That’s Not a Strategy

Politics is a funny business and the funniest part is how people often confuse what is just silly behavior with a strategy. Watching campaigns, working with campaigns is an entertaining thing as well, because it’s amusing to see how politicians handle their opponents.

The most common mistake junior politicians seem to make is they think the way to get their fundraising going and to make their opponent look bad is to try to start a fight. It’s the “Dirty Harry” approach, politician comes out, guns blazing and looking for a fight. Usually, this mistake is made, learned and corrected in the lower levels, but sometimes people run for office at the higher levels with this tactic firmly in hand as their main move.

And it doesn’t work, first of all, no one wants to elect someone who just seems pernicious or who might have bad judgement. But more importantly, Aaron Wildavsky’s proven rules of campaigns shows that when a person goes negative they just put attention back on their opponent and actually help them. Being positive is important for overall morale in any organization, but also, why go looking for a fight that drains energy to drive success?

Being Dirty Harry is not a strategy in politics.



If you follow politics at all, you probably know the Democratic Party of America has come up with a theme called “the War on Women” claiming that there is a war on women obstensibly, this war is supposedly being perpetrated by the Republican party. And on many days of the week, a fair number of women in America would say they wonder if there is a war. Any women who has been sexually harassed in the office, raped, blamed for a partner’s affair or even discriminated against based on gender would agree there is an issue. A common nasty human issue. An issue that often upsets other men in American society as well.

But can the issue be blamed on the Republican party which welcomes women of all stripes and backgrounds to it’s membership? No. In fact, the biggest problem with the Democratic party claiming this war exists and is only perpetuated by Republican men, is that many Democratic and Progressive men see nothing wrong with attacking women in the workplace  based on their gender on the premise that we live in a equality based free for all or based on differences of opinion. Worse even, the party doesn’t seem to really punish nor push to the side men that are not “favorable” to women as you might say. In fact, the party has a long list of men that are cheaters or worse when it comes to women. The argument is in fact for the Democratic Party, a hypocritical fallacy.

Factually the Republican party tends to punish men when they get out of line – cheat, hit their wives, fail at relationships, neglect their children or as you would think the occasional baboon that says something stupid about the issue of rape – all of them get punishment. But what did someone like Anthony Weiner get?  And the Democratic Party waves a flag for Bill Clinton, how does that work with this idea of a war that does not exist within their own boundaries?

“Hi pot, meet kettle.”


Happy Easter!

Here’s to hoping you had a lovely day!

Easter Eggs

And with that, this blogger will direct you to the website Cute Overload for some bunniness.


Friday Fry-Up

It’s the Friday Fry-Up. This will be short.

Uh Oh

Repetition of history? They say history repeats itself, but never in quite the same way. Click here for the full article.

Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk have allegedly been handed flyers by pro-Russian militants ordering that they register themselves and pay a tax or face deportation, The Interpreter reports.

So, is history really repeating itself in micro-cosm? We had a major attack like that on the U.S. by the Japanese which is now called 9/11. The markets fell apart in what has been a mostly denied but really close to event like the Great Depression called the Great Recession,  the neo-nazis have taken over in Greece because they offered basic services when the overinflated government fell apart, there are rumors they have spread to other countries as well. And we have a large Russian empire asserting itself, heh, again. Nothing is quite the same, it’s all a stretch but the events do look similar to the early part of the last century. Or is that nothing really changes?

Good Friday and Easter

Happy Good Friday, er, well Good Friday is actually called Black Friday, it’s arguably the most important holiday in the church after Easter although some see it as part of Easter. NO, Christmas is not the most important holiday, it’s the most celebrated holiday.

Do what you want, but this blogger always found drinking on Good Friday to be weird, either because people aren’t out or because it seems improper to drink on the holiday. In that case, you might be baking or prepping for Sunday to celebrate Easter.

Here is a list of desserts to make with Peeps.

Game of Thrones

Speaking of Sunday, the next episode has people excited since uh, so much happened in the last, you could say – especially for Margaery 

Spoiler Alert, the quote below from EW is for people who follow the show, all you binge watchers will have to skip this part.

Well, politically, it’s a disaster, to lose one husband is bad but to lose two husbands is careless! It’s really bad PR for Margaery. So regardless of what she thought of Joffrey as a human being, it’s not a good place for her to be in. So she’s like cursed or tainted goods … Margaery has to recuperate after Joffrey’s death. She feels like she’s failed. And that’s where Olenna [Diana Rigg] is very important again at sort of galvanizing her. That’s why I like Margaery because she’s human. You see that she’s been traumatized by watching Joffrey die. That goes back to my saying about her being a genuinely sincere, sensitive person. She’s just strong at hiding it. She’s lost her husband, and she’s lost the queenship in one fell swoop. So she has to start from scratch again, which is a tall order.

Rehabbed Dogs 

Did you ever wonder what happened to Michael Vick’s dogs? Go ahead and read about what happened to them. It’s really touching to see that the dogs actually got a second chance.

Have a good week-end!


In Hindsight

Recently, as in last Friday someone reminded me of the old issues from last year which is that many people think the convention system in the state of Virginia for Republicans hurts the party. Other people like it. Oh well.

But the crux of the issue is that the people who want to get rid of it A.) Wanted a different slate of candidates for the major party positions B.) Don’t like traveling, eheh.

There really isn’t anything like the experience of a convention, it’s kind of a madcap thing that most people should experience. And this blogger isn’t talking about your tame county convention where everyone is from in town, but we’re talking about a state or national convention where all kinds of shenanigans take place.

The thing is, these kinds of conversations are usually had after a loss. If the GOP slate had won then no one would bother to discuss the issue, but since the GOP slate didn’t win with Obenshain only coming close, the conversation still comes up. The fact of the matter this type of discussion only leads to the idea that Bill Bolling would have won a primary and he probably would NOT. Ken Cuccinelli had a better ground game and would have won a primary, Bolling would have been angry, all other issues would have been the same once that fact is accepted.

Beyond this point, the other candidates on the slate – well who knows – this blogger can’t judge their volunteer base but Obenshain had a long long  family history in the state. It’s possible Rob Bell would have been up for Attorney General.

Does it matter now? Not really. It turns out there are two Democratic parties in Virginia, one run by Virginians which apparently spawned those in members of the state senate and house and one that spawned Terry McAuliffe – turns out they don’t agree with each other.

The same end can be reached by different means.

There is no point in fuming over the past that can’t be changed.



And that One Tax Scandal

So you are probably wondering what ever happened with the IRS tax scandal centered around the targeting of Tea Party groups. Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore.

Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner is living the life of a private citizen at her more-than $2.4 million property in Bethesda, Md. while Republicans consider holding a House floor vote to hold her in contempt of Congress.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 21-12 to hold Lerner in contempt last week after she waived her Fifth Amendment rights but continued to stonewall the committees investigation into the IRS targeting scandal. The measure was opposed by all 12 of the committee’s Democrats, including Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings, whose staff requested information from the IRS about a conservative non-profit applicant group under agency scrutiny.

So basically, Lois Lerner has lost her career at the IRS due to the scandal and now is in the early stages of being held in contempt by Congress. What boggles the mind is why anyone would throw away their career for a political season that only lasts eight years at most? Think about it, she has damaged her career and what happens to those who benefited from her actions? NOTHING.
In the meantime, this woman becomes an example as she is currently being described as someone who has stonewalled an investigation.
Also -
One year ago this day was the terrorist attack on the Boston marathon.
Keep Calm and Love Boston


Friday Fry Up with Cherry Blossoms

It’s Friday and the weather is beautiful in DC today, but there is nothing calm about this week which shall always be remembered in my head as the week I got conned into watching the fireworks over the Potomac for the festival.

Sebelius’ Exit,

Denial is not just a river in Egypt, this article shows total denial as well. She is being pushed out as a result of the problems with the Obamacare launch and this sort of switching out of staff, is typical in private companies and organizations when a major blunder has occurred. The Obamacare deadline has just barely passed.

The above linked to article shocked this blogger last night, how can someone be so oblivious to the truth? And why highlight a negative event? In fact, there was a flub today even in the process of her resignation.

Colbert to the Show

David Letterman is out and Stephen Colbert is in, so you can imagine there are plenty of people who will miss his show which flays conservatives. And then there are the people who won’t miss it, because so often it is used as a source of news for people who don’t watch the real news. Or even read it. My question is what the heck will his show be like in place of David Letterman? He’s taking his whole Colbert Report team.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Tonight is the Cherry Blossom Ball and a young woman will be crowned the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen 2014. Good Luck Ladies! So this year, I had to get to a friend’s birthday party on the waterfront which involved being stuck in traffic related to the festival. One good thing happened, I got stuck watching the festival fireworks.


That’s all, have a good week-end, don’t let the extra tourists or Cherry Blossom allergies drive you crazy.


Change Up

If you weren’t aware because of the national news about the stabbings in Pennsylvania and maybe the busy-ness of your  life in general- you may have missed that a candidate who is NOT a Democrat quietly won a seat on the Arlington County Board.

John Vihstadt has quietly changed the game in Arlington by running as an Independent with a coalition of Democrats, Green party activists and Republicans supporting him. Mr. Vihstadt has over a decade of experience on local school boards and committees where he served Arlington. He also chose  a platform of fiscal conservatism which is fine since the county board is about budget matters for the most part.

ARLNow photo from the victory party

ARLNow photo from the victory party

But you’re probably asking how did this happen?? Arlington DIDN’T happily elect a DEMOCRAT?? Right, so the Arlington County Board has been proposing projects that drove people crazy – they wanted to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on an AQUATIC center and a terrible Trolley thing that would ruin traffic while not being really functional. By the time it was over Arlington citizens would be stuck with HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in costs. At the same time, the local fire department couldn’t get money for a new ladder. Priorities, anyone?

Taxes are already high and John promised to focus on what counts for the budgets  – schools, their needs for the children and the really important stuff – like a ladder for the local fire department. At his victory party which was attended by well known Democrat Libby Garvey and Commonwealth Attorney Theophani Stamos -who both happily supported John – he made a point of reiterating the fact that he is going to represent all parties and invested interests in Arlington, not just one group.

Some of the wisdom here is in what Aaron Wildavsky proved with his work, you can win without a coalition – maybe – but you can’t govern without one. And John Vihstadt is clearly about all the different groups that supported him.

Deborah with City Councilman John Vihstadt



Tuesday Things


Get out and vote. It’s time to elect the next member of the city council in Arlington! Do it! Do it!

Meanwhile, there were some very interesting events last week  -

Gun Debate

Unfortunately, there was the shooting at Fort Hood which restarted the gun debate for some people. Anyone could have guessed gun ban advocates would get up on the issue again, but the truth is gun rights were settled last year, too many people in both parties and independently want the right to bear arms.

President George W. Bush Unveils New Paintings

Former President Bush is going to shed some light, so to speak on his paintings and let the rest of the world see some of them. It is interesting that these works are of world leaders.

Kevin Spacey

Cats out of the bag, Kevin Spacey is probably not a Republican, but he’s not a flaming liberal either if you read this article on Venezuela.


Presidential Races

Huh, so now that Chris Christie is out of the presidential race for 2016, it looks like Jeb Bush a potential contender, if he wants to do it. I’m not convinced he wants to run. Additionally, the party is just really different from the party Jeb could run in and win.



How I Met Your Mother Finale

Personally, this blogger was a bit conflicted on the finale of HIMYM, the ending quite frankly disappointed viewers because it was so contorted. (Spoiler alert) The show ends with an old Ted going off to pursue Robin whom he always loved but could not settle with in his younger years. There are many reasons it might not work, but frankly the ending of the show is far truer to life than most people care to see for entertainment. A Friends type ending would be preferable.

But the fact of the matter is that the show was never above showing viewer’s the ugly side of reality, for example Robin goes from doing well professionally to having her life be sort of a mess during one story arc in the seasons.

This blogger would have to argue that it is conceivable that Ted and Robin will work out in the next season of their life if the show continued, or that they both figured it out with other people. Because what the show is really getting at is that most people hope to have a frolicking good time with friends in their 20′s and or 30′s get married then ride into the sunset to live together for decades.

But that’s not life, life is fluid, people happily marry and their partners die from illness, people leave each other-sometimes because of illness, divorces happen and sometimes your best relationships come way way later than you would ever plan for them to arrive. Some people get two big loves in life, others never get even one. If you live a long life, chances are you will find yourself in more than one major LTR.

The point is the ending of HIYM was more about the complicated nature of life and the ride than a funny sit com.  Still not everyone agrees -

From Christopher Bowen, a local attorney:

Thought of the day: The message of the HIMYM finale was that F. Scott Fitzgerald was wrong in The Great Gatsby. That is to say, HIMYM says that no matter how much time or how many life events (kids, marriages, divorces, career changes, moves) occur, you can and should pursue the one person who you think you love and think you should have gotten, and doing so is to be admired. Indeed, HIMYM says that the exact same actions that almost worked the first time when you were 25 (uninvited dropping-in with a purloined plastic french horn) should be tried again, when you’re 49. The message of The Great Gatsby, in contrast, is that life moves on, and you’ll only destroy yourself trying to re-create moments and opportunities that belong to the past. Age and passage of time matter are fate in Gatsby; they are irrelevant in HIMYM.

The Great Gatsby is more accurate. Even a moment’s consideration of the premise of the HIMYM finale demonstrates the futility of Ted’s quest to woo Robin: Robin doesn’t want and has never wanted kids; is she suddenly going to move to Long Island and be step-mother to Ted’s two teenagers, especially now that Robin is in her late 40s and at the height of her career? If it didn’t work out between Ted and Robin back in 2005, why should the audience assume a happy ending in 2030, when both parties have a 747-amount of baggage? Despite being a comedy, therefore, HIMYM leaves the viewer with a feeling of Groundhog Day-esque dread that Ted is perpetually doomed to be fruitlessly pursue Robin until his death.

The HIMYM finale and the Great Gatsby do share one trait – the belief in the permanence of character and the unavailability of redemption. Barney cannot commit himself to a woman romantically, even one as much of a match as Robin. Ted will always obsess over Robin, despite a (much- and suspiciously-delayed) marriage to a woman with whom he is a perfect match. This is just as Gatsby cannot overcome his past class background and Daisy cannot or will not overcome her need for social acceptability and stability to escape Tom Buchanan, who, although a brute, provides both. Thus, what makes both HIMYM and The Great Gatsby unpleasant in the end is that they both leave us feeling depressed — who you are today is who you’ll be forever, no matter how much you try otherwise. This works for The Great Gatsby, because it’s a tragedy. It’s less welcome with HIMYM, because it’s supposedly a comedy, yet ends with a budding romance that everyone suspects will fail as it did in the past.

It’s arguable that Ted and Robin might change or have changed enough to make a go of a relationship, much like Nick Carraway changed in The Great Gatsby, but it’s also true that some of these characters as real people might never change at all.

If all of this is not enough, someone made an ending for HIMYM that is what most people would have wanted – click here.

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