Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snowpocalypse II

We got four to eight inches of snow today in the Washington DC/Arlington area. This was not as bad as the Christmas storm but still enough to paralyze the city. It is a good day to get a lot of indoor stuff done and relax. I was watch the golf tournament from San Diego today and remembering when I was visiting there this time last year. I cannot complain as I will be in Florida in a few weeks. The temperatures will remain cold so the snow probably won't melt anytime soon.

The snow did not keep President Obama from getting to the Georgetown-Duke game. It is good to see him get out but it can make for a lot of criticism. He even did play-by-play with the CBS announcers.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama in Tampa to promote the TGV/AVE Florida style

After the State of The Union speech, President Obama went to promote funding for high speed rail in Florida and to be at a groundbreaking for this. It is about time that Florida considers building high speed rail. Florida is arguably the world's most popular tourist destination behind Europe (regionally, not as a city). One of the draws of Europe is that all the cities are connected by a broad train system and tourists visit multiple cities on one trip. Why not Florida? How many people go to see Grandma and Grandpa on the coast and then go hang out with Mickey Mouse in Orlando. It would be easier to take the train from their respective city to Orlando/Lake Buena Vista/Kissimee.

Additionally, not all of the local airports have as many flights as the larger ones. For example my grandparents live in Sarasota on the west coast. I can get a flight from Regan National (next to my apartment) to Tampa nonstop but still have to take a shuttle which does not run that frequently to Sarasota. Why not have the option of boarding a high speed train for less money and more comfort and convenience that will take me right to Sarasota? We cannot overlook the environmental cost as well, less rental cars on the road and more fuel efficient trains would have better environmental consequences.

State of The Union

Thoughts on the State of The Union. As always, President Obama is one of the best orators of our generation and he brings his own humorous flair to his speeches at times. He laid out bold initiatives which I hope he can follow through on. If there is not any significant action in the next few months the Democrats can expect a bloodbath in the November midterm elections. Also, he needed to allude a little bit more to recent Republican victories, particularly in Massachusetts, which showed the anger of voters and a need for Washington to deliver on the change that was promised in 2008. As for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, having a State of The Union response in front of the General Assembly showed he was taking a piece out of Obama's playboo with a "center stage." Let it be a warning the big stage is what McDonnell and the Republicans are after.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One year anniversary

While this isn't exactly accurate, I would like mark the one year anniversary of Boston to Washington. A blog that began with the inauguration of Barack Obama has told stories of trips to the West Coast, followed a promising local campaign very closely, welcomed a new roommate to Arlington, broke down golf tournaments, and commented on all the important events in sports, politics, and pop culture that I thought were important. It has been a great year and I cannot wait to see what I will be writing about in 2010.

Super Bowl XLIV

It seems like I am always late with post but the Super Bowl hype week has begun. It will be the Indianapolis Colts vs. the New Orleans Saints in Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL. Indianapolis came from behind in the AFC Championship game to beat the New York Jets 30-17. It will be Peyton Manning's second Super Bowl. The New Orleans Saints advanced to their first Super Bowl by winning in overtime 31-28 over the Minnesota Vikings. Minny had a chance to win it in regulation but Brett Farve threw an untimely interception at the end of the game. It was yet another heartbreaking loss for a franchise that has never won a Super Bowl. Having said that, this is a great story for a city that has suffered so much over the past few years and is still recovering. Considering that many thought this would be a game between two undefeated teams, I expect this will be a classic matchup. For some it maybe the commericals or halftime show, but for me it is all about the game and I want nothing less than a good one!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Shameless self "promotion(s)"

What was expected to be a busy 2010 is living up to the hype and then some. I just received a promotion at my job to membership coordinator, which means I am the point person for a lot more stuff and will be responsible for a lot more projects and marketing plans for the association. I am excited to finally be making my first career move since graduate school. If you are interested in knowing more about APPA and its opportunities, feel free to contact me.

I have also agreed to be the Careers and Networking Chair for Arlington Young Democrats. I had been working on a similar group with a friend of mine. In a twist of fate, one of my close friends (different person) from AYD is now the president expressed interest in bringing this type of programming to the organization and I agreed to run the program. It is interesting how these things work out! If you live in Arlington, VA and would like to get involved, feel free to visit our group on Facebook at "Arlington Young Democrats Careers and Networking."

Supreme Court ruling

This past week the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case regarding campaign finance reform that will allow corporations and other types of organizations to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns. A few years ago I worked at an organization that did work as a watchdog of political contributions from businesses. It was alarming to see the some of the lack of policy and oversight regarding this type of activity. I feel this will be watered down even more now that the high court ruled there are no limits on this.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scott Brown wins MA US Senate seat

Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown (R) won the special Senate election to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy defeating Martha Coakley. This is a stunning victory and congratulations to the campaign for their victory. A few takeaways:

-Coakley did not run a campaign acting as she was entitled to this seat. She even took a Caribbean vacation during the campaign. Ted Kennedy would have wanted his successor to campaign hard for the seat. MSNBC said that she thought they took the vote for granted-something you do not do in any election
-The 09 Virginia elections and this race is showing that voters aren't seeing the change that was promised in the 2008 presidential campaign. There better be some legislative action and it better be bipartisan or else the floodgates are about to open for the GOP

Monday, January 18, 2010

Final Four in NFL Playoffs

The NFL playoffs this weekend was "going chalk" (all top seeds winning) for the first three games of the weekend and for the first time since 2004 the top seeds will host the conference title games. The Saints, Colts, and Vikings all beat the Cardinals, Ravens and Cowboys respectively and in blowouts. Leave it to the Jets to crash the party and be the one road team to win out in San Diego. Then again this is the NFL, the playoffs usually do not go true to form. Not since 1993 has two number one seeds played in the Super Bowl. More on conference title week later but right now I can say that the Colts will play their starters all four quarters on Sunday.

Donations to Haiti

I would highly encourage anyone to make some sort donation to the relief efforts in Haiti. Cash donations are the best as the relief workers will have a difficult time managing a large amount of in kind donations. The best place to donate is to the American Red Cross at You can also donate to organizations like the Salvation Army and Save the Children. Thank you for your support.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Massachusetts Senate Race update

The Senate race in Massachusetts between State Senator Scott Brown and Attorney General Martha Coakley is much more contested than a lot of people thought. The most Democratic state in the nation is getting a dose of a "Virginia" swing state election and it Democrats across the nation are getting concerned about holding onto the late Ted Kennedy's seat. Polling shows Coakley with a nine point lead. However, she is trailing among independents and voter turnout for this is going to be a major concern. The big issue is that Massachusetts Democrats think this is their "God given" right to hold onto this seat and voter turnout could be reflected in that. What is worse is that the campaign has the same thoughts and they are not taking the aggressive road. What was once just a "warmup" for Republican Scott Brown for a governor's race turning into what seemed like an impossible dream for the GOP could now be a possibility. If you are a DC area Democrat, please take some time to make calls this weekend to get people out to vote. This is the only way we are going to keep Uncle Ted's seat and allow the "dream to live on."

Tragedy in Haiti

A 7.0 earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti this week leaving the nation in ruins and thousands are feared dead. The presidential palace was even destroyed. The magnitude of the tragedy has prompted a quick response from President Obama and the United States as well as other nations. I think the White House learned from past experiences how to appropriately respond to a tragedy. Please take time to make some sort of a donation-any amount is helpful as these people have nothing right now. Be sure to keep this nation in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Simon Cowell leaving American Idol

Nothing surprises me about what happens behind the scenes and with the personnel on this show. Personally I really did not care for the wannabes at the beginning of the show and the demoralizing comments from Simon, I just enjoyed the extraordinary talent that made it to the end. Eliot Yamin is my favorite artist from the show.

Sarah Palin on Fox News

It was announced that Sarah Palin will be a commentator on Fox News Channel. All I have to say is the more that we hear from her the more her brand is lowered. I could not think of a better place to water down her presidential ambitions even more-the more YouTube clips the better!!

Harry Reid puts his foot in mouth

The latest book on the 2008 election came out this week and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave some quotes about Obama that came off as racist and that he won because did not use "Negro speak" as much and he wasn't really that black. He did immediately apologize and Obama said it was a dead issue. There were Republican leaders calling on him to resign.

I think Obama should have denounced the remarks as unacceptable but these weren't made in a public setting as were the 2002 Trent Lott remarks. Since it involved the president he did not want to drag it out since it distracts from real news.


The New England Patriots went belly up yesterday in their playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens. The game clearly exposed a team that was not the same as the Super Bowl teams of the past few years. They sort of slid into the playoffs and did not have any major signature wins and were undermanned as well. Although Belichick's system is one of the best ever, they have lost a lot of key players and you cannot replace them that easily. They have a lot of work to do over the off season if they even want to think about getting to another Super Bowl in the Brady/Belichick era.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pete Carroll to Seattle??

Seattle Seahawks coach Jim Mora Jr. was fired today. While that was a surprise, what was even more alarming was to hear that former Patriots and USC coach Pete Carroll was being considered for the job. Many said the NFL wasn't the place for him after two not so successful stints with the Jets and New England. As much as I like to bash Pete Caroll and loathe USC, you have to remember that he did take the Patriots to the playoffs two of this three years at the helm there. He came into a difficult situation as the Patriots were coming off a Super Bowl and he was not only expected to get them back there but win it. The way that he lost games and his coaching style and team culture that frustrated many of the fans and media, especially considering the town and its expectations. Seattle is a different type of sports town and any improvement after two losing seasons should calm the fans and media down.

Roll Tide!

Alabama won the BCS Championship Game and the National Title last night over Texas 37-21. Texas Senior Quarterback Colt McCoy left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return. Even though I did not have any serious rooting interest in the game my heart sank to see that as you want a player of McCoy's caliber to have the opportunity to play in a game like that. Also, it does not cheapen Alabama's win as their backup QB kept them in the game for most of the game. It just so happens Alabama was the better team last night and the best this season going 14-0. It should be an even more exciting year next year. Alabama, Florida and Texas should be right there and Ohio State will be a serious title contender now that they have the big bowl game monkey off their back. Terrell Pryor will also be a junior and they have a favorable schedule.

Senator Dodd is retiring

Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd announced on Thursday that he was retiring from the Senate after 30 years. This makes for an important high profile Senate race later this year. There are also a lot of contested elections in Connecticut as a result. I have a friend (from Connecticut) who got an internship with him and while it is not always settling to hear the Senator is retiring, he knows he will have several opportunities to work on a campaign there. If you are looking for a campaign job, this will be the place to go. Dodd's departure also paves the way for a new generation of leadership to enter this seat.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Update on Gilbert Arenas

The NBA announced that Gilbert Arenas has been suspended indefinitely from the Washington Wizards without pay pending an investigation. Worse off, he was making jokes about it while playing a few nights ago. I really do not know where these guys get attitude from but the thought of bringing firearms to your workplace, regardless of whether you get paid $40 million a year or $40 a week is outrageous and I feel that he is getting off easy with this punishment.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wizards not exactly doing magic

Last month the New York Post reported that Wizards players Gilbert Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton allegedly pulled guns on each other in order to settle a gambling dispute in the locker room after practice.

Initial thoughts. First of all we need to make sure that all the facts are straight. This is an extremely dicey situation and it is not best to make a lot of judgements until the investigation is completed.

I know there is a lot second amendment issues that might come out of this, but most people can agree you do not bring firearms to the workplace. In the case of Arenas and Crittenton, the locker room is your workplace. Issues with co-workers/teammates like this should go through HR or the front office in this case as a first step.

Additionally, there is an appearance of illicit gambling whereby teams need to establish policies to prevent conflicts of interest or other confrontational situations (see NBA ref scandal).

Patriots playoff bound

The NFL completed its regular season today with many playoff scenarios still to be decided. As of this writing there in only one piece of buiness left with the Jets-Bengals game tonight having implications on the playoff picture. Baltimore won today over the Raiders to clinch a wild card berth. It looks as if they will head to Foxboro to take on the Pats in the opening playoff game next weekend. New England will be shorthanded as Wes Welker went down with a knee injury in today's finale leaving him doubtful for the playoffs. This would be a huge blow to New England's chances of getting back to the Super Bowl.

It is amazing the intrigue there is over playoff scenarios the final few weeks of the season. Given that the NFL playoffs are all about "getting into the tournament" I can see where these permutations would be of interest for the casual fan.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Great day of bowl games

Happy New Year to all. Went out to Rock Bottom in Ballston last night to celebrate the New Years. Drank champagne at midnight and did 12 grapes (a tradition from Spain), my friends partaked in that with me.

Best of all was New Years Day. The Big Ten had a great day of bowl games, Penn State won the Capital One Bowl and best of all, Ohio State won the Rose Bowl with a dominating performance. The only blemish was Northwestern in the Outback Bowl. Their coach decided to go for a fake field goal in overtime when they were trailing-no explanation for that.

Enough of the negative. Ohio State had a dominating performance and Terrell Pryor came of age. With all the talk about the Oregon offense, the OSU defense virtually shut them down.

Three cheers to Penn State for playing a tough game against an SEC opponent as well.