -- Child welfare officials seized a 12-year-old cancer patient from her parents, saying they were blocking radiation treatment that doctors say she needs.


Smells Like Feet

DC's Early Summer...Scorching.

Ok, many other urban locales get much hotter than DC, like Phoenix, LA, Vegas...etc. But the difference is that in Phoenix, to go to work, I'd get in my air conditioned car and drive to the office. In DC, you put on your suit, walk six blocks to the subway, then exit downtown and walk another couple of blocks. Today it is expected to be 93, with 100% humidity. It could be worse, I could live in NYC.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Weekend Reading

Flag Day Edition

Wow, Tuesday June 14th is Flag Day...Yippee. I think we are all now required to report to a public square to recite the pledge that morning and to emphasize the "Under God" part. In fact I think we are now supposed to shout it. Anyway, despite this week's lame theme, here's your weekend reading.

Evolution of the United States Flag
No one knows with absolute certainty who designed the first stars and stripes or who made it. Congressman Francis Hopkinson seems most likely to have designed it, and few historians believe that Besty Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, made the first one.

Goodbye GM:
General Motors has announced that it will lay off 25,000 workers in its home market, in an effort to arrest its decline. This will help, but GM may need to pick a more serious fight with its unionised workers if it is to survive as a world-class carmaker

Consumer Vertigo
A new wave of social critics claim that freedom’s just another word for way too much to choose. Here’s why they’re wrong.

Pre-9/11 Missteps By FBI Detailed
Report Tells of Missed Chances To Find Hijackers

Price remarks by Toyota chief could be illegal
For the second time in about two weeks, the chairman of Toyota Motor in Japan said the automaker is likely to raise U.S. prices and give struggling Detroit car companies room to raise theirs — a comment U.S. antitrust experts say is ill-advised and borders on illegal.


Filibustering Presidential Nominees

What about up or down votes on all qualified nominees?

Hmmm...just weeks out from the crisis over the Democrats use of the filibuster to block judicial nominees (over things such as abortion), Republican Sam Brownback (KS) is blocking a Bush nominee for our Ambassador to the OSCE, despite the fact she is a long time republican...because she is pro-choice. Again, don't do as we do, do as we say.

The far right of the GOP requires 100% compliance with their dogma or else, that's no way to maintain a majority.

An Up-or-Down Vote?


Dealing with DC

Permit Office 2, Elephant 0

Late postings, I know. I spent a good part of the morning at the DC building permit office trying to obtain a permit to build a storage shed in my back yard. Although it was my second visit, it was still unsuccessful. Although I brought a completed (10 page permit application) and had typed up my 'run-off mitigation plan' (required by law to protect the Anacostia River/sespool), I was told I had to obtain a certified survey plat of my lot. Of course the only certified survey plot of my property can be obtained from the city plat office for a nominal fee of $30 and a three week turnaround time. Did I mention I only want to build an 8ft. x 8ft. storage shed?

So, after reviewing the building code I discovered that I don't need a permit if the storage shed is less than 50 sq. ft. So, I found a plan for a 6ft x 8ft. shed on the Georgia Pacific website. I'm still guessing that despite the fact that the law says I don't need a permit, my friendly neighborhood building inspector will still pay me a visit to give me a citation (not an award mind you!) anyway.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Everything is fine, fine I tell you!

Army Headed to Recruiting Shortfall

GM plans to cut 25,000 U.S. jobs

Stocks Slump Amid White House Forecasts,2933,158919,00.html


Walking to Atlanta

A Piece of Cake

Okay, so I was frivolous enough to buy a ticket to fly to Atlanta and back yesterday, solely for the purpose of gaining silver elite status on Delta through February. Silly, probably, but as I mentioned, I fly lot as part of my job, yet I don't fly enough (like a true road warrior) to rack up the points to get elite I thought it was worth the investment.

Anyway, my experience yesterday with the Northeast Corridor transit system was one of shear joy...totally unbelievable. No waits, all connections made...easy, convenient and dare I say, relaxing.

I started out leaving my house at about 6:30 am and walking the five blocks to the metro station. Then, I traveled three stops to Union Station in DC where I pretty much walked right onto the regional Amtrak train to Philly. I got off the train at Philly's 30th street station and had less than a five minute wait for the R1 train to the airport. Got on my plane to Atlanta, which arrived in Atlanta early...walked from terminal D to terminal B and got a return flight home... Same easiness with the trains getting back to DC. It was stunning, unusual and made the day highly enjoyable. Sometimes mass transit works.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


I'm Leaving...

On a Mid-Day Plane to Georgia...

No postings tomorrow. I'm taking the train to Philly and then flying to Atlanta and back solely for the purpose of gaining elite status on Delta. Shameless, I know.


Elephant Today, Post Tomorrow

So I'm not crazy after all!?

You know it is hard in the new normal to criticize our dear leader without having your patriotism, religion, sexual orientation and or sanity questioned. But perhaps the long nightmare is coming to an end as it seems the public is waking up to the fact that W's second far is a bust.

Post-ABC Poll: Bush Ignoring Public Concerns
Majority Says President Distracted by Issues They Care Little About


One of these things just doesn't belong here...

One of these things just isn't the same...

Which of the missing people listed below doesn't fit? Easy...Lacy Peterson. I guess in a fit of 'fairness' the 'media' was required to do a story on a missing white, female, brunette before returning to its obessive coverage of missing white, blond females.

Natale Holloway,2933,158780,00.html

Elizabeth Smart


Lacy Peterson

Don't get me wrong, it's sad and tragic that Ms. Holloway is missing and the other women listed above all were victims of horrible crimes. But out of the perhaps hundreds of people that go missing or are murdered each year, why is it that we only hear about the blond white chicks?


Kerry: Not So Smart

But of Course We Know That...

I found this article very interesting. Seems "Smarty Pants" John Kerry's grades at Yale were about the same as W's. They both got a lot of D's. But of course after seeing his horrible presidential campaign, we all probably knew this anyway.

Kerry got slow start at Yale, transcript shows

Monday, June 06, 2005


Even Novak Agrees

An Imperial Conservative Dumps on Bush...

Ok, you may not be shocked with Elephant complains about the rudderlessness of the GOP majority. But maybe you'll listen with Conservative Blowhard Robert Novak reiterates some of the things I've been saying for over a year.

Mr. Novak even addresses and issue I've experienced directly in working with the White House Leg. Affiars office. He states:

The president, in truth, cannot take credit for all of his legislative accomplishments this year. He benefits from a well-oiled Republican organization in the House. But the major bills passed this year -- reforms governing class-action lawsuits and bankruptcy -- were lobbied to passage by "K Street" (the business lobbyists). They, not Bush, were responsible for 73 House Democrats crossing over on a vote to make bankruptcies more difficult.

My experience was similar. Working with a coalition of employer groups, we're supporting legislation that would help curb the rapid increase in health care costs. President Bush has mentioned the legislation in various speeches and supports it. But when his leg. affiars staff sat down with our coalition, the message we got was something like this....

"You know, if you guys (coalition lobbyists) go out there and round up the votes, the President will make some calls for you."

To which my comment was, "While we appreciate the support the President has given us so far, if I might remind you, if we go out and get enough votes to pass the legislation, we don't need the President's help."

President Bush likes to compare himself to (laugh) Ronald Reagan. But Mr. Reagan spent many a late night on the phone calling and pursuading members of Congress to support his legislative efforts. He understood how to use the Presidency as a bully-pulpit to forward his agenda. For all his talents (or lack there of) Bush is all talk. I mean look at the energy industry that supposedly has undue influence in this administration...they're still waiting (four years and counting) for their comprehensive engery bill.

Bush unable to control Congress


Are you getting the message yet?!

GOP Needs to Play to Strengths, Focus in Issues of Governing, Stewardship.

Yeah, I've been saying this for three years now, the GOP has abandoned the principles that got them the supermajority they now enjoy. And boy are they squandering that majority. Other than the Bush tax cuts (which for many have been eaten up by higher gas and heating costs and could soon be further eroded by increasing the FICA tax)...they haven't done a damned thing. Seriously?!

Now in the sixth month of Bush's second term, we still have nothing, other than the ill concieved and totally alienating "Terry's Law." Spending is out of control, Iraq is still festering, military readiness is at a dangerously low level....and I could go on, and on.

What do we have to look forward to as we go into the 2006 election cycle? Another crack at the Federal Marriage Amendment, A vote on the highly unpopular Social Security Reform Bill (Which Majority Leader Frist may bring directly to the Senate floor and bypass a committee vote), and perhaps, the nomination of a far right justice to the SCOTUS....

But is seems that voters are starting to get a little bit angry, like me, with the dissary with the GOP at the federal level...and they should, the GOP continues to blow it in major, major ways.

GOP Worries Ethics Issue May Hurt Party in '06

Senators Rolling Up Sleeves -- With an Uncertain Agenda,1,7991043.story?coll=la-headlines-politics&ctrack=2&cset=true

Missouri site to fly Confederate flag Sunday


OMG! Nationals in 1st!

Thanks to Sweep, a Historic First

Hooray! Things are starting to get interesting with baseball here in DC. The Nationals apparently don't totally suck and I've got tickets for next Sundays game!

Friday, June 03, 2005


Weekend Reading

Deep Throat, EU Non!, Etc. Edition:

Wow, a rainy day has put me into a Carter-era malaise. So, no real unifying theme for this weekends reading selection. Merely, a potpouri of articles.

Dream machines
CHINA has begun to enter the age of mass car consumption. This is a great and historic advance.” So proclaimed the state-run news agency, Xinhua, last year. Environmentalists may feel a twinge of fear at this burgeoning romance with motoring. But a rapid social and economic transformation is under way in urban China, and the car is steering it.

Ditch euro and bring back lira, says Italian minister
As Europe reels from two 'No' votes against the EU constitution, an Italian minister caused a further stir today by calling for Italians to be polled on ditching the euro and bringing back the lira.,,13509-1639872,00.html

Man sues over exploding toilet in West Virginia
A man who says he was severely burned when a portable toilet exploded after he sat down and lit a cigarette is suing a general contractor and a coal company, accusing them of negligence.

Fossil solidifies T. rex link to birds
Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur that died 68 million years ago has provided some of the strongest evidence yet that birds are the closest-living relatives of dinosaurs, scientists said Thursday.


We asked for it, We got it!

What do you get when you don't vote the economy.

Ok all you rabid right wingers, this is in no way an endorsement of John Kerry's candidacy, but rather just noting that my wonderful party, known for its economic stewardship has really blown it and we have no one to blame but ourselves for not, as they say, 'voting the economy.'

2000 to 2004 was lack luster and growth remains below potential. What has the GOP super majority done to move us forward? A comprehensive energy policy? (NO!), cutting federal spending (No), focus on reducing regulations that make America less competetive? (NO).... No what we've gotten was a vote on Terry Schiavo and the nuclear option. That's it. As I've said before...Never has a revolution cost so much and delivered so little.

Payrolls up only 78,000 in May; services business slows


Cloudy, Rainy, Lazy

Waiting at Home

Late postings today are a result of having to wait at home for a contractor to come and pick up a bunch of debris from my yard.... My internet connection at home is on the fritz...thus the delay.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Justice Posner?

A Unifying Candidate, But Bush isn't About Unity

Instapundit links to an interesting article that discusses how Bush could achieve victory on the next Supreme Court vacancy by nominating well respected and libertarian leaning Justice Posner. Posner is widely considered one of the greatest legal minds of our time, and as a former law student, he's decisions are impressive.

But what instapundit and his friends are missing is that, save for No Child Left Behind, President Bush's policy strategy (or what passes for one these days) isn't about consensus or unity, it's about building the barest majority possible by exploiting electoral divisions...FMA, Nuclear Option, ect. While it's a good idea, it doesn't reflect the reality of what this administration is all about.

The Next Supreme Court Nominee


Everything is Fine! Fine!

Sunshine, Lollypops and Rainbows Everywhere.

At Air Force Academy, Cheney Talks of 9/11
Evoking the memories of Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Cheney called upon a new generation of military officers Wednesday "to hunt down the terrorists before they can hit us again" and declared that the United States is on course for victory in the war on terrorism.

Pentagon delays release of May recruiting data
The Pentagon on Wednesday postponed by more than a week the release of military recruiting figures for May, as the Army and Marine Corps struggle to attract new troops amid the Iraq war.

Suicide car bombs kill 16 in Iraq
Three suicide car bombs killed at least 16 people and wounded 53 in Iraq on Thursday morning. One attack targeted bodyguards for a deputy prime minister, one targeted a U.S. diplomatic convoy, and the third killed a political leader in Baquba, police and government officials said.


Is Tom Cruise the New Jacko?

Jacko Jury Set to Begin Diliberations: Search is on For New Celebrity Freak.

Just months into his tenure as chairman of Paramount, Brad Grey is facing the sort of decision that makes Hollywood executives quiver: whether to proceed with production of the hugely expensive "Mission: Impossible III," even as its star, Tom Cruise, is puzzling associates and members of the public with his behavior while promoting another Paramount venture, "War of the Worlds."

Wednesday, June 01, 2005



Can We Please All Agree on One Thing?

The United States is a country of 300 million people. I would hope that our pool of prospects for future presidents would be deeper than running anyone with Clinton or Bush as a last name. What a sad state of affairs if we go from George H.W. Bush to William Clinton, to George W. Bush to Hillary Clinton to Jeb Bush.

As much as I think our country could really use a female president, I make this promise now... I'm not supporting any more dynastic candidates for the presidency.

Senior Bush plugs Jeb for president 'someday'


The GOP Agenda?

What have you done for me lately?!

Gee, seems to me that on the short list of 'major' accomplishments during the President's 2nd term we have only 1) "Terri's Law" and 2) Bankruptcy reform as the benchmarks. (Am I missing anything?) Neither of which are particularly energizing for me or anyone else save Randal Terry and MBNA.

Now today comes talk about raising the FICA tax limit and cutting benefits for the 'rich'. While someone making $1 million or so a year may be rich...$90,000 to $140,000 a year in a city like DC is chump change. (Trust me!). I don't mind paying higher taxes to save Social Security, but why do my and other folks benefits have to be cut as well.... It's all so...TED KENNEDY!

And this is the Republican Revolution?!

Can the rich save Social Security?



Deep Throat Revealed

Hmm...lots of buzz about this little peice of history. Seems the 50 plus set is all atwitter about this. I was like 4 or so when this all transpired (as were a lot of Americans) comentator said.."So what...our generation was born after the great disillusionment of Nixon. As a result we've had a more cynical (and perhaps more informed view) of government."

I agree. It's kind of like those numerous and painful "Elvis" specials on CBS lately...



Crazy Busy Week

Dude! Congress is out of town, which usually means that my work load slows down a bit and I can engage in a bit of "Google-pear*" during the day. Not this week. The action items keep coming like a bad episode of Dr. Phil. Alas!

*Google-Pear: Refers to the act of googling odd or obscure things merely as a means of 1) coping with a slow work day, or 2) procrastinating on a busy work day. e.g.- Today was a total google-pear day at the office.


Meetings, Meetings, Meetings...

All over town...

Sigh... I have a bunch or morning meetings around town this AM...postings will be around lunchtime.

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