Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Not only are they draining Americans of bajillions of dollars every year, these scam artists have now taken the time to draft an email telling me why the federal Direct Lending Program will hurt people. They couldn't be more wrong - greedy bastards.
In Obama's budget cuts, he has proposed that the federal government issue all federal loans directly, rather than referring them to private lenders. I remember seeing Hillary stump about this, and nothing on her platform got me more excited than this idea. The loan companies want nothing to do with this, of course, as this would severely slash their profits.
The money that the government saves by not outsourcing these loans to private lenders will go directly to increase Pell Grants, which would allow SO many more students access to college. The email I received from Citi is below, and their reasoning seems to be nothing more than the typical capitalist argument of "let the markets decide." I feel like I become more of a left-wing nut everyday, I realize, but give me a break Citibank.
WaPo has a great article here to make sense of what Obama is doing.
May 7, 2009
Dear CHARLES LEIZEAR,
Thank you for the opportunity to help you obtain the education of your choice. As a student loan provider for the past 50 years, Citi has provided financial aid assistance to millions of students and parents nationwide.
Given the challenging economy and continued increases in the cost of higher education, it is critical that the U.S. student lending system serves the best interests of students and their families. If you believe that competition and choice among student loan providers is valuable, you have an opportunity to make your voice heard.
Why Get Involved?
The government budget outline proposes offering federal student loans solely through the federal government's Direct Lending Program starting July of next year. While this proposal will not impact a borrower's ability to obtain a federal student loan, it will eliminate your ability to choose a student loan provider. It will also substantially increase the national debt since each and every federally-insured student loan will be funded by the Federal Treasury through the issuance of treasury securities. This proposal impacts you as a citizen - both as a taxpayer and as a borrower.
Why Does Competition And Choice Matter?
Without private lender involvement through the Federal Family Education Loan Program, students and their families will not enjoy the benefits that competition has made possible for more than 40 years. This competition has provided not only a choice of lenders, but also innovative products and services, such as:
Competition also has driven increased customer satisfaction as a result of the responsiveness, personal attention and on-campus support that student loan lenders have provided to borrowers and schools nationwide.
- a variety of borrower benefits that lower your cost of borrowing
- financial literacy programs that educate you on how to borrow responsibly
- web-based tools and resources to advise you about your financing options
- default prevention services to help you pay back your loans
Make Your Voice Heard
If you value the ability to shop for, evaluate and choose your student loan provider, make your voice heard by contacting your Members of Congress and by signing one of the online petitions that support borrower choice and competition in federal student lending.
The Student Loan Corporation
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
- Google Search - Easily one of the best search engines out there, with everything at the click of a bottom. It provides the best searches, and in a godly quick fashion. It has really been what google has strive on. The google search design is really where it got started. Its simple, sometime funny design 'Google' is all that sat on the first page. The term google, originally mean to describe a number now became a Company and a Verb. Something only Shakespeare could do.
- GMAIL - Abbreviated for Google Maile, GMAIL continues to increase the Market share on Internet web browser email. With contracts to schools like GW and Hofstra Gmail continues to grow. The simple design with the send bottom at the bottom has propelled its success under average users. Where google really does well in Gmail is their ability to fit the needs of the user. If you get 1000 emails a minute, Google allows filters, and labels to help you organize, something other web emails do not do.
- Calendar and Doc's - Now with PDF and Tasking, it makes reading and scheduling a lot easier.
- Reader- Most likely how some of you will be reading this!
- Maps/Street View
- Orkut- ??? Feature linked here . This was google's attempt to take over Facebook. What happen, I'm not really too sure. Introducing a new social networking site may have been a bit too early, especially when facebook was doing so well. Although thousands of users complain about the new(er(er(er))) facebook, they still continue to have hits on the website. I feel like someone in high school made this website for a class and sold it to google. I honestly hope google does not invest time in money on this, because it looks really sad.
- Knol ??? Linked Google's version of wikipedia. Fail! Another early release, and much needed work on the site has prevented a mass exodus against wikipedia. Although there have been talks that google did not intend to infiltrate the non-profit, it still makes google's web developers look pathetic.
- Notebook- Not even available as a plug in for chrome, it appears google gave up on the side project
- Ok, why google?
- Sketch 3D - Although i have always wanted to draw the Underground in a 3 dimensional way, i don't know why google invested in this. I think all of six people use it to be honest.
- Sites - I think only Mike has ever used this feature. I have attempted to make several using patch stats, but i found it too confusing at some stages. I think it has potential, but what market is google going after?
- Patent - oh right Coca Cola has a patent, why is google telling me this?
- And Lastly ... Google Sets? I don't think anyone has heard of this, but if you write five things that are common google can make a list of 75 things in common. Example - Colors Blue, Green Orange, White Black Pink... gives you 75 colours.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I think these advertisements look great. I saw one on a bus this morning and then this one at the Bus stop at 16th and Euclid later.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
What a day! St. Patrick's Day (more like St. Patrick's Week...) is one of my favorite holidays. Besides the usual revelry and hooliganizing that comes this time of year, I also appreciate the chance to celebrate Irish heritage and culture (hooleys, bodhrans, or grog anyone?).
Growing up in Pittsburgh, like many northern cities, St. Patrick's Day was like Christmas come early. Parade attendance was virtually mandatory, regardless of your background (though nearly everyone I knew growing up claimed some Irish ancestry) and every civic group, marching band, politician, and pub fought for the right to march. Then there were the competing festivals and musicians following the parade, and the obligatory bar crawls. My Irish Father usually rolls his eyes and mutters something under his breath about "Americans igits and their parades. F***ing amateurs...", but even he eventually gets into the spirit.
More importantly, after 8 years of that teetotaler in the White House, we finally have a president who knows how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I'm not usually a particular fan of our new president, but today he's come a long way in my book. First of all, the water in the fountains at the White House have been dyed green in honor of the day. As is traditional, the president is meeting with Irish leaders in the White House today as well; first with Taoiseach Brian Cowan in the Oval Office, and later with the two leaders of the power sharing government in Northern Ireland (Robinson and McGuinness). After a nice luncheon on Capitol Hill with Speaker Pelosi, President Obama is hosting not 1, but 2 cocktail parties at the White House! I have every intention of finding a way into one...
Most exciting of all: Obama announced this morning that Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney has been appointed Ambassador to Ireland! Great man, from a great city, representing one great nation to another. America!!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Just a quick note...
Yesterday the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on the 'Next Generation of National Service". While the committee Chairman, Senator Sir Edward Kennedy, KBE, was unable to attend, it was still a very productive and informative hearing, and also a chance to see which members (if any) opposed the Serve America Act, the main national service bill being championed in Congress.
I've written on the issue before, but as a recap: The Serve America Act (SAA) is a bill introduced by Sir Edward Kennedy and Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch that seeks to reinvigorate national service in a variety of ways. Specifically, it would provide $5 billion over five years to fund 250,000 volunteers in energy, the environment, healthcare, and education. The bill also seek to encourage and empower social entrepreneurs by creating 'Community Solution Funds' to serve as a type of venture capital for innovative approaches to civic issues. The SAA would also support various means of measuring the impact of these social investments. Specifically, by adding America's Civic Health Index, currently produced by NCoC, as part of the census.
The bill was mentioned specifically by President Obama in his appearance before a joint session of Congress in February, and has a prominent list of coponsors. At yesterday's hearing the Senators present all spoke in favor of the bill (Hatch, Mikulski, Murray, McCain, Enzi, Dodd). Additionally, testimony was heard from a variety of leaders, including the head of City Year, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and others.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Once again it has been some time since I've written. I'm seriously going to work on that.
But today there are a few stories about American Heroes that simply could not be overlooked
That's SIR Ted
Today, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown addressed a joint session of Congress (a rare honor afforded only to our closest friends... though he's the 5th UK PM to do so). In his speech, he announced that American hero, and long-time Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy would be granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, saying:
"I hope that you will allow me to single out for special mention today one of your most distinguished senators, known in every continent and a great friend.Specifically, Kennedy is being made an honorary Knight Commander in the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to U.S.-U.K. relations and for his work on the peace process in Northern Ireland. Because a non-honorary appointment requires an oath to the Queen, all those who are not citizens in a realm where the Queen is head of state are made honorary Knights. As such, technically Kennedy will not be able to use the "Sir" as a title before his name, but may use the post-nominal "KBE".
"Northern Ireland is today at peace, more Americans have health care, more children around the world are going to school and for all those things we owe a great debt to the life and courage of Senator Edward Kennedy.
"And so today, having talked to him last night, I want to announce that Her Majesty the Queen has awarded an honorary knighthood for Sir Edward Kennedy."
I say, if Gordon Brown can call him Sir Edward, the same goes for everyone. I look forward to him being addressed as such upon his return to the Senate.
Speaking of Sir Edward
Have I ranted yet about the Serve America Act? It's a major piece of legislation that is jointly sponsored by Senator Sir Edward Kennedy (or is it Sir Senator?) and Republican Orrin Hatch. The bill has almost 2-dozen sponsors and has gained momentum in recent weeks. It is notable that while it wasn't passed in the last session, Senators Obama, McCain, Clinton, and Majority Leader Reid were all among the major cosponsors.
The bill has been reintroduced and President Obama mentioned it in his speech to Congress last week as a national priority. The bill would create and expand national service projects like AmeriCorps, Vista, Teach For America, and other programs, while also creating/funding innovative new metrics for the impact of these projects. Specifically, it would nationalize America's Civic Health Index (a topic I've written about before) and provide a more clear year-by-year snapshot of civic engagement by making it part of the annual census. The National Conference on Citizenship has produced the CHI for the last several years, but this funding would allow for a greatly expanded version.
You can find more information on the Serve America Act here, at the Voices for National Service website, or here with ServiceNation.
Get involved, join the cause, pressure your elected officials. Sir Edward needs you!
Sir Edward aside, Howard Dean is clearly one of my greatest political influences. As a young turk in high school I eagerly joined the Deaniacs' 2003 Endless Summer Tour and I've been part of the movement to take my country back ever since.
In all seriousness, Howard Dean led a generational shift in American politics. He by no means did it alone, and he certainly is receiving little credit for his efforts, but I firmly believe in years to come his influence will begin to be fully appreciated. In 2002/2003, at a time when Democrats were cowering to Republicans on all issues in the wake of 9/11 and the bully-boy tactics being employed by Bush & Co, Dean was an unapologetic anti-war Democrat. He was ridiculed as a fringe element at first, until his campaign made unprecedented use of the internet and surged in the pre-primary hooplah. While his campaign eventually fizzled out (that scream...), his message of 'taking the country back', saying that he was representing the "Democratic wing of the Democratic party", revolutionizing the use of internet fundraising and social networking in campaigns -- all laid the groundwork for the Democratic resurgance we're enjoying now.
This is all even before his very successful stint as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (a position he won controversially and without the tradiational backing of the party stalwarts). He used his 50 state strategy to lay the organizational groundwork for the party in coming elections -- a very controversial move at the time, especially with then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel. But no one can argue that those investments didn't pay off when looking at the vast gains in Congressional races or the unexpected states that turned Blue in the 2008 Presidential Election. Certainly Obama had a lot to do with it, but you can't give him sole credit for winning redder than red states like North Carolina.
I'm not the first person to gush for Dean, and I hope I'm not that last. In fact, there's a great must-read piece you can find here about Howard Dean being a latter-day Democratic Barry Goldwater; setting the stage for a resurchange in their party. But the point of this all is: Give Dean his due. He's not politically loved in insider Democratic circles, but the guy has done a heck of a job. And that's not even counting his stellar record as governor of Vermont...
I've got some more coming up later, but tis all for now. Feel free to comment or discuss any of the above named Heroes of the Republic.
AHHH -- it's here!!
Working from home today, I noticed that there was a Circulator bus crossing 16th Street at the 16th/Harvard/Columbia intersection. The front of the bus said "Training Bus" ... does this mean Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights is getting its new Circulator bus asap?!
UPDATE: The Circulator training bus came back around about 20-30min later and was full of metro employees in reflective yellow vests. It was following the 42/43/H4 route around the 16/Harvard/Columbia park. Here is a photo of the bus across from the Embassy Apts. It went up Mount Pleasant Street after this, and I don't know where after that.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Heyyyy! I come bearing great news ... from WMATA!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Hey ... In case someone who reads this blog isn't my Facebook friend - Metro is on Facebook.
Metro could certainly use friends like one poster named Tim.
"I really think that Metro needs to stop talking service cuts and start talking fare increases," he wrote. "I understand that we raised fares only a year or two ago -- but I would much rather be paying an additional 50 cents per trip than I would have to deal with trains/buses coming less frequently (they already don't come frequently enough)."
Monday, February 23, 2009
I'll be brief, but I wanted to highlight how excited and touched I was by the two wins for MILK last night at the Oscars. Dustin Lance Black (only 34 years old) won for Best Writing in an Original Screenplay and Sean Penn won Best Actor.
It's not often that we sit down together as a country, and hell, with people around the world watching, it's not often we sit down as a global community ... and discuss gay rights. In a forum with as much viewership and impact as the Oscars, these two wins meant an enormous amount to me. My heart swelled listening to these two speeches ... I got the chance to truly feel proud about who I am.
Many will say that this is just the first step, there's so far to go, or the impact of this will be lost because of this or that ... but I'm going to savor it.
Black's acceptance speech:
" ... When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe even I could even fall in love and one day get married.
I wanna, I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he'd want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you, God, for giving us Harvey Milk."
Friday, February 20, 2009
Who watches it?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Yes, it was an incredibly close election. But at some point former Senator Norm Coleman needs to realize that he's probably doing himself, his party, and certainly the people of Minnesota a disservice by prolonging this agony.
It has been more than 100 days since the election and Minnesota is being greatly under served by only having half it's Senatorial delegation at work. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota's other Senator, has been overwhelmed with constituent requests on every topic from Social Security, to veterans benefits, and beyond. Also, in a Senate so closely divided (Democrats are currently 2 votes shy of a filibuster proof majority) this one vote difference does have a measurable impact. The recent hubbub over the stimulus package, in which 3 Republican Senators essentially controlled the entire process, is a perfect illustration of how every Senator is important.
But beyond the representative and philosophical arguments, this is just really looking bad for the Coleman camp and Republican Party. Can you imagine if a Democrat had ended up with just a few less votes than the Republican in a major election and not only demanded a prolonged recount but then took the results to court when they didn't like the result? Oh wait, a Democrat did come up short in a major election recently and the Republican filed to have the recount stopped. Instead of putting the nation through more agony, then-Vice President Gore conceded, despite all the major questions and issues raised by the inconsistent electoral process.
My point here is not to re-hash the 2000 election or even paint a purely (though I admit, I do paint a somewhat) partisan picture. However, it is almost impossible for me to imagine a case in which Coleman was 225 votes ahead and Franken would have taken the issue this far past election day. The Republicans would cry foul and scream and rant that Franken was simply a sore loser and was trying to hijack the election.
It's even more suspect that on election night Coleman insisted he was the winner and there was no need for a recount (for the record the margin was so close that it triggered an automatic recount under state law). Franken insisted that he would only stay in until every legitimate vote was counted. During the recount Coleman routinely tried to supress previously rejected ballots from being counted. Now that he's behind in the vote totals, Coleman has reversed his position and his main arguments before the Minnesota Supreme Court have been that more ballots (curiously all from Coleman-leaning counties) should be included in the totals.
Clearly I hope that this all ends with a Franken victory, as I have all along - I don't deny that. And there are two sides to every coin, and there are bound to be slight inconsistancies in any politician's stance on an issue. But the overt double standard that is being applied here and Coleman's unabashed flip flopping is beginning to be embarassing for him and his party. At this point I'd say he has a better chance of letting it go and coming back next round. It's not like Franken can claim a real mandate here. Bowing out, saving what's left of his integrity, and running in a few years makes the most sense.
Give it up, Norm.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
It seems that there's been a lot more news on the LGBT front in recent, months, but maybe that's just me. After Prop 8 there's been a general upswing in activism. We've also seen marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership progress in several states recently (Hawaii, Maine, DC... etc).
But for the second time in a week now I've seen news that, while creating little hubbub, seems to me just as (if not more) important. Twice now I've seen a young, progressive, LGBT leader acknowledge their sexuality and that it has no bearing on their candidacy for public office. By being out and part of the Millenial generation they're overcoming two massive hurdles most candidates don't have to encounter.
Of course it's big news anytime that an openly LGBT person declares their candidacy for, or wins, public office. We're emboldened by such leaders as the Mayor of Portland (sans scandal), Bruce Kraus of the Pittsburgh City Council, Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin in the U.S. House, and more. Each of these people are an inspiration and a unique, trailblazing part of the LGBT-equality movement.
But it's personally even more inspiring for me to witness members of my generation taking the reigns now in leading their communities. For all the talk of many of our leaders, activists, and policy makers, it's still very difficult for young people to get much cred in some circles. It's even harder still for Millenials to be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to public office. Organizations like the Young Elected Officials Network and their Front Line Leaders Academy are fueling the movement by training young people with an interest in public service, and helping to remove that age barrier.
First, I saw a news story and several blog posts about Newark, Delaware City Councilman, and friend of the blog, Ezra Temko's announcement last week that he is bisexual. In his short time on Council, Ezra has been at the center of efforts to expand LGBT rights and nondiscrimination in Newark. Discussing his decision to come out and dating his boyfriend Drew:
When we started dating, it struck me how many rights we don’t have. I’ve always been very family oriented, so the limitations on our future made me recognize the level of privilege I had been assuming in my life, which motivated me to step up my advocacy in this area. From that, I began to see what states and municipalities around the country are doing and I asked myself, ‘Why isn’t Newark doing this'?Nick Schalosky is a college junior in South Carolina who was just elected the first openly gay official in the state! Nick used Facebook to organize a last-minute write in campaign for the Charleston County Constituent School Board. After noticing that no one was running for the position, but too late to register for the ballot, he used online organizing tools to communicate with voters, organize his campaign, and reach out to (new) media.
Schalosky, 21, is also the Secretary of the local Stonewall Democrats Chapter and has written a great article about online organizing, community involvement, and a reflection on his candidacy here.
Congrats to both of you gentlemen! If you hear about any more Millenials or openly gay officials making waves, let us know!!
First of all -- and I know that it's Wednesday and this post is overdue -- last Friday I went to the Ben Folds/Jason Mraz concert at GW's Smith Center. It was great! I'm not normally one for concerts (especially ones where you don't get a plush seat), but I was thoroughly impressed. Both performers were last at GW my freshman year there (that was almost 6 years ago for those of you without an abiccus) and while I saw Mraz (with Guster) I sadly missed Ben Folds. Thus, I was inspired to make it out this time.
I went into the night with a thoroughly pro-Ben Folds outlook, thinking of Mraz as icing. Folds was great to watch and did a few of my favorites, but Mraz was electricfying. His stage presence and overall charisma was just much more fun, regardless of whether you've ever heard anything he's done.
Bottom line: if you have the chance, see Mraz. But Ben Folds is still good too...
Little known fact: Southern Delaware is not unlike rural Alabama. I have family in northern Delaware and visited many times in my childhood. However, it wasn't until this past weekened that I spent any time in the far southern reaches of the state. Let me say that my eyes are now open.
Sheam, Skank, and a few others journeyed to our dear friend Chad's family estate in lovely Seaford, DE to celebrate President's Day. Among all the festivities, we had the opportunity to do some sight-seeing and visit with the locals. Everywhere we went (most notably a thoroughly enjoyable tour of the manor once owned by Governor William Ross) we interacted with people with a very pronounced accent. If I hadn't known any better I would have gussed we'd landed somewhere in Mississippi. It turns out Delaware, as a slave state, was a little divided on the secession issue leading up to the the Civil War. While most of DE wanted to stay with the Union, the people of Seaford and other southern DE regions sympathized with the south.
Pure conjecture: but it seems to me they're still passive-aggressively rejecting their northern neighbors and putting on those phony southern accents.
The Senate has moved the latest incarnation of DC voting rights legislation out of committee (even some Republicans voted for it, though not John'Curmudgeon' McCain). This bill, like one passed by the House but filibustered in the Senate last session, would give DC a full voting House member and give Utah an additional member (they're next on the list to receive one by population). Majority Leader Reid plans to bring it up for debate soon (next week?) and anticipates that they will have more than enough votes to overcome a filibuster, thanks to the November election.
The House has yet to really act on the bill, but it passed last session by an overwhelming majority and we can only expect those numbers to go up.
Exciting news!! While it's far from a solution, leaving DC unrepresented in the Senate for instance, it's a great step forward!
Also -- I'm officially endorsing Howard Dean for HHS Secretary! I've actually been ranting to my friends/twitter following/facebook for a few days on this matter. He's quite the ideal candidate in my book. Dean is a doctor, was a very successful Governor (who reformed and greatly expanded healthcare), very successful DNC Chairman, and he's shown that he's a skillful manager (ala DNC, Vermont, etc).
All that said we're not likely to see Dean at all active with this White House. The new President's enforcer / chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has a notoriously bad relationship with Dean going back to Dean's DNC Chairmanship and Emanuel's time running the DCCC. Emanuel scoffed at Dean's '50 State Strategy' of investing in Democrats nationwide, instead of targeted spending that would have helped Emanuel's colleagues in Congressional races.
Apparently Obama, though the obvious benefactor of the 50SS success, seems to agree with Emanuel. Last month when the new DNC Chair Tim Kaine took over and Obama held an event to celebrate, they failed to even invite the outgoing Chairman Dean. Talk about arrogance.
I honestly fail to realize how at a time like this, facing innumerable national crises, our leaders can still afford to not put skilled and experienced people like Dean in key positions like this. I realize that there are going to be personality conflicts, and Dean's presidential campaign didn't end on a particularly high note (well, actually maybe the note he hit was a bit too shrill...), but at some point let's realize that ability to do the job and do it well should be paramount.
In any case: Dean for HHS!!
That's all for now. Feel free to share thoughts, idea, disagreements, etc below.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Apparently, we are in the midst of "Random Acts of Kindness Week!" Who puts this on, you might ask ... well none other than the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation! Can you imagine getting a business card from someone in this organization?! Unreal!
To support this en masse , Adams Morgan is encouraging folks to utilize the 18th and Columbia kiosk (as they did for Festivus) to post ideas for the week. You can also log into the above website and send kindness e-cards. What random acts of kindness have you done this week??
So how this is funded and who runs it? ... this is the information on the "About Us" page on their website:
The Foundation is privately held and funded. We accept no donations, grants, or membership dues. We do not provide financial assistance to individuals or organizations. The Foundation has no religious or organizational affiliations; we encourage the practice of kindness in all sectors of society.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is the United States delegate to the World Kindness Movement, an organization that includes various nations. People in these countries promote kindness within their countries' borders and are creating a global network of kindness and compassion.
As people from different cultures and from all walks of life are joining to spread kindness, they are creating a powerful, synergistic action throughout the world. Please join us in bringing kindness and compassion to our local and global communities!
Looking past the absurdity that is this organization, I must say that this is a great idea. Go forth and commit random acts of kindness this week ... and stay tuned for World Kindness Day and World Kindness week in November!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Okay ... trading has stopped for the day, so here is your Monday stock pick ... US Steel.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
First order of business, our great friend Cocktail (aka Marc) has posted a long-overdue note on his blog (Marc's GChat Status Expanded). Some will recall that we led a successful write-in campaign for Marc to include Pittsburgh as a separate entry in his 'Why do people like being from...' series. Well, I ran into Marc last weekend and he promised if the Steelers won the Super Bowl he'd do the post asap.
Well it's finally ready.
If you like Pittsburgh, it's worth a read. If you hate Pittsburgh, it's worth a read, too. While trashing on some of our (my) worse habits, he also admits to some of the good things.
Read it here
In other news, Iceland new PM is an open lesbian. Johanna Sigurdardottir took over after her predecessor stepped down for health reasons, after announcing that elections are to be held later this spring.
Leave it to Iceland figure out the wisdom of putting a gay in charge after their entire economy has collapsed. In any case, good luck!!
You're getting very sleepy...
It looks like someone may take on Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman in 2012. Those of you with a conscience will remember that Ned Lamont won the Democratic primary against Lieberman a few years back. But Lieberman (DINO) still won the seat. He now identifies as an "Independent Democrat" in the Senate. What does that mean? It means he does what he wants, endorses the Republican candidate for President, speaks at their convention, and yet somehow retains the Chairmanship of a powerful committee while the Democrats have a strong majority in the Senate. The only possible explanation is that he's a hypnotist. Perhaps a witch-doctor. In any case, I hope this guy has what it takes to get rid of this Democrat in Name Only.
More later, it's still early...
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Well, there's a great article here about how the music didn't die, but instead Holly's influence lives on.
In other news, those of you paying attention know that Skank, SHEAm, and I routinely ride the 42/43 bus line for our morning/evening commute. Well, apparently we're in somewhat famous company. MSNBC reported yesterday (yes, from that plump pumpkin of a commentator, Keith Olberman. I know, I don't usually like him either...) that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld attempted to board a crowded 42 last week, just north of Dupont Circle. Instead of boarding he was booed by passengers and told that the bus was too crowded to accommodate him. He reportedly walked instead.
I have personally seen Rummy on 3 occasions in the past few months, sometimes in the Dupont area and sometimes in the Golden Triange south of Dupont. Have you seen Rummy recently??
We are going to start a Rum-Sighting series here on Connetiquette. Email or post anytime you see Rummy!!
In Cabinet news, the Senate voted and we now have an Attorney General (whoo hooo!) who doesn't promise to not prosecute the war criminals from the last administrations. Thank God.
Similarly, Republican Judd Gregg was announced today for Commerce Secretary. Though this came at the price of Democratic New Hampshire Governor John Lynch promising to appoint a Republican in Gregg's place, so as to not change the balance of power in the Senate. If the Dems get one more seat they'll have a 60-person supermajority that will be able to withstand a filibuster. As it stands now, on most issues there are one or two moderate senators who can be picked off and convinced to join the majority. But it's still an interesting little dance they're doing.
Finally, HHS nominee Tom Daschle, former Senate Majority Leader, has withdrawn his name from consideratino. He's gotten a lot of flak over the past few days on some tax issues (seriously- this is the 3rd Cabinet nomination to have this prolem. Was nobody looking into this?!). While I personally think Tom Daschle is a great man and would do wonders for this country in the realm of healthcare (especially leading a task force on universal care), I have to agree that these issues are a best a distraction from everything. I just hope that he's still around for a non-cabinet appointment to work on healthcare reform. It would be a waste to not put his experience and relationships with Congress to good use...
Finally, just a small note on this weekend. What a game! I'm still surprised it went from snooze-fest to a really exciting, edge-of-your-seat game. I've already commented on my pride in the Steelers and the Steel City, but there were also some great ads. In lieu of posting my own recap of each ad, I'm actually going to defer to fellow blogger-extrordinaire Cocktail and his commentary. I fully agree (be sure to check out his upcoming post on the Emerald City). Some of the best were the movie previews. I'm absolutely obsessed with the fact that this summer so many great movies are coming. We have Transformers 2, GI JOE (so pumped), STAR TREK (even more pumped), and the newest Harry Potter flik (which has been uber delayed). I can't wait. There will be posts on all of this very soon.
That's all for now folks