Friday, June 27, 2008

Electoral Vote Chase

CNN has a "political ticker" tracking how the Presidential candidates are doing state by state. It give you an idea where the Electoral College numbers are adding up.

As of today, Sen Barack Obama (D-IL) leads Sen John McCain (R-AZ) 231-194.

A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win. (CNN)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Parking our Cars, Costing our Roads

Higher gas prices mean we're driving less -- and that means less tax revenue to repair our roads.

The federal Transportation Department says Americans drove 1.4 billion fewer highway miles in April -- than in April, 2007. It's the sixth consecutive decline in our driving habits. (CNN)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Big Inflation Bubble

Inflation shot up last month at the fastest pace in six months. Gasoline and other energy costs pushed prices higher.

Gasoline was up 5.7%, food climbed 0.3%. (AP)

Friday, June 06, 2008


The nation's unemployment rate shot up to 5.5% in May -- the biggest jump since 1986.

America lost 49,000 jobs. (AP)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Missing Cape Cod Lighthouse Located on Left Coast

How do you lose a lighthouse?

The town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts mananged back in 1925. Turns out, the lighthouse turned up on the west coast -- moved there by the US Coast Guard.

The 30-foot all metal lighthouse was taken down in the 20s and historians thought it was gone for good. But the Coasties had instead put it to good use in Yerba Buena, California. Its still used as a navigational aid. (AP)

Iraq War Leaves Medical Pilots in the Dark

The war in Iraq is creating a shortage at home -- of night vision goggles.

That's hurting pilots who fly medical helicopters on the homefront. The NTSB has encouraged the goggles' use since 2006. But most are going to the front in Iraq and only about 25% of the medical choppers in the States have them.

Since 2006, 5 medical choppers have crashed, killing 16 people, in incidents investigators blamed on not having the night vision goggles on board. (AP)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


It's an historic night.

Yet circumstances steal Sen Barack Obama's (D-IL) thunder.

He's just become the first African-American to become the presumptive nominee of a major party.

That should be a big deal.

But any great story like that needs a hero arc. That Joseph Campbell construct that takes a character from humble beginnings through a life-changing threshold event and through trials and tribulations to achieve the impossible.

It must be something of a letdown for Sen Obama.

Because beating the Republicans this year, in this political environment, is anything but impossible.

What with a Republican administration that has crippled not only the GOP, but the country as a whole. There is little for Sen Obama to overcome at this point. The 1984 "Meadow Party" nominee "Bill the Cat" -- a dead cat at that -- could beat the Republican nominee.

Not to take anything away from Sen Obama. He'd be a hard man to beat in tough times for Democrats. He's the most natural politician of his generation -- my generation.

But his detractors will be talking as soon as tomorrow that he had it easy, he had no real challenge, he won by default. Even though the election is still five months away, they'll be trying to soften the blow of defeat in November before summer even arrives. They'll breathe a sigh of relief if the election is even close.


Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

And if Sen Obama is running at a time when the GOP is weak -- it is not his fault. It is his time. It is the failure of a Republican administration after eight years to leave this country with a war that has no victory plan and an economy that has drained Americans of hope.

The general election campaign begins tonight. Sen John McCain (R-AZ) has a lot of catching up to do.

Younger than John McCain

The atom bomb, FM radio and the Golden Gate Bridge are all younger than Sen John McCain (R-AZ).

Love the song circling them new-fangled Internets -- the one about how old Sen John McCain is. I had to have some kid show me how to use the Google to find it on the YouTube.

There's actually a blog that lists things younger than Sen McCain.

In fact, do a Google search for things younger than John McCain and you'll find 415,000 links.

Hey, at least he promises to keep that young whippernsnapper, Raul Castro off our lawn! (YouTube)

Heard the One About the Congresswoman and the Astronaut?

So an Arizona Congresswoman walks into a bar at the Baltimore airport and asks to switch the TV from sports to the NASA channel.

No joke.

Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) breezed into a BWI Airport bar on her flight back from her district. She was wanting to check up on her husband's flight. Hubbie Mark Kelly is commanding the latest Space Shuttle mission -- and Rep Giffords was just in time to catch his rendezvous with the International Space Station.

Hey, the O's were losing anyway! (WaPo)

Take Me Home, Country Roads

Vice President Dick Cheney has apologized to a whole state -- only 49 to go.

Actually, he made an incest joke about West Virginia:

"I had Cheneys on both sides of the family -- and we don't even live in West Virginia. You can say those things when you're not running for re-election." -- Vice President Dick Cheney
The Veep's joke at the National Press Club triggered outrage in the West Virginia statehouse. Bovernor Joe Manchin (D-WV) demanded an apology -- and got one. This statement is from the Office of the Vice President:

The Vice President’s offhand comment was not meant to hurt anyone. On reflection, he concluded that it was an inappropriate attempt at humor that he should not have made. The Vice President apologizes to the people of West Virginia for the inappropriate remark.

The Veep's office assures us we are in the final throes of this controversy and he will be welcomed with flowers and chocolates the next time he's in Charleston. (WSAZ, NYT)

From the Government's Brilliant Idea Department

The government that gave us $800 hammers and a bridge to nowhere has cooked up an equally great plan for taking care of troops with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- put the recovering troops next to a firing range!

From the Washington Post:

Across the street from their assigned housing, about 200 yards away, are some of the Army infantry's main firing ranges, and day and night, several days each week, barrages from rifles and machine guns echo around [Army SGT Jonathan] Strickland's building. The noise makes the wounded cringe, startle in their formations, and stay awake and on edge, according to several soldiers interviewed at the barracks last month. The gunfire recently sent one soldier to the emergency room with an anxiety attack, they said.

How loud is all that shooting across the way?

Apparently loud enough to cause deafness among the brass.

Complaints from wounded warriors have fallen on so many deaf ears up the chain of command that a family member turned to the Washington Post for help. Remember the Post -- the paper that called attention to inattention at Walter Reed? (WaPo)