Sunday

Happy 15th Birthday Andrew English!



You’re still not as cool as your older brother, and one full year away from being able to visit Georgetown! :)
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In other news...

Barring any miracles, its looking more and more likely that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. I’m slowly coming to terms with it. This certainly doesn’t mean that I’m not praying for those miracles, but we’ve gotta face reality. However, I’ll tell you one thing that bugs me: Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to get credit for solving the financial crisis when it ends soon enough.

This drives me crazy because, in reality, all economic booms and crises are cyclical. We’re bound to get a crisis once or twice a century, no matter who’s in office. That’s just a fact of economics. It will be more of a lucky coincidence that the economy begins to regain its footing during the next president’s term. We’ve seen this now with oil, too. A barrel of oil is almost 50% cheaper now than it was a few months ago when everyone thought the sky was falling. Oil, too, is cyclical (though it is somewhat cyclical
because the greater economy is cyclical). Every few decades, we’re bound to get drunk off cheap oil, raise demand, and thus raise prices like we saw in the 70s and like we’ve seen today. Given all this, it is my hope that the Democrats coming to power next year won’t abuse the economic woes and rebounding economy by putting into place New Deal-like policies that we will have to live with for the rest of time.
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Article

Check out “The Dangers of Liberal Bias” by Joan Chevalier from today’s Boston Globe. It’s a well-written piece that explores the mind of rural voters and their understandable distaste for Ivy league liberal politicians like Barack Obama.

Leave comments on what you think...I’m curious.
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Fall

Dare I say that I’m looking forward to the end of this election? Maybe its because of McCain’s dimming prospects or maybe its becuase this event has been going on for what feels like ages, but I won’t miss the constant gotcha-questions and articles, the mud slinging, and the faux controversies...

Anyways, its midterm time down at Georgetown. I had two last week, one tomorrow, and one more next week. It’s also finally beginning to feel like fall- 60s during the days and colder at nights. Apparently it snowed today up in Vermont! We’re not quite there, yet. I know the boat has been pulled out of the water back home after a successful season. I’m still jealous to see all the boats traveling up the Potomac on weekends here, where they generally stay in until Thanksgiving.

I’m also doing a cool, though time-consuming, project for one of my finance classes. I’m in charge of presenting an in-depth analysis and forecast of CVS/Caremark Corporation’s financials and valuation for the next five years. It’s a good taste of what most Georgetown business graduates do out of college for the first years of their careers. And its nice to finally put a lot of the things I’ve learned in accounting and finance over the past two and a half years to work. Who knows though, this might scare me away from the finance industry even more.

Well, there’s an update on my life in DC (an update unasked, I realize). Only about a month until Thanksgiving break!
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Vote

I have officially voted in my first presidential election!
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Sunday Excursion

So now that I have my car down in Washington, I have a new Sunday routine. Every Sunday I get up early, hop in my car, and drive with no particular destination in mind. After driving for an hour or so, I find a coffee shop, get coffee, and throw on the GPS to take me back to school. It’s definitely the most relaxing few hours of my week.

This morning I stumbled upon Alexandria, Virginia. It’s a quaint, historic town on the water that reminds me a lot of Annapolis, actually. If I had been smarter and brought a jacket this morning I would have walked around the waterfront a bit. Instead, I just drove around and took in the sights for a while. I’d say Alexandria is definitely worth an afternoon trip if you’re down in the area some time. I might try to go back sometime this year when its warmer or I have a coat with me.
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Debate

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. It was both a fun week, as I had visitors from out of town, and a long week because I didn’t get any work done this weekend. But, now on to the real news...

Last night’s debate had two stars: John McCain and moderator Bob Schieffer. I’ll start with Schieffer since his praise is short and sweet. The moderator asked tough, relevant questions unseen thus far in debates. Additionally, he didn’t let either candidate shy away from the question and resort to his stump speech. And most importantly, in my opinion, he let the two candidates go at it beyond the selected time limit. If Obama contended any of McCain’s rebuttals, Schieffer let him challenge the statements and then let McCain respond once again. The questions themselves were extremely fair and fact-based. He began many questions with specific examples from both campaigns, perhaps the one involving campaign negativity being the most memorable. Overall, he successfully responded to the vocal, valid criticisms of the former debate formats and turned the night into a successful, revealing event.

That being said, McCain finally showed ferocity and specificity last night- a large improvement over his prior debate performances. McCain began the night with sharp criticism of Obama’s tax plan, a sign that he was no longer going to let Obama’s claims and plans go unchallenged on the national stage.
McCain focused his message on the fact that Obama is both untested and politically on the fringe. He brought up his own ability to reach across the aisle and his disagreements with the Bush administration. Perhaps most importantly, he called Obama out on the fact that George W. Bush is not running this year, and that if he wanted to run against Bush, he should have made an appearance four years ago instead. It’s about time McCain called Obama out on that. Also, McCain highlighted Obama’s out-of-touch positions on every imaginable type of abortion and infanticide, free trade relations with countries like Columbia, freedom of choice with vouchers and charter schools, and his refusal to solve our energy woes with domestic drilling and nuclear plants.

All of these facts were meant to convince skeptical independent and undecided voters that McCain is the safer choice and more aligned with their values. I think he successfully conveyed that message.

Given McCain’s performance, I expected to awake the next morning to headlines claiming that McCain exceeded expectations and showed a fiery side missing from the past two debates. Instead, the media seems to think that Obama won simply by acting calm, cool, and collected in the crossfire. Admittedly, I was pretty dismayed to read the opinion pieces and headlines that morning, especially given the fact that most everyone I talked to on campus that night, both Democrats and Republicans, thought McCain had the better performance. But, then again, we should always be skeptical of everything the media says. I saw a reliable Politico post-debate study that showed that independent, undecided voters favored McCain’s performance 51-42%. Additionally, a Gallup poll came out today showing McCain behind only 49-47% among likely voters. Both of these offer some hope for what is increasingly becoming a nerve wracking final three weeks.
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Cops or Crooks?

This is the biggest crock I have EVER seen. These cops who are interfering with road construction and maintenance crews around Boston this week should all be sent to jail.

For those of you unfamiliar with big-spending, union-loving Massachusetts, prepare to be amazed. Governor Patrick recently made Massachusetts the LAST state in the union to allow flaggers to direct traffic in low-traffic work zones, as opposed to the greedy cops who have historically sat on their tails for $40+ an hour to wave the sporadic car past a construction job. So, of course, the spoiled cops who have been made delusional by their unions are up in arms. Now they’re even protesting the poor flagmen who have replaced them at these intersections- causing traffic, disregarding professionalism, and endangering the safety of those around them. With budget deficit’s soaring because of the faltering economy and unnecessary spending, the last thing we need is to be paying these bums that much money.

Read the article. If you live in another state, it will make you glad to see that you live in reality.
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Article

A funny (and true) article from the Boston Globe about Massachusetts drivers’ refusal to yield while entering the highway...
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VP Debate

I’m pretty shocked at the news that has followed the one and only vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. The vast majority of it has been about Palin’s adequate performance, much to the dismay of Camp Biden I’m sure. Most writers seem to think that she met expectations, that were admittedly set very low after multiple rocky TV interviews, and generally proved her competency. All this ignores the fact that Joe Biden had a very strong debate performance. Politically, he threw the jabs that the campaign wanted him to throw. He linked McCain to Bush and hammered home the middle-class message. Experience-wise, he had a clear grasp of issues, statistics, and history. He didn’t make any noticeable gaffes, either. Overall, I’d say he did very well.

Biden’s performance scared me when I turned the TV off last Thursday night. I could just picture tomorrow’s headlines claiming that Palin had been dominated and the McCain numbers falling even more. Well, I was wrong. Press-wise, she escaped relatively unscathed. But I guess the opinions of the almost seventy million people watching that night matter a lot more than the spin. And only time will tell what those seventy million actually thought.
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