Friday, March 4, 2011

NFL Lockout

The NFL owners and players agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations one more week and therefore averted a lockout. President Obama chimed in by saying that he would not get involved in a dispute between millionaires and billionaires when he needs to worry about Americans that are out of work and instability in the Middle East and North Africa. However, he does need to consider the economic engine that the NFL brings to cities across the United States and how it is woven into the fabric of American culture. I do remember President Clinton getting involved the baseball strike negotiations.

Charlie Sheen

Unlike what this guy thinks he is not #winning as he tries to say in his tweets. He is a self centered egomaniac who put the crew of Two and a Half Men out of work with his antics. Unfortunately since the show was about two brothers I don't know if they can continue it without him. I have been enjoying the comparisons of him to Gadafi.

APPA Leg Rally

APPA had our annual Legislative Rally this past week. I didn't go to as much of it as usually do but we had a few good speakers including Paul Begala and Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson. Our National Conference is in Washington this year and I am looking forward to welcoming everyone back to DC for that.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Violence in Libya

The Crisis in Egypt is starting to have a domino effect on the Middle East. There have been protests and demonstrations in nations like Bahrain, Iran and Libya. Only problem-these nations are not close to pseudo democracies that Egypt is. In Iran they are calling for the deaths of protesters and Libya is actually doing air raids on the protests. I don't have a good feeling that these are going to go as well but to see this spectacle of change and people having a voice in this nation is impressive, the more they crack the "iron fist" eventually it will break.

February is dead month in sports

This post is just to state the obvious. After the Super Bowl February is the dead month in sports. There are no major championships until you get to March and the NCAA Tournament. There are, however, important college basketball games that start to separate the good teams from the great teams. The top four teams in the nation all last week and they need to watch their records going into the conference tournaments if they plan on getting an number one seed (not to mention they do not want to lose momentum). This will no doubt be a very wide open tournament this year with any Big East team having a chance to make a run as well as no clear top team. Even when there is a top team (see Kansas 2010) that is not even a guarantee. At least this month give us something to look forward to.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Down goes Egypt!

After days of protests and even violence at times, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak finally resigned ending 30 years of rule with an iron fist. We had a relationship with them as they were a democracy, however they were a "puppet" democracy.

It will be very interesting to see how this change of power plays a role in the future of Egypt and, more importantly, the Middle East as we have many foreign policy interests there and the stability of this part of the world is a huge part of the War on Terror and national security.

Overall, the events here were more fascinating than anything happening in Boehner World or in Richmond for that matter. I also hopes this is a turning point in the role of the Middle East in world peace.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Green Bay wins Super Bowl

As I predicted, Green Bay one the Super Bowl over Pittsburgh 31-25. It did not seem like there was a memorable play like the past few years that defined this one but the game was close and entertaining so I cannot complain about that. Green Bay was the better team throughout forcing three turnovers and capitalizing on a lot of opportunities.

Unfortunately, this Super Bowl will probably be remembered much more for the snafus than anything that happened in the game. Christina Aguliera botched the national anthem, 400 people were denied admission, weather, a not so great halftime show, and controversial commercials. Hopefully there will be one next year with the lockout looming.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Bowl weekend

Even though it isn't official this an an American holiday. Getting ready for parties and all of the pregame, game and post game rituals are as much of a tradition as putting up a Christmas tree or serving turkey on Thanksgiving.

This year's game features the Green Bay Packers vs. The Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. While there is bitterness that it isn't the Patriots, I have taken a step back and realized that this year's version is America at its finest. Tradition is meeting progress. The Packers and the Steelers are two of the NFL's most storied franchises and have combined for nine Lombardi trophies. Most importantly, this game is about the fans. On one side it is the steel workers from western Pennsylvania vs. the farmers and meatpackers in Wisconsin. These are the people that define America and they do deserve to watch their team play in this game. Cowboys Stadium is also the most state-of-the-art stadium built in the world and represents American progress.

As for the game, I like the Packers 33-30. Aaron Rodgers is determined to get out of the shadow of Brett Farve in this game and their defense will step up.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Egypt getting very dangerous

The level of violence in Egypt has escalated beyond normal but it is not a war. I cannot define what it is. All I know is that it will continue until Mubarak steps down from power. Also, it is very difficult to categorize this as a Democratic society with this level of violence and defacto revolution. I feel bad for Americans who are studying abroad in Egypt as it is a very exotic and interesting place as it has storied history.


Half of the nation was paralyzed under a winter storm this past week that stretched from the Midwest to New England. The DC/Arlington area was left out other than a light freezing rain. While a snow day is nice every now and then, this magnitude of a storm would have paralyzed the city for almost a week. Unfortunately I have a feeling that we will get one really big storm before the winter ends.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

End of the month

Okay, so much for that resolution to post more in 2011. However, I have decided that this will get me back on track. So here is a summary of my thoughts on the events of the past two weeks.

Super Bowl XLV will be Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay. I am thrilled that the Jets went down and it pits two of the NFL's most storied franchises at their premier stadium. It should get the most fan interest of Super Bowls in recent years.

The State of the Union speech was last week and he delivered what the voters wanted, a good middle of the road speech although there was a lot of stuff he said that won't even come up for a vote. However, it struck the right tone given it was post Tuscon and post "shellacking" midterm election.

The Egypt situation is very difficult as they are a close ally of the United States. I think that Mubarak should resign and let a new government come in. I think a leader stepping down is better for American and other Middle East interests than increased volatility.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Patriots once again, FAIL

The New England Patriots lost to their hated division rival New York Jets in the playoffs 28-21 on Sunday. During the regular season they achieved a 14-2 record and home field advantage throughout the playoffs but that wasn't enough to stop the Jets yesterday. New York trashed talked a lot the entire week but backed it up with simply put, clutch play, in all aspects of the game yesterday that the Patriots could not match. Someone forgot to tell the Patriots that regular season accomplishments go out the window once the playoffs start and that going to the Super Bowl wasn't their birthright.

I have felt that the fourth title was the most difficult to win of all and had reservations about this game. Everyone said this would be the year that the Jets would get by the Patriots and they had their one chance on Sunday-they took advantage of it.

At least this is a young team and they have a lot of draft picks this year so I think there is still one more Super Bowl left in them.

Tuscon one week later

America is moving on from its most recent tragedy. Congresswoman Giffords is recovering at a pace that is exceed the expectations of her doctors and is inspiring the nation in this way. President Obama spoke at the memorial service this past week and called for the nation to come together and see democracy in a way that children, particularly the young nine year old victim saw it, as a place of civilized discussion and leadership. In another touching story, the organs of the nine year old victim were donated to a girl in Boston. One can only hope that this event will change the course that the nation is going in as it wasn't going in the best direction prior to the unfortunate events of January 8.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tragedy in Arizona

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, was shot in the head today along with six other people. Giffords is still fighting for her life but the other six individuals, including a federal judge and a nine year old girl, were killed.

This is difficult to comprehend for our generation as we are seeing our elected officials become victims of hate and divisiveness for the first time just as our parents saw in the 1960s. There is not doubt today's events will change the current American climate in some way whether the people start to view the Tea Party differently, security of Congressman, or if this is the beginning of violent activity to resolve our political differences-which would be unthinkable.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ohio State wins Sugar Bowl

Ohio State won the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night 31-26 over Arkansas in a thrilling Sugar Bowl Classic matchup. They jumped out to an early lead and let Arkansas back in the game. They almost blew the game when they had a punt blocked with less than a minute on the clock. Oddly enough, all five players that received suspensions next season for ethics violations played huge roles in the game including the player that made the game winning interception. This marks their first ever win over an SEC team and second consecutive BCS bowl victory.

112th Congress in Session

It is looking like it will be a crazy two years with the new Congress. The session kicked off with the reading of the Constitution during the session. Both Republicans and Democrats participated but the spectacle of it was something that could only be handcrafted by the GOP. Ironically, the violated the Constitution by letting two members of Congress introduce a motion and they had not been sworn in yet-they were attending a fundraiser. Next step-repealing healthcare reform. Good luck on that one guys.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

back from holiday break

Happy 2011 to all my readers. I am back from holiday break ready to hit the ground running in 2011 with work and other personal activities. It always seems like the holidays go by too fast but life is not a holiday unfortunately. I went back to New England and got to see family and even enjoyed a snowstorm. It had been a while since I actually shoveled snow so I could not complain about doing it when assigned. Other than the New England snowstorm (it did not come to DC) not too much happened in terms of news. In sports, the Patriots clinched the top seed in the AFC playoffs so the Super Bowl is essentially theirs to lose. However, it will be a tough road to get to Dallas.

The Big Ten took a beating in New Years Day bowls and hopefully Ohio State can salvage the conference in the Sugar Bowl versus Arkansas. Speaking of the Buckeyes, several starters (including Terrell Pryor) got into hot water with the NCAA for selling souvenirs to pay for, of all things, tattoos. They will be suspended the first five games of the 2011 season but can play in the Sugar Bowl.

I hope for the best for all of you this year.