Oklahoma City Wind?

30 07 2008

It wasn’t bad enough that the NBA and Seattle couldn’t keep their young, but promising team in town.  In the only show of backbone that they had, they forced the new owners to leave the Supersonics logo and name behind when they ran with their tail behind their legs.  Well the people of Seattle will be able to take solace in the fact that the Oklahoma City basketball franchise could have the worst team name in professional sports history.

The Associated Press reported that straight from the Federal Patent Office the team names that the NBA filed patents for were…Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls, Thunder and Wind.

I will hand it to them, the Oklahoma City Barons is a pretty cool name and I would have to imagine the one that they are most likely to choose.  But if they don’t, just imagine the possibilities.

I was inspired by these names to do some exploring on some of the worst team names in professional sports. And I have to say that of the four major professional sports in the United States (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) there are very few that even begin to compare to the Oklahoma City Wind, Thunder or Energy.

But I guess only time will tell



The Veep Debate

29 07 2008

Like just about everyone else I am growing increasingly excited about the upcoming VP selections.  The campaigns are circling around the select few candidates remaining, trying to find out every thing possible about each and determine how the race could change depending on the selection.  It seems that the Republicans are just about set on their selection, or at the very least have it down to two candidates, Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty.

For weeks most everyone seems to think that Romney had the VP slot locked up but I am growing less convinced by the day.  It comes down to a couple things in the end.  Ultimately, Romney and McCain do not seem to like each other very much (remember the primary season), they have serious disagreements on healthcare (Romney’s plan covered more people than Obama’s and had more government involvement) and finally, how does McCain think he can stack up on the economy with Obama.  While Pawlenty and McCain get along very well, are much closer aligned politically (Pawlenty is a little farther right, which can’t hurt) and he’s from Minnesota (a state the Republicans have had their eyes on for quite some time).  I think it will be Pawlenty in end.  He’s young, and would provide a nice balance to the ticket and maybe infuse some life into the campaign.

Yesterday, Barack Obama met with his David Plouffe and his vice presidential selection committee for nearly three hours.  While at the same time, there were a number of rumors coming out of Richmond about the fate of Tim Kaine.  Although, the often attributed quote from an unnamed source was something to the effect of Tim Kaine is “very, very high” on the list.  While this may be the case, I think it would be a major mistake for Obama.  He obviously gets along very well with Kaine and he is the popular Governor of Virginia, which is a nice talking point; however, he is a first-term governor and sounds very much like Obama does.  The single most popular point of attack used against Obama by Hillary Clinton, the RNC and John McCain has been his inexperience and the people’s lack of familiarity with him.  Adding Tim Kaine to the ticket only fulfills the attack line and does nothing to shore up the other lines of attack.

If Obama is smart about this he will have to move in the direction of a “Washington insider,” something he is loathe to do.  This campaign will not be waged about who is better fit to be the President, it has been entirely about Obama and what the people think about him.  You have John McCain who is the “safe candidate,” the one that everyone knows and has a decent idea of what to expect from him.  Or, you have Barack Obama that an all too large percentage of the population knows too little about and is not yet ready to fully entrust the duties of President to.  There are also the significant foreign policy concerns regarding Barack Obama; the selection of Tim Kaine would do nothing to alleviate them given that he has zero military experience as well.

While I wrote last week of my love for Chuck Hagel, I would be pretty surprised if Obama moves in that direction, as much as I might want that.  That leaves Joe Biden, Sam Nunn, and maybe Chris Dodd.  I wouldn’t count Kaine or Bayh out of it yet, but my money is on Biden when it comes down to it.  He has a serious track record in the foreign policy community and will prove to be a really strong surrogate in the leadup to the November.

McCain: Please Pay Attention to Me…Anyone?

24 07 2008

This recent push by the McCain campaign to portray Obama’s around the world excursion as a joke and the constant media coverage surrounding it as a rather ridiculous love affair to be an interesting move. (The image to the left is one side of a bag tag handed out to the McCain Press Corps)  I know it comes off as whiny and desperate to me; but I think I will wait until I talk to my parents and family to see whether or not they buy it.

I really don’t know quite what to think about all this.  I get where they are going with this, but is this really the way to wage a campaign?  Things have been tough lately for John McCain.  I can sympathize, I mean even George Bush is starting to borrow some of the ideas that Barack Obama has suggested.  We have begun diplomatic relations with Iran, the economy is in the gutter still and Nuri al-Maliki suggested that Obama’s timeline was an appropriate amount of time (despite the massive attempts of the White House to say that Der Spiegel’s translation was bad).

Below is the video that was produced by the McCain campaign in response to the massive attention that Obama’s trip abroad has garnered by the major media networks.

Now, I have to admit this video is catchy; although I would like to think that it is just because I love that song.  But I just have a problem with this notion as a whole.  Are they really that starved for attention?  This is going to be the new focus of the McCain campaign until Barack Obama comes back?  I understood them planting the story about how McCain was almost ready to announce his VP selection and that it could come anytime this week.  That would take the newscycle back from Obama and give him the spotlight right up until the Olympics start.  But that story has for the most part died out as quickly as it started when people realized that Mrs. McCain is currently in Africa and not likely to be making any surprise visits for VP announcements right about now.

As long as the McCain campaign continues to whine incessantly about the unfair treatment that they are receiving from the media, there will also be more attention paid to the remarkably successful trip for Barack Obama.  Everything has gone his way thus far.  All the meetings seem to have been good and the only issue that has arisen has been Abbas making some exaggerated claims; which is probably a good thing for the Obama campaign because he gets to immediately deny the report from the Palestinian leader.  Which is always a popular thing to do in America.

While I can’t say whether this ploy is helping to push an increase in fundraising, solidifying the Republican base or winning over independents.  It just seems so childish to me

Just an update from DC…

23 07 2008

My daily walk around Dupont Circle is nothing less than a harrowing experience and every time I hear about a pedestrian being hit I naturally cringe because I am just waiting for me to be that pedestrian. This is not a post about the traffic in and around DC or even the dangers of walking in the city, although I must say I will be on the lookout for any rogue black Corvettes roaming the city.

The “Prince of Darkness”, Robert Novak, driving his black Corvette managed to hit a pedestrian and not notice while driving down through Farragut North today. My first reaction was maybe, he only bumped the pedestrian, which would explain the fact that he was only given a citation for hitting someone with his car. But from eyewitness accounts the pedestrian he drove into, hit the windshield before landing by the curb.  Mr. Novak continued on down the road and it was only when a bicyclist caught up to him a block later, promptly putting himself between the car and the rest of the road did Mr. Novak stop.

This is not the first time that Robert Novak has made news with his driving. In 2001, he had some choice words for a pedestrian and when questioned he had this to say:

“He was crossing on the red light. I really hate jaywalkers. I despise them. Since I don’t run the country, all I can do is yell at ’em. The other option is to run ’em over, but as a compassionate conservative, I would never do that.”

Luckily, this pedestrian seems to be okay.  But if you live in DC, watch out for those black Corvettes roaming the city

Running to the Middle (and there’s nothing wrong with it)

18 07 2008

All this talk about how Obama is running to the middle and how that makes him just a typical politician is ridiculous. Who cares if he moves to the middle for the campaign?  People like him because he is supposed to be this post-partisan politician. Guess what, a move to the middle is not a bad thing. Attention bloggers, Democratic party activists and whoever else thinks their head is about to explode…everything will be okay.  Barack Obama has not turned his back on the left wing of the Democratic Party, this is more important than appeasing the more radical among us, this is about being the candidate that can represent the whole United States. All of this talk makes me crazy because ultimately these feelings are central to the climate of extreme, uncontrollable partisanship and it is nothing if not ugly. It shouldn’t be, “we barely won so now you who disagreed have to suffer our will.”

I feel the same way about the potential VP candidates. Many Democrats are up in arms over the suggestion of Senator Hagel being considered for the position. But, why not?  Does he line up perfectly with the Democratic Party platform? No.  Does his addition to the ticket make Barack Obama a considerably better candidate? Without a doubt.  Chuck Hagel does not agree with the Democratic Party on most issues, mainly social ones, but he does agree with the establishment on the War in Iraq as well as civil liberties and a couple of other issues.  Senator Hagel is important because he is a heavyweight of the most impressive kind on foreign policy issues and he would balance out the ticket a great deal.  While his addition would anger the left quite significantly, it would be a true show of bipartisanship and Hagel would help to cancel out some of those fears about Obama’s inexperience on the world stage.  Granted, you could make the argument that there are plenty of foreign policy heavyweights in the Democratic Party, but the two main ones that I would imagine are being considered have some serious problems.  Chris Dodd, is at the center of the still yet to be determined investigation into VIP mortgage deals.  Joe Biden is notorious for putting his foot in his mouth, most memorably calling Obama something like “a good, clean black man” on the day he announced that he was going to run for President.  I guess that is what makes him intriguing, he has survived many of these remarks and still remains a very relevant figure in the American political scene and could prove very helpful in defusing any more slip ups that might come from Barack Obama over the next four months.  However, he does not bring much in the form of moderation to the ticket.  This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but for the sake of bipartisanship and lessening some of the incessant bickering, I think that Senator Hagel could make a great Vice President for Barack Obama.


15 07 2008

There’s been talk about who killed JFK, there’s been quiet words questioning whether or not the Apollo ever landed on the mood, and there has even been talk about September 11th.  But as of yet, this subject clearly has not been given its due.  Yes, I am referring to the horrific conspiracy that is being waged against our illustrious Teddy Roosevelt.  This is related to no major event in history but something that I witnessed with my own eyes.

The authors of http://blog.letteddywin.com/ are true Americans, they are standing up for Teddy, documenting what has occurred and they deserve our heartfelt praise and thanks.

The stats speak for themselves, in the past year and a half there have been 130 officially sanctioned President races and not once has Teddy Roosevelt won.

Current 2008 Standings

Abraham Lincoln 29
Thomas Jefferson 10
George Washington 10
Teddy Roosevelt 0

Final 2007 Standings

George Washington 33
Thomas Jefferson 26
Abraham Lincoln 22
Teddy Roosevelt 0

Now, I understand how it could be tough to beat George Washington, he was a badass and one tough dude.  Abe Lincoln has those super-human long legs, I can see how that would be tough to compete with.  But come on! Thomas Jefferson?  He loved reading, writing, interior design not exactly a frightening athletic specimen.  Teddy Roosevelt on the other hand, was a boxer, a rower and a war hero, and yet for some reason he just can’t seem to win the President Race.  Not once in 130 tries.  I think there is something wrong here

It is obvious that Teddy will do anything to win (he has ridden in a rickshaw, taken a zipline, cut corners) and been disqualified a few times along the way.  But something has to give.  He has also been attacked by a panther twice, tripped by the Baltimore Oriole and been distracted by a man in a penguin costume.

I still have faith though, he’s bound to win one soon enough

Money on Display?

11 07 2008

This is becoming a common question from those of our parents generation and really for that in between generation.  For those people who are currently between the ages of 30-60, that haven’t grown up with the proliferation of Facebook, Myspace, blogs and those websites of the same ilk.  In our parents case, watching their children throw caution to the wind and opening their lives to the digital age and God only knows how many people.  While those 30-40 year old people now watch as their friends and colleagues slow begin to join the movement and begin themselves to contemplate where they should fall in this battle between good and evil (maybe?).

I can’t seem to make up my mind on all of this.  In some respects I am right in the center of it all; I have a blog, tracked my exercising (attempted to at least), use Facebook, do all my finances online, and yet at the same time I feel strangely unnerved by this notion.  But I subconsciously feel like I have not reached that level yet, making up excuses to content myself that I have not opened my entire life to the world of the internet and those in it.  “I only check Facebook when I get an email” or “I only read specific blogs, but don’t post/respond on them” or “I couldn’t ever do LiveJournal” but sadly these excuses no longer suffice.  I am all about Web 2.0 and whatever comes with it, I think.

The reason for this is www.Mint.com, an online money management tool that I recently signed up with and subsequently kind of fell in love.  I saw it on Lifehacker and after my rather disappointing experience with Quicken, I decided it was worth a try.  It is really impressive, it probably doesn’t do any more than Quicken, but it is so much more user friendly and I like being able to check my money stuff anywhere I want.  Although I guess that is probably not the best thing in the world.  It is not that much different than my online banking with Bank of America, it does a little more and looks decidedly prettier, but how important is that.  Yet, I love it. To be honest, I was a little surprised by just how much I like Mint.  Up till now, the trend has been decidedly one of these new-fangled toys comes along and I use it for a little while, and grow weary rather quickly before I eventually give up (i.e. my original, now defunct blog; Gyminee; RunnersAhead).  However, I’m not convinced that Mint will share the fate of those other toys that I no longer love.