Friday, 17 September 2010

DC in a Decade


A couple of years ago in DC....some smart folks came in and started this effort to sell the DC council on the idea of rent-control. There could have been some plain nods....and there could have been some dopey politicians who never understood the whole concept. The political folks bought this hook, line and sinker.

A strange thing started after the approval of this deal. Property got bought up.....fixed....and then converted into condo apartments....expensive condo apartments.

So the local folks....who were mostly black and on the lower side of incomes....suddenly found various neighborhoods that were undergoing renovation, and the prices were way beyond their lifestyles.

There's a funny thing about DC politics. Up until the 1950s....it was a mostly white population, and the vote ran along Democratic lines but mostly white candidates. By the mid-1960s....blacks held the population majority and black politicians began to show up....all Democrats of course.

At some point in the 1990s, it was obvious that the school system was now totally corrupted and a joke. Folks wanted to fire teachers but the union just grinned and said no.

City services were dismal, and declining.

So this effort over the past decade has been underway to rebuild DC. The black population is beginning to question the motivates and the direction.

So we move over to these upscale condo deals. The smart guys now say that by 2014....enough of the properties will have switched over and 30-something rich white will have taken to this new atmosphere. The vision by 2018 is this town where it's more of a upscale area where people ride the METRO, hang out to drink cappuccino, and fancy clothing shops appear on every corner. That's not old DC, and you can imagine the anxiety here.

The political landscape by the end of this decade will be quiet different. In fact....it could just be fifty percent Republican....which might shock the locals now greatly.

2011, The Tea & Crumpets Tour

2011 will likely turn into one of the most curious years in American political history.

The Republicans will likely walk in with a majority in the House, and maybe 49 Senators. The President will likely shuffle his cabinet around to make folks think new change is taking place, and then call a new strategy team up to focus on "new change", which is supposed to be better than "2008 change" which most folks bought off on.

The sad part about this 2011 period, is that Republicans are sitting on the edge of a massive mess. With house control and almost a majority in the Senate....the Tea Movement is expecting something to happen. My belief is that it's going to turn fairly negative by the end of 2011 for the Republicans (and the President).

The Republican top three?

First, they will focus on halting the health care episode. This will involve finding little pieces that require funding or manpower...and just chopping at the base of health care. Without full support in the Senate....they can't take down the whole package. The odd thing about this chopping method is that the President has to defend the health care package. Each time he says something....the public will question the truthfulness of the response.

Second, they will focus on the border problems and immigration. No matter what they push....the President will have to oppose them. By the end of 2011....whatever golden bullets that the President had on immigration or protection of the border....will be gone. Even if nothing ever gets accomplished by the Republicans....they end up drawing the administration into a stupid argument.

Third, there will be continual jabs over Constitutional limits. Everytime the administration tries to defend their actions....it'll hit hard at the Tea Movement.

I'll predict well over 120 speeches by the President in 2011. It'll be a campaign year....before the campaign even begins in 2012. Some folks will even argue that the President was on permanent campaign mode from January 2009 to November 2012.

What people expected in this administration was this moderate and agreeable administration that folks would finally chill out and go back to this notion of easy politics. It'd be 1968 all over again. I suspect that the leadership capabilities gained by candidate Obama over the past decades were just overwhelmed by the reality of the White House. There's not a simple way of picking up on things and building up your character.

So settle back and watch both parties suffer in November 2012 at the hands of the Tea Movement. When nothing of any significance is accomplished by the end of 2011....it'll make things kinda interesting.

OctoMom & Welfare

Apparently, according to California news sources....the OctoMom is now applying or will shortly apply for state welfare. The TV deals came and went. The book deals came and went. There just weren't any avenues left.

There's not much I'll say here. Some gal who was stupid enough to arrange for a massive birth deal. There's no guy out there stupid enough to marry her. And in the end....citizens of California will support her.

Where Life Might Be Better

There was this report today...with lots of statisitical data. These smart folks had found these recession-proof cities. This was produced by MetroMonitor, and released via the Brookings Institute's Metropolitan Policy Program.

These are cities where bad times come, and they really don't suffer very much. They've got a built-in mechanism that isn't connected to the rest of America.

I looked over these cities. None of them are on the west coast or in Florida. To me, that wasn't shocking.

Washington DC did make the list, but then it doesn't have any manufacturing, and it's real business is all government-related. So it's not much of a shock either.

Baton Rouge made it, along with Houston, Little Rock, El Paso, Dallas, and Austin.

Some NY state towns made it: Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany.

Jackson, MS made it. Omaha and OK City made it.

I looked for cities out in Arizona and Nevada but nothing made the list.

It's an interesting group. These are typically places that don't draw folks to move to. These are stabilized areas. The comical thing about Buffalo is that it'd be the last place that some guy would make a life decision to move to. You can say the same for Little Rock.

This will be something that folks sit around and chat about for days and days.

Another Rally


Sometime yesterday, it was announced that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the Comedy Central dynamic duo, will have a Glenn Beck-like rally in DC. The date will be 30 October, and currently, the event is entitled: "Rally to Restore Sanity."

How many will come? Well....you start to come close to November and the chilly season...so I'd bet on 20k max. The location for this? They haven't worked out any details and I'd be thinking somewhere near the middle between the Washington Monument and the Capital building.

Will I be there? Yeah, I'm thinking it might be another significant event in DC that might be worth attending.

Eventually, we will probably start to see lots of folks arrange for a rally as we get into the 2012 campaign season.

Our Bama Gal

My brother sent me this story out of the Sand Mountain area of Bama.

The best we can see...is that the local city department had been using their tractor and parked over near some carwash in town (Sumiton, if you wanted to know this), and then it up and went missing.

Someone apparently then asked around and referred things to some gal, Tiffany (we won't mention her entire name because it just isn't the gentlemanly thing to do in dragging a good ladies name in the dirt).

The cops then were on the chase for this gal, who would be later charged with first-degree tractor theft (a serious crime in Bama under any circumstance).

Witnesses alerted the cops to the fact that Tiffany was neatly and lustily dressed in a swimsuit of some type....left mostly to our imagination....as she swung out on highway 78 or Old Warrior Road (depending your view of highway naming).

The cops actually found Tiffany at her home, and she collapsed during heavy interrogation (probably three to five questions), and was prepared to point out the location of this tractor in question (somewhere on Brickyard Road).

Tractor stealing is a fairly serious crime in Bama. I'm guessing the cops will give the case over to the county DA, and Tiffany could be looking at two years in prison. If she were to fess real quick and admit alcohol or pills impaired her judgement, that she'd been a Baptist member for a while, or donated some money over to the Democratic Party of the state....she might get off with just four months in the county jail....just my humble guess.

The thing about this...is that it's likely trigger a severe emotional toll on Bama guys as they imagine this lusty gal in a swimsuit....maybe one of them Florida styles that make a guy weep.....riding a tractor.

I noticed throughout this story that they intentionally left the manufacturer of the tractor out of the story...so it's not a noted Massey Ferguson or John Deere. A bikini-clad gal on a John Deere would tear the heart out of most Bama guys.

So deep in the heart of Bama, Tiffany is out on bail (my guess) and taking a phonecall or two from local guys who'd be wondering if she was available on Friday night. The thing is that fall is quickly approaching and this bikini thing has a limit approaching. By mid-October, it'll be too late in the season to think much about this, and we will have all sunk into NCAA football by that point.

In My Neck of the Woods

From my neck of the woods here in Arlington...we have an interesting episode about to unfold. The Pentagon leadership decided a couple of years ago to consolidate and move some folks out of the beltway. It was making sense in terms of getting folks further away from the traffic mess getting to work, and it'd be a fresh new building to house this consolidated group.

This grand building was designed as part of this consolidation effort. It's in south Arlington....along the interstate of I-395, bumping up against Alexandra. It's a huge complex to fit 6500 workers.

When all this started...it made some sense to put the massive complex right along the interstate. The curious thing is that there's no METRO station anywhere near this, so you'd have to travel by bus to hit a METRO station. But this sort of negative in the planning process...didn't really matter.

Well...studies are now starting to add up. Just a couple of thousand cars off the interstate and anywhere near the building....could add up and recreate the exact same problem that already exists in the beltway area now.

For some folks, this could possibly, if you believe one or two of these special stuides....add two hours onto your drive.

So there's meetings being conducted. Folks are kinda agreeing that building along the interstate now has zero advantages. It is kinda late to admit this...the building is pretty much in the final months of being worked on.

A possible fix? No, there's literally nothing you can add to it at this point that might fix this up. Planning like this in the 1990s was acceptable and you'd just smile as you added thirty minutes onto a guy's route because of the location. In the last five years, folks have really began to tire on the drive into DC or Arlington. There's no real fix to this loss of time in people's lives.