State of the Union

So, what exactly is the state of this union? After last night’s State of the Union speech by President Barack Obama I’m not really sure. My ears were anxiously awaiting specific policy solutions for the problems plaguing America right now.

Instead, I heard a snarky campaign speech full of hypocritical lines and cheap shots at Republicans. Instead of being reassured that the White House learned its lesson from Massachusetts and now understands the true concerns of Americans, I heard populist rhetoric and plans to go ahead with onerous cap and trade legislation, to allow gays to openly serve in the military, and to continue the push for socialized health care.

Granted, these are all important issues. However, I don’t think Americans care very much about them at this moment in history when more and more jobs are being lost and billions and billions of dollars are being added to the national debt and deficit. Instead of playing the role of a people pleaser, looking to score political points with his teammates like a losing forward on the basketball court, Obama should grow some convictions and lose the wishy-washy “post-partisanship” campaigning and get to work solving America’s foremost concerns.

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Gen. Petraeus Speech

Today I was lucky enough to see General David Petraeus, Commander of U.S. Central Command, speak in Gaston Hall at Georgetown. The event was sponsored by the School of Foreign Service and the Lecture Fund and was more of a question and answer session than a speech. President DeGioia and another lady on the stage each asked General Petraeus a question before turning the microphone over to the audience.

The General struck me as incredibly intelligent and well-spoken. I have heard that he is a very articulate man, but didn’t realize just how smart until I saw him this afternoon. His answers to the questions, even ones meant to trip him up or put him in a difficult situation, showed a true mastery of foreign and military policy, as well as economic policy as it pertained to one or two inquiries. Additionally, while reflecting on his experiences at Georgetown during a fellowship, he managed to throw in a few jokes along the way.

Of course, being tolerant* Georgetown, the speech was interrupted ten to fifteen times by classless protestors who would rather cause a scene than engage in real dialogue.
So, ten to fifteen attendees were escorted out of the hall, screaming throughout their journey to the door. Funny thing is, if you gave me a chance to scan the crowd before the speech, I probably could have picked out which ones would cause the disruptions. Most members of the group apparently read the same fashion magazines and coordinated a beard, pony-tail/long hair, flannel look. Classic. Anyways, they stood up throughout the event and began to read the names of casualties of the ongoing wars in the Middle East, conveniently omitting the names of the radical Muslim terrorist victims throughout the world from New York City to Spain to London to the streets of Baghdad.

During the proper question and answer time, there were indeed a few worthy and thought provoking questions from anti-war members in the crowd, including a student himself from Afghanistan. Their respect for the speaker, attendees, and institution in the manner that they asked their questions added to the value of the event. If only their radical cohorts would have the self-repect to do the same. Since they are allegedly so principled in matters of life and death, I fully expect to see them loudly marching during tomorrow’s March for Life on the National Mall.

I won’t hold my breath.

*Tolerant- noun. 1. Respectful of others’ opinions. 2. At Georgetown: respectful of others’ opinions as much as they align with the radical/liberal beliefs of student activists.
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Brown WINS!


Congratulations Senator Scott Brown!!!!!!

I’m still sort of in shock with the results of tonight’s election. It’s amazing to think that my Massachusetts vote mattered for the first time in my life.

More to come later, but special Scott Brown Happy Birthday wishes to Jimmy English and Ben Read...
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Getting the Vote Out

Read “Enthusiasm Gap in Mass. Senate Race” from Politico. A hopeful article regarding my earlier point about getting the vote out for Brown on Tuesday.

I also like the mention of all the Brown yard signs in Massachusetts: “He’s drawing crowds rarely seen by Republicans in this state and seems to have more organic support than Coakley, an impression underscored by the imperfect measure of yard signs spotted for the Republican (many) and the Democrat (none) along the South Shore and on the Cape”.

Also, the Boston Globe changed the article/link that I wrote about in the previous blog post. Apologies. But, from the comments there I’m guessing that you’ll be able to get the jist of the article.
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Typical Boston Globe Antics

This is one of the most biased headlines and articles that I have read in the Boston Globe Democrat in a while. I think these two user comments sum up the attacks best:

JohnPaul16 wrote:
This seemed to be a straight up factual report until the end, when the author just couldn't resist putting in the following:

"Brown has long been best known in Massachusetts as a former model who once posed naked in Cosmopolitan magazine, as well as the father of an "American Idol" contestant."

That's it! Not one thing about his political career in the Mass state Senate; nothing about his eductaion or voting record; nothing about his popularity with law enforcement, etc.

According to Glenn Johnson, all you need to know about Scott Brown is that he posed naked and his daughter was on AI.

This is more pathetic, biased, cheap shot journalism.

and:

swimmerkennedy wrote:
Bias is usually what you hide, not how you report.

Example:

LAST WEEK, SCREAMING AT TOP: COAKLEY LEADS BY 15 POINTS

TODAY, BELOW FOLD (NUANCED AS CAN BE): MASS SENATE POLL SHOWS SHIFT TOWARD GOP CANDIDATE

Nevertheless, what is mentioned in the article is unbelievable news and just goes to prove that even in the most liberal of states, voters have become sick and tired of the games played by Democratic politicians and their hitmen like the Boston Globe.
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The Race Heats Up

There’s about a million (give or take) good articles about the close Massachusetts special election coming up and how it’s a lose-lose situation for the Democrats and President Obama’s agenda. So, I won’t bother regurgitating any of their stories, though I highly recommend that you check them out and get excited for a potential upset.

But, I’ve been debating over the past few days whether or not the national attention now being paid to the race helps or hinders Brown. I’m leaning towards hurt.

This race is such a shocker because Massachusetts is so liberal. So, Brown will need to convince thousands who are comfortable voting for the big D to leave their comfort zones and use that black marker to check the forbidden R. Naturally, these people will be uncomfortable in the ballot booth doing so. The recent nationalization of this race could stir the liberal inner self-consciousness of these folks and cause them to take the easy way out and vote Coakley.

Additionally, the attention being paid to the race has the potential to bring out the Democratic machine, which has a reputation for playing dishonest, Chicago-style politics. ACORN, the unions, and the like will play their dirty tricks to prevent a Brown upset. It’s already been rumored that unions are
paying their minions to hold Coakley signs over overpasses and at busy intersections, while Brown has no trouble finding willing volunteers to do the same. As I read in an article earlier, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the residents of Forest Hills Cemetery making their voices heard from six feet under on Tuesday.

Even Secretary of State Bill Galvin has hinted that he might delay Brown’s certification until the hideous health bill passes. Now isn’t
that true Massachusetts democracy?

And now, a question: Are absentee ballots counted like regular ballots on election day or are they only tallied if the election is within a certain close percentage? Something tells me that they’re only counted if its close, which is unfortunate because thousands of motivated change-seekers like myself, friends who have gone back to college already, and family members have cast Scott Brown votes via absentee. Leave a comment if you know the answer.

So, I anxiously await the arrival of Tuesday to see if Massachusetts can make history. The outcome of the election will undoubtedly depend on which group (notice I don’t say party because of all the tired Democrats casting Brown votes) turns out in force that day. Let’s hope to see droves who are tired of the same old, same old in Massachusetts.
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Brown Upset?

A new independent Rasmussen poll released the other day reports that Republican State Senator Scott Brown is within nine points of Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley in the special Senate election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat. Brown leads Coakley among registered Independents, who make up more than 50% of Massachusetts voters, 65 to 21 percent.

So...Dad, Jimmy, and I trekked down to Brown’s Plymouth campaign office to pick up a yard sign, which now proudly stands along Route 3A.

This is pretty startling news that could have far reaching consequences across the country. The poll shows that this election is not so much about the two actual candidates, but instead serves as a referendum on national politics. A victory by Brown, or even a single digit loss, should serve as a very strong wake up call to moderate and vulnerable politicians up for re-election in 2010.

So, make sure to go out and vote on January 19th. All the town halls already have the ballots, so if you’re trying to vote absentee, just go down and vote today.

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Airport Security

Happy 2010 everyone

In light of the Christmas Day attempted terror attack on a Detroit-bound plane by a Muslim terrorist, I figure I’ll share my recent experience at the airport.

I fly pretty often because of the fact that I go to school relatively far away from home and it doesn’t make much sense to drive all the way from DC to Scituate for a quick weekend break. I’m one of those people who can’t stand wasting time at the airport and I aim to arrive at the gate right as the plane starts boarding, much to the annoyance to my parents who are always more stressed than I am while driving to the airport.

Despite the hammering that airports and airlines take from the media and general public, I must say that I’m one of the few happy customers. The flights from DC to Boston are so frequent that they’re rarely late and I always absolutely fly through security. No checked luggage. No problems. No hassles.

Which brings me to my next point: security. I generally shouldn’t have the luxury of flying through those metal detectors and baggage scanners. I usually have a bunch of different liquid bottles strewn about my bag, definitely not in the mandated one quart zip lock baggies. But I’m never, ever stopped.

So, when I flew down to Florida last week a few days after Christmas, I suspected to go through a little more trouble to make my way to the Delta gate.

I was wrong.

I showed up at Logan carrying a one-way ticket to Orlando (I had booked two one way tickets) and carrying only one carry on bag. Much to my surprise, there wasn’t a single person in line at security. Excellent. For once, I had put most of my liquids in a one quart bag, as per the rules. But, I had two bottles of liquid above the 3 oz. limit that were not in the bag. As I dropped the bag on the conveyor, I was just waiting for someone to remove it and sift through to check. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

“Have a good day” was all I heard. Now, my 3 oz.-plus liquids weren’t technically against the rules as they were prescriptions. But, none of the TSA screeners bothered to check that. It looks like things haven’t changed, even after the attempted attack.

What can TSA do to make air travel more safe? Not much, unfortunately. The big talk now surrounds the personally invasive full-body picture screeners. I don’t really have a problem with them, but I still don’t think they are the solution. I saw a special report on Fox the other night where a reporter tried to make it through the new scanners with liquids. Placed in certain areas of the body (crotch especially, like the terrorist), even the new scanners only showed the tiniest, slightest glimmer on the security screen signifying the liquid. There’s no way that a low-level TSA employee making $10 bucks an hour sitting for hours on end staring at a computer monitor is going to catch that faint sliver of glow most times. The only person that wins in this situation is the company that produces the new scanners who is most likely padding the pockets of some congressmen or TSA officials who don’t need to deal with security anyways when they travel.

So, I’m not too sure what can be done. I am comforted, however, that today’s passengers are brave enough to take security into their own hands when the onerous system falls flat on its face.
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