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Wide White: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trying to jump back into blogging "normalcy" again

Sorry for the sporadic posts lately. I'll try to find some regularity again soon.

As many of you know, we took a 16-day vacation at the end of July and beginning of August that accounted for part of the drought lately.

The other part is just lack of material worth writing about or maybe lack of willingness to put the effort in to write it.

I also try not to write too much when I'm frustrated, and I've been frustrated with a lot of things lately, mostly political and religious, which happen to be 2 of the topics I most frequently blog about.

Frustration tends to cloud the words that come out and can be unhealthy. I wrote up a post the other day and knew right away I probably shouldn't post it (my wife reviewed it and made a point of telling me in no uncertain terms that I should not post it).

What hasn't been frustrating is being a dad and husband. I've loved my family life lately. One of my favorite things about our 6400-mile road trip was not having to leave my wife and kids every day for over 2 weeks. Being able to just hang out with them all day was priceless!

So thanks for bearing with me and I'll try to formulate a plan for more regular content sooner than later.

In the meantime, here's a shot from a hike we did in Yosemite National Park.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Campaigning on the taxpayers' dime

I've been following the President's travel schedule over the last few weeks, mostly out of curiosity. Maybe I shouldn't have been, but I was really surprised at how much campaigning is combined with official business. I'm assuming the official business is included so it's covered by the taxpayers, similar to a corporate employee scheduling a trip to San Francisco and spending half the day in meetings and half of it on Fisherman's Wharf.

Here are some examples of dates over the last week and a half that have included campaigning. The presumed campaign events are in bold/italics.

1:05 PM: The President arrives in Austin, Texas
2:05 PM: The President delivers remarks at a DNC finance event
3:00 PM: The President delivers remarks on higher education and our economy
4:30 PM: The President departs Austin, Texas en route Dallas, Texas
5:20 PM: The President arrives in Dallas, Texas
6:25 PM: The President attends a DSCC finance event
7:35 PM: The President departs Dallas, Texas en route Andrews Air Force Base


9:15 AM: The President departs the White House en route Andrews Air Force Base
9:30 AM: The President departs Andrews Air Force Base en route Milwaukee, Wisconsin
11:15 AM: The President arrives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
11:50 AM: The President tours ZBB Corporation Manufacturing Facility
/12:10 PM: The President delivers remarks to workers
2:00 PM: Open for Questions: Gulf Seafood Safety with Dr. Jane Lubchenco
2:25 PM: The President delivers remarks at an event for Mayor Tom Barrett
3:25 PM: The President departs Milwaukee, Wisconsin en route Los Angeles, California
7:10 PM: The President arrives in Los Angeles, California
10:05 PM: The President delivers remarks at a DCCC finance event

12:00 PM: The President departs Los Angeles, California en route King County International Airport
12:00 PM: The Vice President has lunch with Elie Wiesel
1:00 PM: The Vice President meets with President of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumka
2:15 PM: The President arrives Seattle, Washington
2:15 PM: The Vice President meets with newly sworn-in U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey
2:40 PM: The President holds a round table discussion with small business owners
3:20 PM: The President delivers a statement to press
3:45 PM: The President delivers remarks at a finance event
5:35 PM: The President delivers remarks at a finance event

6:35 PM: The President departs Seattle, Washington en route Columbus, OH
10:20 PM: The President arrives in Columbus, OH


10:15 AM: The President meets with Columbus, Ohio family
10:50 AM: The President holds discussion on the economy
1:20 PM: The President delivers remarks at a reception for Governor Ted Strickland
2:25 PM: The President departs Columbus, Ohio en route Miami, Florida
4:45 PM: The President arrives in Miami, Florida
6:00 PM: The Vice President and Dr. Biden attend the funeral service for Senator Ted Stevens
6:10 PM: The President delivers remarks at a reception for the Florida Democratic Party
7:35: PM: The President departs Miami, Florida en route Andrews Air Force Base
9:45 PM: The President arrives at Andrews Air Force Base
10:00 PM: The President arrives at the White House
So 4 of the last 8 business days involved campaigning. 8 events, 6 cities, and 5 states.

I realize part of the President's job is selling his agenda. I have to wonder, though, how much the taxpayers spend to assist with his political campaign activity?

As a not-so-side-note, I imagine Governor Pawlenty's schedule isn't much different, though I wasn't able to track it down.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What are your reasons for running for public office?

Whatever they are, I have to think you could articulate them better than Ben Quayle has.

Quayle is the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle. His recently-released campaign ad doesn't give a single compelling reason to vote for him.

If you don't want to watch the ad, you can read it:
Barack Obama is the worst president in history. My generation will inherit a weakened country. Drug cartels in Mexico, tax cartels in DC...what's happened to America? I love Arizona. I was raised right. Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place. My name is Ben Quayle and I approve this message.
Seriously, could somebody please tell me how this constitutes as helpful and constructive political discourse? If you watched this and it made you want to vote for Ben Quayle, what convinced you?