Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

DC Development Collapses: Stimulus Project

The Poplar Point Development Project worth $2.5 billion dollars is shelved. Clark Construction pulled out of the project because of the economic circumstances that the US is in.

This project had designs to reinvigorate an area of DC that has suffered for years without businesses, restaurants, and other parts of what most Americans consider an appropriate life style.

The project also could have included a new stadium for one of the city’s successful sports franchises, the DC United Soccer team. The development would complement the new Nationals Stadium (professional baseball) and the new stores and businesses planned for that side of the River.

Howe about including this as part of the stimulus program–new jobs during construction and a range of housing and businesses in a part of the city that desperately needs both.

Fleecing Bankers

Obama sets a stage to criticize the bankers and Wall Street executives for giving themselves enormous bonuses.

Hello, why didn’t the TARP ban such action?!

Certainly, the executives are showing that they lack any moral compass, or at best, have overridden any sense of shame with some rationale they they have repeated to themselves so many times that they think it must be true.

They are also showing little concern for the allocation of the money to the business and to the people who these banks gave loans to. It appears more important for them to give the money to their self than to help stabilize the bank or investment firm or renegotiate many of the outstanding loans.

Congress needs to be out there screaming about this too. Let’s organize a campaign to dump these executives.

Don’t Go Down Revolutionary Road

Three of us went to see this movie last night and left disappointed.

While one thought the movie was about the pitfalls of communication, a second thought the movie was about living life without feeling alive.

I thought the movie made a comment about the feeling of “being special”. I think the movie wants to make a distinction between special based on a talent or skill, and special as an attitude that one adopts either because you feel superior over others, or because you let others know that you live your life differently from the pack.

 
Clearly, the lead couple learns that they are not special. The Di Caprio character always knows that he lacks a specific talent that might make him special. The Winslet character segregates herself from the other actors during the scene where she is doing the play, presumably because she believes that her acting talent is better than the others so she is special. Yet, she lacks that talent. Despite her husband perpetuating the idea that she is special on their car ride home, she is aware that the performance indicates that she is not special on the basis of her acting talent—the first indication to her character that she is not special. She merely acted superior to the other members of the cast.
 
The pair only experience two moments when they feel special.One is when they feel superior to their friends after telling them they are leaving for France. This is a confusion on their part between feeling superior and feeling special. The second time is during the walk in the woods with John. This is a real surprise to both of them and one of the few moments when they appear to take genuine pleasure in an event that happens to them without it being based on the sense they they were superior to some other people.
 
The neighbors all seem to need for the couple to be “special”, as in having a different attitude. The man of the next door couple believes in the Wheelers freedom and “cool” ways. But the Wheelers’ world crumbles, revealing that they failed at maintaining this different way of life. The neighbor’s desire to stop talking about the Wheelers at the end of the movie reflects his disappointment with them. John’s anger at the dinner also reflects a similar disappoinment and the same can be said for Kathy Bates’ character, who is disappointed that they were not able to help her son John.

Stimulus Dollars Stay in US

Today’s columnist in Post raises an interesting possibility: what if companies receiving stimulus dollars take it overseas? A letter opposing “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus has been signed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and several other such groups.

Can you imagine! The problem is yes, easily. Multinational corporations are often more powerful than some governments of nations. They have often been able to push through trade agreements and a variety of tax policies to benefit their corporations and the members of the board of directors.

Book Cover Capital Sporting Grounds

This is the image that I originally wanted for the front cover of my book.

Capital Sporting Grounds: Stadiums in DC

coverbrettabramsstad

Yankees Torre Book Reviews

So, one group wants to say the nice parts of the book aren’t being discussed yet.

Another says, the analysis is insufficient to explain why the team wins the world series four times from1996-2000 and no times afterward

The Yankees had great teamplayers during the 1996-2000 era; up to 2003 at least. None of these guys, even Jeter can combine the defense, hitting for average, and hitting for power that ARod does, which is partly why he carries on like a superstar.  However, he does appear to be overly concerned with status and stature.

Very good defense: $5 million a year; high average: $10 million a year; hitting for power: $13 million a year; being comfortable in your own skin: priceless.

Money or Attention

The reactions to Torre’s Yankee tell all book are as swift and severe as one might expect.

Some see the book as diminishing the Dodger manager’s reputation.

Of course, those close to ARod are denouncing the book and the stories about their man as part of a vain effort to retain some of the spotlight.

I can not see the logic of the last item, because Torre gets plenty of press out in the LA media and the baseball world.

Did he really just want to set a few things straight like pro-Torre people have argued.

Seems most likely that the money had a greater motivation than either of these other rationales.

Yankee Dramas

Is there any reason now to read Torre’s book. Here is one juicy set of slices from Torre’s tell all on his Yankee years.

The only thing that is not here is the answer to what did ARod get out of being with Madonna?

Given what this says about his fascination with being liked and understanding why Derek Jeter is so well liked, could it be that he wanted to date like Jeter?

Torre Tees Off

Yankee fans had to expect this sometime soon. The organization dissed Torre at the end of the 2007 season. Despite being known as a gentleman, why would not Torre come out with a book that damns members of the Yankee organization.

The big surprise is the bashing of GM Brian Cashman.

The big news is the nickname that teammates had for Alex Rod. (A-Fraud)

Alex goes to therapy and it sounds like he is doing the right thing for himself after hearing about his jealousy over Derek Jeter.

Obama Sells

Four blocks in downtown DC from the Verizon Center Arena to the Hechts Store had booths of vendors selling buttons, magnets, tee-shirts, sweaters, posters, and art.

Other vendors lined the streets that all the people walk as they leave the Mall. The new economic engine!

Anything that you could put Barack Obama’s face on, his family on, the slogans on, were all up for sale.

My favorites are the Obama action figure.

Michelle’s hasn’t been finished yet.

The Obama sock puppet is a close second.

I know the nieces and nephews can’t wait to see what we’re going to ship them but I’m waiting for the clearance sale after all the people leave DC.