07 July 2006

Don't you love long periods of inactivity?

So this blog is going to take on a more personal side of my life for the next few months (who am I kidding, until I feel like stopping again...)

I'm in Hawaii for three months. Awesome, right? Absolutely. I'm here working on yet another campaign, fighting for the good of the country and the world. Or at least to make some money and keep moving up in my field while in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Honestly, it's a mixture of both, because it wasn't even my choice to come out here believe it or not. Just was kinda told. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm happy I'm here over Missouri, which is where I expected to go. Honolulu has a few things that are better than Missouri, although BBQ food is not one. But pretty much everything else...

The climate out here is amazing. It's between 70 and 85 degrees every day, sunny, and hardly any rain...who'da guessed, right? The beaches are beautiful, and I say that having only been to the west end of Waikiki (not the Miracle Mile part) and no other beaches so far. I've been told some of the others are way nicer, and less touristy, so I hope to make it to some of them at some point. If work is not terribly busy, I plan to make some trips around to other beaches, on Oahu at least.

I haven't really explored around much on my own yet. Today I took a trip over to the gym to see about signing up but didn't pull the trigger. I really would like this trip to be an awesome excuse for me to get into shape again (I trained for a marathon in CA while on the campaign last year...) It just seems like I fall into a rut when I'm in DC, and never feel like working out. That is going to change when I get back, because I'm actually planning on being in DC for longer than a few months at a time when I get back come November. But for the meantime, I am going to try to get in a bunch of runs out here, and I still want to sign up for a gym, but when I went in, it just reminded me of why I hate gyms in general: 1) who wants to work out indoors, and 2) all those meathead douche bags I hate populating the place. I'm not a fucking tiny wimp, but honestly, I hate those guys. I don't match up to them physically, and even though it really doesn't bother me that much that my muscles aren't the size of my head, I hate the guys in there that think they are awesome.


The only thing I am certainly going to have to fight off out here is a bit of loneliness. There are a few people I'm going to be working with that I'm sure I'll be able to eat some meals and speak to out of the normal work paradigm, but that only goes so far. I plan on meeting people out at bars and restaurants, like I have done in the past, but I am still not sure how effective that'll be...I don't always make a great first impression, and it's tough to shake those...so we will see how that goes. I do know one or two friend of friends out here, so I hope I'll be able to hang out with them..but again, who knows! I guess that's the theme really. But that's also why this whole thing is exciting, as it has been for me in the past. I do know I don't want to do this forever. It's so hard to create any semblance of a normal life in one spot when you are constantly travelling for long periods of time to other areas. I have the luxury of not having anything tying me down at the moment, but I don't want it to always be that way. I want to have a home that I can get used to...but that's in the future. Ha. For now, I'm hoping to enjoy Hawaii.

I still haven't gone out here yet! I've been pretty tired at night, having woken up between 6:30 and 7:30 for workouts or work-related stuff since I got here. I think another thing is that I'm also still getting used to the crazy time difference. I mean, it's 9:30 right now, not 3:30 like I keep feeling like it is. What that means is that when I'm done with work I feel like it's time to go to sleep. It's weird though, when I went to Europe I didn't have a time adjustment period like this; at least I don't think so. I'm definitely going to hit up some Waikiki area bars this weekend on the beach. Should be a good time.


13 March 2006

What made me start this thing up again, you might ask? Here's a great reason - A Bush Alarm.

I love that Bush is suddenly the global maverick of the government. His pushes for globalization in the past year are laughable at best, and easily an utter joke and insult to not only the international community he's snubbed his nose at, but more importantly, Americans.

To his critics, the internationalist approach is too little too late — the price Mr. Bush has paid for a foreign policy that seemed relentlessly focused on building defensive walls and hunting enemies. A search of the White House Web site confirms that Mr. Bush, who in the days before he took office kept the take-no-prisoners speeches of Teddy Roosevelt on a table at his ranch, made little mention of "globalization" for much of his first five years in office, even when European leaders brought it up.

Asked once, several years ago, about his aversion to the topic, one of his senior aides said Mr. Bush associated the word with "mushy Clintonianism."

This is the man who has refused to sign onto the International Criminal Court, refused to accept tighter standards on greenhouse gases, and worked at building ad-hoc coalitions in his self-created war on terror. This president now expects us to believe that we should be insulted for questioning his ports deal, a deal that would allow a country that previously allowed terrorists to roam, to manage US ports? Someone who's illegally spied on Americans? Fuck...!

"The administration has, now, to cope with failure," William F. Buckley Jr. wrote in February. "The kernel here is the acknowledgment of defeat."

Briefing reporters on Friday about Mr. Bush's coming speeches, a senior White House official, speaking anonymously because he was describing speeches still being drafted, said Mr. Bush would answer those criticisms and "explain why we and the Iraqis must finish the job together." A year ago, Mr. Bush's allies took such statements as a given. Today, that is no longer the case.

Can't wait.

Out of the darkness

Along with the rebirth that is occurring today - this being the day of 80 degree weather in early March, I feel it is my responsibility to rebirth, reinaugurate, reinvent, replenish, restore, my blog. I know you have all missed it dearly, and in response to those requests to start things up again, I acquiesce. Here we are.

06 December 2005


"Democracies are going to debate these things," she said. "But they need to debate them not just on one side of the issue - that is, how the actual activities are being carried out." They should also consider, "are we doing everything we can to protect innocent lives?"
-Condi Rice (quoted by the New York Times)

She says this at the cost of the rights of the people. Since when do natural inalienable rights stop at the border of the United States? What makes people outside our country less than us to the point we can destroy their god given privileges? We can take away one persons freedom, one that we try to impose our own ideals of freedom upon, to protect an “innocent” other’s free will. The only thing endangering the innocent’s liberty is that of a government willing to take away the rights and due process of one to “protect” another (particularly while obliterating international ally relations).

How many slippery slopes have we claimed to be destroying us? And this is the one we are all ready to fly down into a pile of shit, head first.

These people are locked away without trial, charged with speculative evidence, and kept without inspection for their safety. If these actions were performed by any other country, and that country had a substantial amount of oil, the United States would have invaded before the economy fell down the icy decline of American Business Corruption (ABC).

12 November 2005

Journalism and a rare Article

For the first time in George W. Bush’s presidential history people are not taking his words as dogma. On the front page of a newspaper nouns, verbs, phrases, and the occasional ‘evil’ adjective (we won’t give him credit for using adverbs and other literary devices) which were uttered by the President, were then unusually examined for credibility. Well wouldn't you know, candor was lacking from his speech.

Imagine a thing like investigative journalism, doing research, and not taking things at face value, the possibilities it can uncover are incredible (just ask G. Gordon Libby and his buddies). The article I attached is an example of this kind of reporting, and it demonstrates the necessary utility media provides. However, this needs to be administered in everyday practices; our general new-information and communication providers must use it more than when it is accommodating. The President is now no longer popular, and with this the news feels it can write pieces questioning his credibility. This is true, but they also had the responsibility to query into his credibility before he was unpopular, and put it on the front page when his candor was called into question. While this piece is a work of decent reporting it comes from one of the few rags that occasionally does a good job, therefore it is a halfhearted surprise the Post delivered something with integrity. Nonetheless, as a whole, I am sure Nellie Bly is rolling over in her grave at what has become journalism and its investigative nature.

So now that you have read my monotonous and mind-dumbing rambling, look at the article and see your Presidents.
  • click here
  • 06 October 2005


    so apparently it pretty much never rains out here. it thunderstormed the day after i got out here, the 20th of september, and hasn't rained since. sometimes it can go many months without rain. i suppose that's what allows for this area to be a breeding ground for these major fires that have been burning of late. the santa ana winds blow through the valley and cause minor fires to spread like wild. just this morning, stepping out of my hotel, i was greeted with the pleasent, pungent aroma of burning.

    the weather otherwise has been beautiful, if a bit too hot. today it reached the 90's again, and i believe it's supposed to tomorrow as well. unfortunately, i am told the temp is supposed to go down to the 70s all weekend, which is unfortunate, as i had hoped to maybe visit one of the beaches in nearby orange county. if it is warm enough, i may do so, or just head into la again. i've been into la twice, and been caught in several traffic jams resulting from unexplainable causes. the traffic in southern california is mind-boggling. nowhere else that i've been to does it seem like people almost enjoy the traffic, and expect it as a rite of passage, no matter where or when they are going. people in nyc will honk the time away, but here in cali, people will just idle quietly. maybe it's because they know that the weather in whatever locale they are visiting is more than likely 80 and sunny, whereas in nyc, you have just as good of a chance to be caught in a rain or snowstorm as for there to be a glimpse of the sun. however, i still am curious as to the causes of most of these traffic jams. i understand traffic resulting from road closures or traffic accidents. however, most of the time, the gridlock appears out of nowhere. it's just this over-abundance of cars, clogging up these five lane highways. the beltway springs to mind here, but even on the beltway, you can find times where the traffic volume is unlikely to cause standstill traffic in random locations. on the 10 (the major highway out here) it seems like pockets of traffic spring up without rhyme or reason, and then just as quickly dissolve. on saturday night, travelling from a friend's place in santa monica to the other side of la (near dodgers stadium), a ride that should have taken us 30 minutes took us over an hour. and it was 11PM!!

    but the bar that we went to ended up being a good time. the place was decorated in a middle eastern theme, and it was called tangier. shots were 7$ apiece, so it felt just like DC...but there wer some dancing lesbians, so that made it all the better.

    29 September 2005


    After some thought over the posting I briefly had up yesterday, I've decided to not discuss work matters on this site until after the election that I'm working on. While I have no false opinions on the fact that this site gets about 2 views a day, I also know how easy it would be for someone to find it if they searched for things related to what I'm doing. So, as not to have anything blow up in my face, I'm going to be blogging to a non-live site on work matters until after November 8th, when the California special election ballot initiatives have been voted on. At that point, I'll be uploading all of my posts on this election, in diary form. Until then, I will be blogging, but on other matters...some of it may be indirectly related to the election, some not.

    One thing that I cannot understate is the fact that I'm in California. For work. On an expense account. And it amazes and shocks me that anyone would allow this responsibility to fall to me, especially at the stage of my 'career' that I'm at. I don't know many other people my age that have been given such an awesome opportunity. Being out here is a great experience, and something that I will definitely look back on fondly, regardless of the turnout of the election. The people in this office, while I may not agree with them on professional matters, are good people. They all believe in some roundabout way on the issues that I feel strongly about. They just have different opinions on methods and effective uses of people's time.

    Another interesting thing going on out here is the California wildfires, exacerbated by the Santa Ana winds. The Santa Ana winds gust up to 50 mph or so, and strike in the area I'm living. It's pretty crazy to have that large of a gust during an otherwise beautiful day. The weather's been at or close to 100 degrees for the past week, but the winds the past day or two have been up to 40 mph. The fires are just a few miles away, but there doesn't seem to be a fear that they will spread much. So far they've only destroyed one house and killed one firefighter, which seems to be a pretty good thing.

    Other than that, work hasn't been too bad. We've finally opened up our phone banks, and hopefully volunteers will start to flow in. The people we are calling are much more receptive to us, especially when we relate to them by telling them we're union volunteers. Yesterday, we identified 315 favorable voters, and only 8 unfavorables...so it's just going to be a matter of reaching out to these people again during GOTV...hopefully that will be enough to defeat this thing.

    12 September 2005

    NYC Mayor reprised

    So, months ago I posted a few items on the NYC mayoral primary and how I was rooting for Anthony Weiner to become the Dems' choice to face Bloomberg. Looks like he's doing much better:

    After weeks pounding the pavement, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of campaign ads and a couple of strong debate performances, he has marched steadily up in public opinion polls. A Marist survey released yesterday shows him with a 30 percent share of likely Democratic voters, a statistical tie with Fernando Ferrer, who has consistently led most polls, giving Mr. Weiner his highest numbers yet in any poll.

    The problem is that no one actually has any idea what will happen tomorrow in the primary. Who will show up? How many of them? From where? How many lower-income folks, minorities, upper-class, etc... Much depends on the GOTV operation, the paid media this past weekend, and other factors...I'll be keeping my eye on it though.

    A retrospective...

    Just a quick post on a Time article that I found to be rather interesting:

    But when it did, he did not immediately show that he sensed its magnitude. On the Monday that Hurricane Katrina landed and the Crescent City began drowning, Bush was joshing with Senator John McCain on the tarmac of an Air Force base in Arizona, posing with a melting birthday cake. Like a scene out of a Michael Moore mockumentary, he was heading into a long-planned Medicare round table at a local country club, joking that he had "spiced up" his entourage by bringing the First Lady, then noting to the audience that he had phoned Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff from Air Force One. "I said, 'Are you working with the Governor?'" Bush recounted. "He said, 'You bet we are.'" But the President was not talking about the killer storm. He was talking about immigration, and the Governor was Arizona's.

    Hm... so the day a hurricane is hitting, the President is eating cake and talking about immigration with people at a country club. And we thought My Pet Goat was bad.

    07 September 2005


    First on today's docket: Hurricane Katrina

    Yup, it's the most talked about story of the day, with inumerable angles to take in analyzing it. Being the hack that I am, however, and since I've already written about the nature of the disaster from a human standpoint, I'll discuss the fact that this simply did not have to be as much of a humanitarian disaster as came to pass. From the fact that our president was on an unprecedented 5-week vacation away from DC, to the fact that FEMA didn't even begin to mobilize people to the afflicted area til 2 days after the disaster, to the fact that our president took three days to get back to DC after the disaster, the fronts on which to batter the government for ineptitude is endless.

    I am choosing to not link to outside sources for this entry because, while much of these issues have been touched on, I want it to be clear that this is entirely a posting of my own opinions, not something that I feel I need authority to. That said, however, the media has done a pretty good job of attempting to get through the bullshit and find out who's been responsible for the multitude of errors in preparaton, rescue, and cleanup. Russert in particular did a good job grilling Chertoff on MTP Sunday, asking whether he would resign and not accepting Chertoff's bullshit responses.

    Back from that tangent.
    1) LA state/NO local governments should have been more forceful in enforcing the evacuation once they realized how bad it was going to be.
    2) People that had the ability to leave NO should have. By staying they not only harmed themselves, but they also took up time that first responders had to spend on their rescue. First responders could have been saving the poor, the indigent, that unfortunately had no other way out of town which brings me to my next point,
    3) The federal government. What the fuck. How about sending in some...cruise ships, airplanes, buses, trains, fucking hot air balloons to help with the evacuation of the city. If we knew that there was going to be a major storm, why not make sure that these people got out. It's ok to invade these people's bedrooms through gay marriage bans but not to save their lives?.. And granted, we didn't know that this was going to be as bad as it was. Or even if we did, after the storm, it seemed like the brunt of the city was spared, BUT once it was quite evident that the levee was breaking, it still took too much mother-fucking time to get FEMA in there. What is the use of FEMA, and for that matter, DHS, if they are not going to be able to protect us from a natural disaster? With so much of the National Guard, troops who would foreseeably be helpful in a disaster like this, sent over to rebuild another country, what do we do about our own?

    This is such a mess of biblical proportions, it makes one wonder what the use of the government is if not to protect its own people in times of a natural disaster. And with a President who is both oblivious ("I don't think anyone had an idea that the levee was going to break") and late to work, a FEMA leader who is utterly useless, and a head of the DHS who claims to be interested in saving lives but seems more worried about damage control, and a White House AGAIN looking to pass the buck (oh it was LA's fault), this is another headless horseman. Another instance where our government, FOR THE PEOPLE, is not being led by anyone with the proper capabilities. We are a country without anyone holding the reins, in a time where we need a leader more than ever. "There are problems that we will fix because we are problem solvers." That's useful rhetoric, Mr. President, but what the fuck do you plan on doing to fix the problem? Instead of utilizing first responders for purposes they are needed for, Mr. President, you are using them for PR purposes. You are having firemen come into Louisiana to 1) hand out flyers with FEMA's phone number on it, and 2) pose with you for a MOTHERFUCKING photo. Is this what Karl Rove had you do, sir? Instead of fixing the problem, you have to make sure it looks like youre in the middle of the action? Fuck you, Mr. President. It's a shame you weren't stuck in New Orleans on vacation. Then we would have seen how quickly you would have gotten your work together.

    Here's the article about the first responders being sent into 'action.' It's quite interesting.

    My Second attempt at a comeback

    Well fuck, it's been another month since I said I'd start back up, but here I am. Major developments in the last month include an increasingly likely chance of me being sent off to California for a while to work on the AFL-CIO's anti-Schwarzenegger ballot initiative campaign, a hurricane, and me signing up to run in a marathon.

    Should I be sent out to California, I will most likely be in one of three San's: Diego, Bernardino, or Joaquin. Now I don't know too much about the latter two, but I am under the impression that Bernardino is just outside of the LA area, and being that I have a number of friends in LA, my preference lies there. San Diego would be awesome, no doubt, but there is already a sturdy infrastructure there, which would mean less responsibility for me. Should I be sent to one of the other two locations, chances are I would be in charge of an office, or at least something more significant than being a minor foot soldier. Complicating matters is the fact that I have not been given an okay to go yet, but things seem to be heading in the proper direction. Labor unions, as I've learned over the brief period I've worked for one, move slower than the slowest bureaucracies one might imagine. It's like walking in a quicksand pit. Perhaps it's just the setup of my, and some of the other, older unions, but it seems to me that there are more layers of caution tape than is imaginable. Things move so slowly from the top-down, it's a headache to get even the most minor of initiatives approved. I am amenable to power and working with the old boys' club, as it is, but sometimes there has to be a change in the machine, an adjustment to the cogs. Instead of having a legislative/political department without authority to develop their own legislative/political initiatives to further the purpose of the union, sometimes I think we are just here for the slightest possibility that we might be needed to oppose legislation from the White House. While this is understandable in the type of anti-labor government we are facing, at some point, one has to cease being solely re-active, and pro-actively work for their core beliefs while fighting against the anti-labor initiatives: in other words, a fight on multiple fronts. When a union has the type of talent in its legislative/political department that we do, doing anything less is a waste. IE, what we are doing now is essentially a waste. Am I grateful to have this job? Absolutely. Do I feel like I could be doing so much more in this position? Absolutely. I've been given a great responsibility of being in charge of a region of this country, but I could do much more with that responsibility if given the opportunity to enact some of my own initiatives or at least work towards them. I feel bottlenecked by the immovable structure of the union, the fear to fight our own battles and start some campaigns that don't relate to the singular issue that we are wokring on. Ahhhh well. Guess I wouldn't have as much time to work on important things, like blogging.

    Next, the hurricane. I'm going to devote a full post to this later today, but at the moment, I have something to get off my chest. The hurricane's aftermath has been beyond the worst handling of a natural disaster by this country's government. If we were unable to protect our own people in a time of crisis, if we could not so much as bring in buses, planes, trains, cruise ships, and mother-fucking cars, to evacuate those people that would willingly leave their homes; those poor people without their own cars, without the means to afford a plane ticket out of town; we should not be sending a dime to another country to support their rebuilding process. Why in the fuck should we be rebuilding Iraq's infrastructures, and Afghanistan's infrastructure, when we cannot even protect our own nation's infrastrcuture; when we cannot protect our own indigent? Our own people are now commonly being referred to as mother-fucking refugees. In this, the supposed most advanced country in the world. I will save the political, partisan view of this for my later post, but initially, it seems prudent to view this as what it was: a disaster. On the natural level and at the governmental level.

    Finally: I'm planning on running in a marathon. Yes, I know, shocking. I have never run competitively; in fact, I've shunned it. I never wanted to play soccer because I thought it was too much aimless running around. I guess as one grows, their views change. I am in need of motivation. I need to better myself both physically and mentally. Challenging myself mentally is sometimes difficult, due to a variety of reasons, but challenging myself physically is something I've hardly ever been able to accomplish. Simply because I typically quit if it gets to be too tough. The closest I've been to a properly trained physical specimen was during my freshman year of college, during which I rowed for the crew team. I managed to force myself out of bed at 4:45 in the morning, and run 3 miles down to the Gtown boathouse by 5:30, and then rowed for an hour or two, all before the sun even came up. Since then? I quit after one semester, for a variety of reasons, not all of which were of my own choosing...due to family circumstances and other issues, I was unsure of my ability to afford a club sport. Nevertheless, the very next year, my sophomore, I joined a fraternity. From that point on (and honestly, a bit before then), my social life improved at the cost of my physical one. Instead of working out, I'd lay about, watch tv, drink beers, or who the fuck knows what. Four years later, here I am. Oh sure, I've tried working out on my own; in South Dakota, Jason, Scott and I even joined the Rapid City YMCA; we worked out in the Travis Tritt gym for fuck's sake. And, since I've moved back down to DC, I've been on-again, off-again working out on my own; mainly off-again. I decided that it was time to motivate myself and figure out a way to get myself in shape. When the AIDS marathon came up, it sounded like a good idea. Basically, I've got to raise $2,700 for the Whittman-Walker clinic, all the while, training to run 26.2 miles. The irony? The marathon is supposed to be held on February 5, in New Orleans. As of now, that is still the set location, but I would not be the least bit surprised if it's moved within the next month. We've already been told that there is a possibility of us running in another alredy scheduled, undetermined marathon. However, I love the city of N'awlins, and will be sad if it's not held there. There are a million other things that have to happen in the city before ours comes up, but I certainly hope the city has regained at least some of it's old shape in the next few months, and we're able to go there. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem the least bit likely, but I'll hope, both for the residents of the great city, and for selfish reasons. I'll be getting a marathon packet soon, and probably have to start raising $$'s soon, so I'll certainly be posting information on here soon. If you do know me, I will likely be personally emailing or writing you, soliciting you for $$. Be assured that it's a good cause, because you'll be both helping people with AIDS and motivating me to lose some of this beer gut I've developed over the past 5 years. I'll even show it to you if you want to see before and after pictures.

    05 August 2005


    Fuck...already breaking promises about the timeliness of my posts. I'm still not in the routine. But I did add one cool thing. On the left-hand side of the blog, under my profile/description, you'll see a photo-link to flickr, which I've recently created an account for. Go on in and check out my stuff, and comment on my pictures so I feel special. Do it.

    02 August 2005


    Okay, okay, I've heard the calls to action - "Mark, when are you going to start writing again?" "Mark, we miss your pervasive, inspiring, thought-provoking analysis" etc.

    After 7 weeks of hard work (if you know me, we don't even have to make a joke of that), I am ready to start blogging again. Refreshed, renewed, re-inspired (highly unlikely), and interested in taking this silly thing in a different direction than before. I'd like to write on a frequent basis, but I'm tired about having no set topic(s) or style or theme to write on. Yes, politics/current events/anything I feel like is decent for the most part, but I'd like to become a bit more structured...and I haven't yet decided how to manage that one. So while I work on a topic sentence for what I want to write about, I'm going to post on random shit that I think about. Next up, at some point today (or tomorrow, if I get super busy....HA), I am going to attempt to identify a campaign theme for a Dem prez nominee (if only the election was 15 months away instead of like 40...)

    Well, as a friend said, blogging is kinda in some weird way like working out (something else I've neglected to do for quite some time)...when you're not doing it, you just dont think about it, but once you get back into the swing of things, it's like you never left...hopefully I will worry about the exercise more than the blogging, but I need to exercise my mind a bit at work...for fuck's sake, it's the recess period anyway....August should be highly exciting.

    02 June 2005


    first business trip this weekend - taking off for the other washington to make a speech and some other business. should be a good time, and a good trip. back at work tuesday, and i will actually try to post some stuff next week. have a good weekend.

    30 May 2005


    A rare weekend update - it's sunny outside, I've been drunk for five straight days, and am going to the Nationals game today to celebrate and memorialize our fallen heroes. But I thought you'd all like to see what has got me so excited at the moment. I never realized just how much I liked Trent Reznor and NIN. I mean, sure, "I want to fuck you like an animal" is a great line, and they've had some other good, fucked up songs. But this is awesome.
    Nine Inch Nails dropped out of the MTV Movie Awards after clashing with the network over an image of President Bush the band planned as a performance backdrop.

    The Bush image was to accompany the song "The Hand That Feeds," which obliquely criticizes the Iraq war. It includes the lyrics: "What if this whole crusade's a charade / And behind it all there's a price to be paid / For the blood on which we dine / Justified in the name of the holy and the divine."

    Good for Reznor to say fuck you to MTV. If they want to keep the show out of the political realm that's fine, but they shouldn't expect everyone to play along with their rules.

    The Foo Fighters will perform in place of the Trent Reznor-led band at the awards being taped June 4 in Los Angeles.

    What's funny about that is that the Foo's performed during the Vote for Change tour.

    And showing just how big his balls are:
    Reznor said in a statement posted on the band's Web site Thursday that the image of the president would have been unaltered and "straightforward."

    "Apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me," he said.

    If you're curious, here's the entirety of the offensive lyrics.

    you're keeping in step
    in the line
    got your chin held high and you feel just fine
    because you do
    what you're told
    but inside your heart it is black and it's hollow and it's cold

    just how deep do you believe?
    will you bite the hand that feeds?
    will you chew until it bleeds?
    can you get up off your knees?
    are you brave enough to see?
    do you want to change it?

    what if this whole crusade's
    a charade
    and behind it all there's a price to be paid
    for the blood
    on which we dine
    justified in the name of the holy and the divine

    just how deep do you believe?
    will you bite the hand that feeds?
    will you chew until it bleeds?
    can you get up off your knees?
    are you brave enough to see?
    do you want to change it?

    so naive
    to keep holding on to what I want to believe
    i can see
    but i keep holding on and on and on and on

    will you bite the hand that feeds you?
    will you stay down on your knees?

    Good stuff.

    27 May 2005

    Thune working against the Republican party?

    From the Argus Leader

    Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Thursday that he would vote against the nomination of John Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations, hinting his vote is a protest against the Pentagon's recommendation to close Ellsworth Air Force Base.

    But he did support his party on the vote that mattered most Thursday.


    Thune said Thursday that saving Ellsworth is "inseparable from my work" in the Senate.

    "It is part of the fabric of every day of our agenda and the things we are trying to accomplish here," Thune said Thursday. "It's something that has become a great preoccupation of mine now."

    Asked whether his opposition to Bolton was because of his qualifications or the base-closing plan, Thune said dryly: "I'm concerned about our diplomatic posture as a nation, and I'm concerned about our defensive posture. These issues are not unrelated."

    It's funny that he claims politics aren't involved in the base closure issue, yet he feels the need to get back at Bush politically -- if it had nothing to do with politics, why would he have to get back at Bush at all? Clearly those thousands of jobs that are being lost in SD due to a potential base closing weren't necessary, John. You fucking douchebag.

    Harkin is awesome

    From the Globe Gazette

    Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said Thursday that President George W. Bush's opposition to expanded federal support for stem cell research merely delays the inevitable — a point he made with an example from the civil-rights struggle.

    Bush is "sort of our modern-day George Wallace, standing in the schoolhouse door," Harkin said in a conference call with reporters.

    Wallace was the governor of Alabama who famously stood in the door of the University of Alabama in an attempt to stop two black students from registering.

    "The fact is, that the walls of segregation were going to come tumbling down, we were going to move ahead with integration, and no matter what George Wallace did, it was going to happen. And I think it's the same way with President Bush," Harkin said.

    Cheers to Harkin for calling out Bush on what he really is: a man so interested in stopping progress he will stand in th edoorway to make sure sick people can't get the access to the best possible health care they can receive.

    24 May 2005

    drive by proselythizing (sp?)

    So my friend Erin and I went to 4 P's (an Irish bar) this evening for happy hour/dinner. We had a few beers, got our food, and noticed the place picking up, a nice crowd for a Tuesday night, and not a typical happy hour crowd of young professionals. All these people were wearing nametags, so we assumed that they were coming from one of the many conferences held daily in Washington DC....not quite.

    Up to the stage walks a middle aged gentleman, who, it turns out, is a priest from Catholic University. As the priest (reverend, minister?) stood up there, Erin and I exchanged questioning glances, and then looked around again at the patrons in the bar. Upon closer examination, we noticed that the nametags all had, at the top, the words "Theology on Tap."

    It sounds like a joke, really: Two Jews walk into a bar, a priest starts to give a sermon, and a crowd of Catholics stare at the Jews...

    We listened as we finished our meal as the reverend spoke about Jesus and letting him into your life. He then introduced a newly ordained priest from Catholic, who began to give a sermon...at this point we had finished our meal, realized we were the only ones in the bar who didn't drop our heads down and pray when the reverend began a prayer, and pretty much got out of there.

    Now, I am happy that "Theology on Tap" exists for those that want to partake in it. However, for future reference, 4 P's, please put a sign on your door or let me know when I walk in there that Jesus is at work. I will be happy to let those that want to listen to a sermon while drinking a Guinness to do so. I probably won't stay and watch, but I will happily respect the right of the Theologians to stay and listen. So, for not letting me know what was going on in there, 4P's, you get an F for customer service. But for promoting religion and making my world a happy place, you get a C (I don't really like happiness that much).

    Nuclear option blown up

    Well, a big FUCK YOU can be seen floating across the desk of James Dobson, Jerry Fallwell, and other religious right leaders last night and this morning. The moderates in the Senate apparently won out, as I had an inkling would happen. I didn't expect fourteen senators to sign on, thought it would be less, as I didn't realize that John Warner, that maverick from Virginia, and Robert Byrd, the crazy old cowboy from West Virginia, would sign on to stop the showdown from happening today on the floor.

    Is it a good thing though? I'm not entirely sure. Ask me whether I'm happy that Owen and the other two judges are going to be confirmed, and I'll tell you definitely not. Ask me whether I'm happy Saad and Meyer are likely to be bottled up, and I'll tell you yes. However, the result of this remains to be seen. The majority reserves the right to 'pull the trigger' at any point they think the minority is being too loose with their use of the filibuster, while the minority makes no guarantee of endorsing any nominees. So basically we have an agreement where none of those signatories are exceedingly victorious nor have they lost that much. The Senate work continues (HA), and as Lindsey Graham, a man I have increasingly gained respect for (aside from McCain probably one of the only Republicans I can say that for) said, the Senate can now get back to the work of the American people. As much as I wanted to see Frist go down even harder (he's down, mark my words. The man will now receive no support from the Dobsons of the country, as he couldn't herd his party behind the religious right's agenda.), I am happy that we didn't lose more. Reid is touting this as a victory for us, and I'm not so sure he's wrong. He says the nuclear option is off the table, and that is the most important part. We reserve the right to filibuster a Supreme Court nomination, and as everyone realizes, that's what this is all about. Rehnquist will retire this summer, and I, for one, do not want to see another fucking Scalia on the court.

    Once again, going back to another idea I and many people have written on: many of these so-called "activist judges" that Frist, conservative Republicans, and the demagogic Falwells and Dobsons of the world talk about have been appointed by REPUBLICAN presidents and confirmed by REPUBLICAN led Congresses. The conservative majority cannot function in power. They overreach their bounds, continue to grab undue power and influence, and cannot work for the good of the party. If the senators and reps worked half as hard towards the same goals as their party's interest groups did in electing them, I'd be a bit more worried. This is not to say that we Dems are any better. We are the kings of not working together. But when you own DC like the Republicans do right now, and you can't get things done, it's time to take a look at your leadership. Everyone's known Frist is a useless tool of the religious right, and now it's being made abundantly clear. Everyone knew DeLay was a piece of garbage criminal, and his increasing ethics issues and lack of support at home (he only won this past election with 55% support) are going to build up. The Republican party oversteps its bounds time and again, on such basic issues as right to privacy (Schiavo, Patriot Act), taxes (tax cuts in deficit periods...brilliant voodoo economic theory), war (nuff said) and civil rights and liberties (gay marriage).

    The emerging democratic majority, the sleeping giant, awaits its turn.

    19 May 2005

    A random thought:

    Isn't it weird how a party that claims to be "conservative" and is typically interested in maintaining the way things have been done wants to tear down senate rules that have been in place for several hundred years, And instead of sweeping changes to our health care, taxes and education systems for the benefit of the less priveleged, they claim they are making governemnt smaller -- small enough to fit only into your bedroom?

    18 May 2005

    Weiner and NYC Mayor

    From the Hotline:

    Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) has hired Dem strategist Michael Whouley, "a Boston-based consultant with a reputation as a field general rallying troubled campaigns." He is "credited" with helping John Kerry make his comeback to win the '04 IA caucuses, and with helping Al Gore win the '00 NH primary (Archibold, New York Times, 5/18).

    The Crain's Insider reports that Weiner has raised thousands from "a long list of Chinese-Americans in Queens." Weiner has reported adding $500K to his coffers between 3/12 and 5/11 giving him an expected total of $2.1M. (5/18).

    Good move by Weiner picking up Whouley. He is highly respected, and helped Kerry when Kerry needed serious help. Bloomberg's still got very low approval ratings, and there is room and time for Weiner to hop into this thing. Ferrer is done for, Sharpton won't endorse him, and there is no front-runner in this primary.

    The Value of a Closer

    With all the closers in baseball coming up injured as of late, (Troy Perival, Armando Benitez, Joe Borowski, Chin-hui Tsao, and Octavio Dotel just to name a few) I must now state how I really feel about the position. The closer position is the most grossly overrated position in baseball. A closer is not really as important as one tends to think. If you give up two runs during any part of the game you have given up those runs. The offenses are not competing against one another directly and it doesn’t matter when the runs are scored.

    However, what the closer position does offer is the ability for small market teams to rack up Saves, an absolutely meaningless category. Like I said, if a guy holds a team to no runs in the 5th he gets no reward for his efforts; if he holds a team to no runs in the 9th he becomes invaluable. Smart teams in baseball, such as the Oakland A’s and the Minnesota Twins have realized this miss step by many GMs to overvalue saves. What these two teams have done is put a pitcher in the position and dubbed him with the name closer. They then have him pitch primarily in the final innings of games and he racks up saves. At the end of the season teams will trade away these stars with 40 saves at very high prices. The other team overvaluing this statistical category pays a high price for an average middle reliever who has a lot of saves. Examples include Jason Isringhausen, Eddie Guardado, LaTroy Hawkins. Dotel and Nathan are nothing more than the same thing (particularly Dotel).

    17 May 2005


    Sorry for the lack of recent posts, but I had a busy weekend, and was in Atlantic City for work yesterday (tough, I know) - did get to gamble a bit, and lost at the Hold Em tables...dammit. Coworker was losing too, and as we were leaving I prodded him to play Roulette with his remaining funds. He bet on black three times in a row, ended up being up a fair amount...of course that's my luck. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

    Anyway, this should be an interesting week. We've got more social security privatization hearings, an impending "showdown" over the nuclear option, and a fair amount of other things going on (Yankees haven't lost a game since I was at the A's-Yankees game Saturday before this one, the Nationals are on a three-game streak, the NBA playoffs are finally getting to some meaningful game 5's, the OC season finale (damn straight I watch the OC...the hot female index is off the charts)).

    Back later (maybe) with some news.

    13 May 2005

    John Thune PT 2

    So we've already got reactions and damage control from John Thune, professional penis hat (real headline: THUNE FAILS TO KEEP ELLSWORTH OFF LIST)

    South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the Republican who defeated Minority Leader Tom Daschle by campaigning on his close ties to the White House, was dealt a political setback with the Pentagon's decision to close Ellsworth Air Force Base at Rapid City, S.D.

    At the end of the heated campaign last fall, Daschle used Ellsworth as an example of his clout in Washington, claiming to have kept the base off the list during the last round of closures when Bill Clinton was president.

    Thune's campaign countered that Daschle's role as leader of Bush's opposition would be a liability during the base closure process.

    Thune, who was lobbied by Republicans at the highest level to challenge Daschle, said Friday that South Dakota did what it could to keep the base open.

    The guy is beyond full of shit. He argues that he will keep the base open in his campaign due to his closeness to Bush, and what happens? Yet the man who had retained the base for the state gets voted out, the man on the other side of the argument, the man in the other party, and what happens?? THE BASE IS CLOSING

    "The Ellsworth Task Force has done everything it can to date, and we will continue to do everything we can in the future," he said, referring to the Rapid City group that has lobbied Washington officials for the base. "I will help lead the fight in the Senate to delay this BRAC round."

    He said last month that he gave the "full court press to inform and impress" the Pentagon. He said he used his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to get questions on the record to Pentagon officials, has written numerous letters and talked to several Pentagon leaders in an effort to save the base.

    It's nice to have a fall guy like John Thune in your pocket if you're Bush Co. No wonder Thune wants to get to the national stage so quick. He should be impeached as SD's senator. But fuck that, SD deserves him.

    12 May 2005


    I'm getting this post in real quick, just in time to make a prediction:

    Rumsfeld says base closures save money!
    The nine-member base-closing commission, known as BRAC, is led by former Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi.

    It will review the Pentagon's recommendations and send them, along with any changes, to the White House by September 8.

    Odds that Ellsworth AFB will be on the BRAC's base closure list: 3:2

    I'll take bets. Anyone?

    UPDATE!!! 5/13 9:49 AM

    Hate to say I told you so, but according to highly reputable sources, Ellworth AFB is on the base closure list. John Thune, the man that said Tom f'n Daschle couldn't keep Ellsworth open as a member of the opposite party (even though he was on the goddamn base closure commission when he was SD's senator) has FAILED YET AGAIN. That's right, SD, you're God-fearing, abortion hating senator, who said being from the president's party would help save Ellsworth has FUCKED UP YET AGAIN. Good luck finding new jobs out there, SD residents. And to those of you that work(ED) on the base and voted for Thune - FUCK YOURSELVES. To those of you that work(ED) on the base and realized you had a good thing...I'm sincerely sorry, and wish you the best of luck finding employment. Try not to have it relate to anything John Thune has a hand in.

    UPDATE 10:15 AM
    John Thune, Professional Dick-Licker

    Among the major closures is Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, home to 29 B-1B bombers, half the nation's fleet of the aircraft, and the state's second largest employer. That would deal a potential political setback to Republican freshman Sen. John Thune, who had claimed he could protect the base if elected during his campaign to defeat former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle.