Thursday, October 29, 2009

World Series

New York Yankees Vs. Philadelphia Phillies. This is an East Coast grudge match between two pro sports rivalry cities. Lots of story lines in this one. Philly took Game 1-and the home field advantage and Pedro Martinez is pitching game 2. He has a history with New York as many well know. Everyone is expecting it to be an exciting Series and that is what I am hoping for myself as well.

Five days to go

There is just one week to go until the Virginia gubernatorial election between Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell. Honestly, this election has generated little to no buzz particularly among the Democrats. Deeds has not run a strong campaign which came stumbling out of the gate with a theme of "This is Deeds Country," not a way to appeal to Northern Virginia, one of the fastest growing areas in the country. He also never really came out with a transportation plan, another problem when trying to appeal to Northern Virginia voters, except if you count riding around in a flat bed pickup truck. As a result poll numbers are not encouraging to volunteers.

Deeds does not have the same appeal to bring out voters that came out to vote for Obama either, and he took Virginia in a close election which included many first time voters.

However, what was most disturbing was that he did not present himself as a strong and solid Democrat, this alienated a lot of regular activists and when you do that, the campaign is in big trouble particularly when it is not as high profile as the '08 election and you have to rely on the Virginia rank and file to organize volunteers, make calls and door knock to get the job done. I have done more volunteering myself than a lot of these people (and I cut down on my hours).
I am sure the Democrats will regret getting behind a moderate when he could not really rally the party. However, politics is more "unpredictable than sports" and anything can happen over the final four days. If you live in Virginia, knock on some doors or make phone calls. It isn't like Democrats haven't won in Virginia before!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Patriots in London

The Patriots defeated Tampa Bay today 35-7. It was important they took care of business against one of the worst teams in the league as the meat of their schedule is coming up.
They played the game in Wembley Stadium in London, United Kingdom. It is amazing how many fans of the NFL there are despite the lack of background with American football. There is talk of an NFL putting a team there as well as having Super Bowl. I think it would be difficult to have a team there but the Super Bowl would not be out of the realm of possibilities. The only drawback I see would be playing it at a different time of the day! It is not like London does not know how to deal with big events (2012 Olympics). It is good to see the interest in the game expanding to other nations. Maybe Spain next??

Balloon boy is a hoax

The mother of the "Balloon Boy" in Colorado came out this past week and said that the whole story was a hoax. The father was looking for some publicity for an appearance on an upcoming reality show and thought this would be the way to do it. This guy should be in jail for using resources tied to national security to orchestrate this!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

WaPo endorsement

Creigh Deeds has been endorsed over Bob McDonnell in the Washington Post this past weekend. Hopefully this will give some momentum to what has been a lackluster campaign and turn the tide in the last few weeks. The race has not brought out the same volunteers as the Obama campaign did and if they cannot bring out close to that voter turnout I believe the Democrats are going to come up short. Obama is planning another visit on October 27th so hopefully that is one of the last minute stops the Deeds campaign will deploy.

wild weather

I always say the Red Sox tanking means winter is on its way. I did not mean it in the literal sense. This past weekend we had cold rain and temperatures in the 40s. In the Northeast, they actually had some snow and I broke out the winter coat for the first time. This is a sure sign that winter is right around the corner.

Of course people are saying there is not such thing as global warming but it really is not a matter of global warming but rather climate change. This type of extreme weather cannot go unnoticed.

Balloon Boy

The top story this week was the balloon boy in Colorado. Originally people thought the boy had floated away in a weather balloon and it turns out he was hiding in his attic. Most of you know all of the details so I will spare you those. Here are my thoughts:

-I think they were looking for some more face time, after all the family used to appear on Wife Swap

-The reports also said they called the local TV station before 911. They also called up NORAD and flights at Denver Airport were delayed too. This is another recipe that they are trying to create a story.

-Local authorities announced that charges would be filed. I did not go to law school so I cannot pinpoint them exactly but we are talking about possibly compromising national security so this cannot be taken lightly

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tough sports day

Tough day for sports in New England. The Red Sox were eliminated by the Angels in a 3-0 sweep. They were leading in the top of the 9th inning 6-4 and then Jonathan Papelbon gave up three runs and they lost 7-6. I did not have really high expectations of them since they limped into the playoffs but it is always a let down when they end their season. It usually means a long, cold winter is right behind.

The Patriots lost today to Denver 20-17 in overtime. The are not off to the fastest start particularly for Super Bowl contender. Tom Brady and the offense still have a lot of work to do as they did not score in the second half. Hopefully they will get their problems figured out to make a run at the playoffs and we will see what happens from there.

In better news, I ran my first 10K today along the Tidal Basin area/Potomac Park. When you do it for the first time, the goal is to finish and that is what I did!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama gets Peace Prize

This was a surprise to many, including the President himself. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today. It was surprising because he has not had a lot of accomplishments. It left the White House looking for a way to try and spin this-especially since they did not create the news. They did the best they could by saying it was a call to serious action for America to engage in diplomacy to solve the world's problems. A lot of it had to do with the fact that his policies were different from President Bush. He also said that he will donate the money to a charity. There is always the option of keeping it with the promise of starting a foundation after his presidency is over.

Red Sox fall in Game 1

Red Sox lost the opening game of their best of five ALDS against Anaheim 5-0. I did not stay up for most of the game, however, the game breaker was Torii Hunter's 3 run homer in the 5th inning. There were also two controversial calls by the umpires. The Angels still have to two more games, however you never know when the momentum swinger is going to come in a playoff series and that one hit might have been all the Angels needed to turn the series their way, especially in a best 3 out of 5. Game 2 is critical for the Red Sox otherwise they would have to make a return trip to the West Coast to win the series. If I played for an East Coast team, I would dread having to play a series against a team from the West Coast, especially with the cross country trips. It does not both the Red Sox as much because they are a veteran team and have had enough success against the Angels.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Its Rio!

Rio de Janiero was selected to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Surprisingly Chicago went out in the first round. Madrid got to the final so at one point I was giddy with excitement about a possible return to the place I lived for four months. At least I won't have to wait that long. While it was not my top choice I am pleased that a barrier was broken and the Games will head to South America for the first time as the early part of this century has seen a lot of barriers broken down such as this (and I expect more).

Unfortunately, the conservatives were actually pleased that Chicago did not get the Olympics because it meant a setback for President Obama. I thought it was somewhat unpatriotic to be supporting Madrid and these people are happy that we did not get it. I think the Olympics transcends politics and this is going to new lows. I also would not be cheering if Bush had done the same for New York four years ago and the result had been the same.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Olympic decision tomorrow

Tomorrow the International Olympic Committee will decide the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games. As someone who studied in Spain, I would be thrilled to see Madrid get them. However, I have visited Chicago twice and believe it would make an extraordinary host for the Games. The other two cities are Rio de Janiero and Tokyo. Rio would break a barrier and Tokyo is a world class city as well. President Obama made a last minute decision to over to be part of the final bid presentation. Critics are saying that he should spend more time on health care and Afghanistan. However, it is a short trip and should Chicago get awarded the Games, it would be one of his major accomplishments to date. Also the other candidate cities have heads of state as part of their presentations. Because of this, if Chicago did not get the Games he would be criticized for not going. May the best city win! Opening ceremonies will be here before you know it.

Red Sox in the playoffs

The Red Sox clinched their wild card berth in the playoffs when Texas lost to Anaheim on Tuesday night. It was a muted celebration as they clinched it on a five game losing streak. Having said that, since the MLB playoff field is so small, there is really no way you can just "back into" the playoffs. They went on a hot streak from mid August to mid September so they earned their berth. It should be interesting to see if they can go on yet another run this year. The Angels feel they will get them at some point but many experts feel they are the second best team in the American League. It will be exciting to see it all play out. Go Sox!

Earthquake/tsunami in the Pacific

There were two earthquakes this week in the Pacific Ocean, one of which created a tsunami that devastated the islands of Samoa and American Samoa. Having the two earthquakes near each other seemed like the TV miniseries 10.5, about a huge earthquake that destroyed the entire West Coast. The other one was in Indonesia near where the 2004 tsunami struck. It is a "double whammy" to many of these parts of the world because they are so poor to begin with. It is also difficult to predict/evacuate when there is a possible tsunami or not.