Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

Source: Associated Press

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Just to give you a personal reflection about 9/11. I was working at a movie theater and not happy about it and working the nightshift and disliked that even more. Except for the people I worked with and for and met. I believe I closed the night before and slept in that morning knowing I would be closing again on that Tuesday night the night of 9/11. I woke up early that afternoon and turned on the news and saw I believe ABC News breaking in from their afternoon soap operas to cover these explosions that were happening in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. And to paraphrase what Jack Buck said during the 1988 World Series, “I don’t believe what my eyes just saw.” I can’t believe what I just saw on TV. It must have felt like the way people in Hawaii felt during Pearl Harbor in 1941. That the nation was under attack and what’s the next horrible attack that we’ll be doing with. I get ready for work and get there I guess about 4 o’clock that afternoon and find out that the theater is close because of the attacks and I had the night off.

There are only two moments during the George W. Bush presidency where I was proud of President Bush and I don’t say that lightly or proudly. It’s just the way I feel about this President as President. The first one is where President Bush goes to New York City to look at the destruction caused by the attacks and he’s giving a speech there and talking to firefighters there. And some people in the audience yell out essentially how angry they are at the people of these attacks. And President Bush literally breaks in with a megaphone and says, “we hear you, the Americans people hear you and the people responsible for knocking down these buildings will hear from all of us very shortly.” It was the perfect thing to be said at that point and I believe reflected how most Americans were feeling at that very moment regardless of their politics and party affiliation. Those last four months of 2001 starting unfortunately with 9/11, you could argue was the last time America was united as a country. And President Bush deserves credit for that. Regardless of what you think of him.

I don’t live in New York City and I never had. So I can’t give you an eyewitness account of what happened in New York during those horrific attacks. But what I can do as an American is tell you how I feel about people responsible for attacking one of America’s great cities and one of the great cities in the world. America felt under attack during 9/11. Before that we felt invincible as a country and believe no one would attack us period. Even if they could, because we would destroy them if they did and they knew that. 9/11 changed and changed the national makeup of this country. What goes on in the Middle East and South Asia, can now happen here. Not from another country sending in a plane and hitting us with missiles and bombs, because they would get shot down. But from terrorist hijackers so warped out of their mind and hating America and our foreign policy, that they would hijack a private plane and use it as their suicide attack. Even with innocent passengers on board simply flying to New York, with no say in the matter. And America has never gotten back to pre-9/11 and the few months after that when we were one country even for that short period.

Associated Press: Today in History For September 11th



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The Washington Football Factory

The Washington Football Factory

Source: The Washington Post: RFK Stadium- Past, Present, Future?

I’m not an architect obviously, but one of the great things about RFK Stadium is that it wouldn’t have to be torn down. It is on a great property and piece of land and what the Redskins are flirting with right now is simply renovating it, or rebuilding it. But knocking out the skyboxes and press box level and the upper deck. Leaving in the lower bowl with those flexible seats that go up and down and then adding new decks of seats on top of the lower bowl and building a much larger stadium. Somewhere ninety-thousand seats or so, because Washington is big wealthy city in a huge wealthy market that loves their Redskins even when they’re losing. The future of the Redskins is not in Landover, or North Virginia, but in downtown Washington at the new RFK which would be right at where the current RFK is.

Worst case scenario, the city knocks down the current RFK, but rebuilds a new one on the same site, but that has about twice as many seats and perhaps a retractable roof on top and bring the Super Bowl to the nation’s capital for the first time ever. Which is long overdue considering how great a city market this is. Which the new RFK hosting college football and even bowl games, perhaps even bowl playoff games, perhaps the Maryland Terrapins would play Navy and Virginia every year. Maybe Penn State every other year. As well as a lot of other events during the NFL offseason to keep the money coming into this new huge stadium. That could become the best downtown big city football stadium in America and give Washington something New York doesn’t have. Which is a downtown NFL stadium to call its own.

I’m lucky being born and growing up watching football when I did. Because I remember all three Super Bowl Championships the Redskins won, plus the one they lost to the Los Angeles Raiders. So I know RFK Stadium very well and how much it has meant to this great franchise. Where it was probably the toughest place to win a road game at least in the NFC East in the 1980s, if not the NFC and NFL as well. Because Washington sports fans are so loyal to their winners and so crazy when the Redskins win to the point that opposing head coach has to ask the referee to tell the fans to shut up so his team can hear the plays and be able to talk to his team. That has been missing ever since the Redskins left RFK for Landover, but is something that the Redskins and should bring back. And be used to return the Redskins back to being an annual winner and championship contender. Which is where Washington expects the Redskins to be.

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Washington DC
The New Republic: Opinion- Elaine Teng- Congress Blocks Washington-DC Marijuana Legalization

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I’ve lost count how many times Republicans and so-called Conservatives talk about the need for federalism, state and local control, but that as long as states and locals governing what the way they approve. Doing things that they approve of. And of course they are going to make the exception that Washington is the nation’s capital and that the Federal Government, including Congress has a role in their affairs, because Washington receives federal aide to conduct it’s city business. But Washington is still a city, a local city with their own government. Their voters legally approved marijuana legalization and they have the right to enforce that.

Now big fat Uncle Sam who apparently doesn’t have enough to do like minding their own business and managing the affairs and business of the Federal Government, should figure out how to govern themselves and make their own big fat government work. Before they try to run someone’s else’s government and manage their affairs. It’s no secret why the U.S. Congress has approval rating somewhere around ten-percent that the Republican Party is going to own in the next Congress now controlling both the House and Senate. Because they are bunch of incompetent assholes, who see compromise as a sin and don’t know how to work with people who don’t always agree with them.

It is a good thing that out Founding Fathers, our founding Liberal set up our Federal Republic with our federal system. Perhaps they were physic and knew that big government statists in the future may try to run the entire country from Washington DC and treat the individual states like children and tell them that Uncle Sammy knows what is best for them and what they can and can’t do and how to govern themselves. If we did have a unitary system and not a federal system, and Washington State along with Colorado and now Washington DC passed their own marijuana legalization laws, big government statists in the Republican Party would try to throw out those laws as well.

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Washington Redskins
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

The 1972 Redskins didn’t win the NFC Eastern Division Championship their first in thirty years or win the NFC Final their first in thirty years because they had overwhelming talent. They had very good talent with wide receivers Charlie Taylor, WR Roy Jefferson, tight end Jerry Smith and tailback Larry Brown. And on defense with people like defensive tackle Diron Talbert, linebacker Chris Hamburger, LB Jack Pardee and others, one of the best defenses in the NFL. I believe the best in the NFC that only gave up 217 points. They didn’t accomplish these things because of great talent. They weren’t the Cowboys Doomsday Defense, or the Vikings Purple People Eaters or the Rams Fearsome Foursome or the Steelers Steel Curtain.

They were a bunch of tough guys who could play who all had character, that all wanted to win and never were champions before. Thats why George Allen the Redskins head coach/general manager brought them to Washington to become champions. George Allen’s whole philosophy was about the team, “how do I get forty men (as was the case back then) to play the best that they can and play together”. (And I know this sounds corny)

But that’s how George Allen operated. His favorite drink was milk probably because he didn’t spend much time drinking other things or even thinking about other drinks that he liked, because he was all about his team. “How do I get them to play the best that they can and play together at the same time”. And everything else including his family came after his team as his kids would tell you. In the 1960s the Redskins had a pass first explosive offense that was built around QB Sonny Jurgenson, WR Charlie Taylor, WR Bobby Mitchell and TE Jerry Smith. That didn’t run the ball very well or play a lot of defense, sort of like the Miami Dolphins with Dan Marino in the 1980s.

But George Allen came from the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams where they played tough defense always had one of the best defenses in the NFL. With ball control offenses so that’s exactly what he wanted to establish in Washington, but the difference being that he was able to bring those defenders to Washington. Diron Talbert, Jack Pardee, but had a lot more offensive talent to go with his defense, which made the Redskins very explosive on both sides of the ball.

Allen inherited a team that was like 5-9 in 1970 the year Vince Lombardi died and took them to 10-4 and into the NFC Playoffs and 11-3 in 1972 as they won the NFC East, beat the Cowboys in the 1972 NFC Final, became NFC Champions. And went to Super Bowl 7 where they lost to the undefeated Miami Dolphins, but I believed the Redskins had the better team. The 1972 Redskins were a team that represent what a good team looks like, with star players, but other players on the team who are also good. But know their roles and everyone playing together and playing their roles.

George Allen was not perfect, the way he handled Sonny Jurgenson and Billy Kilmer and then later Joe Theisman. All three of them playing at the same time was a tragic mistake, that I believe cost him a championship. Sonny Jurgenson was clearly his best QB and should’ve led his teams until he retired instead of splitting time with Billy Kilmer. Who was at best a journeyman QB and a part-time starter and Joe Theisman should’ve replaced Jurgenson when Sonny retired. But George Allen’s whole philosophy was built around “how to get the most out of my team at the same time to win as many games as possible” and he had a lot of success with that philosophy.
Howard Cosell Fan: 1972-73 Washington Redskins

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Source: The Onion– U.S. Senator Mark Warner, D, Virginia 

Source: The New Democrat

What the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance did last week was, essentially, to make bribery legal so that members of Congress will no longer have to feel guilty about taking money for voting for this or voting for that. Or in the case of the U.S. Senate, voting to not vote, if you are familiar with the Senate cloture rule. If you are familiar with the Senate cloture rule, you are probably qualified to teach Greek or ancient Mongolian history because the cloture rule is just as complicated.

Free speech? Give me a break, we are now talking about paid speech. The people with the most money have the most influence, which has always been the case in Congress. The only thing these Supreme Court decisions have done is to make that legal. Congressional influence will be sold to the highest bidder. Policy luncheons and committee hearings will be replaced by fundraisers and get together in private clubs and junkets where only the members of Congress who are the best boys and girls at delivering what special interests want are invited.

I wonder if I can get out of paying taxes at all if I just stuff a thousand dollars down my representative’s or senator’s throat. Or, say that I owe this much in taxes. How about I just give it to you, Senator Smith or Representative Jones, and write it off of my taxes. I get out of paying income taxes and you get the money you need to get reelected and we can do the same thing again in a couple of years. This might sound like an exaggeration but Americans politics is now at the point where public service, whatever the hell that is anymore, is now private service to the highest bidder.

We now have a Representative from Virginia, Jim Moran, a Democrat for whom I have a lot of respect and like politically. No joke, I really do, (with only one finger behind my back). He has the balls to say that members of Congress are underpaid. No, seriously, he actually said that. This guy only works half the year, lives full-time in Alexandria and gets to go home every night. Only a handful of members of Congress get to do that. Representative Moran makes $174K per year as a part-time worker.

$174K a year is the average salary for an associate lawyer. What does he do with the rest of his time and spend all of his money on? Wait, I’ve got it, he needs more money to pay for more fundraisers or, perhaps, to hire people to stuff money down his throat so he can keep getting reelected. Yeah, that’s it. Guess what, that is not what the people who live in his district, who can’t afford to make big political contributions, are paying him to do.
The Source: Landmark Supreme Court Decision Lets Americans Cram Cash Directly into Politician’s Mouths

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Singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan perform together during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in this August 28, 1963 file photo shot by U.S. Information Agency photographer Rowland Scherman and provided to Reuters by the U.S. National Archives in Washington on August 21, 2013. In the coming week, Washington will play host to an array of events marking the 50th anniversary of the march and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.    REUTERS/Rowland Scherman/U.S. Information Agency/U.S. National Archives  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY ENTERTAINMENT) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan perform together during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in this August 28, 1963 file photo shot by U.S. Information Agency photographer Rowland Scherman and provided to Reuters by the U.S. National Archives in Washington on August 21, 2013. In the coming week, Washington will play host to an array of events marking the 50th anniversary of the march and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

Source: Andrea Neves: Bob Dylan & Joan Baez 1963 March on Washington

The people at the March on Washington certainly weren’t dreaming and were at the start of something huge. That led to the civil rights laws of the 1960s and they definitely had their eyes on the prize and knew exactly why they were there. Hollywood and the entertainment, especially the progressive entertainment community, were critical in the civil rights movement and the March on Washington. Because they could bring attention to their activism, because of their followers and that they also had the media behind them. Print, radio and TV. The media almost had to cover these events and cover what the speakers and activists were saying and doing here.

The only thing that these marchers and activists were fighting for was for individual freedom and equal rights for all Americans. Including African-Americans. That it was immoral for any American to be denied access in this great country simply because of our race, ethnicity, or gender. That all Americans were entitled to not just civil rights, but equal rights and an opportunity to succeed in this country. And then be allowed to fail and succeed on our own based on our own merit. Not because of how our nose is shaped, or our hair, name, complexion, or any other racial, or ethnic features that we have as individuals.

People like to point back to some event or time or year, when America started changing and became the diverse melting pot that we are now with all sorts of different ethnic and racial groups now prevalent with a real shot at succeeding in America. But where we became a cultural melting pot where Americans were expected to all live the same way and want the same things. Where women were no longer expected to stay at home and where gays were no longer expected to lock themselves in the closet and where African-Americans were no longer expected to serve as servants to Caucasian families and serve them in public.

1963 for me at least is the end of the 1950s. America was moving forward and no longer moving back. We were moving past the Leave it to Beaver culturally and religiously conservative world. Not just African-Americans who were standing up for their rights, but women of all races and ethnicities as well. Baby Boomers were going to and graduating from college and wanted to a New America and new way of life for themselves. Where they could seek freedom for themselves and live their own ways. And no longer felt the need to live the lifestyles of their parents and grandparents. But decide for themselves, especially women if they were going to get married, go to work, have kids or not. And in many cases decided to enter the workforce. As well as get married and have kids.

When Bob Dylan sings Time are a Changin, he’s singing that at the perfect time and perfect place. Times were changing in 1963 and I believe the March on Washington was kind of like that Super Bowl moment that kicked that off. The 1964 Civil Rights Law, is passed less than a year later. And the civil rights movement just grew from that after that with the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This 1950s American shell that we were living in up till this point was finally cracking. And we were becoming a country that was no longer just for Southern Anglo-Saxon Protestant men. But a country that was truly a melting pot where every American was going to be treated equally under law.

The Eyes on a Prize, at least for me, was an America that worked for all Americans. Were we no longer resembled Apartheid South Africa. Where the Native-Africans and their Caucasian rulers were separated. But instead would become a country where race, ethnicity and gender, wouldn’t become factors in whether Americans would succeed or not. But instead were how we were born and physically looked, but didn’t determine our success in life. But instead our success would be determined by what we brought to the table as individuals. And not as members of groups. The 1963 March on Washington wasn’t the start of the American civil rights movement, or the conclusion. But the place where everything started coming together.

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The Nation's Bridge

The Nation’s Bridge

The Key Bridge is on my summer bike route when I ride into downtown Washington from Glen Echo, Maryland which is about ten miles away from where I live About a 15-20 minute drive depending on traffic. Seems everything when it comes to getting in and around Washington depends on traffic with so many people living on top of each other. And the reason why I go on Key is no other reason than the view. Going to Roslyn, Virginia from Washington and you’re going right over the Potomac River and to your East you’re looking at the river going towards Georgetown on your right and Virginia on your left. And on your left get to see the monument and museum district in Washington. The Kennedy Center, the Watergate, Washington Monument and a bunch of other incredible buildings.

On a clear beautiful summer day which is common in Washington just like our heat and humidity you might not find a better lookout than the Key Bridge in Washington and many other big cities. And on my bike route I go across the bridge and go left and down and around and work my way down on the Potomac in Washington to the Jefferson Memorial Bridge which also has a great view of a lot of different impressive buildings like The Pentagon, as well as the Jefferson Memorial Monument and then I go to the Washington Monument and work my way back to Georgetown to go back home in the C&O Canal, which is also a really cool place, except if you hate heat and humidity. And just seeing these beautiful attractions on my bike route is really the only reason I need to live here.

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