Friday, August 06, 2004

A different kind of meetup

Today marks the second time my online self and offline self met up. The first was when I went to a Draft Clark Meetup and met legendary bloggers. The second was when a Stanford student stopped me today and asked, "Are you the Third Avenue?"

No one has ever called me that before, but in my shock I managed to say yes. One of my readers had reached out via this student to encourage me to keep on posting, despite my fear that law school will consume my being. And to this reader I say, thanks. I also want to [very] belatedly thank those who read my blog during the gay marriage debate in the Massachusetts legislature. Your words of encouragement and personal stories emboldened me to keep on and feel a sense of justice in the cause my boss was working towards.

Without you, dear reader, I would merely be shouting into the wind. It is good to know that I am not alone in my opinions. Today's encounter reminded me of the awesome power and potential of blogs to connect people who otherwise would never find each other in this planet crawling with people.

My goal in all this is to share my thoughts and frustrations so that they may be used towards a great cause of making this place just a little bit better. I know, it is cheesy, but that's just the kind of guy I am.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Something I already knew

I just called in this morning and found out that the University of Utah has deemed me to be a resident of the state, saving me over $10,000 in tuition per year.

Thank goodness. The state gave me a hard time because I went to school out of state and lived out of state on and off for two years. But I never made any effort to establish residency in any other state, nor did I consider myself anything other than a Utahn.

This will give me more time to focus on the terribly misleading anti-Kerry ads put out by pro-Bush groups (who, like Nixon before him, are hiding behind Vietnam veterans to smear Kerry) . They found other swift boaters who were never more than 50 yards from Kerry and claim that old Johnny is a coward.

John McCain, who was tortured by the Vietnamese for years, has denounced the ad calling it "dishonest and dishonorable" and "the same kind of deal that was pulled on me" by the Bush camp in the 2000 South Carolina GOP primary. Then, Bush's surrogates hinted that he was a traitor, and fathered an illegitimate black child. McCain called on Bu$hCo to denounce the ads and ask for them to be pulled down.

The Senator from Arizona really could still turn on and destroy Bush. And I sure hope he does. I don't get what he gets out of supporting Bush in TV ads and in speeches. McCain is already the most powerful senator around. Almost no big piece of legislation leaves the floor without either his name or his tacit approval. He doesn't need the GOP, they need him. And since McCain seems to not want to be a Cabinet or VP man for either ticket (or a Presidential nominee in 2008) what's to gain? Maybe there is some grand strategy I am missing, an October Surprise if you will.

And you thought Karl Rove was clever. I would love to see McCain get his revenge this fall.

PS: I return from the South Lake Tahoe region on Saturday night; hope the weekend treats everyone well.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

This is the last time, I swear

This week (July 31st-August 7th) I will be in the Sierra Nevadas doing some R & R at a Stanford Alumni Camp South of Lake Tahoe.

There are no TVs, and as far as I can tell, my cell phone can't pick up a signal (maybe in the middle of the lake will work).

This morning I got up at 7 am PST to row a skull for 20 minutes. Even though I was one of the last ones out, the water was still pretty glassy and you could still imagine it was just you, the water and the sun. Usually, I am not a morning person but this camp's clock goes by the sun in a sense, and it really energized me except for the big headache I have from not much sleep. An army of ants has decided to make Christina and my bedroom their base camp. So far, 10-15 were KIA by yours truly, but they keep on coming.

I still enjoy some parts of the camp, which I have gone to every summer on and off for two decades, but it is starting to get old. I outgrew the kids groups about 9 years ago and I am not especially close with campers of my age group, who are coming less and less anyway. This is the last year I will be here, I promise and this time I really mean it. Law school and the law will become my life for at least the next three years and after that, I really shouldn't be going camp with my parents when I am nearing thirty.

From reading BOPnews and watching my fair share of C-SPAN, I think Kerry and the Democrats had a pretty good week. The Daily Show hit the nail on the head with their Mockumentary of Kerry: he was the least objectionable candidate to everyone in the party. Or to put in Current Events SAT-style

Kerry:Dem Nominee::WMDs:rationale for going to war with Iraq

My two Johns will go dark this month and the 527s will try to keep pace with Bu$hCo. I have been reading the Cook Report and he makes some pretty good points that my nervous nelly Democratic friends should pay attention to: incumbants that went on to win had high approval ratings than GWB but ones that went on to lose had lower ratings. You shouldn't be tied if you have spent $150M+ attacking the other guy. Plus, if is 45-45-3-2 (bush, kerry, nader, undecided), then it really is 45.3-47-1.6, since usually at least two-thirds of undecideds break towards the challenger (as Charlie Cook says, if they are undecided it means they have decided not to support Bush but haven't decided whether to vote for the other two) and Nader's 3% is highly over inflated given that the overwhelming majority of his 2000 supporters will vote for Kerry, if at all (and that Nader won't be on every state's ballot).

In sum, I am cautiously optimistic about Kerry and the Democrats in general. It seems like they finally have their sh@t together, so to speak.