Archive for April, 2010

Way 4!

Shameless self-promotion. Just getting it out of the way. There are a few editorial issues with this one but it happens. Enjoy.

I have a hangover because the softball team — at risk of being a huge jinx — is awesome and must be celebrated. In any event, because of said hangover, I have that giddy thing happening. It’s the same giddy thing that makes Fletch hilarious on New Year’s Day, even though you’ve seen it 8,000 times and can recite every line. (“God I admire you.”) And so, as a consequence, the following video made me laugh till I cried this morning. I really don’t know why. So I keep watching it every now and then as a short break from reading newsy, worky stuff to figure it out and I crack up. Every. Time. I’m certain this proves once and for all my lack of sophistication when it comes to comedy. But damn man, this is just funny. To me.

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Again, lots of links. Some funny, some serious, some both. But first, just want to mention, of course, the briefing yesterday where I was thrilled to discover that discussion of financial reform can actually be quite interesting. Depends on the speaker really.  US Rep. Ed Royce of California kept things riveting when, let’s face it, discussion of recession and politics can be yawn inducing. Following the failure of the Senate to vote yes on cloture of the Dodd bill, essentially meaning they are not ready to debate the merits of a bill that remarkably (well, maybe not considering the source, i.e. co-author B. Frank) fails to mention Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as HUGE contributors to the financial meltdown the country recently suffered, it was an interesting meeting. Royce serves as a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee and I really liked his refreshing tendency to, without fear, call out the popular misconception, in this case, the flaws (read: omissions) in the Dodd bill, the factors that actually led to the recession (to wit, removing market discipline increases moral hazard), and the current administration’s absolute failure to accept responsibility or learn from the past. Instead, they focus on scapegoating Goldman Sachs and Wall Street (came back to work yesterday and got to watch that clown circus on the news all day) and was bothered by the nagging suspicion that the Democrat-supported Goldman Sachs was compensated pretty nicely (via bailout) for agreeing to be the scapegoat. Gross. Royce contends that the crisis was driven by many things, but setting the negative (below inflation) real interest rates and watching the damage that caused for FOUR YEARS and doing nothing was a primary cause. In any event, the Republicans are circulating their own version of financial reform. You can read more about it here. But please, do yourself a favor, read about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Barney Frank and quasi-governmental entities that pushed affordable housing mandates…use these as Google search terms. Seriously. It’s time you were informed.

Other things of interest:

  • Should make for an interesting Correspondents Dinner. I don’t know man, maybe the folks who are supportive of this administration have no real practical knowledge of what it’s like to work for or with arrogant jerks. Trust me…it’s frustrating, exasperating and can be nearly hellish. But whatever…if that’s what you’re into…
  • Thanks again Fleury. This is some funny stuff.
  • A very liberal gentleman I know actually posted this today: “Those who benefit most from our system are morally obliged to pay more for its upkeep.” Um, there are so many things about this that are jacked up — but the lack of recognition that “most” and “morally” are subjective and that for a liberal to dictate morality is so hypocritical it’s hilarious, I think I’ll just leave my comments there…
  • Yikes.
  • Because I’m a fan. Do or do not. There is no try. (h/t Andy D)
  • Exactly what the city needs, and oh so close to the hood. Scattered, smothered and covered comes to DC. My homesickness just got slightly weaker.

Looking forward to watching the Braves play the Nats. And now, for the completely awesome:

I was riding home yesterday on the metro and an elderly man who looked a lot like Ossie Davis was sitting down in front of me. He was wearing a bright orange Tennessee baseball cap, a fleece with this on the breast (LOSTies, for you), half-moon reading glasses focused on this book, and the most amazing, peaceful smile. In a city full of people rushing around who have to get somewhere now, this man was in no hurry. I felt better having seen him. I know that’s weird…

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Things to read:

  • First, shameless self-promotion. Look what I did! And also, look what I did! Ignore the picture. The plan is to actually have a real mugshot made, rather than some doctored up Facebook photo. I’d be fine without one at all, but I’m having to negotiate that. Go figure…
  • When I first got to town, my softball coach — now friend — met me at CPAC for fun. We actually attended a dinner with this gentleman, one of the coach’s good friends. I barely met him and now I wish I had taken a bit more time to chat with him because he wrote a rather interesting looking book he was recently on The Daily Show to promote. Watching Jon Stewart trying to understand, conceptually, the complexities of the tea party — specifically, that they are actually not racist, homophobic nor exclusively Republican, is comedy at its finest. Unintentional, but comedy nonetheless.
  • Speaking of the Tea Party, I heard Congressman Thaddeus McCotter speak at the blogger’s briefing and he made a remarkable statement about how the tea party cannot be controlled because it is organic. To control it and bring it under some umbrella would necessarily destroy it. He also threw this little nugget out and I can’t stop thinking about it: the vitriol of the left is really born of the fact that, until now, they have controlled the “narrative of popular dissent.” The Tea Party phenomenon, however, has changed all that. And they’re miffed. Awww.  Also, check out this organization. McCotter said they have training drills where the enemy looks awfully familiar. And we have? Gates’ memo…
  • This is cool.
  • This is unbelievably cool, and I’m hoping one of the boys on the softball team has a few beers and tries it Friday.
  • Great column. Coulter does not play. I like her for that. “Olbermanic” is my new favorite word.
  • Relax Matt Stone and Trey Parker. This guy, apparently, speaks for true Muslims. He mentions the turning away. I wish it were true more than I believe it is.
  • Speaking of the turning away…Everything reminds me of a song I swear…

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Our mascot brings joy

Was fortunate enough to participate in a fundraising tournament Saturday to raise money for the Shawn Felty Cancer Fund. Shawn was apparently an avid softball fan and loved the league I currently play in. He passed away from colon cancer just shy of his 40th birthday. It’s hard to describe how touching it is to watch so many people work to organize, gather, raise money (over $8,000 apparently) and simply remember one man. I think that’s the best measure of a life. Shawn must have been a really cool guy.

Here are a few pics. Good group of people. Again, reveling in the small wonders of life…

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I had the pleasure of hearing Former Speaker Gingrich at the Blogger’s Briefing Tuesday and, first impression…This is an incredibly smart man who can command a room. Very astute, prepared, quick on his feet, damn funny, and exceedingly likable.

And I agree with most everything he says but — and mea culpa Mr. Gingrich but, since I’ve never met you personally — I can’t get a read on his sincerity. He seems sincere — but then, really good politicians have that skill. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing him speak ,and am eager to reproduce a few of the things he said that I think are fairly visionary and, even though Pops questions just how conservative you really are (I’m better with that since I lean a little more toward the squishy center), I shared these ideas with him and he liked them, too. It doesn’t sound meaningful but, like Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, the man doesn’t offer his good opinion easily. So, do with that what you will…

Here are the salient points he made as far as I’m concerned:

  • If enough seats are turned over to conservatives in the coming election, Congress could opt not to fund Obamacare, which may actually be the best way to fight the drain (with respect to Pataki)
  • “How do we battle the deficit?,” someone asked him…Stop spending, he said. It’s as simple as that. And it is.
  • What can conservatives do to counter the message of the big government gang (my term, not his)? He said there are three things that are most important. (1) the big government gang is nothing more than a machine that is nothing remotely close to a representative form of government and it is nothing but destructive to our values, our way of life and our future as citizens in this country. That needs to be communicated effectively and without apology.  (2) Once conservatives begin to wrest back a little control of how things function we need to repudiate every destructive act carried out under the banner of the big government gang. Let them know they have sacrificed their careers and accomplished nothing. As we would say in my house as kids — ooooh, burn. (3) Let people know, and prove to them, that conservatives offer better solutions to the problems we face in this country. Not rhetoric, solutions. Action vs. inaction. This is a concept I’ve been mulling over lately in many areas of life…more on this later I suspect…
  • The reversal of the trend where the parents pay off the mortgage and pass the house on to the kids to a “welfare transfer system” is unsupportable because, well, much like the unions are scrambling to find ways to pay pensions for the elderly who live longer, so will America’s youth. Think about it.
  • Re: tort reform — $650 billion dollars a year is spent on defensive medicine. Let me say that again — Six hundred and fifty BILLION a YEAR to help doctors prevent lawsuits. Let it sink in.
  • Conservatives have to help each other get elected because, as the man said, “Rising tides don’t lift boats that aren’t in the water.” Well said.

Also, I just found this. I can’t tell if I like it yet. Give it a whirl…

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Quickly because I’m working…

I was recently reminded of the wisdom of the adage that you should treat everyone you meet (or come into contact with in any way) with respect and kindness because you never know when you might meet them again — or who they may know…ahem. Just sayin’. Seriously, take the lesson.

Getting ready to write a few things on the VAT — if I can come up with a new thought on it…I think I know the direction to go but I’d like to be original…we’ll see.

Also, I think the whole movement away from nuclear deterrence needs serious examination because the long-term implications are thought-provoking to say the least. Apparently a poll has the majority of Americans expressing a lack of support of movement away from our deterrence policy. But hey, what do the American people know? Silly unwashed masses…

And, this right here, I predict, is bound to be interesting. Will the results be kept fairly hush-hush? I really hope not.

We have our first softball tournament tomorrow — a triple header. We’ll just have to see if I can remain intact — in case you didn’t know, I am no longer a spring chicken. Something that here recently, I think, has meant the difference. But I’ll be damned if getting older is going to stop me or make me feel less than awesome. So there.

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I’m just going to offer some things to read. There’s so much going on that deserves attention and I just can’t get to it all so here are a few things to just chew on, get comfortable with, accept, rail against, do whatever you have to do…

  • Small victories, although I’m not sure it spells the end of the attempt to regulate the internet because why let go of something that could potentially prove so very, very lucrative…? And the Orwellian language is so offensive — open internet, net neutrality…whatever. Regulating something does anything but open it up, not to mention how far afield control and oversight are from the idea of neutrality and a hands-off approach. But the rhetoric is designed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Oh it’s good to feel a little angry again. Anyway, go here and tell the FCC how you feel about it. I did.
  • I absolutely adore the softball team. The conversation several of us had while trying to determine nicknames for our jerseys was one of the funniest things I’ve been involved in for some time. Also, let me just say, that much the same way young men should learn to dance to effectively make time with the ladies, young women should learn to play a sport. Not sayin’ that I’m making time — I try not to mix things up that much — but it occurs to me that I am definitely in the minority as a girl, which is never an unpleasant situation. At least for me. Just sayin’.
  • Speaking of the softball team, one member sent me this article and was receptive to my slobbering over this author. Sporty and intellectual. Nice.
  • The VAT cometh, according to Krauthammer, stealing the rhetoric of the Fair Taxers (according to a member of Freedom Works, who hosted the Blogger’s Briefing today) and taxing at every point on the value chain so it’s well hidden from the consumer. People, at some point, this has got to start to scare you. I understand the desire to be ignorant of the truth — I like it, too — but it usually only delays the inevitable and makes it harder to deal with it once you face it. The elephant you’re afraid of here? That our system of government will dip so far into our economy that our actual GDP is affected and we start to bring home a lot less money, reducing quality of living and the whole nine yards. I don’t know about you but I really don’t relish the idea of living in a third world economy.
  • Speaking of the blogger’s briefing, it was really edifying today, particularly the discussion of how the government bailout of the banks simultaneously demonizes and saves these large institutions and how we really should remember that big business and free enterprise are totally distinct and should never be confused. There’s a worry that, because financial reform is a difficult and complex issue, that the average joe will easily buy the idea that all business is big business is bad business. Don’t believe it. And visit this site to see just how much those who demonize these institutions are also padding their pockets on the returns from these organizations. It really should upset and irritate you. And I’m not sold that people don’t understand the issue — they just don’t get all the facts. So hopefully this provides a little more information…
  • I can’t stop listening to this song. I guess I need to convert the Garden State soundtrack to digital…

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Sing a new song

Rather than ruin this beautiful Easter day by being all maudlin because I made the 11th hour decision not to go home — following a long, tear-streaked conversation with my father about homesickness and priorities and using my head by avoiding potentially jeopardizing the first stable headway I’ve made into the job market here — I’m going for a run instead. I can go home for the family reunion in July, and start planning now, Pops said. And everyone understands why I can’t be there for a rather important family event and this doesn’t make me a bad kid. (Congratulations Stinkmom. I’m there with you in spirit. I hope you know that. I have a gift for you, too. Maybe it’ll be even more to your liking later because it will remind you again of the event. I like to think that anyway.)

The upside (which should always be pointed out) is that I’m making friends and finding work and overcoming and succeeding in small ways. And I have people in this world who can miss me and love me and want me around but give me the freedom and distance I need to grow. And that’s truly wonderful and I’ll be doing a lot of thanksgiving for that. But still, sorta bummed over here. The landlady saved me with a kind offer of sharing Easter dinner with her family this evening so there’s your new song.

And I’m singing it.

A light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. Praise.

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