Saturday, September 30, 2006

THE Ohio State University vs. Iowa

Go Buckeyes.

Lookin' alright at the end of the first half, but this is exactly the kind of game I thought it would be; a nail-biter with low points, and a HUGE crowd from Iowa.

Well, they can all cry together when it's over and the Buckeyes destroy them.

Until the final score....

UPDATE: Unless you are a. living under a rock or b. totally disinterested in college football, you already know that we won big time. You can go here and watch the highlights. And after you do, you can attempt to make the case that THE Ohio State Buckeyes are not the best college team in the country, and then Thadd and I will point at you and laugh and shake our heads at your craziness.

Friday, September 29, 2006 interesting choice...


or THIS.

Yeah...I think I am going to go with the bare-chested guy on the right in the bottom pic. Any other takers?


Jim Webb, George Allen, and the Richmond Free Press

As most of you know, Thaddaeus Toad and I live and work in the heart of the city of Richmond, about 2 blocks away from the famous Jefferson Hotel.  We're city dwellers, and we walk a lot and take the bus quite a bit.  We love this city; there is culture, diversity, history, the metropolitan feel, and that good old fashioned Main Street, USA ambiance.  Shockoe Slip, home to some of the oldest and best restaurants in the city, is still cobblestone, and the Boulevard and Monument Avenue are adorned with beautiful statues and memorials of some of Virginia's greatest heroes.  If you're ever here visiting, let us know; we'd love to see you.

As most of you also know, Richmond is home to one of the most disgraceful and Republican biased newspapers in the country; the Richmond Times Dispatch.  RTD is affectionately called the Richmond Times Disgrace as well as the Reich Times Dispatch, and it is pretty much useless in terms of bipartisan news.  I stopped reading it a long time ago; once I realized that they spend more time getting their Sunday Weddings section together than they do on reporting facts on politics, I gave it up completely.  I can read their bias online anyway, and there is no need for me to contribute to their GOP donation account.  Most city residents agree.

Luckily, we have the Richmond Free Press and its fabulous editor, Raymond Boone (PDF file).

The Free Press is not online and it only comes out once a week.  The writers focus on issues facing the city and its residents, and they dedicate a good amount of page space to Virginia politics.  They are fair and balanced (and I mean that the way Fox news DOESN'T), and yes; they do focus on the African American community.  This should not be a surprise to anyone, given the demographics of the city of Richmond.

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 197,790 people, 84,549 households, and 43,627 families residing in the city. A more recent census estimate indicates that the city's population has grown to 201,384. The population density was 1,271.3/km² (3,292.6/mi²). There were 92,282 housing units at an average density of 593.1/km² (1,536.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 38.30% White, 57.19% African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.49% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.57% of the population.
This week's paper bore the headline N-word preceded 'macaca' and included photos of both candidates shaking hands with African Americans.  The front page stories were as follows:  Allen, Webb pitch for important vote; Ex-teammate: Sen. Allen also used a deer head; and Lambert shows up at a caucus meeting.

I grabbed three copies.

The N-word article is a version of the AP article by Bob Lewis.  JC Wilmore over at the Richmond Democrat has a write up about it; check it out.  It's a fair and factual article, and it covers all the bases of Allen's sordid history, Macacagate, the REAL Larry Sabato's take, and Allen's Jewish roots (including the Peggy Fox meltdown).

The article that pays homage to the candidates and highlights the importance of the African American vote is also very well written.  The Obama rally, Webb's recent trips to the city and visits with the Legislative Black Caucus and Raymond Boone of the Free Press, and the news that Jim will be at the Virginia Union Homecoming game as well as the famous 2 Street Festival are all covered.  A few weeks ago, editor Ray Boone urged Jim Webb through an editorial to "start paying more attention to black voters".  Ray Boone's call was heard, and Jim webb spent an hour at the Free Press.  Good on Jim Webb.

The article goes on to highlight Allen's recent gaffes and also covers the macaca incident, the n-word, and his fetish for the Confederate flag.  It also includes accounts of Allen's recent speeches made to rally the African American base in his favor, and it reminds readers that one of the African American Reverands whom has endorsed Allen has had a few problems of his own.  But the highlight for me was the opening few paragrahs:

Democrat Jim Webb is being pictured with Senator Barack Obama, huddling with the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and scheduling more appearances at events like Richmond's popular Second Street Festival.

At the same time, the Republican George Allen, dogged by allegations about his use of the n-word and other racially charged comments, is holding press conferences with black ministers, making stops at black churches and promoting the endorsement from a senior black member of the General Assembly.

What's up?

With less than six weeks to go to the Nov. 7 vote, the two U.S. Senate candidates are clearly revving up their efforts to appeal to black voters - a crucial voting group that could decide the contest now rated neck and neck.

Holding 20 percent of the state's vote, the black electorate is now seen as crucial by both capaigns, particularly with polls showing Mr. Webb with a strong chance to unseat the incumbant senator who only months ago was considered a shoo-in.
A "shoo-in" indeed....

The article on Lambert and his decision to attend the meeting of the 17-member Virginia Legislative Black Caucus for the first time since the Allen endorsement is solid. Apparently, Lambert stayed for only the first 15 minutes of the 45 minute long meeting. Lambert is quoted in the paper when a reporter asked him about the sharp criticism his endorsement drew from Delegate Dwight C. Jones and most Democratc members, including Mayor L. Douglas Wilder and civil rights advocates. After leaving the meeting early, Sen. Lambert said that he was not aware of any criticism over his decision to endore Allen.
"I haven't heard anything. I've been in California for the last five weeks," he told a Free Press reporter.

When informed of Wednesday's meeting with Sen. Allen's opponent, Republican-turned-Democrat Jim Webb, he indicated that he decided to attend - wihout hesitiation.

"I came because I'm a member of the Caucus. I did not want to not show up," the Seantor said.

However, the senator apeared uncomfortable during the meeting, Delegate Jones told a Free Press reporter. Sen. Lambert left the meeting early.

"He was not asked to leave. He left of his own free will," the delegate said.
As a Richmond city resident, I hope to soon see an endorsement from the Caucus for Jim Webb. However, I am glad that Jim is taking the time to meet with the members and discuss the issues. It would be GREAT to get back to issues at some point before November 7, 2006.

There are three letters focused on the Lambert endorsement from readers, and one was written by a former assistant secretary of commerce in the Reagan administration. The letter is informative and telling because it lays out the TRUTH about Allen's work with the African American community.
Where was Sen. Lambert when George Allen was displaying the hangman's noose in his office?

Where was Sen. Lambert when then Delegate Allen refused to support a holiday for Nobel Laureate Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Where was Sen. Lambert on March 21, 1994, when an article in the Washington Post stated: "To some liberals, the first two months of Virginia Governor Allen's administration offer evidence that the 42-year-old Republican wants Virginia to turn back the clock all the way to the 1950s?"

Where was Sen. Lambert when Gov. Allen slashed funds to black colleges and universities in the commonwealth by 10 percent, when the average cut was 2.7 percent for 15 other state-supported, four-year schools?

Where was Sen. Lambert when Sen. Allen was photographed in 1996 at the Washington Hilton hotel with the leadership of the Council of Conservtaive Citizens, the successors to the White Citizens Council?

Where was Sen. Lambert when Sen. Allen supported the war in Iraq based on the lie of weapons of mass destruction and the falsehood of Saddam Hussein being associated with the tragedy of 9/11?

In these perilous times, Sen. Lambert would be well advised to recognize that politics is not the stage for sycophants and that public service does not require subservience.

I have lived in Virginia for more than 41 years. I was privilidged to serve in the administration of three Republican Presidents [Nixon, Ford and Reagan] and have been an active participant in the political process. There is absolutely nothing in the public service of Sen. Allen to justify an endorsement by an African-American.
Thank you, Free Press, and thank YOU, editor Ray Boone. You have provided more news and coverage on these sensitive issues facing the Virginia Senate Race than any other paper in the area, and you are to be commended for your service. Pholks, this must be what you get from a paper that is free to all residents, has a week to get their stories together and spend time on the issues, and is not owned by corporate power and a partisan stronghold. I am proud to be a resident of this great city, and I am proud to admit that I eagerly await my copy of the Richmond Free Press every week.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

In light of the latest offensive Allen campaign move...

Women for Webb

There may be a few female non-Virginia residents who feel that Jim Webb is a big old meany-mean pants, but this young woman just wants to make something clear. I fully support Jim Webb for United States Senate. I am appalled and disgusted by these women and their behavior. I feel that they are doing the Armed Services a great disservice by lambasting Jim Webb, and I think it is despicable. I also feel that their attack on a man's character based on a view felt (and for some, still felt) by a man 30 years ago is a direct slap in the face to the entire feminist movement. By participating in this pathetic attack, they are trying to rewrite history and drag good and decent Americans (both women AND armed service members) through the mud. Previous military service aside, these women are doing more harm than good to our democracy.

Ladies, out-of-staters who live in glass houses and are one issue voters should not throw stones at real heroes.

Hi, a short post to say "Hello!"

What is up Virginia?

We have quite the Senate race on our hands. Well my friends, "we face the world on our feet, not on our hands . . ." (or knees, to quote the next Senator from the great State of Virginia).

I will be the second, and far less brilliant, voice on this thing of ours called West of Shockoe. I hope to add some of my insights, be they profound or trivial, to this forum.

And George, (both of you): Sic Semper Tyrannus!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Something is going on over at the Richmond Democrat!

Something's brewing over at the Richmond Democrat. Maybe he should borrow a toupee from Ben Tribbett.

Oops, maybe I shouldn't go there.

Sorry J.C.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What if it's NOT the left attacking you, Mr. Allen?

I read a very interesting post at a blog I had never been to this evening. It's certainly not a website I went searching for, but it came up through my google news search on George Allen. I was intrigued by the title, "Who outed George Allen?" and I think the author may not be very far from the truth.

It has been hashed and rehashed around the blogosphere and in the media that George Allen is just not the man who was once thought of as destined to be on the 2008 Presidential ticket for the Republicans. Politicos from both sides of the aisle cite many different reasons for this change of heart. We have heard that George Allen is too far to the right and that he is too close to George Bush at a time when Republicans are trying to cut ties with the President. It's been touted that he doesn't have wide spread support among the majority of Republican voters, many feel that he has had less than impressive terms as both Governor and Senator, and then there are those that feel George Allen is simply not ready for the job. And of course, there are those who think that he is now unfit on account of his battle with a racist past. So which is it?

Well, it could be one, or two, or many reasons; it could be a myriad, really. It could also be that the powers that be, the big spenders, the CEO's of the hard core Christian Right have quietly decided that George Allen should be taken out of the equation for some or all of the above.

On 9/25/06, the Revealer, a self described 'daily review of religion & the press', published a short post, titled "A Christian Soldier Court-Marshalled". I apologize in advance for the reposting of the author's harsh language.
Prediction: George Allen, Virgina Senator, Republican presidential hopeful, is toast. Why? Because he used a bit of French slang, "macaca," the equivalent of "nigger," for an Indian-American volunteer in his opponent's campaign? Because of new revelations from his old football teammates that he used to stick to plain old "nigger" as a favorite slur? Because he's a Confederate flag waver? Because he characterized questions about his Jewish background as "aspersions" cast upon his character? Nah. If Allen was an ordinary Republican, he could probably shove all this under the rug. The difference here is that for Allen to catch up to the McCain, he has to run as the Christian Right's preferred candidate. And the Christian Right -- the pro-Israel, pro-"racial reconciliation" Christian Right -- doesn't want a wanna-be cracker (Allen's from California) carrying its flag. The liberal blogs, Salon, and now the mainstream media (AP) have been making hay out of Allen's bigotry, but the media that matters in this case won't be public. It'll be email. It'll be telephone calls. It'll be the quiet, behind-the-scenes conferencing by Christian Right powerbrokers who are about to pull the rug out from Allen.
I was shocked as well. And intrigued.

To me, this race really took on a life of its own after Macaca-gate, and we all know what's been going down since that fateful day; a day we can all agree George Allen wishes he had never seen, real Virginia or not. I have always credited the breaking of that incident and Allen's subsequent downfall to the bloggers and the almost instant media frenzy that surrounded the issue for weeks and soon to be months. People claimed it was a leftist blood lust, but people also claim that the only reason George Allen began his string of apologies was because of the early reaction the right wing site The New Republic had in response to Senator Allen's emerging race problems. Clearly, the New Republic articles were posted before the incident in Breaks, it safe yet to ask, "What did Ryan Lizza know, and when did he know it?" And while we are on the subject, what did Bob Gibson know, and when did he know it? If Bob Gibson has known "for years" that George Allen was Jewish, and Ryan Lizza of a well-known conservative website has been commenting on Allen's racial problems since at least April, then it is quite clear that there is some "common-knowledge" about Senator George Allen among certain circles. It was bound to come out, and it sounds like some people were more than ready to let Allen's plans for 2008 die a slow death, in the hopes of at least hanging onto a seat in the Senate.

Perhaps after the primary, they quietly dropped race list further down the list.

So what was the cause, and who was the cause for the early stirrings of Allen's troubled past?

I don't have an answer. My gut feeling is that this entire demise has been a combination of a bunch of publicity and a few dramatic gaffes in a battleground state, the netroots, a great candidate, a bad candidate, and the desperation of one party vs. the thirst for change of another. I also think we have been a bit lucky. We were able to keep Allen fighting to stay above Webb by facing his own worst campaign enemy: himself. But this quote, from "Daniel Pulliam", begs to ask the question:
Is this a liberal attempt to oust a senator with hopes of regaining a Senate Majority? A smart Democrat would save this material for 2008 in order to throw the GOP presidential nomination process into chaos. Who is attempting to out what appears to be at worst a closet, or at best a former, racist and possible bully, before he became the religious right’s standard-bearer?

Ryan Lizza’s articles in The New Republic didn’t happen in a vacuum. I doubt he woke up one morning and thought, “I need to investigate Sen. Allen’s racial attitudes.” I also doubt that Michael Scherer of Salon thought, “I will call all of Sen. Allen’s teammates from his time as the quarterback of the University of Virginia to find out if he said some racist things back in the day.” And to cap it all off, the issues raised in the book by Allen’s sister, Jennifer, in her book Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach’s Daughter, have been around for six years (surviving Allen’s first election) and no one seemed to notice until now. So what gives?

Who is out to trash a potential leading candidate of the religious right?

I have a feeling all we will ever find out is whether or not it worked.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mr. Allen, I almost felt sorry for you.

I really did. I was driving home from rehearsal tonight, rehashing all of the events of the day, and I had a tiny twinge of guilt and sorrow for what has become of your campaign, your political life, and the empire you have built up around you and your family for all of these years. I started to wonder how you were feeling as these allegations came out, and I even dwelled upon the thought of how sorry you must have felt for Siddarth after you realized the error of your ways. I felt for you, and I wondered aloud about the fairness of Peggy Fox's question to you in the debate last week. I thought of your mother and her fear of the Nazis and how hard it must have been to harbor those memories and that guilt. I thought of your family, and how your children must be in pain watching you go through this tumultuous time, and I thought of your wife Susan, and how this must be affecting her. I thought about your friends and extended family and your staff and your supporters, and I thought to myself, "Man, things are not going well for Senator Allen. And here I am, actively engaging in the discussion of and viewing of his destruction. Maybe I should back off. This is getting hard to watch." I thought all of those things, and for a brief moment, I was somber and sad.

Then I came to my senses, and I almost threw up over my temporary lapse of sound judgement.

I pushed all of my soppy feelings for you away and out of my mind, and instead focued on your despicable and abysmal job as a public servant in every way, shape, and form. I remembered that you voted and continue to vote to send American children and adults to die, yet you vote against giving them proper armor and supplies. I remembered that you have no problem with stem cell research if people want to invest their own money into the research, but that you are against people like me ever benefitting from it. I remembered that you somehow thought that sending your child to college was similar to young Jimmy Webb's departure to fight your beloved war in Iraq. I remembered that you think that gays should not marry, and that straight couples who choose to "live in sin" should be stripped of the rights and benefits given to those who let a piece of paper define their love and their relationship. I rememberd that according to you, I should (God forbid) lay in a hospital bed alone and frightened because all of my family lives over 8 hours away, and since I am not married, my boyfriend of 6 years would be forced to sit in the hallway of the waiting room instead of being with me. I remembered that you didn't think that Martin Luther King, Jr. was important enough to honor him with a holiday, but that you wanted to celebrate the Confederate flag for a month. I remembered that you didn't feel bad for Siddarth, and that you actually attacked Peggy Fox for no reason. I remembered that you lied, repeatedly. And then I remembered that you lied and lied and lied and lied some more. I rememberd that you don't care about me, and you don't care anbout people like me. I remembered that you aren't fighting for the America that I know and love, and you aren't trying to help me in any way at all. I remembered that I absolutley detest you and people like you, because you are selfish and in this "business" for the wrong reason. I remembered that you are a racist. I rememberd and I remembered and I remembered, Mr. Allen, and I came to a conclusion; you and I will never be on the same page because I care about this country and our Constitution so much that I will work to protect it and cherish it, while you will work to control it and destroy it.

So, I don't feel bad for you, Senator. You have proven that you cannot and should not be trusted with this job. You brought this all on yourself, sir, and you deserve what you get. You deserve to be fired, Mr. Allen, and I will work as hard as I can to make sure that you do, in fact, get fired. I only wish that you could be fired like the rest of America gets fired; left without any benefits of any kind for the rest of their lives.

But, I'll settle for firing you.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Penn State vs Ohio State

Buckeye Game Day, Pholks.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Penn State, and JoePa is the cutest coach ever. But, alas; the buckeyes will crush them, and I will be drunk.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Oktoberfest at Capital Ale House!

So yeah, um...welcome to me.

I have finally crossed the threshhold, pholks. I now have my own blog. It's kind of weird for me; I am so used to posting on other blogs and staying out of the limelight, but the time has come, and I think that this is going to be a really good thing, and a really cool thing. I am excited about it and I hope you all take the time to take a gander every once in a while and check out my thoughts. :)

I must take this opportunity to give a huge THANK YOU to JC Wilmore, the Richmond Democrat, for setting up my blog and making it pretty. I am a very lazy person by nature, and I really have to give him credit for kicking my ass and setting this up for me. Thanks, JC; I definitely could not have done it without you.

I also have to take a moment and remind everyone that I am actually part of a pair, so I will not be posting nor contributing alone. Thaddaeus Toad, my roomate/boyfriend/partner/punching bag will be my partner on this blog. I am excited about that as well, but please keep this in mind; I wear the pants in this relationship, so I am the butterer of your own damn bread.

Let's go ahead and get a couple of things straight while we are at it. I am going to go ahead and let anyone post whatever you want. I MAY change my mind, and I probably will not give you an explanation if I do so. But hey; it's my damn blog so deal with it. Also, you can curse as much as you want here as LONG AS IT IS IN CONTEXT. What I mean is, go ahead and add a swear word in a comment if you must, but don't send me a comment just filled with "blue words", if you know what I mean.

I think that is all for now, I may change the format and I will probably change the rules, but go ahead and get this baby goin'. Welocome to the West of Shockoe, pholks. I think we are going to have a great time.

And thanks for stopping by, Virginia.


Honey, we need to talk

Dear George,

Hi, honey. By the time you get this letter, I will be gone. I know that this may come as a shock, seeing as how I have been obsessed with you and everything you did for the past three months, but it's just that I feel at this point we have grown too far apart to move forward together. It's just been a draining few weeks, and if you have a minute or two, I have a lot I need to get off my chest.

George, if there is one thing you need to learn and you need to learn it fast, it is this; NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU. Jeez, enough already, ok? I get it, George, I GET IT. You keep trying to beat a dead horse (or ride a small pony) in order to fully explain to me how much I "know you", and don't you get it? I DO KNOW YOU. You've been such a huge attention whore for the entire summer, I can't help but know you. Always vying for attention, and demanding recognition for every little thing.

You're like the drunk girl at the party who laughs, cries, and flirts all at the same time while just on the verge of either throwing up or losing it. Or, more simply, like a toddler. So, back off, you're starting to really bug me. If I learn any more about you, I may just have to ask you to go ahead and move 10 yards away, because your own desperation for affection and support is starting to smell.

You spent an entire summer flaunting your character and personality in my face and I just don't care anymore. You have more than made your point. So, you like cowboy boots. I don't, but I don't really care what you wear. It's funny to laugh and point at your feet compared to Jim Webb's feet, but really, I don't care. Oh, and you're not really from Virginia. OK, me neither. I'm a liberal Northern New Jersey girl. You're California prep school guy. Surprising considering your little accent and all, but not a big deal.

You are a racist. I got that one loud and clear. Not only are you a racist, but you always HAVE BEEN a racist. So, that. You can stop proving it to me. I mean, enough with the flags and the nooses and the CCC and the anger at anything non-white and Christia---oh, scratch that last one. Yep, I knew there was another elephant in the room somewhere...well considering you pushed the issue incessantly, the entire world knows you're Jewish at this point, so again, no time to dwell is needed.

Let's see, what else did I learn about you this summer? Oh! Your daughter is going to college, that's right; that's nice. Maybe on winter break she can meet up with Jimmy Webb and ask him how the war his dad predicted was a terrible strategic blunder before we even went in how he likes fighting it in Iraq. Oh, what's better, is maybe your son could get to know him, since I can only assume your son will be enlisting, right? I mean, you DO support the war, and you DO think we should stay there as long as it takes. So, it is only natural that your son will fight as well. Good, please thank him in advance for his service.

I also learned that you chew tobacco everywhere including the Senate floor, and that you have spit it on your supporters' shoes. I learned that you look goofy on camera and I have learned that you are a bully. I have learned that you have a mean streak, and I have learned that you threw meatballs at someone at her wedding years and years ago. I learned that you pretty much ruined your sister's life and I learned that your campiagn is filled with rabid and vapid shills without any thoughts of their own.

I've learned that the only reason the media isn't talking about how poorly you did in both debates one after another is because they're going after your bait, which is to act like the politician endorsed by the National Enquirer. It's an interesting political move, I have to admit, a very interesting choice; just not one I or anyone else would have made. So, yeah, I know you, I can't help but know you. I GET IT.

So, here's the deal, ok? I am going to have to move on without you and start talking issues. Because as for your shining personality, "warm heart", aw-shucks persona, and all of your little quirks and gaffes, I've learned everything I need to know. I mean, what other kind of information do you need once your Senator is proven to be a liar, a racist, a liar, a bigot, a liar, an idiot, a liar, a bad debater, a liar, a bad actor, a liar, a bad campaigner, a liar, a bad guest on news shows, a liar, and a fool?

I mean, if I were still saying "But I don't really know George" then I guess I would have to be living under a rock. And if I were saying "Well I know George and I really like him", well, then I must somehow be like you in some way. And I just am not in any way shape or form. So, like I said; I am going to have to move on without you.

So, thanks George. Thanks for the memories, and I guess the lessons. Thanks for the interesting foray into your personal life, I guess I appreciate it. You made the summer interesting, I'll give you that. And listen, kiddo, it's not you, it's me.

I'M the one who wants to commit to true leadership and speaking about the issues, not you. I'M the one demanding that I spend time with someone who can actually perfrom well in Congress, not you. I'M the one ready to fight for the country and restore dignity and class to our government, not you.

It's me. I'm sorry. You want to keep playing these games, and you can't really make any kind of committment to one answer, or one story, or one lie, or one racial slur, so I just think it's better that we take a long break.

Thanks again George. Thanks for listening, and hey; we can still be friends. You never know, you may really catch my eye again before November 7th, and you never know...I may pop by for a visit and a chat. But for now, you're on your own. Good luck.