Archive for January, 2008

The Morning News: SOTU Hangover Edition

Here’s hoping you didn’t play the SOTU drinking game last night, too. It seems the local news media is definitely on the fence about things today, including some contradictory stories.

Rep. Davis to Retire (?)

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Vienna) is set to retire after 14 years in the House, according to the Examiner. However, according to WTOP, that decision has yet to be made, and it’s “not accurate, yet.” So, maybe he’s retiring, maybe he’s not?

Virginia to Repeal Drivers’ Fees (?)

WJLA says that the repeal of fees has advanced through the House of Delegates, meanwhile, the Post reports that the repeal of fees has hit a legal snag featuring a 130-year-old Virginia State Supreme Court ruling, and that it could not be legal in its current state.

Questioning the General Counsel

It seems that Acting AG Peter Nickles may have been a little more involved in prosecutorial projects than some councilmembers would have liked. In fact, Mary Cheh called him out on it yesterday, specifically for getting involved in the AG’s affairs while general counsel in 7 cases.

Obama Rally Draws More Than 12,000.

It was cold this morning when I hit the lock button on my car and I shoved my hands deep into the pockets of my greatcoat. I’d forgotten my gloves on the table when I left the house and now I was kicking myself. I’d gone to grab my friend Jeff and I was running late and I left them right there on the table, despite the fact that it was 30 when I got in the car. Dumbass.

We parked the car on University Ave on the western bound of the American University campus. We weren’t expecting the giant line. I wasn’t, anyway. I figured, this was just another stump speech, just another appearance. I was wrong. The line was already four blocks long when we got in line just before 10am. As we stood there, the line grew, both in length and in breadth as it stretched to five and six people wide as the line backed up University Avenue to Quebec St NW.

But how the hell did I, someone who votes predominantly Republican end up in the line to see one of the more liberal candidates?

obamaline.png

This is the Line we waited in. Gmap Pedometer says it’s .7 mi.

I was in that line because I want to believe there’s more to politics than fear, loathing and gridlock. I want to believe that we can surpass all the dead and unburied arguments that are bubbling up to the top every time someone named Bush or Clinton or Rove or Carville open their mouths and speak in public. We need to put aside the people that drive us crazy, or we’ll spend our lives fighting the past instead of living the future.

When my friend Jeff asked me on Saturday to go to the Obama event at Bender Arena this morning, I figured it might be a good idea to see what the guy has to say. I find his forward-looking politics to be very intriguing in a town full of old fights and buried bodies, and I agreed. I can’t bear the thought of four (or heaven help us, eight) more years of a Clinton or a Bush in the White House. It just makes me ill to think that our nation would have to endure that much more of the partisan rancor that’s become the predominant method of political discourse in this country. I want the brutal cycle of rage and anger and brutality in American Politics to take a break for once.

I’m not sure if Sen. Obama is the answer to that, but when he said on Saturday night that this was a campaign more about the future than the past, I have to agree with that statement. Time to put away the old quarrels, time to set aside old fights and get some momentum forward. So I figured it was time to see what the man had to say.

Except we got shut out. After waiting almost two hours in the cold and wind, we wound up 500 people from the front door. So now I’ll watch it on YouTube later, or just read the text, I suppose. But there’s something Magic about seeing it live. There’s something valuable in that that you can’t get from watching CNN, even in High Def. I was hoping for that. But I’ll have to wait.

Tiff and I were talking about this recently, and she mentioned that Obama was her “Tiger Beat” candidate, and I think that’s true for more than just us right now. We’re both right of center, but there’s something about the guy that even if he spent our money in all the wrong ways, we could at least respect him for the choices he’d make.

And it goes a long way that we’d be looking for that sort of thing instead of voting with people who share opinions on major issues.

DC’s Getting Smart

As if DC wasn’t smart enough, we seem to be getting even smarter. Aren’t we considered to be the most educated city on the planet or sumthin’? Well leave it to us to be early adopters of the space saving, environmentally friendly Smart car. Made by Mercedes and starting at just $11,590, this little scooter is likely to be the next Mini Cooper, that is, you’re going to start to see them zooming around everywhere. I remember the first time I saw one of these in London about five years ago, I couldn’t believe my eyes. “You can actually drive that thing? A grown adult can actually fit in there?” Amazingly, they have more room inside than you might think, although you probably won’t be using it to take that new 50″ flat screen TV home from Costco. The beauty of these cars, especially for those of us who have to deal with parallel parking on a Friday night, is that they’ll fit into the smallest of spots that even a Mini couldn’t fit into.

While probably not the safest car to be in with a Hummer speeding behind you, the Smart is a brilliant car designed for city dwellers like us and I expect to see them flood the area over the next few years.

Photo by yospyn.

The Morning News: Obama in DC

Two big speeches in DC today. One by President Bush at 9pm tonight (street closures), and one by Senator Barack Obama at 11am this morning (doors at 10:30) Sadly, our tickets for the State of the Union never showed, but I did get an invite to see Senator Obama speak.

Virginia Scrambles to Save Dulles Rail

After what amounted to a bitch slap from the Federal Goverment, Tim Kaine and his Transportation crew are working overtime to attempt to prove the worth of the Dulles Rail Extension. I’m not exactly sure what kind of worth study one needs to propose to prove that an airport terminus on the Metro is worth while, but I bet the BART folks in San Francisco can tell you.

Four Days Til Maryland Smoking Ban Takes Effect

While Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and others have had a ban in effect for some time, the rest of Maryland follows suit on Friday. So, if you’re headed up to Charm City, be sure to leave the smokes at home where they’ll only poison you and your close friends. Thanks.

Local Primaries Still in Play

The race for the nomination in both parties will likely still be contested after the Super Tuesday round of primaries in February 5th, making area primaries on the 12th of February more interesting. I like the idea of my vote counting for something…

Seems fair

Well the snow day phone kerfuffle seems to be more or less done. WaPo is reporting that teen Devraj Kori will serve a Saturday detention for his crimes. Their headline unfortunately states “Fairfax Teen Will Serve Detention for Snow Day Call” which I would certainly hope is not the case – I continue to think there’s no sanctionable action in making a polite phone call to a listed phone number. However a day in detention on the weekend seems quite even-handed as a punishment for posting their home phone and encouraging – either explicitly or by implication – others to call and be obnoxious.

The article says that – as Joe noticed in the comments – the recording is gone from YouTube now, but the two voice links over on this post still seem to work fine. I only mention this since I still think Candy Tistadt should be fired for her part of the transgression and I wouldn’t want to make that assertion without proof.

Last Chance – Ansel Adams


Sunday is the last day to see the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery . Over 125 of his fantastic photos are featured in the exhibit, including many from his trips to the Grand Tetons (pictured), Yosemite and the Sierra Nevadas.

Much of the art displayed is from his personal collection, which is amazing to contemplate in this day of digital photography. The Mysterious M and I saw the exhibit back in October and it’s just inspiring even to amateurs such as myself. And frankly, I was more impressed with the Adams exhibit than the Leibovitz one next door (that one already closed up shop).

But that’s probably due more to the horrendous crowd that snaked through there – when strangely, the Adams one was all but ignored that day.

No matter. If you’ve not had a chance, go. Sunday’s the last day.

Two Great Shows This Weekend


Purple

Originally uploaded by tbridge.

Honor By August at 9:30

Saturday’s early-doors show at 9:30 Club is a great (almost) All DC show, featuring Jubeus and The Dreamscapes Project, as well as Folk-Rock act Justin Trawick (who we’ve seen before) before Honor By August headlines the show, their first at the 9:30. I’m really looking forward to this show, as it will be HBA’s first headliner gig at the 9:30 and I suspect they’ll be bringing their A game and hopefully some of the tracks from their new recently released album. Girls, their guitarist Evan, though married, is good to drool over see in person. Tickets are mighty reasonable, be there.

Ali Marcus at Galaxy Hut

Ali_Marcus.jpg DC-born-and-raised Ali Marcus is doing a few shows in her hometown this winter, starting with a show Saturday afternoon at Galaxy Hut. Though she lives in Seattle now, she’s doing an East Coast tour with a show starts at 2 on Saturday at the hut, as well as one at Iota in mid-February. Marcus’ solo guitar and harmonica blues-folk revival is not to be missed live.

Good Takeout for the Flu?

I wonder what time Oprah comes on? I haven’t watched her show in years. I remember watching her when I was a kid and thinking she was soooo cool. Isn’t she like the richest woman on the planet now? I wonder if she’ll ever run for president? That would be crazy. President Winfrey. I think I’d move to Australia at that point…

Oh hi, DC! I didn’t know you were there. My brain is in a little bit of a fog at the moment. I seem to have caught some sort of cold or flu that’s left me bedridden for the past two days. As if my flu aches weren’t enough, laying in bed makes me even more achy. Seriously, I have a question for you though. What’s the best takeout food for a sicko like me? I really don’t want to leave my house, otherwise I’d go to Whole Foods for a giant bowl of their chicken noodle soup. Do you have any suggestions? My ailing body would really appreciate it.

Best Ways To Spend Your Rebate in DC?

It seems that a deal has been reached on an economic stimulus package (heh, I said stimulus package) that would put a bunch of fluid dollars into the hands of Americans everywhere. If you make less than $75k, look for a check around $600. Married couple? $1200.

So, if this is truly to be economic stimulus, how can we best spend it in the DC area? I don’t think big chains need any more of our money, so maybe it’s time to look at local businesses that could use a few extra bucks, so that takes out a whole bunch of stores. So, for the best local effect, maybe shops like Belmont TV might be the place to go for electronics and whatnot. Shops like Kramers and Politics & Prose for books. DC is blessed with an abundance of non-chain restaurants, so maybe a night out with your hubby/sweetie would be a good idea, as well.

If you’re going to get stimulated, you might as well help out some of the local businesses, yeah? Where are you going to spend your rebate?

Carrying a Gun Into National: Totally Possible.

Just in case you still think TSA is a great group of people that Keep America Safeā„¢ from the terrorists, please take note of this story from last Sunday, when a West Virginia man carried a loaded firearm undetected past security. And, when he realized what he was carrying, he went back to let TSA know of their fuckup, he was arrested by Airport Police for his trouble.

There are moments when I seriously think that guys like Ron Paul have a good point. Then I remember that Ron Paul is batshit crazy and would do equally crazy things like reinstate the gold standard. This does nothing, though, to remind people not to carry their firearms aboard national transit, which I think we should all talk about more.

Want to own a gun? Great. All for that. Just don’t carry it unless you need it. On the airplane? Not so much with the needing that. Please pack accordingly.

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