Saturday, June 12, 2004


I spent the last two days with my future in-laws. Thursday was Harvard's 353rd commencement, so you'd think they would have it figured out by now.

My father-in-law-to-be and I crammed in with everyone else on the rain-swept slopes of the Harvard Yard and never really got to see anything other than the jumbotron and jerky parents.

After that, we went to the more intimate setting of 635 graduates of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where my wife-to-be was getting her masters in Pyschology and Human Development.

We rested a bit after that whole drama and photo session, and then went out again for dinner with 10 of our friends from Harvard and our college years. I nearly lost my cell phone in the Indian resturant, but thank goodness the 4th waiter came clean. Then some more bubble tea so that I just about exploded.

Friday we took the rental car to southern Maine, "The way life ought to be" and relaxed in a touristy village on the seacost. The skies were almost spotless and it was only 70-something with a seabreaze mixed in. It was very relaxing and enjoyable, but maybe I had too much sun or buttery food or something because I could hardly eat dinner or play Maj Jongg when we got home. Driving and Harvard Square never mix, by the way.

Today was the morning nighmere of mailing two heavy boxes filled with books from Porter Square. Of course since the nation was busy embalming Reagan yesterday, the line was twice as long with half the staff and our boxes were 85 and 40 pounds respectively (so we had to buy another box and divide up the heavy one) After that, we journeyed to Watertown/Newton for a special Chinese Brunch place that looks like a dump on the outside but is really nice with amazing food inside.

As her parents are all packed up now and taking one last look at the Coop (to see if there is anything else there with the word "Harvard" on it for them to buy) before they head to the airport, I am able to catch up with current events.

Someone spilled the beans that Kerry had semi-asked McCain already and Johnie Maverick said no. At least McCain's people and hopefully Kerry's people kept it quiet for about a month. I am not surprised that it came out or the news but dissipointed in both. So much for keeping the whole thing under wraps. I really hope the Kerry people know what they are doing because things aren't going that great for them right now considering.

Basically, George W. Bush is losing this election all by himself, with no help from Kerry. That is, Kerry isn't winning so much as Bush is losing. Then again, I really don't care as long as Bush isn't reelected. Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend of nice weather.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Bye-bye Boston Countdown

On June 25th, I will enter and leave the Massachusetts State House for the last time as a legislative aide. Bloggers who want to get an inside view of the next ConCon on gay marriage will have to find another person. While I am excited to go off to Utah and start a new life as an adult with a car, a house, a JD, and a wife (well some will come in 1 or 3 years), I am a bit sad to see this old life go by the wayside.

In the meantime, here is something for your amusement:

"Expressing frustration at the realization that things have turned out badly or not as planned or that one has just said or done something foolish" -- OED definition of "Doh"

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Let the worshiping begin

Remember how I said that Ronald Reagan is the GOP's Kennedy, a man idolized and almost worshiped? Well, now we are getting closer towards worship.

OH state Rep. Ron Young (R) introduced a resolution requesting Congress add Reagan to Mount Rushmore.

Ex-Reagan speechwriter/Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who wants to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 said he has "no qualms about replacing Jackson, whom he said "is 'not standing up to the scrutiny' of time." But Senate Maj. Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) spokesperson Bob Stevenson said Frist "wants to keep Jackson on the currency": "Obviously, folks in Tennessee view Ronald Reagan as having accomplished so much for this generation of Americans, he deserves a much higher denomination than the $20" (Friedman, Long Beach Press-Telegram, 6/7). Higher than $20? Does that mean that Grant is on the chopping block? Or will it be Franklin?

Actually it is John F. Kennedy, who some GOPers consider a "comunist." Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) will propose to replace JFK on the half-dollar with Reagan. Miller spokesperson Dan McFaul noted that JFK replaced Benjamin Franklin on the coin in '63," and Miller "merely felt it was time for a change." Said McFaul: "Nothing's wrong with Kennedy. ... The tradition at the U.S. Mint was for coins to remain unaltered for 25 years, and we're looking at about 41 years." A Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) aide said Kennedy "had no comment" (Long Beach Press-Telegram, 6/7). Meanwhile, a House GOP aide said: "Having a living member of the Kennedy family in a prominent role on the Senate side is an assured death sentence for any effort to remove JFK from the 50-cent piece" (Roll Call, 6/8).

Not to be out done, "Once Reagan's body has been interred" on 6/11, Americans for Tax Reform pres./Ronald Reagan Legacy Project pres. (and over crazy right-wing nut) Grover Norquist "will launch a campaign in Congress" to put Reagan on the $10 bill in place of Alexander Hamilton. Said Norquist: "Hamilton was a nice guy and everything, but he wasn't president." He added: "As a board member of the NRA, I can also tell you that he was a bad shot." (Oh, that's witty. Did you know that Hamilton is my ancestor? You best not be steppin')

USA Today's Page writes, unlike Reagan, "Hamilton lacks a modern-day political constituency -- one reason the $10 bill is being targeted." Hamilton's Federalist Party is "defunct," whereas Reagan's GOP controls the WH, House and Senate.

Majority Whip Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he will "sponsor the proposal when the time is right," and Frist spokesperson Stevenson said there "'could be a head of steam behind the idea.'" But Dems "aren't quite ready" to go along; Senate Min. Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) spokesperson Todd Webster said: "Ronald Reagan did many things during his presidency that deserve to be remembered, and Democrats and Republicans will discuss how best to honor his legacy." Ultimately the decision is "up to" Hamilton's "successors," currently Treas. Sec. John Snow. Norquist said he "already has met with Snow" and senior WH officials, saying: "Everybody thought it was a good idea, and nobody thought it was a bad idea."

GOPers ran into "resistance in recent years" when they tried to replace FDR on the dime with Reagan. Dems "flipped," and even Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY), whose CD "includes Roosevelt's Hyde Park home, fought it." The effort "fizzled after Nancy Reagan said she wouldn't endorse" it (Long Beach Press-Telegram, 6/7). Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) said on 6/7 "he's reconsidering the fight he led in Congress to block" GOPers from putting Reagan on the dime. Said McGovern spokesperson Michael Mershon: "we're reviewing the situation. No decisions have been made. This week is a time for mourning and celebrating Ronald Reagan. We will come back to this later." Mershon did note that FDR has "always been associated with the dime due to his fundraising work" for polio with an org. that "came to be known as the popular 'March of Dimes' campaign."

Also, some have "suggested a compromise of putting Roosevelt and Reagan on alternating sides of the coin" (Miga, Boston Herald, 6/8). Enough with the coinage and currency!

At the same time, they are going to have state mourning for about a week and basically do the Lenin thing to his poor body so that all worshipful "movement" conservatives can pay homage to Dear Leader.

I think the Daily Show's Jon Stewart best summs up the hidden angle on the Reagan coverage: "The people I really sorry for here are Carter and Ford. Because, you know they're watching this and thinking, 'I'm not getting that'" By the way, President Ford and former First Lady Betty will be on Lary King Live tonight. I pity him sometimes.

Monday, June 07, 2004

name that building
No, its not a game show. The Third Avenue is now permitting Congress and the government in general to name stuff after President Ronald Reagan, who died on Sunday at the age of 93. Too bad GOPers decided to do this 10 years ago, when the man was still alive but not the same Ronnie they once knew in the 1980s.

On one level I can understand why they did it, Reagan is the Republicans Kennedy, only Democrats didn't name everything under the sun after him until after he was killed, not years before he died of a long-drawn out disease.

True, Alzheimer's disease is a horrible way to go. It must be hard to watch loved ones melt away into a living corpse. Personally, I can't really think of a good thing he did as president. I guess reforming the tax code was good in 1986, and bankrupting the USSR was great too, but at what cost? We also bankrupted ourselves. He cast out millions with mental illness and made them the problem of state prisons and societies. Ronnie conducted a war without congressional consent, armed Saddam Hussein with WMDs and other more conventional weapons. He tried to eliminate the Department of Education, and his secretary there of (Bill "Vegas" Bennett) systematically undermined education and its funding. Reagan tired hard to break and weaken unions, subtly supported racism through his choice of campaign stops (at sights of famous lynchings in Mississippi), blamed women on Welfare for their plight, and a host of other things I can't think of at the moment because I was 9 when he left office.

One shouldn't speak ill of the dead I know, and I wish his family peace and well that Ronnie is no longer suffering. I also will let GOPers have their moments of silence and mourning this week, as they shuttle Dutch's body to and from Southern California (and the Rotunda in DC on Thursday). Its a big deal that he died, but in a sense, he was dead 10 years ago when they started naming airports, buildings, anything they could after Reagan.