Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

MSNBC needs to get rid of the Dallas Cowboys star

November 30, 2011

MSNBC has a blue star as its political logo that is exactly the same as the Dallas Cowboys star. They need to remove it immediately.

News reporters spotted in Bethesda

June 9, 2011

Over the last few years I’ve seen a bunch of news reporters in Bethesda.  Ok, it’s not Hollywood, but we do get a bunch of TV news people here.

Here’s an incomplete list:

Howard Fineman, Huffington Post reporter and MNSBC regular – the Apple Store

John King, CNN, the Apple Store

Mike Viqueira, MSNBC – Fitness First

David Gregory, Meet the Press, MSNBC – Starbucks and Bethesda Avenue.

Tony Kornheiser, PTI – Bethesda Avenue, going to Landmark movies?

Lisa Sylvester, CNN – Bethesda Avenue

Greta Van Susteren, FOX – Capital Crescent Trail

Chris Matthews, Hardball, MSNBC – Landmark Theaters

Cokie Roberts, NPR – Regal Theaters

Wolf Blitzer, CNN – the Pines of Rome restaurant

George Smith, ESPN – Bethesda Avenue

Michael Wilbon, ESPN – Cafe Deluxe

David DuPree, sportswriter – Bethesda Avenue

Chris Gordon, local TV reporter – Bethesda Avenue

Tim Brandt, sports reporter – Bethesda Avenue

Years ago, not in Bethesda:

George Stephanopoulos, Austin Grill, Glover Park

Tim Russert, Cafe Deluxe, Glover Park

Chick Hernandez, Comcast Sportsnet – Chadwick’s in Chevy Chase

Laura Evans, FOX 5 News – Clyde’s in Chevy Chase

real celebrities?

the list is pretty thin – all I can think of is Sandra Bullock, 2000, Atomic Billiards, Cleveland Park, and another bar in D.C. around the same time, and Gary Sinese, Old Ebbitt Grill, 2011.

I guess our celebrities are the news people.  Next – sports figures.


CDC says Washington, D.C. homes with partial lead replacements are at risk for high lead in water

December 13, 2010

A December CDC report states that nearly 15,000 Washington, D.C. homes that have had partial lead line replacements are at risk for high lead levels.  See the article here on

The problem started around 2000 when D.C. responded to a 1998 EPA mandate to reduce chlorine byproducts that could be carcinogenic.  Chlorine was used to disinfect the water supply, but then chloramine was used to reduce chlorine byproducts. However, chloramine caused lead pipes to leach into the water, and much of the city’s infrastructure was made of lead pipes. Lead causes irreversible brain damage to fetuses and infants.  After children tested high for lead from 2003 to 2004, two bad things happened.  First, both the city and the CDC covered up the problem, lying about it, claiming that the water was safe when they knew it wasn’t.  Second, the city embarked on a $100 million project to replace lead service lines with copper, but they stopped when they got to private property.  The chloramine caused lead to leach from the water, causing a temporary spike in lead levels, making the problem worse.

Congress came out with a report last spring that said CDC used false data to mislead the public in a 2004 report.  CDC then admitted wrongdoing, and two weeks ago published a report that stated that nearly 15,000 homes with partial lead line replacements were still at risk for high lead levels.  Those homes should be tested.

I think that’s it, but it’s pretty confusing.  Welcome to the D.C. lead in water fiasco, circa 2000-2010.  Makes the Redskins problems seem not so bad.

Also, here is an article from June about a congressional report that said CDC misled the D.C. public about the safety of drinking water, which had high levels of lead from 2001 to 2004.

Funeral held for former Washington Bullet Manute Bol, 7’7″ giant devoted life to help war-torn Sudan

July 1, 2010

The funeral for former Washington Bullets 7’7″ center Manute Bol was held Tuesday at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Bol played 10 seasons in the NBA and became a prolific shot blocker, but was best known for his humanitarian work in his native war-torn Sudan.

Bol died at the age of 47 of kidney failure and complications from the skin condition Stevens-Johnson syndrome at University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville June 19. Bol had made trips to Sudan in recent years and was given medication that may have resulted in side effects that caused Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Approximately 150 people attended Bol’s funeral, where former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), friends, and relatives spoke. Former teammates including Chris Mullin attended the funeral, as did former Bullets General Manager Bob Ferry, who drafted Bol in the second round in 1985, and former NBA players Buck Williams and Rory Sparrow.

Bol was a great humanitarian and will be sorely missed. To see the rest of my article on, click here.  All photos below by Mike Frandsen.

Obama and the media: give Hillary some credit on health care

April 4, 2010

It’s a real shame that neither the media nor President Obama have given Hillary Clinton any credit at all for the new health care plan.  It was more than 15 years ago that she basically drafted a similar plan.  The media has always been anti-Hillary, and Obama only gave the Clintons a quick mention during the press conference a couple of weeks ago.  He also stumbled across their names.

Quote of the Year on health care: French President Nicolas Sarkozy

April 4, 2010

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said to the U.S:

“Welcome to the club of states who don’t turn their back on the sick and the poor.

When we look at the American debate on reforming health care, it’s difficult to believe.

The very fact that there should have been such a violent debate simply on the fact that the poorest of Americans should not be left out in the streets without a cent to look after them … is something astonishing to us.

If you come to France and something happens to you, you won’t be asked for your credit card before you’re rushed to the hospital.”

After a while, the debate got so ridiculous, you almost had to laugh.  As a country, we look bad when our healthy and wealthy people don’t want the poor and sick to have insurance.  We also look bad when we want insurance companies to continue to be able to take insurance away from those who are sick.

We look bad when we say, “Who’s going to pay for it?”  What if we had the same attitude about schools, libraries, police, and firemen?

People are either stupid or mean and lack empathy.

Of course, it’s easy to jump on a bandwagon and mock the French for opposing the Iraq war, implying that they’re weak and then never apologizing for it when it turns out they were right.

More Awesome: Hillary Clinton or President Allison Taylor of “24?”

May 22, 2009

Who is more awesome:  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or the fictional character Allison Taylor, the U.S. President on the TV show “24” played by Cherry Jones?  This is an impossible question to answer.


How could anyone be more awesome than Hillary Clinton?  Or 24’s President Allison Taylor?  


They are both equally awesome.  It is a tie.  

I like Washington DC

December 4, 2008

With 2008 Presidential Hopeful Mitt Romney

With 2008 Presidential Hopeful Mitt Romney

I like Washington, DC.  You don’t hear that very much nowadays.  Presidential candidates, Senators and Congressmen constantly rip DC, and then try to get there or stay there.  People who call it DC tend to like it, because the locals call it DC, whereas people from who knows where call it Washington.  I saw a Bruce Springsteen concert once and he called Washington a “wicked place.”  And he was playing in Washington.  One thing I do agree about is that the number of lobbyists and lawyers upsets the balance of the city.  However, there are a lot of great things about DC.


DC has more museums than any other city, and most of them are free.  It’s nice to go to the zoo for free – that’s a big savings for a family.  It’s a great sports town with the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, Nationals, and DC United.  The Nationals have a new stadium and the arena where the Wizards and the Caps play is home to a lot of things to do.  There are several great universities – Georgetown, George Washington, American, and Howard, plus the University of Maryland just outside the city.    

There are a bunch of areas in the city that have great character and nightlife such as Georgetown, Adams Morgan, and Penn Quarter.  Next door there’s old town historic Alexandria, Virginia as well as upscale Bethesda, Maryland, with more restaurants per square mile than any city in the country.  If you’re into the performing arts, DC has the Kennedy Center and other world class venues.  DC also has an excellent subway system that is safe and efficient.  You don’t need a car to live here.   

You’d be hard pressed to find a large city with more trails than DC.  In the DC area, there are more than 800 miles of jogging and biking trails and 230,000 acres of parkland.  Because of Rock Creek Park, DC has more trees per square mile than just about any other city in the U.S.  DC is an hour and a half from beaches to the east and an hour and a half from mountains to the west.     

With DC Mayor Adrian Fenty

With DC Mayor Adrian Fenty

There’s more to DC than national politics.  There are 600,000 residents, most of whom have nothing to do with the national scene.  DC has a large international and multiracial population.  And they are taxed without representation in Congress.  So to show the two sides of DC, I put two pictures up here – one of me with a politician who bashes DC yet tried to get a job there – former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney – (a nice guy, though), and another of me with the current mayor of DC, Adrian Fenty.  Fenty is an avid triathlete who often bikes the trails of the city. 


December 4, 2008

The political commentary shows on MSNBC, such as Countdown, have really gone off the deep end.  They were unbelievably biased in favor of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, and have been even more biased in favor of Obama over John McCain.  Let me preface this by saying two things.  1)  That I understand that Fox News is so one-sided that it has been a caricature for many years.  What Fox and the Rush Limbaughs of the world did with their anti-Hillary rhetoric for no good reason for the last 15 years lasted long enough to impact her chances in this election.  And 2), I’m about as Democratic as you can get.  Why?


·         I believe very strongly that poor and sick people should have the same opportunity at health insurance that wealthy and healthy people do.  People shouldn’t die fighting insurance companies to cover their bills.


·        I believe that we should not only try to minimize the damage from climate change, but that we should have a clean environment.  Large corporations shouldn’t be allowed to pollute our air, water, and soil, causing the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat to be contaminated.  I believe we need more regulation on businesses to ensure that the environment is safe, and we also need regulation to make sure that products don’t have dangerous chemicals.  All of these problems are leading to birth defects and disease.


·        And I believe that we need gun control so that automatic weapons, etc. aren’t easily available by anyone.


So I’m definitely pro-Democrat on most issues. 


Back to MSNBC.  Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow have become even more to the left than Fox News is to the right.  Strangely, they really jumped on the anti-Hillary bandwagon.  It was odd, because Hillary and Obama had basically the same policies.  They made Hillary out to be a villain, exaggerating each misstep during the primary campaign, delighting in and ignoring any of Obama’s flaws, being completely unwilling to criticize him at all.  But it’s more than the anti-Hillary bias that seems odd.  MSNBC was so vehemently against the Republicans that it became ponderous to watch.


Olbermann has been the worst culprit.  I never would have thought that Olbermann, a former ESPN Sportscenter anchor, would be hosting his own national show on politics.  The self-important Olbermann has such a bizarre style, yelling into the camera and constantly slamming his opponents.  He is so over the top.  There’s nothing worse than people who think they are much funnier than they are.  I never thought I would defend George W. Bush, John McCain, and Sarah Palin, but Olbermann’s commentaries against them have become personal and nasty.  Olbermann also had a couple of nasty special comments for Hillary Clinton, blowing campaign miscues way out of proportion. 


One other thing – you have to wonder about someone who constantly yells and screams while on TV.  It’s not professional.  I’ve had the same criticism of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on ESPN.  In sports it’s more understandable, but even then, stop yelling all the time. 


I believe in telling it like it is, but Keith has gone way off the deep end.  Olbermann is now wearing those wire rim glasses which fit him perfectly because he is so pretentious.


Matthews may be just as bad – because though his bias isn’t as blatant as Olbermann’s, his show is ostensibly more objective, as he interviews people from both the left and the right.  However, he was clearly anti-Hillary, and his rhetoric was almost all pro-Obama against McCain.  His stream of consciousness statements have become increasingly wacky.  He interrupts answers of his interviewees constantly with non-sequiturs.  Some of the panelists are amused by his humor; others clearly are laughing at him.  His increasing bias has left him on the sidelines rather than in the game.  He used to be a heavyweight; now he’s a lightweight. 


Finally, if Rachel Maddow is so deserving of her own show, why would so many commentators have had to congratulate her so much for the first two months of her show? 


CNN is probably a little more boring, but at least they are more objective. 


Part of the problem is that politics has become too partisan.  The shows are simply a moderator interviewing one person from the left and one from the right – each one equally biased.  And these are the objective shows.  Fox and MSNBC are heavily slanted in one direction.  This us vs. them mentality isn’t anything new, but people can take news shows more seriously if they at least pretend to be objective.  Whereas most people understand that Fox News is a joke, I think that most reasonable people are now understanding that MSNBC is too. 


Keith:  you’re a buffoon.  Keith Olbermann – tonight’s WORST PERSON…IN THE WORLD!”


Maybe I should just watch PBS.


P.S.  If there was any doubt that MSNBC was not a channel devoted to news, on Friday, November 28, just two days after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, MSNBC showed a highlight show of the most wild videos caught on tape, or something like that, while the attacks were still going on.