Tea Party Protest

On Sunday I attended the smaller Tea Party protest of the weekend to get a feel for the scene. I was sitting around pretty bored on Sunday afternoon and realized that I’m not going to have the luxury of simply hopping in my car to see some real political action much longer after I graduate in May.

It took me almost an hour to find a parking spot (as there were two other much larger protests going on that day as well) and I ended up parking in a Congressional staff space and risking a ticket. I got a feeling that the Capitol police would be a little more concerned with the thousands of immigration marchers that day than writing a few parking tickets, though based on the amount of fun I had roaming around the protest, I would have gladly paid the price of a parking ticket.

As you can see from the video, it was probably a couple hundred people camped out on the lawn outside the House chamber. Throughout the time there were lawmakers on the upper balcony that would either egg the crowd on or just take pictures with their phones in amazement. Barney Frank spent a good deal of time on the balcony. His ears were greeted with the chant “Jump Barney Jump!” throughout.

Are the Teapartiers crazy? Well, some of them are. But, you’re bound to get a bunch of crazies in any protest group. Can you imagine some of the fringe loonies that show up at the Code Pink rallies and the like? Somehow those people never seem to make the news. Wonder why?

Generally, though, it’s just a bunch of upper middle aged people who are sick of the government’s recent grab for power. They’re knowledgeable and articulate in their reasons for taking the time out of their lives to trek to DC and make their voices heard. They’re not simply repeating Glenn Becks’ talking points.

I don’t think they’re a bunch of racists and homophobes like the media has made them out to be. Counter protestors tend to show up to egg on some of the crazier ones for the sake of a news clip. Unfortunately, MSNBC and the likes are all too happy to broadcast it and tar and feather the entire group. While I was standing on the outskirts of the protest, Jesse Jackson walked right through and then tried to stir up the crowd himself by stepping beside a House Republican speaking to the crowd and raising his arms to get attention. He had no business being there. Of course he was just looking for one person to say something inappropriate so that he and the rest of his followers could write off the entire group as extremists. Though no one fell for his bait, it seems that the crowd wasn’t so restrained earlier in the weekend, thus tarnishing its image.

Anyways, I’m glad I chose to head downtown for such a historic day. It’s nice to be able to say “I was there” and get a better feel for the movements and issues defining our political time.


How About 80?

It looks like the trend of lowering speed limits is turning, as states like Virginia and Texas move to increase highway speed limits.

The WSJ’s “Why 70 Miles Per Hour Is the New 55” has a good analysis of the political implications of 55 and how times have changed. Turns out that people tend to drive 65 on the highway irregardless of the actual posted limit, based on a study of Tom Tom navigation users.

Anyone who has driven with me knows I’m obviously a proponent of this change (in addition to any law that gets stupid drivers off the road altogether).

Healthcare Will Pass

I predict that Obamacare will pass the House on Sunday, unfortunately.

Speaker Pelosi is not stupid, and I just can’t see her bringing the measure to a vote if she isn’t 100% confident that 216 the votes are there.

Sox Hat

If an important person* like Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick can wear his Red Sox hat on the job, I refuse to take any more guff from anyone for wearing mine with my suit!

*Important until he is soundly defeated in the November election

Rotten Apple

Just had a scary few days with my beloved Macbook...

Last week my computer randomly wouldn’t turn on and wouldn’t even recognize the power cord when plugged in. I let it sit for a day and it magically turned on again the next day.

But, two days ago... I wasn’t so lucky. Wouldn’t boot up again and the light on the power cord wasn’t lighting up again. So, either the battery was dead, the connector between the cord and the battery was dead, or the cord itself was dead.

Thankfully, it seems to be the latter. Just got back from the Apple store at Pentagon City with a new power adapter. I can’t believe it cost $79, but I guess Apple has a patent on the ingenious magnetic power attachment. And $79 is a heck of a lot cheaper than a new battery or computer.

Looks like the black Mac will indeed live to see its fourth birthday soon.

Crooked Cabbies

Yet another reason not to trust cab drivers- some of the sleaziest people in the world in my opinion.

According to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, taxicab drivers overcharged NYC travelers $8.3 million last year by knowningly charging the outside city limits rate of $0.80 per 1/5 mile to riders traveling downtown, which should cost $0.40 per 1/5 mile.

Guess that explains why the drivers were so against the 2007 initiative that installed GPS tracking and metering systems in the vehicles...

However, I would guess that this fraud doesn’t even come close to the abuses by Washinton, D.C. cab drivers before meters were installed last year.