Monday, June 29, 2009

Madoff sentenced

Bernie Madoff, the investment giant who was the mastermind behind the ponzi scheme that swindled millions of dollars out of many investors, was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his horrendous crimes. It had a ripple effect on my alma mater, Brandeis University, who had many donors that invested with Madoff, and their fundraising efforts. When I was there for the reunion they had a lot of capital projects going on and when it comes time to pay for them it could be a problem. There were original plans to close the Rose Art Museum on the campus but the backlash from that lead them to a compromise where they would only sell certain pieces of art. You can see my earlier post here. Personally I think the sentence should require him to hang by his toes for three hours every day.

U.S.A. vs. Brazil

On Sunday the United States national soccer team played perennial powerhouse Brazil in the Confederations Cup final in South Africa. They were up 2-0 at halftime and usually that is a solid lead in soccer, especially on the international stage. Many thought they could pull the upset. But, alas, when it is too good to be true it usually is, Brazil came back and won 3-2. Nevertheless, it was good that team U.S.A. at least competed with a team like Brazil on the biggest international stage they have ever been on. Merely 10 years ago American soccer was considered a joke but the growth of the game in the United States has lead to more support and a more talented national team.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

American Clean Energy and Security Act

Since all MSM seems to want to cover is all Michael Jackson all the time I may as well give some attention to the fact the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act. This will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create a lot of green jobs. It will also help utilities (both investor-owned and municipal) implement energy efficiency programs as well. This will also help in addressing the issue of climate change and enforce stricter codes to reduce emissions in private industry.

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett

What a week it has been for celebrity deaths. First Farrah Fawcett of Charlie's Angels passed away after her long battle with cancer and the "King of Pop" Michael Jackson passed away suddenly yesterday of an apparent cardiac arrest. Jackson may have had some personal issues but his talent was respected by mostly everyone and he changed the way artists combine singing, dancing and video in their performances. His passing is being felt around the world and for those of us that grew up with him, it is similar to the passing of John Lennon and other icons.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Academy Awards

I just saw on the news that there are going to be ten nominees for Best Picture at next year's Oscars. I can see where they want to give more studios/filmmakers the opportunity to get the award, but does it water it down a little bit? Also, won't it extend the show even more. It is already long enough.

Mark Sanford=FAIL

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford decided to get away to Argentina this weekend without telling his wife or staff. There were even pictures of him hiking nude. He then admits to having an extramarital affair. He was on a "medium sized" list for candidates for the Republican nomination in 2012. At this point anyone he may have hired for his exploratory committee may as well start looking for new jobs.


The United States shocked Spain in soccer today 2-0 in the Confederation Cup. They will advance to their first FIFA final ever. If they come close to this next year in the World Cup it will be a huge accomplishment for United States soccer. I have somewhat mixed feelings since I studied abroad in Spain while I was in college, but since they won the Euro Cup last year this is not a huge deal.

Boston vs. Washington

Yes, a little take on the title of this blog. The Red Sox were in town to take on the Nationals at Nationals Park. I went to the game last night and had a good time. There were more Red Sox fans than Nationals fans. I could sense the excitement just by the number of text messages I was sending and receiving. Given the tragic events from Monday, it was a good way for Red Sox and Nats fans to take their mind of the realities of what happened. Best of all the Sox won 11-3. Go Sox!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

RIP Ed McMahon

Television personality Ed McMahon died today at 86. He was best known as Johnny Carson's sidekick on the Tonight Show but went on to host and appear on other shows including "Star Search." My thoughts go out to his family.

Red Sox vs. Nationals

The Boston Red Sox are travelling to Washington this week to play a three game series against the Washington Nationals in DC. I am really excited as I am going to the game tonight. There are going to be a lot of Red Sox fans there that have relocated to DC. Go Red Sox!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Metro Crash in DC

There was a Metro crash on Washington DC's Metrorail Red Line today. My family was calling up to make sure that I was okay. Luckily I am fine and everyone I know is okay. It is crazy to think about the safety concern when using something that you rely on every day. At last count there were four people killed today. My heart goes out to the families of those and a speedy recovery for those that were injured.

Update: Death toll now stands at 7 people in this crash.

Lucas Glover wins U.S. Open

Lucas Glover won the 109th U.S. Open today at Bethpage black. He had several clutch shots down the stretch and Phil Mickelson came up agonizingly short once again. David Duval, one of the best golfers from the late 90s and early parts of this decade had a great second place finish and many had thought he fell off the face of the earth after winning the 2001 British Open. You can see how much of a crap shoot the U.S. Open can be when none of the four people that I thought had a chance winning ended up doing so.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Busy weekend

I had a busy weekend. I had to help a friend pack stuff up to move back to Los Angeles (not a triumphant return by any means) but given the times that we are in it is somewhat necessary. I am counting my blessings every day. I also saw "The Proposal" with my movie group. It was a great romantic comedy and Betty White was especially good. I also went to a friend's birthday party right after that in addition to dinner Friday night. I also took care of "apartment stuff" but I don't want to get into that stuff at this time right now. I did also take my first swim in the pool at the apartment complex. I am also going to try to get back to the gym and running next week. Only disappointment was not seeing the U.S. Open end today but there is nothing you can do about the weather I guess.

Happy Fathers Day

I just want to wish a Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers out there. Fathers are the best role models one could ever have.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rain on Long Island

The forecast is for on and off rain the entire week. This really stinks, I always look forward to America's biggest golf event of the year ending on Sunday. I may as well go ahead and schedule time off from work now because it is all but certainly going into Monday. Not that I would ever skip work to watch golf!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

109th U.S. Open

Tommorow is the first round of the 109th U.S. Open at Bethpage Black Course on Long Island, New York. It returns there for the first time since 2002. The U.S. Open is the tournament I always look forward to every single year. I believe the setup is extraordinary and the champion always has to play 72 solid holes in order to win. Par is always a very good score and many on many occasions it is an equalizer and many champions are totally off the radar screen at the beginning of the week, such as Michael Campbell in 2005 and Angel Cabrera in 2007. While I could be wrong, the length of Bethpage makes it one where the biggest hitters are going to rise to the top. Here are my picks:

1. Tiger Woods-He won here in '02 and fully expect him to do the same just like any major he tees it up in.
Others that might have a chance
2. Phil Mickelson-Another long hitter and wants to win an Open more than a lot of tour players. He is playing with a heavy heart
3. Sergio Garcia-A "brown horse," he has not been playing well this year but his length and ability to rise in some majors makes him a factor. He is going to win a major one of these years, could this be it
4. Ernie Els-His career has gone down (especially after the four near misses in '04) but I think he has one more run in him. A long hitter, this may be his last chance at a major. For this course he is the closest to dark horse that I can get-I cannot see one rising up from nowhere to take this.

Of course, none of these players could even be in the top 10 on Sunday night. Sit back and enjoy. Remember, it does not "begin" until the back 9 on Sunday!

Obama and gay rights

Obama is trying to make amends with the gay and lesbian community by granting some benefits to gay couples where one partner works for the federal government. His stances on gay issues have been a disappointment. While he is trying to govern from the center, a lot people who voted for him on the issue of "change" were sure that this would include reform in the rights of gays and lesbians, particularly those from the progressive movement. At least he has plenty of time in his term to revisit the issue and hopefully take some action to benefit the gay community.

Protests continue in Iran

Demonstrations and protests continue in Iran over the disputed election last week. The government and police forces were even trying to crack down on it by tracking Twitter accounts. One can only wonder where these protests will go next, whether the government represses them or if it leads to an overthrow of the government by force or a civil war. At least Obama has come out and said that this is an issue that Iran needs to resolve. After all, we may need to deal with them on more important issues in terms of diplomacy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lakers win

The Los Angeles Lakers won Game 5 of the NBA finals last night 99-86 to take the series 4-1 win their 15th NBA title. Even though the Celtics won last year and lead in the total title count seeing the Lakers win is still obnoxious. Phil Jackson also passed Red Auerbach for most titles won as well-he got his own gold hat for doing that too. At least he did not do it against the Celtics. At least the Celts will be back next year and will try and make another run at it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iranian elections

I saw this coming from a mile away, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected in Iran's presidential election this past week and it is no secret that it was a fraudulent election and there have been protests all over the nation. At least last Tuesday's primary in Virginia was a free and fair election. People are still bitter about the 2000 presidential election and the stain that put on our democracy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Farewell letter

A link to Miles' farewell letter from the campaign. I could not have put it better:

Arlington rap

This is hillarious. It is spreading amongst local people faster than Susan Boyle clips. Unfortunately it is true. Sometimes Arlington reminds me a lot of Andover but a younger age bracket and it is more "fabricated" with modern development and national chains. Not that there is anything wrong with that especially for the demographics.

Penguins Win Stanley Cup

The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in Game 7 2-1 over Detroit (at Detroit no less). Good to see Sidney Crosby get his first cup and he has set the bar for Alex Ovechkin (of the Capitals) and the young Bruins as well. They clinched three consecutive series in a row on the road which is always impressive too.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shooting at U.S. Holocaust Museum

Today there was a shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington today. The perpetrator was a white supremacist who decided to carry out his act of violence at a memorial to those that died at the hands of hate and tyranny.

As an Armenian and Jew, my heritage (and even my own family) have been affected by ethnic slaughter so this touches me personally.

On a day when Virginia Democrats are coming together in unity, regardless of candidate affiliation from the past few months or, more importantly, political party affiliation, we can all agree that these acts cannot and will not be tolerated in the United States in 2009 and elected leaders, along with citizens, will have to play a role to make sure that happens.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The campaign has come to a close

Congratulations to Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner, and Patrick Hope on winning elections in Virginia and Arlington today. As Democrats, we will all give them our support as they enter campaigns with Republicans in November. In the case of Patrick, we wish him all the best as he will be the next Delegate from Arlington.

As far as the Miles Grant campaign. I want to congratulate everyone on all of their efforts and I could not be more proud of our team. Miles and every single volunteer showed class, professionalism and friendship from day one of this campaign and that is something that will not change. I hope we can take the lessons we learned from the past five or six months in bring them to our careers and our lives. Most importantly, we need to maintain these values in the Arlington community.

Once we have recovered and resumed our normal lives, I look forward to the entire team reconvening to, have some fun, and discuss where to go next as there is plenty to do before even thinking about 2011-and not just political campaigns. We have a lot of varied backgrounds, expertise, and interests and we need to continue to reinvigorate them into the Arlington community to make it a better place (the most important thing) and maybe, someday, Arlington will elect a delegate, whether it is Miles or someone else, that will have the values that this campaign cared deeply about.

I am now ready to kick off a relaxing summer. I am looking forward to getting back to golf, running (had been sidelined with an injury), swimming, watching baseball (Go Sox!), other social activities, and most importantly, finding and welcoming my next roommate. Our group is welcome to partake in any of those previously mentioned activities with me! Once again, thank you all for a great ride.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back from Boston

I had a great weekend up in Boston, my reunion did not get the best turnout but it was good to go back to campus and see a few people that I had not seen in a while. Of course I got to see family which was always good.

It is now back to the grind here in Washington. After tomorrow, I will have to focus on the roommate hunt and take care of other stuff on my plate. However, tomorrow is primary day in Northern Virginia. I will be working at the Woodbury precinct in Courthouse for Miles Grant. It will be an exciting day and hopefully an even more exciting night. It will be typical DC summer weather but that will not diminish the excitement of the day. If you live in Virginia, please be sure to get out and vote. Go Miles!!