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Archive for December, 2009

Fare thee well to the Nameless Decade

December 31, 2009 1 comment

Homer: “C’mon, where’s your freak bus
Seth: “I drive a Saturn”
Homer: “A Saturn?”
Munchie: “We used to have a bus. In a way, the sixties ended the day we sold it–December 31, 1969.”
–The Simpsons, AABF02, “Doh-in’ in the Wind”

I know, I know, the decade isn’t officially over. We all heard it at the “not quite” end of the last decade, century and millenium. There was no year zero, A.D. versus B.C., blah blah blah. But let’s face it–a year of 365 days (366 every four years, unless it can be divided by one hundred, unless it…..uh….whatever) beginning on Janurary 1st and ending on December 31st is a Western Convention, one subscribed to by many people. Psychologically that one change in the third digit means a great deal to a good number of people. And so we have a year end flurry of best of/worst of/most important, and every ten years that turns into an orgy as the world’s scribes attempt to give the past ten years some sort of definition that society at-large can agree on.

For a little bit there in early December it seemed as if the media was going to let this one slide. Then Time had to wade into the mess and dub the Oughties, Zeros, double os, whatever “The Decade from Hell.” Perhaps this was a foregone conclusion from the minute the clock struck midnight on Janurary 1st, 2000 and nothing happened, minus an accidental nuclear alert in Japan and a few slot machines going down in Delaware. Total buzzkill after all the lead up to the end of the world. And so wordsmiths were left struggling to dub the decade long hangover. So far, our best lingusitic minds have yet to agree on a standard.

Read more…

2009: A Year in Swag

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Folks, everyone here knows that I worked on Victory this year. You all also know that I am an avid collector of historical political items. So what more fitting way to close out the year than with a pictorial review of the items I picked up along the helter skelter trail, from my unemployment to coming on board to the exhillirating convention to a troubled summer to my auto wreck, all the way to a bittersweet victory. Enjoy.

Bolling and Cooch shirt with just a small sampling of the veritable Baskin Robbins that was the McDonnell bumper sticker effort

Close up with some of the locals

More coalition stickers

More locals and coalitions

Even more coalitions stickers

8x10s of the statewide candidates that hung in the Page Co booth, along with a ubiquitous Bobs for Jobs sign

Items from the convention plus the morning after the election

Close up of my credentials, plus a signed folder from Mark Moseley

Invites to inaugural festivities, plus celebratory buttons

More buttons (note that I didn’t have enough for this box, so a few ’05, ’08 and even a Chuck Smith button slipped in)

A few official buttons, some by seconday vendors and committees, and two I had commissioned myself (Maureen for First Lady and Dukes for McDonnell)

And my prized posession: a framed photo of the infamous barn next to 81 in Augusta County, signed by all the local delegates, the statewides, Congressman Goodlatte, and Michael Steele

My New Year’s wish to my former colleagues: my all of you see as much success in your new gigs as we did together as part of the Virginia Victory effort.

And to those I worked with, both staff and volunteers: It was an honor and privellege, and a fitting capstone to my professional political career.

Valley Boy Done Good: Rexrode to head RPV

December 30, 2009 1 comment

From the Washington Post we hear that Dave Rexrode, formerly Deputy Campaign Manager for Coalitions at McDonnell for Governor and currently running community outreach for the transition team, is headed down Grace Street to take over for currrent Executive Director Allison Coccia.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Dave quite a bit over the years, beginning with when he ran Senator Obenshain’s first campaign. My fondest memory of that race is jumping into the back of a pickup with Dave just as the skies began to pour down at the end of the New Market Fourth of July. The Fourth has always been somewhat of a specialty of Dave’s, since whoever he’s working for at the time (Be it Mark or Congressman Goodlatte) usually does three or four parades that day, and Dave does them all. But that’s certainly not all he does. Dave’s always struck me with his professionalism and political ingenuity. He did an amazing job with coalitions this year, and he and his staff were always available to help integrate coalition volunteers with the field operation. I can’t think of any better hands for RPV to be in right now.

So congrats, Dave, and know that we’ve got your back out here in the Valley.

Categories: Party politics, Personal Tags: ,

In Memoriam

December 27, 2009 Leave a comment

OWBS is back (more on that later), but we begin our week with a retrospective of those important people animals we lost this year.

Endal
Beloved service dog to Gulf War veteran Allen Parton
World’s Most Distinguished Service Dog

Sybil
Pet of Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling
Briefly Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office
Removal rumored to have fueled Gordon Brown’s decline in polls

India the Cat
First Cat During Bush Administration
Name said to have fueled poor Indio-American Relations
Working on anti-Ms. Beazley bio at time of death

Gidget the Taco Bell Dog
Most offensive mascot since Frito Bandito
Rumoured to have caused hundreds of unexplained homocides in late 90’s

And last but certainly not least

Socks the Cat
No simple summary will suffice

Requiescant in pace

Blogging Hiatus

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

I hate to disappoint old and new fans alike, but my job hunt (combined with a little burnout) has taken a brave new turn, so I’m going to be light on posting, if at all, over the next week. I cannot reveal any details right now, but expect a change in direction (one that I already projected but have not had much movement on since, well, I’ve had plenty to talk about on the political front but not much else) over the next month. I am happy to report, however, that I’ll be taking some courses in education through Shenandoah University’s lifelong learning department starting in January.

Expect new posts, political or otherwise, starting late next week.

Coburn unveils Stimulus Silliness

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Via the Cato Institute we learn that the Senate’s often provocative fiscal watchdogs, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Senator John McCain of Arizona, have released a new 100 page report detailing some of the sadly goofy uses of stimulus funds. Some of the lowlights of your (and your children’s, and their children’s) tax dollars at play work include:

  • “Almost Empty” Mall Awarded Energy Grant ($5 million)
  • Water Pipeline to a Money-Losing Golf Course ($2.2 million)
  • Grant to Fund Search for Fossils . . . In Argentina ($1.57 million)
  • Bobber the Water Safety Dog Costumes ($21,116)
  • Developing the Next Generation of Football Gloves ($150,000)

And so much more.

The always hilarious Norm points out that some of the projects lead to this being a “stimulus” in more ways than one:

The National Institute of Health (NIH) is using stimulus funds to pay for a year-long $219,000 study to follow female college students for a year to determine whether young women are more likely to ― “hookup” — the college equivalent of casual sex — after drinking alcohol. Researchers will recruit 500 female students prior to their first year of college and contact them monthly over the course of a year to document sexual hookups, noting when there is alcohol involved. It is part of the $7.4 billion the NIH received in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support ―scientific research.

Maybe with all that TARP money rolling back in U.S. Senator Mark Warner and his Dem cronies can set up yet another package to help me get a date….

The Russians Control the Weather (sorta)

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment

One of my dad’s favorite stories about local culture is of a local preacher who was convinced of a number of conspiracy theories. These included a mass plot to round-up all civillians on 1/1/2000 (brought on by arrows painted on the road that turned out to be a bicycle race) and that man never landed on the moon. He also spoke of the Russians having a weather machine that would doom us all. Well, it turns out that he sort of right on that one. From the LA Times:

In the snow-hushed woods on Moscow’s northern edge, scientists are decades deep into research on bending the weather to their will. They’ve been at it since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin paused long enough in the throes of World War II to found an observatory dedicated to tampering with climatic inconveniences.

Since then, they’ve melted away fog, dissipated the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl and called down rains fierce enough to drown unborn locusts threatening the distant northeastern grasslands.

…..

In Russia, nobody rains on the parade — because the Russian government doesn’t allow it.

“Victory Day is the most sacred holiday for us,” says Bagrat Danilian, deputy chief of cloud seeding at the observatory. “When veterans go out to celebrate in Moscow, we create good weather for them.”

All it takes, he says, is sacks of cement — 500-grade, to be precise. Drop the powder down into the clouds, and they vanish.

A fascinating read, particularly for those growing weary of the winter weather that is gripping the Shenandoah Valley