Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Calling for a National Intervention

I still hold to the opinion expressed below. Undecided voters are going to go with their guts, and, in anxious times like these, their guts will be crying out for relief.

McCain's selection of Palin yesterday was the exact opposite of an offer of relief. If Obama doesn't overreact, and the most recent evidence of keeping it together was the successful convention, and the polls reflect my opinion, the only suspense left will be whether McCain will keep gambling with his decisions.

It's possible that Palin has the potential to be a great President. There's simply not nearly enough evidence of that potential, nor enough time before election day to generate new and convincing evidence.

Before yesterday, McCain's most forceful argument, righteously rebutted by Obama in his acceptance speech, was that in his decisions McCain puts "Country First." There's no way now for McCain to avoid admitting that actually his campaign needs to put "Winning First." It's not a senseless argument. After all, every President, except Ford, had to win the election first. And, there's nothing essentially worse about reminding voters it's up to them as opposed to offering oneself as a leader whom one has to take or leave as is. But, Obama's already done a good job of grabbing that humble populist turf. Essentially, McCain has conceded that Obama is qualified to be President.

McCain is admitting he's a gambler, and he's asking us to give him chips to keep going.

Yeah. Right.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Should Be a No-Brainer, Again.

I set my Mom up with her own blog, though I'll only link to it, if she starts posting. Meantime, I'm reclaiming this space.

So, on the Presidential race (duh), here are my homestretch thoughts. Fair warning - I thought both Gore and Kerry would win big.

Barring some unexpected major event, this election will turn on the economy as the leading indicator of how much change we need.

Both nominees acknowledge that the economy is in very bad shape.

McCain, like his Republican predecessors beginning with Reagan in 1980, says the economy will come around because that's what economies do. The worst thing we should do is look to Federal Government to intervene, because at best it's a waste of time, and at worst it'll delay the inevitable recovery and dampen the growth rate once the recovery does start. McCain may call for a freeze on federal spending while he tries to make cuts and privatize. McCain will be under great pressure to extend the expiring tax cuts that he argued against in 2001.

Obama, like his Democratic predecessors probably going back to FDR in 1932, says proper leadership demands the Federal Government step in. Doing nothing would be practically immoral, especially given how inequitable things have become. Obama may renege on any promised middle class tax cuts once in office, the way Bill Clinton did at the start of his first term. Obama may, however, be able to take back Bush's tax cuts, the ones that are set to expire anyway. Obama will be under great pressure to use the savings from those tax cuts to fulfill other promises, like expanding health care.

I think both nominees will be able to unify their parties and get their bases to turn out. Once again, I think it'll be a close election (popular vote) decided by the self-declared independents who, as they've done before, will mysteriously all break the same way late in the process, leading to a deceptively large electoral vote victory.

It's so hard for me to see Obama not be that victor. I agree with what Bill Clinton said early in the primary season that voting for Obama is a gamble. I can see how present circumstances would make voters not want to gamble. Because, however, McCain won't be able to make the case that he represents a safer alternative, and because there are only two choices, I think voters will decide that not voting for Obama is a bigger gamble.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Brighter Ideas

“Our lives would be much poorer without newspapers,” says columnist Jay Ambrose.
But there’s light at the end of that journalistic tunnel. Technology has given us wider range and up-to-the-minute news-gathering tools with enhanced dissemination methods.
We’re allowed newspaper nostalgia — we loyal readers and writers of print. But now we’ve digital journalism, not only giving us news, but research abilities and worldwide opinions.
It’s all there for us, on our computers. No, it’s not on TV where we’re “prisoners” of talking heads. Even static newspapers are limited, replete with wire-service reports and by-lined articles.
Want to know what the world thinks? Want to know the story behind? Want to add your opinions? Get interactive.
We’re not dimming those lights, Mr. Ambrose. We’re upping the wattage.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

We did this to ourselves.

AT&T announces the death of the pay phone, almost 130 years after its birth.
The Daily News chimes in, ’’Pay phones becoming extinct ...,” on July 21.
Cell phones rang the death knell of pay phones. And now we’re all privy to this lack of privacy.
Remember swinging shut that hinged phone-booth door? We were seen but not heard.
And, so long as we fed the coin slot our words meant something, but only to the listener at the other end of the line.
And, remember when eavesdropping was considered rude? Now we’re all forced to listen in.
We did this to ourselves. We’re attached and dependent on those plastic cylinders, our cell phones. We slide them into pockets where once we might have stashed our cigarettes, determined to keep our mouths busy.
Now the time's come to hang up the pay phone, tear down the booth and evict Superman.

Greatest Show on Earth

Check the clock.
It’s 3 p.m.
Check the weather.
It’s raining.
There’s not much these days we can count on, but the weather is reliable.
Every July afternoon the skies darken, the wind picks up, the deluge starts and we’re treated to nature’s sound and light show.
If you’re not out and about these afternoons — and apologies to those who get soaked — it is interesting.
Up North we just didn’t have dependable downpours. But here, in defiance of our moniker, “the Sunshine State,” nature plays its little joke and it rains on all our parades.
So I position my chair under the eaves and enjoy the drama. It’ll clear up and be sunny soon enough, but for now we’ve a show to watch.
And when the skies clear and lighten, and all that grows, as if on steroids, shoots up almost before our eyes, we’ve the encore — one of Southwest Florida’s glorious sunsets.
Best part. This atmospheric free-for-all is free for all.

Out of Lemons....

Don't want to campaign for Connolly.

Don't need to campaign for Obama.

Not ready to think about 2009.

Gotta work.

Gotta entertain the kids.

Gotta endure "hot, hazy, and humid" every f#$%^n' day.

Could it be more doldrummy?

Happily for you dear reader, along comes none other than my very own mother.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I hope the overwhelming majority of VA-11 Dems knows what it's doing.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Keepin' it simple.

Connolly's o.k.

Byrne is GREAT!

Please don't waste this opportunity to help yourself, help your neighbors, and help your country.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

so much louder than words

Inspired by President John F. Kennedy's 1961 challenge to "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," Jeremiah Wright gave up his student deferment, left college and joined the United States Marine Corps and became part of the 2nd Marine Division with the rank of private first class.

In 1963, after two years of service, Wright then transferred to the United States Navy and entered the Corpsman School at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, where he graduated as valedictorian.

Having excelled in corpsman school, Wright was then trained as a cardiopulmonary technician at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland where he graduated as salutatorian.

Wright was assigned as part of the medical team charged with care of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Before leaving the position in 1967, the White House awarded Wright three letters of commendation.

- adapted from wikipedia, inspired by Daniel Schorr

Monday, March 24, 2008

So Very Progressive!

It's been publicized elsewhere in the NoVA blogosphere that Leslie Byrne has been endorsed by the great folks over at openleft. I want to highlight here, however, a Q&A between openleft and Leslie that demonstrates so well how progressive she is.

1) How would you have voted on the war funding bill that the Democrats passed in May?

I would have voted against the war funding bill. I have been on record since January,2003 as being against the war and the occupation of Iraq when a dozen former members of Congress and I sent a letter to President Bush not to embark on this foolhardy war.

2) What is your position on the Protect America Act that went through Congress in August, the bill that extended the President's eavesdropping power?

I would have voted against it. Warrantless wiretapping, cutting courts out of the process and giving the power to the administration, under any fair reading of the Constitution should be illegal.

3) What is your position on retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies?

I'm against immunity. The telecommunications companies who complied (not all did) have some of the highest priced legal talent available. They should have asked for a court ruling before handing over their customers records. I was very pleased that the US House found their voice on this issue.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Byrne Steps Up on Ending the War!

Leslie Byrne joined a growing number of House candidates endorsing a way out of Iraq.


Gerry Connolly, you specifically cited the war as a reason you entered the race. Will you do the right thing and follow Byrne's lead? Or, because you wouldn't want to give credit to your opponent for her conscience, courage, and intelligence, will you prove that you place politics over principle?

tick, tick, tick.....

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm for Leslie Byrne.

I've been leaning toward supporting Leslie Byrne in the race for the Democratic nomination for VA-11 ever since she announced last year. I was hoping Gerry Connolly would make my decision easier by not running. He didn't. I tried in vain to discover a reason to prefer Connolly. Last weekend, Leslie was endorsed by the Act Blue folks and participated in a liveblog at Firedoglake with Jane Hamsher and Howie Klein. With the fervent local backing of my two favorite local bloggers, Ben Tribbett and Lowell Feld, and now with the backing of two prominent progressive national bloggers, I proudly joined the Byrne Brigade at Leslie's campaign website. In addition to blogging here and commenting elsewhere, I'll be actively volunteering, and I hope to enlist all three of my kids. So, look out VA-11 residents. Even if you manage to miss my web words, you'll likely hear my voice and see me at your doors. I encourage everyone who isn't already pro-Leslie to check her out. I also encourage everyone who is already pro-Leslie to join the Byrne Brigade. And, if you have a website of your own, you can add a snazzy Byrne Brigade logo like I just did.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gerry's in today?

The WaPo reports today that Connolly will announce he's running for the Dem nomination for VA-11.

Unlike the Dem Presidential race, Byrne and Connolly, the clear frontrunners in terms of name recognition and funding, don't pose a choice between experience and change. Byrne and Connolly both cite experience.

Leaving aside whether this leaves room for Denneny [or Alexander?] to emerge as a serious contender, the WaPo article still leaves me thinking that the only difference between Connolly and Byrne is that he's not lost an election, while she lost her first re-election bid to Davis in '94 and the Lt. Gov's race in '05, though the Post points out that she received 55% from the 11th District in that race.

Perhaps more differences will emerge between now and the June primary.

I was hoping Connolly would stay out.

Now, I can only hope that the race is clean and fair and leaves whoever wins in a good position to win the general.

The GOP race consists of Fimian and Hunt with Fimian able to self-fund and according to the WaPo having Davis's support.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bye Tom. Gerry, money isn't everything.

Today, Tom Davis officially announced his retirement at the end of his term this year.

Gerry Connolly is still officially in the exploratory phase of his campaign for VA-11.

The Washington Post recently reported that Connolly has raised a sum of money that I think is more than Leslie Byrne has raised, even though Byrne's campaign started just after election day last year, while Connolly's exploratory bid started this year.

I'm going to take a wild guess that the other two announced Dem candidates, Denneny and Alexander, are far behind Connolly and Byrne in fundraising.

I'm going to take another wild guess that none of those mentioned as GOP candidates, Fimian, Connaughton, etc., will be able to outraise either Byrne or Connolly, particularly during the general election period.

As I've opined before, the only even arguable advantage Connolly has over Byrne is that he's never lost a race to Davis.

Without Davis on the ballot, I feel more strongly than ever that for the good of the Dem Party and, more importantly, for the good of the District, Connolly should opt not to run for VA-11.

Even if Byrne and Connolly were to wage a completely fair and honest primary battle, I see no reason for Connolly to make Byrne spend the money and distract her from the goal of putting the seat in the Dem column.

Being Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors ain't chopped liver, and a big majority of Fairfax County voters very recently expressed their trust that Connolly can and should perform that job.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The waiting is the hardest part.

Gerry Connolly has formed an exploratory committee. Most assume he'll run, but until he makes it legal, I'll not so assume.

Tom Davis says he'll let us know by the end of January.

It'll be a while until a Democratic Presidential nominee is known.

And, now I just found out I have to wait until May 13 for Rick Perlstein's Nixonland.

I'm quite sure of all four pending events, Nixonland will be the one most worth waiting for.

If you don't believe me, check out the prequel on Goldwater.